Dharmajam's Blog


Why I Rebel
July 6, 2012, 6:33 am
Filed under: "Personal Growth", Feminism, Mothering / Parenting

What I once thought was feminist conditioning interferring with my SAHM role

and causing a dilemma of gigantic proportion

I now realize as simply a pattern of defense against feeling pain.

 

It remains as conditioning but feminism is not to blame.

Rather, childhood subjugation, cruelty, and shame.

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Request vs. Demand
June 26, 2010, 3:56 am
Filed under: Feminism, Uncategorized

I am torn over my choice of words.  In the last sentence of the note about gender roles, my first choice was “The only thing left to do is to demand it.”  Demand respect vs. request respect.  Something bothered me about demanding respect for a traditional feminine role.  It seemed incongrous with my thesis, that the next step for feminism should be equal value for the mom / wife jobs.  Was this just June Cleaver having the last say?  ‘Be nice, Dharmaja. Just request it.” 

And yet, there is something to that, isn’t there?  If feminine roles are to be valued as much as masculine roles, how could I deviate from that nurturing position for a foray into masculine demands?  Wouldn’t it be hypocritical? 

I think that in the end, a passive request is more effective than a confrontational demand.  Passive resistance seems not to be so very passive after all;  it never loses sight of the goal, yet also never declares war… after all, there are children to raise.

In the best of moments, Zen.  In the worst? Crazy-making.

-Dharm



Gender Roles… again with this? Of course.
June 26, 2010, 3:38 am
Filed under: Feminism

My fear in writing this down is that I will be looked upon as a hopeless idealist, or worse, an illusioned madwoman. Most likely I am only exposing a deep flaw in myself, or my “personal” life. However, there is some part of me that cries out, “this is something that needs exposure in a semi-public, cyber discussion.” So, I obey. It will soon be discovered whether or not it resonates with any of my friends.

In the back of my mind, there lives a shiny happy image of June Cleaver. She’s there, just smiling, happily condescending to her children, lovingly caring for her husband, content, RESTED.

I’m not quite sure, how did she become so firmly implanted there? Because, if she were at the forefront, if I had been raised to believe she was the ideal, if my basic psycho structure was more domestic, less feminist, I wouldn’t be having so much trouble… with the endless laundry, the endless dusting, the endless vacuuming, the endless meals, the endless monotony, the endless endless reminder that everything is always breaking down and turning to dust.

How did June Cleaver wind up at the base of my skull, tut tutting at my disorderly conduct and guilt-tripping my feminist nature? Oh god, a June Cleaver complex. Isn’t interesting that the last name is ‘cleave’? Sunny June the Cleaver and her husband ‘Ward,” as in psychiatric ward?

And the whole image is born of the fifties, that strange era of coaxing all the women back into a life of domestic bliss, back from the more valiant and exciting work of Rosie the Riveter. Of course feminism was needed, to stop that crazy peddling. (Not to mention its earlier work of getting us legal control over our children and money.)

But I have to sympathize with The Man here on the fundamental issue: Someone IS needed in the home, to do the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry… the upkeep of life. It becomes a problem only because it can be so damn isolating, the way the individual family unit is set up. Without other people around, other adults, it all becomes a bore, a chore, rather than pleasant activities uniting a community. Which of course has meaning.

And here I come to my problem with feminism in its current state. Feminism demands respect for women, but not for the role women traditionally play, and which many many women still fulfill today, because as I’ve already said, someone needs to do it and women are the best at seeing what needs to be done and doing it. This leaves so many women outside the shelter of feminism’s demand for respect.

Feminism has tied a woman’s worth to doing jobs outside the home. Perhaps this was an important step in the journey of feminism. The next appropriate step is to acknowledge that having a mother stay at home to do all the needed support and work required to nurture a healthy family is worthy of just as much respect as jobs outside the home. The only thing left to do is to request it.

There. Happy June?

P.S.
My apologies if this is reductionist, or too simplistic, it is, after all just a “note” and not a dissertation.