Thursday, December 9, 2010


Woohoo, I sense a highly offensive post!

I got an email yesterday forwarding me to this link, Sarah Palin Says Issue Of Wife/Mom Being Keeper Of The Home Is A “Petty Little Superficial Meaningless Thing”. Regardless what you think of Palin, I knew from the title that this was a lot of bogus bullshit. For one, that's not Palin's style--to be blatantly offensive to an innocent housewife; for another, if you actually read what she said, that's not what she said. But of course the religious hardly ever take time to study things, do they? Oh, and in the YouTube interview, Palin's hair is bitchin' awesome.

The excerpt quoted at the American View starts at 6:50 on the YouTube video, and Palin says, "There are still the Neanderthals out there who pick on the petty little superficial meaningless things, like looks, like whether you can or can’t work outside of the home if you have small children. All those type of things…I would so hope that at some point, those Neanderthals will evolve into something a bit more with it, a bit more modern and a bit more understanding that, yes, women can accomplish much."

Ok, what is the issue here?? Palin is not saying that staying at home and caring for your children is a superficial, meaningless thing. What she's saying is that people who get hung up on the discussion of whether or not women can work and still have a family--that is what's so damn petty. And I totally, completely agree with her. Feminism is about CHOICE. If a woman chooses to stay at home to cook, clean and change diapers, fine. That's her choice. But if I woman chooses to have a family and have a career, fine. That's her choice. Palin's point is that obsessing over whether or not women should be allowed to do both is rather Neanderthalish, and she's completely right. I posted this very thought on the page under an alias... I'm sure it will be removed or I'll be cast into hell.

Anyhow, now that I've bitched out my little rant, I'm going to take this into a slightly different direction: my opinion on Stay At Home Moms and its relationship to feminism. And why, I personally, do abhor the activity of women staying at home to keep house and make babies.

First let me clarify a bit. Every situation is very unique and individual, so I am not condemning everyone across the board--I am not condemning anyone at all. Everyone has their own very personal reasons for what they do, and I'm not out to judge women who choose this lifestyle. But I do have the right to assert my opinion, and my opinion is that SAHMism is generally anti-women.

I said above that feminism is about choice. I stand by that. It's also about equality and respect and other things of that nature. If you are a woman who voluntarily chooses to not have a career, and to make housekeeping and childraising your sole pursuits, more power to you. To me, that lifestyle is totally repulsive. It feels like giving up. It feels like throwing all the progress back into the face of the the courageous women before you, who have shed blood and tears to ensure that you could make something of yourself.

So if feminism is about choice, and if a woman chooses to be a SAHM, it's all good, right? Well, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that she freely chose that life (and being brainwashed into believing that if you're a woman, God's highest purpose for you is to be a wife/mom is not free choice). But ultimately, no. When a woman gives up her power and is dependent on someone else to provide for her, she has lost her choice, even if she made the choice initially. 99.9% of the time, that provider will be her husband. She doesn't make the money so her opinion on how it should be spent or saved means a lot less. Sure, there are men who let the little woman manage the finances, but if he loses his job, what kind of power does she have then? She's run out of other people's money to spend. Unfortunately most of the time, the moneymaker is going to assume authoritative control of the household; this behavior is directly encouraged by many biblical denominations.

If the provider loses his job, or if the provider decides to run off with that cute little 18 year-old, the wife is left powerless and penniless. Even if she gets a divorce with alimony, it's not going to be enough. She's going to have to work, but by now she's got all these mouths to feed, no resume, and no experience. My biggest problem with housewifery is that it makes the woman completely dependent on someone else, and I think that's a ridiculous risk. Even if the man treats her well, what if he suddenly dies or is too ill to work? These are very real possibilities and if a woman gives up her independence, she can find herself in one hell of a pickle one day. Not that said pickle can't be overcome, but why do this to yourself?

I think the loss of empowerment, even voluntary, is dangerous and stupid. Yes, stupid. In this context empowerment means a career, and that's no small thing. Why would you risk your financial future, your livelihood and sanity, your children's future just so that you can have time to drive them to soccer or be the privileged one to clean the toilet? I realize that there are undeniable advantages to being at home with your kids. Supposedly you can keep your house clean (though I've yet to meet a clean household maintained by a SAHM, and I've seen a lot). You're there for your kids, emotionally and physically, and enjoy greater ability to be involved in their education and recreational activities.

Being a mother isn't about cooking, and cleaning and chauffeuring your kids to their activities. Let's get real, honey: anyone can do those things, and if you think you are making a difference in your kids' lives just by "being there", you're deluding yourself. Being a mother means to be there spiritually and emotionally for your children; to guide them and inspire them in their life and life choices; to love them unconditionally and cheer them on; to build them up and create happy, productive little people. The cold, hard reality is that you can do those things and still have a career--and keep your independence. You might not have the house as clean, or as many homemade meals made, or be able to be there for every event in their life...but that's ok. Your kids aren't going to grow up deranged or hating you because you worked and they had to eat pizza more than what was ideal. Your husband will get over the pile of laundry. His lazy ass isn't helpless, you know.

I get supremely annoyed at two things: 1) the idea that women must be SAHMs just because they were born with a vagina, and 2) when SAHMs think they are so special and are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

The last one really gets me. Not to say that there isn't a ton of work involved in being a SAHM, because they're surely is. But putting a price tag on housekeeping and childbearing is a bit pompous. If that makes you feel good about yourself, yay for you. Definitely, someone should be paying you for all the grueling work you do. But they don't. Know why? Because you're an idiot who does this shit for free.

The bottom line is this: just because you have a vagina your fate should not be automatically dictated at birth to be a maid, wife and baby factory. You should be able to choose and design your own fate.

But please embrace your modern feminine power and don't be someone's slave by choice. I'm not a feminist from the 1960s who is trying to tell you that you can have it all and it will all be great! Whatever path you choose won't be easy, and there will be work involved. You can make it happen, if you set your mind to it, but you're going to have to delegate your efforts, and spend time on what's most important. If you are successful, and you view the sky as your limit, you can have money and independence, a family--and a clean house, too, because you can afford to pay a housekeeper.

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