“Feminism has fizzled,” or so says this week's issue of New York Magazine. Wow, okay then-- tell me more, eh?
The cover features a photo of a hip modern mom with a retro-chic frilly apron, an old-school feather duster, and the headline, “The Feminist Housewife.” The author, Lisa Miller, pushes the two labels against each other in head-to-head combat and attempts to uncover why choosing to become a stay-at-home mom can be a brave act of feminism. The tagline for the piece is, “Feminists who say they’re having it all—by choosing to stay home.”
In theory, this decision can be a radical act of feminism, but the article brings up a TON of issues. 50 years after The Feminine Mystique, we still seem to be discussing women's roles at home and in the workplace.
The article begins by telling the story of Kelly Makino, who decided to become a stay at home mom (SAHM). She is a well-educated, self-described “flaming liberal” and feminist with a M.S.W and a fella with a six-figure salary. Now I believe that being a good feminist is fighting for the right to make our own choices, so I don’t have a problem with Kelly’s decision to quit her job and become a SAHM. I do, however, have a problem with feminism's continued fixation on the stories of upper-middle-class women, essentially ignoring women-of-color and not acknowledging alternative families.
The article is a long read that jumps from the stories of Upper West Side mommy bloggers to academic studies examining gender roles/expectations and wage gaps. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg are both mentioned. Oye.
Check out The Retro Wife. Just make sure you give yourself some time to process…
Images via: nymag.com