Gravity's Rainbow

botany, shoes, books, and justice

Hard lessons I learned from a chronic illness, or why libertarians are young, white, healthy, male

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As a younger woman, my vision of equality was shaped in good part by the liberal feminist concept of emancipation through independence. I recognised my privilege in being able to access to many of the civil rights made possible through the feminist movement and didn’t expect to experience any significant barriers to achieving equality with my male peers. In this context, the experience of becoming pregnant and the impact that it had on my life took me completely by surprise. From the first stages of my pregnancy I was alarmed by feelings of dependency on my partner that I had never experienced before. As my pregnancy progressed, my sense of physical vulnerability increased and my capacity to maintain my equality through independence was repeatedly challenged. Finally, when my daughter was born, her utter vulnerability shook me to the core and I realised that I could no longer operate in the world as a wholly autonomous unit. I was encumbered by this incredibly dependent little person who needed me for her very survival. My understanding of myself and of what I needed from the world shifted completely, as did my understanding of the feminist project. I could no longer relate to the ambivalence of liberal feminism to the needs, indeed rights, of dependent women (and children).

Source: Feminism and the terrifying dependency of children – TASA

 

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