Saturday, November 19, 2011

Womanhood = ....Sacrifice?

Aminata is napping and so once again I try to carve out a moment to make a post.  My last attempt was thwarted, but maybe I'll be successful this time.  If I'm lucky maybe I'll get a short nap too after I switch over the laundry.

I read a review of the new Twilight movie that called it an anti-feminist throwback.  The main female character (according to the author at least) is self-sacrificing to a fault, in this movie her health supposedly grows fainter and fainter (almost to the point of death) as she grows a human vampire hybrid baby inside.  I haven't seen any of the previous twilight films, in fact I know little about the books or movies other than conversations that discuss abstinence as it relates to the main female character who doesn't have sex until her wedding night (from what I can tell) at the ripe age of 18.

The author has a problem with the repeated theme of self-sacrifice and devotion this female character shows toward her vampire boyfriend/now husband in particular.  I think that devotion to one's spouse and/or unborn child is not anti-feminist by default, but devotion and self-sacrifice can cross the line easily.

I purposefully introduced this post by situating it in my lived experience.  Trying to stay on the right side of the devotion/self-sacrifice line is a daily struggle.  I love my family and I don't mind sacrificing for them, but the question arises, is it really instinctual to put yourself on the back burner in order to always support your spouse or children, or is that just what we've been socialized to believe is "natural" by society and movies like Twilight (from the time we are children)?

Girl children, even more than boy children are often socialized to idealize being married and becoming a parent as the ultimate goals in life.  Even if we decided women sacrificing their careers, health, or aspirations outside of the home is the way things are supposed to be, then shouldn't we at least be more honest about the costs associated with that philosophy?

It feels like once you go down the road of centering women's lives around their partners and children then you head toward forgetting the value of women separate from those roles.

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