Monday, April 23, 2007

Joining a feminist debate

"feminists proclaim that it's the children who ultimately keep women from experiencing true independence. To become a mother is to become a slave, forfeiting ones work, education, career, wealth and recognition for the sake of raising children."
(an article from Above Rubies magazine, Sarah Brown.)

I am curious of her source in this statement. Her view seems to be primarily that women who fight for reproductive freedom are fighting the wrong war, It's essentially an anti-abortion article. That in itself I have no issue with, but she is making some broad assumptions and generalized claims about feminism and all people who claim the label "feminist".

I don't feel particularily well read or educted in all things feminist... nor do I feel extreme conviction toward any particular "movement" or group ideal, I am on the fence as to whether I claim the label "feminist" for myself. However, this particular article seemed unjust in it's portrayal of generalized feminist belief, adding to the fear and stereotyping of feminism being a bad and scary thing. I think Mrs. Brown's point would have sat better with me had she written something more like... I do not think abortion is the answer to gaining reproductive freedom. Should an individual woman have a need to have that freedom or feel strongly about controlling that aspect of her life... i don't know... but her article made me unsettled.

I personally think society is more to blame for the pressures on women's ideals, for shaping our views of motherhood or roles and responsibilities and the guilt associated with anything we choose to adopt as "right" for me as an individual woman. Not feminism! (nor for that matter christianity/religion) I see that feminism exists to support women in the roles they find themselves in in society, to empower them in the decisions they make for themselves, to create a healthy self-image in a woman who has every aspect of her life challenged daily by a male dominant society.

A society that sensationalizes violence against women (CSI, TOP MODEL), that desensitises us to not even registering the pornography on our bill boards and soap commercials, that teaches our children subliminally that women are objects and produces generation on generation of happiness-seeking, self-destructive, weight pre-occupied girls making poor choices because there's no hope, no support, no one standing up for their rights as humans. AND THEN there are the tragic stories of the "monsters" killing babies... who is supporting those monster girls-hormonal, alone, ashamed, afraid, hopeless? who is empowering them to be healthy- body, mind, spirit? Isn't it easier to put them in the media and make us all jeer at their failures and say to the neighbour 'isn't it just awful what that girl did to her baby?' and hide our own insecurities and fears and scary thoughts of hurting our kids because we don't want anyone to think of us as monsters...

I did say our next topic was vomit... you were warned!

Whether you are pro-choice, pro-life, pro-woman, pro- family, pro-humanity... I believe there needs to be care in the way you portray or place labels. And I think there is a place in feminism for a woman who chooses to release her control of her reproduction to God and looks for definition of her roles and responsibilities in the Bible rather than stereotypes and industrial revolutions...

I for one, am a Monster Mom...(just look at the blood on my kids hands!!!-that was a good day) and to tell the truth I am probably a Feminist too... Oh and I claim the Label of Christian child of God, pro-life, pro-woman, pro-human, pro-kids (lots of them) I could go on...

1 comment:

patty-jean said...

great thoughts! ya that feminist debate can sometimes be so messy...it seems like peoples definitions and interpretations of "feminism" can differ from the east to west...