Saturday, March 10

feminist word vomit.

I fear this post may be misinterpreted. I'm not aiming to offend or alienate anyone, I just have some thoughts.

I read a blog earlier today that got me thinking. It was written by a young, pregnant wife who works full time and goes to school; on top of this schedule, she's been incredibly sick. In the post she writes about how guilty she feels because she doesn't cook 2+ meals a day for her husband.

Hold up.

Despite the fact she has a completely full and overwhelming schedule plus constant nausea, she feels guilty for not cooking? Seriously? I find this ridiculous.

I rarely cook because 1) I'm too picky to be any good, 2) I have no time and 3) I don't find cooking particularly fulfilling. And I feel very little guilt over this because, guess what? Conlin never cooks. So in my book, we're even. We're both really busy and I see nothing inherently feminine about cooking, so WHY would this automatically fall on my shoulders?

I have nothing against wives who cook. In fact, I applaud them in most cases. What I resent is the unquestioned expectation society has placed on wives and "woman's work." If girls want to cook because it makes them happy, then fantastic. If they only cook to satisfy the bigoted expectations of their husbands, I have a problem.

It really bothers me that husbands and wives fall automatically into prescribed roles, without stopping to analyze if the roles actually suit their talents, desires, temperaments, etc.

I got lucky with Conlin. Never once has he gotten after me for not living up to the perfect, mormon wife persona to which many adhere. But outside of my family, I've had some bothersome interactions.

Since getting married, I've noticed one focal change (regarding feminism. There were, obviously, other changes). When I'd meet people for the first time, previous to my marriage, they'd ask me what I was doing in school, what I wanted to do with my life, etc. Now, when people meet Conlin and me, they ask Conlin what he's doing, and all too often forget to ask me anything at all. Conlin's ambitious and talented so it's great people ask him about his goals, but it's insulting that they assume I'm dream-less. Does the fact I have ovaries disqualify me from a career? Should I feel guilty for wanting to do more than cook and clean countertops?

My being female does not give you the right to limit me.

If I decide to be a stay-at-home mom at some point in my life, it will be because I CHOOSE to do so and it is the best thing for me and my family, NOT BECAUSE IT IS MY OVARY-DRIVEN JOB. (the caps-lock is to give that last phrase an, "I'm at the pulpit banging my fist, and pumping up the crowd thing", not an "I'm yelling at you in particular thing").

I really, truly see nothing wrong with women who cook, or choose child-rearing over working (my mom did and I'll be forever grateful for it). I see something wrong with women doing so because society tells them they must.


  1. I can't think of anything eloquent to say, so just know that I think you are the bee's knees. God bless you.