Letters — 10 May 2016
LETTER TO THE EDITOR – Belizean feminism: trapped in the womb

Editor Amandala,

Sir,

We celebrate women when we think of them as mothers. A woman’s uterus becomes her entire humanity. She is glorified for giving birth and for working endlessly for her partner and children. After she becomes a mother, she is confined within this idealized notion of motherhood that pervades Caribbean culture. If she steps outside the lines we’ve drawn for her, we amplify our voices against her.

If she goes to a bar, we gasp: where is her child? If she uses her voice to promote gender equality, we ask: what does her husband think? If she does not cook a Sunday meal, we wonder: isn’t she embarrassed? If she wears an outfit that you deem inappropriate, you interrogate: what would her child think?

Women are more than their wombs. It’s 2016 but our glorification of women as mothers is another way we limit women. A woman is more than her motherhood and we ought to celebrate that – especially on Mother’s Day. We ought to honour all the identities women carry in Belize and encourage their growth. Their growth is Belize’s future. How unwise we would be if we limited women to their reproductive systems.

Jessica Habet

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