I am between projects at work.
I work high up in a building, in an office that faces the water. It’s the Boston Harbor, just as it leads into the ocean.
There are boats, and there are airplanes (lots) and sometimes there are little white caps, letting me know it’s a windy day outside.
Today, there were also snow flurries.
It was really pretty, and led to a lot of pondering on my part.
At home and at work, I’ve been seeing a large rise in men who are taking on more and more of the household responsibilities. And, necessarily, less of the income-providing responsibilities.
A lot of them say that they’ve “decided to write.” Or perhaps they’re “working on some projects.” Or “pursuing their art.” Or “getting a business off the ground.”
And I feel sad for them.
Why can’t they just say, “I’m tending to my family and to my home” ??? Well, partly because they will be chastized … chastized for being lazy, for being mooches … I don’t think it’s fair.
Feminism, to me, means that women are not required to do certain things just because their anatomy includes a vagina:
- I don’t *have* to cook every night.
- I don’t know how to knit, and that’s okay.
- Even though it’s fun sometimes to wear a skirt – it’s okay to wear pants, too. To work, even.
- I can say, “sometimes, I fart.”
- I can go to law school.
- I can work in a law firm.
But is it just me? Is it just the possessors of vaginas who benefit?
I don’t think it should be.
If I’m going to do these things that boys used to do – exclusively – shouldn’t they also be allowed to do the things I used to do – exclusively?
- Go grocery shopping
- manage the family’s healthcare appointments
- discovery new and exciting recipes (post forthcoming – Beloved ROCKS!)
- be home to greet the children when school lets out
- manage carpools
- attend soccer games
- get the kids off to school, because their spouse left the house at 6 a.m. (groan)
Because to me – feminism is not about (as some may think) hating men or being men. It’s not about women taking over the world, or about women passing off their responsibilities to strangers.
To me, and I think to my husband, feminism is about men and women being able to do what comes naturally to them, and partnering with someone who has a complementary nature, and working together to be sure that all the bases are covered. Regardless of their anatomy.
I don’t want my daughters feeling that because they are girls, they have to be mothers or teachers or nurses. I want the world at their feet.
I don’t want them to grow up to think that if a house is going to run well, it MUST be a woman directing the process.
I want them to know that expecting a man to help with household and childcare (if they choose to have children) duties is reasonable.
I am not sure feminism is all about the women. I think it’s also about the men.
Or at least it should be.
It is about whether or not we have to stick to certain pre-defined duties, and pre-defined roles.
And I think we should all have the freedom to discover where we are most comfortable – without judgment.
Unfortunately, I think the ONLY people who currently do not have to deal with judgment are the men who choose to work.
- Women who choose to work
- Women who choose not to work
- Men who choose not to work
—- we all suffer.
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