I am loving the second season of "Victoria" on PBS... but having Victoria play the mommy card in last night's episode, about the Irish potato famine of the 1840s -- dragging her prime minister, Robert Peel, into the nursery to look at her new baby daughter & plead the case of the Irish people and their children with her baby in her arms and tears in her eyes -- was a little much. I don't remember if she used the exact words "as a mother" but Peel responded emotionally that he too had children. (Apparently Victoria did do more for the Irish than has commonly been thought -- but I rather doubt she dragged her prime minister into the nursery like that...!)
This reminded me of a thought-provoking New York Times opinion piece that I flagged a few weeks back for potential blogging material. It was written prior to this year's Women's Marches, and titled "You Don't Need a Daughter to Want a Better World." Writer Jill Filipovic noted how many women marchers had said, "I'm doing it for my daughter," & how this is a common sentiment -- the reason women give for so many things they do.
"This is not a bad impulse, and there remains much to do for girls around the world," Filipovic writes. (Boldfacing here added by me for emphasis.)
"But it can also undercut women’s progress. A woman’s value doesn’t derive from her status as a mother. We are entitled to rights and liberties by plain virtue of our humanness. If 2017 began with women marching for their daughters and ended with a tidal wave of female rage directed at predacious men, perhaps 2018 should be the year women resolve to go after what we want and deserve — simply for us. Imagine what could be if we did the same things we say we do for our daughters out of our own self-interest."
She also makes this point:
"When we do pursue what we crave, the consequences of saying so out loud can be stark: pity the poor woman foolish enough to say that she doesn’t want children because she’d rather spend her money traveling the world, or had an abortion because she just did not want a baby... Those women are self-absorbed, greedy or deceitful; if they’re also self-identified feminists, they know to filter their truths carefully, so as not to risk undermining the entire cause they are fighting for with the suggestion that feminism might be motivated by unvarnished self-interest. And so we focus on the next generation of not-yet-women."
Read the whole thing, & tell me what you think!
(Caveat emptor re: the comments... there ARE some really good ones -- but also ones like: "With all due respect, the writer clearly does not have a daughter. Having a child profoundly changes you... All I can say is - you will understand when you have a child, niece, foster child, etc in your life that you would die for....")
You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here.