Getting a Bad Rap for Good Choices

As a woman and as a progressive I believe strongly in the right of choice for women. Women should be able to decide when or if they ever have children. They should have to right to decide that a man’s touch is unacceptable. They should have the right to decide if they want to work or if they want to stay home. But, wait! They do have those rights, to some extent, right now. Ok, we’re all on the same page.

Except we’re not. Leslie Bennetts recently said that stay-at-home moms as making a mistake for choosing to stay home. And I ran across a commenter at a radfem blog that declared of another woman “She’s a SAHM who isn’t contributing anything to Social Security or society”. Feh! Not contributing anything? But shouldn’t these women be championed because they’re exercising their rights to make these choices? Apparently not. Apparently stay-at-home mothers are the bane of some feminists’ existence. They work only to raise children and “give their lives away to their men”. Or some such nonsense.

Here’s another idea:

Some SAHMs are raising the next generation of strong, liberal feminists. They are raising understanding and open-minded sons. They are, one little person at a time, working to end sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, or [fill in you favorite humanitarian cause]. When a child asks of a SAHM “What does “gay” mean?” that child may hear an answer such as the one I gave my own child “It’s a description of joy and happiness. It also means homosexual. Just another word for people in love.” And the gates of communication were open. Now, perhaps that same child heard his or her sitter/nanny/day care provider refer to someone else as “nigger” and wanted to know what it meant. Who would be the first person to ask? A SAHM would be on the front lines. Again- one child at a time.

And what is this nonsense about not contributing? In the context that I read the quote (and I’m sorry, but I won’t be linking because, well, I’ve had enough blogwars for just right now) the SAHM in question was discussing Soci

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

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