Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How feminism ruined my life

I always assumed I was a feminist. I believed that women should be equal to men and should have the same rights and responsibilities afforded to them. I still believe this. I am inspired by the women in history who fought for the freedoms we have today. I remember sitting in my history class as a teenager learning about these amazing women and believing I would have a voice and a choice due to all their hard work.

Now as a woman in her late 20's I believe that these same women would turn in their graves to see how we have butchered all their hard work.

Rewind to the generation before. Most mums did not have to work. Due to the campaigning and sometimes all out brawling of the feminists before them, mums had the option to work. But most were not under financial or social pressure to work. They had the freedom to choose. Being a mother was not easier then by any means. Mums still had to work hard to make ends meet, but somehow they managed.

Coming back to present day, most mums have to work. I don't believe that it's because we are less resourceful than the generation before us. I believe it has a lot to do with the fact that most basic items such as petrol, food and housing have sky rocketed, requiring two wages to get by. This means mums have lost the ability to choose, the very thing feminists fought for in the first place.

Obviously this is not just the fault of feminists. But somewhere along the way, feminism became skewed in such a way that it was expected that mums would want to work and thus it became the social norm of which policy has been derived from. So now mums are increasingly finding themselves under both financial and social pressure to work.

Do I believe that mums shouldn't work? Of course I don't. I believe mums should have the freedom to choose if they want to work or not. That is one of the fundamental beliefs of the feminist movement: women would have a choice in their lives. What I object to is mums being put into a position where they are forced to work just to provide the basic necessities a family needs.

Do I believe that people should have children they can't afford? Of course I don't. But I believe in a country as resource rich as ours, a family should be able to be supported on just one wage.

Another area where feminism has ruined my life is that I left home not knowing how to cook, clean or sew. I could write an essay, do long division and recite elements from the periodic table, but ask me to boil an egg or sew on a button and you were just out of luck.

Where men have become more domestic (in some households ;)), it appears women have almost been discouraged in learning these basic skills. The pendulum again has swung in the opposite direction. And while women have adapted from this lack of knowledge by discovering it for themselves (I googled 'how to roast beef' today), we have been let down by a ideology who believed we didn't need to learn these things.

Feminism was meant to liberate women. It was meant to give them the ability to be whatever they wanted to be. It was meant to give them a voice and it was meant to give them a choice. Somewhere along the way, this beautiful idea was ruined now meaning I, like a lot of other mums out there, work a full time job and google basic cooking instructions just to get by.

I will always be grateful to those women who sacrificed so much for the freedoms I have. But to those feminists who swung the pendulum too far in the opposite direction, assuming you knew what was right for all women, you have now become the reason we are increasingly having less of a voice and a choice.

And that's how feminism ruined my life.

5 comments:

  1. One income families is a whole 'nuther hobby horse maybe best left for another post
    But the swinging feminist pendulum of chocie is another fav rant of mine.
    I think I was first generation 'liberated'
    This liberation offered me a wider range of careeer opportunities but also doubled the workload for most of my generation. As time went on the concept of choice was buried beneath the rhetoric about equality and glass ceilings. The pendulum has swung back, reducing our choices, limiting our choice to 'which' rather than 'if'.
    The idea that we might 'choose' to raise our own children is seen as a denial of all that our suffragette and feminist ancestors worked for.
    I straddled that fence for too many years ... to the detriment of my career ... it remains to be seen what effect it had on my children

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  2. I have heard that some people are having problems with posting on this site. Please email me and let me know. I'm going to try and sort out the problem. :)

    Thanks for your comments here and on Facebook! Your views are greatly appreciated:)

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  3. Some things within your blog leave me wondering if you are really Natasha. You see I thought you took things in but if you left home and couldn't cook I'm wondering. I remember that your Mother and Grandmother spet a lot of time teaching cooking! I'm also concerned that you think you have been hard done by by having to work and be a Mother, this is not a new thing for your generation. Your Grandmother had it much worse than you or I will ever have. Its about choice, many families still choose to live on one income and some of them are low income families. They choose to put family before material needs, they live simple lives, grow veges and make food go a long way without waste. But it is a choice and for them it is one they choose to make. It is easy to blame our lives on others, but we need to ake control. If Feminism is the problem of life then it would be simple to deal with. The real problem is we live in a world where we are controled by choice by others.

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  4. All the problems with posting comments on this blog have been remedied! YAY! Again thanks for all your feedback and comments both here and on Facebook. I feel some healthy debate has been initiated which I believe is positive. The whole point of this blog is to get things off our chests and I believe this is happening. :)

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