Taking a break from writing about my writing to write a response to this post on Thought Catalog, which is a blog I usually like but not this time.
If you don’t feel like reading it, it’s a supposedly “feminist” post that starts off with this line:
Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes I have to fight back vomit. Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself?
So that should give you a pretty good idea of what the post is like, because it continues in that vein.
Before I start my rebuttal, allow me to remind everyone of the following terms:
- misandry–the opposite of misogyny
- feminism–“the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men” (Google)
The definition of feminism comes from Google, but the italics are mine. Equality. Feminism, I would just like to remind you, is about equality. Equal opportunities that allow women to make choices, whether that choice is opening a business, traveling across America with an RV and a guitar, or having a family.
Now, I could take offense to this article on personal grounds, and to some extent I do. I’ll be twenty-three in a little more than a month, I’m getting married in June, and, yes, I would like to have kids at some point.
But I’m not going to make my rebuttal on those grounds. Instead, I’m going to talk about two other women.
Woman number one: My mom.
This is probably the biggest reason I took offense to the article, because it’s all about how getting married and having kids are “super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them.” My mother got married at nineteen and had me at twenty-one and has been married for almost twenty-five years.
Amy Glass may think this shit is easy, but you know what? Relationships take a lot of work. Like, a LOT. Even if you are with a wonderful person, there are still going to be lots of arguments, lots of annoyances, and lots of compromises.
Raising kids is probably the hardest thing ever. I mean, even I, who want kids–like, okay, sometimes I think maybe I shouldn’t have kids, even though I want them, just because there are so many ways to screw it up. Look at all the kids who are complete pieces of shit. If raising kids was easy all children would be well-behaved, nice, polite creatures and none of them would ever turn out to be drug-addicts or homicidal maniacs or anything.
Also, my mother just graduated from law school and passed the Maryland bar exam, so if you really think it’s a “lie” that women can be mothers and wives and also hold careers, then think again. Maybe you, Amy Glass, couldn’t be a wife and mother while also holding a career, but my guess is that’s because you would be so utterly astonished to find out how much work it is to raise kids that you’d have to sacrifice the career-time in your well-planned time management schedule to care for them because you would have grossly underestimated how much time they would take up.
Question, by the way: If raising kids is literally the easiest thing in the world and literally anyone can do it, why do you think a woman who has kids and a husband “will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility” to also land her dream job? That is a logical hole in your argument, madam.
Anyway, I was offended because my mother is a strong, willful, opinionated woman who can take care of her kids, keep her apartment clean, stay healthy, graduate from law school, land a job, and kick your ass if so inclined, so if you think that’s a “lack of real accomplishments” or that she’s “doing nothing” with her life then you need to seriously reevaluate your entire idea of womanhood, thank you very much.
Now, on to woman number two: Your mom. That is to say, Amy Glass’ mom.
Dear Amy Glass,
I have no real argument about your mom, or whatever woman raised you. I just have a question:
Do you seriously respect your mom so little that you think she did “nothing” with her life by raising you? Seriously? You think she had it easy raising you? Yes, I bet you were the perfect child: Never talked back or asked questions, did all your chores without being asked, got perfect grades and did all your homework right after school, babysat siblings without asking for money, walked the dog every day, never told a lie or in any other way caused any difficulty or got into any trouble.
And if you’re going to flare up and say, “My mother was wonderful! And of course she did something with her life–she had a job as a–” then I’ll stop you right there and again point out the hole in your logic, because if your own mother had a career in addition to raising you then it is not, in fact, a lie that a woman can be a mother and also have a career.
I do agree with one point mentioned in your article, which is that we should have showers for women who go backpacking through Asia or start their own businesses as well as for women who are getting married or having babies. (Actually, the article just says “I want to [do that],” but I’ll be generous and assume you meant that we should, as a society.)
Otherwise it was a stupid piece of non-feminism trying to masquerade as feminism, because anyone who is going to judge a woman for choosing to be a wife and mother is just as little of a feminist as a person who judges a woman for choosing not to be a wife and mother.
Of course, maybe Amy Glass just wants attention and doesn’t care whether it’s negative or positive, in which case: Here you go, Ms. Glass. Attention. But if that’s all you want, that’s kind of pathetic and I think you’re the one who needs to go backpacking through Asia or whatever to become self-actualized or something like that.