An article crawled its way into my online life this afternoon (also, my browser doesn’t think that ‘online’ is a word. Irony?). It was a rather unpleasant article, with the primary purpose of making the author (and people like her) feel superior, and anyone who’s made different choices in life feel unworthy.
The writer makes the claim that marriage and motherhood are not things to be celebrate, because they’re ‘super-easy’. Anyone can do them, she says, so why should they be celebrated? She bewails the lack of celebrations for promotions, landing dream jobs, backpacking through Asia (ignoring completely that people have parties all the time for such achievements. Apparently if it’s not an institution going back generations it just doesn’t count) She wants to celebrate only the extraordinary, because the ordinary, the average, don’t deserve it.
She turns to denigrating housewives in particular, claiming that what they do is essentially worthless. “Men don’t care to “manage a household.” They aren’t conditioned to think stupid things like that are “important.”” . . . I do wonder who does her cooking and cleaning.
The devaluation of the ordinary in favor of the extraordinary is not right. Extraordinary things should be celebrated, because they are extraordinary. No-one in their right mind thinks that special things should not be celebrated. But apparently some think that ordinary people don’t deserve to celebrate the things that are important and life-changing to them. That’s a bit nasty and a bit rude really. Ordinary people are just as entitled to celebrate the significant things in their lives, and just because some snooty high-flyer believes that what they do has no value, it doesn’t make their big moments any less special.
Beating up on the wife and mother has one major drawback – we need them. We need women having babies to continue existing. I have no idea how she thinks that would happen in her perfect world of high-achievers. Stork theory revisited? Moving on.
Feminism is not pouring derision on other women for their life choices. When someone writes an article like that, it sets feminism back a step. It makes the ideals of equality and tolerance look frayed at the edges. Women beating other women down is cruel, and it’s counterproductive. Not everyone is going to be a CEO, or a chairman, or the head of marketing at Apple. It’s impossible. There have to be average people in order for there to be anyone above average. And putting down all the people that support a high-flyer is not nice. Horrible even.