Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rejecting Fanatic Feminism in Favor of the Joy of Motherhood

Imagine having a mother who's a famous feminist (and author of The Color Purple) and believes that having children turns women into slaves. She treats you with annoyance, when she's not neglecting you, because she sees you as a millstone around her neck. You are raised believing that you are one, and that any children you might have will be millstones, too.

And then, in your mid-30s, you have a child and you fall in love with him from the moment he's born. You begin to wonder how your mother could believe what she did about being a mother. But you can't ask her this, because she cut you off once she found out you were having a baby.

Rebecca Walker's story is amazing; don't miss it.


Janet said...

Now THIS I have to read.....I can't imagine feeling like that about my CHILDREN!!!!

Feminist Review said...

I think it's quite unfortunate that this family's dirty laundry is being aired in such a bitter and public way. Certainly this does get some of feminism's dirty laundry out in the open, which I view as a good thing. It's high time for the 'mommy wars' to move beyond this either/or dichotomy that it is stuck in, and for parenting to be considered a valuable societal contribution. I'm just not sure this is the best way to do it.

Leslie said...

Very interesting, thanks for the link.


Sunniemom said...

Since Walker is such an icon, I do believe it is beneficial for the truth to be known about how she actually conducts her life. Too many times influential people are placed on pedestals that forbid any real examination of whether or not they have integrity or if their message is truly beneficial.

Feminism should be more careful about whom they use as their poster girls. I have seen way too many women touted as 'leading feminists' who are hateful and bitter, lead dysfunctional lives, and have no message of help or hope.

Barbara Frank said...

Janet, I can't imagine feeling like that either, but I've met a few people who do. Fortunately, they are childless.

FR, my guess is that the daughter has 'aired their dirty laundry' because she's in a lot of emotional pain and is looking for the sympathy of others in order to feel validated.

Leslie, youi're welcome.

Sunniemom, I agree with you about the pedestals. Falling off your pedestal seems to be an American pastime these days! It's time to stop putting people, men and women, up there, I think.

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by!