But surely you have no life beyond motherhood

Posted: April 14, 2012 by Jender in assumptions about mothers

A woman philosopher writes…

While at……volunteer night, I took on packing condoms into baggies and folding brochures. It was blast. Here comes the agony of female descent. To our surprise, the director came in and joined in for friendly conversation. An assistant director introduces another young woman to the director: “Yes, this is so and so and she is a grad student at the …molecular biology…..works at lab…..” etc…..The director is excited! The assistant director turns to me and says: “This is so and so…..she has three young children…….in school full time…..” The director turns away immediately to the other young woman and engages in a conversation. I swear a snooty sound just came from her direction.
I am the poster child for the female struggle: rape, kid at a young age, growing up in poverty and the system….Yet when I assert myself and attempt to give back to my community, I am not worthy. This is only one example. Many times in my life and career, I have been stricken with stereotypical notions of where my level of intelligence registers and how useful I am to the feminist world because of my life circumstance (i.e. children and late to finish college). Either I am cast aside as a non-worthy source of intellect or simply patronized. Did I try to engage and throw my weight with her? Yes. Did I get a response? No.
Perhaps it was most shocking because of the hierarchy of transgressions from female to female in a progressively feminist environment; no matter how subtle. Am I offended or hurt? Sure.

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