Posts Written by Sarah

If Gloria Steinem were a mother


Could Gloria Steinem be Gloria Steinem if she had kids?

I know this is an unfair question.  It’s inflammatory and controversial and no one would ask this of a successful man.  I know that even writing such a thing seems anti-feminist.  I don’t care if Gloria Steinem has/had/wanted/didn’t want kids.  I am concerned that part of what we admire about her might be that she didn’t take the conventional path of motherhood.  Maybe that says something about what we really value as a feminist community, and which choices we quietly endorse.  Maybe, in the end, our feminism does not encourage every choice.  Maybe we need to take another look about what is being said – and what is left unsaid – about women who are also mothers.

We talk about motherhood as a choice:  This is, in part, why we are so focused on access to abortion services, birth control and other women’s health services.  We want women to be informed, educated, trusted and responsible for our bodies and our decisions.  Choices are valid, options are necessary, and every woman will decide for herself what is right for her.

Part of the challenge is that once the decision to become a mother has been made, it is not easily undone.  I am not suggesting that mothers and fathers are not both challenged and changed by the arrival of a child.  In a perfect world, we would all be discussing work-life balance and ...

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