Rebecca Walker, daughter of feminist icon Alice Walker, has published a new book in which she rejects her mother's views in no uncertain terms. Rebecca, now 38, enjoys motherhood and longs for a second child, which she may not be able to have. She suffered from her parents' divorce and its aftermath. She wants lifelong love for herself and stability for her son. Naturally, these views distance her from her mother, Alice Walker, the author of The Color Purple.
The ease with which people can get divorced these days doesn't take into account the toll on children. That's all part of the unfinished business of feminism.
Then there is the issue of not having children. Even now, I meet women in their 30s who are ambivalent about having a family. They say things like: 'I'd like a child. If it happens, it happens.' I tell them: 'Go home and get on with it because your window of opportunity is very small.' As I know only too well.
Then I meet women in their 40s who are devastated because they spent two decades working on a PhD or becoming a partner in a law firm, and they missed out on having a family. Thanks to the feminist movement, they discounted their biological clocks. They've missed the opportunity and they're bereft.
Feminism has betrayed an entire generation of women into childlessness. It is devastating.
But far from taking responsibility for any of this, the leaders of the women's movement close ranks against anyone who dares to question them - as I have learned to my cost. I don't want to hurt my mother, but I cannot stay silent. I believe feminism is an experiment, and all experiments need to be assessed on their results. Then, when you see huge mistakes have been paid, you need to make alterations.
I hope that my mother and I will be reconciled one day. Tenzin deserves to have a grandmother. But I am just so relieved that my viewpoint is no longer so utterly coloured by my mother's.
I am my own woman and I have discovered what really matters - a happy family.
Rebecca's story could be the story of her generation. I hear this all the time from students and young adults. In fact, Rebecca could be the poster child for my new institute, the Ruth Institute, which tries to show intelligent women that they can have love and family and education and career, without all the feminism baggage we have all had to suffer with.
Alice Walker essentially disowned her daughter when she announced that she was pregnant, and delighted.
When I called her one morning in the spring of 2004, while I was at one of her homes housesitting, and told her my news and that I'd never been happier, she went very quiet. All she could say was that she was shocked. Then she asked if I could check on her garden. I put the phone down and sobbed - she had deliberately withheld her approval with the intention of hurting me. What loving mother would do that?
I have to warn you: the comments on Amazon are terrible. She really rubbed the feminists the wrong way! So, to me, she must be doing something right! I have not read the book, only this article in the Mail. But, I have to say that Alice Walker doesn't know what she is missing. Based on what I've seen, I'd be proud to have Rebecca as my daughter.