May. 28th, 2012

boxofdelights: earring (earring)
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.

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