Mandy wrote a great post on the upcoming Ms. magazine cover last week that I've been meaning to respond to. First of all, I'm in this issue, so I'm a bit biased to think that y'all will judge the issue based on the cover and will skip the great article on mom blogs. But that cover...
Mandy makes some great points that there are those of Hindu faith that see the use of multi-armed imagery as co-opting their deities. Her post really made me think and consider my own religious blindness. As a recovering Catholic, I tend to ignore religious imagery and how it gets used in pop culture. It's not something that pops up in my head of the many warning signs that set off my alarm. So I appreciate it when I can read something that makes me think, "I'm so ignorant!"
That said, the image of a multi-armed woman in relation to motherhood is most likely as old as motherhood itself. I imagine this is why women papoosed or slung their infants to them as they worked the fields. As some in the comments of Mandy's post pointed out, their own mothers use to say "I wish I had another set of arms!" or "I don't have 8 arms missy!" I've always viewed the multi-armed image of motherhood as relating to an octopus. Again, growing up ignorant of Hindu deities, the octopus or spiders, especially in cartoons, were seen as having an ability us humans didn't have - extreme multi-tasking. And today's moms are pushing the boundaries of multi-tasking.
Tech companies may target advertising to sell us on the latest PDA so we can balance our kids' many schedules, but the moms I know use their PDAs to get their own work done WHILE at tee ball practice. We're multi-tasking our way through the day.
So is the image on the Ms. cover a slap in the face to those of Hindu faith? Perhaps. But it's also the best way to depict the life of a today's mom. I'm not a student of Hindu deities, but were any of them also multi-tasking mamas? And I'm being totally serious with that question. I don't mess around with goddesses.