#MyMum is trending on Twitter & you need to read it.

The hashtag #MyMum is trending on Twitter & you need to read it.

Social media often gets a bad rap, and there are certainly occasions where that is absolutely warranted.

But occasionally it serves to display humanity at its finest. Amplified. And today is one of those days.

Twitter is currently awash with posts under the #MyMum hashtag that are heartwarming, life-affirming, inspiring, sad and more.

These posts are far from the platitudes that are often on display at this time of year about mums. They are real stories that individuals are sharing about their own mothers’ lives.

What, people are answering, could their own mum have achieved if things had been different and she could have attended university?

What opportunities was she denied? What could have been? How did she persevere regardless?

The responses are all worth reading.

This conversation was sparked by the comments that Bill Shorten made on Q&A on Monday night about his late mother Ann Shorten.

On Wednesday the Daily Telegraph in Sydney ran a front page story suggesting he had ‘invented’ the sob story to win over voters.

This is being described as an own-goal by the Liberals who reportedly leaked the story. It have given Bill Shorten an opportunity to speak with genuine emotion about his mum. But this is not merely a campaign “moment”.

It’s started a genuine conversation about the way women’s lives are – and have been – shaped.  It has put in the spotlight the many sacrifices many women have made: the talent that has been wasted.

As Fairfax Media political correspondent David Crowe put it:

“It was foolish because it was wrong – and not only about Ann Shorten. On a deeper level the coverage showed a complete lack of awareness of the sacrifices made by so many women who had the brains for careers they could not pursue.”

 

While in many regards we have certainly moved on, it would be foolish to believe women have the freedom to live out their dreams. That women aren’t still making sacrifices.

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