Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Feminism, I have a bone to pick.

Feminism, I have a bone to pick.

While I understand some very important changes have taken place over the course of women's rights and I honestly appreciate those who have struggled to get women's rights out there on lots of things.  I still have a bone to pick and I suggest that we don’t quite have it right yet.

From where I sit, I see some flaws.

Honestly, feminism took mothers from the home to the work force and essentially we have ended up with homes without the very core of what makes them, well, a family.
I won’t say families can’t be raised with their mothers working or that all mothers shouldn't work. Clearly we have several generations who have done just that and well, here we all are, still continuing on as a human race. But are we better for it?

It’s my opinion that we are now often forced doing what we wanted the freedom  of choice to do (work) and now looking for the freedom to be able to choose to stay home and raise our family. For many families it is now next to impossible to survive on one income. Forcing mom to work whether she likes it or not. Meanwhile, many women are STILL expected to pick up the majority of the household duties and child rearing.

Those lucky enough to be able to afford to stay home are well, often ill prepared for motherhood, and "domesticality". In the feminist movement we have shifted our priorities from the home to work field and have lost lifetimes of knowledge that helped us cope with our responsibilities as a wife, as a mother, as a woman.  So you get to stay home now…. but how many of us really know how to do that anymore? In the days of old there were finishing schools and home economics classes. Mothers trained their daughters how to manage their home with grace, balance their marriage, children and house and prioritize. They passed down generations of recipes and fed their families with food they prepared themselves and their families were healthier for it.  Is this sounding like a fairy tale? It should, those days are all but gone. Now these valuable set of skills are hard to find, if not impossible. Women have been left to flounder around trying to figure it out on our own and often failing miserably. This affects our marriages and dare I say, our own self esteem as we feel inadequate and we continue to pass down our lack of skills to our own daughters.

Another set of mothers are the ones who have managed to stay home despite income restrictions. They’ve found creative ways to make money from home and are often tight on the bills and strapped for cash. They can’t afford many of the fun things they thought they would be doing with their children and their idea of a stay at home mom meets reality and their dreams become a sad fantasy. They stress because they always wonder, are we going to make the bills this month, they feel guilty for wanting to stay home and think maybe they should just go back to work. Did you read that? Let me repeat that. They feel GUILTY for something like wanting to raise their own family! It saddens me that what was once a right to stay at home with your child is now a very hard choice that often comes with many sacrifices leaving the mother and father to feel like they aren’t getting things right. It’s a struggle.

We now live in a rushed society, children being raised by childcare centers, schools and I shudder, the media. TV’s baby sit our children while we try to make just enough time to get it all done.  We pop in microwave dinners and sit around the TV, this is our family time as we all crash from a long days work.  Not to mention consuming crazy amounts of unhealthy fast foods.

Is this REALLY what we wanted? I have to wonder, am I the only one that feels duped?