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Child Free: Feminism

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Feminism, choices, and children [Dec. 5th, 2007|12:18 am]
Child Free: Feminism


Apparently I've pissed off someone on my flist for suggesting that not all single mothers are perfect saints and that having babies you can't afford is a bad idea. (I won't name her to avoid possible trolling and/or wank.) This came during a discussion about the meaning of feminism and whether identifying as "feminist" means that you have to support every stupid thing a woman does because she's a woman. She said no, but when I said that I don't support women having babies just because they can, especially when they can't afford them or want special treatment for having them, I got called a "conservative" and basically flamed.

So here's my question: we all know that feminism means being about the right to make choices. But does it mean that we have to support even the stupid or reckless choices? As women, we all have the right to have children; shouldn't we also have the duty to use that right responsibly? We all know that it takes two to create a child. Unfortunately, since only the woman can get pregnant, she has to shoulder a greater burden of the responsibity to prevent or raise a child - it's not fair, but life generally isn't. And let's face it, one woman's decision to have a child she can't afford and needs welfare to support, or to demand special privileges at work (time off, reduced workload) because she has kids, affects all of us. Should we have to shoulder the extra burden without complaint because we're feminists and it's for the chyylldrun and besides, it's her choice? Or do we have the right to say "Grow up and stop being a dumbass - it's not all about you"? To me, it's kind of like this: You have the right to own cats. But when you take in more cats than you can afford to feed and expect me to pay extra taxes to supply your cat food, or when I have to double my workload because you have to leave early every other day to take the kitties to playgroup, I should have the right to say "Maybe you shouldn't have so many cats." Why should it be different when we're talking about kids?

What are your thoughts on the subject?

X-posted to cf_hardcore

[User Picture]From: jaralith
2007-12-05 06:47 am (UTC)
With great power comes great responsibility!

But does it mean that we have to support even the stupid or reckless choices?

Well, you have to support the right for people to make the decisions they feel are best for them. You also have the right to make decisions in your own life. When someone starts taking your decisions from you to make room for their decisions, then yes, you have every right to complain! Your taxes, your time off, your decision, not hers.
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