Scary Mommy blog has published an interesting post about how feminism has left behind stay-at-home moms (SAHMs).
Like the rest of the stay-at-home moms I know, feminism has left me behind. Feminism doesn’t see our child-rearing, much less all that goes with it, as valuable. There is no glory, no glass ceiling in poo-wiping, or mac and cheese cooking, or alphabet-teaching. There isn’t even value in breastfeeding, which you’d think would be vaunted in feminist circles for using the female body for something only women can do. Alas, it’s just a ball-and-chain, asHuffington Post says: “Breastfeeding has become the last legitimate ‘women’s work’ — the only argument remaining for a gendered division of labor that argues that women’s place is at home with the children.”
Caregiving isn’t valued. It’s the work of those in the shadows — maids, nurses, stay-at-home-moms — who need feminism to lift them up so they can find their real talents and their authentic selves. There is no sense that we can be happy in it. There’s an implication that we should be doing what we want to do, and what we want to do is not take care of someone else. How could we possibly want that? The idea of our happiness is absurd to mainstream feminism.
Moreover, feminism tells us we’re “wasted” in caregiving. Reading The Cat in the Hat, cooking grilled cheese, and then painting some arts and crafts is a waste of our time and talent. It’s certainly a waste of our education, if we have one — as if education comes with caveats, as if everyone doesn’t have a basic right to it, no matter what they choose to do afterwards. Moreover, a patriarchal society must have convinced us that being a SAHM was a good choice, that it was what we wanted. No one could possibly authentically want to do what we’re doing, which is to put our children before ourselves.
. . . . I’m not a 1950s housewife whose husband expects dinner on the table when he gets home. No one oppressed me into this role. I chose it. Because I chose this stay-at-home mom thing for my own self-actualization, and that of my children, it’s as feminist of a choice as any.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.