Author Alice Walker, Feminist Icon, bad mother?
"How my mother's fanatical views tore us apart"
By REBECCA WALKER
Last updated at 1:18 PM on 23rd May 2008
Interesting look at a feminist icon, from her daughter.
The point is, Alice Walker implemented feminist theory in her private life, and the results were not what feminists claim would result.
I did not equate feminism with incompetent parenting, but thank you for making the connection.
I wanted to see if anyone else thinks Alice Walker was a bad parent. That's why there is a question mark at the end.
Also, a cornerstone of feminism is about being a parent, or not being a parent. How children are brought up, what they are taught in schools and universities, and how a parent can treat a child (born or unborn).
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
It is funny how a feminist who thought having children was "enslaving" had a child and then that child is the exact opposite of what she taught her.
If this is true it is quite sad and a symbol of how dysfunctional radical feminism can be!
- tehabwaLv 71 decade ago
It's simply a lie that feminism means considering motherhood slavery and purely negative.
Most people, including most feminists, WANT kids.
Yes, she sounds like a horrible, neglectful mother.
That's a fact about HER, not feminists or feminism.
It's also a lie that feminism denigrates men.
It's also a lie that the only choices are to be a neglectful parent OR feminist, or that the choices are to be a neglectful parent OR a stay-at-home mom.
Many feminist parents have fulfilling careers, AND are caring parents.
Someone who has no desire to be a parent shouldn't have kids.
That being left on her own, alone, at 13 is chilling. It's NOT feminism.
- Ultraviolet30Lv 41 decade ago
Sounds like this poor girl had a mother with no parenting skills. But its not the fault of feminism. For Alice, feminism was her excuse but it certainly wasn't a reason. I'm a feminist and very loving, supportive mother. Maybe Alice felt that there had to be a trade off, which is so very tragic for her daughter. Sad story.
I think the closest thing this accusatory essay had to any real depth was found in the last paragraph where she states, " 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." This statement I completely agree with. The feminist movement is a work in progress. It wasn't complete and perfect. It liberated hundreds of thousands of women but there is still work to be done. One topic of discussion which never fails to interest me centers around the balance of work and family. This balance could more easily be met by changing the structure of the work environment to include families whenever possible. The structure of the work environment was created during a time of female repression. Now that women are liberated we must change the system from the inside out.
- 1 decade ago
Reminds me of Ghandi, he was a wife beater, but that's always left out of the story. Sometimes the people that are the first to say things are elevated to positons of authority that they shouldn't be. Not all women should be mothers and Alice Walker certianly should not have. I've heard of similar horror stories.
Having a child and letting them play with toys is a joy. Which is why most feminists, should, and alot do, support maternity leave. On the flipside I think fathers should be given some maternity leave time as well. A man deserves to spend time with his new family.
I doubt this reflects most feminists beliefs at home.
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- Phoebe FinchLv 51 decade ago
It sounds like she is a perfect example of why people who don't want children just shouldn't have them. Unless your willing to give 100% to your child, don't have it. It's fine if your career or your art is the most important thing in your life, just keep it that way.
- 1 decade ago
Walker talked the talk about sisterhood, but she totally failed her own daughter and grandchild. But we know how heartless many feminists are e.g. over abortion, violence against men etc.
- 1 decade ago
That's feminism for you. Thank God my mum was no feminist. The difference between this person and other horrible parents is that she believed in being a horrible mother. Hating kids and men is like her religion.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Not suprising really. Most western women are too selfish to be any good for there children. Feminism has taught that being a mother is enslavement and that does not rub well for the upbringing of a child.
- RoValeLv 71 decade ago
Being a bad parent has nothing to do with a person's personal beliefs. It sounds like nothing more than a daughter who has serious issues with her mother just like those celebrity children who wrote scathing tell-alls about their parents after they died such as Christina Crawford, Gary Crosby, and Maria Riva.
- The Ms.Lv 41 decade ago
One could say that it is quite similar to the traditionalist parents: Bing Crosby, Ryan O'Neil, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Being a lousy parent seems to have little to do with individual belief system despite some who attempt to demonize feminism.