Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Shorter Yael Mishali

Here, for the hard-of-reading, is a boiled down summary of Yael Mishali's awful Ynet article:

I really like ice cream. Eating it gives me joy, pleasure and fulfilment. Anyone who disagrees is an evil, liberal, secular, selfish feminist terrorist.

And, this, at bottom, is what I found most offensive about her piece. Somehow, Mishali has acquired the idea that having a large family is the one true path to happiness, and anyone who disagrees is deluded, dangerous or both. She seems not to understand that different people find fulfilment in different ways, and that what satisfies her may not work for someone else.

Ironically, Mishali is behaving exactly like the 70s style feminists she disdains. It was the 70s style feminists who (per the caricature, at least) thought only careers brought fulfilment and showered scorn on women who chose children instead. Now, some 40 years later, here comes Mishali acting no less viciously toward woman who've made the opposite choice.

The ones having the last laugh are the women I know, the third wave feminists who live in 2009. They have no use for Mishali, and no use for the sort of feminists she criticizes. For them, feminism means choices, and most all choices are equal. You can be June Cleaver, or you can choose to follow Mary Richard's path instead. That's up to you, and no one - not society, not your parents, and certainly not some fire-breathing barely literate Ynet editorialist - has the right to make that decision on your behalf.

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