Sunday, September 4, 2011
Why I created this blog...
In Dance of the Dissident Daughter, Sue Monk Kidd talks about a feminine wound, or the damage done to women by social and religious expectations. I read the book two years ago, and that idea has stuck with me. Despite my non-traditional parents, and a husband who does not hold any gender expectations as far as our relationship goes ( or at all as far as I can tell) I find myself trying to fill certain gender expectations, or feeling guilty if I don't. This blog is an attempt to recognize and change these feelings in my life.
I grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the Mormon church. The Mormons are a conservative Protestant sect with very strong traditional gender expectations, i.e. husband as provider and head of the household and wife as homemaker. These roles have never appealed to me, and have no bearing on my life at the moment. I'm working full time while my husband goes to school and works part time. Whoever is home and has time does the domestic chores, or we do them together. This is following the example my parents set growing up. My husband has never made me feel like he expected me to do or not do something based on his expectations or whims. despite all this, I find myself feeling guilty for not meeting the expectations I have been told I should be filling. The following is an example of this, and the catalyst for this blog.
A few days ago, I went to a storytelling performance with a couple of friends. My husband was at work, so I left him a note so he would know where I was and not worry. It was a fun performance, and I was scoping out the space for a play I want to direct. But the entire night I felt guilty for not being home when K got home. I was worried he'd be mad ( which has never happened), and I felt like I was falling down on the job by not being home waiting for him. It was really hard to enjoy the performance because of how I felt.
I have no idea where I picked up the idea that a wife should always be at home waiting for her husband, I didn't get it from my husband or parents. And I don't feel bad when I'm at school or work and get home after him. But when I'm out having fun, I feel guilty, as though my fun shouldn't deprive him of my being home. I realized this that night, and how insane it was to feel that way. I also realized things like this happen to me a lot. So this is my attempt to document and deal with these feelings, to give myself permission to use the freedom I have.