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the ultimate feminist arguement

February 8, 2011

When I was in high school I considered myself a feminist ( I still do, although maybe not as hardcore). I went to NOW marches, volunteered for local women’s rights groups, I recall a women’s rights club?? Anyway, I went to college and studied to be a biologist and eventually a geneticist b/c I was going to work and earn my own money and never depend on anyone (man or woman). I got married and kept my name (although that has changed, but I blame that on my daughter and being lazy). So yes, I still consider myself a feminist. And I am a mother who works full-time while my husband stays home. Now really, am I not wearing the pants here?

Then I came across this article in the Huffington post which said that women used to find breastfeeding oppressive. Because women should be in the work force, not staying at home tending to their babies. So women didn’t even try to breastfeed. Feminists just didn’t. And I think that has continued today. Women/feminists want to work and not depend on men and prove they are just as good and better than their male counterparts and babies get in the way of that. But isn’t being a mom actually a complete justification of that? Because if I can have a baby, nurture that baby AND work full-time – NO man can do that. Hello! Ultimate woman right here.

What is so wonderful about being this super mom is the new-found respect and recognition we’re getting from the government with the FLSA. All women now have the right to pump at work and not fear losing time or money or their jobs. And not being forced to do it in some bathroom or closet like it’s a dirty thing meant to be hidden away ( how often has some situation like this come up in history regarding human rights?).  I think the breastfeeding/pumping movement is a huge part of our present feminist movement. I thought that pumping at work and breastfeeding was part of declaring myself a woman – I can provide food for my baby that no man-made formula can and look! I can do it while I sit at my desk at work! Again, ultimate woman right here.

What surprises and saddens me so much about this new support for working moms is that we’re getting it from the male-dominated government but often women who work ARE considered bad mommies – by other moms (I’ve heard this, personally, more than once)! Which is the worst kind of oppression for us. Moms should support each other, not judge. Because how hard do you think it is for that working mother to leave her baby everyday b/c she has to earn money for that family to survive? Not everyone has the luxury of staying home. And not everyone wants to stay home. But a mom shouldn’t be punished or looked down upon for her career goals. Everything surrounding birth and being a mom should be considered a women’s rights issue and if other women are working against that by not supporting those moms – I’d go so far to call that a crime against all women.


Dr. Drago, the author of the Huffington post article, wrote a great research article about the effects the new FLSA act will have. Read it here:


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