The whole “female” aspect of politics sure is running strong lately. First, it was the Sandra Fluke thing, about which I didn’t bother to post.
Then, I got all et up with the “Top 25 Political Moms” contest, which turned into a no-holds-barred, claws-out feminist v. conservative battle-to-the-death, or something. (Like poor old Henry Gunther, I got cut off at the very end, landing in #26.)
Next came Hilary Rosen’s new and exciting mashup of Marxist class warfare with The Mommy Wars. Then, I get this tweet about whether the gender gap in voting might be permanent. (I know a solution to this problem, but a lot of you won’t like it . . .)
In the midst of all this, here I am trying to prepare for Offend A Feminist week.
And preparation I sorely need, for although I am female and therefore qualified in at least some respect to comment on All Things Feminine, my view of “feminism” as a field of sociological thought is about the same as my view of “psychiatry” as a field of medicine, which is to say I view them dimly and from as far away as possible, wearing my credulous face all the while.
My understanding of “feminism” was no better back in the day when I fancied myself a feminist-type professional. If the “old me” were forced to pull a definition out of her nether regions, she might have said this: feminism is the political movement which gave women their due rights, requiring men to treat them as equals instead of as second class citizens.
Thanks to anecdotal evidence and additional experience, I am now more aware of the leftist underpinnings of the feminist movement. Beyond that, I can’t say much more. I’ve never taken a class, nor read a book on the topic. Blog buds like American Housewife and Missy Sandbox clearly know more. (Perhaps you kind ladies can gin up a “feminism for dummies” post for the likes of me. Ha.)
As much as I might wish otherwise, the feminist movement is not relegated to the history books. This movement is alive and well today. So, I have made an effort to educate myself about what “feminism” means in the political landscape of 2012. I used the “Top 25 Political Moms” contest site as a starting point. Here’s what I found.
Over at PhD in Parenting (via Mamafesto), I learned that the Mommy Wars are not about different opinions on parenting. Rather, the problem is we don’t have the right governmental policies in place to support mothers:
“As with real wars, these mommy wars are not truly about a clash between moms, but about a system that has let people down, poured fuel on the fire, and left each family to fend for themselves.”
If Congress would just subsidize day care, pay for all employees’ maternal and paternal leave, and fast track that universal health care (freeing folks up from those healthcare-covering jobs they hate), then maybe the Mommy Wars would just go away. Don’t worry, the government will get the funds needed from those evil rich people, Insha’ Allah.
Over at Feminste, I learned that requiring a single mom to work in order to get federal assistance is really, really mean because:
“The crux of the issue is that Mitt Romney’s definition of ‘stay-at-home mom,’ like his definition of ‘good mom,’ is limited to women in his racial group and economic class. I would wager a lot of money that when Romney made those comments in January, he wasn’t even thinking of the term ‘stay-at-home mom’ — because a low-income mother who relies on state aid is not a stay-at-home mom. She’s a welfare cheat, or lazy, or a drain on society. She’s undignified.”
Of course, this quote is not based on Mr. Romney’s own words, but from the feminist’s interpretation of conservative fiscal policy. Funny, how not wanting to pay an endless stream of federal tax dollars for an activity the government cannot control (motherhood) gets demonized as the act of a meanie who thinks moms are lazy, cheating, and undignified.
Over at The Radical Housewife, I learned that “FREE FEMALE LABOR PROPS UP OUR ECONOMY,” which is bad, because it helps prop up capitalism. And capitalism is bad. Apparently, the feminists of yore screwed up Big Time, because:
“The revolution should have demanded as many stay-at-home dads as female CEOs. But it didn’t. The goals of the movement became allied with making money, which is one reason why feminism gets accused of being anti-family. Family is so precious is cannot be allied with something DIRTY like MAKING MONEY! It’s the madonna/whore binary all over again.”
Okey-dokey, then. Does anyone see why I try to stay clear of feminism?
Over at the Monologues of Dissent, mercifully no opinion is offered as to the wisdom or lucidity of Hilary Rosen, Sandra Fluke nor anyone else as of late (save Governor Walker). Still, I learned that the stereotyping of girls as the ones who like to attend dances, and boys as the ones who could care less about dances, is a form of gender discrimination that should be combatted.
If we humans don’t have real problems, we’ll just make ’em up if we need ’em, right?
Finally, over at One Flew Over The Playpen, I learned how the government is the entity that will resolve our “Mommy War” differences, if only we let it:
“The real story is that it IS a major problem that every mother does not have the ability to stay home for more than a handful of weeks when her children are born. And by stay home, I mean the very hard job of providing the constant, grueling care that goes into raising a child. Our government simply does not truly value the importance of giving women this time with their family, no matter what their economic situation is.
Stay-at-home moms – you know this. You know you WANT every woman to have the ability to stay at home with their kids during the day if that’s right for them . . . . So if for even a second, you are feeling compassionate for picked-on Ann Romney, think about whether her husband as president would do anything to make raising children easier for women. Does he support extended paid maternity leave?” /italics added/
Ah, there you go. American moms don’t have value unless the federal government recognizes them with cash dollars. So. . . if Romney started touting extended paid maternity leave, would he then become a darling of the feminists?
Clever, too, is the insistence that I, as a stay-at-home mom, “know” that I want every woman to have the ability to stay at home with her kids.
I want every woman to have the ability to stay at home with her kids? Well, sure. That would be great, if possible. Unfortunately, some women sabotage their own best interests, including their ability to stay at home with the kids. Unfortunately, some men sabotage their partner’s best interests, including their partner’s ability to stay at home with the kids.
The government cannot fix these problems.
I want every woman to get exactly what they want out of life. I want them to be smart enough to realize that libertarian and conservative policies will maximize their liberty.
I want them to have a pony, too.
The thing is, not every woman wants a pony. Not every woman wants to marry wisely. Not every woman wants to be a stay at home mom.
And that’s okay. I’m totally cool with that.
I wish the left were cool with that, too.