People talk from time to time about identity.
One big discussion on the mother blogs we read on occasion is the intersection of feminism and motherhood. Who does that make them?
In terms of my identity of a feminist mother (for the one of us who has procreated)… I’ve never really thought about it. I have such a strong identity of me as me… and things like “midwesterner” or “economist” overshadow my identity as wife, mother, or even teacher. I have a hard time identifying myself using constructs based on my relationship to other people. I don’t really think of me as a mother or a wife, even though I am. I guess I think of my specific relationship– married to DH, not a wife… taking care of DCs, not a mother. These are things I do but not things I am.
Technically I’m a feminist, but I’m not trained in feminism and it seems like such a part of me that it’s not even an overlay like midwesternism. I don’t think about it. I don’t do things because I’m a feminist like I do things because I’m a midwesterner– I’m a feminist because I do things and think things that feminists do. A certain brand of feminist just happens to be right about things in my mind, and if that label didn’t exist I would still hold the same beliefs.
I’ve been getting away from an identity as “mathematician” but can still converse in that language. I might even be able to still pass. But the econ is now much stronger.
Scalzi recently talked about what makes a person a professional writer– he said you have to get paid. Some folks in the comments mentioned that it was important to identify oneself as a professional writer as well, as many of us get paid for our writing, but consider ourselves to be things like professors or researchers etc. But why is it important to have that identity? It makes sense for professional organizations to have specific gate-keeping rules, but the label of professional writer is not so important to those of us with other labels already. Professor. Scholar. Social scientist.
Who are you? Are you what you do? Are you what you think you are? Is your identity important, and if so, how?