Betraying the Cause

feminismIt’s odd, but I had never really considered home education to be a feminist issue. Apparently it is though.

Recently, a friend mentioned their dissatisfaction with the school system and I commented that I was really pleased we’d made the move to home education. Someone else, who I don’t know, then commented that my children would be isolated, unable to deal with pressure, have no idea how to interact with other children and generally be badly off because they didn’t go to school.

She went on to say that I was putting back the feminist cause by home educating:

Gosh and what about you? You don’t have a job? What about women who have been fighting to stop staying at home doing chores and children and actually have a career the same as men?

feministI have to say I’m a bit baffled by this. I’ve no idea what she thinks the connection is between home education and suffrage. I’d no idea that by choosing to take personal responsibility for my children’s education I was betraying the cause of women’s rights. Except that I’m not, of course. I’m not suggesting that women should not work outside the home, or should have the sole or main responsibility for home education.

And I do work. I no longer have a “career” because I chose to give it up. I am now self-employed, running a successful business and mentoring other women to do the same. How unfeminist of me.

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8 comments on “Betraying the Cause

  1. Lauren on said:

    Sadly, many people seem to see our choice to home educate as an attack on their decision to send their children to school. I find this particularly true in parents whose children are unhappy in school. Don’t let this stop you from being openly happy about your decision!

  2. Given her lack of understanding of home education, I’m not sure I’d have read on to discover her lack of understanding of feminism. Since when has it just been about being like men?

    • It’s bizarre isn’t it how badly she’s missed the point of feminism… It’s not to avoid staying at home with chores, or to have a career “like a man’s”… it’s to have the same choices, the same possibilities as men. It’s to be able to choose to be a builder or an erotic dancer or a rugby player or a home-maker. Men can choose any of those things… why not a woman? I admire the way Mahala has managed to meld being a business owner with being a home-maker; I admire that she has both sides of life to be proud of – work AND a family; and I am proud of our decision to stop our children being destroyed by Gove’s education. We both contribute to society, and we have both taken full responsibility for our children’s academic and social future. Those sounds like positive things to me.

  3. I am for and against home ed, if it works great, but remember a kid needs to be with other kids too. I like your attitude though 🙂 do what makes you happy x

  4. As far as I’m aware feminism is about choice and opportunities not a dictated path!

  5. I completely agree with Clare, I was always under the impression feminism was about making your own choice, not those dictated to you by people who assume they have power over someone else. Great post.

  6. Jenn @buildingmommymuscles on said:

    Interesting! We homeachool but don’t fit the stereotypes 🙂

  7. Hi, I’m from America and I found your post really interesting.

    I also homeschool my five kids. Two have gone on to college (university). I still have three at home. The homeschooling movement here has grown over the past 20 years. When I started in the 90’s, I had to explain to people why my kids weren’t in school during the day. I got a few odd looks, but people generally accepted it. Now, it’s so much more common. I’m out and about if needed and no one questions if my kids are truant. Is homeschooling common in the UK?

    I think it’s great that you’re doing it. It may not be easy, but I applaud you for doing it. And as far as setting the feminist movement back, I agree that we should be able to choose if we work outside the home or not. I’m a photographer and writer in my spare time. I wouldn’t trade being home with my kids for anything. Yes, some days are hard, but for me, it’s worth it.

    But I’ll be the first to say not every can or should home educate. Cheers to you! I hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

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