I was really inspired when I read Mia Redrick’s post about a woman’s right to stay at home. It seems like the feminist movement, which was supposed to free us from the restrictions and stereotypes associated with our sex, sort of backfired and created new restrictions and stereotypes that are maybe as bad as the old ones.
It’s not that I don’t value the wonderful gifts that the feminist movement has given my generation. I can’t imagine a time when it was almost impossible for women to have an education, get a job, have rights and own property. I know that there are still women all over the world who don’t enjoy the same rights. And it saddens me that these women often have to lay down their lives just so their daughters and granddaughters can enjoy the rights that I take for granted.
But it’s also frustrating to see how our fight for quality has also resulted in us undervaluing traditional female roles, most especially motherhood. That for some reason, when an intelligent, working woman becomes a mother and chooses to focus on being a parent, it’s a waste.
Why do we think that a woman’s talent is “wasted” when she chooses to stay at home instead of going back to work? Why do we think that a woman “isn’t working hard enough” when she chooses to spend only 8 hours at work instead of 10-12 hours? Why are we disappointed when we see women who find more joy and contentment tending to their families instead of focusing our careers? Why are we shaming these women who make these choices instead of celebrating the fact that we finally have all these choices at our disposal?
The whole point of the feminist movement is to give women the freedom to choose how they want to live their lives. And that means giving value to each and every role a woman chooses to play.
We’re not just workers and citizens; we’re mothers, partners and wives. Our talents are not wasted when we leave our jobs. We don’t stop contributing to society when stop working. We help by trying to raise our children the best way we can. We help by giving way for other women to shine in the jobs or careers that we left behind. We help by exploring new, different, and better ways to improve our skills and talents; like becoming a work at home mom.
I’m really happy I read this. It made me feel more confident about the choices I made in my life. And I now know how to answer the next time someone asks me, “What is a smart girl like you doing home?”
“Being a mom.”
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