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rose garden

women make music, women make love, women make babies, women make visions of...

Posted on 2006.28.02 at 08:18
How I feel about it all: irateirate
Soundtrack: Libby Roderick - When I Hear Music


It's rare when I agree with Southern Baptists, but OMG. THIS is just. There are no words.

The original article they're speaking about is here.

Some quotes:

Most women hope to marry and have babies. If they resist the traditional female responsibilities of child-rearing and householding, what Arlie Hochschild called “The Second Shift,” they are fixing for a fight.

Um. Since when is child-rearing and householding something to RESIST? I'd give my right arm to be able to stay home and raise a child at this point, and I don't think that makes me less of a feminist.


The family -- with its repetitious, socially invisible, physical tasks -- is a necessary part of life, but it allows fewer opportunities for full human flourishing than public spheres like the market or the government. This less-flourishing sphere is not the natural or moral responsibility only of women. Therefore, assigning it to women is unjust. Women assigning it to themselves is equally unjust. To paraphrase, as Mark Twain said, 'A man who chooses not to read is just as ignorant as a man who cannot read.'

This is saying that being a responsible part of a family is lesser than, and less fulfilling than holding down a job. No, raising a family is NOT the responsibility of women alone. But a woman's choice shouldn't be based on the fact that men should do it, too, and don't always. Geez.


...here’s the last rule: Have a baby. Just don’t have two. Mothers’ Movement Online’s Judith Statdman Tucker reports that women who opt out for child-care reasons act only after the second child arrives. A second kid pressures the mother’s organizational skills, doubles the demands for appointments, wildly raises the cost of education and housing, and drives the family to the suburbs. But cities, with their Chinese carryouts and all, are better for working mothers.


Well, gee, I didn't know that raising kids pressures mothers' organisational skills more than working in some high-level corporate job, which, um, didn't the writer just SAY was more challenging than being a stay-at-home parent? And *gasp*! Wouldn't want to force a family into abject suburbia, after all.


Finally, these choices are bad for women individually. A good life for humans includes the classical standard of using one’s capacities for speech and reason in a prudent way, the liberal requirement of having enough autonomy to direct one’s own life, and the utilitarian test of doing more good than harm in the world. Measured against these time-tested standards, the expensively educated upper-class moms will be leading lesser lives.

For one thing, I TOTALLY disagree with the idea that SAHM's are all "expensively educated." NONE of the SAHMs I know are. That would include my mother, my sister, some of my closest friends, and um. Me, while my kids were young. And, SAHMs don't "use their capacities for speech and reason in a prudent way?" They have no autonomy? They aren't doing more good than harm in RAISING THE NEXT GENERATION????!!!! *fumes* There's no way I was living a "lesser life" by raising my kids. I can think of NOTHING as important. I'm not saying it's what everyone would choose, or SHOULD choose, but OMG, this is so vitriolic and judgemental that it just makes my blood boil.


To borrow their insight, these daughters of the upper classes will be bearing most of the burden of the work always associated with the lowest caste: sweeping and cleaning bodily waste.

WOAH, how classist is THAT? *boggles* The author is basically saying that educated upper class women shouldn't soil themselves so. peacey says that she can just see her looking down her nose, and I agree.

The whole premise of the article, that only upper-class women choose to stay at home with their kids, is ridiculous. It's also classist, because there are plenty of women who would love to have a career but can't because daycare is so expensive. And there are a whole bunch of women who choose not to have two cars and a big house in the suburbs because they feel that giving their kids the opportunity to grow up with their parents is important. Should there be more SAHDs? Absolutely. But it's not women's fault if more men don't opt for it (although I know some who do).

Motherhood is a feminist issue. It's just that a lot of feminists either don't get it, or get it in a way that's entirely antiwoman. And totally FUBAR.

"Feminism is the radical notion that women are people". And guess what? People get to make choices. Choosing to help their children along the path to making a better world is a good one, and fullfilling, and intelligent, and all that stuff. *shakes fist*

Comments:


Way2
way2 at 2006-03-01 02:38 (UTC) ()
I think I saw this woman on a talk show for a few minutes. I was wondering if the right wing planted her just to piss everyone off at "feminists," or if she just wants to stir things up and have her 15 minutes of fame and delusions of superiority. Good grief.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-03-01 02:51 (UTC) ()
The problem is, she's not the only feminist I've ever heard with ideas like this. Birth and motherhood are feminist issues, but they're issues that a lot of feminist avoid like the plague.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-03-01 02:51 (UTC) ()
*feminists.

Yes, I should add plurals where they belong.
Way2
way2 at 2006-03-01 06:30 (UTC) ()
The most radical feminists I ever knew were from a Canadian group called "Wages For Housework." They argued that what women do in the home, raising kids, is work and that society should damn well pay us for it. They didn't get too far, of course, but I hope young women today don't think that this bullshit anti-SAHM line of thinking is what true feminism is about.
Me
neitherday at 2006-03-01 03:10 (UTC) ()
I find it ironic that the feminists who take this anti-motherhood stance usually claim to be "pro-choice", when choice is obviously not what they have in mind.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-03-01 06:46 (UTC) ()
Yes. This is my biggest problem with the whole thing.
on_a_hill at 2006-03-01 03:26 (UTC) ()
*wha...!!***

I shake my fist with you. You have GOT to be kidding me!
Latter-day Jezebel
nmalfoy at 2006-03-01 04:29 (UTC) ()
I say it's up to each woman to decide for herself (and for her family, if she chooses to have one) what's best for her. I'd go insane being a SAHM, or being a mother in general, so I chose not to. Pretty easy. As long as women have reproductive choice, then the children that do come into this world will be nurtured because their mother wanted to. I'm not saying that women who have unexpected children don't make great mothers--many of them do--but as long as we keep a choice available for women, everyone in society benefits.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-03-01 06:48 (UTC) ()
I say it's up to each woman to decide for herself (and for her family, if she chooses to have one) what's best for her.

Absolutely. No woman should have kids or be a SAHM if she doesn't want to. But for someone to say the choice to stay at home with her children is wrong? It's horrible.
lupin_spirit
lupin_spirit at 2006-03-01 05:12 (UTC) ()
I often feel that feminists aren't any better than middle-aged white men when it comes to women and their choices. A woman can do and be anything she wants- as long she doesn't choose to have children or stay home to raise them.

A common theme with my family and in-laws et al, is that I am wasting my education and my life. That I am too intelligent to be staying home with my kids. I just don't get it- so what, only stupid or uneducated women should raise children? Realistically, I shouldn't be able to afford staying home. But I can make money stretch like you wouldn't believe and the fact is when you're realistic about what your necessities, really are, you find that most of your expenses are just things. There are so many things that money can't buy and my time is at the top of the list. There is nothing more valuable or more fulfilling that I could be doing.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-03-01 06:51 (UTC) ()
the fact is when you're realistic about what your necessities, really are, you find that most of your expenses are just things. There are so many things that money can't buy and my time is at the top of the list. There is nothing more valuable or more fulfilling that I could be doing.

Yes, yes. Absolutely. I like the bumpersticker that says "The best things in life aren't things". Because I don't know a truer statement than that.
organist89 at 2006-03-01 16:33 (UTC) ()
I like the bumpersticker that says "The best things in life aren't things". Because I don't know a truer statement than that.

I couldn't agree more--nothing matters more to me than love and people supporting people, and those are emotion-based...they're not material. They're not "things".
organist89 at 2006-03-01 16:31 (UTC) ()

*Joins the line of people shaking fists*

Speaking as someone who didn't have parents there throughout his most of childhood, I can say that I agree with you--the is nothing as important as raising your children.

And speaking as a feminist, I can say that almost any time a group of people starts talking about another group of people, they're categorizing, and making sweeping generalizations and assumptions. And it can easily get ridiculous and offensive and destructive.

Gender is a societal construct, I believe. People are people, and their genetalia should NOT in any way affect how they are treated, what roles they can perform, their opportunities, et cetera. It's as stupid as saying that gay people choose to be gay.

I'm given to getting mad over things I read in the media, because I hate the media and how it runs--typically. But still, this particular heap of bullshit is so magnanimously out of line that further words fail me.

*Shakes fist*

*Waves UU banner*
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-03-01 17:55 (UTC) ()

Re: *Joins the line of people shaking fists*

And speaking as a feminist, I can say that almost any time a group of people starts talking about another group of people, they're categorizing, and making sweeping generalizations and assumptions. And it can easily get ridiculous and offensive and destructive.

You're right. Just because someone labels him/herself a "feminist" doesn't make it okay to ridicule and judge a person that makes a choice that isn't the same as the one he/she would make. And also, you'd be surprised (or maybe not) to learn that there are a whole bunch of people who wouldn't accept you as a feminist because you're not a woman. Which to me is completely ridiculous.
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