Some short notes on a couple of feminist topics today.
1. Feminism isn't anti-sexiness. It's anti-compulsive-sexiness.
To that I'll add: It's important that feminists are mindful of what messages they send with how they present their sexuality. Even if you're wearing those fuck-me heels with a full sense of self and from your own free will, that message doesn't usually come across visually. All people see is "hey, another woman who believes that female sexuality is inherently objectified and submissive. Woo!" Context is everything, in other words. None of us exist in a vacuum, and when you choose to support sexist cultural ideals, you're choosing to support sexism.
2. Re: Feminist opposition to stay-at-home parenting.
Saw this topic come up elsewhere today. I wish I could get more people to understand that it's not breeding or families that feminists oppose, but the lack of financial autonomy.
Many SAHPs get very defensive about this choice, and also lash out at parents who use nannies or day care, claiming that they're better parents because they're physically present for their child at all times.
While it's laudable to spend a lot of time with one's kids, especially when they're little, a truly responsible and loving parent knows that that's not the only way you must be able to be there for your child. If you're not able to financially support her as well as holding her hand, you're shirking your duties. And the only way you can guarantee being able to do that is by keeping up your own education and job skills. If you go more than a couple of years without some sort of schooling or work experience, you're not going to get hired for anything that pays a family wage. Even if you have a degree and plenty of work experience from before you became a parent, employers won't care if you've been out too long.
Far, far too many SAHPs, especially women, get lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that their partner/spouse is always going to be able to provide for the family. And that's simply not the case. Even if your husband is completely dedicated to you and has the best job in the world, his paycheck could disappear at any moment. Companies go under. People get downsized. Partners leave, or get sick or die. Even with insurance and savings, you can't guarantee that what your partner does for you right now is always going to be there. And when/if that happens, if you don't have good, up-to-date education and job skills of your own, you're screwed.
A huge percentage of the homeless population is single mothers, and there's a reason for that: These women never thought they'd lose their partners, so they never bothered with getting enough education and job skills to support their kids on their own if they had to. Add in issues with qualifiying for benefits or having a good enough credit score to rent an apartment, and next thing you know, you're on the streets.
And even if you can qualify for benefits, when your kids get old enough, what do you do then? If you haven't been working, and you lose that check, what do you do to stay afloat? And what happens when you hit retirement age and discover that you don't qualify for Social Security because you didn't work consistently enough to pay into it?
Being dedicated to your kids is admirable. Ignoring your responsibility to be a self-sufficient adult isn't.