Several of my Twitter friends commented about this, saying that she's not a very good feminist. These are all women whom at least I would consider to be good feminists. So when they say that, I sit up and listen. I used to work for maybe the most stringent feminist I've ever met, and I always have an interest in this. I have two friends who are pursuing Feminist Studies in school, and we have these conversations regularly--about what is and is not feminism.
So here's my 2p about this discussion.
Feminism, at its inception, was about equality. Equal choice. For women and for men. In fact, as one of my college professors so eloquently pointed out to me in my own Women's Studies class in undergrad, a true feminist argues as stridently for men's rights as they do for women's. Not women over men, not men over women. But equality. Women should have the same opportunities that men have. And vice versa.
A good feminist, according to my professor, should fight as hard for a woman to stay in the home and get married as s/he should fight for her to have a job. A good feminist should also fight as hard for a man to stay in the home and care for his children as s/he should for a man to have a job. A good feminist should fight as hard for a man to stay home and care for his family as s/he should for a woman to go to work. A good feminist should fight as hard for a woman to stay home and care for her family as s/eh should for a man to go to work. A good feminist does not need to be a women, nor feminine. Because it's all about equality.
Feminism isn't about women in the workplace. It was never intended to take away a woman's right to choose to get married and have children and be a stay-at-home mom. Yet somehow it seems to get the rap (on both sides of the fence) that it will do that. But that's not what it was intended to do. It was intended to promote equal choice for all genders.
And while I, as a woman, choose to work (and I'm not married, so I don't know who's gonna stay home and take care of the kids I don't have...), I will definitely defend the right of my fellow women (and men) to choose to let their spouse work. If a woman feels like she can't choose to do what she wants, that becomes an issue for me. But if she is given the opportunity to choose, and decides to choose housewifedom, then yay for her. It bugs me that we don't see that as a job, first of all. I have several friends who have done it, and they work harder than anyone with a corporate job I've ever seen. God bless those women who, because of economic pressures, have to be both a full-time mother and a full-time corporate worker (or other worker). I can't imagine how hard that would be.
What about you? What is your definition of "a good feminist"? What were you taught about feminism? How do you feel about choice? I know I'm taking my life into my hands in a manner of speaking, so let's try to be nice about it. But I really would like to hear your opinions.