Sunday, March 05, 2006

Feminism, where are we?

I was reading in the paper the other day, an article on feminism (actually it was a whole segment of the paper, with nothing but articles on that subject). It was divied into views from different women, from the most radical to the most conservative. (The most conservative being a woman who had given up her career to be a stay-at-home mom). The most radical woman thought most women were just uneducated or unaware about the issues. For instance, those who parade around in minis and tight clothing, they're just unaware that you don't have to be a piece of meat, that you don't have to dress to seduce. I have to agree on that. (That you don't have to dress like a piece of meat.) But she also thought that those who chose to stay at home were just not thinking straight either. Noone should have to be dependant on another for their source of income according to her. Those that choose to do so are simply not choosing with enlightened minds.

Well, I hate to break it to you, but I would not change being a stay-at-home mom for anything. Why should I pay anyone else to watch my kids. (Especially since, right now, any job I could get would only just pay for the babysitter and there wouldn't be anything left afterwards anyway.) I happen to think that I am the best person to watch my children. I happen to think that they will be happier, more confident people for having been with me instead of dumped off at a daycare where they would never get the kind of attention they get at home. There is also a little thing in a couple that is called trust. I trust my husband not to suddenly drop me and go off with some other lady leaving me and the children to suddenly fend for oursleves. Even if that were to happen, or if he were to die, I would simply go back to school, and get myself a job in something that would pay enough to support five children. I would manage. I have friends and family who I know would be there to support me if I needed it. Plus he would be obliged to pay child-support anyway. And at the very limit, there is welfare too. Someone has to watch the children. Just because I'm not paid to do it, doesn't make my job less important. In fact, I can't think of any job more important than that of caring for our children.

Speaking of being paid for caring for my own children,... here in Quebec there is a program that pretty much subsidizes child care for all working parents. So if you are a working mom, you get money to spend on child-care from the government. A lot of people think that stay-at-home moms should also get the same amount. If the government is going to pay for daycares to care for children, why won't it pay for moms to care for their own children? It only makes sense. In fact, in paying for daycare for working moms only, the governement is discriminating against those who choose to stay at home. It is sending out the message that choosing to stay at home with one's children has much less value in their eyes than going out to work. This is the society we live in today. To be a successful career person is the only thing of value. Anything else is of little value.

I went to a breast-feeding support group the other day, and there they were signing a petition to ask the government to give the same amount of money to stay-at-home moms. I definitely signed it.