Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Me, A Feminist?

My good friend and peer, what's a few weeks after all these decades, Risa of Isramom, is tweaking her blog a bit.  She promises a new banner and changed the description. 

In the post announcing this, she wrote about the first word in that description, "feminist" and titled the post "Feminism."

I've always had this thing, negative about feminism.  I guess that's because the feminists of my youth tried to be faux men, OK, not quite in the "dykish" sense, but in their goals in life.  For as long as I can remember, I just wanted to get married and have children.  I never even thought about the next stage, being a grandmother. 

When I first heard about feminism, I got the impression that they thought it a waste of time, energy, talents.  That's a large reason for the fact that the birthrate is so low for the 1970's in America.  There should have been another baby boom when us boomers hit our twenties, but it never happened.  Many postponed maternity until it just couldn't physically happen, or they were lucky to have only one child.  And then they joined the "supermom, we can do it all" club.  In the 1970's I became a young mother and was in Israel, where having babies has always been pretty popular.

Despite my original plans, I ended up working, too.  And I ended up at times sounding like a "feminist."

Has "Feminism" has changed or have I or both?

Risa's description of Feminism fits what I consider women's rights as human beings.  Does that make me a feminist?


Risa Tzohar said...

"Does that make me a feminist?"
Don't be afraid of it!
We are expected to be Supermom, especially by those who don't define themselves as feminists (you know who you are, guys) but without the rights. So it's just as well there are feminists in this world.

Batya said...

Risa, if you say so. Feminism like all females seems to keep reinventing. Our daughters live differently from how we did, and who knows what will be with our granddaughters...

Hadassa said...

How can we claim that we want equal work for equal pay and then demand special treatment during pregnancy, maternity leave and then special conditions for working mothers? We can't have it both ways. And how about the recent issue of retirement age for women?
Women should not be denied employment on the basis of gender or fired for getting pregnant, but let's face it, a woman who has a child every 1 1/2 to 2 years, up to 8 or more times, and takes off three months or more each time, is not working the same as a man who goes on reserve duty for a week or two a few times a year. If she has to take off time during pregnancy, which is not uncommon, that adds to the difference. It may not be fair that women take more time off from work than men do when children are sick, but until that situation changes, that's another difference.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you realize how inappropriate your use of "dykish" is. It is an offensive term and even your use of it is negative in its conotation as well.

Batya said...

Hadassa, that's true, but single women shouldn't be relegated to "women's jobs and salaries." And women in their forties and fifties (and older) have been proven to be t he most reliable workers. And they don't do miluim.

a, sorry, but I don't think there is a term you'd like that would explain it better. I use the "slang" of my generation.

Hadassa said...

a, IMHO putting "dykish", or any other possibly offensive term, in quotes is a sign that the writer does not necessarily approve of the word but rather is using it because, unfortunately, it is the best way to describe something.
Batya, I'm not denying that there is more than occasional discrimination against women in the workforce. Women - single, married, mothers, everyone - should be judged by the work that they do, including the hours they are willing to work, which should not be assumed, but rather negotiated, and nothing else.