viernes, octubre 17, 2014

Halle Berry and the quest for equal rights for women

Yesterday, I read a few articles about Halle Berry and her child support woes.  This is definitely something new, because Halle's "woes" are not that she is not getting enough.  It is that she gives too much.

As you may know, Halle has a little girl, Nahla, with her now ex-boyfriend, Gabriel Aubry, a model. They now share custody of Nahla, and Halle gives Gabriel $16,000 a month in child support.  Now, she claims that Gabriel has stopped working and is living off the money meant for her child, and she wants to reduce her payments to $3000 per month.  

It is so sad that Halle, instead of being concerned for Nahla only, is showing more concern for what Gabriel does with the money that she was ordered by a court to give to him.  The speculation is that Halle wants to get back at Gabriel because a judge ruled that she couldn't move to France with her new husband and Nahla.  Makes sense to me.  But besides that, if Halle cannot prove that Nahla is not being cared for properly, she hasn't a leg to stand on.

And here's where the "equal rights for women" thing comes into play: there are many, many women who live off their ex's child support.  I'm not saying it's right or even OK (I'd even go so far to say that that is why women can't have nice things).  It just is.  A lot of those women think there is no shame in what they are doing and make no efforts to hide it.  So why and how is it different when a man does the very same thing?

Women cannot have equal rights until they are willing to let go of the conveniences, if you will, they've become accustomed to in a patriarchal society.  Sometimes, in order to get something, you have to be willing to give something up, and that includes courts often siding with the mother on custody issues, even when the mother is not fit to care for a child.  

I may not be a feminist in the eyes of many women, and that's OK with me.  If feminism means always siding with women no matter what, I certainly do not identify with that label.  Here's a great quote from a lady commenting on Flavorwire's indictment of celebrity women who do not consider themselves feminists:

"Feminists need to stop trying to "own" all progress in gender equality. Feminism has its own (diverse and varied) belief structures and its own particular lenses through which to see the world. To treat all women as if we have to either identify with these belief structures and lenses or be hypocrites for having vaginas while not identifying as feminist (and benefiting from its historical gains) is itself hypocritical and vain."
Right on.


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