Thirty-eight-year-old Rebecca Walker doesn’t take the joys of motherhood for granted.
I love the way his head nestles in the crook of my neck. I love the way his face falls into a mask of eager concentration when I help him learn the alphabet. But most of all, I simply love hearing his little voice calling: ‘Mummy, Mummy.’
It reminds me of just how blessed I am. The truth is that I very nearly missed out on becoming a mother—thanks to being brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman.
You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale.
Rebecca’s mother, Alice Walker, is the author of The Color Purple and revered as a trailblazer in the feminist movement. Now Rebecca Walker is speaking out on the negative impact her mother’s views had on their family and her childhood. She’s quick to point out that her views are nearly opposite of her mother’s.
In fact, having a child has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Far from ‘enslaving’ me, 3-and-a-half-year-old Tenzin has opened my world. My only regret is that I discovered the joys of motherhood so late—I have been trying for a second child for two years, but so far with no luck.
Rebecca Walker describes a childhood in which she wasn’t allowed to play with dolls (due to her mother’s fear it would bring out a maternal instinct). She was left with babysitters for months on end as her mom traveled and pursued self-fulfillment. Rebecca became sexually active at 13, got pregnant at 14 and made arrangements for her own abortion (with her mother’s knowledge and support). But living out the virtues of feminism only brought pain to Rebecca.
My mother may be revered by women around the world—goodness knows, many even have shrines to her. But I honestly believe it’s time to puncture the myth and to reveal what life was really like to grow up as a child of the feminist revolution.
Her final point is telling and sad:
Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.
But far from taking responsibility for any of this, the leaders of the women’s movement close ranks against anyone who dares to question them—as I have learned to my cost. I don’t want to hurt my mother, but I cannot stay silent. I believe feminism is an experiment, and all experiments need to be assessed on their results. Then, when you see huge mistakes have been paid, you need to make alterations.
Walker’s reflection on what feminism has wrought reminds me of Paul’s words in Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Any philosophy not based on the values of God and His Word is doomed to produce bad results. While feminism has promised to liberate women, only Jesus Christ, who truly has their best interest at heart, can.