Thoughts on Feminism (1of2)

June 8, 2010

Recently a conversation started on Twitter about the meaning of feminism and how some women seem to judge SAHMs and housewives and perhaps even look down on them. It really made me think. Sometimes I’m one of those snooty people. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. I have no trouble accepting women who choose not to have children. And I applaud women who can and do stay at home with their kids. But I also fear for them and know that I can’t be one. Let me explain.

Fundamentally I believe in the right for both men and women to choose to work or to stay at home. In practice however, I have a really hard time understanding that choice in certain situations. I do frown upon the stay at home choice if you don’t have kids. Most people need to feel some purpose in life so unless you’re wealthy and have A LOT of hobbies and/or do A LOT of volunteer work I fail to see the purpose in being a housewife without the kids. I feel justified in my view on this since I’ve done the housewife bit. When I was married it wasn’t always easy to find work in Po-Dunk Army towns. I worked when I could but often there was no work. Or no full-time work. And I swear I could feel my brain cells leaving my body without the stimulation of work to focus on. I needed some sense of purpose and I wasn’t getting it. Remember, this was back in the Stone Ages of Dial Up Internet so even surfing the web was often mind-numbingly boring as you waited for images to load.

It’s this need for a sense of purpose or a source of stimulation that will likely never allow me to be a full-time SAHM for more than a few years. Me personally… I NEED something else to focus on. Something else to stimulate me. Not having a child I suppose I don’t know for sure what it would be like. Perhaps I’d find it more stimulating than taking care of other people’s kids (which I’ve also done). But I do know that I’d want to talk about things other than poopy diapers. Please don’t misunderstand – I’m not saying that SAHMs aren’t capable of talking about more interesting topics. I’m just saying that an overwhelming majority of them simply DON’T. It’s like they start to lose themselves a little. I know that’s how I felt staying at home when I was married. I took any temp job I could find in order to reclaim my sense of self. Even jobs that were ‘beneath’ my education. Actually some of those jobs taught me a lot and make for really interesting stories – but that’s another post. I just don’t want my WHOLE life to be my family. I want my family to be a very important and integral part of my life – my life with hobbies and outside interests. It’s a distinction I need to make. Perhaps others don’t.

For me personally, I think my ideal would be to work half time when I have small children at home. And more and more companies are offering that possibility. Which I applaud. It’s still not easy to come by a half time position but at least there are some out there. We shouldn’t let Feminism die when there are still battles left to be fought. And this choice that we fought so hard for has now become a luxury. Many wo/men can’t AFFORD to not work. I know if I’m lucky enough to get pregnant I won’t really be able to be a SAHM at first since Right Guy is still techinically in training for a few more years. Perhaps we’re not done fighting for this choice?

So that’s where I stand for me personally. And I guess that’s what it really is about – each woman (or man) making the choice that is right for him/her. And I can’t know what is right for another person. Although I do tend to think my mother was wrong. Read on… Feminism and my Crazy Momz.


5 Responses to “Thoughts on Feminism (1of2)”

  1. […] June 8, 2010 This is really a continuation of my prvious post Thoughts on Feminism. […]

  2. PlaiduhPus Says:

    I tell ya, sometimes I do very much miss adult human contact. I loved working. And have in the last few weeks considered going back to work part time to allow for mommy adult time & Abbi play group time.

    It is much more time consuming than you realize it’s going to be before you have kids. And you think you’ll have no problem sending them off with strangers but even though you know ahead of time you’ll love them, the word “love” doesn’t even come close to the pull you feel for them when they actually come out of your body after 9 months of anticipation.

    However, I understand and respect women who have to work outside the home. And I understand women who feel that being a mother isn’t enough for them. People are different. For me, being *just* a mom is enough. This could be because I never went to college but I know other educated women who feel as I do. Because people and specifically we ladies come in so many different forms.

    It was nice to read your pov. It makes sense and I feel like you were able to communicate how the more millitant types might feel but aren’t quite as tactful or able to communicate.

    • Thanks for reading. I hope I didn’t offend. Maybe I’ll change my mind when I finally have one to raise. Who knows?

      • PlaiduhPus Says:

        And maybe you wont. That’s entirely up to you. I believe that as long as we make the decisions that convict us and affect us, even if they aren’t the same decisions another would make, they were in fact the best decisions we could make. For you, this may be the best decision and approach for you. It’s just nice to hear your take on it and it’s nice to hear that maybe you don’t think I’m too, too crazy. lol

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