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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

can i be a feminist and a sahm?

63 replies

carriedababi · 03/03/2011 23:50

i think i am a feminist, i care deeply about all women, want to help them and make things better for all of us

i am a sahm to my dd age 3
which i enjoy and am happy about
i am happily married to dh.

OP posts:
madwomanintheattic · 03/03/2011 23:52

i am. (well, on and off. always a feminist, sometimes a sahm.)

Prolesworth · 03/03/2011 23:52

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Message withdrawn

AliceWorld · 04/03/2011 00:12


Grumpla · 04/03/2011 00:26


Why would you think otherwise?

mrshubbard · 04/03/2011 00:40

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sakura · 04/03/2011 01:42

Being obliged to not raise your own children has got nothing to do with feminism.

I am a SAHM. I do think a lot about the economic dependancy part of it, which is obviously a feminist problem and is one reason why some people are misled into thinking a SAHM can't be a feminist.
This confusion comes about because feminism has been hijacked by capitalism and some misguided people believe that feminism is all about making money. Just like it was hijacked by liberalist lefty men in the sixties who helped women fight for abortion rights because they wanted sex on tap. Everyone then thought feminism was all about abortion then, but it wasn't.

It's a very complex debate, but I liked how dittany put it: "It's not women wanting to be with their children that's the problem, it's men dominating women that's the problem"

I think the basic structure of society has to change.

Shells · 04/03/2011 02:37

I am.

Drizzela · 04/03/2011 09:18

Yes of course. Feminism is multi faceted and every feminist isn't going to follow the same pattern of belief.

Personally, one of my big bug bears about inequality for women is how is it presumed we will be the ones to stay at home while men work. This is backed up by the government with their rules on SMP (although about to change) as well as in the workplace and through society in general. because I feel so incredibly passionate about changing that perception I do feel I am doing a better job of fighting it by working rather than staying at home. Once things have changed I may feel like I could stay at home without being part of the problem as really we should be able to amke that choice. But right now I don't feel I could.

But as i say, there are many many different ideas within feminism and as long as the basic belief is there i dont think you have to make every choice in your life for the greater good of equal women's rights to be able to call yourself a feminist.

InmaculadaConcepcion · 04/03/2011 09:18

Me too.

IMO it's important that SAHMs do their bit to campaign/raise awareness (where possible) of the essential work of child-rearing.

The fact that it doesn't have an economic price on it doesn't make it any less fundamental a job in society.

Drizzela · 04/03/2011 09:18

oops don't know what happened with the crazy italics!

carriedababi · 04/03/2011 09:27

yes i suppose that could be my angle as such"raise awareness (where possible) of the essential work of child-rearing. "

i do care deeply about women, and more so since becoming a mother and having my dd

i suppose i'd equally worry if iwas working out of the home and paying a woman to look after dd

thanks for the advice.

OP posts:
SkaterGrrrrl · 04/03/2011 09:34

YES :)

thefinerthingsinlife · 04/03/2011 09:34


Feminism is a set of beliefs and values, whether your a SAHM, a WOHM or not a mum is irrelvant because it doesn't stop you holding your views.

However you will come across alot of people (manly men) who will tell you that you're not a feminist because you are "living off your husband" as society does not value raising children. I speak from experience as I was told by an ex-friend that "i'm happy to let there husband pay for almost everything but yet its all about feminest(sic) rubbish" even though I work p/t and i'm a full time student.

thefinerthingsinlife · 04/03/2011 09:35

mainly even

Hullygully · 04/03/2011 09:36


sahm mum is a label and a construct

FlamingoBingo · 04/03/2011 09:37


dittany · 04/03/2011 11:04

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sethstarkaddersmackerel · 04/03/2011 14:14


minipie · 04/03/2011 14:19


(As long as you don't believe that all mothers should be SAHMs, or that women are better at looking after children than men, or anything like that, obv).

carriedababi · 04/03/2011 17:08

no i don't think all mothers should be sahm at all, i think they should do whatever they thinks best and what makes them happy.

happiness is extremely important

OP posts:
notenoughsocks · 04/03/2011 22:04

Definatley. Yes. Smile

sakura · 05/03/2011 06:06

Can i just add here that SAHM is a patriarchal label and doesn't really have much to do with women at all, but is in fact simply another way of chategorizing women and therefore alienating them from each other.

Although housewife is an absolute blatant insult, so obviously SAHM is preferable.

thumbwitch · 05/03/2011 06:13

I don't see why not since you have made that choice and not had it thrust upon you.

I was very late to having children and decided I wanted to be a SAHM (although while I was in the UK I was also a WAHM because I could) - DH was happy with my choice so that's what I do. When we came over to Australia I told him that I wouldn't be working until I settled in, and possibly not until DS went to school - he was happy with that.

If, OTOH, he had said to me "I don't want you working, your proper place is in the home bringing up my heirs" and I happened to want to work, then it would have become a feminist ishoo - because his wishes would have "outranked" mine.

sakura · 05/03/2011 06:53

I probably wouldn't define it as a choice, just as a woman who is forced under patriarchy to leave her children in order to work for a pittance isn't really making a choice, or even the woman who sees feeding the capitalist machine as a somehow a more valid way to spend a life. I wouldn't say any of us are really making a choice; I would say we're all doing the best we can under the circumstances, and that we've all been manipulated, one way or another. The crux of the manipulation is believing there is actually a difference between a SAHM and a WOHM, as if these are two valid, opposing, separate entities that you can actually choose between.
As I say, the system needs an overhaul. LOng discussion.

thumbwitch · 05/03/2011 07:18

Sakura - if it's not a choice, what is it then? Confused
So long as you have free choice to do what makes you happier, where is the manipulation? Are you suggesting that some fall prey to the idea that mums who work are more valid, and some fall prey to the opposing idea that to stay at home with your child through its formative years is more valid?

But what about people who just want to work outside the home, or people who just want to stay at home and look after the children? Where is the manipulation there? Society pushes alternately in one direction or the other, so in one lifetime you can have a swing for and against staying at home OR working outside the home OR trying to do both.

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