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Child Free: Feminism

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Housewives and feminism [Jul. 10th, 2009|11:08 am]
Child Free: Feminism


Elsewhere on LJ, I got crap from someone because I stated that I'm proud to be a loving, supportive wife, and that I'm happy with being the "great woman behind the great man." Apparently, to some, being a happy housewife means I can't have my own life and that I cater to my husband's every whim. *eyeroll*

So.... I'm asking y'all.... can a happy housewife still consider herself a feminist?

[User Picture]From: blacktapegrrl
2009-07-10 07:23 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. Feminism is all about choice, and it's a shame that other so-called "feminists" can't respect yours.
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[User Picture]From: skull_bearer
2009-07-10 09:40 pm (UTC)
Well, duh. Femimism is about CHOICE, women fought so you could CHOOSE your life. people who say that a woman should follow a limited lifestyle chocie are not feminists.
Whatever rocks your boat honey, and good for you for finding a life in which you're happy, not all of us can say that.
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[User Picture]From: daemonaquila
2009-07-11 04:18 am (UTC)
Without commenting either way on the OP's question, I wholly disagree that feminism is about choice without further value judgments on those choices. For example, it is not feminist to:

* Advocate, as Phyllis Schlafly has, that women should "know their place."

* Choose to accept unequal pay because it is "proper" for women to do so.

* Fight against a woman's right to abort.

* Bring up a child to embrace patriarchal gender roles.

We could go on and on.

Mainstream feminism is rife with examples of women making value judgments on other women's choices. A most obvious example is Katherine McKinnon's and Andrea Dworkin's campaign against pornography, including against the women who choose to not only participate as actors but those who write, direct, produce, and otherwise lead the industry. When feminism's trend disapproves of a certain choice, there is no hesitation to become downright patriarchal, such as in McKinnon's and Dworkin's accusations that women who disagree with their thesis are not truly making a choice or capable of making one due to being deluded or co-opted.

While feminism was a fight to allow women to make their own choices, NOT EVERY WOMAN'S CHOICE IS FEMINIST.
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[User Picture]From: somewoman
2009-07-11 01:43 pm (UTC)
In all of those cases, you are are trying to force your choice on others. Feminism is wholly about one's right to choose for herself and herself alone.
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[User Picture]From: skull_bearer
2009-07-11 10:48 pm (UTC)
But it is feminist for women to have that choice. The same way it is part of freedom of speech for someone to get up on a soapbox and argue for a totalitarian state. It's not advocating freedom of speech, but they have the right to say it regardless.
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[User Picture]From: blueskycomplex
2009-07-10 11:04 pm (UTC)
It's a common misconception that identifying as a feminist means that you have to be a high-powered career woman and anything else is letting the sisterhood down.

Feminism is about affording women the same capacity to choose their own destinies that are afforded by default to men. As long as there's no exploitation going on then there's nothing anti-feminist about choosing to be a housewife.
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[User Picture]From: bouncin_frog
2009-07-11 03:54 pm (UTC)
Agreed but when you have children in the mix, you can't call yourself a feminist if you're teaching the girls to grow up as subservient, child bearing housekeepers and teaching the boys to be breadwinners. Nor can you if you're putting up w/an abusive husband who tells you what to do or abuses you in any way (locks you in the house, physically beats you, etc).

Otherwise, what one woman does is her business. It's just not an experience I'd ever relate to since I get bored & did a lot of schooling.
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[User Picture]From: fountainoffilth
2009-07-11 04:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the replies.

I believe women should be able to choose whatever path works for them, and allow other women to do the same.

I would not suggest my path for most women, as my situation is unique. My husband's self employed and at the top of his field. I handle the housework and help him with his work when he needs it.

I'm encouraged to have my own hobbies, interests, and all that jazz. I wouldn't have been able to get a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, have a podcast that's on it's 3rd year, or tinker away at my novel if I had a job outside the house. I was also supported in recovering from anorexia and from distancing myself from my emotionally abusive Mom and older sister.

And, most importantly, I'm home to take care of my husband, who's currently suffering from chronic pain. It's no picnic, but this is part of what marriage is about.

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