In light of the recent Atlantic article that got every mother whose baby lives in her briefcase in a stir, here is a spliced up conversation about feminism with a former Smith College roommate and current mother -
I agree that this issue is far beyond that of simply feminism - it is the product of a narrow goal - money - the false idea that it is the only thing that can bring us happiness. I think we have convinced ourselves out of our own power (as women) in some ways -
One could also argue that for someone doling out money, aka an employer, who wants someone who will fall into line, be easily controlled and predictable - turns out men fit the bill! :) Feminine values are more unordered, more emotional and more intuitive, which makes sense when you think about being the ones who have babies. That is the only way we are able to understand their needs before they can talk. The thing is that both sides of the coin are important.
I think there are a lot of ways to look at the problem of inequality between the sexes, some of which totally ignore the power of motherhood, because the ‘value’ of this society is MONEY. And whomever is willing to sacrifice all else in pursuit of it is guaranteed a place at that table. As a ‘whole’ human though, whether male or female, they have sacrificed a lot else in pursuit of a narrow goal…like this first quote you put in the email. Anyone who is willing to live that way will get what they were aimed at, though they may not be happy when they get there! And to be fair, it IS more challenging for a woman since she will only get paid a percentage in most cases, of her male counterparts.
But I think a lot of people do have these aims, at least moreso these days - it’s sort of like a slow unwinding from our previous concepts of an office to go to, the men as breadwinners, this golden era idea of the nuclear family. We are still figuring shit out as a society, with so many people and cultural beliefs being squished together. With the internet, there is less need to go in to an office…which means doing work from home is more business friendly.
I think the most important thing you can be armed with is a mind that can analyze the world and its inequalities, but rejects the internalization of those inequalities…that is the only way to combat them.
Sometimes I really feel like the biggest problem this country has is the idea that it can control the world - through the military, through vaccinations, through whatever. But all control is an illusion. We are glorified monkeys pretending we know how to build a society.
This is a photo of two monkeys. Happy 4th of July!!