Feminism, Staying at Home, and BSG

There's been a gargantuan thread over at the scifi channel boards about the role of women on BSG (and I'll get into that another time).  Mrs. Ron (for those out of the loop, that's BSG creator Ron Moore's wife) posted, in Ron's defense, that the BSG women were still strong, even those that have had children, remarking that Athena, and Callie are "back on the job."  The comment really irked me.  It's a sore subject with me and something I come across more often than I'd like– a lot of women infer that if a woman chooses to stay home, she is some how less strong, less valued, less of a feminist.  (Unfortunately feminism a much maligned term these days, but I don't have a problem with the word.)

Anyway, I don't understand this line of thinking.  Those of us who are at home are often portrayed as a bunch of harried, unkempt, mistreated frumps, chained to our sniveling brats and our never ending housework, married to an over bearing ogre-like caveman who bellows about ring around the collar or about his dinner not being ready on time.  I'm sure there are some unfortunate souls who are in fact married to men like that, but some of us have simply made the choice to stay home, because we love it.  

Now, back in high school, the idea of being a housewife (another term with a lot of negative connotations) was anathema to me.  I didn't want to get married.  I didn't want to have kids.  I pictured myself becoming a high-powered career woman, jet-setting around the world will a well-worn (but fashionable) briefcase.  Then, I met DH freshman year of college and it changed the course of my life– for the better.  Over time, the idea of hearth and home didn't seem so bad to me after all.  And here I am now, still married to my college sweetheart, and I *love* being the keeper of my home.  Early on in our marriage (Before Kids) I worked for many years as a psychotherapist.  I loved it; it was challenging and fulfilling work.  But when we decided to have children, I wanted to take a few years off.  I didn't want to miss one minute of those precious early years.  As time went on (and Peep #2 came along), I began to realize I enjoyed learning to cook (DH had previously done the cooking), I discovered a new passion (gardening), and loved being home with my kids.  (The cleaning… well, still not liking that so much…)

So here I am.  People occasionally ask me if I'll go back to work some day.  Maybe–   I'm keeping that option open.  But for now, I'm perfectly happy and satisfied with my life.  Don't get me wrong, it's not always easy… in many ways working with the mentally ill was less of a challenge.  Now instead of one job, I have many:  accountant, housekeeper/laundress, cook, chauffeur, life coach, teacher, landscaper (hey, I MOW!!), and Chief Resident Boo-Boo Fixer… to name a few.  But I cherish it, and wouldn't trade it for the world. Isn't that what was so great about the feminist movement?  That it gave women the freedom to CHOSE for themselves what they wanted– to work out of the home or in?

To be fair, there is judgment going on on both sides of the issue.  Stay at home moms often accuse working moms of being neglectful of their children, which is ridiculous.  But my point is, I don't think I should be made to feel like I somehow have "let down" the feminist movement because I have decided to be a "Home Maker" (okay, even *I* dislike *that* term).

Anyway, I still love you Mrs. Ron!  You are eternally cool for mingling in a VR sort of way with the BSG rabble.

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3 thoughts on “Feminism, Staying at Home, and BSG

  1. [this is good] I’m of the view that working moms often push themselves too hard, which can lead to little time for themselves or their kids if they aren’t excellent organizers of their time & energy.  I certainly don’t believe that all (or even most) working moms are neglectful of their children, just that working makes it easier to overschedule themselves & their kids.  One of the saddest things I’ve seen (amongst friends & acquaintances, but also within my own family) are children who are booked into too many out-of-school lessons for them to have time to wind down & enjoy the creative play in childhood that is so important — and often those children are materially spoiled (having TVs & DVD players in their own room, and owning their own computer, iPod & PlayStation long before they’re 10, etc) because the well-meaning parents want to make their child happy, not realizing that if they cut back on work hours to provide for necessities & just a bit more, they’d have more of what their child actually needs, which is their time & attention.But I agree with you in the main point that every mother is a working mother!  I’ve been a stay-at-home mom (currently am), I’ve worked part-time, and I’ve worked full-time while raising kids.  Feminism isn’t whether you’re a mom with an outside job; it’s how you live & raise your kids to value women as highly as men.  (And I’ve never been a “home maker” — I prefer the term “domestic goddess!”  *grin*)

  2. ITA about the overscheduling (and overcompensating).  The scheduling thing is out of control… some of my kids friends do not know how to  have down time; they need constant entertaining (drives me nuts!)Working Moms have it tough– there’s no doubt.  But you really can’t do everything… too many women have bought into the Super-Mom idea.  Something’s going to suffer when you stretch yourself too thin.LOL– Domestic Goddess is definitely my preferred term!!

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