My sister passed along a link to an article, The Fremivore's Dilemma that appeared in the NY Times on March 11, 2010. The author, Peggy Orenstein, writes about woman that have moved beyond growing an organic kitchen garden to *gasp* actually having a chicken coop in the back yard.
"All of these gals — these chicks with chicks — are stay-at-home moms, highly educated women who left the work force to care for kith and kin. I don’t think that’s a coincidence: the omnivore’s dilemma has provided an unexpected out from the feminist predicament, a way for women to embrace homemaking without becoming Betty Draper. "
On the surface that would describe me, a stay-at-home mom with a couple of college degrees who chose to leave the work force to care for home and children. But there never was a "feminist predicament" for me. I have never seen myself as "accepting a gilded cage" by staying home. Of course, that might be because I've never considered myself a feminist.
I do agree with her statement that "their vehicle for children’s enrichment goes well beyond a ride to the next math tutoring session." And that is part of why we have chosen to home school our children. The combination of formal schooling and ranch life creates a rich learning environment they are not likely to encounter otherwise.
It seems to me that feminists, even those with chicken coops in their backyards, are approaching life from an entirely different point of view than mine. I view staying home and caring for children, critters and plants as a God given responsibility. I also don't worry about whether or not my contribution is "equal" to that of my husbands. I'm not saying my point of view is the only right one, but I would be willing to bet that chicken wire won't be cooping me up "as surely as any gilded cage".