Sunday, August 31, 2008

Setting back feminism?

My mom mails me her magazines once she's finished with them, and I spent a couple of days reading More. I know I'm not the target audience, but I like some of the articles and recipes.

There were two articles in this issue that bothered me. I'm not going to go into one, because it's too hot-button of an issue and this definitely isn't the place for it.

But the second article was about how girls and women my age view feminism. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I'm a feminist (apparently many women my age are.)

I believe women should receive equal pay and have as many opportunities as men. I do. But I don't think that I should be accused of setting feminism back to the 50s because I choose to stay home and take care of my child and my family
Isn't a big part of feminism having the right and ability to make our own choices? So, why should I be criticized for making a decision that works for my family?

We are very lucky (and live VERY frugally) to be able to swing this. Our life is certainly not luxurious. But we are happy. Our son is happy.

See, this was MY choice. I made it (along with my husband.) And I am not saying that being a stay-at-home mom is the only way to go.

There are lots of women out there who work and have families and do a great job of it. I support these women, and am proud of them! That's wonderful and their arrangements work for them.
I am also inspired by families where the dad stays home. That is great!
But I think I deserve the same amount of respect and consideration. I don't deserve to be told that I am setting feminism back to the 50s, or that I should go back to work because my earning potential is dropping every minute that I'm not working. (Um, trust me. Staying at home IS work, and local broadcast news does not pay.)
There are many other issues out there that are threatening to set feminism and women back right now.

Why don't these women focus on THOSE issues?
Such as:

Why some health insurance plans cover ED drugs, but not birth control?
Why so many young girls idolize Paris Hilton?

Why so many sitcoms feature a fat, slobby man with a super-hot wife? Roseanne got John Goodman, but Jim Belushi gets Courtney Thorne-Smith?

(I just wanted to end this little rant on a light note, and not get into the real issues. That's a completely different topic and I don't believe this is the place for that discussion. For the record, I love John Goodman and think he would be a super-cool celebrity to meet.)


Blogger Don Mills Diva said...

Get outta my head!

I am proud to call myself a feminist, I am sick over Paris Hilton being considered a role model and I am endlessly irritated by sitcoms pairing fat doofus husbands with hot smart-ass wives.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Ann(ie) said...

I KNOW!!!!! What's the deal with the big slobby man and hot blonde woman? AND just for the record.....I do work outside of the home (because our mortgage and my spending habits demand it :) but YOU have the way harder job. On Sunday's I'm ready to go back to work and chill a little!!!!!! xo.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Great post! I'm a feminist as well and proud to be one, but I also believe that it's impossible to have it all, all at once. I tried. I worked from home FT from the time my daughter was 3 months old until she was 13 months old, and I was burning the candle at both ends. I was miserable, sleep-deprived, and I felt like I was doing neither job well. So, I quit my job as a marketing/technical writer and now I freelance.

Staying at home with my daughter is BY FAR the most difficult job I've ever had. My office job was a cake walk compared to this motherhood gig. But I don't believe I'm abandoning my feminist roots by choosing this path. As you said, feminism is about choice, and while I will return to work once my twins are in school, right now it's the best move for my family that I'm freelancing from home.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

I think the whole point of feminism is that we can choose! Not have someone else decide what we should do, but that our lives are our own and we have the right to be treated fairly, equally and how we want to live.

1:52 PM  
Blogger MoziEsmé said...

Well said.

3:47 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

PS: I would love the link to the article you didn't discuss. :)

9:53 PM  
Blogger The Burp Cloth Babe said...

You go! I am so tired of people telling me I am a nut because I am staying home after attending college. I mean, would it be better if I was an uneducated stay at home mom? So is a personal choice, and it should stay that way.

Oh, and I hear ya on the fat tv hubbies. And Paris...ugggh! Makes me want to scream. Rant on!

9:10 PM  
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