Some have been suggesting I am not radical enough in my feminism in this post, where I argue that an internalised misogyny has led us to devalue mothering to such an extent that we can only imagine equality for women when a sufficient portion of that disagreeable work has been offloaded to men. It says something very unpleasant about the way we view children. As I said in that previous post, men and women sharing roles equally may be what it looks like when we find equality but it might instead be women continuing to specialise (to some degree) in the care of children, particularly when children are very young, and this work being valued equally to that performed in the marketplace.
Here’s an example of such a criticism, and I hate to pick on one particular commenter, because she’s probably a nice person who wrote something in a hurry while trying to get much more important things done than jam-making, but this comment illustrates my point perfectly..
Hello! Okay so it occurred to me that my saying X is a lousy criteria is one of those deals where it would hurt the author’s feelings. Unfortunately, x IS a lousy criteria: “We will know we’re living in a world of equality not when just as many men as women are staying home making jam and looking after babies but when women can talk about their life making jam and looking after babies without everyone freaking the fuck out.”
People talked about women making jam a 1000 years ago “without freaking out”, and pretty sure women weren’t equal.
Sure, there is nothing particularly radical about making jam. There’s nothing particularly radical about playing golf either, and it is something the men in my office love to do when they’re not ‘working’. I’m yet to see an article disparaging men for it though. And you could wonder why some men are choosing hobbies that give them even more time away from their families and I would agree with you, but why do I care then if women are wanting to make fucking jam?
So in some ways, this article is just one more in a long line of same which claims “I will be as bimbo as I want, and you will call me a genuine feminist or else”. Most of the women writing such drivel are still bimbos pushing sexist norms onto their child. It’s a justification.
Right. Because to talk about pursuing something in the domestic realm as a woman is to be labelled a “bimbo”. Men can pickle vegetables or play a round of golf and neither pleasure will see them labelled brainless for it.