Feminism should mean more choices not less for our PM

Zimbio

John Key was part of a cult of personality but New Zealand has seen nothing yet. PM Jacinda Ardern is being held up as a poster girl /role model /celebrity for Millenials, Social Justice Warriors and Third-wave feminists. The pressure on her to be politically correct in all that she does will be enormous. Already statements are being made that are boxing her into a corner, politicising what should be a very personal decision. It is being assumed that any female Labour PM should, of course, choose power and her career over full-time motherhood.

Former PM Helen Clark’s tweet said: ” Every #womanshould have the choice of combining family & career.”

We all know what Helen Clark’s choice was and she was a highly efficient and competent PM because she put her career first. She didn’t have to deal with “Milk brain”, hormone imbalances, lack of sleep, breastfeeding or any of the demands that are made on a new mother. She could work long hours and live apart from her husband.

She was a politician who made it to the top the old fashioned way by hard graft and working her way up the ladder. She didn’t get handed the job on a platter because she had a photogenic smile and was the Labour party’s last hope at not losing the election too badly.

A lot of what Jacinda has been quoted as saying in past interviews indicates she is leaving the door open for full-time motherhood despite all the public statement from others who are getting carried away about having a “Super Mum” as Prime Minister.

“I’ve been really open about that dilemma because I think probably lots of women face it,” she said.

“For me, my position is no different to the woman who works three jobs, or who might be in a position where they are juggling lots of responsibilities.

“You’ve just got to take every day as it comes and try and see if you can make the best of the lot you’re given.

“So I’m not pre-determining any of that, just like most of the women out here who just make their lives work.”

-Stuff

So far Jacinda is ticking all the regressive progressive boxes.

  • Youngest Prime Minister tick
  • Has a “partner” not a husband  tick
  • Chardonnay Socialist tick
  • Pregnant career woman in position of power tick
  • Gender role swapping (partner prepared to stay at home Dad) tick

Traditional feminism was about equality and giving women the right to choose what kind of life/career/ relationship they wanted but Jacinda is not being given choices. The MSM and even other Labour MPs have expectations of her that they want her to fulfil. They expect her to put her career first. They love the idea of a man at home bringing up the baby while she brings home the bacon.

Even though the Labour government has passed a law to increase paid maternity leave to 26 weeks Jacinda has stated that she will only take six weeks off. The narrative being pushed by those around her is that she will effortlessly have it all and will juggle motherhood and the most powerful job in the land with ease. She will be a Super Mother.

Shouldn’t she also have the choice to take a year’s maternity leave or to choose motherhood over a career? Is it her responsibility to provide the socialist/third wave feminist role model of a woman attempting to have it all at the same time?

Our PM has a history of anxiety issues and is likely to suffer from postpartum depression after the birth. Should she feel pressured after only six weeks to return to an extremely stressful job when physically she will have barely healed and mentally and emotionally she could be very fragile not to mention sleep deprived?

In many ways, Jacinda is dancing to other people’s tune. She never wanted to be the Labour leader and said so in a number of interviews before she became Labour leader. She and her partner were trying to get pregnant all through this period so I am sure that becoming PM was the last thing that she wanted. Unlike Helen Clark, Jacinda is not a career politician who is hungry for power. She fell (or was pushed) into the job and I am confident that she will fall out of it not long after she has her first child.


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If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

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