The other night I noted that slamming women who choose to be stay-at-home moms is one of my pet peeves because this completely overlooks the real issues women face, i.e. being understood and understanding ourselves as valuable, capable and empowered and having access to the resources to be free to make choices. Culturally, Western thinking frames childcare as womanly or domestic work and therefore undervalues the complexity and necessity of this kind of work. (In the comments to my last rant on this topic – a good buddy of mine, Jeff Nall pointed out that Val Plumwood does a great job of detailing the fault in this type of thinking – noting that “the core features of patriarchy, including the devaluation of “domestic” duties … wants to take out lifeboats for elite women to join elite men, leaving behind the rest.”
We can’t draw lines in the sand – we can’t say she’s a republican or a christian or a stay at home mom, so she’s not a feminist. Feminism isn’t about what you think or do – it’s about the freedom and access to think and act as you desire. Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of perusing Jennifer Baumgardner’s new book F ’em!: Goo Goo, Gaga, and Some Thoughts on Balls and the sentiments in the first few pages of this book crystallize these ideas. Baumgardner explains:
“Feminism is the full political, social and economic equality of all people…Feminism is also a movement to make sure that all people have access to enough information and resources (money, social support) to make authentic decisions about their lives. Thus, it’s not the decision one make so much as the ability to make a decision that indicates whether feminism has arrive in your life” (10).
One of the most outspoken activist/feminist minds I know, Kristen Goss is a stay-at-home mom. I am also well acquainted with some stay at home dads – who are rockin’ the world – one politically conscious child at a time. As far as I’m concerned, child care is job – a choice – often feminist choice – one which often require sacrifice and hard work for both parents – that is if one is lucky enough to be co-parenting. (No judgement here – just noting that a child is a lot of work for one person.)
Today – in a flagrant attempt to appease my own anger at those that dismiss stay at home mom’s as un-feminist, I am providing you with links to my five favorite feminist/mom bloggers. There are others but these five bring to mind Bell Hooks sentiments that Feminism is for Everyone:
3. Blue Milk
We need to support feminist parents people – because arguably they have a much greater chance of raising kids with feminist values!
Inform me – who’s your favorite feminist mom blogger?