This response to my 10 questions about your feminist motherhood is from Mom, JD. It’s this lovely thoughtful reflection upon where she is at right now and where she came from, and what I really like is the way she has unpacked the question about ‘what makes her mothering feminist’.
The choices you make versus the things that weren’t really a choice for you, and whether these choices make you a better feminist or not, and then finally, are you using these choices to pit yourself against other women in the name of being a better feminist – such a great thinking point Mom, JD has put out there. (I’ve talked a little bit about ‘choice feminism’ and feminist pissing contests before here).
4. What makes your mothering feminist? How does your approach differ from a non-feminist mother’s? How does feminism impact upon your parenting?
This is such a difficult question because so much of what it has meant to be a mother for me (so far) has seemed so traditional — breastfeeding, reigning in my career ambitions to focus on mothering, etc. I could say that sticking with law school, pursuing my career makes me a feminist mother, but I actually don’t think that’s true. Plenty of women pursue work and/or careers out of necessity or regardless of whether or not they are feminists. I personally believe that unless mothers engage in paid work, the workplace will not move in a positive direction for families. In that sense, choosing to work is a feminist act. But I don’t think it’s the only way to be a feminist mother.
This post is part of the 10 questions about your feminist motherhood series. 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.