On the thread of my mother's Day post Psycho Milt asked a question:
So, is raising children women's work or not? I always supported what I thought was the feminist argument, that raising children doesn't require gender specialisation once it gets beyond breastfeeding, so that's what we should be aiming for. This post seems to suggest otherwise.That was not my intention.
There are some parts of child rearing that are women's work by biology. Taking a embryo and making a baby is work, so is breast-feeding. The fact that neither of these activities is valued and often women are penalised for partaking them, is really fucking sexist.
After that it's entirely true that either men or women could raise children. When I talk of the work of raising children as women's work I am using the term descriptively, it is work that is almost entirely done by women. It is because that work is done by women (or possibly because women do this work that they get devalued, I suspect it's a chicken/egg situation).
I think there's nothing inconsistent in demanding that women's work be valued, and demanding that not just women do it.