...It reminds me of just how blessed I am. The truth is that I very nearly missed out on becoming a mother - thanks to being brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman. You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale.
...Although I believe that an abortion was the right decision for me then, the aftermath haunted me for decades. It ate away at my self-confidence and, until I had Tenzin, I was terrified that I'd never be able to have a baby because of what I had done to the child I had destroyed. For feminists to say that abortion carries no consequences is simply wrong.
...I know many women are shocked by my views. They expect the daughter of Alice Walker to deliver a very different message. Yes, feminism has undoubtedly given women opportunities. It's helped open the doors for us at schools, universities and in the workplace. But what about the problems it's caused for my contemporaries?
...Then I meet women in their 40s who are devastated because they spent two decades working on a PhD or becoming a partner in a law firm, and they missed out on having a family. Thanks to the feminist movement, they discounted their biological clocks. They've missed the opportunity and they're bereft.
...Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.
...But far from taking responsibility for any of this, the leaders of the women's movement close ranks against anyone who dares to question them - as I have learned to my cost. I don't want to hurt my mother, but I cannot stay silent. I believe feminism is an experiment, and all experiments need to be assessed on their results. Then, when you see huge mistakes have been paid, you need to make alterations.I would not call myself a feminist, by any means, though I am also not anti-feminist. I do believe that some good things came out of the feminist movement, especially in terms of educational and work opportunities for women. I do not plan to be a stay-at-home-mom all of my life, though I do believe that my role as homemaker for my family and mother to my children is the most important job I have.
I love teaching and writing and being involved in ministry, but those are all things that I can do again once my children are grown. I sometimes think I gave them up too early and that every child I have puts me farther from my career goals. Then I realize that these unique, beautiful, compassionate, smart little men have been given to me as a gift, to nurture and raise and turn into men, with the constant help of their father.
I may be stepping on some toes here, and Rebecca Walker certainly did, but I am so thankful that she had the courage to write that article. She points to what, to me, are some of the biggest failures of the feminist movement. While all of the progress that has been made for women does not need to be thrown out, I think an honest look at the ways in which the women's movement has failed women is needed. I hope that people will read her article and that some debate can flow from it. I hope that those who really care about the rights of women will realize that taking away or degrading the most unique of a woman's roles does her no good, only harm.
Please read the article and tell me what you think. I am interested to hear opinions from all sides.