Women around the world speak different languages, practice different religions, and live in an endless variety of circumstances, yet motherhood is a significant unifier. It is perhaps the greatest common experience in our global human endeavor, and it is women alone who share it.
Motherhood can be a radicalizing event, notwithstanding the pastel colors, teddy bears, and fluffy blankets advertisers surround it with here. Hitting the maternal wall and encountering gender discrimination following motherhood is something I hear about (and talk about!) quite a lot. Becoming a mother can, and should, make political actors of all of us.
Motherhood instantly ups your ante in the human sweepstakes. It gives you a very personal stake in the future, and makes you vulnerable in every way. It can also empower. Women who hesitated to speak for themselves may find their voice and advocate energetically for themselves as mothers and for the welfare of their children. Motherhood, it must be said, has the potential to be the single most common transformational experience in the world.
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