Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The New Feminism Conundrum

The bleach in the washing machine is making my eyes burn. *sigh* Housekeeping is not my forte. And on that note, I found the most interesting article on CNN today: http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/05/lw.nokids.nojob.wives/index.html

100 years ago, suffragettes rode in wagons through the streets of Tombstone. In the 1920's the women fighting for the right to vote were imprisoned and tortured with force-feeding, someties to the death. In the 50's Rosie the Riveter gave back her dungarees to be the perfect housewife, which led directly to the fight my mother's generation for their rights. The Feminist fight has always been for the right of a woman to choose her own path through life, first through the vote and later through the resistance to traditional home-bound roles.

Now that plethora of choices has resulted in some women staying home. Not to be a mom, just to be at home. Stay-at-home moms often complain their working friends and acquaintances look down on them for choosing to accept the traditional role of raising her children. What about the woman who chooses to accept the traditional role of homemaker even though she has no children. Will she be seen as selfish and spoiled, or gutsy enough to follow her own happiness (clearly this only works with the support of a spouse, male or female) regardles of what society thinks?

I know the feminist push of my mother's time was to get career oriented women accepted into the workplace, and we still have some serious obstacles in breaking through the glass ceiling (my company's board, for instance, has NO women on the international level and only ONE on the national level). I can see, however, that the point of feminism was to give us the choice to do what WE want to do with our lives...if that means a woman gets to fulfill her dream of becoming Charlotte and having a magazine-quality home, go for it!

I can't help but wonder, though, how long anyone with the drive to get a master's degree will be happy not working outside the home?

Then again, I'd write full time if I could afford it, and wouldn't that be working at home? Isn't that a weird choice compared to the droves of young women working their asses off to climb the corporate ladder?

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