Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Friday, February 20, 2009

Valentines Day Well Being

Ok, so this wasn't Valentines Day, it was a few days later. But yesterday as we were driving home from Daphne's Greek Cafe, Mike said something very sweet. He told me that when I called him earlier that day, he felt a nice sense of well being that he had a wife who was going to come and pick him up and that we were going to go out to dinner, and just in general that he had a great life. (This feeling might have been sparked, he confessed, by his desire, at the moment I called him, to get away from students who were in his office and preventing him from getting work done.) Anyway, I thought it was sweet.

I told him that I had also had a well being epiphany that same day, but mine was sparked as I was at TJ Maxx buying Mexican pottery. I was so enjoying the acquisition of these cute dishes that I was thinking how awesome Mike is to make money and and that I get to go out and buy cool pottery with it.  What a great life.

 I know, not my greatest feminist moment. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mundane Details About My Wednesday (you don't want to read this, people)

6:45 - E wakes up. I am already up, so I climb the stairs to get him
6:45- 9:00 - E watches T.V. I try to steer him towards Sesame Street, since it seems a bit more educational than Dora or Clifford, but usually I have to put those on eventually. He eats breakfast (pop-tart usually - thank Mike for that) or recently lemon yogurt.
8:00 Mike comes down the stairs and takes E for half an hour so I can go up and get dressed.
8:30 Mike leaves for work
9:00 - 11:00 E and I go to the gym. Thank you, gym! You have hot water (unlike my house), you have cheap babysitting, I get to read my novel as I pretend to work out. Good times.
11:00 to 12:00 - I wrack my brains trying to figure out ways to waste time. Now that I'm pregnant, I'm usually hungry, so going and getting an early lunch works. Yesterday it was El Pollo Loco. E actually ate something.
12:15-1:30: E messes around at home. Unfortunately I buckle and turn on Sesame Street, even though I know I should not let him watch this much T.V.
1:30 to 2:30 - The great nap battle begins. I coax him up the stairs, with the agreement he can bring a crayon and a balloon. Bad decision. He marks the crayon all over the chair in his room. I read books to him, then chase him around the room in order to grab him and dump him in the crib. He's not happy. Have to go up the stairs a number of times to see what's wrong. It's generally that he dropped his balloon outside the crib and wants it back. Eventually I turn on the TV downstairs and put my ear plugs in so I don't have to hear him cry anymore. He eventually sleeps. I crash on the sofa and sleep too.
4:30 - E wakes up. He weasels a tortilla out of me, even though it's almost dinner time.
5:15 - I go pick up Mike. We go to Panera. E eats nothing.
6:00 - I'm home and I'm free! Mike takes E. He plays with him and deals with his tantrums. I read stuff for my classes.
9:00 - We watch Lost together.
10:00 - I go upstairs and read more.
11:00 - Go to sleep.

Friday, February 06, 2009


I heard a sermon preached last week about Bonhoeffer. Loved it. I wish I could remember more, but I was fascinated by his response to the horrors of Nazi Germany. He was a German theologian who was appalled by what he saw happening around him, and he said there were three responses the church could take. 1) initiate a conversation with the state and question their policies and decisions 2.) Nurse and comfort those who had been thrown under the bus by this regime. 3) Grab the steering wheel of the bus and try to save the people being mown down.

Ultimately Bonhoeffer chose the third. He justified his non-pacifist response to Hitler by saying that it was morally superior to try to grab that steering wheel when a lunatic is driving and try to unseat him, rather than continue to let him kill innocent people. Bonhoeffer was arrested for being involved in a failed assassination plot against Hitler and was hung a few months before Hitler killed himself.

I don't know what I would do in that situation. After watching Valkyrie and seeing how frightening and precarious the situation in Nazi Germany was, I was left with the overwhelming feeling that I would just want to live. I would just want my family to live. I felt so bad for those people that had to choose between Hitler and the resistance, and if they made the wrong choice they would die. So many of them just wanted to live too. It was only a few of the bravest and most principled who were willing to risk their lives as leaders of the resistance.

I'm taking a class on moral agency right now. Traditionally, the most moral person would be the one who made decisions based on principles, rather than the one who makes decisions based on emotion or relationships or individual context. Feminist ethics critiques this traditional view and says that no, making decisions based on relationships, emotions, and subjective inclinations can be just as moral as making those decisions based on principle. I think I firmly fall into that contextual and relational way of making decisions. If my children or spouse were to be put at risk from me being involved in a resistance movement, I doubt I would involve myself. That's kind of seems sad and cowardly to me. But that's an ethical decision too.