As a teenager and self-proclaimed militant feminist, it was simple to fight the patriarchy; I just had to pick fights with my father.
Why, yes, it is a Guardian article. Specifically, A Feminist’s Guide to Raising Boys by Bibi van der Zee.
In the 1970s, from my child’s-eye point of view, it seemed pretty much agreed that boys and girls were essentially the same; it was just society that turned us into “boys” and “girls.” Simone de Beauvoir had said: “One is not born a woman but, rather, becomes a woman,” and the whole planet had nodded in agreement, and that was that.
Readers of a certain age may find that their memories of the 70s, and of boys and girls being supposedly interchangeable, and of the whole planet nodding at this conceit, are somewhat different.
In the early years of my career in journalism, being a woman was no brake on being able to work as late, be paid as little and drink as much as any of the male reporters I knew. Then I had sons. It may sound naïve, but I hadn’t really thought about how that would work. I had a vague plan that… my life would more or less carry on as before.
It does sound a tad unrealistic.
This was not what I had expected… Because I was the one with the womb and the mammary glands, I would be the one carrying the children and then feeding them.
At which point, readers may wish to remind themselves that Ms van der Zee writes political commentary, and guides to activism and protesting, in order to share her insights with the world.
It was a startling window into other times and worlds, where, if you had no birth control and your body belonged to your husband by law, then you could just be impregnated over and over again, side-lined and kept at home.
Ah, yes. The modern marriage.