Have you seen the collage of never-mom women from history (and some still alive) on pinterest? Olivia Reading has done a great job. It’s Women’s History Month, and I find it inspiring! Check it out, and maybe it will inspire your answer to this month’s On-the-Ground Question. Simone de Beauvoir (pictured) is one of mine…
Her book, The Second Sex,brought forth ideas relating to feminist existentialism. This book truly established her as a philosophical and political leader of her time. Many believe that it is the root of the whole area of gender study, or certainly the slice of it that looks at what it means to be a woman.
“Beauvoir believed that existence precedes essence; hence one is not born a woman, but becomes one.” Author Cordelia Fine is a modern day voice to this idea. In Delusions of Gender, she takes the idea further with what she calls “neurosexism.” If you are interested in gender study, Fine’s work is definitely worth a read. In this book she takes a hard look at how culture, more than biology, drives the development of the belief of these differences, and because of our socialization and gender stereotyping, how easily gender differences can become self fulfilling prophecies.
I bet de Beauvoir would have loved Fine, and how she smartly makes her case for freeing both sexes from the confines of long held definitions of what constitutes gender identity.
Another photo on the pinterest collage makes me pause with gratitude–Susan B. Anthony. As to why, I couldn’t put it better than how this person does:
“My favorite childfree woman is Susan B. Anthony, one of the leading feminists of the 19th century. Because she wisely chose not to marry or have children, as many of her colleagues were doing, she was able to travel anywhere she thought she could do the most good for women, both in America and beyond.
Although she didn’t live to see her lifelong dream of women getting the legal right to vote (she was arrested and tried for “illegal voting” in 1872), it was her hard work and dedication to “the cause” while she was alive that eventually led to the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. All women owe her the many rights we have today.”
This is one of the great answers so far to this month’s on-the-ground question-Who is your favorite childfree woman and why? Please tell us yours!
More on other never mom’s in history this month to come…who is a must to talk about in your view?