What Effect Has Feminism Had on Family? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-01-2002, 11:09 PM
 
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Peggy,
I haven't thought you were against feminism from your posts. I understand your frustration. I have felt that way sometimes, too, with discussions online. It seems harder to get your point across without seing facial expressions and body language. You said that you believed feminism needed to be revived in an earlier post. I would agree with that. And in reading other posts of yours, I know that you give very thoughtful responses that I often agree with. I don't perceive you as being someone against feminism.

I like this discussion and reading everyone's point of view. It has been very interesting.

Reverandmother, I know what you mean about the girly thing. When I was a school administrator, it was kind of like either be the princess or be one of the guys (strong, assertive, etc). I didn't really like either choice but those were where people wanted to pigeonhole me.
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Old 03-01-2002, 11:12 PM
 
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Thank you Donna


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Old 03-01-2002, 11:14 PM
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Peggy, didn't you see where I said I thought we agreed on aspects of this issue? I hear you.
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Old 03-01-2002, 11:31 PM
 
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I can think of some concrete things accomplished by our Feminist foremothers.

Women's Suffrage! When Elizabeth Cady Stanton first proposed at the Seneca Falls convention (in 18??) that women should be able to vote, the other activists, all political women working for women's rights, thought that ideas was too radical to be considered! But, of course, it did come to pass. Are you a woman in the USA? Do you vote? Thank a feminist.

Women's Shelters in the not-so-distant past, like, the 1970s, if a woman was beaten by her husband, she had no where to go. Feminists organized, funded, and staffed shelters where women could go to be safe. They also worked for laws to protect women from violent spouses.

Breast Cancer Research and lots of other medical research regarding women's health. For years, only MEN were used as subjects for medical research. Then, the results of those findings were applied to women as well. But very little research was being done for women's health. Tax dollars supplied by women were mostly going to men's health. Feminists agitated for more equitable spending for research into women's health. (There is still a long way to go...)

Women in the Arts, Sciences, Sports Government grants for arts and sciences, gov't funding for sports programs in schools were going mostly to men/boys. Feminists worked for laws that outlawed discrimination on the basis of sex. Think about it: Before 1964 is was perfectly legal -- and by no means uncommon-- for a governing body to say: Yes, you qualify for the arts grant, but there is only so much money to go around, and we think the men should get first priority. Sorry.


And on and on and on. Feminism has made a difference in my life. I am proud to call myself a Feminist.
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Old 03-01-2002, 11:35 PM
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Standing ovation from over here in Pieville!!!
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Old 03-01-2002, 11:37 PM
 
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Ahhhhh
At the very least when women debate we listen to everything said. I agree, it is hard for us (esp. women) to not "see" the person -- we are just so much more relational -- God I love that about us!
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Old 03-02-2002, 12:46 AM
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My maternal grandmother worked until she married my grandfather. Her employers expected her to quit once she was no longer single. I asked her what women did who married men who didn't make much money- could they stay at work. "No", she answered, "they usually ended-up cleaning other people's houses".

My paternal grandmother worked a lowpaying job in a nursing home when her husband left her. That was in the 40's, so there weren't many laws to protect her- and no child support. She relied on her crummy job, lots of help from her family and whatever money her oldest child, (my father) could earn- which he was doing by the age of ten.

Women have always worked. Always. One of the results of feminism are the many, often better choices of jobs women hold now. As well as the laws now in place to protect her in the workplace. Nobody expected me to quit my job when I got married- and it's a good thing. I know my dh appreciated the health insurance along with my puny paycheck!
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Old 03-02-2002, 01:29 AM
 
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Right on Revmum. There are a lot of families that have two wage-earners in order to have a higher standard of consumption than they need. If owning one SUV is good, owning two must be even better.

George Carlin had a great routine about feminism and women that went to work. I can't remember the details, but he said feminism did not mean wearing suits with shoulder pads, or being as aggressive, grasping and greedy as men.
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Old 03-02-2002, 05:40 AM
 
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I agree, capitalism is winning over feminism in having the greater influence on the family and the role of women in society too. Yay! to the achievements of feminism as outlined by starling and the many other things feminism has given us too.

I do think however that the goals of feminism have been conflated with the goals of capitalism at times. And this is okay because as feminism is rising from the ashes she is becoming a stronger bird, if you'll excuse the image. An example of this conflation is of feminism takiing on the mantel of individualism, one of capitalism;s most divisive tools. Creating choices for women has sometimes really meant increasing an indivual person (woman's) opportunities. The logic of this is that 'she' fits into the category of 'women' and in furthering herself is doing it for all of us. Even when many women are acting on new choices there is this notion that woman are 'doing it for themselves'. I think this individualistic focus is one of the reasons why the feminist movement is fragmented.

Personally I think that femimism has to go hand in hand with an understanding of the social relations in society especially the power reltionships. For me this would be a socialist analysis. When looking at how feminism has influenced families you have to look capitalism effects at the same time. Families are suffering under capitalism,there is nodoubt about that one for me. I often think that feminists and socialist do not speak out for 'the family' out of fear of sounding like the right wing family values parade. I think feminism is at an important juncture right now and should take on the issue of family and children's rights.

Boy I am really doing a rant here, which I am too tired to continue with right now. thankfully.
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Old 03-02-2002, 07:30 AM
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Ah, I love this discussion. First, let me say that I also was a teen during the start of the "women's lib" movement. However, it was my SAHM mom (who was not at all "feminist") who told me not to get married right away, get an education, see the world, work at something I enjoy, and then have kids later. She didn't have those choices. I also did not think I had to hate men or not marry, though there were certainly those beliefs out there. But I think that's probably the case in the early stages of any movement -- the extremist views. Eventually the pendulum swings to center.

What concerns me with the initial premise of this thread is the idea that the negative effects on family are all the fault of women!
* It is the woman who puts the child in day care when she should be home. (It's always the fault of the mother -- old Freudian stuff).
* Women in the workforce caused a decrease in earning power for men. (Does it matter that they took on low-paying jobs that men don't want? Including caring for the children of others.)
* The sexual revolution damaged the family unit because it was easier for men to cheat. (Maybe we should take a look at the values of men and make them more accountable.).
* Divorce rates skyrocketed. (This is most likely due to the fact that it became possible for a woman to divorce and get out of many a bad situation she previously would have had to endure.)
* Because women work outside the home, the occupation of housewife has been denigrated. (The truth is that women's work is not given as much value as men's work, no matter what you do! Women working outside the home have not created the denigration -- it already existed. Add to that, a capitalist structure that does not value mothering -- otherwise we'd be getting paid for it...or at least a good tax credit. )

I think it's simplistic to think that "women's lib" had the sole hand in changing the family structure. There are so many other variables, and I agree that the economy is a very big element. I also agree with frolix that it is time for feminism to embrace issues of family and children. I see so many AP feminist moms on these boards and believe we can be the next wave.

I will say that I believe it is important for a mother to be with her child at least in the beginning when there are things that only a mother can provide. But I understand that is not always possible. I stayed home with ds until shortly after he was two. Then circumstances changed and I returned to work. Now my husband is a SAHD, and it is the perfect time for it. Their relationship is very special and my dh loves their time together. After ds was born, I used to feel so bad for my husband when he was at work and missing all those wonderful growing moments that happen so fast; now he gets his turn. Ideally, we'd both be working part-time and have equal responsibility, but that may yet come.

I'll close by saying that it's interesting to talk about how feminism has affected the family unit and only come up with negative examples. (thanks to those that finally provided the positive examples!) I think the the pre-feminist picture of the perfect "happy family" is a romantic notion. I have an ad from probably the late 50s that shows a woman who looks lifeless and depressed, standing next to a sink full of dirty dishes. The text reads: "Why is this woman tired? Because she is mentally done in. Many of your patients -- particularly housewives -- are crushed under a load of dull, routine duties that leave them in a state of mental and emotional fatigue. For these patients, you may find Dexedrine an ideal prescription. Dexedrine will give them a feeling of energy and well-being, renewing their interest in life and living." :

My mom was the typical 50s housewife with five kids who did what everyone else did (minus the Dexedrine!). And she told me to do it differently. I'm thankful that I've had the ability to make choices in my life that my mom wasn't able to. I attribute that to feminism. And I'm managing to "have it all" in a way that is meaningful to me and healthy for our family.


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Old 03-02-2002, 10:37 AM
 
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Feminist moms (and dad!) for joining this discussion, and adding intelligent content to an important topic. It's a pleasure to read.
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Old 03-02-2002, 10:52 AM
 
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I will try one more time. I consider myslef a feminist. I think the point I was trying to make was that while yes, we got the right to vote, oppurtunity for better jobs(but still not equal pay!)the ability to leave an abusive marriage, etc. These things happened years ago,and I feel like we were left hanging. So now we have it all, what do we with it?? We need to go further. More needs to be done for the family. We need to revive the "movement" and focus our attention on the "modern" family.

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Old 03-02-2002, 11:25 AM
 
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Here's my definition of feminism (it's a bumper sticker that we have on our front door):
Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.

You can go a lot of places with that definition. I tend to find myself looking at my bright little girl and agreeing with her that yes, she can be anything she wants to be. If she's a professional hockey player, she says, I can bring her the babies to nurse in between periods. How can I throw away her gifts to the world, or imply that the only gifts she will ever offer are mothering ones?
And yet, I am at home with her, WAHM, but still at home, and set up my life that way before I ever married because HOME is motre important to me than the office...
Feminism makes our lives complex, but we are complex creatures, no?

Way back, in her signature, Nursing Mother had a quote from Billy Graham about materialism. I belive strongly that that's the culprit. The advertising agencies helped define feminism for us all. Look at how we define things: Peggy was the first to say that for her feminism was "you've come a long way, baby..." That was a Virginia Slims cigarette ad! They took the image of a strong woman, in control of her own life, and used it as a tool to sell their poisons!
McDonalds, Pepsi, every nasty food conglomerate out there has made a bundle off of our time crunch and guilt. People think it's an American child's birthright to eat at Mcd's weekly and go to Disney land/world, whatever...

Meanwhile, people can't find a place to pump in many workplaces today; the time is far in the future when it will be considered the norm for a mom to bring her tiny infant to work with her. Corporations want all of their workers to work longer hours; my dad was home every night by 5:30, and did well in his career. Today, he'd be passed over for promotions so fast because he put his family first! But then they don't even offer good on-site daycare. So where does that leave the working parent. I'll tell you where: on a desperate drive across town to pick up their child at the exorbitantly expensive daycare before all the workers leave and/or they have to pay a penalty. Then she's frazzled and can't even face the night ahead of her, and blah! it's more money in mcDonald's pockets, tomight, kids, and lousy nutrition for an entire family.

I believe the standard of living in the past 30 years has actually gone down in this country, and I blame the TV and the seductions of materialism.

This is incoherent, sorry all.
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Old 03-02-2002, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree with peggy.

I also think that people have taken my original post to mean some sort of attack on women and feminism. Nothing is further from the truth. My main objective is to start a dialog and come up with creative solutions. Maybe organize a lobby to demand that the government place more value on our families and less on parenting the rest of the world...a wise person once said that charity begins at home!

For the record, cat, that I never assigned blame to women. I just said that women went to work en masse and this is what happened. Does that mean it's women's fault? No, and ultimately it is everyone's problem and we all need to find a solution.

It upsets me that trying to bring these issues into the light puts people on such a defensive. Blame is useless, it solves nothing. And much of the energy of this thread is getting in the way of my intention - which was for all of us to work together to come up with solutions.

I think in the beginning, feminism had to ignore family issues in order to come into its own. Now that it is well-established and has accomplished so much, I think it is time to turn our attention back to the family. I don't mean a right-wing approach, but a new, progressive approach which preserves the freedoms we have gained while providing the support families need.

The first step to solving any problem is acknowledging that it exists and I feel like we haven't quite made it there at this point.
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Old 03-02-2002, 11:41 AM
 
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Old 03-02-2002, 12:13 PM
 
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Here's a book I want to recomend to your all.
By the way, it was recomended to me by one of my VERY radical feminist friends:
"Simple Social Graces" by Linda S. Lichter
It recounts the cultural shift that took place over the 20thcentury.

The other thing is this -- please don't say things like "feminist moms and dads ....for adding an intellegent component..."
All it does is stir up emotion by casting the notion that those who are not feminist are not intellengent.

There are different type of feminists just as there have always been. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was not as radical as Ms. Bloomer (and thank God for both of them). Margret Sanger on the other hand sacrificed her family for the "cause".

paula bear -- I never thought you were attacking women or feminism.

We need to evaluate the effects of many things in our society -- feminism is one of the big ones. For example, since the middle of the 19th century the church has bit by bit become feminized. Is that bad? Yes and no. Men are satistically becoming less and less involved. The point is -- we ned to look at the effect. And be willing to admit that for some women "liberation" has not been a blessing. Alimony is almost unheard of. Child custody is messy. (I know becasue dh deals with these issues all the time.) Many rights that women use to have are gone -- it's been a trade off.
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Old 03-02-2002, 12:57 PM
 
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Just read the last several posts and I say "right on" to a lot that I have read (I do, however, still read the "you work because you spend too much on yourselves" notion that gets me riled up).

Quickly, though, and really not in an adversarial way, I'd like for you, reverendmother, to clarify what rights you feel have been taken away from women as a trade off to those rights we now possess? And please, think in terms of all women of all color of all social economic status when you reply. Thanks.
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Old 03-02-2002, 02:35 PM
 
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Peggy--I did understand from the beginning that you are a feminist, and that you were promoting the need for reevaluation.

Paula bear, I agree completely with what you are saying now, but I hope you can understand that your first post did not convey the same ideas. You began:
Quote:
I am starting a new thread to continue our discussion/debate about the effects that feminism, the sexual revolution, etc. have had on the family.
You then listed numerous ways that feminism had been damaging, and closed with:
Quote:
Let me say again that I support every woman's right for freedom and self-determination. I just feel that society has perpetuated a selfishness in women and has encouraged women to value their careers over their families. I believe this has had and continues to have devastating consequences for our families as well as our society as a whole.
In some cases this might be true, but it is far from the sum effect of feminism, and that is why people have felt the need to defend feminism. I personally would characterize the effects of the feminism as *much* more positive. In my view some of the issues that you bring up later hold far more blame for the net effect on children than feminism. Women in the workplace accompanied by strong family policy that protects their jobs for several years and allows them paid time off is not the same as women in the workplace with six-week-old babies in child care. I know you agree with this because you proposed the idea yourself in this thread, but still, the negative tone about feminism that this thread began with made it difficult to feel that we are starting with the same assumptions. I don't think feminism has done damage. I think society still has a LONG way to go. I'm saying all this to clarify, not to criticize, I hope you understand that! Moving forward positively:


I agree absolutely with the idea that feminists should take stock and push for reform that actually improves people's lives. I'm a working mom in part because I have a passionate desire to do what I can to promote that kind of change, and my work gives me a platform for doing so. I appreciate conversations like this one because all of your voices add something to my understanding of the issues, and for me, that's invaluable.
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Old 03-02-2002, 04:07 PM
 
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Interesting discussion.
First let me say that I do self-identify as a feminist.

What disappoints me about where we stand now is that feminism has not yet successfully challenged and overturned many patriarchal values.

I don't think the problem is women working. I think the problem is the patriarchal culture of work, and the fact that many women have bought into it instead of striving to change it.

I don't think our corporate culture of work is any better for men than it is for women. It grinds people down. It is competitive and harsh and inhumane. It is inflexible and forces people into making horrible choices. I think men and women need to work together to demand change.
Men need paternity leave. Women need to be able to move more easily in and out of the work force as they have children.

And yes, SAHM's deserve to be valued more in our culture. The work of being pregnant, of mothering, of PARENTING should be valued and supported.

Those things are feminist goals to me. I have always thought of feminism as challenging the status quo and fighting for justice and opportunity and choice. I don't like the way many women have simply adopted the traditional male models of work instead of challenging them.

I have more thoughts but this is getting too long, so I'll stop here.
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Old 03-02-2002, 04:11 PM
 
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Excellent points!

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Old 03-02-2002, 04:34 PM
 
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Well said, and I could not agree more.
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Old 03-02-2002, 04:59 PM
 
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Donna,

I think I answered your question. As to women of color. As my best friend (a woman of color, living on the south side of Chicago doing ministry with battered wives) says: That is a racial issue. She beleives that the women's movement has not helped her or the women she works with nearly as much as the Civil rights movement and in some ways has hurt women of color.
I will try and get her to come into the discussion.

grace and peace,
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Old 03-02-2002, 05:30 PM
 
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reverendmother wrote:
Quote:
The other thing is this -- please don't say things like "feminist moms and dads ....for adding an intellegent component..."
That is not what I wrote. I wrote, "Thank you...Feminist moms (and dad!) for joining this discussion, and adding intelligent content to an important topic. It's a pleasure to read." No explicit exclusion, though I understand how it could be taken that way.

I started out naming a few posters whose contributions I particularly appreciated, and then edited at the last minute so as not exclude so many valuable comments. My impression reading through was that everyone had identified as a feminist at some point; my intent was definitely not to exclude anyone. Sorry if that is how it came across.

Also, I really do appreciate that feminist mothers are speaking up. On the old boards a similar topic generated about 15 responses. This is decidedly more interesting. It is also true that what I value the most here is the intelligent contributions of feminist mothers---all the other intelligent contributions are valuable, but less close to my heart.
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Old 03-02-2002, 07:57 PM
 
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I'm one more person saying I totally agree with Asherah.

I dug out my Tightwad Gazettes and found some interesting statistics. These are from volume III of the books:
"A 1991 federal study found that there was actually a 20 percent inflation adjusted increase in the average family's income between 1973 and 1989. And when you factor in benefits...which are about twice as generous as they were you find that the real rise in family income is about 30 percent....The average American now consumes twice as many goods as he did back in 1950...The number of motor vehicles per adult is 50 percent higher than it was in 1950...it takes one fewer month's worth of family income to buy the average car now than it did then....Per person spending on hobbies and home recreation has gone from $403 in 1950 to $1,149 in 1991, adjusted for inflation....In 1960, purchasing a refrigerator cost a family 145 hours of labor. Today it costs half that....in 1960, Americans spent 15 percent of their incomes on groceries versus 7 percent today....In 1990, 42 cents of every food dollar was spent on restaurant meals---twice the ammount spent by the previous generation....Though the average family is smaller, the average modern new house is twice as big as the average one built just after WWII." (Tightwad Gazette, Volume III by Amy Dacyzn published by Villard Books.)

I'm not at all trying to say that women work so that they can buy lots of stuff. I am saying that the spending habits of the Average American have changed drastically since the time when most women stayed at home. I agree with previous posters who said that capitalism has forced women into the workforce.

What does this have to do with feminism? Perhaps it shows that the fact that many women are in the workforce, doesn't necessarily prove that feminism put them there. Or maybe it just proves that the "average American" is a total dupe for all the commercial advertising which has bombarded him/her since the advent of TV.

I am glad that women today can choose any career they want. I plan to have a career once my youngest starts school, but I agree with Asherah that the corporate climate is still paternalistic.

P.S. My husband is a nurse. It drives me absolutely batty that the 2 professions which were traditionally female are so underpaid. It is unlikely that nurses or teachers will ever receive pay which properly compensates them for the work they do. Why? Because it is mostly women who work in these fields.
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Old 03-02-2002, 08:11 PM
 
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OT...daylily I love the Tight Wad Gazette's. I was sorry when she stopped her news letter!

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Old 03-02-2002, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Daylily, I agree with everything in your post except that nurses are underpaid. My sister makes a very good salary as a nurse, enough so that her husband was able to quit his job to go back to school full-time. It also enables her to work nights so that her children are not away from her all day. She does work very hard - she earns every cent, IMO, but I think she makes darn good money. (Maybe not in relation to a doctor, if that's what you meant...)
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Old 03-03-2002, 04:05 AM
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I think that women's liberation is about choices. You can also choose not to be liberated. Choose to make your own life. I think the idea that a certain way of life has been forced on women and their children because of feminism is off the mark. If anything, the forces are more likely outside the scope of feminism: economy, a workplace that is not family friendly to either parent, longer working hours, the way that homes became an "investment" (along with greatly inflated prices) versus a necessary place to live and raise your family, decent medical care becoming unaffordable (without insurance), a ridiculous emphasis on material belongings and the status they give you, paid maternity/paternity leave being non-existent or very short, lack of protection for the work of women who choose to have a family, etc..

I also think that possibly we're in the "left hanging" mode right now and that this is subject to change. There are stages to movements/causes; they evolve. However, I feel it will take the power of women to change things. (In other words, no one's going to do it for us -- it takes action.) Again, I sincerely believe that it's ripe time for a new push in the feminist agenda and that it must necessarily include the plight of parents and children. It's time to look forward and not back.

Paula Bear, I didn't mean to come off as defensive in my previous post. I was just trying to show the other side of the coin and make a point of how the changes you originally listed were not so black and white. I agree that it is everyone's problem and we all need to get involved. But the fact is that the onus -- at least at the start of this thread -- was falling squarely on women/feminism and I didn't think that was quite fair. (I thank Britt for so eloquently describing why some people felt the need to defend feminism on this thread. It was spot on.)

I think this is a great, stimulating thread. Thanks for starting it!
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Old 03-03-2002, 05:02 AM
 
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I agree with Paula and Peggy. I think the "feminist movement" has had a lot of positives, but we shouldn't overlook the negative influences. As for women HAVING to work, there are some that have to. And others who "have" to only becuase of consumerism......also, I think this has a lot to do with men, which may have to do with feminism. Let me explain (I'll try and be coherent!). Most men of working mothers see them as a role model, and also assume simply, due to society, that women work. They think that a two-income household is a necessity. While many men may believe a woman should take off some time after having a baby, I don't think many think a woman NEEDS to stay home with a child older than 2, and certainly not once they are school aged. I should say that I am talking about men of my generation (I'm 26) and younger. I feel that this attitude is in part due to the feminist movement, and part due to consumerism and capitalism. Most men (and I suppose women, too) feel that they can't live on one income.....how will they afford that new car? The large house? Vacations? Etc. My dh is a teacher. We struggle with money (I stay at home). He tells me that if he had a different profession, made more money, he wouldn't mind being the breadwinner (he is very good about me staying home, but the stress does get to him, especially when the bills come!). I point out to him that we could have more money.......we don't really NEED to eat out alot, we don't NEED cable tv and two cell phones, and as much as I love the new house we're getting, we could've bought a cheaper one. So yes, we struggle......but it is by choice. I pointed this out to him, today, in fact! He agreed with me, but said "well, I'm used to a certain lifestyle, like my parents have".......I then had to point out that his parents were NOT ALWAYS WELL OFF!!! In fact, they only became well off (huge house, new cars, lots of vacations, etc) 5 years ago....maybe a few more. I've talked to his mom about this. I think my generation has unrealistic expectations.....I know that dh's students (he teaches middle school) talk about the cars their parents are saving for them (new suv's), and the girls get their nails done, expensive hair cuts, etc........it seems as if our culture now assumes that everyone has a right to what most people have to earn. Does that make sense? Yes, a teacher should earn a higher salary....BUT, not everyone is going to be rich.....not everyone is automatically entitiled to a mansion and new cars, you have to work for it......and it takes a while. So, while I've mostly been ranting about money issues, I find them ingrained in this debate......I do think that most women do need to work, and not because they are personally selfish, but because their lifestyle demands it.....and they have this lifestyle because they think that's what they need.....society has become so much more focused on extrinsic values and rewards than intrinsic. After working a 40hour week, people feel they deserve that snowmobile....it shows how had they worked! Saving that money for the future, so you can retire earlier or so the wife can stay home for longer just doesn't hold the same allure.

"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston

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Old 03-03-2002, 05:12 AM
 
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Sorry for more rambling, I just remembered something......when dh and I were discussing the sahm/wohm issue, I pointed out that taking care of the household is a lot of work (duh), and talked about all the stuff I did. He agree with me, but then he said something that now really stands out to me...he said, "yes, it's tremendous work, but you did all that before, when you worked" It's true! When I was working (outside the home), I still did the cooking and cleaning, shopping, bills, etc. He did help out a bit more by cooking once in a while, but I did the majority of work. There was also a period of time (about 8 months) where he took care of my son while I worked, but he was working too, and I still did all the house work!!! :

"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston

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Old 03-03-2002, 10:39 AM
 
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Paula Bear, my husband is a full time nurse at a large university medical center. He is highly skilled and well educated and his yearly salary is $39,800; with bonuses and overtime it comes to about $43K. We have 4 hungry children and a mortgage to pay and we're not willing to put our kids in childcare, so we have to make do with that. It's not easy, but we do it. Doctors work longer hours and have spent more time in school, and so deserve more pay, but the same university that pays its nurses less than $40K, pays its doctors hundreds of thousands of dollars. I don't want to be rich, but I think my husband's work is worth $50-70K--a modest family income by American standards. Middle class income, I learned during the 2000 election campaign, is considered from $50-80K. Why should a skilled professional earn less than what is considered middle class? Sorry, I'm not mad at you, Paula Bear, but I still contend that nurses and teachers are underpaid.
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