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any radical feminists on MDC? - Page 4

post #61 of 281
Glad I'm not the only one with that view on the circ issue.

I'm gonna get my act together very soon one of these days and actually do something! If I don't work to make this society more woman friendly, I will go crazy! Does it seem to any of you that women with children are so much less respected as well?
post #62 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
Does it seem to any of you that women with children are so much less respected as well?
Actually I'm not sure about that. I wanted to agree at first, but actually I think that young single women without children are even less respected. In patriarchal society, if a woman is not defined by someone else (her husband, her father, her children) she does not have an identity. A woman who is not a wife, a daughter, a mother, a widow, or a nun is not categorizable in her own right, because she does not have a role. A woman without a "role", especially a young one, is a non-entity, not lableable, and therefore it is not necessary to treat her with respect. She's assumed to be waiting to acquire a "real" role (being a woman is not enough alone). At least a mother is not assumed to be a weak mindless sex object in quite the same way (no, mothers get to be madonnas! woohoo! ).
Though I'm not a mother so I can't say with much authority, I'm just pointing out what I've observed. I do agree that single mothers (particularly young ones) are not respected - perhaps in different ways? I mean, on the one hand a woman gets a certain amount of "weight" as a mother that she does not have as simply a woman, but on the other hand if she's single she's not going about motherhood in the "right" way so there's obviously a lot of judgement about that, spoken or not. And if she's young she'll get the BS and patronizing/ignoring that is given to young women anyway. So yeah actually, I don't know. What is "not being respected"? Being actively disrespected or just being ignored and trivialized? Both I guess. Sigh.
So I guess that didn't really answer anything at all I guess I feel like young women are the least respected members of society regardless of circumstances, and some things can make it worse, like being single or being a mother (and we all know how much society respects and looks out for mothers, regardless of ideals about motherhood ).
post #63 of 281
About single mothers in particular, I see this attitude all the time, even here: "all single mothers are saints" is a quote from a post I saw here a while back. A neighbor told me last week "you are a hero", simply because I am a single mom. What does that mean? Apparently, women who go about raising kids WITHOUT a man carry a terrible cross on their back, and simply going on with life is a great achievement. I find this terribly annoying, because it reaches the very essence of patriarchy, without people even realizing. Single mothers with sons must be even worse.

Hazelnut, you have a very good point about motherhood getting approval, but not respect.
post #64 of 281
Hello ladies!

As a staunch feminist I am glad that there is such a large population of feminists here on MDC.

I want to remind us all here that we cannot host negative posts about other threads here on MDC or other threads. I understand that there are things and beliefs that we may not all agree with and that is ok. We dont have to.

However, we do have to be respectful of those beliefs.

Please also remember that we do not host discussions about abortion on the boards.

I truly hope that this thread can stay active but please remember the User Agreement.
post #65 of 281
thanks alma.

i think i get a bit less respect (although respect is not quite the right word) for being a mother, but that is partly because i am young (not that young - 25 - but very young for my demographic of educated white middle class english girls) to be having babies. but i don't think if i were in my 30s i would be respected, i just would have conformed to the norm.

i've been thinking recently about how difficult people find it to acknowledge that mothers can have negative feelings about being parents. recently-ish, in the uk, a book came out in which a mother said quite openly that she had lost a lot of things in having her son, & there was an outcry. outraged people saying she was an unfit mother etc. what's that about? overhang from the angel in the house syndrome?

& the circ issue - granted i don't live in a circing country (my dad was circed, which was routine in his country, & my brothers weren't circed - it was never presented as an issue, just that it had been fashionable but wasn't necessary really) so really don't have a strong emotional reaction to the topic, but i also really struggle to see it as comparable to female genital cutting - which, i just looked up, gives an increased risk of infant death in childbirth of 15% - 55%, depending on the "type" & is directly responsible for the deaths of around 10,000 - 20,000 babies a year in africa... just want to repeat, in case anyone gets upset, that i am totally anti routine male circumcision. that's not what i'm debating, just whether it really can be compared to female circumcision in terms of "institutional bias" &, dare i say it, severity.
post #66 of 281
OK, let's see if we can find something else to talk about . What are the little, everyday examples of misogyny that you find most annoying? And what do you do to stop them there and then?
post #67 of 281
I think that young mothers, regardless of whether they are single or not, get a lot of crap. I became pregnant at 19 and am 22 now - not really a young mother. But young enough that motherhood made others' estimation of me drop (since they decided that I must have gotten pregnant because I was irresponsible or too stupid to know to use birth control and then selfish for wanting to parent). I've been partnered for six years.

And that's another thing about youngish parenthood. Experiencing the difference between being a young mother versus seeing my partner parent as a young father. We are the same age. While my partner is a WONDERFUL father now, it took him longer to adjust to parenthood. And for a long time I was a full-time student while he worked part-time at a job (my parents supported us), and he did almost no childcare, housework, etc... And random strangers would see that he didn't dump my ass for being pregnant and praise him for sticking around - making it evident that they thought he was a good parent simply for sticking around or "taking responsibility" as they would say. No one praised me for "taking responsibility," because they already thought I was irresponsible for becoming a parent in the first place. They didn't think I was a good parent simply for having deciding to have any level of involvement in my child's life. But it was true for my partner.

And that right there is misogyny. That sticking around makes a good father but the standards are much much higher for a young mother. That there's this idea in this culture that as soon as a younger woman becomes pregnant she's trash and it takes a remarkable man to stick with her.

Okay, over.
post #68 of 281
ITA. The idea that your partner is a 'saint" for sticking with you if you are "stupid enough" to become pregnant at a young age is utterly repulsive and very insulting. I am sorry you are having to deal with that prejudice.

Something I have come across quite a bit is how lots of people in a business or political context will call women by their first name, while men attending the same meeting have somehow automatically acquired the right to be referred to as Mr So and So. Perhaps this is a minor point, but I find it very downgrading.
post #69 of 281
I agree with this, both wrt to the circ issue and everything really. I am mostly discussing feminism or gender issues or even raising kids online rather than with irl acquaintances and friends, and in those communities this is an viewpoint I see a lot. I have three sons and gender roles and stereotypes do concern me, but I do not think that boys are at a disadvantage more than girls, and indeed I think they have less to fear and less discrimination to face. It shocks me actually, the hostility with which feminism is treated by some mothers. I think they really think it is an attack on boys and men, which I think is unfortunate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MujerMamaMismo View Post
As the mother of an intact son, I am definitely not concerned with the institutional/systemic oppression of men. It's a simplistic argument to even try and assert that routine male circum.
post #70 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
What does that mean? Apparently, women who go about raising kids WITHOUT a man carry a terrible cross on their back, and simply going on with life is a great achievement. I find this terribly annoying, because it reaches the very essence of patriarchy, without people even realizing. Single mothers with sons must be even worse.
t.

This is such an interesting and enlightening point to me. I had never thought of it that way. Frankly, I am usually in awe of single mothers, : simply b/c I always thought it would be so difficult to be the only adult responsible for them or bringing in income, and yet they are successful. I don't run around saying that b/c I did imagine it would be repetitive and annoying . Although there are times when I think it might even be easier. My spouse is always parenting when home, but there are so many other areas of household responsibility where it is sometimes all me and I just think, wouldn't this be easier if I only had myself to consider? I recall another feminist mother telling me it was so much easier when she was single, b/c she didn't have to "take care" of her spouse or clear anything with him.

I've been curious if the disrespect young and/or single mothers get has let up at all in recent years in the U.S. I'm guessing not.
post #71 of 281
I agree it is often easier parenting solo. When I hear women talk about their husbands, it is often like they have another, very obnoxious, child. I guess that might be offensive to some - not meant like that :.
post #72 of 281


i don't know if i am radical per se.. in fact i didn't know some of my little peeves were feminist issues until this thread.

i got pg at 19 i will be 22 in a couple weeks. one of the things that still boggles my mind is that no one expect DP to stick around when i got pg. people talk about how amazing it is that he has stayed with us and supported us. WTF is up with that? so when a man gets a woman pg it is expected that he will leave her because of this? and then no one blames them for leaving because well.. what do you expect him to do? I expect him to step up and take responsibility for his child. maybe more young men would step up if that was the expectation... but apparently leaving is the manly thing to do.

DP stayed with me and DS he supports us, he loves us, he is my partner and the father of my son. i love him and appreciate him but i don't think he deserves an award or anything. he should be expected to stay... if he loved me before i got pg i don't see why me getting pg would make him love me less.


my current cause i support for young pg women. i think when women are unexpectedly pg they are presented with three choices. abortion, adoption, and obviously neither. now there is tons of information about abortion and adoption but if she chooses to keep the baby (which is apparently a radical choice) there is very little information and support.

i am working on starting an organization geared towards helping these young women get the information and support they need. i think a good birth experience and a successful nursing relationship can be incredibly beneficial to someone whose pregnancy was unexpected. i want to give them the information they need to realize that they can do this, that they were made to be mothers, and that you don't have sell your kidney on the black market to afford a baby. the simplest, cheapest way to raise a baby is the natural way... most people just doesn't realize that b/c there aren't any commercials for it.

young moms get a raw deal. people assume they have no idea what they are talking about so just ignore their wishes. they are not given the same encouragement to have a natural birth, to breast feed, to co sleep etc. they are always told oh parenting is so hard without that. wth? thats the easy freaking way. washing bottles, buying formula, and CIO sound pretty darn hard to me. but apparently only older and wiser moms who are married and financially secure can do those things. : breast milk is free, natural birth is cheaper then drugs or a c section, cribs are wicked expensive, and the hormones from bfing would be really helpful to a new mom with very little support.
post #73 of 281
What does it say about our society that partners are given a figurative "medal" for sticking around? How can we change this? Why this double standard?

I am truly concerned about the messages thsi sends out to young women, that they are somehow "lucky" that they got a partner to stay with them.

How do you handle these messages with your daughters? (or how would you, for those of us with daughters).
post #74 of 281
i haven't the slightest idea. it seems to be the "your not pregnant she is" thing. i dont know where this came from... it doesnt make any sense.. its awfully hard to accidently get pregnant all by your self.
post #75 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
i haven't the slightest idea. it seems to be the "your not pregnant she is" thing. i dont know where this came from... it doesnt make any sense.. its awfully hard to accidently get pregnant all by your self.
yup, something about it taking two to tango....
post #76 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by almadianna View Post
What does it say about our society that partners are given a figurative "medal" for sticking around? How can we change this? Why this double standard?

I am truly concerned about the messages thsi sends out to young women, that they are somehow "lucky" that they got a partner to stay with them.

How do you handle these messages with your daughters? (or how would you, for those of us with daughters).
I hate this attitude. I find it so frustrating how if a man is a good, or hell, even adequate dad, he gets praised to death. Like that should be standard, and how often do women get praised, especially for doing the minimum.
post #77 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
I hate this attitude. I find it so frustrating how if a man is a good, or hell, even adequate dad, he gets praised to death. Like that should be standard, and how often do women get praised, especially for doing the minimum.
I hate it too. I actually find it demeaning to men as well as women.

It is like we should not expect anything from them because they are "just men" or how the fact that they are a "man" is used as an excuse for incompetent behaviour. On the other hand just regular good parenting is made to seem like it is a needle in a haystack when it comes to men...

For women it is so vicious, if a child gets hurt... why is is always mom's fault? Why is the first question out of people's mouths "where was that child's mother?". I knew of a case in real life where a child died in the care of her father and you would not believe the vitrol towards the poor mother... as to WHY she was working. WHY was the child alone with their father. WHY werent you watching her.. it was astounding.
post #78 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
When I hear women talk about their husbands, it is often like they have another, very obnoxious, child.
I hear that a lot, quite explicitly. Like a friend of mine who refers to her "two toddlers: the little one and the big one". It drives me up the wall.

But I don't think that means it's easier to parent solo; I think it's just a reflection of patriarchy, using women to keep women down. The only domain allowed to a SAHM is the home, therefore she must be best/only good one in the home, the man must be incompetent, and that keeps her at home and the man in the public sphere. It's really insidious.

Although, there's the other angle where thanks to the patriarchy, a lot of men really DO suck in the domestic sphere, and I'm not sure where the line is between not bitching about one's guy to avoid perpetuating patriarchy, and agitating for change so that he carries his own load. The patriarchy is amazingly good at setting up double binds like that, where either way it wins and women lose.


Quote:
Originally Posted by almadianna View Post
What does it say about our society that partners are given a figurative "medal" for sticking around? How can we change this? Why this double standard?
Well, I think it exists because it's the flip side of the above: men can do no wrong, women can do no good. (I wrote a blog post once, in reply to a "quiz" for moms led to the answer "you're a bad mom"; every answer for the dads in mine was "you're a great dad".) If men don't participate in the home, it's just a shrug and an eyeroll and "boys will be boys"; if they do, they're super heroes deserving of medals and awards and ridiculous heaps of praise.

The only way I've figured out to change it is just by refusing to participate; men are supposed to do housework, and parent their children, and I refuse to either praise them for doing it or write them off for not.

I don't know how I would address the issue with a daughter, but it is one area where I think I'm benefited by being male-partnered: the Boychick learns how to behave, and what is expected of him, by having a dad who models full and equal responsibility in the house and in parenting, without expecting or receiving praise, excuses, or belittlement.
post #79 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn View Post
I hear that a lot, quite explicitly. Like a friend of mine who refers to her "two toddlers: the little one and the big one". It drives me up the wall.

But I don't think that means it's easier to parent solo; I think it's just a reflection of patriarchy, using women to keep women down. The only domain allowed to a SAHM is the home, therefore she must be best/only good one in the home, the man must be incompetent, and that keeps her at home and the man in the public sphere. It's really insidious.
You have a great point there, and I totally agree. The remark from your friend shows the expectation of women to be the caring parties in a family - to "care" both for children and men, to meet their every needs. That is not what I meant though... since I explicitly chose not to share my path with a man, it seems easier not to, to me, since I don't want to be partnered up.

Having said that, I think it is so important that more child friendly employment opportunities are opened up. What are your experiences? I am in the process of setting up my own little business since I lost my (at home) writing job because of the crisis. Surprise surprise, it turns out to be in an acceptable field - sewing. I'm making carriers and kids clothes. I guess it is one of the limited options available for a WAHM.
post #80 of 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by calpurnia View Post
quick question: what do you do when people say things like "you can have the pink one, because you're a girl!", or "look at her kicking! she's going to be a ballet dancer!" (or, blue = boy, kicking = footballer). do you nod & smile, or do you interject the other option? dd is only 11 months & we are getting SO MUCH of this from people we see a lot - friends, mothers in law etc... i don't know how much to let slide & how much to challenge.
It depends on the moment how I'll react. If it's someone in passing or someone I know will just be jerkish about it, I'll let it slide. If it hits me on the right day I might give a snappy comeback. Other times I might give a quick fiery comeback, or maybe even give a mini-lecture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post

Another question for you all - on the "case against circumcision" board, I frequently read comments about how society protects our daughters, but is biased against our sons. It talks about institutional bias against men. While I am anti-circ, the way in which these comments are formulated rub me the wrong way. What are your opinions?
This does drive me up a wall male circumcision and FGM are so different. If they were comperable it would be akin to cutting off the penis and then sewing it up to give a little hole to pee through. Ain't no bleepin' ballpark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ursusarctos View Post
Actually I'm not sure about that. I wanted to agree at first, but actually I think that young single women without children are even less respected. In patriarchal society, if a woman is not defined by someone else (her husband, her father, her children) she does not have an identity. A woman who is not a wife, a daughter, a mother, a widow, or a nun is not categorizable in her own right, because she does not have a role. A woman without a "role", especially a young one, is a non-entity, not lableable, and therefore it is not necessary to treat her with respect. She's assumed to be waiting to acquire a "real" role (being a woman is not enough alone). At least a mother is not assumed to be a weak mindless sex object in quite the same way (no, mothers get to be madonnas! woohoo! ).
Though I'm not a mother so I can't say with much authority, I'm just pointing out what I've observed. I do agree that single mothers (particularly young ones) are not respected - perhaps in different ways? I mean, on the one hand a woman gets a certain amount of "weight" as a mother that she does not have as simply a woman, but on the other hand if she's single she's not going about motherhood in the "right" way so there's obviously a lot of judgement about that, spoken or not. And if she's young she'll get the BS and patronizing/ignoring that is given to young women anyway. So yeah actually, I don't know. What is "not being respected"? Being actively disrespected or just being ignored and trivialized? Both I guess. Sigh.
So I guess that didn't really answer anything at all I guess I feel like young women are the least respected members of society regardless of circumstances, and some things can make it worse, like being single or being a mother (and we all know how much society respects and looks out for mothers, regardless of ideals about motherhood ).
I seem to have missed the comment Hazelnut made, but I do agree with the "society needs to have a role to put a woman into" concept. It's really wierd being a non-category. I've been that one for years, before I was partnered and then after partnered being a stepmom (but not officially since we only fairly recently married). People don't know how to react to you, you don't fit in. I feel like I"m more accepted as an adult now that I'm "really" married and am a "real" mom, but it's different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post
ITA. The idea that your partner is a 'saint" for sticking with you if you are "stupid enough" to become pregnant at a young age is utterly repulsive and very insulting. I am sorry you are having to deal with that prejudice.

Something I have come across quite a bit is how lots of people in a business or political context will call women by their first name, while men attending the same meeting have somehow automatically acquired the right to be referred to as Mr So and So. Perhaps this is a minor point, but I find it very downgrading.
On the first point, with how young moms are treated, I know I used to be one of those that looked on them with scorn, though from a different perspective than average society). For me, for a long time, having kids at all was akin to putting onself in prison for a man who wasn't worth it (issues from upbringing). So I'd look at a young mom and wonder why she'd willingly get into that trap, no man was worth it. But, I've learned and evolved and am working much harder at getting to know the individual/situation before placing a judgement on it. Well let me rephrase that, I do snapjudge in my mind, but then I call myself on it (usually) and rethink that initial judgement.

Oh, yeah, that Mr So and So Vs Jill. Or better yet there are men and girls in the workplace. I knew some older women in their 60-70's who still got called girls and they'd ask how old did they have to be to be a "woman" ya know?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
I agree with this, both wrt to the circ issue and everything really. I am mostly discussing feminism or gender issues or even raising kids online rather than with irl acquaintances and friends, and in those communities this is an viewpoint I see a lot. I have three sons and gender roles and stereotypes do concern me, but I do not think that boys are at a disadvantage more than girls, and indeed I think they have less to fear and less discrimination to face. It shocks me actually, the hostility with which feminism is treated by some mothers. I think they really think it is an attack on boys and men, which I think is unfortunate.
Sometimes I think that there's a different and more difficult responsibility with boys. How do we teach them to not only not be misogynists, but to empower them to do the right thing, overcome societal norms and call out their peers on it? IMO men calling other men out on sexism makes more an impression than a woman calling a man out on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post

i am working on starting an organization geared towards helping these young women get the information and support they need. i think a good birth experience and a successful nursing relationship can be incredibly beneficial to someone whose pregnancy was unexpected. i want to give them the information they need to realize that they can do this, that they were made to be mothers, and that you don't have sell your kidney on the black market to afford a baby. the simplest, cheapest way to raise a baby is the natural way... most people just doesn't realize that b/c there aren't any commercials for it.

young moms get a raw deal. people assume they have no idea what they are talking about so just ignore their wishes. they are not given the same encouragement to have a natural birth, to breast feed, to co sleep etc. they are always told oh parenting is so hard without that. wth? thats the easy freaking way. washing bottles, buying formula, and CIO sound pretty darn hard to me. but apparently only older and wiser moms who are married and financially secure can do those things. : breast milk is free, natural birth is cheaper then drugs or a c section, cribs are wicked expensive, and the hormones from bfing would be really helpful to a new mom with very little support.
Awesome! Such a great idea, I'm glad to see this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn View Post
I hear that a lot, quite explicitly. Like a friend of mine who refers to her "two toddlers: the little one and the big one". It drives me up the wall.

But I don't think that means it's easier to parent solo; I think it's just a reflection of patriarchy, using women to keep women down. The only domain allowed to a SAHM is the home, therefore she must be best/only good one in the home, the man must be incompetent, and that keeps her at home and the man in the public sphere. It's really insidious.

Although, there's the other angle where thanks to the patriarchy, a lot of men really DO suck in the domestic sphere, and I'm not sure where the line is between not bitching about one's guy to avoid perpetuating patriarchy, and agitating for change so that he carries his own load. The patriarchy is amazingly good at setting up double binds like that, where either way it wins and women lose.



Well, I think it exists because it's the flip side of the above: men can do no wrong, women can do no good. (I wrote a blog post once, in reply to a "quiz" for moms led to the answer "you're a bad mom"; every answer for the dads in mine was "you're a great dad".) If men don't participate in the home, it's just a shrug and an eyeroll and "boys will be boys"; if they do, they're super heroes deserving of medals and awards and ridiculous heaps of praise.

The only way I've figured out to change it is just by refusing to participate; men are supposed to do housework, and parent their children, and I refuse to either praise them for doing it or write them off for not.

I don't know how I would address the issue with a daughter, but it is one area where I think I'm benefited by being male-partnered: the Boychick learns how to behave, and what is expected of him, by having a dad who models full and equal responsibility in the house and in parenting, without expecting or receiving praise, excuses, or belittlement.

OMG yes, if you're a woman and you bring your kid into work one day you're at best, a nuisance. If you're a man you're an amazing father! I too am of the mindset of not complimenting for somethign that should be standard. Of course that's my ideal when it comes to raising kids too, but I don't always meet it.


Now that it comes down to it, I reckon there was something else I wanted to say, but popped outta my head... ah well...
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