Although I believe that an abortion was the right decision for me then, the aftermath haunted me for decades. It ate away at my self-confidence and, until I had Tenzin, i was terrified that I'd never be mom able to have a baby because of what I had done to the child I had destroyed. For feminists to say that abortion carries no consequences is simply wrong. As a child, i was terribly confused, because while i was being fed a strong feminist message, i actually yearned for a traditional mother. My father's second wife, judy, was a loving, maternal homemaker with five children she doted. There was always food in the fridge and she did all the things my mother didn't, such as attending their school events, taking endless photos and telling her children at every opportunity how wonderful they were. Alice walker's iconic book was made in to a film in 1985, and starred Whoopi goldberg and Margaret avery (pictured). My mother was the polar opposite.
A good mother is attentive, sets boundaries and makes the world safe for her child. But my mother did none of those things. Although I was on the pill - something I had arranged at 13, visiting the doctor with my best friend - I fell pregnant. I organised an abortion myself. Now I shudder at the memory. I was only a little girl. I don't remember my mother being shocked or upset. She tried to be supportive, accompanying me with her boyfriend.
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From the age of 13, i spent days at a time alone while my mother retreated to her writing studio - some 100 miles away. I was left with money to buy my own meals and lived on a diet of fast food. Sisters vidyarthi together, a neighbour, not much older than me, was deputised to look after. I saw it as my job to protect my mother and never distract her from her writing. It never crossed my mind to say that I needed some time and attention from her. When I was beaten up at school - accused of being a snob because i had lighter skin than my black classmates - i always told my mother that everything was fine, that I had won the fight. I didn't want to worry her.
But ppt the truth was I was very lonely and, with my mother's knowledge, started having sex. I guess it was a relief for my mother as it meant I was less demanding. And she felt that being sexually active was empowering for me because it meant I was in control of my body. Now I simply cannot understand how she could have been so permissive. I barely want my son to leave the house on a play-date, let alone start sleeping around while barely out of junior school.
I spent two years with each parent - a bizarre way of doing things. Ironically, my mother regards herself as a hugely maternal woman. Believing that women are suppressed, she has campaigned for their rights around the world and set up organisations to aid women abandoned in Africa - offering herself up as a mother figure. But, while she has taken care of daughters all over the world and is hugely revered for her public work and service, my childhood tells a very different story. I came very low down in her priorities - after work, political integrity, self-fulfilment, friendships, spiritual life, fame and travel. My mother would always do what she wanted - for example taking off to Greece for two months in the summer, leaving me with relatives when I was a teenager.
Is that independent, or just plain selfish? I was 16 when I found a now-famous poem she wrote comparing me to various calamities that struck and impeded the lives of other women writers. Virginia woolf was mentally ill and the Brontes died prematurely. My mother had me - a 'delightful distraction but a calamity nevertheless. I found that a huge shock and very upsetting. According to the strident feminist ideology of the seventies, women were sisters first, and my mother chose to see me as a sister rather than a daughter.
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Dad Mel leventhal, was the brilliant lawyer son of a jewish family writing who had fled the holocaust. Mum was the impoverished eighth child of sharecroppers from georgia. When they married in 1967, inter-racial weddings were still illegal in some states. My early childhood was very happy although my parents were terribly busy, encouraging me to grow up fast. I was only one when I was sent off to nursery school. I'm told they even made me walk down the street to the school. Alice walker believed so strongly that children enslaved their mothers she disowned her own daughter. When I was eight, my parents divorced. From then on I was shuttled between two worlds - my father's very conservative, traditional, wealthy, white suburban community in New York, and my mother's avant garde multi-racial community in California.hippie
It was drummed into me that being a mother, raising children and running a home were a form of slavery. Having a career, travelling the world and being independent were what really mattered according to her. I love my mother very much, but I haven't seen drugs her or spoken to her since i became pregnant. She has never seen my son - her only grandchild. Daring to question her ideology. Well, so. My mother may be revered by women around the world - goodness knows, many even have shrines to her. But I honestly believe it's time to puncture the myth and to reveal what life was really like to grow up as a child of the feminist revolution. My parents met and fell in love in Mississippi during the civil rights movement.
motherhood so late - I have been trying for a second child for two years, but so far with no luck. I was raised to believe that women need men like a fish needs a bicycle. But I strongly feel children need two parents and the thought of raising Tenzin without my partner, Glen, 52, would be terrifying. As the child of divorced parents, i know only too well the painful consequences of being brought up in those circumstances. Feminism has much to answer for denigrating men and encouraging women to seek independence whatever the cost to their families. My mother's feminist principles coloured every aspect of my life. As a little girl, i wasn't even allowed to play with dolls or stuffed toys in case they brought out a maternal instinct.
I love the wallpaper way his head nestles in the crook of my neck. I love the way his face falls into a mask of eager concentration when I help him learn the alphabet. But most of all, i simply love hearing his little voice calling: 'mummy, mummy.'. It reminds me of just how blessed. The truth is that i very nearly missed out on becoming a mother - thanks to being brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman. You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale.
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She's revered as a trail-blazing movie feminist and author Alice walker touched the lives of a generation of women. A champion of women's rights, she has always argued that motherhood is a form of servitude. But one woman didn't buy in to Alice's beliefs - her daughter, rebecca,. Here the writer describes what it was like to grow up as the daughter of a cultural icon, and why she feels so blessed to be the sort of woman 64-year-old Alice despises - a mother. The other day i was vacuuming when my son came bounding into the room. 'mummy, mummy, let me help he cried. His little hands were grabbing me around the knees and his huge brown eyes were looking up. I was overwhelmed by a huge surge of happiness. Maternal rift: Rebecca walker, whose mother was the feminist author of The color Purple - who thought motherhood a form of servitude, is now proud to be a mother herself.