Monday, September 19, 2005

Tradition, Part Two

Feminist stay at home moms... it's possible, right? I think so. But what about this reaction: women in entrenched patriarchal structures really don't have that many choices. Just because one can see agency in a woman who chooses to move within and influence her surroundings, culture, institutional structure, etc. doesn't actually mean that she has any real choice in the matter. Society is still keeping her down.

I don't know. I guess there is a danger of making every woman a feminist (even those who reject that label) if application of the term is placed on every woman who chooses to be strong and influential within their life structures. Perhaps I'm forcing the concept of feminism because I want all of my Christian sisters to identify with the broader cause of women in the world. All women just aren't feminists, I suppose. Still, I think it's important to look for human agency in all people, because we all have elements of control within our circumstances, we all make decisions within our strictures.

3 comments:

zarasthrsa said...
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zarasthrsa said...

Hey there,

Now that is some good material. I agree with your assesment that women in partriachal structures have limited choices. You are dead on in this point: there is a very big difference between the agency of women and the agency of a female feminist. There are many instances of women exercising agency and in the process reify patriarchal heirarchies. But does that make those women's choices any less real or important? of course not. Scholars, and the general public (de-sensitized as they are ) need to be more sensitive to those sort of gradations.
THe quesiton in evaluating their actions is this (in my opinion): what is the intent and priorities of the women in question? Are they working to solidfy their controlover the home and private sphere? Are they working to abolish spheres on activity altogether? I guess we need a operational defintion of feminism also... because we know even they are split. Is the point of feminism to abolish gendered differences? Not all women want that.

Good job. Hope everything is well in your neck of the woods.

respectfully yours,

Gregory Peek

LK said...

An operational definition of feminism... Ah, sometimes I think it would be easier if we had one definition, but that would suffocate the cause of feminism, and I don't want that. We all see the world in the way we would like, and sometimes that's not all bad. Although I am somewhat of an anti-essentialist, I think that gendered difference is a good thing and should be honored and utilized when appropriate. Thanks for the comment, Greg, take care!