People always asked me how I, a married woman; someone who wants kids, call myself a feminist. Hence I will attempt to address that more than anything else. Bear with me if I do not get everything right. I can only tell you what I have experienced in my life and what I have learnt. I definitely am not telling you what to do, but to think about these things.
When I turned 40, I felt wise, but the next second I understood there is still so much to learn, experience and understand about people and this world. I believe that keeps this world most beautiful, don’t you think? So, one of the main experiences that many women come across in their life is motherhood. It is nothing divine or out of the world, it is a choice made by most women and is part of keeping human civilization alive. Motherhood as a married woman or unmarried woman, single or with a partner is the same. It is finally motherhood. It is a concept that we see in nature, where females nurture their young till they fly away to face the world. We see that in animals and in humans.
So you can be a feminist no matter if you are a mother or not. In this article we will discuss feminism and motherhood which is quite a specific topic but here we go.
My grandmothers were strong feminists and so is my mother. I had asked my mother once, why do we need to be feminists, Amma, we should be humanists isn’t? And she told me about feminism and where it came from and why it is still required. Look around you, are women treated equally in their own homes, or in society, in jobs etc? Till this world exists as a patriarchal male dominated society, we need feminism as a movement. It is not against men or marriages or motherhood, it is just a movement to make people aware that women should be treated equally.
As mothers, what would you want your son or daughter to aspire for? I presume a world which is equal for men and women? That is what we all aspire for. And it all starts at home. Make sure you negotiate the roles and responsibilities if you have a partner. Share responsibilities of parenting with your partner. If you do not have a partner, then share with a friend or someone who is family. Teach your sons and daughters about respecting women and men, about rape culture and the misogyny that society has. Awareness of all these aspects makes them better adults who are less likely to be abusive and also to be kind and respectful to people irrespective of their gender.
As mothers do you want your sons and daughters to see you as an independent strong woman who can participate in decision making or as someone who slogs and lives like a slave in the family? I presume you want to be a positive influence in your child’s upbringing as a strong independent woman who is caring and motherly and at the same time enjoys life as much as she can.
As mothers do you want your sons to treat the women in their lives as equals? Would you want your daughter to have a world full of equal possibilities or just be a second class citizen all their lives?
As I said in the beginning, I do not want to tell people what to do, because liberty is a beautiful thing. It lets us choose to do the almost right thing with the information that is out there. So, think and make informed choices my dear mothers and aspiring mothers. You have a lot of power to raise the best citizens of this world. Keep marching forward with your heads held high.
About The Author: Vinaya Raghavan is an IT project manager by profession, but is interested in pursuing journalism as a part time career. She likes to think, read and write about things she is passionate about and has made short films and documentaries.