Monday, 2 January 2012

Libby Purves on women

Recently I have been thinking a lot about feminism, and the idea of modern feminists and modern women. What does it mean to be a feminist today? This is partly driven by my reading 'How to be a woman' by Caitlin Moran which I am finding very inspiring. But feminism has been at the back of my mind for a while, and I find I am always drawn to gender issues. 

I will write more about my thoughts on feminism later - I would like to read around it (I have yet to read Greer!) and mull over my own ideas - but first, this blog post by Libby Purves in the Huffington Post caught my eye today...

Discussing the news that Katy Perry and Russell Brand split because he wanted children and she wanted to continue her career, Purves suggests it is 'grostesque' that women should 'churn' out babies just because men say so.

While I agree that it is a choice to have children, women should not be made to feel inferior if they choose children over a career. Women's rights gave us the freedom to choose either, or both. It seems as if feminism has pushed us to the other extreme: when once we must have children, now we mustn't. 

I felt this user's comment matched my own opinion closely:
'The man has the right to want whatever he wants and to make his wishes known. The woman then can say yea or nay. I don't think men should be ashamed of wanting a stay-at-ho­me wife/mom, but nor should the women be ashamed If they don't want the same thing.'

While I agree with Purves in that 'Why should Katy Perry sacrifice her career for kids?' But I doubt Brand put that choice to her. I imagine he made it clear he would eventually like children, and she equated it with an end to her career. Or perhaps she realised she never wanted children, and thought he should have the chance to find a partner who did. As with most celebrity news, we may never know the truth of such private matters.

Either way I do not believe that children spells the end of a career, for mother or father.