On not knowing what to think

I cruise the feminist blogs and the mummy blogs as a sort of tabula rasa, propelled by a strange new intuition that there is something about being a woman which just isn’t fair, and that now that I have children, this not-fair applies specifically to me, but utterly uncertain what to make of it all. I see that you can have the same discussions over and over again (about inequality in the workplace, about the division of labour in families, about the economics of reproducing, about mother-blaming for all social ills) and that they are always important but always a work in progress. But mainly I am amazed by the certainty of all these women about what they think. I don’t know if it’s because having babies has cognitively impaired me for life, but I have trouble being so certain, and difficulty deciding (and articulating) what I think. I am trying to build my ideas from nothing, and it requires gargantuan effort- like trying to decide who to vote for based on merit, rather than some vague inherited prejudices.

I am not sure if I’m up to it, intellectually. I don’t even know what’s true. Do I really do almost all the housework, or is this just a narrative to justify my constant resentment that there is just so fucking much of it to do? Am I really being constantly judged for my mothering, or am I just projecting my own insecurities about whether I’m doing it right? Have I ended up in the tenuous and not very lucrative field of teaching because I am a woman and so never thought I could be an astronaut, or do I like it? Am I trying to be fair when I ask myself these questions, or just being an apologist for the patriarchy?

And so on. There is something to be said for the comfort of platitudes and easy opinions, held because I belong to a group of people who also hold them. I know it’s lazy but it’s so convenient.

2 Comments

Filed under blogging, family, feminism, gender, motherhood, society

2 responses to “On not knowing what to think

  1. Meg

    Intellectually, you are up for it! You have baby twins, write in paragraphs and are able to avoid using emoticons. I salute you.
    As for being certain about things, I’m with Talleyrand all the way “never too much zeal”.

  2. I agree absolutely with Meg. I too salute you, and maybe apologise just in case lack of certainty, teaching and views about housework are genetic. Having opinions without questioning them is definitely easier – but the option isn’t really available to someone with your mind (and probably your father!) Your mothering is perfect; your kidlets are lucky; your intellect is as big as a suburb and NOT shrinking, just acquiring new raw material.

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