I’m just wondering if you can help me? I need something explaining. I used to be clear about this issue, at least I thought I was but with current rhetoric being as it is, I now seem to be a bit confused, actually I’m really confused. Confused to the point where I’m thinking about book burning. Look I’ll stop waffling. Answer me this will you? When did feminism become an ideology that by it’s implementation controls and dictates to women? I’m probably missing something. I mean it’s a while since I picked up a feminist treatise but I was under the impression that essentially this ideology such as it can be called an ideology, was a loosely fragmented collection of ideas by rather clued up females that sought to give my sex equal rights. Did I completely miss the point? Or and this is a crucial bit was there always a pseudo-feminist ideology (aka capitalism in stilettos) that permitted the thoughts and deeds of these women to achieve their aims as long as they benefitted the current system? I’m inclined to think feminism’s been hijacked. Well at least the nice part of me wants to believe that but I have to admit there is a tiny dark particle of doubt sitting somewhere around my stomach just where it meets the small bowel and it’s gnawing away at me. You probably think I’m spouting rubbish. Well, it may not be well written prose but I promise you, it’s not rubbish.
I, as you’ll know if you read this blog, am a stay at home mum, a carer for my autistic son and a general dogs body for Francis, particularly when it comes to internet stuff as he’s totally hopeless. Sorry digressing again. As of this moment. I don’t have a career ladder. I don’t want to smash a glass ceiling with a big stonking mallet. I’m not particularly inclined to join the army and fight on the front line either. I’m rather content doing what I do actually and *whispers* I even consider myself to be contributing to society by bringing up and caring for my boys. I like my life. Even the stressful bits. Except that is when I’m put in THAT position, you know the one where they ask
“And what do you do?
If I say I’m a carer I’m met with looks of sympathy, my halo appears and I’m suddenly exempt from all the evils attached to other benefit claimants. If I say I’m a full time mum they envision our family living a comfortable rural existence with a detached house, range rover and several bouncy gun dogs to take us for leisurely walks. If they spy my shabby clothes and ill kempt hair on the other hand they have a tendency to go on to regard me as under achieving and letting the side down. ‘My good woman you have a degree..’ All in all it’s not a pleasant experience however they react.
I was once asked THE QUESTION by one of J’s doctors. I thought for a moment about enquiring into her bowel habits as a retort but decided better of it and sinking inside answered. I felt a failure. As if I was making an excuse for being a shirker. Why? Why on earth did I feel that? Well that’s it, isn’t it. It’s down to the hijacking of feminist thought. Either that or is this all women wanted? To join in with the boys?
The thing is I am a feminist. I’ve studied the subject. I’ve read feminist tracts throughout the ages Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir, Greer. I know the difference between a suffragette and a suffragist. I whole heartedly believe in a woman’s freedom to choose the course of her life, to express her sexuality as she sees fit and to live free from the fear of abuse. With the same opportunities as any man. It seems to me though that amongst those choices there should also be a place for the full time mum and to have that choice respected. I’ve got nothing against women who seek to make a career for themselves. Indeed I’ll fight for their right to do so but when did it become the only way? The compulsory route?
So please answer me this, when did feminism ever set out to deny this role? To make women feel ashamed of only being a mum and ‘house person’? To hold it in such low esteem, of so little value to society because it isn’t an economically productive role? Or like everything else is this the system’s interpretation of feminism? Anyway if you could get back to me on this I’d be very grateful, please, please do tell me feminism has been hijacked because if it hasn’t and being part of the workforce was all it was about, then I have a bit of book burning to do and I need to get the bonfire started.