Correlation and Causation

Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of kids. I’m also not a fan of having children when you know you won’t be able to provide them with the emotional, financial, social support and love that they unquestionably deserve.

Here’s an article by Rebecca Walker, the famed Alice Walker’s daughter, on her mother, her feminism, and their strained and apparently painful relationship. I think, however, that the younger walker could be confusing correlation with causation (or perhaps doesn’t want to distinguish between the two for all sorts of reasons). In the piece, feminism presented as the reason that the older Walker was a deficient mother – and while it could be true that Walker (the elder) was a substandard mother because of her feminism, she could also be a feminist who happens to be a bad mother. If anything, this is more evidence that the 2nd wave’s offerings – access to birth control, and the ability to freely control one’s reproductive abilities (among other things) – are unadulterated good, for it allows women like A. (who think that children are hindrances and chains) to abstain from having children and treating them as if they were…hindrances and chains.

There’s also a line (at the end) where R. Walker laments that feminism has a lot to answer to for “betraying an entire generation of women into childlessness.” That’s just silly. Feminism (the 1st, 2nd, and yes, the 3rd waves) has some further clarifying and explaining to do – but not for that. I don’t know how R. caught onto the fact that the human race won’t continue because of Friedan and her peers, but good thing she let the world know as soon as she could.


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