I consider myself to be a very tolerant and accepting person. Although I may not agree with another person's beliefs I can respect their right to their own opinion and, in some cases, listening to their point of view helps me to define my own. It was in this spirit that I began looking into some books recommended to me on Feminism and Feminist theory.
According to the dictionary (yes, I looked it up) "feminism" is defined as "the doctrine advocating social, political and all other rights of women equal to those of men". A feminist is defined as a person who subscribes to the ideals of feminism. Working with that definition, I consider myself to be a feminist.
That being said, I am beyond shocked at some of the so-called "feminist" ideology being published right now. I was in Barnes and Noble today browsing the women's studies section for the above mentioned recommended readings and I saw an entire shelf dedicated to books about "the trap of motherhood".
Upon seeing these titles I thought to myself, "how can motherhood be anti-feminist"? So, I pulled a few of them and scanned the introductions. What I saw shocked and angered me.
These books were saying that being a mother was detrimental to women as children become a "life long burden" and that women are "trapped" into a role of caregiver for the rest of their life. One book went on to discuss how a woman who has children will never be as successful as a woman who chooses not to and that by being a mother she is holding herself back.
To this I say: are you freaking kidding me?
I am not a mother but it is one of my strongest desires. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a mom and been fascinated by the fact that women have the power to grow a human life within their bodies. I understand that motherhood requires a great deal of sacrifice, time and energy but isn't that true of anything worth having? I didn't read enough of these books to see any statistics or facts to back up the theory of non-mothers being any more successful than mothers but I would imagine that this theory is heavily dependant on a person's idea of what it means to be successful.
Maybe my own views are keeping me from being able to see these ideas objectively, but it breaks my heart that there are women who are rejecting something so truly amazing for political reasons. It's not like this was one book out of thousands... this was an entire shelf of books with similar ideas.