There are some blogs talking about “mother privilege” at the moment. Now, generally these sorts of discussions fall at the first hurdle as people fail to define their terms and goes downhill from there.
For instance, privilege has quite a specific meaning in class analysis and is not necessarily useful when looking at power and status within oppressed classes.
But it is also true that any women who is considered to be serving men or otherwise fulfilling the role handed to women will gain status and reward for that. Women who fail to match the standard are punished.
Aha – all women fail to match the standard, all women are punished !
Yes, but some more than others, and those with extra status – married, het, bearing and nuturing a man’s offspring – those women can draw on a lot more of men’s support and resources and there’s a point where they have enough power to leverage that against other women, and many of them do.
It’s the last bit that’s the problem, and people need to be honest about it.
The “sons” aspect is something I said in a reply on another blog (it’s disappeared into mod, no mind, I can write a version of it here)
1) additional status for mothers with male children vs female children. This is universal though may manifest in more or less subtle ways. A mother of sons has the reflected glory from raising a real human, instead of serving chattel. Many mothers also live vicariously through the real human they see before them (though again we don’t see much discussion of that)
2) a woman whose life revolves around the male persons she has fallen in love with (sons/bf/men in general) is a woman whose life revolves around the men she has fallen in love with. A woman who prioritises men and boys is a woman who is prioritising men and boys – the darlings that make her more important than and give her an elevated status to the other less worthy women.
Women who do prioritise women are rare and considered a “threat”. We do not fall in love with men and we do not put the men other women have fallen in love with at the centre of our universe either. We will suffer additional punishment and exclusion as a result, and this is why patriarchy will never end.