For many years, Feminism has encouraged women to turn our backs on the kitchen.
From De Beauvoir to Friedan, through to Sandberg and others, we are shown Traditional Womanhood as Debasing. As Zombifying. As Unfortunate Details.
Surely any self-respecting woman with half a brain would decline to pursue life as a “Housewife.”
But you’re not married to the house (although it does feel like that sometimes) and this lifestyle made little sense to me until I had my children.
When you are the mother of a newborn, your world is suddenly very small. It expands back out over time, but it’s never quite the same.
I’m tired of everything related to motherhood – Which, I was surprised to discover, permeates the entire domestic sphere – being relegated to the Unserious. The Silly. The Frivolous. The Girly.
Because why would anyone want a safe, comfortable home stocked with clean dishes, laundry and surfaces? Why would we want children to have a good foundational education and manners?
Why would we want to eat fresh, nutritious food? Or take time to care for our personal possessions? Or groom ourselves with anything besides a comb? Or wear fashionable footwear? Or any of the innumerable other things people have rolled their eyes at me for taking seriously.
How about a home free of mold? Or a relationship with your children that results in them talking to you voluntarily after they become adults?
Just Girly Things, right?
Then there’s the double-standard at work, with moms being punished while dads get raises.
Most women work, but women still do most of the housework. We’ve all seen the headlines.
Well, housework is Women’s Work, which means it’s worth less.
Raising children is considered less valuable work than stock trading. By a million miles. That lazy bitch needs to get those brats under control, right guys?
The future of the human race doesn’t even compare to the future of your portfolio.
This is the world we live in. And I’m really over it.
In order to be Taken Seriously, Feminism has chosen to distance itself from Traditional Womanhood (TW). “You’re right, boys,” we said, “all that stuff really is Silly.”
In earlier days, this approach had strong strategic advantages. Downplaying any traces of femininity kept the boys who held the purse from being too distracted by it.
Before birth control, femaleness actually was a liability outside of motherly pursuits. Your choices were remain celibate, date other women, or risk pregnancy.
But The Pill has been around for 60 years. It has enabled us to take our place alongside men in the workforce (that they created) powering the economy (that they built.)
Academia, well known as the reserve of the effete and effeminate, is now majority female. In the near future, the doctor or lawyer you see will more likely be a woman than a man.
We have wielded the power won for us by our grandmothers to some good effect. Why does the core experience of humankind and the seat of female power remain outside the sphere of Women’s Liberation?
The irony of fighting for women’s rights while ignoring the thing that makes us female in the first place is exquisitely absurd.
Even if you will never be a mother, you have one. We all have a deep understanding of that foundational experience and how it shapes us as people. Our mothers set the tone for our lives.
This is true of everyone to ever walk the earth.
Not making it a cornerstone of the movement is missing a giant opportunity to shape the future.
My original mission in founding BrazenShe was to give voice to these ideas. Once somewhat nebulous, now chiseled against time and experience into sharp, fine lines.
Motherhood has to be brought into the fold of Feminism. In a big way and as soon as possible.
Read More on how Motherhood Can Be Radical