Misomatery

 

I learned a new word today! Misomatery--contempt/hatred of mothers. The word was used in the context of an article written by a mom who was vilified for not believing her child was trans. You may be familiar with this author, as her first post on the subject was first published on Medium and then abruptly deleted, and then reappeared on New Discourses. The article I read today was her second one, in which she reflects on this experience:

"I was bothered by the dismissal of a motherís observations and insights. As if what mothers observe, note, and infer is somehow not to be trusted or valued. There is a knee-jerk reaction out there against the moms of the world. Letís just call this ďmisomatery,Ē a hatred of mothers. (My apologies to the Classics majors of the world.)

"It is time to stop dismissing mothers. Because these women are the experts on their children.

"And yes, no person can read the thoughts inside another personís head, nor perfectly measure every emotion someone else feels, but moms are as close to that as it gets. The survival of our species has depended on moms being able to read their children accurately. Was that newbornís cry hunger or a wet diaper? Is that strange cough and fever within the normal range, or should we blast off to the doctor? Are you really too sick to go to school? There is even a fancy term for this: ďmotherís intuition.Ē

"But amazingly, within the context of transgender politics and medicine, these insights are dismissed. The broader cultureís wide-spread misomateric attitude tells teens: if your parents question your self-diagnosed gender dysphoria and are skeptical about your trans identity, they are transphobic and you should ignore them. Trans activists reject parental surveys as being inaccurate or irrelevant (unlike, say, parent reports of a child having depression or tics). Schools begin to socially transition kids without parentsí approval because they think they know these kids better than the parents do . . .

"So hereís my idea: letís start listening to mothers. Letís center their voices. Letís overthrow the misomateric idea that what mothers think and observe doesnít matter. Letís believe moms, and trust moms. So when a mom says ďhey, my kid isnít trans, heís just weird, and heís just fineĒ we say yes Ė we believe you. Because you are a mom."

Wow, so well said. And the neologism is very helpful in seeing that the person who know the children the best is often the person deemed incompetent to understand their child. While the context for the author is the trans debate, I see this as a much larger issue. Why aren't we listening to the mothers about all the important issues facing our country today? Is there anyone who cares more than mothers about the country their children will have to live in? Is there anyone who has seen more of life than a mom? I think moms are super-qualified to be our leaders, both at the community and at the national level.

So why is there such a contempt for moms? Why aren't their opinions sought after? Why aren't they heard? Why aren't we saying about every policy proposal, "Have you run it by a focus group of moms yet?" Why is there only one mom on the US Supreme Court, but six fathers?

I have some thoughts on that score, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to hear them . . . In the meantime, "misomatery" is your neologism for the day!