Saturday, August 13, 2011

Catching Up on My New Yorkers (by res ipsa)

Did anyone read this profile of French feminist Elisabeth Badinter? I have to admit that I'd never heard of her. Unfortunately, the profile is not online, but if anyone who has read it would like to discuss it, the comments are yours. From the abstract:
Badinter is convinced that young Frenchwomen have been undermining their hard-won claims to equality. She believes that, in the name of “difference,” young women are falling victim to sociobiological fictions that reduce them to the status of female mammals, programmed to the “higher claims” of womb and breast.
Is this happening in the United States? Is it even happening in France? I work with a lot of young women. I don't know if they consider themselves feminists and I don't know if they think this way. The article talks a lot about the "militancy" of La Leche Legue, and how they and other organizations pressure mothers and would-be mothers to breast-feed, give birth without drugs, etc. I'm not a mom, so I don't know if these pressures exist or if Badinter is exaggerating them, but I do know from observation that mothers come in for an awful lot of hyper-analysis and criticism. I think they take a lot of crap and give themselves a lot more. It makes me sad, because I think the vast (vast) majority of them are doing they best they can, which is all anyone can ask of anybody or themselves.