As a womun and as a feminist, choice is a topic that has been very important to me. It is a topic that I have struggled with, pondered upon for hours on end and have spent many hours soul searching over this issue of what "choice" means for womyn. As a young, budding feminist in college this idea of being "pro-choice" became important to me and as I have aged and transitioned through life it has become even more prominent in my own life, especially when I became a stay-home mom, or what I would like to call myself, a radical homemaker (excellent book by on this topic by Shannon Hayes that I will blogging about soon!)
Two years ago I wrote and submitted a piece on choice for an academic journal that was looking for entries on many different topics from mothers who considered themselves third wave feminists. Around this time I was really exploring this idea of choice and how I felt based on my own experiences. I believe that in my generation of feminists we have fixated too narrowly on this idea of "pro-choice" being equated with only reproductive rights and have ignored the other dimensions that choice embodies. I discussed how womyn in the second wave marched, demonstrated and fought hard for choice-not only reproductive choices, but also the right as a womun to choose our own path and destiny. Yet, as I graduated college and began to make MY own educated choices about MY future, I was met with opposition and felt ostracized many times. I didn't realize until many years later that my definition of choice was much different than the feminist womyn around me, as well as the feminist movement that I identified with.
It is now 2010, and I am STILL milling over this idea of choice in my head. It is always there hanging around, but lately keeps hitting me in the face and challenging me on my own ideas of choice and what I believe it to be for womyn in the 21st century. Do we really have the freedom of choice? Or do we think that we do, but still play into what society expects of us as womyn and as mothers, wives, partners, etc.? And are we (feminists) foolish by believing that all womyn have this right to choose their paths or destinies?
So many fragmented thoughts right now swirling in my head regarding this concept of choice, primarily pertaining to marriage and motherhood. I must say this is just beginning entry on a series I will start on this issue. But for now back to an excellent book on feminism and motherhood by Amy Richards, Opting In: Having a Child Without Loosing Yourself.