Tuesday, July 26, 2005

back at 'cha

it's me again. you may have noticed that i am updating this blog quite a bit more frequently. my first reason is that it has come to my attention (not for the first time) that i tend to start new endeavors with gusto and then peter out after the initial excitement and motivation tarnishes. in an effort to try something new and different and perhaps stick with something, I have decided to put in a more dedicated effort. i hope you are pleased.

oh. and bartlebee needs some procrastination material, so there's a bit of obligation here too :)

it's late and I would really like to get to bed, but i felt the need to communicate a couple things.

first off, i had a mini-insight tonight in relation to the previous post about the mommy conundrum. I came to this conclusion after reading a particular post on another blog, Opinionista, a site that i found via Waiter Rant and also recommended by bartlebee. I read it a couple of times, awhile back and then never found my way back. In a recent post, Waiter Rant recommended this piece of hers about women and work.

Now, it's hard for me only to respond to one aspect of this because much of it cries out for some discussion, in my opinionista way. But, since it is almost 10 and i'm one of those women who has left my career for the dregs of home I have to get to bed soon, so I'll be brief.

Her post made me realize that part of my longings for the "other" life stem from the fact that in order to be a "good" feminist (whatever that is) I am supposed to feel that way. If i gave up (or even took a long family-raising break) from a line of work that i enjoyed and was challenging (though i'm not sure she would approve of teaching since it's a primarily female occupation anyway and doesn't really advance the cause of women, even if you encourage your female students to pursue their dreams- but nevermind that point) and- God Forbid- enjoy being at home and not working and thus earning my own money, than I am somehow erasing all of the sweat, tears, and sacrifices of my fore-mothers.


I'm sorry, but I am so sick of the requirements for being, or not being, a feminist. Now, I understand that the majority of her post was about women leaving their careers to be taken care of by a man, preferably a rich one, and Opinionista sees these men as lame and neaderthal. Fine, I can live with that. But- isn't it tragic when any woman marries a lame and neanderthal man? Why just the supposedly ambition, glass-ceiling breaking privileged ones? It's just another cause of feminism being about upper-middle class white women.

I hate that.

The whole mommy-career wars are old. And so are the judgements about other people's choices. But I guess I bought into it. I bought into the cultural conception that what I am doing is not enough. But you know what? I bet every working woman is thinking the same thing- whether it's because she decided not to have a family, or because she is choosing to be single, or because she is living in a gold cave with her rich neanderthal... I mean, the list goes on. Let's get out of the old feminism rut and start with some humanism and a bit more revolution on the foundation of our society which basically sends that message that You, as a person, are not enough.

So now I get it. I guess I found some of that internal water after all.

Hmmm...I guess I couldn't not address the whole post, huh?

Ok, on a different note, the second thing I wanted to communicate is a full-on brag about my daughter who is showing some Dj leanings and some pretty amazing recognition skills.

For various reasons, our CD-Rs of MP3s have migrated from an over-the-visor respectable organizer into a shallow, Ziploc reusable container. Raelin has taken to playing with the CDs and to make a long story short, she now- from the backseat- hands us the CDs she wants us to play.

It gets better.

She can distinguish between identical CD-Rs, which are hers with the kid music, and which are ours ("No kid songs"). There are several that are the same color, with the only difference really being what is written on them. She isn't reading them, but clearly she has a way of recognizing them and is never wrong. It's mind boggling. I spend my entire drive ejecting and playing, and skipping to requested songs from my 2 year old.

There's a Dj ROCA (Raelin Ocean Callahan) in the house... and it's been over a year since her last rave!

Makes a parent proud :)


Blogger e said...

that's amazing. you have a genius on your hands! maybe you can outsource her to take ee's bar exam.

10:29 PM  
Blogger jason s said...

Willits 2006 - Attack of the Baby DJs! Never before have you heard the mastery of Barney mashups with readings of Shel Silverstein!

9:33 AM  
Blogger Bartlebee said...

first off, a big THANK YOU for posting. i needed to take a break from stat's.

secondly, i find your discussion of feminism really interesting. i've been trying out a new practice in my life in which i figure out what *i* want before taking anyone else into account. when "anyone else" is society, it gets really hard figure out my wants vs. their shoulds.

at the moment, the hardest things have to do with the marriage train. it seems like once you're on it, they decide that you're all grown-up. as a grown-up, you should have a career (or career aspirations at the very least), a house and be planning for a family.

the trouble is that i don't want that - at least certainly not now. it's really, really, really difficult to remember this when everyone and everything is telling me that i should want these things. it's like trying to swim upstream and over a waterfall (had to get a fish reference in there, didn't i?)

my predicament seems similar to yours re mommyhood. what you want is to stay at home and raise raelin - which, i might add, is incredibly admirable. yet people/society is telling you that "stay-at-home-mom" is a dirty word.

so, i'll do you a deal: i'll support you in being a stay-at-home mom for as long it keeps you happy if you support me not wanting a career/house/car/family for as long as my life without these keeps me happy. boy, these sound like marriage vows, eh?

with these vows, we can pledge to be the stick-it-to-'em sistahs. anyone else want to join???

1:06 PM  
Blogger juli claire said...

certainly, i will join that vow of following our own volition and intuition.

having been through a million discussions in my head about should vs. want, and realizing want wandered off and I have to go find it and it keeps doing that (reminds me of Sal picking blueberries;), I am feeling very close to this discussion. So thanks, Kelly and Madhavi for sharing your experience in making life choices.

I find the version of feminism i was raised to believe in to be incredibly hard to untangle from. i agree that in many ways it's served as another way to judge other people and their choices, and i hate doing that--hate the feeling of deciding someone else is not enough without even thinking about it--and of course i hate the feeling that i am not enough. the two are connected, certainly.

ultimately i believe that whatever one chooses is best for oneself is just that. there may be complications along the lines of others' intentions and judgments mixed into what one thinks is best, but that is really up to the person who's making the decision about her life to figure out.

i think the best way to come out the other side of this is to talk about it with other people, men and women both.

anytime y'all wanna strike up that conversation, I'm game.

2:34 PM  

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