I’m truly enjoying the blogging going on over at Slate’s new all-female blog “The XX Factor.” The corniness of the name aside, the writers are raising excellent points across the board. A recent post about Paula Radcliffe by Emily Bazelon has sparked response from her fellow contributor June Thomas about what it means to be a strong woman and how that relates to both Radcliffe and Hillary Clinton.
Bazelon describes the “imperfect Hillary parallel” wherein
People are awed by a woman who has children and is back running on the track before the doctor can cut the umbilical cord. And why shouldn't they be, a woman such as Radcliffe has commit quite a feat. It’s not that I think we shouldn’t applaud Radcliffe for her dedication to her sport, but like Thomas, I still feel uncomfortable with the reason she is an emblem of success. Something about the idea of beating out the femaleness (Ok, no more “nesses,” I promise) out of a mother feels wrong and I believe it's at least partially missing the point of feminism. How can we make room for a myriad of types of women, without marginalizing anyone's choices? I’d like to know how other women answer these questions. How do you reconcile your passions with something like a biological clock?