Alice Walker viewed motherhood as slavery and instead pursued work, travel and self-fulfillment (among other things). She taught her daughter that the idea that motherhood can bring happiness was a fairytale.
Rebecca Walker has come to understand that what really matters is a happy family. She writes,
- "Feminisim has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating."
I found this article interesting. I must admit that I know very little about Alice Walker except what I have read in this article. I know not whether her view were extreme or representative, though even if extreme I suspect they would have been influential in changing what was accepted.
But I have to say that Rebecca only says what many people have said before.
Just before I fell pregnant with Sophie my section leader at work told me, in a uncharacteristic moment of intimacy, not to put a career before having children as it had been a mistake on her part. Her husband said the same thing on a different occasion. I read a book about this time by a Melbourne journalist in which she admitted waiting a long time until having children had been a mistake. I heard a Sydney journalist say the same thing on the radio.
Long before this I heard it from my mother, who often felt condemned by her peers for having a family as a young women and not pursuing a career first.
And I have no doubt there have been those throughout the feminist movement voicing concern even dissent, but they would have been dismissed as bigotted, sexist, paternalist, fundamentalist, conservative, backward and ignorant. We would not listen.
So I wonder which wise voices of concern and dissent are we not listening to now, before the mistakes are made?