The Nasty Moms Of 2016

Pollsters, call us the “nasty moms.”

For every election cycle in recent memory, the mom vote has been key. The race to win over American mothers’ vote is usually packaged up into a cute, TV ready moniker. We were soccer moms. Recently, “security moms.” In politics the mothers of America are portrayed as a voting bloc with solely the concerns of our loved ones in mind, just wanting to keep the country on the right track for the next generation. 2012 was typical in its rhetoric: candidates like Mitt Romney and Joe Biden praised the moms in their lives for near-saintliness. Mitt’s beloved wife Ann, mother of five boys, is far superior to him in every way, he insisted: “I knew that her job as a mom was harder than mine. And I knew, without question, that her job as a mom was a lot more important than mine.” And Ann knew her place; she played a quiet, happy mom really well.

Ah, for those kinder gentler times. Now, America’s moms and grandmothers are getting together to share our harassment stories, triggered by Donald Trump’s debate performances. 74 year old grandmothers are joining their daughters and granddaughters in swapping pussy grabbing stories. When Trump called Hillary Clinton “such a nasty woman,” mothers heard the withering dismissal of every man in our lives who ever made us feel like dirt. We’re censoring election coverage from our children’s ears and figuring out how we got here. Self titled “mom in chief” Michelle Obama is using her platform to question how she’s going to explain Trump’s America to her daughters.

Moms are mad as hell. And on Tuesday, we’re going to vote. Pollsters, call us the “nasty moms.” I’ll wear that moniker with pride.

As moms we’ve long lived with a double standard: we’re sainted by politicians in their speeches, much sought after by the media, but expected to stay in our box. Now, brought to light by Trump’s candidacy, the hypocrisy of the GOP, and the misogyny Hillary Clinton’s gone through, women’s lack of systemic power resonates with us all.

This election has at last unearthed the great lie that American men revere moms, because moms are women first and foremost. And the fact that Trump can be a major party’s nominee has made it pretty clear that as women, we still have a long way to go.

In 2016 we’re still dealing with a world where a full time working man earns $50,383 while a woman earns $39,621. Where we have a predator running for president, backed by GOP leaders who claim family values. As Indiana Governor, Trump’s running mate Mike Pence– the “normal one”– defunded Planned Parenthood, banned abortions of fetuses even in diagnosis of a genetic disorder, and required women to view the fetal ultrasound hours before receiving an abortion.

Moms are women too, so we understand why it took Trump’s accusers until now to come out, as Rachel Sklar writes in her Washington Post article, “why 22-year-old receptionist Rachel Crooks would have stayed silent and shell-shocked after a polite handshake in an elevator became a tall hulking man pressing into her with his face — the same man whose name was on the building housing her employer. ” We understand why Jessica Leeds waited until she was 74 to report Trump groped her. Mothers fight large and small acts of sexism and harassment every single day.

And we understand that a man like Trump has impact far beyond issues of security or the famed kitchen table of soccer moms’ concerns. Trump poisons the soul of our country.

I loved this article from “diehard GOP” mom Jenny Tananbaum who wrote, “No mother should ever vote for this man. If we let Trump become president, we are saying to our children that respect for others doesn’t matter. We are saying to our daughters that it is OK when a man belittles a woman based on her gender or her body type, and that your value is solely based on your looks…. we are telling our kids that it’s OK to be a narcissistic, antagonistic, egotistical SOB and that there are no rules if your tongue is sharp enough and your pocket is deep enough.”

Here’s the good news: we have a chance to support the most powerful woman, the most powerful mom, in history, and we can elect her President on Tuesday. That is a joyous thing.

I voted early, and I voted for Hillary Clinton. I brought my daughter with me. The joy I felt at casting a ballot for this wonderful, qualified, first woman president momentarily made me forget about all the pain and ugliness of this election. I felt like a powerful mom, indeed.

Moms are women first, and the women I know understand we must speak up. You have the power to exercise your voice as a mother. Vote, you nasty woman you.

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