The Feminist Housewife
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?