Anything worth talking about, is worth blogging about

I have no objections to any woman who wants to be a mother. Forced non–motherhood is as bad as forced motherhood. If you want to be a mother of five, feminists are perfectly fine with that.

What feminists don’t like is the Cult of Motherhood; the idea that being a mother is the only thing that women should be and that their lives should consist of nothing else. By elevating motherhood into an end–all be–all, anti–feminists negate the entire idea that a woman can choose for herself, and instead compel others to do something; they change the decision maker from the woman to someone else. As illustrated by the Cult of Motherhood, a choice with one option is not a real choice.

Comments on: "Feminism and the cult of motherhood" (10)

  1. I agree with you completely.
    I’m graduating college this year with a degree in Women’s Studies and am really trying to reconcile the idea of motherhood with a career in our society.

  2. Annecalista: I agree. Part of the best society would be having no need to have to reconcile being a mother and having a career.

  3. What feminists don’t like is the Cult of Motherhood

    I suspect they do not like the fact that the support for the CofM can be traced directly back to the patriarchy as perpetually pregnant women are usually perpetually dependent on a Men who can then set the rules of the game as he sees fit.

  4. @ Arbourist: I’m pretty sure that’s a major reason for anti-feminists’ love of the CofM.

  5. Katy Howe said:

    As a working mom of three girls who volunteers a couple nights a week, I agree with you that either way, motherhood or non-motherhood a choice based on the circumstances or political discourse is no choice at all. It’s all about seeing all the arguments for and against, and then choosing afterwards. Motherhood coupled with a career (and other interests) is totally doable, as long as you realize that being there for your children does not mean you have to physically BE THERE every minute of the day.

    I think that is the more insidious thing about the cult of motherhood, that it has to look a certain way, that you’ve got to be there every moment of every day. My daughters have a father, two grandmothers, and a nanny that all look after them at different times of any day. But don’t think for one second that just because I’m not physically present that I haven’t already had conversations creating my daughters’ experiences and set up/organized their daily events. My girls “get” my presence in every activity they do, they know who was behind going to this birthday party or that excursion. It is truly satisfying at the end of a long day to hear about my daughters’ day from them and know that I had a hand in creating that.

  6. The fact that you have a busy life and are successfuly raising three daughters shows that you are correct in that you don’t have “to physically BE THERE every minute of the day”. But anti-feminists and gender essentialists don’t want you to have both; they want you to be there every minute of the day with no life outside of that and no ability for you to decide about it.

  7. Very well said. How do you feel about our society’s inflexibility of women who want to be mothers and go to school or have a job as well? It is almost like woman have to choose one over the other or forfeit your parenting rights over to a babysitter, who may have a life of their own and thus unreliable, or expensive day care where they may or may not get the attention, guidance, cleaning, or stimulation that parents and experts insist that they need. From my experience most universities and career style work places have little assistance for women with young children. I’m all about options but do you think it’s right that women have to make the choice?

  8. I think it’s wrong that society forces women to choose between a career or motherhood. In a just world she could have both.

    This is why it is necessary to promote things like parental leave (for both parents), flex time, telecommuting, work-from-home, and so on. Unfortunately, many places are lacking in these things, just as you mentioned.

  9. mstaralaing said:

    When in my last year in college I fell pregnant. Unplanned obviously. Luckily it was in the last few months that were left. I could finish my studies and graduate. I did not tell anyone at college that I was pregnant, because I did not want people to feel sorry for me, neither did I want their unwanted critisism. So 2 years later, I went through a very east pregnancy, gave birth to a beautiful boy, got engaged to the father of my son and am I career woman. I love my son with all my heart, but I am more than just a mother. I am a woman, a lover, a sister, a friend and a hard working passionate person. I am destined for much greater things than only being a mother.

  10. Yes, you show that it’s possible to be all of those things. The key point is to make it so that all women can successfully choose, if they so desire, to be all of those things as well.

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