“What kind of feminist are you, you don’t even work anymore? Is this the example you will set for your daughter?”
I could have joined my friend for an unending discussion in reply to her judgment but then I realized that her denotation about ‘being a Feminist’ are not just disconcerting but also deeply rooted from her bringing and I didn’t wanted to perplex the situation.
Actually majority of us still don’t know who really is a Feminist!
As per the Wikipedia:
“Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes. This includes seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to those for men.”
I had been reading a beautiful article by Aine (an Irish Mom) where she has mentioned about how her choice as a SAHM is a taboo in Irish life. Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI survey which indicates that 43 per cent of women feel Irish society values women who work outside the home over those who have jobs inside the home.
As per the Gallup survey of more than 60,000 US women; Stay-at-home moms are also much more likely to report having ever been diagnosed with depression than employed moms
That implies Indian stay at home women aren’t the only one to assume how they are evaluated lighter as compared to those who work, isn’t it ironic that few decades before people used to think vice-versa. However these days especially in urban cities if you aren’t working you are interpreted as low valued, without any ambitious, unworthy to be someone’s role model and most importantly not valid to be called as a Feminist.
So again the big question arises if a SAHM can call herself as a Feminist?
Let me take you to a little background about myself. I’m the youngest in my family, had always been a little rebellion fighting in schools and arguing a lot. As I grew up (like any average student) I wanted to complete my studies asap and start earning; at that point of my time it was my sole ambition. After working for 7 long years and married in between, we (my hubby and I) decided to have a baby. I wasn’t forced to be a Mom (Personal equality) and neither forced to sit back at home. As human beings we all make few choices in our life and should be free to do so. I chose to stay at home and look after my kids; so as a basic right I need not to justify why I did so; but when there is a pressure built around me where I need to justify about my life decisions then that’s not what you called as being a Feminist.
People often troll us (SAHMs) that if our husbands can work, why don’t us? If the husbands can stay away from the kids, why shouldn’t us? If the other women can leave their kids to the maids or in the daycare, why can’t us? I have one question to ask all such women, why you think comparing and competing with Men would make you superior or equal? Do you still believe that Men are the most supreme gene in the world?
Actually in a thrift to equate Men and Women
- We have forgotten to take count of the little kids who need love, attention and care.
- We have ignored the necessity of breastfeeding and have replaced the benefits of bf with a formula fed.
- We haven’t stressed to enough to create equal opportunities for those who prefer to (and can only) work from home like Housewives, disabled or aged professional!
Tell me one thing if all women will become Nannies in the world then who will look after their children? If every building will turn into a daycare, where will your home? Here I’m not advocating that only Men must work but figure out what works best for the family. Feminism is not arrogance or disrespecting or competing with the opposite gene but respecting a woman’s voice.
One of my very close friends left her lucrative job few years back in order to take care of her ailing younger sister; she sacrificed her career aspirations to be with her. Sadly her sister is not with us today but what my friend needed a huge courage. Today she is expecting her second child, though she had a setback but she is progressing quite good in her entrepreneurial skills and even though she doesn’t recognizes herself as a Feminist, I’m extremely proud of her life’s decisions.
So my competition is not with Men, as a Feminist my competition is with the patriarchal beliefs and century old male power culture:
- Stop crying like women
- Stop fighting like Women
- Stop walking like a Girl
- Don’t hide in a woman’s veil
- Don’t drive like a woman
- Wear a woman’s bangle and do nothing
“Will you be willing to work at a lower position and a lesser salary”; if 2 years down the line you as an Interviewer are going to evaluate me like this for my career break and not on the basis of my competencies; then sorry you aren’t a Feminist but an opportunist!
Guys my perspective about Feminism is not just to keep working to prove my loyalty to this term because it’s not a term for me; it’s a lifestyle.
And regarding how I raise my children, well I’m not raising them just to earn bread but also how to live amongst a diverse culture and how to respect each other’s choices which is the most important aspect for our sustainability.
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