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Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Susan Faludi - Women and 9/11

I've been meaning to do a blog entry on this extract from Susan Faludi's recent book for a few weeks now and finally I have the time.

One of the extracts can be found here

Basically, she is looking at how women were positioned by the media and by decision makers in the wake of 9/11. I found her analysis facinating and agreed wholeheartedly with how she shows how women were set up as the victims and men as the heros. When women - such as the four widows of men who died in the building - didn't fit into the role of passive victim but, like the four widows did to challenge the government on their failings and how the mistakes made, they were vilified.

The extract that had the most relevance for this blog (and the subject of this blog) is the extract I've put the link above.

After 9/11, the media widely reported that women were retreating from the workforce and into pro-creation. Yet, no evidence for this was found. Again, it seems as though there is a desparateness to push women back into the traditional roles of child-rearing and homemaking.

For childfree women, this must have felt like another blow during this time as one of the media messages Faludi reports was common was about women 'regretting' child-free status and feeling desparate to have children. Again, as she points out, this wasn't based on research - just a few ancedotal stories

My only slight unease is that Faludi - like other feminists of her generation - sees work very much as women's salvation - Rosie Boycott made a similar arguement in an article that I'll find and post the link to here. Again, very much that child-rearing is a trap.

I find this a difficult arguement sometimes as I don't think that it is neccessarily our salavation if we are mothers to be working 70 hour weeks and hardly seeing children. Yet, I definately think that it's important to be able to work and develop an identity away from being a mother - not every mother will want this of course. For alot of mothers, part-time working is the ideal solution. Yet often, part-time jobs are difficult to come by and are often more poorly paid.


Sass E-mum said...

Grrr. Rosie Boycott. She also thinks that young single mothers are the scourge of the earth for not getting to grips with contraception. The venom she has for girls who make mistakes is unbelievable - justifying it all on the basis that 'she' was careful.

Makes me wonder how she rationalises her adult mistake of drunk driving charges and alcoholism.

Err - it's up to you if you want to publish this post or not!

Beth said...

Or rationalises her editorship of the Express - not exactly the most feminist of publications!

Sass E-mum said...

And writes for the Daily Misogynist!