Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Real Feminism?

What is real feminism?  I've been pondering this question since I read an article by Elizabeth Wurtzel, best known as the author of Prozac Nation.  The original feminists were the women who campaigned for suffrage, that is, the woman's right to vote.  They campaigned on women having equal status as citizens of the United States.  Equal status.  As women began to leave home and join the workforce, it became necessary for them to campaign for equal pay.  

I believe women can do anything they put their minds to.  I believe they should be paid the same as their male counterparts.  But more, I believe that women should be treated as equals, with ability to make their own choices in life, and be respected for those choices.

Ms. Wurtzel doesn't feel the same way.  You see, she just wrote an article telling people that being a stay at home mother is not a job.  She inferred that women who stay at home are dumb, and if they aren't, then she believes they should get off their rear ends and get a job.  She blames this all on the 1% SAHMs (Like Anne Romney), because that's all she knows.  I didn't live in Mrs. Romney's house, but I do imagine wealthy people have nannies, and babysitters, and maybe they get mani/pedis and go to fancy exercise classes.  I don't know. I don't know any 1%ers.

Ms. Wurtzel, who may herself be a 1%er...or at least a 5%er, is surrounded by people just like her.  So she has no idea that mothers in small towns still stay at home.  That they sacrifice those mani/pedis and exercises classes, so they can stay home.

My mom stayed home until I was in 5th grade.  The first time we went to Disney World, she didn't buy a pair of underwear for 2 years to save the money.  She made a lot of our clothes.  We didn't eat steak for dinner every night.  Simply put, we couldn't afford to do that on one income.

I'm a SAHM right now.  We do without a lot.  We never go out to eat.  It's a treat for the kids to get a "snack" on the way to softball games.  My kids aren't out every night of the week at some new place with their friends.  We don't go on fancy vacations.  We have a roof over our heads, food on our table, clothes on our back.  We don't have a lot of extras.  That's a sacrifice we all make so I can stay home.  The best thing I can hear is my 15 year old not complaining, but saying "Mom, I don't want you to go back to work".  She'd rather I was home.  So I'm willing to do without.

Ms. Wurtzel has NO idea, how many women would love to NOT have to work so they could stay home with their kids.

So she sits down and pens a ridiculous article, basically alienating anyone who isn't in that top tier of people.  

We aren't feminists, because we don't work.  

Well, Ms. Wurtzel, I AM a real feminist, because I applaud your choice to work, and to succeed.  I applaud those women who sacrifice to stay home.  I applaud those women who are exhausted because they have to work, and yet they come home and put 100% effort into their children too.  I applaud the women willing to join the military.  I applaud women who make their own choices, and I would stand up for their right to do so.  Such a shame that you don't.

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