Sunday, April 3, 2011

Housewives vs. Feminism

Some time last semester I found out that my classmates at Graduate School (at a very liberal school) referred to me as the-one-who-changed-her-name.

You see the July before my fist semester I married my best friend (corny but SO true).  I went the completely traditional route, white dress, diamond ring, and I took my husband's name.  You see my family growing up had many different last names - its a complicated story - and it was very important to me that my own family to all have the same name.  Jeff was not interested in changing his, and I didn't mind changing mine, so I took his name.  Somehow to my classmates this became my defining feature.  

Clearly there is some judgment here, but I see the same judgment all over the place.  For example, when a woman says they are a housewife.  Most people do not approve of this choice in life.  There is a sense that the woman is giving something up.  To be a feminist does one have to give up all that is feminine? 

I am a feminist.  I believe that women deserve equality and that they deserve to make their own decisions.  That means if they choose to change their names, get married in a white dress or become a housewife there is nothing wrong with that.  There is also nothing wrong with women who choose never to have children or who put their careers first.  Every women must do what is right for them.

I find myself contemplating this silent war, feminism and housewives.  So often feminism and homemakers are seen as incompatible.  Housewives get the bad end of the stick.  After so much women fought for in the second wave, the housewives, the women who chose to be housewives, to stay home and raise the family, are looked down upon by others.  Not all people do this, but there is always this element, this underground sense that being a housewife is not "feminist" enough.

I am here to say that if feminists really want to fight for equality and the right to choose, we have to stop looking down on women who make decisions with which we might not agree.  We have to embrace the choice to be a  housewife with the same respect as a woman who chooses to be a lawyer or a professor.  There is so much judgment among women, but if the second wave taught us anything it is that women need to support each other.  We need to stop judging.

I was just going to write about how women deserve to be respected for all their choices, but that name calling at my school really got to me.  I didn't realize how mad it made me.  Writing this blog, I feel that my life, and my choices are on display, and usually that is alright, but sometimes it gets to you.  You know?  I wonder who all is reading this, and what do they think about me.  Are they calling me names behind my back?  People can be do mean sometimes.  So if you're not a feminist, or you hate housewives, fine, but remember to try to not judge once and a while and maybe you will realize that the person you are judging has a soul as well.

That's why I love this blog.  The ladies I have met here are all kind, sweet and nothing but supportive.  I can be as feminine as I want and get nothing but kind words.   I can escape from the competitive and judgmental world around me and create a place with beautiful things.  Thank you all for that.  I will be hosting my first giveaway this week for just this reason.  To that you for supporting me.

P.S. My first giveaway has just been posted.  Be sure to head over here and sign up.


  1. Beautiful and so well written. A Homemaker/ housewife is a lovely occupation. I am thankful I have been able to be a housewife. Just wanted to let you know I enjoyed reading this post!

    Mary Ann

  2. I wrote about this stuff a few years ago. Most of what I said is still relevant:

    (And the only names I call you are Chandeen and Chance.)

  3. I feel the same way you do. Congrats for believing in yourself. The more we promote choice the more acceptable it will be!

  4. This is such a wonderful post!

  5. I love this Chancey, and I want to post it on is a very well written article ...


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