My own mother (and father) raised me to be a freethinking feminist as well. All young girls are being told they can be whatever they want... but then are still handed Barbies and baby dolls. (I was too, but I never played with Barbies.)
I'm still being told by my family and by example of other young women around me that I should be married and have kids by now. That's not only considered normal, it's also considered one of the only ways a woman can truly be happy, that it's her sole purpose in life. Even the conservative political enviornment that limits women's choices wants women to be baby making machines.
I agree that men should be allowed pregnancy leave. But how many men will take it? When you're already down one steady paycheck, how many fathers will also leave work to care for a baby and a mom? It should be equal, sure, I agree 100%, men and women should share the duties of child rearing between them. But how many men take a day off to take a kid to the doctor? Pick him up early from school? It happens, I know, I've seen it, but it's still considered Mom's job.
That's assuming that the dad is even in the picture. For the well off women who work for big companies who have the luxury of taking kids to daycare, great for them. For them, feminism did it's job.
It's the women who aren't quite as lucky, working for minimum wage that don't have these opportunities. Her company doesn't value her. Her health insurance doesn't cover birth control. Planned Parenthood gives it away for free, but it isn't 100% guaranteed. Abortion isn't always an option, with all the limitations that have been put on it and personal moral objections. Adoption for non-white kids isn't all that hot, either. Don't get me started on the foster care system. Not to mention a whole mess of hormones is in the female body after giving birth that make a woman want to bond with and keep the kid.
So this woman gets pregnant while on birth control. Hormones in her system cause her and her boyfriend to fight constantly and he leaves. He has that option. Being an asshole isn't against the law. Her crummy job doesn't want to have to pay for her pregnancy leave while she's not working, so they find a reason to fire her. She has no health insurance, no steady income, no help, all this while a baby is on the way. All her medical issues aside, soon there's going to be another person in her life that she can't afford to feed and can't afford to spend any time with.
THESE are the women feminists are fighting for.
The rest of your email got cut off, Maude.
----- Original Message ----
From: Maude <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2007 2:22:11 AM
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Science and Theories
I think way back when, in the 50s and 60s, it was odd for women to pursue a profession. I was born in 1960 and my mother had already gone to grad school, completed her masters, and pursued a profession. My father was a lawyer. Both encouraged me to do the same. I did. But I have many friends my age who were brought up differently who unfortunately now, encourage their daughters to learn how to wiggle their butt and keep themselves thin in order to catch a good paycheck in the form of a man who will marry them. But I think that these days those sorts of moms are fewer and farther between.
Sometimes I think we need regulation (although I generally abhor more government intrusion) on offering men similar "pregnancy leave" opportunities and such. However, I think the companies that are notable to work for have already solved this problem. They give either parent ample time off, they do not refrain from hiring women because they might become pregnant but instead, encourage women to bring their children to work with them, etc. A friend of mine, who works for a very large PR firm in Manhattan, was featured as one of three women with children on a 20/20 segment several months ago. She brings her two youngest to the office with her, the company provides playrooms and daycare free of charge, etc.
It is this kind of effort that will equal the field so sometimes I think government intervention would be a really bad thing. The company that values my friend's expertise has found ways to ensure that her and other similarly talented women stay with the company with no government intervention needed. And the companies that don't do this? Well, they
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