boxofdelights: earring (earring)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
I hope to talk about some of the rants I delivered out loud in front of other people, but this one only happened in my shower:

Here's the description of the Choice Feminism panel:

Many people say that feminism is about providing more choices for people. There are people who, faced with this variety of choices, choose the same thing that the kyriarchy would have chosen for them. Is this problematic, or is this variety a strength of feminism?

I commented, "I'm a stay-at-home mom.[*] I have a lot of shame about that. The shaming doesn't come from feminism, and it doesn't come from women with jobs. It comes from people with jobs. It's how people with jobs feel about unemployed people. I want to ask you whether there is any admixture of contempt in how you feel about women who choose that."

Two of the panelists are my friends, and I trusted the other three not to be unkind. They weren't. An audience member, talking about her choices as a single mom, made eye contact with me to say, "I wish I had your choices." With a tiny chin-toss on the "wish".

Here's the rant:

That is one of the things that I meant when I said "contempt". You had it easy. Money for nothing. I wish I had your choices.

Which is true as far as it goes. But. I gave up things in exchange for getting a man's support during my childrearing years, things that Single Mom chose not to give up, and I'm not just talking about my sexual autonomy or my freedom to live where things would work out best for me. Our degrees of freedom of choice were different, but you don't get to say that mine were greater unless you're willing to look at the whole picture.


So, yeah, rantiest Wiscon ever. But I hope to change that.


[*]Not my preferred term but the one that the panel was using.

Date: 2012-05-28 09:38 pm (UTC)
bcholmes: I poison you! (Circe Invidiosa)
From: [personal profile] bcholmes
Thanks for posting this. I really admired the emotional depth you brought to the panel with your question, and you've made it even more in this post.

Date: 2012-05-29 11:38 am (UTC)
wild_irises: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wild_irises
Did you answer her?

Date: 2012-05-30 03:33 pm (UTC)
wired: Picture of me smiling (Default)
From: [personal profile] wired
I wished I could have gone to that, but panel! of my own interfered.

It's especially resonant today because the dumbass leasing agent I'm dealing with cannot get it through his head that my male partner is the one home with the kids. He keeps saying things like, "It looks like your husband earns enough money." and "Can't he fax it from his office?". And it just fills me with rage that the role of stay at home parent is so terrible that a MAN would never choose it, nor would a woman earn so much money.

Date: 2012-06-03 03:07 am (UTC)
kalmn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kalmn
ftr, i am the one who suggested this panel.

thank you for talking about it here.

my own personal definition of feminism involves more equality, not so much more choice. i mean, yes, more choice, but that it comes with the equality, and is not it's own goal, because i see a large number, a majority, of women who have about the same amount of freedom of choice as i do (and that's an excellent point and one i would do well to remember more often) freely, they say, making the same choices that the patriarchy rewards them for. and if we had equality, or at least in my head, if we had equality, people would be making the various choices at similar rates, rather than for example, most (can't find a number) american women changing their last names after marriage, and why are women who don't being seen as "less committed" to the marriage (http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2012/02/women-are-still-being-judged-not-taking-their-husbands-last-names/49133/").

there's also the what gets you through the patriarchy on a daily basis, which is another matter entirely.

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