I just read an incredibly interesting article by Rebecca Walker, the daughter of Alice Walker (hardcore feminist and author of The Color Purple). Rebecca writes about what it was like to grow up with a mother who believed that being a mother was a form of servitude.
What a fascinating view into how extreme forms of feminism can affect men and children, and even the women who espouse these ideals. In a religious culture where we believe that motherhood is a cherished, higher calling, it is difficult for me to wrap my mind around a woman who would view her own daughter as "'a delightful distraction,' but a calamity nonetheless." As a mother myself, every single accomplishment I make outside the home is magnified as I share it with my husband and my child. When people ask me what it's like to be a mother, my answer is always, "My son is my finest accomplishment." There exists a kind of joy in mothering my son that does not, and cannot, exist for me in any other kind of personal success. And like Rebecca Walker, I truly do feel that way.
I take offense to the kind of feminism that pretends to support all women, but spits in the face of women who choose different paths than they do. I think of the many women that would love nothing more than to experience the joy of motherhood and who are unable to for whatever reason. What excruciating heartache. And then to be told by extreme feminists that kids would have just ruined their lives anyway, unthinkable. It's hard enough to be a woman in our culture, so why add salt to the wound? We should be sisters in a true sense; supporting, lifting, and encouraging all women to lives their lives in the way they choose. If you believe that children are a burden, you have the right to choose to be childless. If you want children, you have the right to make that choice as well. We don't need to place judgment on one another for it. Whether stay-at-home mom, working mom, or working woman, all women deserve to be celebrated for what they do.