30 August 2010

You are not a threat

While reading a stay at home mom's blog - who also happens to be a conservative Christian who believes in the whole biblical marriage deal - I found something rather .. shall we say .. in need of some editting and research. She's talking to others like her, who "choose to train to become a homemaker" and "choose to live at home with your parents and serve your family until you become a wife and mother" and - most importantly - "live under the jurisdiction of your parents until you are given in marriage to a godly young man to whom you choose to submit" due to biblical teachings. "And you're a threat", she says, to the feminist movement. Her blog has quite a following as there are many, many responses to this post, all of them applauding her, agreeing with her. But I must say, I respectfully disagree.

Feminism is about choice. It's about being treated equally, getting the same pay for the same job, being offered the same opportunities. There will always be stay at home moms and there will always be moms who do not stay home, either out of choice or need. But fifty, sixty years ago, that was not the case. Women stayed home because society told them they had to. If they went to college, it was only to find a husband, not to get an education. In fact, until Word War One hit, the very thought of a woman joining the work force wasn't even fathomable. And even then, it only happened because so many young men had left for war and someone needed to make the supplies they needed, be it clothes or bullets. That's really when the whole "movement" began.

After the war, and men started returning home, many women stayed in the work force. They had the ability to care for themselves and didn't need a man. Of course, many men never returned home, leaving many women unable to find a husband. But for those who did, most left their jobs and became homemakers, raising lots of babies and making sure dinner was on the table when Daddy got home from work.

This is all fine and dandy, but the problem was that women had to choose: continue working and never have a family or have a family and never work outside of the home again. And if they did continue to work, they would never make as much as their male counterparts. Ever. (To this day women still do not get equal pay.)

Much to many people's dismay - and by many people, I'm talking about people like Pat Robertson who actually said "Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." - the feminist movement wasn't about giving up family or giving up God. On the contrary, it was the exact opposite. The feminist movement was all about choice. The choice to stay home or work outside of the home, even after having children. The choice to have fifteen children or none at all. The choice to get an education and delay marriage/children or jump right into it. It wasn't about seeing who could do it all or who was the better woman or better mother. Not at all.

I know women who work and support themselves out of choice. I know women who choose to stay home and homeschool their children while fully submitting to their husbands. I know single moms who support their children on their own because the father doesn't care. I know women who stayed home with their children until they started school and then went back to work. And not one of them is better than the other. They are doing what makes them happy and what they feel is right for themselves and their families.

I fully support the advancement of women. If a woman wants to be a CEO, then go for it. If she wants to do that and have a baby, then go for it. If a woman wants to work part time just to earn a little extra money so she can buy something extra special for her children, or help save up for a better car, then go for it. If a woman wants to do nothing more than stay home and raise her babies, then go for it. As long as she makes that choice on her own, and not out of some obligation she feels she must fufill, then all the more power to her.

Feminism is about choice. I choose to stay home with my babies. I choose to be a homemaker, even if I'm not very good at it. But that's my choice. I may not agree with women staying home simply because the bible says so, but that is their choice. I'm no better than they, and they are no better than I.

So to all the people who agree with this bloggers mindset, let me end with this: You are NOT a threat. You stay home out of choice, and that's exactly what the feminist movement was all about.

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