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Extreme Feminism : How my mother’s fanatical views tore us apart

I’ve always said that extremism is never good.
It’s again proven, painfully so, by Rebecca Walker. She was disowned by her own mother, a rabid feminist, revered by thousands others.

Quoted :

You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale.

This is the poisonous thinking that Alice Walker, Rebecca’s mother, is spewing to her followers.

Children, when raised properly, are blessing to the mothers.
I’m a man, so I will not be able to fully experience the same joy experienced by a woman. However, the little joy I experienced so far is simply heaven on earth.

I could only envy and imagine the happiness that a good mother enjoys every day.

Rebecca concludes in her long article :

It’s been almost four years since I have had any contact with my mother, but it’s for the best – not only for my self-protection but for my son’s well-being. I’ve done all I can to be a loyal, loving daughter, but I can no longer have this poisonous relationship destroy my life.

I know many women are shocked by my views. They expect the daughter of Alice Walker to deliver a very different message. Yes, feminism has undoubtedly given women opportunities. It’s helped open the doors for us at schools, universities and in the workplace. But what about the problems it’s caused for my contemporaries?

What about the children?

The ease with which people can get divorced these days doesn’t take into account the toll on children. That’s all part of the unfinished business of feminism.

Then there is the issue of not having children. Even now, I meet women in their 30s who are ambivalent about having a family. They say things like: ‘I’d like a child. If it happens, it happens.’ I tell them: ‘Go home and get on with it because your window of opportunity is very small.’ As I know only too well.

Then I meet women in their 40s who are devastated because they spent two decades working on a PhD or becoming a partner in a law firm, and they missed out on having a family. Thanks to the feminist movement, they discounted their biological clocks. They’ve missed the opportunity and they’re bereft.

Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.

But far from taking responsibility for any of this, the leaders of the women’s movement close ranks against anyone who dares to question them – as I have learned to my cost. I don’t want to hurt my mother, but I cannot stay silent. I believe feminism is an experiment, and all experiments need to be assessed on their results. Then, when you see huge mistakes have been paid, you need to make alterations.

I hope that my mother and I will be reconciled one day. Tenzin deserves to have a grandmother. But I am just so relieved that my viewpoint is no longer so utterly coloured by my mother’s.

I am my own woman and I have discovered what really matters – a happy family.

Fully agree with her on this. Both man & woman will need to forego their egos, and put their efforts on the truly important thing: their family.

They will experience hardships along the way, but at the end, they will reap the harvest – true happiness.

Here’s hoping the best to Rebecca and those important to her. Thank you for giving us another perspective on the topic.

51 Responses to “Extreme Feminism : How my mother’s fanatical views tore us apart

  • 1
    colson
    June 18th, 2008 15:03

    Well, well, well…

    Any kind of extremism is a travesty of ideals. Fundamentalist feminists seem to act just like all fundamentalists: exclusive thinking and a closed mind which is made possible by the (false)conviction that they have the absolute truth in their possession. In the name of the ideals of a better world they justify the harm they do to other individuals. IN the process they do harm to the mainstream of their movement also and provide the opponents and enemies of the moderates with ‘ammunition’ to fight them. The same kind of harm fundamentalists with a totally other set of ideals do to their moderate fellow idealists.

    I think feminism is primarily about emancipation. There is a need for it. Badly so. In many ways and in many realms of almost all societies women are still behind men. To me therefore feminism means strong, independent, confident, assertive, active persons who are striving to close the gap. This implies the ideal of gender equality also. It takes strong, independent, confident, assertive, active men as well to bring this situation about. Men who, for instance, share on a 50 – 50 basis the burden of household and raising children (I’ve to admit i personally fell short on this one).

    The case of Rebecca Walker is proof of the many ways the relation between parents and children can go wrong. It does not, in my opinion, tarnish the ideals of feminism. I’ve got a strong feeling that if it hadn’t been for ‘feminism’ another factor would have had the same effect on this particular parent-child relation.

  • 2
    masenchipz
    June 18th, 2008 17:11

    GKBK fr “I hope that my mother and I will be reconciled one day”… gdddd….

  • 3
    chodirin
    June 18th, 2008 20:21

    doh.. maksudnya apa ya

  • 4
    sufehmi
    June 19th, 2008 20:22

    @colson – welcome back pak :) I was hoping you’d show up and share your thoughts in this topic.
    .
    The case of Rebecca Walker is proof of the many ways the relation between parents and children can go wrong. It does not, in my opinion, tarnish the ideals of feminism. I’ve got a strong feeling that if it hadn’t been for ‘feminism’ another factor would have had the same effect on this particular parent-child relation.
    .
    Fully agree with you.
    .
    Personally I think feminism should be the norm, and there’s no need to even name it.
    The ideals of feminism are all simply common sense. IMHO.
    .
    Rights, justice, and honour for women. Just as we, men, would like it as well.
    .
    I think feminism is primarily about emancipation. There is a need for it. Badly so. In many ways and in many realms of almost all societies women are still behind men.
    .
    That seems to be the case indeed.
    Although less so in my tribe (Minangkabau). For starters, it’s a matrilineal culture. Women passes down land & heritage to their daughters.
    Father’s (men’s) role in the family are further lessened by stronger role of uncles (mamak) from the mother’s side in the family.
    So women are quite empowered in this particular culture.
    .
    So yes, perhaps I’d be in a position where I’d not be able to fully understand the issues related to feminism (me being a man & member of Minang tribe). Do be gentle with me :)
    .
    But I’ve seen extreme cases where women are badly abused.
    Example: some cultures in Pakistan & India allow forced marriage. This alone has caused deaths, and even more, life-long misery. Women can be sold to the highest bidder as bride. Etc.
    .
    In these cases, there’s genuine need to put things back to its tracks. This is where feminist movement are relevant, and indeed important.
    .
    In Pakistan and other muslim culture, this caused the muslimah feminism movement. Since women rights are already upheld & guaranteed in Islam, it is important to make sure that it’s actually implemented in the daily life.
    I’m not too familiar though about this particular / specific feminism branch. I know only people like Mulia or Amellie.
    .
    But of course then there will be extremists. Such as the one mentioned in this article.
    Also there are extreme muslimah feminists. Usually they were abused, then they took revenge on the religion – instead of realizing that it’s a cultural issue.
    .
    To me therefore feminism means strong, independent, confident, assertive, active persons who are striving to close the gap. This implies the ideal of gender equality also. It takes strong, independent, confident, assertive, active m e n as well to bring this situation about. Men who, for instance, share on a 50 – 50 basis the burden of household and raising children (I’ve to admit i personally fell short on this one).
    .
    Bullseye again. That’s my personal experience as well.
    Without strong leadership in a family, the family risked being thrown around anywhere life is bringing them, or unbalancedly (is there such word?? grin) dominated by just one party.
    .
    There’s the need for balance in everything, even more so in a family.
    .
    I think I’m even worse than you in this case, at times I must work at weekends ! The kids (and my wife) were screaming at first. But I hope they understand now (I’m at middle phase of building my own company).
    .
    I do need to “bribe” them from time to time though :) like taking them to the theme park at non-holidays (so they can have the rides for themselves), and other such perks. Otherwise they’ll make sure that I’m completely pulverized :)
    In any case, great fun.
    .
    Whoops, got lost there – ok, back to the topic !

  • 5
    tazlucu
    June 19th, 2008 20:46

    @colson
    fundamentalism is not extreme. Don’t be confused and mix that word.

  • 6
    colson
    June 20th, 2008 21:33

    @sufehmi: The pleasure is reciprocal. That’s for one.

    The “Do be gentle with me” is a line I especially like ( we boys will be boys, don’t we). And I am familiar with this kind of “bribes” you mentioned too ( although occasionally it could have been considered blackmail on the part of my wife as well – my bad conscious and all that bullshit, you know.)

    Anyhow (1) as a belated answer to a question I hereby declare that in retrospect I’m satisfied with the number (and the personalities) of my (three) children and that I hope for three of four grandchildren and (2) that I wish you all kinds of the success you want and all the luck you need in building your company.

    @tazlucu: Those are different words, so probably you’re right: different meanings. Whatever the name, I wanted to refer to people who, based on their particular revelations or ideology, have the characteristics of a closed mind, exclusive thinking and are convinced of having found the universal, absolute, unchanging truths. And who want others to live accordingly. Which, in my book is quite extreme. And quite fundamentalist for that matter,

  • 7
    Ladies Briefcase
    August 7th, 2008 14:12

    Hi, for me this is nice to see such thing. I think feminism is primarily about emancipation. There is a need for it. Badly so. In many ways and in many realms of almost all societies women are still behind men. I could only envy and imagine the happiness that a good mother enjoys every day. The case of Rebeca Walker is proof of the many ways the relation between parents and children can go wrong. It does not, in my opinion, tarnish the ideals of feminism. Even I can say There’s the need for balance in everything, even more so in a family. concluding to point is that feminism is primarily about emancipation.

  • 8
    Ladies Briefcase
    August 7th, 2008 14:15

    Hi, for me this is nice to see such thing. I think feminism is primarily about emancipation. There is a need for it. Badly so. In many ways and in many realms of almost all societies women are still behind men. I could only envy and imagine the happiness that a good mother enjoys every day. The case of Rebeca Walker is proof of the many ways the relation between parents and children can go wrong. It does not, in my opinion, tarnish the ideals of feminism. Even I can say There’s the need for balance in everything, even more so in a family. concluding to point is that feminism is primarily about emancipation. ….

  • 9
    Voos Baratos
    October 9th, 2008 22:36

    Extremism is sometimes needed but its never a good long term thing. Especially here, I mean, how can a woman with a daughter say that. She will always make her daughter feel bad with those allegations. Some people are just mean!

  • 10
    Pet Dogs
    December 11th, 2008 03:04

    I think when were young we think we are a bit cynical about the family. I think if we had a bad childhood it can influence us and make us bitter. However, as we get older we start appreciating family more hopefully.

  • 11
    sufehmi
    December 12th, 2008 22:10

    @Pet Dogs — I’ve met elders who regretted their life because they didn’t take good care of their family when they were still young.
    .
    They ended up living alone and miserable because (1) they used to abuse/ignore their kids, so now their kids do the same to their parents (2) they doesn’t have any children (3) they’re not even married / have any partner.
    .
    Some are able to live alone until their death. But to most human, to live alone is among the most extreme torture there is.

  • 12
    Gamer Gal
    December 27th, 2008 02:28

    Seeing how I come from a very bad mother, who did not look out me as a child. I do agree that a child should be brought up in a world that is calm and peaceful. Imagine the trauma of a life that is not filled with calm causes to the child, as they are growing.
    I also feel very bad for those that can not have children, I am reminded how blessed I am daily because I have a sister in law that is not able to have children. Where as I get pregnant just looking at him.

  • 13
    Kevin in Manila
    February 10th, 2009 16:53

    You may want to read some of Candice Watter’s books for some interesting perspectives on feminism.

  • 14
    dogs pets
    March 11th, 2009 22:25

    yes, i think i agree with you to your statement “Fully agree with her on this. Both man & woman will need to forego their egos, and put their efforts on the truly important thing: their family”

    Family is the truly importan thing

    thanks foe sharing me this story …. :-)

  • 15
    top gambling payouts
    March 28th, 2009 15:15

    “I was 16 when I found a now-famous poem she wrote comparing me to various calamities that struck and impeded the lives of other women writers. Virginia Woolf was mentally ill and the Brontes died prematurely. My mother had me – a ‘delightful distraction’, but a calamity nevertheless. I found that a huge shock and very upsetting.”Horrifying. And even worse that it’s a “now famous” poem.While I’m a male, I agree with the younger Ms. Walker that children are a incredible joy. And I consider one of the most important things I’ve ever done in life is choosing my child’s name.

  • 16
    jugar poker
    August 12th, 2009 09:53

    How does the Fraud of Feminism continue to hold its head up? With a Feminist Icon of Alice Walker’s unhappy Daughter refuting the lies of Feminism. Alice Walker’s book “The Color Purple” was made into a movie by Oprah Winfrey. Who it turns out according to a soon to be released book by her Ex Fiance is a Lesbian. He came home and found her in bed with a Woman. Yes the idiot Women of America are taking their advice on how to live their lives from a Lesbian who has never had Children, raised a Family or been married.

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  • 19
    Media Nusantara
    October 5th, 2009 17:10

    The married women have to be able to arrange their time and make priorities. They should consider that their families become the first priority. However, for some reasons, there are some married women who have to work outside their homes to earn some money for their families. In this case, we have to understand many family’s problems.

  • 20
    ThongJsn
    October 12th, 2009 18:00

    I thought about this concept very interesting.

  • 21
    Johan
    October 22nd, 2009 05:26

    This article really made me wonder.

  • 22
    Erik
    November 6th, 2009 15:33

    My girlfriend has a kid and she considers her daughter to be her best friend. It’s never good to think kids ar e burden.

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    December 17th, 2009 15:31

    Those are different words, so probably you’re right: different meanings. Whatever the name, I wanted to refer to people who, based on their particular revelations or ideology, have the characteristics of a closed mind, exclusive thinking and are convinced of having found the universal, absolute, unchanging truths. And who want others to live accordingly. Which, in my book is quite extreme. And quite fundamentalist for that matter,

  • 28
    pilates kent
    December 21st, 2009 22:41

    Some good points mentioned there, thanks for the great read.

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    December 24th, 2009 17:53

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  • 30
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    January 4th, 2010 21:46

    Great Read!

  • 31
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    January 23rd, 2010 00:19

    thanks nice

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    February 19th, 2010 17:34

    i am sorry. i am tidak terlalu tahu bahasa inggris

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    March 7th, 2010 04:25

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    March 20th, 2010 00:51

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  • 39
    Linda
    August 25th, 2010 23:58

    The extremism is when you love and care about someone to extreme. If the kids are raised properly with good sense and taught all the good things then it’s up to them whether they will follow one of their parents or not. It is very important the environment when he’s growing i thing around 18 years they will start thinking on their owns

  • 40
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    September 24th, 2010 16:55

    Nice stuff, I always like to read this type of informative and interesting post,plz keep posting to upgrade my knowledge.

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    October 30th, 2010 11:30

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    November 7th, 2010 19:07

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  • 44
    us hot news
    November 13th, 2010 19:09

    good story.. i don’t know is my mom fanatical too =))

  • 45
    Jordan
    November 19th, 2010 22:21

    It’s totally biased saying that motherhood is not blissful. I am a mother of 2 kids and never had a nightmare in that case. I am totally blessed with cute little children who are obedient although I completely allow them to move freely within their space. Not all mothers are the same and not all children are identical either.

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    November 24th, 2010 18:40

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  • 47
    Steve
    December 20th, 2010 19:13

    nice post, mother is no.1, no.2, no.3 …then father on no.4…

    mr harry… thanks a lot for this great topic 😉

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  • 49
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    March 22nd, 2011 19:37

    I very agree about this:

    Well, well, well…

    Any kind of extremism is a travesty of ideals. Fundamentalist feminists seem to act just like all fundamentalists: exclusive thinking and a closed mind which is made possible by the (false)conviction that they have the absolute truth in their possession. In the name of the ideals of a better world they justify the harm they do to other individuals. IN the process they do harm to the mainstream of their movement also and provide the opponents and enemies of the moderates with ‘ammunition’ to fight them. The same kind of harm fundamentalists with a totally other set of ideals do to their moderate fellow idealists.

    I think feminism is primarily about emancipation. There is a need for it. Badly so. In many ways and in many realms of almost all societies women are still behind men. To me therefore feminism means strong, independent, confident, assertive, active persons who are striving to close the gap. This implies the ideal of gender equality also. It takes strong, independent, confident, assertive, active men as well to bring this situation about. Men who, for instance, share on a 50 – 50 basis the burden of household and raising children (I’ve to admit i personally fell short on this one).

    The case of Rebecca Walker is proof of the many ways the relation between parents and children can go wrong. It does not, in my opinion, tarnish the ideals of feminism. I’ve got a strong feeling that if it hadn’t been for ‘feminism’ another factor would have had the same effect on this particular parent-child relation.

  • 50
    Natural ADHD Treatment
    May 23rd, 2011 02:05

    this article give you another point of view: if the acase was a bad childhood can it influences us and make us bitter. However, As We get older We start appreciating our family more hopefully.

  • 51
    Arthur
    August 13th, 2011 21:05

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