I wonder who those people might be (men) and why
I saw that headline that you referred to, and was immediately incensed by its implications that she should not have tried to be a woman and everything else. Thank you for this insightful and intelligent article. I agree it is about time we gave everyone space to be who they are, regardless of what’s beneath their bluejeans.
"Women are punished for having families." True and important, but here's the kicker: Women are punished for NOT having families too! As a long term single and childless by choice woman, I can attest to the social stigma and negative effects on likeablity we face for opting off the mommy train. I love many mom friends and relatives and their kids, and most women support each other's choices, but social death for singletons past 40 is a real probability. Is it because we're bitter and unfulfilled? No! I'm perfectly happy, but we have to be *seen* as bitter and unfulfilled in order to keep young women in their places as baby makers and housekeepers, desperate to avoid our fate. Some societies control women externally through laws or strict customs, but we manage it with shame. Celebrating and supporting motherhood shouldn't have to come at the price of denigrating other choices, but we don't yet seem capable of allowing women that much freedom.
I think the better question is not having it all but really what is a family now, and is it even useful anymore? The concept has been eroded and chipped away at for decades through various movements. Isn’t the end point of progressivism ultimate personal freedom, antithetical to what a family really is and what it takes to form one, grow one, and keep one. Global falling birth rates illustrate exactly what society thinks of the family and maybe that’s our human legacy, slowly ensuring our own extinction through the logical endpoint of Liberalism as it’s practiced today. Are we happier? More fulfilled? Doesn’t appear so. We are shortchanging both sexes.
My mother use to tell me, you can have it all, just not all at once. Appears she was entirely correct. I have had it all - delivered in carefully curated chunks of female human experience. Education, career, husband, kids, adventure, travel and growth. Each with its own sacrifices and shortcomings.
The author is correct we aren’t asking the right questions and the ones we need to ask are far deeper and philosophical than our current mindset can allow.
I have spoke for a long time about reframing the abortion narrative to properly land one the shoulders of impregnating men. Instead of “unwanted pregnancy”, I use “unwantedly pregnant”. Women can still want/have sex, but the operative responsibility rests with men for irresponsibly ejaculating into a woman who has not expressly, clearly voiced that she wants to become pregnant by this sex act. This flip of the responsibility script rocks a lot of people’s cultural worldview. Yet it would be most helpful to employ to level out the abortion debate.
Fantastic article! That phrase has always bugged me and this is such a brilliant take.
“Because she had POWER”. 👏👏👏
Having it “all” in a man’s world merely equates to enslaving yourself further to prove you can do what men do in a global system they created and fiercely try to maintain. It was a necessary entry point at the time in the equality tug of war that is surely not over and perhaps hitting its turning point.
This is fucking GREAT.