Maternal feminism involves acceptance of the idea of femininity connected to nurturing, especially the raising of children and care for the elderly. It is not the belief that people assigned female at birth are in any way obligate or even “natural caregivers” by default. This was a modernist idea, and we are in postmodernist times. What people view as biological sex will often or usually correspond with the social role, but fails to do so often enough that generalizations should be applied very carefully if ever. So things have changed a bit, but the basics are still solid.
So rather than limit the role of motherhood and the function of mothering to women, we incorporate all who do this work into the term “mothers”.
1. The nurturing in practical ways and emotional labor that motherers do has value both socially and monetarily. Like any other worker, they should receive a living wage and be rewarded rather than penalized for their work. Otherwise, it is slavery. Ways should be found for all social units from families to nations, to prevent motherhood from being de facto or legalized slavery. The line is in the person caring for people who for some time, do not have sufficient physical or mental agency to consent. Because this person must serve as the physical caregiver and voice of people who cannot consent, they must have the agency of full consent, which means the ability to make decisions regarding their and their charges’ wellbeing without the coercive threat of poverty or violence.
2. People with uteruses should have full reproductive choice, which includes but is not limited to access to birth control including abortion on demand within a reasonable time frame, which is 3-4 months, not six weeks.
If they are denied access, the person should be able to sue those responsible for the person’s lack of knowledge or access for the amount required to compensate for her situation and the child for theirs. They should not escape responsibility for the child just because the child is adopted.
In most other ways, maternal feminism aligns with general feminism. It is under the umbrella of what could be considered “radical” because it requires a level of social and political activism and commitment that permeates one’s life and has an impact on those around them simply from being the person who embodies the idea. A maternal feminist, for instance, would refuse to get into a situation of domestic slavery, or to put someone in that situation. The maternal feminist potential motherer waits until they find a partner who can hold up their end, and the potential fatherer would seek to achieve the financial and social stability to hold up that end. One with the potential for either would prepare for either role. This role can be shared between multiple people. How ever this is arranged, these are people who have given some thought to the role of motherer and fatherer and probably the role of other family members as well.
Basically, a maternal or matricentric feminist today is not the familialist of yesterday, but a family oriented feminist or feminist familist. The family is not prioritized above the individual. The family is made up of individuals who all deserve equal protection and should have the same legal rights and receive equitable treatment.