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The Feminist Housewife

12/03/2008

     I really enjoy being domestic. There are some simple pleasures that I enjoy as a housewife.  However, I am also somewhat of a feminist and of course, an atheist.  I’ve been looking at a lot of housewifely sites out there and I ran across something that had all sorts of alarm bells going off in my head. www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com

But are these women really anti-feminist?

I find it hard to believe that women would actually be against feminism, and after reading a little bit of their site, I got some impressions, and I hope they will forgive me if I misrepresent their beliefs.
I think that most of the women there would agree that some empowerment of women is a good thing, that women should be free to make their own choices and pursue happiness. I am sure that they believe at the very least that women deserve equal treatment under the law and that women deserve the right to vote and be seen as individual citizens that are the intellectual equal of men.

However I think there are some byproducts of feminism that these women seem to disagree with.
Reproductive rights: They see abortion as murder.
Sexual freedom: They see this as immorality.
Masculinisation of women: They see this as a disruption of the natural order.
Lesbianism: Again, immoral.

I disagree with them all of these things.  While I am against abortion as a form of birth control, I think making abortion illegal is dangerous, as women will still seek it out for many reasons and it is important for doctors to offer it when it is needed.
I believe in sexual freedom, of course, as anyone who knows me will tell you.
I think women look good in pants.  But I also think men should wear skirts more.
And lesbians rock.
I  suppose what the LAF gals are preaching is a return to the family unit as the core unit of society. I cannot help but look critically at this belief.

First of all, any Biblical arguments have to ruled out completely.  The Bible is a book written by men and then reinterpreted over thousands of years to mean various things and whatever modern women get out of it can be contradicted by itself.

Secondly, the nuclear family is a terrible thing. It was invented in the 50’s at the latest, the 1900’s at the earliest and is a product of the modern world, not something to “return to”. It is a myth of the middle class that we were ever meant to live this way. It’s not only wasteful, it’s selfish.

On the other hand, I do not think modern individualism is good either. Communities are extremely important and I think that is what is missing in modern life.  We have huge online communities, but they are merely evidence that we crave a sense of group connectedness.  We are social animals and require community.

I disagree with the idea that in order to be a feminist, a woman must take on the responsibilities and characteristics of a man. I think women and men both deserve the right to be domestic. Why is it still a woman’s role to be a stay at home parent and if a man isn’t working, he’s a bum? It’s changing, true, but there is still a stigma. Now, as the economy demands more and more that we live on a dual income, the burden is on women as well.  I am not currently employed, but I know we could live much more comfortably if I were currently working.

This may change if we move to a larger house. I may still want to work, but perhaps only a couple of days a week. If we live in a larger house, there will be more for me to do. Perhaps, I can begin planting a kitchen garden with herbs, vegetables and fruit. Perhaps I will be able to spend more time working on my creative projects. And baking. And composting. And making clothes and… oops, I’m getting carried away.
I daydream about being a great housewife, about living sustainably and raising good moral children. I don’t think this means I am Anti-Feminist and it certainly doesn’t make me a Christian. But I think that these women are incredibly creative and it is important for women to know that being a “domestic engineer” is a valid career choice even in modern society.  I wonder what these women would think of me?

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2 Comments
  1. strykingterence permalink
    12/03/2008 8:46 am

    Firstly, I didn’t think kilts could look so awesome. Second, Morally vis a vis a recent New Scientist article said that there is strong evidence that morality is a product of our genetics and not religion. Third, Community on a broad social scale is more important than the insular family unit as I think social groups like rpgmeetup, taekido, country womans association and other like groups demonstrate. Finally, Your articles rock and your house wifing is a very commendable thing. And in agreeing with your point, I think either a man or woman can be a good house wife 🙂

  2. Trithemius permalink
    14/03/2008 2:48 am

    The nuclear family is a product of social evolutionary forces, not some archist conspiracy. It appeals to people’s neccessarily limited sphere-of-concern and, in this sense, it is therefore a practical development. The contraction in size of the family unit and the seperation from extended family is a product of industrialisation, urbanisation, increasingly fluid patterns-of-employment, and ease with which Modern people were able to move when compared to Early Modern people. When viewed as part of a system of shells of relationship it forms a fairly effective innermost layer. Obviously exceptions exist, but to relegate the concept in a total way on the basis of exceptions is unfair and insufficiently rigorous.

    Feminism is a terminologically-fraught concept. Like Agnosticism the definition is considerably variable, as is evidenced by the cited group, to the point that in order to have a meaningful discourse it is important to more precisely define what is meant. Speaking subjectively, I do not have a lot of time for Feminism. This is largely a product of reading into the political philosophy of certain variations on the theme of Feminism. I personally prefer to think in terms of current equality, which I recognise is still not achieved. It is largely impossible to compensate for the structure of the human system for millenia that it has been developing and, in my opinion, to continue to intellectually participate in a binary zero-sum system is to recommit the error of our forebears, male and female, and to unconsciously support the foundations of a systemically unequal structure.

    strykingterrence: What do you mean “I didn’t think kilts could look so good?”! I am also amused at Scientific proofs of the arguments of Aristotle; perhaps NS’s ‘genetics’ is just the latest version of A’s ‘optimum road’?


    Trithemius
    ‘Power Peforms the Miracle.’

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