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[personal profile] archaesophilia
Why do we care about Britain's new royal? Why is the world, the Anglo part of it at least, obsessed with a woman's ability to produce a baby?

I am sick to death of hearing about women's reproductive abilities; whether we should, when we can, if it is bad or good, if we get a choice about it. 

So, a woman has produced a baby. So what? Good on her, she's managed what female mammals have been doing since mammals were mammals. Now comes the hard part, though she will not have to grapple with issues like poverty, tyranny, or any number of less than first world problems.

The thing is, I think that the obsession with the royal baby is a symptom of a greater obsession, culturally, with defining women. It is saying, "look, here is this feminine person doing what good feminine persons should do!" It says, "princesses (oh, here we go,the platonic ideal of womanhood) give birth like they wear nice hats; because it is a princess thing to do!" And every little girl in this Disney era knows that princesses always do what women are supposed to do.

I'm not sorry, but I refuse to believe that womanhood is only about wearing fashionable hats and popping out babies. What can we possibly do to break out of the collective delusion that all women are somehow princesses? Single women have careers, and relationships, and own houses, and sometimes have children, yes, without wearing fancy hats, and without being made a 'princess' first. Very often with a very silly hat, instead! Sometimes with a person of the male/female/other persuasion in tow, but not always! In fact, the data seems to indicate that there is a 50/50 chance.

I remember (and it is still happening) the outcry about Michelle Obama's arms-well,THOSE certainly aren't very princess like. They indicate that she may have a personality outside of her clothing choices! They hint scandalously at work, at sweat, at a woman who is proud of something she did which only affects her own body but which somehow personally offends people. As though those arms will reach out and erase their delusions. Well, I hope they do.

So, good on Kate for having a baby, I hope she's very happy about it. And good for her for wearing what are admittedly some very stylish hats.

But that's not all there is to being a woman.


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