What Effect Has Feminism Had on Family? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#61 of 94 Old 03-03-2002, 10:36 AM
 
scribblerkate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 293
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So much to say and respond to!

Well, I read the initial thread Friday morning (and it did sound like a huge negative critique of feminism, although the explanations have helped) and now there are so many posts I hardly know where to begin.

The reason we are left hanging is that it is time to shift the focus. paula_bear and others are right to bring up family and children. Children were largely ignored in the '60s movement, although not in previous feminist movements. Maybe that was by necessity, but now we have the chance to include children. I do worry, though, that for many people, including children means that women who have children will be expected to stay home for at least two years, without regard to family desires and circumstances. Let's not let that happen.

Also, it's time to include men. Someone mentioned that feminism still hasn't removed the paternalistic hold on our culture. That is totally true, and in fact I believe that is where capitalism (which has way more negatives associated with it than feminism does) comes from and why it is so flawed. Yes, feminism still needs to stay in the game in terms of fighting our paternalistically organized society. But it also needs to reach out and become more of a people's movement; or maybe better, a separate, parallel movement needs to happen. It is not only women who are harmed by the structure of our society, but men, too. Men who are not allowed to show emotion. Men who are sissies or wimps if they choose certain careers. Men who face much greater barriers to certain choices (like staying at home) than do women these days. Men who might have chosen something other than the corporate breadwinner role if their society hadn't forced it upon them. If we are to get over this "hang time" in feminism, we have to take the patriarchal, paternalist shackles off of everyone, women and men.

Finally, this conversation is all based in the concept that the nuclear family is the best model for living and for raising children. Maybe that's true. I know I like my nuclear family. But if other aspects of our culture's model don't work for everyone, maybe this one doesn't, either. Long ago, people could depend more on their community and extended families for help, so the nuclear family wasn't all alone. Now that we lead such insulated lives, many people can't really count on personal contact with and assistance from their communities, and many people live far from extended families. It's time to change that, and it's time to think about other models that might work. There's small movements of co-housing out there, but this and other models need to be greatly expanded, and our society needs to change its mindset so that people who make different arrangements for their lives aren't looked on as "weird."

One final, good point about feminism. Feminism has allowed women to choose not to have children. Yay! We should celebrate that. Women who really do want to focus on career now can do so, and women who aren't comfortable in the role of having and raising children now can take steps to avoid that. We should encourage women to take the role that is right for them -- mom, mom and worker, or worker. We should also encourage men to take the role that is right for them -- dad, dad and worker, or worker. And we should look at how we can arrange our society's models so that all of those choices will work well.

Ah! One more: and we should raise our daughters AND OUR SONS to embrace all of this. We've been raising our daughters in the "she can have it all" model for years now. What about our sons? Until they feel comfortable having it all (at home and at work), won't we all suffer?

Shutting up now!
scribblerkate is offline  
#62 of 94 Old 03-03-2002, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
paula_bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Chester County, PA
Posts: 867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with much of what has been said with regards to the effects of consumerism on keeping women in the workplace even after the children arrive. This is where I feel that something needs to change - the women's movement was about giving women a choice, and now I feel that for many women they have no choice - working outside the home has become a necessity. Now if this is due in part to a posh lifestyle, well then, shame on us, I suppose. Maybe middle class families could find a nice house for $150,000, but instead they buy that $500,000 house and there's no way Mom can stay home with the kids. However, for many working-class families, it is a matter of survival, not lifestyle choices.

I live in an area that has been becoming more and more developed since my family moved here 27 years ago. At least 75% of the new construction of single family homes are these huge, luxury-style homes in the $300-500,000 range. I don't know anyone who's husband makes the kind of money to pay that mortgage without help from his partner! But when I see the beautiful farmland around here replaced by these monstrosities (sp? and I mean no offense to those living in huge houses) it really makes me sad and angry at the state of our society. Personally, I feel that it is gluttonous and wasteful for so many families to have such large dwellings. Just think of the cumulative energy needed to heat and cool these houses as opposed to a modest 2000 sq. ft. dwelling. I don't have much pity for these two-income families because they made that choice and it should be pretty obvious that they could cash in at any time and arrange things so that Mom could be at home for a few years. (I do feel sorry for the children, who are learning the lessons of materialism from about six weeks of age...)

However, I feel that there is a whole sector of society struggling to make ends meet. Does anyone know where to find statistics about these sorts of issues? I'm wondering what percentage of the working-class family's income goes toward daycare. When I returned to work when DS was 5 m/o, I was paying $150/wk. for a sitter, $100/mo. to park my car, not to mention the occasional lunch-out, dry-cleaning costs, office wardrobe, etc... It soon became obvious to me that after taxes and expenses, I was earning less than minimum wage! Plus I was paying the sitter cash, so we couldn't even claim that expense on our taxes. We found a way to survive on my partner's modest income (about $35,000/yr. back then.)

Some of the issues that I think need to be seriously taken on are:
* adequate paid maternity AND paternity leave for ALL new parents.
* better daycare for all citizens (see Britt's earlier post for how this works in Sweden).
* acknowledgement of the financial contributions of SAHMs and SAHDs. Possibly contributions made to their social security accounts for the years they work inside the home.
* allowing single mothers receiving public assistance to spend time with their newborn children before having to return to or join the workforce.
* from the corporate sector - more on-site or in-building daycare facilities, possibly subsidized by the companies which would benefit by having their worker's children close-by instead of across town. (Less tardiness, no driving out of the way to drop off/pick up children; ability to work late on occasion without getting penalized for picking children up late; parents able to spend lunch break with children; mothers able to nurse newborn and infant babies instead of having to pump; etc.)
* [this one may be just a fantasy of mine, but I'd love to see my DD have this option] more jobs that accomodate mothers with newborns and infants so that women can return to work without having to leave their wee-ones behind. Just think how pleasant this would make the office environment - always an adorable nursling around to admire!
* more equitable pay for women. This would especially benefit single mothers who often struggle to make ends meet and have to deal with "dead-beat dads" who refuse to support their children financially.
* changes in the tax code so that families are not paying more taxes than single people. Maybe a tax credit for the parent staying at home (similar to the maximum allowance for childcare payments, for example).

This is all I can think of right now. I hope I haven't left anything or anyone out. Anything else? Any suggestions for how to put these ideas into action?
paula_bear is offline  
#63 of 94 Old 03-03-2002, 12:10 PM
pie
 
pie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ojai
Posts: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Once again I am forced to ask of the folks on this board who are happy in the comfort of their lives what they think would happen to the American economy if all the working moms of the US just up and quit tomorrow.

interesting stats here: warp them as you will...

http://www.ncpa.org/~ncpa/pd/economy/ecob2.html

It is REALLY sexist and raises the feminist hair on the back of my feminist neck that so many here are assuming that women working in the past are the root cause of women working now and indeed, in a society that THRIVES and feeds of materialism, women are being blamed by so many of you for the shortfalls herein when men have had the rule for so long and deserve half if not more of the blame since even James Brown knows that it is a man's world.

If I was god forbid a US Senator and I got pregnat and I had to get back to work after the standard 6 weeks I would. And the fact that my sisters would doubt my ability to mother well while at it makes me very sad. I think if a woman is going to be an unnattached half-hearted mom she is going to do that whether she stays home or not. Why in the holy hell are women so hard on each other?

As I said on another board, the Christians can keep praying for me, the heathen, and I will keep on working for the rights of my non-feminist sisters.
pie is offline  
#64 of 94 Old 03-03-2002, 12:11 PM
pie
 
pie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ojai
Posts: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Paula we posted at the same time. Funny I found some stats, huh?
pie is offline  
#65 of 94 Old 03-03-2002, 12:17 PM
 
peggy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: MA
Posts: 4,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
:

mamapie, I'm not sure I'm following you here. This thread did start out a little contentious, but I thought we were reaching an understanding. That more positive changes for the family were needed. That we needed to revive feminism.

Your comments about Christians confuses me as well. Christian women are not feminists?

peggy
peggy is offline  
#66 of 94 Old 03-03-2002, 01:12 PM
pie
 
pie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ojai
Posts: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
THe internet just ate my reply Peggy and I am not feeling up to repeating it. I want to point out quickly that while we are coming to a bit of an understanding here we are apparently not at enough of one that I can say what I think without being questioned every time I reply in this thread. It is ENTIRELY possible I am being oversensitive as I am dealing w miscarriage right now.

I still see women getting the majority of the blame here. I POSTED SIMULTANEOUSLY with Paula but I was NOT directing my post at here or at YOU Peggy. Did you see this, a few posts back? Where I told you I could see what you were saying, that I was listening to you? Are you trying to listen to me? I don't feel like you are. I feel like you are trying to see animosity in my replies that is just not there. Just because I do not agree w the majority of the women and men in this thread does not mean I am trying to stir up trouble.

As far as you whether I think Christians cannot be feminists: no, that is not what I was saying at all. Take my statements at face value... and everyone would do well to take them w a grain of salt as well.
pie is offline  
#67 of 94 Old 03-03-2002, 01:23 PM
 
peggy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: MA
Posts: 4,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sorry, I was confused. Didn't mean to put you on the defensive.
I think I get it now.

peggy
peggy is offline  
#68 of 94 Old 03-03-2002, 03:11 PM
 
Britt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Amherst, MA
Posts: 777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Paula Bear, I thank you for pulling together ideas we have been throwing around into one coherent agenda for the new feminist! I do feel like we are reaching a consensus here. While some of us see the effects of feminism as much more positive than others, I think our vision for the future is similar. I would add some things to the wish list. Health care. As long as health care coverage in this country is most often tied to a full-time job, it is difficult to get away from a patriarchal model for work or family. As many have mentioned, there needs to be a much greater focus on encouraging men to be a part of family life, to be able to take time off if children are sick, etc.

The culture that prevents men from being equal parents needs to be fundamentally shifted, and many countries have found practical ways of pushing issues like that. In Denmark, there is paid maternity leave, and separate paid leave for fathers. If the father does not take the time off, it does not transfer to the mother. In Sweden time can be transferred, but there is a debate about whether it would be better to shift the system so that each parent gets equal time.

In Sweden they have major ad campaigns to get fathers to take time off (dh gets mail every so often that glamorizes spending time with your kids, and reminds fathers of their rights). At times they have had ads with famous men pushing strollers or with baby in a Bjorn carrier, to promote paternity leave! Norway recently had ads with the (handsome) Prime Minister pushing a pram while on paternity leave! This has made a big difference to the feminist agenda in Scandinavian countries.

My personal view is that one full-time worker and one at-home parent is not the ideal configuration for a family. Both people make sacrifices that in the long run are unfair. (And it is a much greater sacrifice for men, in my opinion, as they cannot have time with their babies later.) Sharing work and family gives both parents a more even balance of the joys and responsibilities in life. The system in the US is set up in a way that makes sharing a real challenge (often because of the health care issue).

I am one of the oft-disparaged mothers who worked even though my husband had a six-figure income, because in principle I did not want dh to increase his earning power while I lost mine. It had nothing to do with consumerism. We lived in a duplex and drove ten year old cars! But I was looking five years down the line. It was clear to me it would be harder and harder to share work and family if dh was the one who worked and I was the one who was home, so I continued working from home. My kids were never in day care because I couldn’t find a day care I liked, and they finally went (at 4) to a Montessori school for 12 hours a week. After taxes (dhs income put me in a high bracket) and expenses, I basically made nothing. But after a few years we were able to shift to sharing; he works less and I work more and we share child time and housework equally. If I hadn’t continued working, that would have been impossible for obvious reasons. Sharing means that dh has a fair portion of the time with our children, something I think is so good for them as well as for dh. Our household income is half of what it used to be, and we pay high taxes here in Sweden, but life is so good.

Subsidized child care, flextime, paid time off when the kids are sick, and respect for children in the society (which makes childcare a very different thing) all make it easier for us to choose an alternative balance of work and family. Here dh takes half the time when the kids are sick. That was always my responsibility in the States. He leaves work at three two days a week. They would laugh at him if he asked to do that in the US. But giving him more freedom means more freedom for me, and a better life for our children.

There are US groups working on these issues, I did research a few years ago, and will try to dig out my notes. The Child-Friendly Initiative is working on creating a more positive and respectful attitude toward children in the US, something I think is really valuable. www.childfriendly.org (They may still have an article I wrote about traveling with children in Sweden in their article archive.)
Britt is offline  
#69 of 94 Old 03-03-2002, 03:52 PM
 
dfoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm with you, mamapie. I am discouraged. I still hear women blaming women, putting each other down for their personal choices and responsibilities as well as making the assumption that many of us work because we want $500,000 houses.:mad:

For me, nothing could be further than the truth. I think there are many, many more families like mine out there. People truly trying to make ends meet.

I swore to myself that I wasn't going to defend my choice for working again in this thread like I did in another one, but here I go agian. We are a 2 income family because of many, many factors, NONE of them being consumer related, unless you count the high cost of organic produce and our out-of-site student loan payments. We have a VERY modest home (2 bedroom, 1 bath until we did some renovation....didn't hire anyone, we did it ourselves). We drive very modest cars. We very, very, rarely go out to eat. We NEVER spend $ on fast food. We both take our lunches every day. I can't remember the last time I bought something for myself, with the exception of maternity clothes last year, and most of those were used or from Target.

My 17 yo dd went shopping with a friend and her mom today. This is a SAHM remarried to a fairly wealthy man and she is buying her dd new spring clothes. The mom told her dd that her budget for new clothing is $800. I haven't bought my dd any new clothing other than at Christmas and birthdays for a couple of years. I know my dd understands that we can't afford $800 every season for clothing but I know she feels bad that she can't have something new unless she buys it herself.

As I stated at the beginning of this thread, lets support each other as women and mothers. And "judge not, less ye be judged".

Oh, and BTW, I live in a very affluent suburb. I live in an older section of this suburb where track houses were built to accomodate the WWII vets returning from the war. This suburb has grown by leaps and bounds in the last several years and there are many expensive new homes ($500,000 +) to the South of us. I find most of them house SAHMs and their children. Not many working moms in the new neighborhoods.

And reverend mother, are you saying that the "rights" we have "given up" are alimony and automatic child custody? Alimony was never a "given" for the working poor (or even those of moderate income). And child custody should be looked at more closely than just awarding custody to a parent that has breasts. As a teacher, I know of many situations where the child has been much better off with the father.

dfoy is offline  
#70 of 94 Old 03-03-2002, 04:20 PM
 
peggy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: MA
Posts: 4,147
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I feel badly that so many of us have felt threatened by each other's views on this subject.
As a SAHM, I have felt insulted for my choice and I know some of the WOHM's have felt that way too.
I wish there were some way to put all of that aside and really discuss what we would like to see happen with the feminist movement as it moves into new territory.
However, I think this issue is so close to our hearts and we are so passionate about it (what ever way we think) that it just might not be possible. At least not for me. So, I'll move out of the discussion now. I would like to thank each and everyone of you for your thoughts and ideas. You have given me much to think about.

peggy
peggy is offline  
#71 of 94 Old 03-03-2002, 04:30 PM
 
Britt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Amherst, MA
Posts: 777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I feel like while most people are criticizing the SYSTEM that sets the parameters for our decisions, people are feeling like the decisions themselves have been criticized. And I feel bad about saying this, but I really dont see where in this thread SAHMs have been criticized. Its a shame that this has become so personal, because in my view, everyone has had something valuable to add about the future of feminism.

(My apostrophes arent working, sorry!)
Britt is offline  
#72 of 94 Old 03-03-2002, 05:37 PM
 
daylily's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Virginia
Posts: 4,063
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Oh dear...I think I've offended some people. When I posted all those statistics about spending habits, I wasn't trying to say that married couples choose to have 2 incomes so that they can be affluent or have a fancy SUV. I was just sharing statistics, not passing judgement. I respect all mothers whether they choose to work or to stay home. It's a personal choice.

Do you think other forces in our society try to pit mothers against eachother? There has been media hysteria about sexual abuse in daycare centers or nannys who slap and spank children...public comments by people like Hilary Clinton about "not wanting to stay home all day baking cookies", (boy did that comment hurt me, I do not like that woman) mainstream parenting magazines that start every single article with a description of how stressed and busy modern families are, ads from corporations like McDonalds that try to make working parents feel guilty and encourage parents to go to McD's to feel like "good parents", a general perception that SAHMs come from affluent households or are executive trophy wives. I could go on and on. I wish all mothers could band together and demand better paid leave, ss benefits for SAHMs and some of the other things people have mentioned.
daylily is offline  
#73 of 94 Old 03-03-2002, 07:08 PM
 
dfoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Daylily, thanks for clarifying. I may have taken things too personally here and I know I should not. I have friends who live in those affluent areas I spoke of and many of them say things like,"how could you possibly leave this little one and go back to work" and it really gets to me. I always tell them that I really have to work and they go into their schpeel (sp?) about how they made sacrifices to stay home, however I don't see any sacrifices being made. They are the ones living in the expensive home and driving a lexus SUV. I'm the one living in my 2 bedroom and driving my old Honda. I don't begrudge their lives...more power to 'em if they are able to stay home and have the luxuries, but I do get upset when they second guess my life and my situation.

I do agree with your last post, Daylily, about forces in society trying to pit us against each other and it is my hope, too, that women could band together to forge some major changes for the family.
dfoy is offline  
#74 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 12:09 AM
pie
 
pie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ojai
Posts: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here in my heart, I am Helen;
I'm Aspasia and Hero, at least.
I'm Judith, and Jael, and Madame de Stael;
I'm Salome, moon of the East.

Here in my soul I am Sappho;
Lady Hamilton am I, as well.
In me Recamier vies with Kitty O'Shea,
With Dido, and Eve, and poor nell.

I'm all of the glamorous ladies
At whose beckoning history shook.
But you are a man, and see only my pan,
So I stay at home with a book.
-- Dorothy Parker
pie is offline  
#75 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 02:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
paula_bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Chester County, PA
Posts: 867
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
AAARRGG! My post didn't go thru. I'll try to sum it up.

I'm not judging anyone for working. I realize that for many families, it isn't a choice. I feel that this is what needs to be addressed - how can we help those people? How can we give families and children what they need? Affordable, high-quality daycare, preferably on-site so parents can spend lunch hours with their children. Paid maternity and paternity leave. Flexible work schedules. Telecommuting. Benefits for part-timers. The right to care for a sick child without having to lie about it.

As far as the expensive houses, I'm just describing what I see around me. I feel that some people put themselves in the situation where they need two incomes to maintain the lifestyle they want. Nothing wrong with that, if it makes them happy, but don't complain about having to work because that's what they chose! I live in a 2BR apt and drive a 12 yr old Chevy. I feel very happy to have both.

Anyway, I hope we can move forward and drop our defenses. The more we argue, the less we accomplish. I am not placing blame on any group of people or any single factor (including feminism, capitalism, consumerism, etc.) for what I see as serious social problems of the day. Blame is so useless - it doesn't solve any problems anyway. Why not focus our energy on creating solutions to make life better for all of the families that make up our country?
paula_bear is offline  
#76 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 02:58 AM
pie
 
pie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ojai
Posts: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ypu should really start a new thread then.
pie is offline  
#77 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 03:45 AM
 
laralou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: little house in the suburbs
Posts: 4,904
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here is my input:

I wouldn't want to be where we were before the "feminist movement."

Saying that feminism has stopped short of taking us where we want to be is making a wrong assumption-- that feminism has stopped. Hey, we may have come a long way but we are still moving. No one is stopping here.

Blaming feminism is a way to blame the fact that women work out of the home for all the ills, and I just don't buy it. Daycare is not the root of all evil. If that were true, we should be able to draw a line between all the adults that grew up in daycare and those who had sahms and show that the former are worse off than the latter. No study shows this because it isn't true. I will be shouting on deaf ears but I have seen with my own eyes that quality is more important than quantity. Yes it is better to have both, but quality still has the greater effect. If you don't believe this compare the kids of a loving ap wohm and the kids of a selfish dp sahm. Quality with less quantity is better than quantity with less quality. KWIM? Can't we just blame crappy parenting?

I don't believe all these problems would be solved if all mothers found a way to quit their jobs and stay home with their kids. The solution is not that simple because the problem is so much more complex than just daycare and woh mothers. I can name hundreds of things that contribute to society's woes besides this issue.

Sorry, Hillary-- those kids did not like your dw (although she is awesome) more than their own parents unless they had absolute creeps for parents.

I never get how people can say daycare is bad but school is good. Why is it that we believe at the age of 5 suddenly being separated from mom is a good and not a bad? How arbitrary is that?

As far as the animosity of the sahm/wohm debate, I have been both. I have never been judged or condescended to for being a sahm, but I'll tell you this- when people say, "you are so lucky" I smile and say "I know." I don't get mad or give them a lecture about why I am not lucky or that I had to make sacrifices to do this. I recognize that I AM lucky, because I have been there when I wasn't so fortunate. What do you want a wohm to say when you tell her you sah? "I wish I could do that." or "You are so lucky." Instead of taking these as compliments, we get offended because we think they are implying that we didn't make sacrifices to be here instead of hearing that she thinks what you are doing is great. Or we hear that she thinks we don't do anything all day but watch tv, but really she is thinking how nice it would be not to have to rush to the daycare by 6 to get home by 7, start dinner, eat, bathe the kids and put them to bed without stopping to breathe. This doesn't mean that wohms can't show us more respect but dang it! We have to recognize respect. Say "Yeah. I am lucky and I wouldn't trade it for the world." If she says, "Doesn't it get boring?" educate her on all the fun and facinating things you do. But respect goes both ways. If you think she is selfish for working, it'll show in your face and tone. We are defensive on both sides because we are being judged on both sides. If you feel judged, you are more likely to judge.

Lastly, I do think other things can be achieved in the future, but I am not going to say that feminism screwed us up or that they have stopped making strides. Feminism has done so much for women that we take for granted. We are a part of feminism and can chart our own future. Whatever ways we can improve upon the status quo, we need to continue to work towards.
laralou is offline  
#78 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 03:45 AM
 
boobybooby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: So Cal
Posts: 319
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't think the important part about the effects of feminism, good or bad, should be how we as women have been affected but rather how it has affected children. Whether that means for you that your child thrives better with 24/7 care from mom or dad or daycare. Our focus should be taken back to the needs of the children , and it really is that simple, IMHO. When I had my first baby, we decided that I would be a SAHM. Mainly so I could BF on demand w/out bottles, and become my child's closest most bonded caregiver. Those were the reasons and they outweighed anything that feminism had to offer me. We live in a very affluent city where we cannot buy a home and most of the people my age (30) have dual income families and the kids go off to "herd" care everyday so they can drive fancy cars and remodel their new kitchens with granite countertops. Oh yeah and they use real estate to make money, you know, live in a 300,00$ "dump" for 3 years then sell for a huge profit and move into a brand new house. It's total insanity if you ask me, but then I am sure it's not like this in every corner of the country, right?

I think that before a woman has children she has a broad choice of what to do with her life, kids/no kids, marriage/no marriage, etc. But I have to say that when a child is born, it should take priority of a mothers choices. I am not saying that she cannot work, because maybe she needs to work to provide for her child. I am saying that when the feminism argument starts up, you rarely hear anyone speaking up for the children who if they could speak at 6 weeks old, would probably say they love being with their mothers as much as possible. What ever happened to being happy with caring for the children you gave birth to? No career could have ever stopped me from quitting my job, but then, if I had that wonderful carrer from the start I'm not sure I would have also chose a family life. I'm just one of those women who think that feminism started out with a great cause but somewhere along the line failed women miserably by promising them they could "have it all". Not to mention the aweful image they perpetuated against the housewife, or "parasitic consumer".
boobybooby is offline  
#79 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 03:57 AM
 
laralou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: little house in the suburbs
Posts: 4,904
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally posted by paula_bear
As far as the expensive houses, I'm just describing what I see around me. I feel that some people put themselves in the situation where they need two incomes to maintain the lifestyle they want. Nothing wrong with that, if it makes them happy, but don't complain about having to work because that's what they chose! I live in a 2BR apt and drive a 12 yr old Chevy. I feel very happy to have both.
I just see this as just as bad as a wohm judging you for having a boring life. Why can't she complain about having to work? Why can't we just say to her, "I know it is tough working all day then coming home to a house full of work. I am so grateful I can stay home." Why do we have to elevate ourselves by patting ourselves on the back because we made more sacrifices than that person? The sacrifices I have made to sah with ds don't make me a better person or mother than many of my friends who still work. They might could make the same sacrifices themselves but they have to do what they feel is right for their family. I am not the one to decide that.

The sah/woh war won't end until we each put down our weapons. It means we need to quit judging or blaming the other side, quit jabbing. We can't ask each other to quit being defensive when we are still jabbing at them. When we see there is nothing to defend against, then we will be at peace.

edited to add: I do understand that sahms want credit for the sacrifices they make and the energy they invest in their kids. I worry that the problem is, if we admit that some wohm are just as good as us, maybe we feel this cheapens who we are and the sacrifices we made. If we need to put down wohm to elevate ourselves this will never end. It is hard to address the other side because I haven't really heard a wohm here say that sahms are bad (except one poster said the sahms she had met didn't want to talk about anything but parenting, but that wasn't an attack on their mothering). Most wohms on this board really respect sahms, if not envy them.
laralou is offline  
#80 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 04:07 AM
pie
 
pie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ojai
Posts: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
boobybooby, I bet we live near each other in socal...

I think you really have the wrong idea of what feminism is all about to most of us here on this board and I will stretch my neck out so far as to say in the rest of the world too... it is not that media friendly 70s burn your bra leave your kids powersuit w white reeboks crap. That was a flash in the pan. Reread this thread carefully for a better indication as to how most of your mothering sisters practice the much maligned art of feminism...

There are different brands of it, as I believe Ando said. Mine is SAH BF co-sleep lactivism feminism. LOL! And in recent years many family activists/ feminists have done such work as lobby for mandated paid maternity/paternity leave, pumping facilities, on-site daycare/at work slinging, lobbying insurance cos to pay for midwifery, etc etc... feminism is at work for ALL of us whether we see it or not.

Again Paula I beseech you... if you want this convo recentered on family issues start another thread. I will start one called an open discussion about feminism if you will open the family one... this thread has gotten REALLY convoluted IMHO
pie is offline  
#81 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 04:10 AM
 
laralou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: little house in the suburbs
Posts: 4,904
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You might want to ask Cat to close this one and redirect to the new ones.
laralou is offline  
#82 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 10:58 AM
 
Els' 3 Ones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: An American Gulag
Posts: 3,790
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What an interesting thread this has been. You are all so passionate. I, too, think the thread needs to either be renamed or started anew......

In all these threads I fail to see a line drawn from "feminism" to the societal problems that families are facing today. The feminists that I heard as a teenager (Freidan/Steinem) never, that I recall, said to leave your kids. They talked about having a CHOICE. I never heard about "doing it all" . Not all at once. Why would a feminist movement want to add to the burden? Just b/c the message was misinterpreted doesn't draw the line to blame for what is happening now.

You understand even in the 1960's IF an uneducated (formal) woman was working it was a low paying, service job that could barely support one, let alone a family. If she was educated she was most likely a teacher, nurse or secretary. If she happened to be a lawyer or journalist - then she was making far, far less than her male counterparts...............And yes, I do know women were doing many more things than I listed above - but the vast majority were not. What I remember hearing/learning was this:

You don't have to be married for financial support (was this the man hating part?). Advocating for equal pay. You also did not need marriage to have sexual satisfaction (an adult single woman was to have no sex?)

You don't have to have children - you can choose a career if you want. (what happens when you choose something? something else gets left behind) These women were not addressing having a career and children. Just advocating going after the career if you wanted. Delaying or forgoing children. Women back then, on average, really didn't think there was a choice. You were supposed to get married and have children.

IMO, it is other forces that have brought about today's family. Yes, I do believe this dynamic is in flux. Today's "feminists" are advocating for family friendly workplaces and I think that is a great way to go. Good luck to us because we are battling big business so it's a tough fight.

I really believe the rhetoric that blames feminism for family decay is coming from places that would seek to send us back to the 1950's......................

OK, I've stuck my old neck into the fray. Blast my ancient memories away....................
Els' 3 Ones is offline  
#83 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 11:31 AM
 
Britt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Amherst, MA
Posts: 777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What should the new thread be called? I'll start it, but want to move forward on the right foot... Maybe:

Developing a feminist agenda

The future of feminism

The future of feminism and family

??? I don't know. Something specifically about feminism from a positive perspective. Anyone have ideas?

I am enjoying reading everyone's thoughts and impressions *so much.* I won't post anything else until we get a new and more positive thread going.
Britt is offline  
#84 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 12:17 PM
pie
 
pie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ojai
Posts: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Why would a feminist movement want to add to the burden?
You are a SUPER genius, my lady....
pie is offline  
#85 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 12:42 PM
 
Hilary Briss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Been there, done that...
Posts: 3,590
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How about:

Feminism: fix it or f*ck it
Hilary Briss is offline  
#86 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 12:46 PM
pie
 
pie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ojai
Posts: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would rather have feminism all broken down and screwed up than the alernative... wait we HAVE the alternative...

Fight the power!! Run run run sistahs!

I started a new thread ladies and gent.
pie is offline  
#87 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 02:54 PM
 
boobybooby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: So Cal
Posts: 319
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here's an idea, why don't we find a new term for "feminism". The problem with the word is that many people, myself included and as someone here pointed out, have an attached meaning already to that word. And it's often not a meaning that sounds appealing.

Like I said before, I commend the fact that early feminists gave women the right to choose what life they wanted. But I also don't give sole credit to the "feminism" movement for that. we are all individuals, and individuals make a difference in the world even if they are not part of a movement. But there is just part of me that cannot understand why a woman would not choose to be her child's primary full-time parent if she can afford to? This country is anything and everything BUT child-centered, and saying that feminism had no part in that is like saying that television has no part in the gelatinous state of mind our youth is experiencing today! The title of the thread was what effect has fem. had on the family, right? Well, from where I sit I can say that capitalism, selfishness, "equality" at the cost of our children, and many other things attribute to the epidemic of family breakdown and childhood problems, feminism surely being one of them.

I am super grateful though to anyone who goes out on a limb to make choices like midwifery available and cost covered by their insurance, I just don't think I would call that feminism. Feminism had set out to make the world a place where men and women would be equal in the workplace, and where women could attend colleges and have hope of becoming Dr's and lawyers eventually, which don't get me wrong, I think is a great cause. I just don't think it mixes well with babies, IMO. And the problem many feminists face even today is that when they do decide to have a baby, they are left with a decision that often feels wrong instinctively to leave their baby at 6 weeks old with a stranger. I think women just need to stand up for themselves more often to peers, husbands, family, employers and say they have thoughtfully chosen to be a SAHM after their baby is born, because research shows it is good for baby. I have many friends who were afraid to leave their jobs after baby, and not for monetary reasons but mostly what others will think of them, sometimes the modern day husband who often times looks at his wife now as not only the housekeeper, wife, mommy but also as a wage earner for the family. And this thinking all started with effects of feminism, women in the workplace struggling to be equal with men. Its often too much for one person to handle, ask around. Women who are juggling all that stuff feel like they are suffocating. Somewhere, although none of us can accurately pinpoint where in history, we as a country have lost the idea that being a wife and mother can be fulfilling w/out anything else, if we choose that road in life. Women were influenced to shut down their sexuality in child bearing and marriage and become more "free" with sexuality. We've got repercussions galore from an era of feminism that tried to replace what it means biologically, emotionally and instinctively to be a woman with what it means to be more like a man, and it's going to real hard for people to forget that. And again, the children are the ones who have and will continue to pay the price of the state of the family today.
boobybooby is offline  
#88 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 03:03 PM
pie
 
pie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ojai
Posts: 0
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We both agree on the problem but see the effects of feminism differently.

I have no idea why I find your point of view on this subject so engaging, Booby but I do! Hopefully you will join the new discussion on feminism in this column.
pie is offline  
#89 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 03:24 PM
 
boobybooby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: So Cal
Posts: 319
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks Mamapie!

I'll try to get in the new discussion a bit later, we are off to the chiropractor for awhile.
boobybooby is offline  
#90 of 94 Old 03-04-2002, 03:48 PM
 
steph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: chasing the ever changing butterfly
Posts: 1,984
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ok, my very humble two cents...it seems to me in this discussion that much of what is maligned about feminism is based on an ideal that some feel has never materialised - or manifested differently than intended. Any movement - social, political, religious is merely the group dynamic of a bunch of individuals responding to an idea of some sorts. So the actions that people are reacting to are merely that - the actions of individuals, and how the personally respond to an ideology. Feminism can't be perfect because we as individuals aren't perfect. All social movements are flawed to some degree because we're just a bunch of people, doing the best we can. Feminism hasn't failed IMHO, it still has a long way to go. What makes us think we can overturn 2000 years of patriarchal entrenchment in a few decades? When the needs of women and their children are given the same amount of serious consideration as say our military, we will have begun to make some real progress.
steph is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off