Sexism and our daughers - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 37 Old 04-07-2005, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Fresh start? Please discuss.

Mothers of sons are welcome to chime in but may find more relevance in this thread: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=270920
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#2 of 37 Old 04-07-2005, 04:35 PM
 
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Good idea, but unfortunately I should make an attaempt to get some work done today! Be back later.
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#3 of 37 Old 04-07-2005, 07:19 PM
 
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: I can't help it... :

Back to the feminist board I go....
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#4 of 37 Old 04-07-2005, 11:07 PM
 
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It's hard to discuss sexism as a woman with the "feminists" looking down on you all the time.

I'm with the boys' moms, women are just as mean to women as men are.
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#5 of 37 Old 04-07-2005, 11:09 PM
 
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By the way- my internet went down this afternoon, which is why i stopped posting.
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#6 of 37 Old 04-07-2005, 11:11 PM
 
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never mind, not worth it.
Please, those with daughters discuss sexism and girls.
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#7 of 37 Old 04-07-2005, 11:33 PM
 
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I thought cmb had good points and expressed herself well. It makes me sad that discussing girls and women is such a loaded subject matter.
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#8 of 37 Old 04-08-2005, 01:25 AM
 
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Yeah that.

I am very hesitant to post on this thread after the previous misunderstandings and allegations of man-hating. And I'm sad about that, because this is a subject I'd very much like to discuss.
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#9 of 37 Old 04-08-2005, 03:47 AM
 
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Women are just as much to blame for sexism as men? I need an explanation for that one.

Although I'm not sure I'm interested in a conversation that starts with someone putting the word 'feminist' in quotes.

Sad.
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#10 of 37 Old 04-08-2005, 06:01 PM
 
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The problem is the idea that the "isms" depend on individual people being nice or mean to each other. Sexism and racism don't orginate at the individual level and sexism have little to do with how a particular man (or woman) treats the women s/he knows.

When a woman tells a little boy on the playground not to be a sissy, she is teaching him NOT to be like a girl because being like a girl is a bad thing. It does harm the boy, but it is really about femininty being viewed negatively. THAT (the debasement of femininity) is the problem. If being "girlie" wasn't bad, boys could be girlie without facing reproach (like how girls can be boyish without facing reproach). Sexism is operating through the woman because she, like most of us, has internalized sexist norms that make femininity something bad. The problem doesn't lie with individual men and women though we need to fight it, at least in part, at the level of individuals.
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#11 of 37 Old 04-08-2005, 08:00 PM
 
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"Patriarchy Hurts Men Too", but that doesn't negate the fact that it's the men who are in power in a patriarchy.
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#12 of 37 Old 04-08-2005, 08:10 PM
 
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Wow, I am actually disappointed in this thread. I expected some lively conversation and instead I see people afraid to talk and the word feminism used as though it were a bad thing.

I think girlndocs pretty much hit it there. Patriarchy does hurt men. It limits their choices and binds them to stereotypes and represses things that aren't manly enough. BUT, it is still better to be male under that system than female. We should strive for a world that values all of us.
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#13 of 37 Old 04-08-2005, 10:02 PM
 
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boy, I sure missed some stuff huh.

gonna go try to make sense of why on earth discussing sexism and our kids has been gender segregated here!
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#14 of 37 Old 04-08-2005, 10:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEAK's Mom
Wow, I am actually disappointed in this thread. I expected some lively conversation and instead I see people afraid to talk and the word feminism used as though it were a bad thing.
True true. I was going to address the idea in the other thread that we can help our daughters avoid sexism by teaching them how to dress appropriately (i.e. cover thier bodies), but then I decided I couldn't take that discussion . . .
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#15 of 37 Old 04-09-2005, 05:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawanabe
True true. I was going to address the idea in the other thread that we can help our daughters avoid sexism by teaching them how to dress appropriately (i.e. cover thier bodies), but then I decided I couldn't take that discussion . . .
mamawanabe, on the one hand you say you don't want this discussion, yet on the other, you did put this out there and I feel compelled to respond.

sexism is not about our bodies and it is not about how we dress. I plan to make sure my daughter knows that certain people might treat her differently based on what she wears, but also, that that isabout them, not about her.

The approach that we can avoid sexism by covering our bodies teaches us that our bodies are the problem, and also, being covered is no protection, actually.

WHat has to be changed is how men treat women, how men are socialized to treat women, how the society as a whole (men and women) accept and support this stuff. How women and girls dress is not the problem and if we treat it like it is, it places the blame back upon us.
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#16 of 37 Old 04-09-2005, 08:05 AM
 
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Is there a feminism board discussion on this topic? I can't find a feminism board so I am puzzled.
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#17 of 37 Old 04-09-2005, 08:36 AM
 
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imagine a grass-roots movement dedicated to changing the public image of women presented in the media, what would be the first thing you would do?

Public images to change:

laundry detergent commercials
fashion magazines
"women's" magazines
Advertising

HOw to do this? Create a movement to boycott the magazines? Boycott the products of the advertising?

Change all middle schools to all girl schools through High school...make a huge movement to get equal pay for equal work.

I am mos def a Feminist and I'm proud of it - wassup with y'all. Lets fight the good fight!
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#18 of 37 Old 04-09-2005, 01:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sadie_sabot
sexism is not about our bodies and it is not about how we dress. I plan to make sure my daughter knows that certain people might treat her differently based on what she wears, but also, that that isabout them, not about her.
Thank you!!!

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#19 of 37 Old 04-09-2005, 02:08 PM
 
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Hey,

Busy day yesterday, couldn't post.

I put "feminist" is quotes because I feel that as a woman who beleives in women's rights I am a feminist. However, in many conversations regarding gender issues it's easy to have women who feel more enlightened that I am jump down my throat for not being feminist enough.

For example- all people get a reaction based on what they wear- men and women. Teaching my kids how to dress to modulate how people see them is not bad IMO- it's life.

Yes I suppose electing women to more offices, mchanging the school system, reorganiozing American culture woulod all help address the issue of mysogyny and sexism- however, none of those things are particularly useful for me in terms of parenting my kid today.

Of course it's great for my dd to see me battling sexism in various ways, but non of that will make her feel any better when some teenage boy calls her fat-ass or tells her that girls' vaginas stink.

So I reserve the right to put "quotes" around the term "feminist" that applies to anyone who makes other women feel bad for expressing their real life concerns.

This is not a thread about activism, it's about parenting. There is overlap, but they are not one and the same.
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#20 of 37 Old 04-09-2005, 02:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyofshmoo
This is not a thread about activism, it's about parenting. There is overlap, but they are not one and the same.
That mommyofshmoo, is exactly where my "problem" lies. For me, it IS all one and the same. Always and All ways.
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#21 of 37 Old 04-09-2005, 04:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyofshmoo
Hey,
Of course it's great for my dd to see me battling sexism in various ways, but non of that will make her feel any better when some teenage boy calls her fat-ass or tells her that girls' vaginas stink.
My mom's feminism helped me feel better about the sexism I encountered.

It didn't make it pleasant, but it certainly helped my confidence and resiliency.
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#22 of 37 Old 04-09-2005, 06:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmb123}
[B
:
Originally Posted by mommyofshmoo
This is not a thread about activism, it's about parenting. There is overlap, but they are not one and the same.[/B]


That mommyofshmoo, is exactly where my "problem" lies. For me, it IS all one and the same. Always and All ways.
Me too. It's not enough to me to make things better just for me and my daughter. i want things to be different for all of us and the ones to come. and as someone who was an activist for a decade before becoming a mom, i am amazaed at how similar they are actually.
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#23 of 37 Old 04-10-2005, 12:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dechen
My mom's feminism helped me feel better about the sexism I encountered.

It didn't make it pleasant, but it certainly helped my confidence and resiliency.
Yes! Our girls will know "fat ass" and all the rest of that crap is dead WRONG. And so when they encounter misogeny they will be able to see what's really going on rather than feeling dirty inside, or playing up to it - or all of the other ways women try to cope with sexual aggression.

I think if our girls can understand what's often *really* going on, have some ideas *why* they might be being treated this way (for example - it's nothing they themselves have done to "ask for it") and know that it's WRONG in every way, it makes it so much easier to deal with.

I remember no one talking about the issue when I was a teenager - and I was seriously confused and hurt and confused others and hurt others because I wasn't clear that it was NOT OKAY for boys to snap my bra strap or pull my pants down in public. A teacher of mine called me into his office to "offer me support" and ended up feeling me up. I didn't tell a soul. Except my friends of course - who thought it was no big deal because that kind of crap happened to them too - "all the time". And a friend of mine was videotaped by her boyfriend - while they were having sex. He showed it to many many people. All the school was talking about it for a long time. He was like a movie star - totally idolized. She was treated like *crap* and when her parents finally did something about it she was treated like a sore loser by *everyone*. Not one teacher, not one parent, not MY parents said - you know what happened? it was completely WRONG and your friend did nothing to deserve that.

So that's why I think it's so important to teach our daughters sexual aggression and misogeny is WRONG WRONG WRONG and - to put my money where my mouth is I think it's important to be an activist. If I'm living it - speaking it - it's like "do what I do and what I say". They can't fail to get the message because they are exposed to the rage, the eloquence, the other women, the ideas -all of which is easiest to get in the activist setting. In my opinion.

Eve
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#24 of 37 Old 04-10-2005, 01:33 AM
 
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So I only read 1/2 of the other thread (just now) so please forgive me if this ground has been covered. I have this very specific question/suggestion.

When my dd was in pre-K (we homeschool now that she is in kindy) the girls were instructed to wear shorts under their skirts so that "the boys won't make fun of your panties on the playground." While this is a pragmatic solution I really felt like the problem wasn't what the little girls were wearing. In order to fix the boys' behavior the girls had to change what they were doing!?!?

I know this shorts under skirts thing is common, but it really struck me as the beginning of a real problem. And I never saw it in that light until it was my dd.
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#25 of 37 Old 04-10-2005, 01:52 AM
 
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Parenting and activism are closely related for me as well. What could be more related?

Jam 7, Peanut Butter 5, and Bread 2.

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#26 of 37 Old 04-10-2005, 12:20 PM
 
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I don't think I was clear when I spoke about activism and parenting.

I am a concrete person. When I say "parenting", I mean the nuts and bolts day to day, direct interactions we have with our children. When I say "activism" I mean the acts we do specifically to ignite social change.

While I beleive the way I parent is contributing to social change, and while I beleive that working for social change has benefits to my dd, I do not see them as the same thing.

Brushing your teeth and taking vitamins are both part of keeping healthy- but they are not the same thing. Travel and geography, actions and beleifs, bread flour and baking flour- all similar and related, but not in fact the same thing. To me, at least.




... To respond to the person who was told that their dd had to wear shorts under skirts- wow- I'm surprised! I would talk to the school about that. I would say that you don't believe that your dd should be responsible for the boys' behavior, etc...

A school has the right to have a dress code, or to say that kids can't come to school in a bathing suit or halloween costume. in a way I think dressing appropriately is part of the experience of going to school. However, wearing shorts under a skirt specifically to avoid boys' taunts is blatantly sexist. Not only does it send the wrong message to girls (and their parents), but it avoids teaching opportunities for boys (and boys' parents.)

Ah, so many reasons to homeschool.
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#27 of 37 Old 04-10-2005, 02:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyofshmoo
I am a concrete person. When I say "parenting", I mean the nuts and bolts day to day, direct interactions we have with our children. When I say "activism" I mean the acts we do specifically to ignite social change.
Hmm...Yup! Still one and the same for me. :LOL
I'm very intentional that way.
You mention taking vitamins and brushing teeth, well yeah..in a way..we brush our teeth with natural toothpaste, that hasn't been loaded with crap, and hasn't been tested in the eyes of bunnies. That doesn't have comercials of long hair blond models with sparkling teeth, and isn't manufactured and distributed by procter and gamble. We take vitamins that arent' cartoon characters, and aren't full of sugar. These are very small things, but part of social change. KWIM?
SO when it comes to sexism, it's the very small things we do every day that will make social changes. It's in the music we listen to, the media we watch-if any, the clothing we choose (for me it's not about what it looks like as much as who we are giving our money to), the words we use, the way we treat eachother.
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#28 of 37 Old 04-10-2005, 03:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmb123
It's in the music we listen to, the media we watch-if any, the clothing we choose (for me it's not about what it looks like as much as who we are giving our money to), the words we use, the way we treat eachother.
DH came home form work this morning and found P and I dancing to "Galileo" on the bed for about the billionth time. He asked me if I ever thought we'd get tired of that ONE song. I looked at him and said, "X, it's not about a 13 year old pining for a 30 year underwear model/pedophile. It's not a song about Coca Cola. I've NEVER seen Amy or Emily's nipples as part of a stage performance. It's a song about SCIENCE. Are you sick of it?"

He simply nodded and checked his email.

When I logged on, I had an ecertificate to Goldenrod from him.

Oh yeah. It's an every week, every day, every MOMENT job to raise a child of either gender in this world in a manner that instills respectfulness and feminism.

Jen

secular classical-ish mama to an incredible 5 year old DS and an amazing 6 year old DD.
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#29 of 37 Old 04-10-2005, 05:20 PM
 
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After posting today, I thought about a friend of mine who is very much an activist. Very, very.

And I realize that to her, everything she does is activism. Whether she's pulling espresso at her job or ordering a beer- it all has to do with social change.

So it's all about perception, and people's perceptions are different. I don't think that way about my actions. and I'm OK with that.

Some people can judge what's right and wrong and feel really comfortable about their judgements. I like to abserve what's out there and wonder how I feel about it.

I also like to see things from different points of view, sometimes simultaneosly.

I don't know how to react when pushed to make statements about the nature of right and wrong in society, or to hold my ground on something. My opinion is always in the process of being formed.

That's just me. We're not all cut out to have an activist view of the world.
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#30 of 37 Old 04-10-2005, 09:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyofshmoo
... To respond to the person who was told that their dd had to wear shorts under skirts- wow- I'm surprised! I would talk to the school about that. I would say that you don't believe that your dd should be responsible for the boys' behavior, etc...

A school has the right to have a dress code, or to say that kids can't come to school in a bathing suit or halloween costume. in a way I think dressing appropriately is part of the experience of going to school. However, wearing shorts under a skirt specifically to avoid boys' taunts is blatantly sexist. Not only does it send the wrong message to girls (and their parents), but it avoids teaching opportunities for boys (and boys' parents.)

Ah, so many reasons to homeschool.

I really should not post late at night. I don't seem to make myself clear.

Let me try again:
First, is this shorts under dresses/skirts rule unique to this area? I was under the impression it was a common rule in pre-ks and grade schools. (But I wouldn't be shocked to learn that it is simply another way that the area I live in is particularly bassackwards. )

If you have experienced this, as a feminist mother were you as shocked as I was? I absolutely agree with mommyofshmoo that the blatantly sexist rule sends dangerous messages to all involved. Were you surprised that others (teachers, administrators, other parents) didn't see the issue the way you did? Is there another way to see it?

I really understood for the first time that the whole pre-teen/teen clothing issue actually begins much earlier.

I hope y'all don't think this is taking the thread off track. If you do, just ignore me. I won't be the first time! :LOL

FTR: that was last school year. I did talk to teacher and admin. about it, and more importantly I talked to my dd about it. We homeschool now, so not currently an issue for us.
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