I confess to having seen Geek.Anachronism around the Internet for like, ever, and yet when I dropped by to read her response to my 10 questions about your feminist motherhood I suddenly realised I had never been to her blog before. Somehow I have missed Lucy completely. And I don’t know how that happened, because reading her blog I remembered how much I like her outlook, her analysis and her style of writing. Also, as a bonus, her photos are beautiful.
Anyway, go read about Lucy’s feminist motherhood. She has a 7 month old baby, her first. Her response is all good but I particularly loved her feminist dissection of attachment parenting:
9. If you’re an attachment parenting mother, what challenges if any does this pose for your feminism and how have you resolved them?
I kind of attachment parent – I babywear (sometimes) and I breastfeed (exclusively til 6mth and now shared with solids), I cloth nappy (from about 2 months onwards and part-time) and I co-sleep (all the time). I don’t like a lot of the politics around AP though – the anti-science stuff around vaccination for example. I really don’t like a lot of the AP communities either – the assumption that I will never ever ever work and that’s the only way to do it is rife. The assumption that Wolfman (my DH *sigh* heteronormative and marriage-assumptive much?) goes along with it and that I am the emotional centre of my family. I find I am as awkward and outsider there as I am in most mothering communities. It’s something I’ve begun to accept as pretty normal and certainly OK, but I find it challenging as a person.
The assumption that I will sacrifice everything for whatever I’ve just been told (sold?) as the best for my child isn’t unique to AP. Same with the heteronormativity, the assumption of SAHMing and even the consumerist parts (if you think AP isn’t as consumerist as any other parenting philosophy, check out babywearing communities). I find all of these things fuck with my feminist ways – even though I know AP isn’t heteronormative it does make the assumption of a stay at home parent and socially that often relies on the gendering of the workforce to create the male = breadwinner default. The consumerism gets me – the derision aimed at parents with fancy strollers, at yummy mummies in SUVs, at those crappy welfare parents not buying organic, while lauding the latest handloomed SPOC wrap from Czechoslovakia, single-origin chocolate, organic coffee and green cars. Consumerist behaviour is very effective at convincing large swathes of people that their life isn’t good enough. Motherhood is hard enough without the added pressure of “buy this way or you suck as a mother”.
(You can find all the many other responses in this series here. If you’d like to respond to these questions yourself you can either email me your answers and I’ll put them on blue milk as a guest post or you can post them elsewhere and let me know and I’ll link to them).