Am I a feminist ? Still unclear.
I came across this article from Harper’s Bazaar titled “Motherhood is not a woman’s most important job”.
The article is illustrated by the highly publicized Amal Clooney, as it points out that (i) she is pregnant with twins from her movie star husband George Clooney and that (ii) she recently spoke at a UN meeting, asking the present nations to investigate and condemn the genocides committed by ISIS.
The author of this article, Jennifer Wright, then asks the reader to chose which one of these two pieces of information seems most important to him/her (because apparently one must establish a hierarchy).
The author denounces the poor and insipid media coverage Amal Clooney receives, which can be summed up to her little pregnancy belly and the height of her heels considering the fact that she is six months pregnant (and I denounce this with her because, frankly it is not very interesting and it is slightly condescending).
The author then explains that, in our occidental (and more specifically mainly American in this case) socio-cultural context, women are often reduced to their parental dimension (and I therefore invent the term “marental”).
She explains that, although being a parent is a source of joy and that it gives your life a special meaning, it is not the most important job there is, that, technically it isn’t even a job because it is not paid.
That, though the role can be extremely satisfying, “producing” a young person is not necessarily the greates contribution one can make to this world (personally, if I “produced” the savior of this world, I would be relatively, slightly, moderately, perhaps a little happy. Even if it isn’t paid, I’d take the job because at some point you have to look past your own little person, whether you “produce” or not, by the way, because we could talk about Mother Theresa, l’Abbé Pierre or Nelson Mandela, regarding that. Take the saying “save a life and you save the world”, extrapolate a little and you get “change a person and you change the world”, that person can be your child, your boss, your friend, your enemy).
That for men “the most important job” is always about being President or walking on the moon (“so something quite important really”, I quote). And as a conclusion “the most important jobs are the one that comes with the most respect and power. If that job was being a parent, ambitious men would all be jockeying to be the best father in the world”.
WELL, WELL, WELL.
The worst part here is that I honestly think I get where the author is coming from and what point she wants to make. Yet the article does not appear as fully “digested”. It is the level zero of tomorrow’s feminism.
If the parental role is not the most important job in the world, what is that most important role? And more interesting still, why on Earth should we have to consider one role as being above the other?
Giving first place to one role, whichever it may be, over another looks like the best recipe to becoming an incomplete human being. Personally, I am a mother, yes, but I am also a friend, a lover, a sister, a daughter, a lawyer and it’s the balance between these different roles that makes me a wholesome human being. Each role nurtures the others. I probably have more aptitude at being a decent mother because I regularly call on the little girl or the teenager I once was. I am potentially a better lover because I make an honorable friend.
I have friends who don’t have children and who are nonetheless wholesome human beings. I have acquaintances who have children and who are absolutely unbalanced human beings (I classify them as “acquaintances” because I don’t really have any time to lose with incomplete people). And I know brilliant lawyers who have the most awful personalities ever.
I do not believe that the most important jobs come with the highest levels of power and respect. Those are attributes that have nothing to do with the substance of the job itself. Referring to such attributes is terribly “gender-centered”, given that these attributes are the ones typically attributed to men and not women.
I truly think that we (women and men) must grow out of the vicious circle of appropriation of masculine codes, that a part of the female population wishes to assimilate instead of joining a third possible path – a path that is yet to be defined.
The path of the wholesome, balanced human being, woman or man.
March 30, 2017
YSL coat – Vintage leather trousers – Dior heels – Giorgio Armani jumper – Chanel sunglasses – O’Fée earrings