The exploration of feminism, misogyny, and related ideologies — gender equality, dangers of fundamentalism, social roles, gender discrimination, violence against women, and gender objectification by both women and men.
To spread the awareness of the negative effects caused by forced ultra-militant feminism and misogyny.
Birthing and Staying Home
I reserve the right to birth children while respecting other women’s individual choices to birth or not to birth. I reserve the privilege of staying home with my children, and I reserve the right and privilege to be my children’s primary caretaker while also finishing a graduate degree and following an individual, self-interested goal. Key word: individual. I have worked outside the home, liked working outside the home. I like being a stay-at-home mother and writing in my home office more, but most importantly, being a stay-at-home parent is the most important and difficult responsibility of my life.
Some parents have no choice. Perhaps they are single parents and need to work outside the home full time. I’ve been this parent at one point in time. And I made it work. I did the best I could do. But I could do more for my children and be there for them more consistently as a stay-at-home mother. We took financial sacrifices for this choice, but I believe it was in the best interests of my children. I support other parents who stay home. I support other parents who work full time outside the home. We do the best we can for our children. Parents are not perfect, and we do not need to be perfect in order to raise fantastic kids.
This is a newer epidemic that has both interested me and concerned me. I’ll start by saying, I have a very specific view on this, and I certainly understand it isn’t perfect or for everyone. First, Facebook is part of my job as a writer. It is an effective and free promotional tool. It helps me spread information not only about my work but also works of my contributors and other writers I know, respect and love. This said, Facebook is often an evil, necessary time suck. I would probably avoid social networking altogether if it weren’t a primary tool and vehicle for writers and businesses in general. I would gladly go back to the days of writing in a cabin and sending mss. out to editors and letting their promotional people do the work of social networking, but that is not the case now. Authors are expected, and rightly so, to do their parts in the social networking of stories, articles, poems, etc. and I for one, would feel like a complete shit it I didn’t do my part, especially when editors are gracious enough to take my work and compensate me and promote my work in their publications. I make a few exceptions in the writing and social arena. I enjoy readings and reading to people. I also enjoy salons, gallery type gatherings, workshops and classrooms. If I didn’t feel a professional need to post on Facebook, Twitter, etc., I would probably be a much happier person in general.
What I don’t understand is the parental Facebook epidemic. A post here and there is certainly understandable. We sometimes talk about our families and children, sure. Some writers focus on parental concerns in their craft. They write for Parenting Magazine, etc. and so this makes sense, as a topic of regular posting on Facebook. What doesn’t make sense to me are the daily, and sometimes more, postings — Facebook, Twitter, etc. — of Johnny and Johnny’s activities and how he got this ribbon and that A on his paper. It is as if Facebook has become a place for mothers and fathers to brag on their kids and their parenting skills. Look at me! I’m the best, most dedicated mother in the world. Really. Stop already. Go spend more time with your kids rather than posting about them so much. The other side to this is seeing so many women dedicating their “personal time” to Facebook mommy posting. Women, mothers, sisters, lend me your ears. It is okay and healthy for you to have your own creative spaces. It is good for you to wear different hats than mommy. In fact, find some time each day to simply do that. At least fifteen minutes of you. You as you. Not you as wife and mother on Facebook. You as an individual, a creative and intellectual person. Do you know who you are outside your positions within the family? It is okay for you to have a you that is other than family member. Make sure your daughters see this you. Make sure your daughters know they can have something that is wholly their own, aside from mother, wife, sister, daughter…. too. Our daughters need to see us as individual, creative, intellectual thinkers and practitioners. Whatever that individuality is for you, spend time with it. If you are having trouble finding time in your understandably crazy, hectic mommy days, then your Facebook posting times would be an excellent place to start. If you continue to dedicate every waking moment to you as wife, mother, daughter, sister then it is your choice and privilege but don’t be surprised if your daughters grow to see themselves as nothing more than wives, mothers, daughters, sisters.
Barefoot and Pregnant
I’ve too often seen or heard women spouting feminist ultimatums, such as mothers MUST work. If a woman is happy, barefoot and pregnant and chooses on her own terms to skip around a kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, cookin’ up bacon and grabbin’ her man a beer, then by golly, let her be barefoot and pregnant. Growing and nurturing babies is hard fucking work. I hope she has more to her life, but in the space of barefoot and pregnant, as long as women know they have a choice to wear shoes or not, cook bacon or not, as long as women have built options for themselves, as long as they followed a higher education path, whatever that was past high school — there are many paths — as long as she stays socially engaged outside the home and keeps contacts with support systems who empower her to actively engage with life and see herself as hard-working and vital within the life structures she’s chosen, she is probably doing okay, and it’s nobody else’s business whether she works outside the home or not. I do agree that not working outside the home can put a woman at risk if she is not engaged in some individual pursuit. Not working outside the home requires women to really think about their support systems and how to keep options readily available to them. With that said, one person’s choice does not have to be everyone’s debate.
I draw a line at a few things, one being cults. If you’ve joined a cult, you are in trouble and quite possibly ignorant, unless you are an FBI officer undercover. If you are of the ignorant variety, which doesn’t mean you are stupid but rather ill-informed or haven’t done enough to educate yourself, don’t fret. Your cult leader will probably let you go to a library if you say you want to research the word of the Lord or the history of alien spacecraft landings or some such thing. Go the the library. Read books written by women, who are not of the Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, or romance variety. Don’t join a cult.
How do you feel about the PMS discussion?
Having PMS, expressing PMS and being aware of PMS, unapologetically, isn’t a bad thing. Allowing a discussion of PMS between genders isn’t a bad thing. I really don’t care. Discuss it. Don’t discuss it. Rule of thumb: Guys, if you have no issue with discussing your erectile dysfunction at the office, when you are in a bad mood, then by all means, discuss PMS.
How do you feel about pornography?
There are many gray lines between artistic nudity and pornography. I studied art in college and drew nudes in college and I continue to work with nudes and vintage pornography now in my multimedia. It’s not something that embarrasses me. I’ve seen various levels of pornography throughout my years in critical exploration, in curiosity, by adults who should not have been showing children such things. Pornography is around us and isn’t likely to go away any time soon. I have been truly disgusted on a gut, humanist level, and I have been appreciative. Da Vinci’s Leda and the Swan. Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. Playboy. Not much difference except for media. My issues surround how women, girls, men and boys see themselves in response to nudity and pornography. I also have the same issues with cheerleading, pole dancing and many other at-risk venues for women and men.
Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin?
Neither because neither of them were right for the job at the time. I was, however, very impressed with Clinton’s debates in the 2008 primaries. I am appreciative of her strengths and abilities with policies and diplomacy. I like that she took a stronger role than decorating the white house and being spokeswoman for national literacy as the “First Lady.” I think it’s ridiculous that the media and political strategists came up with a “cookie bake off” for Clinton and Barbara Bush. I like to cook, and I like a good cookie, but I believe women in the white house, regardless of positions, are capable of more than baking cookies.
I have never been impressed with Palin. I find her politically repugnant, scientifically moronic and intellectually concerning.