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sahp- do you consider yourself a feminist? - Page 2

post #21 of 131
Frankly, I am astonished when I hear any woman claim that she does *not* identify herself as a feminist. Astonished and saddened. What woman wouldn't approve of the concept of women and men being treated equally and paid equally?

The word "feminist" has, unfortunately, been turned into a dirty word by certain groups (the slam "feminazi" comes to mind), and I think this is a crying shame.

Yes, I stay at home with my child. By CHOICE. I used to make more money than my husband did (thank you feminism), but I CHOSE to walk away from that job. And if SAHMing didn't suit my family, I would have the freedom to do something else. I have the feminist movement to thank for that, too.

I don't only consider myself a feminist, I'm proud to do so.
post #22 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil'M
Here's what Kim Gandy, President of NOW, had to say about the GMA piece with Linda Hirshman:

http://www.now.org/issues/media/mommywars.html
I had only read an article by Hirshman, and had no idea she appeared on a mainstream morning program. Great to see that response from the NOW.
post #23 of 131
A little OT to start, but it comes around (I promise)=

Last night was a carnival at DD's school. While talking to one of her teachers, the GMA report came up. Turns out the teacher knows Linda Hirshman from social circles. Teacher was outraged that this "person who seemed so interesting" was "so unreasonable." This teacher is a mature single woman who hasn't had children. My DH said that it is becoming hard pressed to find people who support a parent staying at home.

Anyhoo, I am a feminist. I feel that it is what allows me to stay at home and care for my children. It was my choice. DH felt at the time that it was up to me because it would affect my life much more than his. After 8 years at home, DH realizes the importance of me staying home and not only for the children.

The children know that I had a job before them and that they are my "job" now. Because of all I've experienced in my life, I am able to teach them that everything is within their reach. It is up to them to live their dream.
post #24 of 131
of course I am a feminist, I am shocked and confused by any woman who doesn't identify herself as such, though I know some conservatives would shy away from the term as to them it conjures images of lesbians marching against men making higher wages or something (but hey! I'd be marching right with em! lol). Linda Hirshman is a ridiculous, ignorant extremist.
post #25 of 131
Absolutely. Although it's not just being a SaHM, but becoming a mother, period, that has made me feel alienated and abandoned by feminism. Still, I won't stop calling myself one. I do think staying at home is somewhat problematic because of the resulting economic dependence and career implications, but I resent that the work I'm doing is devalued (which is pretty sexist.) And I think the problem is more that society makes it so tough to work and care for kids and devalues childcare. So I get upset when the issue is simplified to sahm=unfeminist.
post #26 of 131
Most definitely
post #27 of 131
I found myself feeling similarly in some/many ways to MommyMine, however I still definitely consider myself a feminist. I know that the culture of feminism might be different from what I believe in some ways and that it would sneer at me for my choices, but I believe (as Lil'M) that feminism was meant to be about equality and choice. So, even though the literature and those that are activists for feminism might not consider me a part, I know I am.

I'm also very lucky and blessed to have a partner who is a feminist. I believe this is something very rare to find in a male partner who prefers for his wife to stay at home. When I did work, he supported me - when I knew I couldn't do it any more because I couldn't allow someone else to spend the majority of the day with my child, he supported me.

I definitely believe in the right to choice, even though by my belief system I would be considered a staunch Christian. I believe, as a Christian, it is right for every woman to have the choice because - whether we think of it in the same way or not - we ALL have the choice to kill on a daily basis. I also believe that the verbage of the prochoicers is offensive and dehumanizing and that disappoints and emotionally jolts me on a regular basis. However, it's so important that the choice is available that I accept (unhappily) the necessity of those terms to maintain the legality.

I'm definitely a feminist and I stay home and love it (though I most certainly do not love the house work and maintenance!).
post #28 of 131
[QUOTE=thismama

I also think that if anti-choicers were really all that concerned about baby's lives, they would spend their energy creating better conditions for mamas to keep our babies and not live in desperation and poverty. Not picketing abortion clinics with stupid signs. Wouldn't the better strategy be to create optimum conditions for women to truly decide? Anything else is just an attempt to remove women's power over our bodies and our lives, disguised as concern for fetuses.[/QUOTE]

So so well put!!! I'm gonna comment on Pro choice and then on SAHMing.
I am also more pro choice than before having DS. And when I was in school and pregnant, people would talk about being Anti choice and I'd say "And when were you pregnant? Do you know how hard it is?" At the same time, I feel that abortions should be done early on and that requires knowledge and education.
I went to a clinic when I was pregnant with DS (I was 16) and I was completely harrassed and picked apart. My mother had to shield me. And my mom, the brave "old school" (ie:SAHMing is boring/unfullfilling/ a bad example to your DDs :, but that's beside the point) ) said 'And how many children have YOU adopted?How many diapers have you bought and donated? How many pregnant girls and womyn have you taken in to your home?" The answer? NONE. this woman said "None, but I've dedicated 15 years of my life to being here (the clinic) everyday, showing confused young girls the way!" FIFTEEN YEARS!!!
Anywho, although I work (I'm a doula and midwife to be) I am mainly a SAHM. And I feel that me doing what I love and what I believe, it what makes me such a strong womyn. I feel mor ein touch with myself and my femminist self than ever.
I think having a son has also really raised my awareness to how we raise our boys, as mothers and fathers too. I think raising a strong daughter is so so important, but many men don't feel comfortable with a strong womyn around. I am femminist for myself,for other womyn, for my son, for my future daughters and sons, for my grandchildren. But I am a feminist on my terms.
I think any womyn who makes a choice, for herself, be it be a mama and work out of the home, a mama SAH, or not being a mama at all...then damnit she's a femminist. I think as womyn, when we do things on our terms, we're standing up for ourselves and for other womyn all over.
And when we are not catty with one another, not judgemental of other mama's and womyn's choices and stand up as sisters, together, that is femminism.
And when we educate not only our DDs, but our DSs about womyn's issues, abotu equality, we're being femminists.
When we breastfeed in public, that's femminism.
When we voulenteer for womyn,children and men too, that's femminism.
Femminism, to me has nothing to do with where you work, hwo much you make or anything like that. It's abou being a strong womyn and being the best you can be at what you do and who you are. And knowing that if you want to go to school and be a doctoy, you can be. Or if you want to be a SAHM and watch Opera and eat bon bons all day ( ) then we can.
ETA: Sometimes I feel like as young mama, I have to quickly add that I am doing things besides being a mama. I'm starting to not feel so self concious and to realize that I don't need to prove myself b/c I'm 18. I think b/c I was raised by a mother who felt she was doing the best for her daughters by working all the time (and that was it!) I feel looked down upon being a SAHM. It's rough, but I am fidning my own and doing what is best for my DS,my DP and myself!!
post #29 of 131
post #30 of 131
Word! I do feel I can be an example of a strong woman for my son, even while I am at home. Eighteen years old only?! You sound so amazing.
post #31 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyMine
I did consider myself a feminist but I feel very abandoned by the movement the moment I choose to stay home. It is as if I was free to make any choice but it was just understood that only a dolt would make the choice to stay home!

The writings now seem so totally slanted against sahp- refering to the work of a homemaker as lowly and pedestrian. THere is no celebration or even room for celebration for the importantce of that work unless we are talking about people who are PAID to do the work. And consistently there are veiled threats about woe be it to me if I get a divorce instead of a focus on how to make the market more accepting of me coming back and then of course there are those like the Good morning america woman who just out and out call me a traitor for abaonding the working woman and moving home.

I also admit that while I am still pro choice I find that I feel differently about abortion than I did before I had a baby and I find the language refering to fetuses as just "tissue" to be offensive. I am still totally in favor of a woman's right to choose but I struggle to stay calm with the way that the movement seems to dehumanize what is in fact a potential person we are talking about. It isn't a minor proceedure, it isn't "no big deal." It should be her right to decide but it is something big to decide about.

Today, I would not call myself a feminist.

In case you wonder (since when I talk about this I often get accused of all kinds of things) I have a background as a director of a non profit, I was a woman with a wonderful career I never intended to leave but after I returned to work I realized I wasn't willing to settle for anyone else caring for my child. I am not a fundementalist christian (or even a christian at all). I don't love housework.



MommyMine, I think you are my long-lost twin.
post #32 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizzo
I am also more pro choice than before having DS.


I haven't heard anyone else but me ever voice this opinion, but I am definitely more pro-choice now than before kids. Because I know what it's like to be pregnant and I can't imagine the turmoil and the agony that would result in needing to make a decision like that. And any woman who needs to make that decision will make it regardless of whether it's safe, legal, etc... And that's why abortions need to be safe and legal.
post #33 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama
Hellyeah I am a feminist. I don't feel abandoned by feminism at all. I guess it depends on your understanding of feminism... mine is not so much the "climbing the corporate ladder just like a man" feminism. Decent welfare system, resources for women dealing with domestic violence, teaching our girls and boys ways to be with their genders different than what we were taught, social justice issues, advocating for peace, respect, and the sharing of resources more equitably... all those things are feminist issues that affect my life directly.

On the issue of choice, I am more pro-choice now than I have ever been, knowing what it is like to be a single mama living in poverty. I wanted my child more than anything, and I am thrilled with my life, but I can also see how hard and soul-killing it would be if I hadn't come to motherhood so eagerly, and if mothering didn't hold the personal meaning it does for me.

I personally don't think choice is a light issue, I don't think a fetus is simply tissue, altho I respect that many feminists do believe that. I feel more like yes it is human life, and as women we are the gatekeepers of life. Abortion is a serious decision, but so is motherhood. Of whom great responsibility is expected, equally power must also be granted. Women get to decide if we choose to bring forth a child or not. Period.

I also think that if anti-choicers were really all that concerned about baby's lives, they would spend their energy creating better conditions for mamas to keep our babies and not live in desperation and poverty. Not picketing abortion clinics with stupid signs. Wouldn't the better strategy be to create optimum conditions for women to truly decide? Anything else is just an attempt to remove women's power over our bodies and our lives, disguised as concern for fetuses.

Hell yeah.
post #34 of 131
I consider myself a feminist and I've even told my DH that the moment his mammary glands start producing breast milk, he's staying home with DS and I am going back to work!

I found Hirshman's insistence that biology does not equal destiny as being very stupid. Being pregnant and giving birth and breastfeeding give mothers a special intuition that a father would have to work very hard to duplicate. A mother is designed in many ways to be the best beginning for her child and I am insulted by the suggestion that a day care attendent could do an equal job. I know that working mothers with their children in day care will find that harsh, but that's reality - no one is capable of being a better caretaker of my son than I am. My husband could come pretty damn close if he had to, and has his own special relationship with DS that I will never have, but as the birther and breastfeeder, I am truly the best person for the job.

As for the secondary discussion, I am pro-situational. There are unique situations in which abortion needs to be an option, but abortion as a form of birth control is irresponsible and violent, and I believe that now more than ever. I could go on but I think that's really another thread.
post #35 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyMine
I did consider myself a feminist but I feel very abandoned by the movement the moment I choose to stay home. It is as if I was free to make any choice but it was just understood that only a dolt would make the choice to stay home!
I consider myself a feminist, but I've had this same experience, too.

Quote:
mine is not so much the "climbing the corporate ladder just like a man" feminism. Decent welfare system, resources for women dealing with domestic violence, teaching our girls and boys ways to be with their genders different than what we were taught, social justice issues, advocating for peace, respect, and the sharing of resources more equitably... all those things are feminist issues that affect my life directly.
I agree with you completely. And I feel like since becoming a mother, I can advocate in more areas even better because of the experience and knowledge I've gained along the way.
post #36 of 131
I'm a feminist sahm, raised by a feminist mother (who both worked and stayed home), who is raising a feminist daughter!!!!
post #37 of 131
I think the problem with extreme feminism is that it devalues children. It defines parenting as drudgery, lowly work, uninspiring and non-influential, without gloryor honor or prestige. They may argue to let the man stay home while you climb the corporate ladder and claim your place in the executive offices of corporate America, because the man could just as easily sacrifice his ambitions and education to stay at home and be the slave to necessary but insignificant children.

What they don't see is that we know children are gold, and raising up a future human being is a glorious and honorable calling. Children are more precious than diamonds, more useful than oil, more powerful than computer software, more amazing than a microscope. Extreme feminism says we choose to stay home because we still consider ourselves less important than our husbands, but we know we stay home because there is nothing in the world more important to us than these children. They don't see that most of our husbands actually envy us.

And they don't make the connection that the children out there that are treated us nothing more than commodities, or worse, are the ones who are shooting each other in school and joining gangs and having affairs with their teachers. I don't mean to imply that if a mother works, her children will be violent, but if both parents have the attitude that children are a nuisance, these children will internalize that and project it onto others.

That's why we're all here at Mothering, wearing our babies, co-sleeping with our infants, breastfeeding our toddlers, and refraining from spanking. We know our children are valuable, and that the way we raise them has an impact.

The end.
post #38 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alisaterry
I think the problem with extreme feminism is that it devalues children. It defines parenting as drudgery, lowly work, uninspiring and non-influential, without gloryor honor or prestige. They may argue to let the man stay home while you climb the corporate ladder and claim your place in the executive offices of corporate America, because the man could just as easily sacrifice his ambitions and education to stay at home and be the slave to necessary but insignificant children.

What they don't see is that we know children are gold, and raising up a future human being is a glorious and honorable calling. Children are more precious than diamonds, more useful than oil, more powerful than computer software, more amazing than a microscope. Extreme feminism says we choose to stay home because we still consider ourselves less important than our husbands, but we know we stay home because there is nothing in the world more important to us than these children. They don't see that most of our husbands actually envy us.

And they don't make the connection that the children out there that are treated us nothing more than commodities, or worse, are the ones who are shooting each other in school and joining gangs and having affairs with their teachers. I don't mean to imply that if a mother works, her children will be violent, but if both parents have the attitude that children are a nuisance, these children will internalize that and project it onto others.

That's why we're all here at Mothering, wearing our babies, co-sleeping with our infants, breastfeeding our toddlers, and refraining from spanking. We know our children are valuable, and that the way we raise them has an impact.

The end.

Thank you so much, reading this has helped me so much to understand what is troubling me and to feel peace. I really, really appreciate and value your time to post it.
post #39 of 131
You are very welcome. Whenever you wonder if there's more to life out there, just listen to your kids giggle. My 4 month old's giggle negates so many of life's problems!
post #40 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by alisaterry
I think the problem with extreme feminism is that it devalues children. It defines parenting as drudgery, lowly work, uninspiring and non-influential, without gloryor honor or prestige.
I think it's patriarchy that devalues children and childcare, not feminism.

I agree that feminism has not done enough for mothers, but I think that's due to sexism in the movement, not feminism itself. And I don't think it's about valuing paid work more than child rearing (a very patriarchal concept) but about acknolwedging that until more women have more economic independence and more positions of power in both the workforce and the government, nothing will change in social policy to benefit mothers and children. Sadly, that's just reality. Men in govt. and men running companies aren't going to wake up one day and make this fair. Women have to get in and change it.
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