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I was viciously verbally attacked by a feminist the other day and I am still crying over it. I do support women's issues, but this woman made me really upset. When I told her I had a boyfriend (who treats me nice, who reads my articles without laughing and who loves the fact we learn so much from each other) and told her that I thought about marriage and children, she screamed down my throat and told me that I will be nothing but a worthless broodmare selling out to patriarchy.

Amy, the job that I will have will allow for me to have kids without sacrificing career versus motherhood. My boyfriend is supportive. It made me feel that much more guilty for even wanting a husband and maybe a child. Why can't we all follow what we preach-that this is about all of us being able to choose what we want? I shouldn't have to be subjected to this woman's abuse. How do I stay positive? --Renee


I'm sorry that you had to be subjected to that other woman's hostility and rage. I agree with you that feminism is about making it possible for everyone to have the ability to make choices in their own lives - that includes the choice to marry or stay single.

Historically, women didn't have much of a choice when it came to marriage and children, but that is all changing - thankfully, and now women can choose marriage and children without feeling like they must. However, I think that women are still too often vulnerable to tradition, but the fact is that society hasn't changed enough yet to make not marrying and not having children as acceptable as doing so is. This is just the result of evolution taking longer than expected. I do think we are getting to this place, but not yet.

As for dealing specifically with this one woman, I think that you could perhaps find something in her life that you wouldn't choose, as a way of making the point that not all feminists have to agree, but we do have to agree on a process, which is making choices about our lives.

P.S. The other possibility is that she really wants to be married, but felt like that choice was denied to her by another feminist who told her she "shouldn't" and therefore, she feels compelled to pass on that "information."


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