random rants

a couple of items that caught my eye during my daily headline perusal:

3 recent "domestic" fatalities in iowa seen as a coincidence.
except they're no coincidence. they are all products of the same system that devalues women's lives and glorifies violence and abuse as acceptable solutions to conflict. that system goes by many names, but his friends call him patriarchy.

to spawn or not to spawn
i feel a lot of the same frustrations Lucy does. like her, there are some children i dearly love (my perfect niece being one of them!), and find babies endearing (when they aren't smelly, loud or messy.) but i have ZERO interest in creating one of my own. zilch. nada. zip. not only do i not feel any sort of biological imperative personally, i'm radical enough in my beliefs about our exploding global population, i usually have to bite my tongue when i hear about people having babies for the purposes of "carrying on the family name" (are you kidding? it's a NAME. adopt a child and give them your name! but that's a whole other discussion re: the importance of men's names...) or "to feel complete" (isn't that pretty much the definition of co-dependency? needing another being to complete you?).

anyway- the pressure to have babies is omnipresent for women my age. while i do believe women who choose to bear children should not be treated unequally, paid less, or be automatically assumed to be the primary caregivers (unless they chose to have a baby without a partner; and, stay-at-home mom should be a paid position with benefits), i also believe that women who choose not to have children should receive equitable treatment. in other words- the decision whether or not to have babies should be no more defining than the decision to have extra foam on her latte. fertility should not be a moral issue.

see also: choosing not to bear children for ecological reasons; and, if men had babies.

and finally today, Jessica Valenti takes on feminist elitism in a really interesting blog post. she says (and i agree):
Everybody – whether or not they take Women’s Studies, have read Judith Butler or
heard of Foucault – deserves to have feminism in their lives.

I am proudly someone who tries to convince women that feminism will make their
lives better – not only because it’s the truth, but because then those same
women go on to change their families, communities and even country.

i should say, i bet the author Jessica is refuting (Nina Power) would have some really interesting things to say as well. but it struck me as i read Jessica's post- what if more women (like, significantly more...like, ALL women) realized all the positive impacts feminism could have, and has had, on their lives? what if all women really did believe that women (individually and as a class) are people too? the world as we know it would look radically different if more than half its population actually did think that women were 'created equal'.

yep, i read things like that and i start doing the math in my head (no small feat, as i am of course, a woman, and those numbers- they just fly right out of my head!). how many more years have i likely got on this planet? how much progress can we make in that time? could i actually live to see the day?

here's hoping!

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