Here's a fascinating article about Rebecca Walker, 38, the daughter of the famous feminist writer Alice Walker. Alice Walker wrote a number of novels and essays, including The Color Purple, The Temple of My Familiar and Possessing the Secret of Joy (The first time I ever heard about the horror of female genital mutilation was reading the latter novel.) Daughter Rebecca is a writer herself, and a mother of a young son, and she writes quite poignantly about being raised by a radical feminist. It's a terrific article, please read the whole thing. Here are a few excerpts:
"The truth is that I very nearly missed out on becoming a mother - thanks to being brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman."
"You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale."
"In fact, having a child has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Far from 'enslaving' me, three-and-a-half-year-old Tenzin has opened my world. My only regret is that I discovered the joys of motherhood so late - I have been trying for a second child for two years, but so far with no luck."
"....As the child of divorced parents, I know only too well the painful consequences of being brought up in those circumstances. Feminism has much to answer for denigrating men and encouraging women to seek independence whatever the cost to their families."
Rebecca sets out to "puncture the myth and to reveal what life was really like to grow up as a child of the feminist revolution." It sounds like a lonely childhood, with little love and guidance. Her parents divorced when she was eight, and she lived with each parent for two-year periods, which she described as terrible. Who would want to move from New York to California every two years?! As a teenager, her mother was pleased when Rebecca became sexually active at an early age:
"But the truth was I was very lonely and, with my mother's knowledge, started having sex at 13. I guess it was a relief for my mother as it meant I was less demanding. And she felt that being sexually active was empowering for me because it meant I was in control of my body."
There's that famous feminist lie. By giving your body to men (who are often older) to be used for sexual pleasure like a toy, you're "in control." Talk about up day being night and black being white.
"Although I was on the Pill - something I had arranged at 13, visiting the doctor with my best friend - I fell pregnant at 14. I organised an abortion myself. Now I shudder at the memory. I was only a little girl. I don't remember my mother being shocked or upset. She tried to be supportive, accompanying me with her boyfriend."
"Although I believe that an abortion was the right decision for me then, the aftermath haunted me for decades. It ate away at my self-confidence and, until I had Tenzin, I was terrified that I'd never be able to have a baby because of what I had done to the child I had destroyed. For feminists to say that abortion carries no consequences is simply wrong."
I'd have to strongly agree with Rebecca here. Having an abortion is something that can be a cause of regret and sorrow and for a long time. Rebecca lists the other downsides of the feminist movement that she observed up close and personal:
"The ease with which people can get divorced these days doesn't take into account the toll on children. That's all part of the unfinished business of feminism."
"Then there is the issue of not having children. Even now, I meet women in their 30s who are ambivalent about having a family. They say things like: 'I'd like a child. If it happens, it happens.' I tell them: 'Go home and get on with it because your window of opportunity is very small.' As I know only too well."
"Then I meet women in their 40s who are devastated because they spent two decades working on a PhD or becoming a partner in a law firm, and they missed out on having a family. Thanks to the feminist movement, they discounted their biological clocks. They've missed the opportunity and they're bereft."
"Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating."
Also true. The window of opportunity to get pregnant starts to close at age 35 for most women, when fertility plummets. The feminists maintain that it's more important to establish careers and be financially independent. Do that first, then have the children, the feministas like to advise. Luckily, I observe that the young women today aren't buying into that. I see lots of married female co-workers having children in their mid and late-20's. Perhaps the medical profession is now advising young women about the very real limitations to getting pregnant after the mid-30's.
"But far from taking responsibility for any of this, the leaders of the women's movement close ranks against anyone who dares to question them - as I have learned to my cost. I don't want to hurt my mother, but I cannot stay silent. I believe feminism is an experiment, and all experiments need to be assessed on their results. Then, when you see huge mistakes have been paid, you need to make alterations."
Really strong stuff, but there it is. Brava to Rebecca for speaking the truth about the lies of feminism.
I hope that she and her mother can reconcile at some point. In The Color Purple, the main character Celie eventually reconciles with the stepfather who had sexually abused her. If Alice Walker can imagine that happening, surely she can find a way to reconcile with her own flesh and blood and be a grammie to her little grandson.
P.S. Rebecca Walker wrote a book last year called Baby Love, Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence.