Even Facebook Babywearing Groups Are Purging Members Who Object To Politics In Everything

Even Facebook Babywearing Groups Are Purging Members Who Object To Politics In Everything

Being a parent is exhausting enough. I don’t need the thought and speech police on top of it. Yet here they are, in my babywearing groups on Facebook.
Bethany Mandel
By

My kingdom for a safe zone. That’s what my husband and I say whenever politics bleeds into areas of our lives it has no business being in. The phrase comes from a 2009 column from National Review’s Jay Nordlinger on the subject. Nordlinger was tired of the politicization of everything eight years ago, and the situation has only become worse.

I’ve written previously on my growing distaste for Facebook because of the constant negativity infecting my newsfeed. In an effort to salvage the experience, I muted all of the political preeners, those who spend their time on social media virtue-signaling their worth via their liberal politics. I muted all of the hysterical folks who believe “A Handmaid’s Tale” is a “timely” piece of art, who believe Gilead is coming to America. I muted those who post the latest evidence from Occupy Democrats about the Manchurian Russian candidate occupying the White House. I repopulated the feed with mom stuff: Charlotte Mason homeschooling groups, friends with cute kids and animals, and babywearing groups.

I created my own “safe spaces” because I’m sick to death of politics 24/7. Alas, it has a way of finding me even in these formerly benign Facebook pages and groups.

We’re Only Inclusive of People Who Agree With Us

I have an addiction to baby carriers (I bought two this week alone) and to not bankrupt my journalist family with this addiction, I’m trying to sell one I never quite figured out how to wear comfortably. I attempted to find several of the “BST” groups—buy, sell, or trade—over the weekend and discovered they had almost all been archived for the day. Why? To protest racism. What mothers selling their baby carriers to other mothers has to do with racism and what good it does the cause to inconvenience folks like me I’ll never understand.

Today, I noticed one of the groups, Babywearing on a Budget, had changed their rules. A few highlights include:

-Use Gender neutral language

– Check the pinned post and psa for current guidelines on respecting the cultures these carriers come from. Understand that most babywearing is a form of cultural appropriation. Please be respectful.

Here are some great groups to join to learn more:

The conversation starts today – Talking to white people about privilege

One former group member had the bravery to question the groupthink, commenting:

I feel these topics to be a stretch regarding baby wearing. I have not yet seen anyone not being included or reamed for their race, sexual orientation or anything. This group is about buying and selling wraps and I thought that was the agenda of the group. Not to turn this into a political group. I want to learn how to wrap and love on my baby not read any political posts.

It’s far stretched and makes it seem your (sic) part of being inclusive ONLY of others who are this way.

All of this being said is doing EXACTLY what I didn’t want to see in this group. Starting a disagreement over something that has nothing to do with baby wearing.

So know that I have not broken any rules. I’m strictly on here to find the right wrap and learn about what might be the best one since I AM new to the group. But know that if this site becomes filtered by admin in a way that pushes a certain political agenda, to me it is not going to be worth is.

The group did indeed become filtered, with the group member being removed “without warning.” She told The Federalist, “I am blocked from even seeing the group when I search Facebook.”

We Are Not Here for Politics, So Why Are You Forcing It?

A recent statement from the organizational mothership of babywearing, Babywearing International, is more of the same: “Babywearing International is committed to supporting marginalized people in the babywearing community and will support those movements to correct and educate companies and organizations that engage in racist, appropriative, or otherwise oppressive behavior.”

My kingdom. I would give my kingdom for a mommy safe zone. Now, I’m not a triggered social justice warrior looking for a safe space. But I would like a break from the politicization of everyday life for just a few moments; a place to ask questions like “are my baby’s legs too wide for this baby carrier seat?” without being lectured on white privilege. I can’t even call fellow female-organed parents “mommas” or “ladies” anymore. Being a parent is exhausting enough. I don’t need the thought and speech police on top of it.

My Federalist colleague Mary Katharine Ham, with Guy Benson, wrote an entire book on the Left’s reflex to silence any and all who don’t submit to their groupthink. In the book, “End of Discussion” (out on paperback August 1), Ham writes, “The weaponizaton of outrage for ideological and partisan ends is out of control…its byproducts are a hypersensitive citizenry, a country where reasoned, open debate is stymied, and a culture in which good people are reluctant to contribute to the dialogue for fear of what they might be labeled.”

In the comments on the post in response to a woman’s objection, one of the group’s administrators warned “If you feel you can’t be inclusive, this might not be the group for you.” How inclusive of her!

I’m not sure what can be the solution for average parents like myself when innocuous mommy groups are taken over by social justice warriors hell-bent on making even wearing a baby in a baby carrier into a political statement. Do we have to have to form our own parenting groups in every possible niche? Are we unable to talk about anything anymore without descending into politically correct madness?

It appears so. I’ll probably get kicked out of this group, so if you want to buy my old baby carriers off me (boyish colors for my fellow boy-mommas!), holler.

Bethany Mandel is a stay-at-home mother of three children under four and a writer on politics and culture. She is a senior contributor to The Federalist, a columnist for the Jewish Daily Forward, and a contributor at Acculturated. She lives with her husband, Seth, in New Jersey. You can follow her on Twitter @BethanyShondark.

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