The Mamafesto

http://themamafesto.wordpress.com

Talking pop culture to politics, The Mamafesto focuses on the collision of motherhood and feminism. You'll find political rants, letters to Congress, activism and tales of parenting one fabulous kid who (unwittingly) eschews traditional gender...

Avital is a winner of Top 25 Political Moms - 2012

What political issue are you most passionate about?

I am absolutely passionate about protecting access to reproductive rights. We are currently living in a country where reproductive rights are being infringed upon and challenged, almost daily. Just in the first three months of 2012, legislators introduced 944 provisions related to reproductive health and rights in 45 of the 46 legislatures that have convened this year.

My anger over this issue fuels my passion. I am angry that people at the state and national levels feel they have more rights to my body than I do. This is not just an issue that only affects women, as many people will lead you to believe. As a mother, I am furious that my son might grow up in a country that allows its government to dictate what happens to a woman’s body (and how that translates to how society views women in general).

How do you to teach your children the importance of civic duty?

My son has always accompanied me on voting days since he was born, from mayoral races to primaries and even presidential elections. I also make sure to discuss referendum issues in ways he can understand, because I think it is important that he has some idea of how the city he lives in operates. I have also taken him with me when I've volunteered for organizations like Planned Parenthood (and did exit polls). We talk about various issues, and he's aware of the key players in each big election. My goal is to get him excited and motivated when it comes to politics, so that when he's old enough to vote he'll take the matter seriously, and encourage others to get out there and have their voices heard.

What's a political issue you've changed your views on?

I would say that since having a son, I've probably changed my views on issues related to motherhood. I'm not on a different side regarding those issues, but they never really stood out to me before becoming a mother and realizing how important it is for the government to be on our side and champion our causes. I now push for better maternity/paternity leave laws, more practical laws when it comes to "sick days," as well as issues like realistic wages for working parents. Momsrising.org is a great site to find more information about a lot of these issues and learn how you can help work toward fixing them.