Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just Like Daddy

There have been many benefits to my working a few hours each week. The fact that I'm not committed to an asylum yet being high among them. But, aside from that, I think my favorite has to be that it gives Ryan time to be a stay-at-home-dad. This does, of course, depend on his school schedule, but for three out of four semesters so far it's worked out. I feel that it's definitely had a positive impact on his relationship with Gareth. Gareth thinks Daddy is pretty awesome now and is eager to be doing whatever Daddy is doing. If Daddy's at the computer then Gareth wants to "play Mario" (though that's not exactly what Daddy's doing, obviously). If Daddy's eating peanuts, or cinnamon roll, or apple, Gareth needs some as well. If Daddy's drumming, Gareth must also drum (And with the same object. Which means if Daddy's drumming with a cup coaster then Gareth will run and grab one and join in). And, if Daddy is "sleeping" then Gareth must also "sleep":

I wish any other kids we have could get the same opportunity. I can't help thinking it would be ideal if we could both work part-time, each of us working on the days the other one isn't. How awesome would it be for our kids to have both parents as stay-at-home-parents? So, while I sometimes think longingly of having a decent paycheck again, being in graduate school definitely has its advantages.

If you want to see some more of Gareth check out our neighbor's blog here for some pictures of Gareth with his "little sister". These two, if they get their way, see each other every day, beat up on each other, love each other, and totally want to switch moms (though I'm sure if they did they'd change their minds once they realize the other mom would tell them "no" just as much). Gareth will be devastated when we return from Seattle this summer and he realizes that she's gone.

Monday, March 8, 2010

No Pedestals, Please

The other day I came across this post about why this blogger is not a feminist. Not only was the post itself shallow and totally misdefining feminism, but many of the comments were simply mind-boggling. Go read the post and the first two comments. (Read more comments, really, because there are some good ones there as well as more that will, if you're like me at all, make you shake your head or want to cry or shudder. But the first two comments are mainly what I need for this post. Plus, there are over 500 comments. I definitely didn't get through them all.)

I can, sort of, look past the ridiculously false assumptions about feminists. People making such statements along the lines that feminists are all men-haters or want all women to be the same are simply misinformed. What is actually the most distressing to me about the post and some of the comments is the idea that women are more.

More than men. Better than men. Inherently more spiritual than men. Naturally more nurturing than men. And so on. This is an idea that has become quite commonplace in church anymore (and possibly elsewhere as well, but church happens to be where I hear it), and that bothers me. Such statements are incredibly offensive, and I can't believe that both men and women tolerate them. They are obviously offensive to men and, perhaps less obviously, offensive to women as well. I don't want to or need others to denigrate men in order to raise me to a higher level. Can you see how condescending that is? The idea behind it being, as I see it, that women can only possibly be close to equal with men if men are lowered. I know I'm not less than men, but I also know I'm not more. All I desire is for everyone to look around and realize that men and women are on the same level. And I can't quite believe that any traits are inherently masculine or feminine. I am, and always have been, extremely competitive. I'm not naturally so nurturing as others I know. And I certainly know many men who are much more spiritual than I am. Does this make me masculine? Judging from statements as those quoted in the first comment on the blog, yes. But I say, no, it simply makes me human.

But I also see statements along these lines as part of a constant effort to place women on a pedestal. And so many women seem to accept this unquestioningly. It always makes me think of "Philadelphia Story". I don't want to be the cold, distant, un-attainable "goddess", placed upon a pedestal where no human frailty is allowed. Not only that, but required to fit my life into the tiny space of that pedestal. And, as the "goddess" on the pedestal, pressured to please those who placed me there by fitting into whatever roles they might prescribe to me. I suppose this might appeal to some women, and that's fine. That's their choice (which I will always support their right to have). But the thought makes my stomach churn. So, no pedestals for me, please.