‘ Feminist Housewife ‘ – a lot of people think this term is an oxymoron while it’s not. A woman can be a homemaker yet very much a feminist!
I unload the dishwasher, finish the final round of laundry, turn the chicken grills and placate my kids with their favorite story of The Big Blue Train before tugging them to bed with a final Goodnight kiss, and while doing all this I take pride in calling myself a Feminist Housewife.
One of the most talked about terms these days is Feminism. While many women claim to be feminist, not all know what it’s real meaning entails. I was absolutely baffled when while sharing my views upon this topic with my friend, I was cut short by her saying, ‘you are a Housewife, you should be the least one talking about Feminism’! Her light remark failed to amuse me and got me thinking seriously, Does being a housewife make me any less of a feminist?
Isn’t Feminism all about Choice?
I am a homemaker by choice. The very fact that I can assert my choice and live my life the way I want to makes me a feminist. Choosing playroom over boardroom does not make me any less intelligent, ambitious or opinionated. Just as being a working mother wouldn’t have taken away my maternal instincts. Being a stay at home mother doesn’t mean I conform with the saying that men are superior or that a woman’s only role is to be at home to raise her children.
Feminism is all about empowering women to be able to decide for themselves. Instead of giving into restrictive roles, it’s about letting women to be able to chart their own trajectory. So be it the role of a housewife or a working woman or a part time professional, it’s a lifestyle choice women make in the best interest of themselves and their family. And if they are content with their personal choice, then they can happily be called as feminists.
For we are ‘equals’
As a belief, feminism considers men and women equal. In this endless quest for equality, it doesn’t mean women have to act like men, or vice versa. It doesn’t necessarily require women to step out of the house and earn as much as their partner to be called as his equal. While I stay at home and manage the household chores, my alliance with my husband is that of ‘equality’. As he takes care of the major finances, I manage the social and emotional needs of the family. We both contribute our bit to support our family system. In doing this, none of us considers the other as inferior. When it comes to taking important decisions concerning us, we have an equal say. When it comes to managing the expenses we decide mutually. Being in an alliance, our marriage works on the basis of our ‘partnership’. Doesn’t the tenets of feminism talk of the same?
It’s easy to judge a housewife just as much as it’s easy to misinterpret feminism. For all the debates and questions it entails, let me tell you ‘homemakers’ and ‘feminism’ are absolutely compatible terms and a woman who chooses to be a both should be absolutely proud of herself.
Disclaimer– I originally wrote this post for Mrigaa.com