, Princeton University Press, 1990.

In my home, there are some things my husband does because he knows they drain me (all after-meal cleanup, travel arrangements, fixing things). There are other things we pay for (some cleaning, some laundry, some childcare, groceries delivered by Fresh Direct, diapers delivered by Amazon, consultations on the best kindergarten) and some things we let go of (perfect order and cleanliness, folded laundry). There are some things I do (baths and bedtime, meal planning, managing the childcare, doctor’s appointment, education/school appointments, teaching our son to read). The key is that I do what I most want to do, and as much as possible, and in whatever way possible, let go of the things I really hate doing.

Tolstoy’s wife wrote in her journal:

What will that look like for you? What are you willing to let go of so you can feel connection instead of resentment, calm instead of exhaustion, creativity instead of stress? Maybe some cleanliness, maybe some moments with your children, maybe some control over the household? You get to choose. Maybe you’ll choose the things you’re currently doing, exactly as they are, because it truly *is* more important to you to keep house a certain or spend as much time as possible with your children. But then you will know you have consciously chosen that and can truly appreciate it instead of being tortured by it.


But when Watkins has a baby, her working life is thrown off-kilter:

“Yeah,” she says, “You should generally do exactly what you want.”

Thank you for this!
Beautiful beautiful writing.
Gives me so much to reflect on. Sometimes I believe I am lazy because I can’t make amazing things or anything happen with my scrambled brain in the little bit of time that my 8 mo old son is sleeping.
Our work is unappreciated, unseen, exhausting, sops our essence from us.
Damn men.
Damn our culture.
We need more help.


Mother Tongue, by Amy Tan - OlyPen

By the late nineteenth, early twentieth centuries, serious challenges to accepted beliefs about gender were mounted in both Japan and China. Although concerns about women’s position had been expressed earlier, the concept of women’s liberation became a major motivating force within the era’s nationalist, reform, and revolution movements. Male nationalists initiated the discussion by arguing that an improvement in the status of women was essential to their country’s acceptance by other technologically advanced nations. A core of educated women in both Japan and China joined the call by speaking and writing in public for the first time. Conservative nationalists and traditionalists in Japan and China at different times reacted by mounting long campaigns against any change in gender roles. Ultimately female activists were labeled unseemly, unfeminine, and too western.

I am not a scholar of English or literature

The challenge to unequal gender difference was mounted anew in the 1910s when women in Japan’s “second wave feminism” set about to oppose the NeoConfucian ideology of “good wife, wise mother.” One, Hiratsuka Haruko (pen name Raicho), in 1911 founded the feminist magazine Seito (Bluestocking), where its contributors considered broad social issues such as freedom of love and marriage. Not surprisingly, the magazine was often censored and banned.

Free English School Essays - The Essay Organization

The more positive influences of Shintoism were weakened by the samurai culture and spread of Confucianism and Buddhism in Japan. Yet, in the Heian era (950-1050 C.E.) women still held relative equity in marriage, education, and property rights. Gender difference in this period favored literate women who were free to write in the expressive, popular vernacular language, while men most often wrote in the more formal, inaccessible, classical Chinese. Both the independence and the gender limits of women of the pampered elite are wonderfully illustrated in the lively, gossipy writings of , Sei Shogonon, and other Heian female writers.