29 Dec Twisting motherhood
It would seem that there’s a bit of a battle between radical feminist Twisty Faster and, oh, all mothers everywhere. Or at least that’s what it’s been pitched from the coupla posts that I’ve skimmed over the weekend. A quick preface: I’m one of the women for which there is no non-derogatory or non-demeaning or non-condescending word for the fact that I’m child-free, and generally plan on staying that way. I’m often frustrated that mommy-blogging is pointed to as the Grand Phenomenon of Women Online, and I resent that my non-motherhood status is questioned regularly. I appreciate greatly what Twisty has to say here towards the end of the post:
So, even as mothers need the support of the … whaddya call us? Non-mothers? … we need the support of the mothers, goddammit!
That's right! We want the mothers to step up.
She goes on to talk about the how and the why, the shorter version being that motherhood as it stands right now is a tool for the patriarchy. This is what the feminist mothers are having a hard time swallowing. Hmmm. Why I find the level of outrage problematic: I don’t agree with Twisty’s take on het sex or makeup, and I sure as hell still giggle mightily when she derides my — yes, my! — four-inch heels. Not that my four-inch heels are babies, or my choice to by them as Large, Looming and Very Important as the decision to breed, but come on… do you really have to take down a whole person because she kicks you in the DNA?
So, Twisty says that becoming and being a nuclear-family mother supports the patriarchy. Twisty thinks a lot of things that many mainstream-y leaning feminists like also support the patriarchy (see aforementioned heels). She talks about them in almost every single post. But all of the sudden it’s not okay because she’s talking about your own personal uterus? You gotta read it within context, people– the context of Twisty’s brand of radical feminism.
The job of the bleeding edge of various movements — political, cultural/artistic, etc.. — is to continually push the envelope of the boundaries of the conversation. By pushing farther out than what’s been tread before, we create the space for conversation to happen. Out of conversation comes (hopefully) enlightenment and understanding, and following that, progress and/or revolution.
Radical feminism is no different, and calling what serves as the current Western role for mothers, or my four-inch heels, tools for patriarchy really isn’t that radical. It’s examination and self-criticism that maybe doesn’t happen too much because we’re busy attacking misogynists that live outside feminism-country (necessary, valid, worthwhile, just to be clear). But when someone on your side points something that could be problematic out, and you go buckwild? I don’t know, it reminds me of when we point out sexist behavior by Good Lib’rul Guys and get bombed out for it.
Pot, kettle. Meet. Talk amongst y’selves.