Who's responsible for the stereotypes against SAHM's? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 104 Old 09-21-2005, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This conversation started in the thread about "who intends to be a SAHM indefinitely?".

The question is if the women's movement is responsible for moving women out of the home and now looking down upon those who choose not to work.

My opinion is that they fought for women to have choice but now we've ended up being stuck in another "box" which is that we must be in the work force since that is what was fought for. Now if we SAH we are waisting our lives and our educations and setting the women's movement back.

I think SAHM's are overlooked by the feminist groups, media, etc. and we're looked down upon.

I'll say more about this as people post.

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#2 of 104 Old 09-23-2005, 02:48 PM
 
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i think actually we're in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" phase.

i very much agree. i was raised by a SAHM who choose to stay home in the 1970's when you were supposed to be using your new found freedoms to join the work force. i was very aware of the looks she got when she didn't have a work number. i heard people say, "so you don't work."

but i think that women of my generation do see a choice. it just isn't a choice where anyone is ever making the correct choice; only choice that is best for them and their family. unfortunately it can be very hard not to compare yourself with other mothers around you and second guess the choice you made.

i think that the stereotypes against SAHM comes from the basic insecurities that women have. just like i will never look like a super model and i have to like what i look like no matter what that is. i have to make a choice about how i want to raise my children and be happy with it.
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#3 of 104 Old 09-23-2005, 05:21 PM
 
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I agree with the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" assessment. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm pregnant and plan to work after my baby is born. And trust me, I hear tons of negative feedback about my plan to work after the baby comes, despite the fact that I've never said anything negative about the choice to stay home. I just know what will work FOR ME.

Mothers are constantly fighting each other. If you're working out of the home, you're selfish and hell-bent on screwing up your children. If you're staying at home, you're lazy. I wish everyone could understand that there is not a single best choice for everyone.

Stereotypes are actually a research interest of mine. I think that everyone can find support for whatever stereotype they choose to believe, and ignore contradictory evidence. For example, I'm sure many people can think of a working mother who doesn't (financially) need to work but does anyway, ignores her child when she is at home, etc. I can think of stay-at-home mothers who believe it is beneath them to clean the house or do anything other than surf the internet and take baths all day, since the oldest kid is home and he can watch the younger children.

However, it is easy to find an example of something that supports and perpetuates any stereotype, therefore, it is up to everyone to question their stereotypes. Just because I know a stay-at-home mom who really is lazy doesn't mean I think all SAHMs are. I would appreciate if society looked at working mothers in the same way. Actually, I just wish everyone could support any kind of mother who's doing what she thinks is best for her family.
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#4 of 104 Old 09-23-2005, 05:33 PM
 
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a friend of mine since high school had a little girl about six months before my dd was born and other than 6 weeks of pre-birth bed rest only took off summer break before going back teaching and directing college theatre. she told me that she would stick herself in the eye with a fork if she had to stay home. and i know she would. i know it's just as hard for her to figure out how her bestfriend and i can both do the SAHM thing.

judging other mothers choices come out of not having confidence in your own.
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#5 of 104 Old 09-23-2005, 05:42 PM
 
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Well, I have a college degree, do communty work with new mothers and volunteer at my local science museum. For me,SAHMing was a choice we made as a couple. I had worked in daycare and didn't want that for my kids. I never earned more that 30k ever in my short career. I love being the mom. I love taking care of life's little details. I love that I know my kids inside out.

I hate that I am vulnerable in some ways. We have good insurance and a good will should something happen to dh. But it is still a scary prospect.
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#6 of 104 Old 09-23-2005, 05:44 PM
 
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See I think that feminism (for lack of a better term) is responsible for making many more choices available to women but it is frequently women themselves who are not owning their decisions and as a result are picking apart women who make the opposite decision.

If you're secure in your choice, there's no need to beat other women down.

For instance, I'm a member of the California Bar and a SAHM. The only person who ever alluded to the fact that I was wasting my education was a fellow attorney who fell apart after being at home and went back to work. She can't accept that she failed at something so she picks apart the SAH decision.

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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#7 of 104 Old 09-23-2005, 05:58 PM
 
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My opinion is that they fought for women to have choice but now we've ended up being stuck in another "box" which is that we must be in the work force since that is what was fought for. Now if we SAH we are waisting our lives and our educations and setting the women's movement back.

I think SAHM's are overlooked by the feminist groups, media, etc. and we're looked down upon.

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#8 of 104 Old 09-23-2005, 06:09 PM
 
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For a long time in our society, for whatever reason, women were not seen as valuable therefore womens work wasn't valuable. Feminists were concerned with showing that women are valuable. At the time, the early feminists thought that to show that women were valuable they had to prove we could do valuable work. In other words mens work. Of corse we are perfectly capable of doing anything we set our minds to. The problem is that traditional womens work such as child raising and home making are important but is still not always accepted as being important work.

Now we add to that the consumer culture we live in and all the stuff so many of us feel we need to have and its little wonder that so many women feel they can't stay home with their children.

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#9 of 104 Old 09-23-2005, 06:26 PM
 
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Just a reaction to what several have said.
Why is it a SAHM is often labeled as wasting her education? Certainly she couldn't actually use the stuff she learned at home! I mean sitting at home all day with kids, eating bon-bons and watching tv is mindless work!
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#10 of 104 Old 09-23-2005, 06:33 PM
 
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The problem with blaming feminists is that woh mothers have their own host of negative stereotypes to deal with (money hungry, selfish, neglectful mom), sterotypes that are just as viscious and insidious as the stereotypes about sahms. So clearly feminism hasn't gone too far - working mothers are not really accepted by society even though the majority of mothers work. It is a cultural mysogeny - you really are damned in soicety's eyes for whichever route you choose

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Originally Posted by Rhiannon Feimorgan
The problem is that traditional womens work such as child raising and home making are important but is still not always accepted as being important work.
yes, yes

I agree that work such as child raising and home making aren't valued by our society. But they certainly weren't valued by our society before the women's movement. The women's movement should be doing more to change this lack of value - but they aren't the cause of the lack of value. And honestly, they have their hands pretty full trying to convince society that ambitous women (and god forbid you are a mother with career ambitions) aren't selfish, unfeminine bitches.
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#11 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 12:29 AM
 
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Most of the time when people find out that I am a SAHM, they are supportive- to my face. The people I get frustrated with are the ones who talk to my DH behind my back and tell him that "she just doesn't want to work" and "what does she do all day?" If someone has a comment, I'd rather they said it to my face so that I can defend myself.

As for wasting my education, I hear this one and it doesn't phase me much because I am a teacher (I don't say WAS because I still AM ) I tell people that there will always be kids for me to teach, but my kids will only be young once. Even still, I have to defend to my MIL that we may not put our kids in preschool because I don't feel that there is anythign that they can learn at preschool that I can't teach them. There isn't anything more magical about a teacher who has to teach several kids at age 3 and me who can just teach the one.
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#12 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 03:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by philomom
I hate that I am vulnerable in some ways. We have good insurance and a good will should something happen to dh. But it is still a scary prospect.
Ya, well why doesn't the women's movement fight for rights for SAHM's---things such as Health Ins., social security, etc.?

Is it because they don't want to waste their resources on something that can't be won or changed? (at least anytime soon)

My mother will be 70 in March and she still works as she always has. She was a SAHM for most of her adult life and due to how little she worked her SS check has always been only $425 per month. My dad and her divorced after 35 years (18 yrs ago now) and thank goodness neither of them ever remarried because since he died this year her SS check has now gone to $700 something. It pisses me off a great deal that a woman who seriously busted her ass her whole life raising 5 kids and never having any money, and worked some cash jobs here and there, etc. has to now suffer because she is not valued for all the hard work she did.

I am now in this same position. You know how they send you those statements from SS ever so often to show you what you would get from SS if you were disabled or if you turned 65 today and started drawing a check? Well, I only recently made enough money to recieve anything and I believe it is in the 200 range. So, if I never work again I will get that amount when I retire. (I'm pretending there's no controversy about what SS will look like in 30 years)
Of course DH and I are very happily married and if everything stays the same I will have his check to depend on when we're old.

It just really makes me mad that we are put in this situation and that we have to factor this in when making a decision about our childs future--- like whether we stay at home or not. :

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#13 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 03:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jkpmomtoboys
See I think that feminism (for lack of a better term) is responsible for making many more choices available to women but it is frequently women themselves who are not owning their decisions and as a result are picking apart women who make the opposite decision.
If you're secure in your choice, there's no need to beat other women down.
I agree that this is true, HOWEVER, what happened that we feel like we can't be secure in our decisions, either way, and that we have to pick at each other? What happened along the way that caused us to feel this way?
Is this kind of a growing pain that happens with change? Is it because women in the work force, or having that choice, is quite new and it will just take a few more decades for us and everyone else to feel comfortable with our choices? I don't know. I'm just guessing.
Or is it something more calculated? I don't know---I just know it sucks.

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#14 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 03:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamawanabe
The problem with blaming feminists is that woh mothers have their own host of negative stereotypes to deal with (money hungry, selfish, neglectful mom), sterotypes that are just as viscious and insidious as the stereotypes about sahms. So clearly feminism hasn't gone too far - working mothers are not really accepted by society even though the majority of mothers work. It is a cultural mysogeny - you really are damned in soicety's eyes for whichever route you choose

yes, yes

I agree that work such as child raising and home making aren't valued by our society. But they certainly weren't valued by our society before the women's movement. The women's movement should be doing more to change this lack of value - but they aren't the cause of the lack of value. And honestly, they have their hands pretty full trying to convince society that ambitous women (and god forbid you are a mother with career ambitions) aren't selfish, unfeminine bitches.

First, I agree that mysogeny plays a part....a big part, but that is almost too simple of too easy of an answer but doesn't tell us who's responsible since everyone and everything in our society has some level of mysogenism.
And although I agree with the fact that you're damned if you do and damned if you don't (work or SAH) I don't really think that the cause of those judgements both come from the same place. Yes, there's the mysogeny, but that's only one piece.

As someone else mentioned I want to say that I agree that feminism is not responsible for the problem of people looking down on, or judging SAHM's, HOWEVER I don't think they've anything about it and I think they didn't think ahead and make sure that women were valued for whatever they do. It was like someone else mentioned---how in the beginning the way to show that we were capable and to be valued was for su to do "men's" work.
And even if they couldn't see into the future and know how important it was going to be to show "women's" work as having value.....well, they should have, at some point, seen the error of their ways and gotten back on track.

Please take note that I do know that there are a lot of people out there fighting for what we're talking about here. I'm mostly referring to the movement as a whole---the big picture---the rule, not the exception.

The second part of your post, mamawanabe, is very interesting to me.

First, I know what you are saying about how "women's work" was not valued before the women's movement, HOWEVER, I do think that although women had to fit a stereotype, etc., they were more accepted doing "women's work" than we are now ---which is kind of a duh! statement, but seriously--- it was seen as important to take care of the home and the kids, etc.. Were the women appreciated then, who did that, more than they are now? I'm not sure really. But I do think that what women did then was seen as needed more than it is now. Since anyone can do it now....or in some cases it's not done as well (or as much anyway) as it used to be ; I wonder if people don't see our "job" as essential. Ironing and doing the dishes and having a clean house seemed more important back in the day and now-a-days we can leave it and it's considered OK, for the most part.

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Originally Posted by mamawanabe
And honestly, they have their hands pretty full trying to convince society that ambitous women (and god forbid you are a mother with career ambitions) aren't selfish, unfeminine bitches.
Well, I agree with that, but did you notice that you referred to ambitious women as those who want a career?
See how brainwashed we all are?

I feel very ambitious. I have big plans for my life....and none of those plans include working outside of the home or having a career.

I looked up what Merriam-Webster said the antonyms were for ambitious and this is what they said:
Antonyms: apathetic, disinterested, indifferent, uneager, unenthusiastic, unexcited, uninterested; casual, easygoing, lackadaisical; halfhearted, lukewarm, tepid; lazy, lethargic, listless, shiftless, sluggish, spiritless; unaggressive, unassertive

Please forgive me mamawanabe, I am not trying to slam what you said at all. It just struck me how that was worded and how you probably didn't even think about it since that would be a normal thing to say to anyone and everyone would know just what you mean.

I just think it was an interesting example of how, even without thinking about it, our language points to SAHM's NOT being ambitious.

Sorry about the length

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#15 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 10:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by judejude
First, I know what you are saying about how "women's work" was not valued before the women's movement, HOWEVER, I do think that although women had to fit a stereotype, etc., they were more accepted doing "women's work" than we are now ---which is kind of a duh! statement, but seriously--- it was seen as important to take care of the home and the kids, etc.. Were the women appreciated then, who did that, more than they are now? I'm not sure really. But I do think that what women did then was seen as needed more than it is now. Since anyone can do it now....or in some cases it's not done as well (or as much anyway) as it used to be ; I wonder if people don't see our "job" as essential. Ironing and doing the dishes and having a clean house seemed more important back in the day and now-a-days we can leave it and it's considered OK, for the most part.

Good point about my use of the word ambituous. But, really, that brainwashing is still about feminine and masculine work. Our society values work it considers "masculine" (and it is still uncomfortable with women doing this masculine work) and not work it considers feminine (it belittles the women and god forbid the men doing this work).

The monster is inside of us and feminism hasn't (or probably can't) do enough to fight that monster.

I really have to disagree that homemaker was seen as important work in the 50 etc. It was definatly acceptable for women to do this work - acceptable and expected. But it was not valued or important work. Read some popular magazines woth all these ads about the wife serving dh when he gets home because he has had such a long hard day of work (in other words, the housewife has not has a long hard day of work).
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#16 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 01:44 PM
 
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Ya, well why doesn't the women's movement fight for rights for SAHM's---things such as Health Ins., social security, etc.?
Um, because they don't care? For the same reason you never hear NOW taking up the fight for breastfeeding legislation. It's not a priority for them.

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#17 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 02:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by phathui5
Um, because they don't care? For the same reason you never hear NOW taking up the fight for breastfeeding legislation. It's not a priority for them.
I don't believe NOW doesn't care. They certainly cared about welfare reform (which basically makes it nearly impossible for single women to be sahms). They did fight for kinder and gentler welfare reform and they do fight for impoverished women (and impoverished women are almost always single mothers).

BTW, feminsists were some of the first to question the medicalization of birth, some of the first to question the forumla industry, some of the first proponents of breastfeeding. I can't imagine how hard it would be for ap mothers had not the women's movement laid the groundwork in the 70s for questioning partriarchal systems that believed that women's bodies/reproduction needed to be controlled by "expert" masculine knowlege (the medical industry etc).

As someone mentioned in the earlier thread, fighting for financial support of sahms demands initiatives that look a lot like socialism, and our society, feminists included, is very uncomfortable withsocialism. Things that would recognize the work of sahms it would require a certain comfort level with socialist ideals (social security credits based not just on earnings, healthcare based not on private employer benefits).
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#18 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 02:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by phathui5
Um, because they don't care? For the same reason you never hear NOW taking up the fight for breastfeeding legislation. It's not a priority for them.
Maybe NOW doesn't fight enough specifically for breastfeeding legislation, but they fight and have fought for the idea that women's breasts are not sexual objects for the entertainment of men - but mamory glands. They have fought hard for a view of the women's body NOT as a sexual object but as a beautiful thing that makes babies and plays sports and enjoys sex and wrinkles and grows layers of protective fat. If you think of the amount of media that femini0ts have to counter to get this simple (and impossible) message across, you'll realize how difficult it is to enact real change for any women, wohm or sahm.

But NOWs and otehr feminists fight to reclaim the women's body has most definatly laid the groundwork for the natural parenting that so many sahms on mothering.com practice.
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#19 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by phathui5
Um, because they don't care? For the same reason you never hear NOW taking up the fight for breastfeeding legislation. It's not a priority for them.


Well, although I've tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, the bottom line is that I have not seen and evidence of anyone fighting for this stuff. If any of the oraganizations do it is some fringe thing that we never actually see.
I think they think that fighting for stuff like that would be fighting for stuff they were trying to get rid of to begin with. That whole "setting us back" idea.
It really sucks.
And as was mentioned before, even if it's such a socialist issue and so no one wants to touch it---well, isn't it the right thing to do even if you have to beat your head against the wall for a while. They've gladly taken on other issues that are way out there or super controversial at the time. There's some issues that are still like we're beating our heads against the wall but they manage to keep them alive based on the fact that they think it's the right thing to do.

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#20 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 03:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by judejude



I think they think that fighting for stuff like that would be fighting for stuff they were trying to get rid of to begin with. That whole "setting us back" idea.
It really sucks.

No. You have a sterotype of feminsism that you are clinging too. Why? Does it make you feel better to think that feminisist don't care about you rather than see how the cards are stacked against mothers in this society no matter whether they sah or woh? I do think there is a certain power in assuming the persecuted stance - it gives you authority to complain and fight for change. But you should have a good idea who is persecuting you. It isn't feminists, and complaining about femisnists actually supports the status quo. Divided we fall.

You want examples: Every feminist I know believes in breastfeeding and deplores formula politics. It is feminist activists, for example, that have fought Nestle's third world formula polices. It is feminists, for example, that protest Hooters (a restaurant based on teh idea that breasts are for men's sexual entertainm,ent rather than for feeding babies).

I do think feminsists tear their hair out over the idea that it is all or nothing for many women (i.e. I can't return to my career when I become a sahm and there is no part-time option) and that women are making sacrifices never asked or expected of men. My dh will get to have both a career he loves and a wonderful family. I am forced to give up something I love forever in order to be the kind of mother i long to be. This isn't necessitated by biology but by how careers are arranged in this soicety. This could easliy change. Imagine how wonderfull it would be if me and my dh could both work 25 hours a week, both of us working AND staying home with our kids AND making a beautiful home AND engaging the outside world intellectually. I think that many feminists feel that the "choice" between sahm and wohm is a false one not only because women are damned by society which ever route they choose but because it is all or nothing, and this all or nothing is experienced by many women as a cleaving in half of thier desires.
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#21 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamawanabe
I don't believe NOW doesn't care. They certainly cared about welfare reform (which basically makes it nearly impossible for single women to be sahms). They did fight for kinder and gentler welfare reform and they do fight for impoverished women (and impoverished women are almost always single mothers).

BTW, feminsists were some of the first to question the medicalization of birth, some of the first to question the forumla industry, some of the first proponents of breastfeeding. I can't imagine how hard it would be for ap mothers had not the women's movement laid the groundwork in the 70s for questioning partriarchal systems that believed that women's bodies/reproduction needed to be controlled by "expert" masculine knowlege (the medical industry etc).
For one thing, yes they did fight for all those things, but it only helps SAHm's in a round about way. I don't see them taking on the issue by itself head on. And it's not like it's a little issue. It is huge!!! CHOICE is the basis of the entire women's movement.

*As far as them questioning the medicalization of birth---yes they did and thank goodness for that........BUT THEN things started going toward the old babies interfering with work thing and therefore C-sections are being planned, drugs during birth are bigger than ever and a lot of women are outright inconvenienced by birth, kids, etc.
I think things have gone backward as far as all that goes; I just think it's done for different reasons now. Instead of druggin' up women for birth because we're too stupid and too weak to handle our own births, now they drug us up because they tell us that we wouldn't want to be inconvenienced by pain or anything else. Or we schedule c-sections around our meetings at work or a business trip.

*As far as them questioning the formula industry---well, I'd have to look into that more because isn't it more in other countries that they are worried about promoting formula? and that's a seperate issue from plain old promoting BF'ing? In our own country I am thinking that they fight for things like a place to pump at work, but not for women being able to nurse out in public, etc.
They seem to really fight for women's rights if it affects their careers or jobs outside the home. So, they might fight for some of these things in a round about way, but not as a seperate issue by itself.


***Having said all that, I don't want to debate about whether the women's movement is a good thing or not because I am a feminist and I can't imagine where we'd be without the women's movement.
My issue is with what they view as important and worthy to fight for. I also have a problem with what is seen as the ultimate feminist----and it ain't a SAHM who's tandem BF'ing while she homeschools her other 5 kids.
I just don't like the idea that I feel like there used to be one box you had to fit into to be a woman and now you have to fit into this feminist "box" that means you have to be career minded.
The movement is all about fighting for moms when they are working moms. If you choose not to work you are so overlooked in this movement. And not only that,but you might be considered to be "the cause" for holding the movement back.

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#22 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 04:04 PM
 
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*As far as them questioning the medicalization of birth---yes they did and thank goodness for that........BUT THEN things started going toward the old babies interfering with work thing and therefore C-sections are being planned, drugs during birth are bigger than ever and a lot of women are outright inconvenienced by birth, kids, etc.
I think things have gone backward as far as all that goes; I just think it's done for different reasons now. Instead of druggin' up women for birth because we're too stupid and too weak to handle our own births, now they drug us up because they tell us that we wouldn't want to be inconvenienced by pain or anything else. Or we schedule c-sections around our meetings at work or a business trip.

*As far as them questioning the formula industry---well, I'd have to look into that more because isn't it more in other countries that they are worried about promoting formula? and that's a seperate issue from plain old promoting BF'ing? In our own country I am thinking that they fight for things like a place to pump at work, but not for women being able to nurse out in public, etc.
They seem to really fight for women's rights if it affects their careers or jobs outside the home. So, they might fight for some of these things in a round about way, but not as a seperate issue by itself.

Honestly, Judejude, I think you are dealing with a sterotype of feminists and a steotype of working moms, sterotypes that are peretuated by the media. I know LOTS of feminists and at least 1/2 of them are activists (rather than like me - a critiquer of the patriarchy whose never actaully DONE anything but complain ). Many work full or part time (as do most women) but NONE of them wanted a c-setion or to formula feed and NONE of them think of their children/childbirth as an inconvenience.

They fight thw formula polices of Nestle in third world countries because babies are actaully dying there from these policies (there isn'y clean water to mix the formula). Honestly, that sounds like good prioritizing to me - as horrible and wrong as it is for a woman to be asked to leave the mall for breastfeeding, it can't compare to a baby slowing being poisoned to death.

We really are dealing with limited resources to fight for women's issues (sah and woh women issues) - and one of the reasons for tehse limited resoruces are these sterotypes of feminists/wohms/sahms that divide women.

Furthermore, do you really think a woman, feminist or not, would scedule a c-section around a business trip?! The idea that working women would do this in any significant number to be worth mentioning shows that you yourself are brainwashed by sterotypes of working mothers. The high C-section rate is the result of our litigious society combined with women's fear of loosing their babies (a fear created by sensational news stories).
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#23 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No. You have a sterotype of feminsism that you are clinging too. Why? Does it make you feel better to think that feminisist don't care about you rather than see how the cards are stacked against mothers in this society no matter whether they sah or woh? I do think there is a certain power in assuming the persecuted stance - it gives you authority to complain and fight for change. But you should have a good idea who is persecuting you. It isn't feminists, and complaining about femisnists actually supports the status quo. Divided we fall.

You want examples: Every feminist I know believes in breastfeeding and deplores formula politics. It is feminist activists, for example, that have fought Nestle's third world formula polices. It is feminists, for example, that protest Hooters (a restaurant based on teh idea that breasts are for men's sexual entertainm,ent rather than for feeding babies).

I do think feminsists tear their hair out over the idea that it is all or nothing for many women (i.e. I can't return to my career when I become a sahm and there is no part-time option) and that women are making sacrifices never asked or expected of men. My dh will get to have both a career he loves and a wonderful family. I am forced to give up something I love forever in order to be the kind of mother i long to be. This isn't necessitated by biology but by how careers are arranged in this soicety. This could easliy change. Imagine how wonderfull it would be if me and my dh could both work 25 hours a week, both of us working AND staying home with our kids AND making a beautiful home AND engaging the outside world intellectually. I think that many feminists feel that the "choice" between sahm and wohm is a false one not only because women are damned by society which ever route they choose but because it is all or nothing, and this all or nothing is experienced by many women as a cleaving in half of thier desires.
I don't think that I am clinging to some stereotype of feminism and my purpose is never to say that we shouldn't have a women's movement.
And yes, I do think we sould complain and fight for change. Sometimes people want to defend an organization, movement, political party, etc. because they believe in it, but I believe in things too, but I also believe that being critical and voicing what you to believe is wrong within that org. helps them do things better.
I don't believe I am being persecuted by feminists, however I don't think they are doing anything to include us in their "fights" either and I fault them for that.
I don't believe that complaining about feminists supports the status quo. I think it brings to people's attection what needs to change about the movement. You can have a united front and support the movement while still trying to make changes within the movement. If no one ever tried to make changes inside their own movement for the fear that someone thought they were too critical, etc. we'd be in a heap of trouble with nothing ever moving forward anywhere.

** I've met lots of feminists who could care less about breastfeeding(slight exageration) and see it as one of those old fashioned things that interferes with their "life". So, I'm guessing there's a lot of feminists who feel both ways about it.

As far as women tearing their hair out over having to make choices men never will---well that is true for sure. Things are not set up for women to have many choices about work and home, etc.

However, you use the word "sacrifice" and "all or nothing" and I feel like I have it all and have sacrificed nothing and I'm at home with my kid with no thoughts of a career---ever.

I know what you mean though. It is a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation and our society, as a whole, doesn't make any room for women doing hardly anything. I would be hard pressed to think of any women, single, married, with kids or not, working, SAH, etc. who is truly accepted by society and not judged for some damn thing.

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#24 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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They fight thw formula polices of Nestle in third world countries because babies are actaully dying there from these policies (there isn'y clean water to mix the formula). Honestly, that sounds like good prioritizing to me - as horrible and wrong as it is for a woman to be asked to leave the mall for breastfeeding, it can't compare to a baby slowing being poisoned to death.

Furthermore, do you really think a woman, feminist or not, would scedule a c-section around a business trip?! The idea that working women would do this in any significant number to be worth mentioning shows that you yourself are brainwashed by sterotypes of working mothers. The high C-section rate is the result of our litigious society combined with women's fear of loosing their babies (a fear created by sensational news stories).
OK, it may not be a big percentage but yes, you may not have heard but women DO schedule c-sections around all sorts of things including business trips. I know people who have done it, I've read about it and I've seen it on the old reality TV shows. Start a thread about who knows about someone scheduling a c-section out of convenience and you'll see.
I do think it is worth mentioning and it has nothing to do with "my brainwashing" concerning working mothers.
There are several reasons for our high c-section rate---one being that it costs more and the bottom line is always about making that dough. Of course there are a lot deeper reasons as well---women not being as in touch with their bodies as they were way way way back (another feminist issue concerning women being "less than") so fear plays a big part. False ideas about c-sections being safe or safer. Doctors own conveniencs comes in here too and this is no new idea. My mother was induced with me, which she thinks nothing of, due to the fact that it was a Friday and the Dr. said that neither of them wanted to be there all weekend, so why not get it over with? My mom agreed and still does to this day. (he didn't have a whole practice where another doc. could take over)
The high use of drugs during birth also contributes to the higher rate of
c-sections. That's probably one of the biggest reasons.
This is common everyday stuff.

Now I can't remember why I even mentioned planning c-sections to begin with so I'm gonna guess that it's off of the point I was trying to make ...at some point. My head's getting fuzzy--yikes!

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#25 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 04:44 PM
 
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** I've met lots of feminists who could care less about breastfeeding(slight exageration) and see it as one of those old fashioned things that interferes with their "life". So, I'm guessing there's a lot of feminists who feel both ways about it.
Well, I am all for critquing feminist organizations. For decades (70s, early 80s) they fought for equality for white middleclass women while ignoring the very differnt material reality of minority women and lowerclass women (in the 40s and 50s, 40% of women woh - but these were "invisible" lower class/minorities). This critque has changed the feminsits movement which is now on the forefront of fighting for rights for minorities and impoverished women (mostly single mothers). Same with critques of its first world focus - struggling to change deplorable conditions for women in third world counrties is now a focus. So yes, lets make feminism fight for better conditions (material and cultural) of sahms.

However, I hear too often that feminism has gone too far and is setting women back. As if the low status if sahms in this society is a result of feminism's priorties on getting women access to education and careers and domestic violence protections and child support payments and free prenatal care and sexual freedom and . . .

And honestly, I just can't believe anyone thinks of breastfeeding as old fashioned. While many women (including feminsists) might not have much family or society or medical support to do it, everyone is aware of the science that makes forumla feeding old fashioned and breastfeeding the new chic, cool forwarding thinking thing to do. It does prove difficult (sometimes even impossible) for wohs, but I doubt they would express this difficulty in terms of it interferring with thier "life" (as if many mothers, no matter their parenting choices, would not feel that their children are a vital part of their "life"). I do know some young mothers who feel like mothering interferes with their life - but they are talking about partying and they aren't feminists (they are young mothers who will soon enough grow into their new role). So I don't know what feminsists you are talking to - maybe the same very strange woman who would scedule a c-section around a bussiness trip?
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#26 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really have to disagree that homemaker was seen as important work in the 50 etc. It was definatly acceptable for women to do this work - acceptable and expected. But it was not valued or important work. Read some popular magazines woth all these ads about the wife serving dh when he gets home because he has had such a long hard day of work (in other words, the housewife has not has a long hard day of work).
Wow, you're posting so fast that I can't keep up with responses. I'll have to quit after this (maybe) and get some work done around here

Now don't get what I said twisted--- I DO NOT believe that "women's work" was valued at all back in the day. However, I do think that the work they did was looked at as essential to the family and important from that stand point. I also think they thought that any dumb knucklehead could do it, but it still was important to the family to have all these things taken care of.
Now, I think ironing, laundry, and cooking is not seen as essential in that same way.
I know it wasn't valued......just someone knew somebody had to be doing it. Nowadays you can drop your laundry at the laundromat or take your kids to day care or other things that are more affordable for the average person that wasn't back then.
I guess I was just making the point that the work women did then was at least looked at as needed, where as now no one thinks that that work is even necessary to do. (sorry, I'm having trouble wording this to sound how I'm thinkin' it

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#27 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 04:53 PM
 
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OK, it may not be a big percentage but yes, you may not have heard but women DO schedule c-sections around all sorts of things including business trips. I know people who have done it, I've read about it and I've seen it on the old reality TV shows.
Seriously - think about the recovery time for a C-section vs vaginal birth. How would that work? It would have to be a buiness trip several weeks in the future, and if that was the case, having a vaginal birth would be the best way to make sure they could go on it. Yes, sensational news may play up one of these women, pretending like it is a trend, but that is just bad journalism. And the reason that it would even tell very strange woman's stroy is because it plays into all our worst sterotypes of working moms putting their careers (and thus thmeslves) before their kids. This is cultrual mysogeny at work

Now there is a very small amount of women who scedule a c-section because they can't stand the indeterminate nature of thr birthing process (you can go into labor any time in a two week period), but I would say that is more about nuerotic control freaks than convenience.
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#28 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 04:55 PM
 
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Wow, you're posting so fast that I can't keep up with responses.

I type fast because I don't worry about correctness (spelling, typos etc). Makes reading my posts a challenge, I know
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#29 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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However, I hear too often that feminism has gone too far and is setting women back. As if the low status if sahms in this society is a result of feminism's priorties on getting women access to education and careers and domestic violence protections and child support payments and free prenatal care and sexual freedom and . . .

And honestly, I just can't believe anyone thinks of breastfeeding as old fashioned. While many women (including feminsists) might not have much family or society or medical support to do it, everyone is aware of the science that makes forumla feeding old fashioned and breastfeeding the new chic, cool forwarding thinking thing to do. It does prove difficult (sometimes even impossible) for wohs, but I doubt they would express this difficulty in terms of it interferring with thier "life" (as if many mothers, no matter their parenting choices, would not feel that their children are a vital part of their "life"). I do know some young mothers who feel like mothering interferes with their life - but they are talking about partying and they aren't feminists (they are young mothers who will soon enough grow into their new role). So I don't know what feminsists you are talking to - maybe the same very strange woman who would scedule a c-section around a bussiness trip?
About the first thing--- ^
I would never say feminism has gone too far. I am no right winger who thinks feminism did us dirty. I am all for it, feel I am a part of it and think we have a long way to go. I'm on the dang phone making calls for NARAL (pro-choice) and writing letters to my elected officials, etc.
My issue is what should be changed to include SAHM's.
I'm not saying our issues should be replacing the issue of killing babies in 3rd world countries with formula.
It's not an either-or or a matter of debating whether the women's movement should be in place. I'm simply talking about how SAHM's should be included more in what is considered "women's issues".

Concerning the second thing. In everything I've said about different women and things they do (like scheduling c-sections out of convenience) I am no way talking about women who are claiming to be feminists. I am just talking about women in general. I didn't mean to give that impression. I have no idea what belief system these women have.

** By the way, I told dh that you said that there can't be that many women scheduling c-sections around business trips, etc. and he laughed out loud and reminded me that his sister scheduled her c-section, with her twins, around her trip to Mexico since she wanted to be able to be healed enough to go by the dates she wanted. I had forgotten about that---go figure. Crazy

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#30 of 104 Old 09-24-2005, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Seriously - think about the recovery time for a C-section vs vaginal birth. How would that work? It would have to be a buiness trip several weeks in the future, and if that was the case, having a vaginal birth would be the best way to make sure they could go on it. Yes, sensational news may play up one of these women, pretending like it is a trend, but that is just bad journalism. And the reason that it would even tell very strange woman's stroy is because it plays into all our worst sterotypes of working moms putting their careers (and thus thmeslves) before their kids. This is cultrual mysogeny at work

Now there is a very small amount of women who scedule a c-section because they can't stand the indeterminate nature of thr birthing process (you can go into labor any time in a two week period), but I would say that is more about nuerotic control freaks than convenience.
Well, I guess they schedule the c-section so they know when it is going to happen so they can go on their business trip or meeting beforehand and not have to worry as much, etc.
And there are very few stories in the media about these things and they never show it in a bad light anyway.....mostly it's just people you know or someone else knows, or something you read about statistically in mothering mags, etc.

If that's your opinion ^ then there are a lot of neurotic control freaks out there, but the doctors....well, they may be control freaks too, but it is more convenient to be able to schedule a golf game and know you won't be interupted, plus c-sections churn out more money for you and it takes less time---what's more convenient than that ? :

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