In the last election, the term “Soccer Mom” described suburban, swing-voting women. The feeling was that Soccer Moms were important because no one was really sure how they’d vote, and that they carpooled in large numbers. In the end, this label was perhaps mostly a media phenomenon, something chewed over by pundits.
So now, here’s my question: Are Yoga Moms the next Soccer Moms? And are Yoga Moms a real force? Surely, we can see the Yoga Mom’s influence in the marketplace. Who do you think sustains the Whole Foods stores sweeping the country? Who do you think Walmart is trying to please as it presents its new line of organic produce?
Yoga Moms are very “green”–obviously interested in cultivating ways to protect and sustain our environment. They are also interested in bringing women of all faiths/spiritual inclinations back into the women’s movement (see my interview with Helen LaKelly Hunt on this). Yoga Moms come from a cross-pollinated spiritual backdrop: They can be Jewish, Christian, pagan, or on a journey and still seeking. Whatever their leanings or origins, they gravitate toward and value the contemplative traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism–whether they’re in the suburbs doing health club Pilates, or in urban yoga studios sweating to the kirtans of Krishna Das. Yoga Moms are earning a living and raising children, needing tools to help them relax.
Yoga Moms are pro-choice but you won’t ever hear them say that a zygote is not a life. On the war in Iraq: They are mixed. Younger yoginis with kids in strollers were always against and attended all the peace marches. Yoga moms with two kids or more might have been for the invasion, but now are opposed to deeper involvement.
Are Yoga Moms too elite or too marginal a group to have political sway? Tell me what you think. In the meantime, I’ll do more research. I know I read somewhere that the person driving up the nation’s interest in organic food is the mother seeking to find hormone-free milk for her toddler. I think this dignified, empowered lady holds much more than a bottle in her hand!
Photo by Christine