|"Frogs and Snails and Feminist Tales" by Bronwyn Davies
||[Aug. 3rd, 2008|01:52 pm]
This might be your mother's feminism
I've finished reading this (a book about preschool children and gender) for the first time - I read it very quickly, so have not digested it thoroughly. I've also read Marianne Alireza's autobiography about being an American woman marrying into a Saudi Arabian family in 1945, "At The Drop Of A Veil," and I've started Natasha Walter's "The New Feminism."|
This is all new to me - I've read very little about feminism, really, all things considered.
Mainly, now, I feel despair that I will ever make anyone see my job as a job, my role as valuable, my contribution as financially useful. I'm a stay at home mother with no source of income, though I occasionally make small amounts with self-published books - I used to buy-to-sell stuff on Ebay, too, but it wasn't worth the hourly rate. I have no school-leaving qualifications and no university qualifications. I've never had a career, not least because I didn't want one. That never scared me because I understood poverty and wasn't afraid of it, though that's changed now - I'd hate to be poor now.
I worry that I'm demonstrating to my daughters lots of outdated versions of feminism - the hairy-legged earth-mother myth. But I also don't want to pursue traditionally masculine career-style wossname because the idea fills me with dread and misery and I don't want them to think that that's the place to aim for either.
I wish I had more ability to structure my thinking. I wish I could dig out the paints and paint things people would want to buy, but I'm not skilled enough to think it's worth my while to put the effort in, and anyway, that's more pathetic pin-money style earning.
I will NEVER be able to compare, earning-wise, to my male partner. When we were both salaried in the same industry, he had positions of responsibility over computers and I had positions of responsibility over people, and he earned three times what I did, in general. I reached the dizzying heights of earning half what he did at one point but that involved working 12-hour days for a company which ultimately went hideously bust because of delusions of grandeur.
It seems to me that the only ONLY way forward now is for men in general to take on more and more of the responsibility and career-eatingness of childcare, to level the playing field down instead of up. I'm sure my decisions were influenced by the certain knowledge that I could never work full- or part-time and have my children raised as I wanted them to be, and by our giving in to this knowledge when we arranged what happened.
I don't know where this post is going. There's a lot boiling up in my head. And I have a breastfeeding supporter assignment to do which I'm putting off, too.