DE: Feminist Family Values

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One of the feminist family values that made my family values differ from the traditional family values is the idea that parenting should be taken up by both parents. Despite the fact that my parents comes from Africa where we believe in the traditional family values that assumes a separation of work and responsibilities, my parents were still able to adopt a feminist family value when raising us. The reason why this is a feminist family value is because it eliminates the role of gender and separation of work between genders.
In Africa, the idea of traditional family value is assumed as the definition of a family structure. We believe that a woman is the homemaker while a man is imagined in the public world of work. Young women were also made to believe that being a good wife means abiding by the traditional family values which was socially constructed by the government to promote social hierarchies. I remember that my mum sometimes told me that while they were having babies and my father had to help out, his friends taught my parent's relationship was not a real African relationship. They saw my father as a shame to the African figure and my mum has a lazy African woman. This explains Patrick's idea that "class, gender, race, ethnicity, religion constitute categories of belonging that invoke family rhetoric". This brings me to the point that the context of culture is a very important context which needs to be taken into great consideration when discussing feminist family values.

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Two points:

1. I think there is a difference between division of labour and gendered division of labour. It is possible to have a married heterosexual couple in which the woman does the housework and child care while the man earns money, but they don't make this decision based on family and gender norms. Sometimes people fulfill "traditional" roles just because it works out for them. Sometimes it's what they want to do. I'm thinking of my parents while writing this. Our generation has so much more social freedom in deciding what kind of family structure we want.

2. The intersection between the state and the family is really interesting. In post-Partition India and Pakistan, the governments were concerned with the return of abducted women who were of reproductive age. There were a lot of debates about women being forced back to their original families when they were happier with their abductees. There were complaints on both sides that the other country was just returning young girls and old women. In all of this, it was clear from state rhetoric that they were concerned about women not as citizens, but as reproductive beings in appropriate family situations. This sort of state philosophy has been present in other parts of the world such as the eugenics movement in Europe and the United States. Policies concerning reproduction were more concerned about population control than women's rights.

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