Feminism and the SAHM - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 134 Old 12-10-2003, 06:56 AM
 
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#122 of 134 Old 12-10-2003, 11:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by MaryKate
Nor did I attack feminists,I more or less attacked feminism,just like someone else would attack any other "ism" in this world but does not attack the person who thinks that way.
I'm sorry, but that's not what you said. Here is the quote:

"A feminist is so caught up with her own selfish wants, desires and wellbeing and her heart being so full of rebellion and pride that there is no room for anyone else but her own self."

That is not an attack on feminISM. It is an attack on feminISTS.

Quote:
Originally posted by MaryKate
No, I never said NEVER think of yourself.
You said:

"In giving one self to their husbands and family and others there is unbelieveable joy that comes from serving others and putting aside the fulfilling of our own wants and desires .

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#123 of 134 Old 12-10-2003, 11:19 AM
 
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I would like to ask all here, both those who call themselves feminists and those who hate the word, to READ what those feminists who we are mentioning actually wrote.

People are complex. Their thoughts are complex. Many people who I admire in one way, I revile in another. Some people who I hate, I also see good qualities in.

Before one says "a feminist like Steinam" or whoever, how about reading what she wrote?

You may or may not agree with all of it, but I think everyone would benefit by going to the original source instead of what others say someone said.
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#124 of 134 Old 12-10-2003, 11:42 AM
 
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I agree. I think the author most often villianized is Betty Friedan. So many people who have never read the Feminine Mystique tell me that it's about looking down on housewives. Well, I actually read the book and that's not what it's about *at all*. It's about how if a housewife wants to take classes or have a career she should be allowed to and supported. It's about how women in the early 60's were expected to just keep having one child after another, and that they shouldn't feel pressured to do so if they don't want to.

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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#125 of 134 Old 12-10-2003, 01:21 PM
 
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Originally posted by 3boys4us

PS: historically women have been working since the beginniing of time (and that includes traditionally male jobs). The suffrage movement gave them same rights under the law as men - prior to that women (and children) were considered chattel.
Just wanted to clarify something historically here.

Women had very few rights and were considered chattel in the Roman empire and preivious history. This was pretty much true until the middle ages when Christian codes of law were drawn up. The Roman laws in which women's husbands had power of death over them were abolished. Women were given the power to own land and hold office. There are many biased historians that ignore the fact that the legal model of the high middle ages granted equal rights to women. Many abbesses were the effective governers of small communities in the Middle Ages. Elanor of Aquitaine and Isabel of Spain were rulers and lawmakers. In Spain the line of sucession could validly fall to a daughter. These are but a few instances of the legal rights of women in medieval Europe.

It was not until the late Renaissance that women began to lose their rights and status once agian. The rediscovery of Roman art and architechture brought about a return of Neo-Platonism, and Roman law. The new intrest in roman law allowed bias against women in the public sphere to re-enter the legan system. The Enlightenment furthered this by upholding the male as the hight of reason and perfection. This problem prevailed until the twentieth century suffrage movement addressed it.

I just wanted to adress that historically speaking the Middle Ages was not a time when women were viewed as chattel. For more information on this subject there is an awesome book called "Women in the Days of the Cathedrals." It is a very fascinating read.
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#126 of 134 Old 12-10-2003, 02:59 PM
 
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On the topic of sexism (or feminism or humanism), I have always felt that the so-called traditional male and female roles in the family are just as discriminatory against men as against women. Every time I listen to a woman who is talking about the importance of being at home for him, to comfort him, to have that hot meal on the table, to be the angel of the house and family, and be the no-matter-what stay at home mother to the children and to have as many children as God gives, I wonder if the husband in this marriage is really in total agreement.

Before anyone gets angry at this, let me say that I think there are many, many marriages where the husband and wife are in perfect agreement about the structure of their home life and family.

However, I think that most people marry BEFORE talking through, thoroughly and honestly, about what they want in their lives and how they want to live it. And I think that few people know these things at a young age. Many of the individuals I have met who hold the ideals expressed in the example above got married when very young. I wonder how well they knew themselves at that time and how much they have questioned their beliefs. Wondering this does not imply that I think their beliefs are false. I think that questioning and examination of beliefs are necessary to belief, as is having an epiphany. (That might seem to be a logical impossibility, but I can argue metaphysics on this elsewhere.) In order to cherish someone, one must see the other person as that person, not some ideal that one holds it their mind. You cannot truly love someone who you do not truly know. It is probably impossible to know everything about someone, but lack of interest in knowing about the other and understanding the other is a very common problem in relationships.

Why am I going on about this in this thread? Because I have spent much of my life around men and have listened to them. (I am the only female tunneling engineer I know of. I spend hours every day in the company of men doing very, very dangerous jobs. Most of them do not try and date me. I am the ball-busting, quality-assuring, pain in the a$$ who does not sign their paychecks.) I have met countless numbers of men who are miserable in their (very traditionally masculine) jobs. They often do hard and boring work for abusive bosses who, in my very personal opinion, deserve to be run over by a freight train. I have seen the typical man put up with far more than I have seen the typical woman in a similar position put up with. I have formed a theory that women are actually better risk-takers than men because they are quicker to cut their losses and RUN...at least in the workplace. (I have, also, volunteered on a Crisis Line for victims of domestic abuse, so I know what can happen in that situation as well.)

I have seen men who work themselves into an early grave running a business, working in an office, working a construction job, a factory job, in a mine JUST TO BE ABLE TO KEEP THEIR FAMILIES GOING AND LIVE UP TO THIS OUTRAGEOUSLY SEXIST IDEA THAT THEY HAVE TO BE THE PROVIDER NO MATTER WHAT OR THEY ARE LESS THAN A MAN!

If I took part in society's dictum that the man must be the provider to the exclusion of his own hopes and dreams, just like if I followed the female version of this dictum and surpressed my own talents and hopes and dreams forever, I would hate myself. I cannot force my husband to do this for me. It is bad enough when he volunteers to do something like that for a short period to make something work out. It breaks my heart.

And it hurts when I see it in other men. There is my friend "X", who when he was in high school wanted to be a mechanical engineer. He also, unfortunately, was, like many teenagers, horney and, also like many, many teenagers, woefully ignorant of birth control. His girfriend got pregnant. He felt (sensibly) responsible. They got married before out of high school. She dropped out (she was a junior). He graduated (he was already a senior and close to graduating) and got a job as a carpenter. He was the sole support of the family. This is 20 years ago. He is a good carpenter. I loved working with him. He is intelligent and imaginative and precise. They are no longer together. He still regrets not having gone to university and studying engineering. He is unlikely to take that leap now to go and study. It is intimidating to go when you are so much older than the rest of the class. She left him about six years into the marriage and moved away. They were, I think, too young to have learned how to talk to each other and to understand themselves and each other.

For me, feminism is humanism and is about understanding the whole picture of that story. It is not just about a bad choice made by two people. It is also about the way we raise our children, how we teach them to value themselves and TO KNOW THEMSELVES. How we teach them to strive to understand their friends. How society shapes our expectations of ourselves and of others. I try to see everyone as an individual.

Rules that say, Y stays home, Z works...or, the sexual drive is disgusting and should be surpressed and therefore we will not tell anyone how it works nor permit anyone to use birth control....or "you're 18, you're on your own, you made your bed, now lie in it" ..... these are heartless rules. They should not be enforced from without, only from within, by the person or people who are directly affected.

For me, feminism is about liberation of everyone.
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#127 of 134 Old 12-10-2003, 03:27 PM
 
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sohj does it again! Well said. Straitjackets bind everyone.
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#128 of 134 Old 12-10-2003, 03:55 PM
 
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well said sohj!

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#129 of 134 Old 12-10-2003, 04:13 PM
 
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Sohj.....
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#130 of 134 Old 12-10-2003, 05:27 PM
 
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Quote:
"On the topic of sexism (or feminism or humanism), I have always felt that the so-called traditional male and female roles in the family are just as discriminatory against men as against women."
And another quote:
"JUST TO BE ABLE TO KEEP THEIR FAMILIES GOING AND LIVE UP TO THIS OUTRAGEOUSLY SEXIST IDEA THAT THEY HAVE TO BE THE PROVIDER NO MATTER WHAT OR THEY ARE LESS THAN A MAN!"

Wow sohj,

So much of what you said rings true for me. We have(my husband and myself) discussed this issue many times over the years, and it is a topic that comes up often. We have both been the sole primary bread winner at different times in our relationship and it is nice for both of us to know that each of us can and will be able to provide for our family if it becomes necessary.
But I have to disagree with you on one point.
Quote:
"They were, I think, too young to have learned how to talk to each other and to understand themselves and each other."

My husband and I married very young and we have been together for over 26 years. I think that it is very possible to be able to decide that you are going to make a commitment not to make assumptions about what your partner needs or wants for himself or herself in a relationship as a young couple.
I have been to plenty of weddings where the couple is well over 30 and those marriages too have ended in divorce because a serious conversation about the roles each was going play in their relationship was avoided before and during the marriage.
I just feel that most people, young and old alike, find it hard not to get caught up in the romantic ideal that if your partner "really loves and knows you" they will know what you have in mind without being told.
Sometimes for me, just being asked by my partner, "where do you see our lives going in the next year?" helps me to make sure that I am "making things happen" in our relationship, not just "letting things happen" to me or to us. I think it is all about what you as a couple bring to the relationship and how mature the couple is.
Believe me when I say that there are some issues for me that have become less clear with age, but our willingness to discuss and grow together in our relationship has made it easier to handle the changes that we have gone through and will go through in the future.(and some of the changes in position on certain issues have been Huge!)
I know that my example is only of one relationship, but I think that it is important to not paint all young couples with the same broad brush.

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail..."
"I am learning all the time, the tombstone will be my diploma"- Eartha Kitt
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#131 of 134 Old 12-10-2003, 06:22 PM
 
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Erika: If you look back, you'll see that that particular sentence was about that particular couple. Now, he is married to someone else and they have a very, very different relationship than he did with his first wife. He admits it and he said once that he thinks the main reason for him is that he's grown up a lot and learned to talk about stuff. (He drank heavily for a while and in the process of kicking that, he learned a lot about himself.) She is also a more self-aware and centered person than his first wife was.

What you are describing what you and your husband do is EXACTLY what I think everyone should do. Some people know to do this from childhood...if they are lucky enough to have either grown up in a family where discussions take place or they are lucky enough to have figured it out on their own...some people don't. I wish everyone did. My husband and I are (still, for those of you who may remember some of my posts in Parents as Partners) in counselling due, in large part, to communication problems. I was raised to communicate. He was raised to regard nearly all communication as an attack. We are dealing with this.

Part of the masculinity myth is that the guy takes everything and doesn't whimper. That seems to encompass talking about stuff.

Makes me think of that song with the refrain "Where is my John Wayne? Where is my prairie star (? song ?)? Where is my lonely ranger? Where have all the cowboys gone?"

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#132 of 134 Old 12-10-2003, 09:26 PM
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I don't know if anyone was offended by what I said about Feminism or Feminists. My post was Not an attack on Feminists! If I offended you I am sorry for i did not intend to. I in no way intended to attack people but an idea or way of thinking. My post was more about married women then ALL THE WOMEN IN AMERICA. It was about 2-3 different kinds of feminism and what they were. As I said before,you women took what I said to an extreme. I do not explain it well so instead of getting "hot" with me maybe try asking questions. It would sure keep things alot calmer. If anyone who thinks the way I think would like to explain it better I would be glad if they did!! Thanks. John3:17
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#133 of 134 Old 12-11-2003, 02:11 AM
 
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Mary KAte--

You bring up a good point. We could ask you more questions.

But please hear "us women." We did not, in my opinion, take what you said to an extreme. These are womens' responses to the words you chose. I believe that in your heart you did not intend to offend but the words you chose DID offend and stir up much. Rather than dimissing the women here please hear each woman's heart, struggle, and mind.

And I believe that those who have engaged with you will do the same.


In Peace,
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#134 of 134 Old 12-11-2003, 04:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by MaryKate
My post was Not an attack on Feminists!
Once again, this is what you said:

"A feminist is so caught up with her own selfish wants, desires and wellbeing and her heart being so full of rebellion and pride that there is no room for anyone else but her own self."

Since you prefer we put things in question form, here is my question: How exactly is the above statement not an attack on feminists?

If you did not intend to attack feminists, then would you like to retract the above statement?

-Alice, SAHM to dd (2001) and ds (2004) each of whom was a homebirth.jpg, who each self-weaned at 4.5 years bfolderchild.gif, who both fambedsingle2.gif'd, who were bothcd.gif, and both: novaxnocirc.gif.   Also, gd.gif, and goorganic.jpg!

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