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when i started drafting this post, i wrote:

at this particular moment, a feminist mother looks like a woman giddy about her stylin’ new ‘do sitting at her desk, pumping and writing.

and now i suppose i’m the same woman, with a slightly less “new” haircut, but still pumping (or rather, pumping again). maybe there is more consistency to what a feminist mother looks like than i thought. but probably not.

anyway.

Do you ever feel compromised as a feminist mother? Do you ever feel you’ve failed as a feminist mother?

this is a fascinating question. if i’ve identified as a feminist mother, and–like most mothers everywhere, i presume–i feel compromised as a mother, then i suppose i feel compromised as a feminist mother.

i’m sitting here (still pumping) wondering about other ways i’ve felt compromised. what are they?, i keep wondering. and here’s a nice example: my current job. it is not a particularly good job. it’s not very rewarding, it’s not intellectually challenging, it doesn’t bring me much, if any, satisfaction. and that runs counter to my values: i believe in vocations, i believe in enjoying yourself in all you do, i believe in not wasting your time being unhappy (when you can avoid it). so how would i defend keeping this job? in particular, how would i defend keeping this job to an older daughter, for whom i was trying to set a positive example? i’m not sure i could defend it except in the most mundane of ways: there are material exigencies that prompted me to take this job, and in our current economic state there are material exigencies that prompt me to keep it. i can talk myself into feeling better by focusing on the things i am trying to do to create a better professional life for myself, but i suspect i would sound the way children of the ’30s sounded to children of the ’60s: old, tired, having given in. to any extent that i am those things — intellectually, professionally, romantically, psychologically — that feels to me like a compromise.

am i being self-indulgent to cut myself some slack as a dbm with an infant at home? perhaps. perhaps that, too, is a compromise.

i go back and forth with feeling compromised in the home. at my worst, i worry that i set terrible examples for my kids in all kinds of ways: communicating, sharing, loving. at my best, i know that all of these compromises can be talked through, can be worked through. generally, though, i inhabit some middle ground where i know that i am compromising all kinds of things i would prefer not to be compromising, but that i am limited, i am human, there is no choice but to compromise. the only choice is to make the best compromises possible at any given moment.

so…i guess there are many ways i am, or am potentially, compromised as a feminist mother. but i don’t feel that i am ever compromised specifically because i am a feminist mother, unless somehow my feminism is the root cause of all this reflection (in and beyond this post), in which case, i suppose, i am totally compromised.

but not unhappy about it.

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June 2018
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Your Word is "Why"
You see life as complicated and intriguing. The only thing you know for sure is that you haven't figured it all out yet. You question everything and believe very little. And whatever you believe is likely to change. You are interested in theories, philosophies, and religions...even if you don't buy into any of them. You are also fascinated by how things work. You'd like to understand as much in the world as possible.

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