Friday, December 09, 2005

A degree in dishes?

Always the "early feminist", I was the one who argued with the macho boys in our 6th grade "round table" on gender roles (my teacher still has a recording of this), the one who personified Elizabeth Blackwell (first female M.D. in the US) for 4th grade History Day, the one who co-created a play on Elizabeth Cady Stanton (and the first women's rights convention in the U.S.) for high school History Day, the one who got mad at her big sister (14 years my senior) for changing her name when she got married, the one who called out English and History teachers on the complete lack of women in their curricula, one of the few whose moms did take-your-daughter-to-work-day, the one who painted "feminism" in giant green letters on her bedroom wall (much to her feminist mother's chagrin), the only teenager I know of who read Ms. magazine religiously (and later covered her college dorm door with Ms. clippings and other feminist stuff). I certainly never imagined myself as a housewife. Not once. Never even imagined not working full-time or more. But here I am. And I know there are perfectly feminist ways to be a housewife- I'm an effing lesbian housewife for God's sake and not for long- but still I feel a little weird. Inadequate in some way.
Not that this is unwanted, really. I'm unemployed because I wanted to finish my degree this fall. This is also a large part of the weirdness- after working full-time and going to school full-time (every other semester) for three years and being totally self-sufficient, this sanity and support thing is a little hard to get used to. But also, just this summer I remember saying to J that I really wished I could work half-time, but that that would be unsustainable because of money. Now that it might be sustainable, oh the possibilities!
A half schedule would put me back in the realm of waged women, but I find that many women I have read or spoken with who work part-time still describe themselves as stay-at-home-moms or housewives. Somehow, I think I'd feel the same. Even though what I hope I would do should also be a primary identity or work- write, invest more in my tiny business, earn a second bachelor's degree, etc. In addition to wanting to raise kids and a true desire to keep a decently clean house. Ok, I have to admit- the kids are really the most driving force, though- what I really hope for the most in a half-time schedule is that we would be able to be parents sooner and easier.
Perhaps the weirdness is only the limbo of looming finals, moving in three weeks, and wondering what is going to happen when life as a student finally ends (at least for now). I think I'm going to like whatever it is, especially if the half-time thing works out, but I'll definitely have to piss off the radical right a little more every day in order to emphasize that I'm still a card-carrying, tree-hugging, goddess-worshipping, lesbian-lovin', Feminist- capital F. Even in a big, poofy wedding dress.

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