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Blog Debate with Louise Mensch and Glosswitch: can you dress for men, and still be a feminist?

(124 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 04-Jun-13 11:46:04

Hello

Can you dress for men, and still be a feminist? In today's guest blog, two forthright MN bloggers debate the question.

Louise Mensch is the novelist and outspoken former Tory MP for Corby, who resigned her seat last August in order to move to New York, where her husband is based. She recently launched her blog Unfashionista (subtitled "the lazy girl's guide to gloss"), in which she has written controversially about feminism, fashion - and why women should dress in a way that their male partner finds attractive.

Challenging her position is Mumsnet blogger and contributor to the New Statesman and the Guardian, Glosswitch. She writes about feminism, family and pretty much anything else you care to mention over on her blog, Glosswatch (subtitled "humourless mummy, cuddly feminist").

Read the debate, and tell us where you stand here on the thread - and don't forget to post your URL if you blog on this issue.

PS if you enjoy it, do share it via the FB/Twittter buttons at the top of the page!

LouiseMensch Tue 04-Jun-13 11:50:48

Dear Glosswitch

I wasn't really that surprised to the reaction to my first post in the "What Men Want" series on Unfashionista. This was because I'd experienced it before.

In an interview for the Sunday Times I was asked about my relationship. Was I anxious about looking good for him. Yes, I said. It was an act of love for a husband and wife who have committed to each other to keep themselves looking as good as they can. I love him and I dress up for him, I said. Not in a Barbie doll way. He lifted weights for me, and I thought he was gorgeous.

Cue a storm of pieces over the next week saying "Louise Mensch says women should dress up for their husbands." "Louise Mensch dresses up for her husband." "Louise says women should dress to please their men."

That controversy stayed with me for quite some time and saddened me as a feminist. Where had we got to, as a society in general and as a movement in particular, that the basic kindness of keeping yourself attractive for the man who has committed to you is suddenly seen as a submissive betrayal?

Fundamentally, an exclusive relationship demands a lot of both sexes. It is key that you are willing to bend to the needs of the other. Men differ from women biologically in that they are much more visually stimulated than we are. We know this anecdotally - Playboy etc cater to men exclusively - Playgirl to gay men - there are no successful publications that sell women images of handsome or attractive men - we are not wired that way. We also know it from multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies.

It's not that women don't find men attractive, but that for a woman, attraction is based on more than just looks - it is situational. Women need to imagine scenarios for arousal rather than just seeing images.

If your man is with you, it is a dead cert that he has self-selected. He likes the way YOU look. He wants to see you at YOUR best. In fitted clothes that show your body (the one he's attracted to), with washed and blow-dried hair, with very light make-up that lets him see your skin and face.

He's already committed to have sex with you and only you for the rest of his natural life. You owe it to him to make that as pleasant as possible. This is not anti-feminist. Rather it is recognising and celebrating the absolutely vital role that passion and desire play in a truly happy relationship, and acknowledging male biology on visual stimulation.

And what should he do for you? Well certainly he should do what you find attractive. That is unlikely to rest on his clothe and hair. I for example like to see my man in a suit but he hates them, and to be honest, it's not what I find attractive about him. I like muscles, and he lifts. I like alphas, and he is one. He takes care of my needs. I do my best to take care of his.

My feminism is one that celebrates men, that fundamentally likes them, that doesn't blame them for looks mattering to them. The idea that women should pay no attention to what men want in looks, dress, hair, and style, and that such a notion is unfeminist, is precisely why most women these days refuse to self-idenitfy as feminists. Instead of seeing the movement as one that calls for equal rights and opportunities for women, they see it as one that is anti-men ? that takes the basic truisms of a loving relationship and calls them treachery.

Glosswitch1 Tue 04-Jun-13 11:51:39

Dear Louise

It's great that you've found the partner who's right for you. Far be it from me, as a fellow feminist, to question your right to please him in the way you choose. It's only when this becomes a recommendation for the rest of us that my (unplucked) eyebrows are raised.

You ask where we have got to as a society "that the basic kindness of keeping yourself attractive for the man who has committed to you is suddenly seen as a submissive betrayal". Do you remember the song Keep Young And Beautiful? The one that told women "it's your duty to be beautiful, if you want to be loved"? The one that became a sarcastic rallying cry for 1970s feminists, who knew back then that it was total rubbish? Well, I'd like to think we've learned from that. We now know that women and men can be equals. We don't owe men that hopeless, unachievable debt of gratitude. Wearing lipstick is a choice, not a moral obligation.

Do I really owe it to my partner of thirteen years to make having sex with me "as pleasant as possible" (talk about damning with faint praise)? How far should one go in this? When would I have failed in my obligations? Not styling my hair? Failing to shave down below? Wearing "period pants" at the wrong time of the month? Do these things really indicate that a woman doesn't care enough to acknowledge "male biology" - or could it be that the regressive social codes of neurosexism work for some and not for others? Couples need to make their own choices, regardless of gender and sexuality. No woman should feel pressured into "maintaining herself" for her man.

Obviously, this freedom works both ways. My partner once had a girlfriend who was into the whole "men and weights" thing. She bought him some dumbbells, as a subtle hint. He left them on his bedroom floor, tripped over them and broke his arm. I think there is a lesson in this. Perhaps it's that my man is more beta than alpha. Or perhaps it's that you have to be with someone who lets you be yourself (I've no idea where his ex is now. But I know not to buy my man weightlifting equipment).

Feminists are right to be concerned if one of their number starts advising them on "what men want in looks, dress, hair, and style". We're bigger and better than that. Domestic abusers might feel "their" partners owe it to them to look a certain way but most partnerships don't operate under such a pitiful rate of exchange. Women are not passive objects, waiting to be plucked off the shelf. We're mistresses of our own destiny.

Moreover, a movement that "celebrates men" doesn't fear their rejection or create bland, dehumanizing lists of their "needs". Men are not household pets, requiring food, water and a suitably blow-dried companion. They have individual preferences, too. To think that isn't anti-men; it's pro-human.

LouiseMensch Tue 04-Jun-13 11:52:32

Dear Glosswitch,

Well, see, men actually do require food and water. And while they don't require a blow-dried companion in exactly the same way, they do need a partner who clearly makes an effort for them - an effort to be attractive to them. While love is more than passion, and we can and do care for our husbands and boyfriends in myriad non-sexual ways - as they do for us - attraction and sexuality are at the heart of a healthy romantic relationship.

I think the song that you referred to was always a bit of a piss-take, even before the feminists of the 70s were up in arms about it. We can't keep young; and we can't keep the beauty of youth. But we absolutely can keep ourselves stylish, healthy and fit at any age. A man who loves his woman will not think of jacking her in for a younger girl; but he will be proud and happy to see his 55 year old wife sexy and strong and elegant, like Helen Mirren or myriad other older women we know.

It's bemusing to me that you frame the notion of making an effort to look good for your man in terms of domestic abuse and passivity. This is not something I suggest men demand of women - any man who makes such demands should get you running away fast - but something that a loving female freely offers her man.

When have you failed in your duty? Period pants? Not styling your hair? No, and no - only when you let slovenliness become a habit, when you don't care at all how you look to him, when you expect him to "love me as I am" without making the least effort to look good for him. It may be that he's a goth or a yuppie or a bodybuilder - men have their tastes, and they vary. A loving woman bears in mind what her man finds attractive. Because men are visually stimulated.

And what he's stimulated by is going to be the authentic you in the first place. It's going to be your style. When he first met you, he was attracted to you, not somebody else. Considering "what men want" for those already in a relationship is nothing more than being the best version of yourself - or at least a reasonably good one - not trying to turn yourself into Barbie. Wearing lipstick may not be an obligation (I don't own any) - but caring enough about him to look like you're making an effort is.

There's no point calling a list of needs dehumanizing - men have them, and it's crucial to understand that there are actual, biological differences between the sexes on attraction.

Let's go to your partner's ex-girlfriend. It's fascinating to me that she bought him weights. Isn't this a perfect illustration of the old cliche about men and women - that they marry us hoping we won't change, and we marry them hoping they will?

If she wanted a physically strong guy she should have been looking in the gym.

The fact is that when a couple are dating, they tend to make serious efforts for each other. After they marry, the comfort/baby trap, the exhaustion, the familiarity can sap all that. And for many couples sex dwindles too. But it doesn't have to be that way, nor does considering What He Wants need to be a giant effort. Blow drying your hair takes half an hour every other day, some bb cream and bronzer takes literally seconds. And it's as easy to pull on a fitted pair of jeans as a baggy one.

It's not a lot to ask. It's a major signal of love. And it's really about empathy. You're the woman he gave up all others for. When he comes home and you look awesome - whether that's Gap skinnies and a t-shirt and lipgloss or black leathers and long flowing black hair and mascara - it says he matters to you enough for you to bother.

What's wrong with that?

Glosswitch1 Tue 04-Jun-13 11:58:30

Dear Louise

First of all, apologies if I made it sound as though I don't believe men require sustenance! Thankfully, since men can sort such things out for themselves, I trust there's not much harm done.

Regarding the song I mentioned, it's curious that even when you know something to be a piss-take, you're still willing to take it so seriously. Admitting that we can't keep young and beautiful but should at least "make an effort" might sound like a compromise, but it isn't. Looks fade - we all know that - but is "making an effort" therefore a biological or a moral imperative? And does it even matter once your "visually stimulated" man, whose perceived value increases with age, exchanges you for a younger model once your erotic capital is on the wane?

You claim that "a man who loves his woman will not think of jacking her in for a younger girl" and I agree. But isn't that the difference between mere "visual stimulation" and love? I've certainly seen "sexy and strong and elegant" older women exchanged for less wrinkled counterparts, by men who prioritised all things visual over genuine passion. A superficial value system such as you propose makes few allowances for "having made an effort".

Relationships are unique. You gloss over that uniqueness once you start over obsessing over dodgy pseudo-science. Evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, retrosexism - whatever you want to call cherry-picking scientific studies to justify plain old sexism, it's been with us for a long time. As Cordelia Fine, Deborah Cameron, Natasha Walter and others have shown, scientific studies which demonstrate gender difference in visual responses tend to be vastly over-reported. After all, a result that shows no meaningful difference is not newsworthy. I'm not denying that sexism-as-science has its practical uses in the short term; for instance, it makes us believe that the world is more fair, and that women have less agency because they're just "not that way inclined". In the long term, however, it bolsters inequality and resentment. You and I both know that women are not losers, but in this particular narrative, that's where we end up.

When you're talking about relationships, all this can feel harmless, but the link between light-hearted Men Are From Mars psychobabble and sexism in the wider world is undeniable. The women are decorative / men are active belief is at work, for instance, when older women disappear from our TV screens once they're over a certain age. It's there when a male MP says he'd support a push for more females in parliament "if they are attractive". The truth is, this belief is present whenever women aren't taken seriously in the workplace or in public fora, facing criticism and/or sexual harassment because of how they look. As an individual you've done so much to highlight and challenge this. Why should you now give credence to the myths used by those seeking to bring down strong women such as yourself?

I am fat, unattractive, cannot and do not dress 'for my husband', and never wear make up - and yet, for some reason he loves me.

It is perfectly possible for a man to see more than just the surface gloss of a woman - I am the unglossiest woman you could imagine, and my husband loves me for who I am. More than that - he finds me physically attractive just as I am. His love is unconditional.

Saying that women 'need' to be attractive for their husbands, and should 'make an effort' implies that men are shallow and motivated only by looks - and I do not believe this is true. I cannot have found the only man who is intelligent enough to see below the surface to the person beneath.

As parents, we surely all love our children unconditionally - why do we believe that men are not capable of loving their partners unconditionally?

I would also say that anyone who dresses or moulds their body image to gain approbation/approval/love from any other person, is putting their happiness and security in that other person's hands. It is all fine and dandy as long as you can meet their standards, but what happens when you lapse? Have a bad day and don't manage to do your hair, put your lipgloss on and dress to please him? If their love is conditional on your appearance, there is a big risk that they will withdraw that love and approval - which could well be very painful and damaging.

henrysmama2012 Tue 04-Jun-13 14:11:12

The whole concept of feminism is treated in such a basic, glossed over way in these types of debates. There are many different types of feminism e.g. radical, socialist, liberal and it seems like no-one bothers to read these definitions before making their points - some of which don't seem to relate directly to feminism at all.

As far as looking good for your man goes...if you'd do it for yourself anyway, then why not? If you feel uncomfortable doing so for yourself, then don't do it for him or anyone else.

FoxMulder Tue 04-Jun-13 14:29:55

My husband finds the kind of women who fanny about with hair styles & make-up and clothes really irritating. Good job I'm not one of them.

angry

Elsewhere on Mumsnet, angst and stress about the benefits of an Oxbridge education.

JuicyMelons Tue 04-Jun-13 16:31:12

Louise Mensch makes a lot of sense - as far as I'm concerned a morbidly obese scruff of a woman doesn't even love herself, less care about who else might or might not have the hots for her. However, Louise - with her lovely facelift at the age of forty (how much does one have to loathe oneself to get your face hacked at forty?) - is surely an insecure creature to begin with and, I suspect, will forever be in submission to those demons which are clearly telling her she is not good enough without the surgeon's knife. Very sad.

JuicyMelons Tue 04-Jun-13 16:36:46

Women are not passive objects, waiting to be plucked off the shelf. We're mistresses of our own destiny.

Glosswitch, you are clearly not stupid but I suspect you are blind: Haven't you been 'up town' on a Friday night recently? What do you think of the way our young (ahem) ladies are un dressing? They're not just waiting to be fucked plucked off the shelf, they are throwing their spray-tanned, false-eyelashed, angry-browed, false-tittied selves at the nearest bloke still standing at 2am.

AnyFucker Tue 04-Jun-13 16:39:02

How far should one go to be nice for our man ?

Say my husband likes big breasts. I don't have big breasts. Because he has made a commitment to me of sexual exclusivity, it would be mean to keep my breasts small

I have the power to make them bigger for him. So I should do it....right ?

LeStewpot Tue 04-Jun-13 17:05:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JuicyMelons Tue 04-Jun-13 17:18:19

I don't think Louise is saying any of what you are purportedly outraged at, leStewpot. I suggest you read her responses again hmm

When have you failed in your duty....only when you let slovenliness become a habit, when you don't care at all how you look to him, when you expect him to "love me as I am" without making the least effort to look good for him.

...a morbidly obese scruff of a woman doesn't even love herself, less care about who else might or might not have the hots for her

My husband is obviously a unique man. Due to physical and mental health problems I'm about 5 stone heavier than when we met. When I was at my worst in the depths of mental illness and couldn't even get out of bed, let alone spend half an hour blow-drying my hair hmm he stayed with me. He did this because he loves me, not just my superficial appearance.

I would hate to be in a relationship with anyone who made me feel that I had to be on show all the time. I'm not a doll, I'm a woman and I dress for me, according to my tastes. Tbh I feel sorry for any woman who feels that she has a 'duty' to look or dress a certain way for her partner - it suggests to me that the relationship is not an entirely healthy one.

Oh and I agree with what LeStewpot wrote, that's how 

Bugger, pressed post by mistake....

I meant to say that that's how Louise Mensch's assertions read to me as well.

MoreBeta Tue 04-Jun-13 19:15:48

I am a man and rather unhelpfully agree with both points of view.

It is nice thing to dress for your partner - it shows thoughtfulness and respect and love and consideration. In return your partner should dress for you. However, both of you should know its OK to have 'off days' and be secure in the knowledge that it doesn't mean you dont care.

Obsessing about what you wear to please your partner is just as bad as not caring at all in my view.

When I met my wife 31 years ago on interview at university she wore zebra stripped eye shadow, red 'Dorothy' patent leather shoes, bright orange boucle coat with one massive black button and lacy gloves. I wore a boring blue pin stripe business suit. She did not dress for me that day but I was besotted. She didnt like me at all but after a few years she came round to the idea. grin

Now she very much likes me wearing a suit (although I rarely do) and she wears lots of nice things I like but not all the time.

We both try to look decent, have a shower, dont get overweight, we both like clothes a lot and like looking well dressed for ourselves and each other. It matters to both of us. We dont worry or obsess about it but we both try.

If you really want to know I do like well dressed, well groomed women but I hate the Barbie look.

Today, I am having an off day. My hair has needed a cut for a month and I am wearing old clothes as I am doing dirty building work. She is in Ralph Lauren. I think our realtionship will survive.

LouiseMensch1 Tue 04-Jun-13 19:50:41

Hi Le Stewpot.

But that isn't at all what I said, is it?

where does "judges a partner entirely on their looks" come from?

Saying he is visually stimulated, and likes to see you looking attractive, doesn't mean that's the ONLY or even primary reason he loves you - it just means he's visually stimulated, likes to see you looking attractive, and not making an effort is cruel.

Equally,

"Are you supposed to dress up with the flu? 9 months pregnant? Cleaning up masses of vomit at 4 am?" Is exactly the same question Glosswitch asked me when she said "When would I have failed in my obligations? Not styling my hair? Failing to shave down below? Wearing "period pants" at the wrong time of the month?"

My answer to that, and your question, was no, of course you're not meant to dress up all the time. The problem arises when you NEVER make an effort, when you always wear baggy clothes, when you can't be arsed to look nice for him because you are only into pleasing yourself, and making an effort towards what he wants is, to you, submissive retro-Fifties gender slavery.

Again, what I said was, it doesn't have to be complicated or an evening gown with heels. It's a pair of fitted jeans for your shape, some bb cream and maybe you wash your hair every other day. It's not a penance and he will enjoy it.

LittleFrieda Tue 04-Jun-13 19:55:53

"Louise Mensch is the novelist and outspoken former Tory MP for Corby, ..."

I'd like to object to the use of the word outspoken. You would never have used that of a former male MP.

LouiseMensch1 Tue 04-Jun-13 19:57:12

MoreBeta, thanks; this is much more what I mean. You take account of him, you dress up for him, you feel sick you stay in your curlers and nightgown (or whatever the reason might be).

Making an effort for your guy is not about daily primping, it's about most times wearing comfortable clothes that look great on you and using that style he fell for (whether Goth or yuppie).

And that's just not a big deal.

Joyful Puddlejumper:

The original blog has caveats; obviously if anybody has a mental, physical or other ailment that prevents them from trying to look good/best self, then a loving marriage will survive that. Norman Tebbit retired from the Cabinet to devote himself to his wife, totally paralysed after the Brighton bombing. I have no doubt his love for her never waned for a second. If I were to be disfigured, I have no doubt my husband would still love me and stick with me.

This is aimed at most women, without mental or physical impediments, and exploring whether, for them, dressing /making up to look nice for a male partner is submissive anti-feminism, or just an expression of love that recognises male biology.

DameFanny Tue 04-Jun-13 20:02:37

I think this is first time I've deliberately not read anything of the thread bar the title.

So my question and comment is - why are you giving Louise Mensch space?

She's a third rate novelist with a failed business, dropped out of her commitment to her constituents when she resigned her parliamentary seat - who next? Katie Hopkins? hmm

LouiseMensch1 Tue 04-Jun-13 20:20:34

well, I quite like myself, actually. Bossiness, talkativeness having opinions (as a poster below points out, only usually a problem for women), etc, all of these traits are laid at my door. Self-esteem problems not so much.

My husband didn't want me to have my lower face tightened, but I was sure a minor surgical intervention would maintain what I presently had and liked, and three years in, I feel relatively happy with it. He likes how I look and isn't fussed about how I got there. He does sometimes ask me not to get too skinny, but that's about the limits of his suggestion box.

AnyFucker,

No, I think you should make an effort to look good. Not to chop your body up. My post to glosswitch suggests that any man you are with fell in love with YOU rather than A.N woman or Barbie, and that you should try to be a good version of your authentic self most of the time. That could be long blonde Gwyneth hair or it could be punk and a nose-ring. But yourself.

AnyFucker Tue 04-Jun-13 20:21:42

Louise, should all women have plastic surgery to look better for our men (the jury is out on whether one actually does, but no matter) ?

Where should the line be drawn. Why stop at just BB cream (or other non invasive stuff) ?

LouiseMensch1 Tue 04-Jun-13 20:21:52

oops it didn't thread, sorry am new to posting on Mumsnet. I meant the first part of the above for the gloriously-monickered Juicy Melons.

KaseyM Tue 04-Jun-13 20:22:15

I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to please your partner, but it's a bit silly not to recognise the societal backdrop that each couple operates in.

Women are pressured far more to look nice by the media and society than vice versa. A man loving a women for who she is, not what she looks like is a thing to be immensely grateful for. For a woman, it's kind of expected.

AnyFucker Tue 04-Jun-13 20:24:37

I have always been under the impression that women mostly dress and primp themselves for the benefit of other women or rather to feel better about themselves in front of other women

That has certainly been my experience.

LouiseMensch1 Tue 04-Jun-13 20:25:48

AnyFucker,

Common sense, basically. I am talking about no more than a bit of make-up, some fitted clothes, and washing/drying your hair every other day. Certainly not surgery. Nor do I think you should dye your brown hair red because he likes redheads. My posts above assume he likes your original, authentic style and look because he's dating you. Or to put it another way, why would you be with a man who didn't find you attractive in the fist place? If he wants to change you into something else (as opposed to appreciating you looking nice), run away fast.

Fitness will also deliver lots of benefits to your looks but that's another blog.

RippingYarns Tue 04-Jun-13 20:32:21

totally with you on that DameFanny

BristolBanshee Tue 04-Jun-13 21:00:08

I agree with both, but feel posters are misinterpreting Louise on purpose. You may want to disagree but most disagree with the preconceived idea of what they thought Louise had said, possibly prior to this conversation.

I mainly dress for myself, I have had a post baby body many times and sometimes I dress for my husband. I keep myself looking quite together and wear makeup, but these are things I've always done!

Vegehamwidge Tue 04-Jun-13 21:02:05

I think you should encourage men to dress up for their female partners instead, if you want to encourage someone to do it, because women are already bombarded with the message that our looks are super important.

BristolBanshee Tue 04-Jun-13 21:02:21

I'm not really sure Louise's surgery is relevant here. Those are personal choices and not to be used to pick holes/flaws in an argument.

BristolBanshee Tue 04-Jun-13 21:05:40

Have to add Louise I think your "menu" works for you and it's quite foolhardy to communicate that as a message for all. You are beautiful and so it's probably something valued by others your whole life, however it is not the sane story for all. Some will have never placed such things in high regard and so have a different " offer".

On a final note, I like the fact that you get people talking about feminism!

MajesticWhine Tue 04-Jun-13 21:11:29

I am not aware of my husband wanting certain things of me in my looks, dress, hair, and style. It just never comes up. It's more the other way round. I moan at him if he grows a beard and complain about what he wears in bed. And numerous other tactful suggestions.
I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect a partner to take a little care of themselves, so I don't see it as a feminist / anti-feminist issue.

KaseyM Tue 04-Jun-13 21:20:16

I'm with Vege, encourage men to dress up. My XP was a complete minger with the sloppiest dress sense / grooming regime, but he expected me to look nice for him. That was his view: men did stuff to impress women, women looked nice to attract men.

Needless to say he is XP not DP!

wileycoyote Tue 04-Jun-13 21:57:05

I agree with Louise too, but obviously it is a balance like most things..

xebecewyqoc01 Tue 04-Jun-13 22:15:46

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Technotropic Tue 04-Jun-13 23:10:34

I totally agree with Louise but it has to be a two way thing. In most cases people get together as they are physically attracted to each other so what is wrong about the concept of dressing for your man/woman?

Rarely do we meet our partners when slumming it in our sweat pants with that just got out of bed look and often when we've presented ourselves professionally for work. I get smarted up for the company I work for and am in no way romantically attached to work so why not for a loved one?

My partner and I do it for each other. Not every day, that would be tiresome, but it shows that we still care enough to want to still attract each other like we did when we first met.

I don't understand the nastiness levelled at Louise but is typical for keyboard warriors on an anonymous forum I guess.

stepawayfromthescreen Tue 04-Jun-13 23:30:01

for what it's worth Louise, you really, truly, honestly looked beautiful before you lost weight and had surgery. I follow you on Twitter, so I know you don't believe that, but it's true! You have that near perfect Hollywood gloss about you now, but it's not necessarily 'better' than your previous self. Don't get anything else done please, there is no need.

stepawayfromthescreen Tue 04-Jun-13 23:31:14

and I love your Tweets and articles, and often agree with you!

elastamum Tue 04-Jun-13 23:39:59

I think glosswitch sums it up perfectly.

"Men are not household pets, requiring food, water and a suitably blow-dried companion. They have individual preferences, too. To think that isn't anti-men; it's pro-human."

Quite. I dont think OMG, I had better dress up, and make sure I look good for when my partner arrives and TBH, I dont think either of us look at the other in one such a shallow superficial way. But then we are both a bit academically geeky, so find the ability to share stuff, talk about what we are doing, laugh and being on the same wavelength, far more important than a few wrinkles or wearing the 'right' brands of clothing. But maybe its just that we are middle aged

louisianablue2000 Wed 05-Jun-13 00:00:53

DH and I have been home all day together. I have just shouted through to the kitchen and asked him what I'm wearing. 'Clothes!' he said confidently. 'What clothes?' I asked him. 'Em... jeans?' he guessed wrongly.

I don't think I'll spend too much time dressing for my husband!

LouiseMensch1 Wed 05-Jun-13 01:23:00

stepaway, thank you smile much appreciated.

IdealHomeHouseBeautifulLivinge Wed 05-Jun-13 01:23:41

Mr Mensch

Maybe he needs to make more effort for his wife?

RealityQuake Wed 05-Jun-13 01:27:05

I would probably be described as sloven by some. I haven't worn make-up since before I met DP, I haven't shaved since before we got married, I don't even own a blow dryer, my hair is under a cloth cap 90%+ of the time, and I live in long loose skirts and T-shirts and will never touch high heels again. I did enough dressing up in my early years by a pushy mother who's obsessed with looks, I'm going to be comfy now. I get no pleasure out of the primping, it's a waste of time for me. Do as you wish but it doesn't float my boat.

Somehow, I've been with my partner for almost 10 years even without it. Due to health, 4 kids, and working together, we're with each other practically 24/7. Sees me all the time in my slobby glory - and couldn't care less. Seriously, I've tried to get his opinion on me changing my hair for weeks and his response is "Your sexy with it long, you'd be sexy bald, because it's you". Which is incredibly not helpful but sweet and the heart of the matter really.

People are attracted by personality even more than looks, yes even men. And with all the best efforts, conventional attractiveness will fade and not really what I want anyone to think first, second, or third about me.

And I find the pleasure comment quite odd. I'm pretty sure DP's pleasure there is far more to do with our experience with each other and being open with each other and with toys than it has to do with what I do with my hair. It should all end up a mess anyway.

radioeggs Wed 05-Jun-13 08:23:20

I found this quite depressing so I didn't read so far down. How about men making an effort for women? Shouldn't couples be balanced in that regard? Slobby couples aren't bothered, high-maintenance are. But to have big difference between the two suggests there's a problem with mismatched priorities that will probably cause problems down the line.

Its very silencing to high-maintenance (or even average-maintenance) women who don't fancy their slobby male partners, to suggest they are a sexually deviant female because they like a man to make a bit of an effort.

I find it depressing that LouiseMensch1 holds a sexist view like this which is both very oppressive to women (Stress about your appearance women or your relationship will go down the tubes! If his slobbiness turns you off you are defective as a woman) and liberating for men (Relax men - you are fine as you are), - ie very antifeminist in that regard, yet declares very loudly that she is feminist. Its very damaging for women's rights to have confused spokeswomen like this.

Vegehamwidge Wed 05-Jun-13 08:32:51

to suggest they are a sexually deviant female because they like a man to make a bit of an effort

Yes that implication bothered me.

LittleFrieda Wed 05-Jun-13 09:29:52

Why draw the line at dressing for your husband? Why not make more effort by doing all of the housework and childcare? And all of the shopping and cooking. Oh and give up your career for your husband.

juneau Wed 05-Jun-13 10:04:59

I agree with Louise and I don't think it's anti-feminist at all. I'm no rad-fem, but I do think that making the best of what you have (whatever your personal raw materials), is about self-respect and showing love and respect for your partner.

radioeggs Wed 05-Jun-13 10:11:37

juneau self-respect and showing love and respect for your partner

If this is promoted as something only 'required' of women then in it is antifeminist

tenlittlebuns Wed 05-Jun-13 10:24:10

I really agree with BristolBanshee: I think Louise is talking about her own relationship here, a specific kind of relationship, where this kind of thing is important – an alpha male for whom it is important his partner looks good in a conventional kind of way (well coiffed hair; no baggy clothes), and a woman who is happy to oblige/gets some kind of status from this (I don't mean this in a derogatory kind of way).

But relationships, like people, come in all kinds of hues, as does attraction. For DH and I the attraction is principally intellectual. It's a 'basic kindness' for me to engage with him intellectually I suppose – and he was pissed off post-baby when I didn't want to talk Nietzsche at the end of the day. The visual comes into play for him only when I take my clothes off; up till then I don't think for us our clothes etc. are used as a form of respecting one another.

The problem comes when we start to generalize off our own particular experience. Don't we have enough gender generalization already?

Vegehamwidge Wed 05-Jun-13 10:42:33

Lol her newest post is about how the new doctor (Dr Who) shouldn't be a woman because he is an alpha-male!! And there is a need for more dominant alpha-males in the world. That's what all chicks want. Sexism brings sexual chemistry!
Very feminist!

Technotropic Wed 05-Jun-13 10:43:26

If this is promoted as something only 'required' of women then in it is antifeminist

But it's not though is it. The male grooming market is huge and growing rapidly because more men are making an effort, both for themselves and their partners (or prospective partners).

juneau Wed 05-Jun-13 10:45:49

radio yes, I get that, but I expect the same of him. I realise I didn't say that in my original post, but I think making an effort for one another is an important part of a committed love relationship. Louise makes that point too - that she expects her DH to keep lifting weights to look good for her. My DH doesn't lift weights very often (I'd like him to, but he's never been much a gym bunny and I knew that when I married him, so I accept it), but he looks pretty much the same as he did when I met him 11 years ago and that's the important thing - to keep making an effort. A good marriage needs constant work IME, and some of the work required is to do with personal physical appearance.

radioeggs Wed 05-Jun-13 10:47:14

But it's not though is it.

Well it seems LouiseMensch1 would find that development against the 'natural' (sexist) order of things..

Vegehamwidge Wed 05-Jun-13 10:53:14

My big problem with OP is that she thinks all "chicks" should be like her, that is, non-visual and wanting make a lot of effort for our domineering ugly (men's looks aren't important!!)"alpha male" husbands. Who we have sexual tension with because they are "unrepentant" and sexist.

Vegehamwidge Wed 05-Jun-13 10:54:39

Seriously OP keep your fetishes to yourself wink

juneau Wed 05-Jun-13 10:58:27

Having said all that, TBH I like to look decent for myself, more than anyone else. So I suppose my DH benefits from what I'd do anyway.

cerealqueen Wed 05-Jun-13 11:28:14

I like to look good for Dh, I see it as a natural part of good grooming, its a basic instinct, same goes for him. If we go out, I dress up for him, wear things I know he likes me in, vice versa.

TheConstantLurker Wed 05-Jun-13 11:36:08

I think basically to get involved in a situation where another person's opinion on what you look like or wear assumes such importance in your joint relationship is a mistake.
The initial premise should be that you find each other attractive as people. Clothes, hair, make up are all very superficial trappings and can change day to day, year to year.
I find Louise Mensch's opinion on what women and men should do very prescriptive and limited and I agree that it would be much better if she kept it to herself and within her own relationship.

Xenia Wed 05-Jun-13 11:50:08

Most women do not find older men attractive and plenty of us want a man who looks good. It is a gender neutral issue. Those of us who earn 10x what our men do and are successful unlike the traditional Steford Wife Mensch dynamic have a different view from LM. We are not needing menfor their money and because they are old enough to be our fathers, but because they may look good in a way older men never do. We are as likely to outearn the man as the other way around.

However, that said I would expect a man to have my BMI/level of fitness and no way should be look any scruffier than heneeds me to look. It is about money and power. Plenty of women are ambitious and like succeeding. We do not follow men abroad they are as likely to follow our careers and we are not after a man for money thankfully.

So the message to men is lose that fat and wear better clothes or we may stop finding you attractive particularly as you age. These issues are gender neutral. I dispute that women are not interested in looks and just the wallet of their man. LM may be but most of us are not.

donnie Wed 05-Jun-13 12:38:38

IME it's just that I cannot be arsed any more. I was extremely good looking and size 8 - 10 (the olden days size 8 which is now more like a 4) back in my heydey, but now I am sliding into middle age. I have too bloody much to do and it all takes so much longer once your natural gorgeousness has gone, as mine has. Ditto my OH.

Also, even if I did want plastic surgery and all that stuff, where would I get the money? the teaching profession doesn't give out bonuses, although I have been known to get the odd box of chocs or bottle of wine - which then makes me even more fat.

Louise your assertion that keeping yourself attractive for your husband is a "basic act of kindness" to me is nonsense, sorry.

KristinaM Wed 05-Jun-13 12:50:15

" most women do not find older men attractive"

Really Xenia? You astound me. I woudl hazard a guess that a large proportion of women on mumsnet are having sex with men who are older than them.

Are you suggesting that they don't find them attractive? Or that they are only doing because these men are rich and successful ?

WinkyWinkola Wed 05-Jun-13 13:36:18

Donnie, has sizing changed then? Please say it has. grin

I used to be a 10-12 and at 6ft, loved it. Now at 41, I'm 16-18 and I cannot believe it and can't bear to go shopping.

louisianablue2000 Wed 05-Jun-13 13:40:54

Just check out Peter Mensch on wikipedia. I suspect if I was wife no 3 I'd be a bit insecure about keeping my husband as well. Personally I'm happy being wife no 1 to my lovely nerdy DH who has no idea what clothes I have on but loves telling people how smart I am and what a good career I have.

Here's my advice: marry a man who loves you for your brain. You get to wear comfortable shoes and don't have to worry about him running off with a younger woman.

Xenia Wed 05-Jun-13 14:11:05

The Femininst issues here are why did PM not change his name to his 3rd wife's surname? Why did he not move to the UK to support her career and drive her children to school?
I also stand by the point that old people of either sex look worse than younger ones. I agree some women have a 17 - 20 years older husband but that is usually because he earns more than she does and lo and behold LM does not earn 10x what her second husband does.

If I am now told Mr M is moving to the UK to support his wife's career on the basis his is going to be about 20 years shorter than hers as he is much older, that he is considering taking her name and that he does more of the housework and childcare then she does I will be very pleased.

juneau Wed 05-Jun-13 15:39:41

Another point about feminism - can we please get past the idea that to be a serious feminist you have to eschew personal grooming and any sense of style? That's what made feminism so deeply uncool and unattractive to so many women for so long. I grew up thinking feminists were hairy, dungaree-clad, bra-less women banging on about Trident - and I simply couldn't relate to that. Whether you highlight your hair or get a facelift or prefer to be exactly as nature intended, you can still be a feminist.

Snorbs Wed 05-Jun-13 15:59:59

Declaration of interest - I'm a man. I'd far rather have a relationship with a woman who dresses to make herself happy rather than one who is constantly seeking my approval in what she wears. I like self-confident women.

Xenia Wed 05-Jun-13 16:12:02

I agree you can be a feminist and want to look what you regard as good but it is gender neutral. If instead you earn a lot less than a man on whom you rely for money then of course your looks matter as that is your currency and his do not. It is no surprise that Ecclestone is not quite as attractive as wives 1 and 2 nor that Joan Collins et al have attractive fit younger men. It is all about money and power and if we can ensure women earn more than men or at least are equal the requirement to keep a man because of your looks, the commercial aspect to housewifery in effect - that you keep him through your looks and he pays, then we can make progress.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Wed 05-Jun-13 18:09:44

Xenia, you might want to re-examine that assumption that SAHMs are being 'kept' because of their looks.

I'd hazard a guess that the partnerships mentioned above of two intellectual but slobby types include the usual proportions of SAHM or PT working women.

YoniMatopoeia Wed 05-Jun-13 18:16:14

If your man is with you, it is a dead cert that he has self-selected. He likes the way YOU look. He wants to see you at YOUR best. In fitted clothes that show your body (the one he's attracted to), with washed and blow-dried hair, with very light make-up that lets him see your skin and face

Louise you are talking about how it works, and your husbands expectation in your relationship. You certainly aren't talking about mine.

For you to generalise that that is the same for all of us, and all we women should be dressing and grooming to keep our man happy is madness, frankly.

My husband (incidently 8 years younger and earns less) likes all sorts of things about me (how could he not grin ) and certainly tells me that I am sexy, even when, gasp, I am wearing baggy stained decorating clothes. He would never expect me to dress or groom in a way to please him, and if I did he would not think or feel that I was doing that to please him.

He would much rather I greet him at the door with a gin and tonic when he is home late, listen to his day, then make him laugh.

So when you say that all women should wear fitted clothes and "washed and blow-dried hair,, with very light makeup" to please their man, you are also presuming that men are one amorphous mass who all want the same thing.

It just seems to be more of the "women, you must make sure your hair is tidy and your clothes show the shape of your body (which must be attractive), and improve that face of yours, or you are worth less and are letting yourself and your man down"

Fine if it is how it works in your relationship, but don't suggest it for everyone.

And as for what my husband does for me to make him attractive to me? Not pumping iron. Maybe the ironing though wink - he does all of it in our house.

Vegehamwidge Wed 05-Jun-13 18:26:28

At least this whole thing caused Mners to share sweet stories about their own relationships smile Love without blow-dried hair and weight lifting...it can exist!

donnie Wed 05-Jun-13 19:01:08

Winky - it has indeed changed, but not in the way you'd like wink. I used to be an 8, sometimes 10, when I weighed 7 stone. That's what a diet of cigarettes, alcohol and no food does for you!Now twenty years on I am still a 10 and am 2 stone heavier. Go figure!

donnie Wed 05-Jun-13 19:01:41

although sadly I am still on the fags n booze....

MiniTheMinx Wed 05-Jun-13 19:22:58

Fashions in desirability have changed over the cause of human history, once being voluptuous and rubenesque with lilly white skin. At other times waif thin with a sun tan. The fashions were mostly dictated by the mores of royalty, dictated by wealth and power. Red hair was desirable when Lizzie sat on the throne, in the 18th century there was a fashion for grey wigs. Poverty has never set the tone in fashionable desirability.

And what is fashionably desirable now? and what are the influences that shape male desire. Could it be all forms of popular print and digital media? Is this why men desire women who are slim with inflated balloons on board, women who resemble pre-pubescent children below the waist, with tangerine skin and button noses. Who wears heels to slow her down and remind her that she is essentially not an active person but a decoration. Something to hang you wealth and social power on, a reflection of how successful he is. Thus it has always been.

It starts in Reception when all the boys follow little Masie with the long blonde hair and not one of them dare to say "no I like Molly, she has pretty short dark hair and loves climbing trees" it ends with women of all ages battling to achieve the unobtainable whilst their men folk stay up late to watch the more visually stimulating barbie who has perfected the unobtainable to a greater a degree. (that's a generalisation, obv) but no greater than suggesting that ALL men are visual creatures. Better to acknowledge that ALL men are social creatures, who believe that their value is in what is reflected back at them, be it you or the regard they are shown by other men, in particular the alpha males.

I agree with Xenia, when women have economic power it is quite likely that she will call the shots on what is desirable and men may have to waste endless hours in pursuit of the unobtainable whilst lining our pockets with the profits.

AnyFucker Wed 05-Jun-13 19:23:44

to share another sweet story...

my H just lifted me onto the kitchen worktop for a snog even though I have unwashed hair, and am in raggy pj bottoms, battered slippers and a vest top

the way I looked did not cross my mind for one millisecond smile

Xenia Wed 05-Jun-13 19:48:00

As Mini says on my economic power point that is when things will be better. The interesting point however is that most women even very successful ones seem to marry men who are on a par or earn more. I don't know the income earning differential between the LM husbands 1 and 2 but probably no 2 has more money and certainly will earn more than LM, whereas many a male UK MP is happy with his secretary as his wife. ]

However we are moving to a situation where 60% of graduates are female in the UK and women up to age 30 earn more than men and there are more women under 40 worth £1m+ than men so the tide is turning. If successful women of 40 choose the good looking younger man as plenty do once they do not need men for money then things will change and women will not only retain men through their looks.

stepawayfromthescreen Wed 05-Jun-13 19:50:44

the 'commercial aspect to housewifery????
Really Xenia, really?
You have a deep seated phobia of any sahm or any woman who earns less than her partner.

MiniTheMinx Wed 05-Jun-13 19:53:18

Although I wouldn't be flattered by a twenty something adonis after my money grin

AnyFucker Wed 05-Jun-13 20:45:29

christ, no

I wouldn't be happy for my hard earned dosh to be supporting some pretty-faced, callow yoof

unless it's my son smile

louisianablue2000 - Just check out Peter Mensch on wikipedia. I suspect if I was wife no 3 I'd be a bit insecure about keeping my husband as well. Personally I'm happy being wife no 1 to my lovely nerdy DH who has no idea what clothes I have on but loves telling people how smart I am and what a good career I have.

Here's my advice: marry a man who loves you for your brain. You get to wear comfortable shoes and don't have to worry about him running off with a younger woman.

^ This ^

I feel more than a bit sorry for you Louise. I couldn't be in a relationship with a man so shallow, especially as he's no oil painting himself. I've never met an 'alpha male' who wasn't a wanker.

Your looks will fade and what then?

I make lots of effort for DP - for us that means making time for each other to talk, listen, cuddle and have a laugh.

He likes me best in clothes he can get off easily wink

hellsbells76 Wed 05-Jun-13 23:52:36

Have you read any of her books? Apart from being hilariously, cringingly badly written, they're FULL of blonde, English rose types banging on about what principled feminists they are while simultaneously acting in the least feminist ways possible (trampling over other women or using the patronage of besotted older men to further their careers, sleeping with other women's husbands etc etc). I've always found this cognitive dissonance in her writing and her life rather fascinating in a car-crash kind of way. It's like you can behave in whatever handmaideny fashion you like, as long as you do it while loudly self-identifying as a feminist.

lancargawe Thu 06-Jun-13 03:12:57

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

StephanieLaws84 Thu 06-Jun-13 08:24:59

dont we women like to dress up anyway?
i like to look nice and make a effort for my husband (and for myself!!!). and i like it that he takes care of himself.
We have 5 kids all together and i also know that if i dont feel like 'dressing up' i just stay in bed on a sunday morning and then enjoy the rest of the day with the kids and my husband.
i am only 29 and i never think about feminism. but i have a relationship where i feel respected and absolutely unconditionally loved. and my husband would admit to anyone that even though he is a 'alpha male' i am actually the one who is the boss and as all these feminists would say 'wear the trousers' .. but things like that just make me smile and i dont see them as important....
but for all these women who think they have to attack Louise in such a way. maybe she just mastered this subject about feminism and lives her life and just enjoys it... rather then constantly feeling like she has to fight her corner as a women.

KristinaM Thu 06-Jun-13 08:46:45

" but for all these women who think they have to attack Louise in such a way"

Maybe they don't think they have to attack her, Stephanie. Maybe they just disagree with her .

Perhaps because she has taken things that she likes to do eg " I like to blow dry my hair" and extrapolated them into general principles " all women everywhere must blow dry their hair " and that they " owe it" to their men to do so and suggests it s a " basic truism of a loving relationship"

And because she refuses to accept the many posters on this thread who state that that their relationships with their partners are not fundamentally based on the hairstyles, make up, clothes and figures of either of them . And that " a blow dry and very light make up " are not actually what every man everywhere in the world finds attractive . Despite the fact that many of them have a much better track record of making relationships work than Louise and her current husband

Xenia Thu 06-Jun-13 09:40:31

Stephanie, that is fair. It is when LM says men need not bother (presumably because they have more money and are male) and a woman's place is to dress to please a man she differs from your fair equal mutually pleasing view. That is when it becomes anti feminist. Men pay and in return women look good - a commercial bargain - in the LM world and women follow men and men earn the big bucks. That is what needs to change and is changing as more and more women earn more than men.

Equality tends to make most people happier.

Vegehamwidge Thu 06-Jun-13 11:32:30

i am actually the one who is the boss and as all these feminists would say 'wear the trousers'
grin Sorry but I really doubt that feminists are the ones who would use that sexist phrase.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Thu 06-Jun-13 13:48:54

Stephanie, many women do not like to dress up. I know some who hate dressing up and always wear baggy plain clothes, flat shoes, don't use any makeup, only brush their hair to make it neat etc etc. Please do not generalise in a patronising way about 'we women'. For what it's worth, I do like dressing up, but I am aware that not everyone does.

Louise, this is bullshit pure and simple. Now, if you had said that men and women have a duty to themselves to look after themselves and remain healthy (as far as possible), then you would have been right. I mean taking care of themselves, not exercising or dieting to extremes. But you make it all about the superficiality of looks, which is very wrong. Why the hell should I wear fitted clothes if I don't want to? Or strive to maintain a self that no longer suits me? A woman who dresses sexily or stylishly in her youth, pays a lot of attention to her appearance etc etc may grow up to be a very different person in later life. She may no longer place so much value on physical appearance and have the confidence to go out in scruffy joggers with unwashed hair because she doesn't care what other people think of her. She may have the confidence (shock horror) to lounge around her own house in whatever feels comfiest or is appropriate to what she's doing. And she may have a husband who appreciates that and doesn't think oh well, she's been wearing scruffy clothes for three days so I'm off now, seeya. Have a biscuit

StephanieDA Thu 06-Jun-13 16:54:55

There is no evidence of different gender 'hard-wiring', in fact the whole concept of hard-wiring is a bit misleading as our brains are so plastic (especially children's, but throughout life) that even basic genetic inheritance is only a 'potential' which can change depending on socialisation and experience. Neuroscience and brain-imaging can only tell us about socialised brains, as all brains are socialised.
So a stronger visual reaction in men does not prove that this reaction is 'biological' or 'innate', it would more likely be learned behaviour as that's what men are supposed to do. And one thing we do know is that both sexes soak up clues about their gender and how they are supposed to behave from parents, society and experience. We make gender differences a big deal in this society, not gender similarities, and children absorb those messages constantly.
Anecdotally, I hear lots of women expressing a very visual appreciation of men. Maybe we should just be looking at human beings; for some appearance is very important and for some it is not. But it's only men who have been socialised into high expectations and an entitlement to be with an attractive partner.

KaseyM Thu 06-Jun-13 19:04:51

Women are just as visual as men, it's just they've been brought up to believe that wolfwhistling and general objectification of men is a sign of a desperate woman, whilst men are more likely to feel a sense of entitlement.

Women have been taught that in order to deserve sex, they have to be sexy. Men aren't. That's the diff.

Xenia Thu 06-Jun-13 22:37:26

One thing we can be sure of is the LM children will be modelled a rather sexist set up and grow up to have sexist views.

stepawayfromthescreen Fri 07-Jun-13 10:52:01

Xenia, you've said before on several occasions that you think maternity leave is sexist and you returned to work almost as soon as the placenta was out.
As a result, I can't take a single thing you say seriously because your views set feminism back a hundred years. You can call yourself a feminist, but that doesn't mean you are a feminist.

stepawayfromthescreen Fri 07-Jun-13 10:54:19

and I've no doubt you've raised your kids to look down on the lowly surfs who provide you with the 'dross drudgery labour' so feel you are not really qualified to lecture LM on her parenting when yours is so far from perfect!

scottishmummy Fri 07-Jun-13 17:35:34

I've never dressed for a man,I dress in attire I like and that's appropriate to the setting
work attire is different to social attire.like most people I adapt and regulate
certainly I ask dp does this look ok?but I'm not seeking approval and he not got a veto

scottishmummy Fri 07-Jun-13 17:39:13

I won't be lectured to by someone who gives up career enacts wee wifey role
and fwiw lm didn't give up at HOP as was family unfriendly.her dh was relocating to USA
she trades on her looks(that's her choice) but don't assume everyone else does too

BristolBanshee Fri 07-Jun-13 18:50:05

Noone is being lectured Scottish Mummy, FFS. Louise wrote a blog and glosswitch took issue. MN then rubbed their grubby hands together and thought they'd have this thread. The way Louise has been treated here is, quite frankly, vile and the way that many outsiders see MN.

I think the, unpleasant, truth is most people can't trade on their looks. I can't imagine someone who projects a nasty persona has a very nice face, so it's unlikely that anyone was attracted to her for her looks.... therefore it's not part of the deal. If you're widely thought of as attractive then that becomes part of your "offer".

BristolBanshee Fri 07-Jun-13 18:51:57

Xenia Thu 06-Jun-13 22:37:26
One thing we can be sure of is the LM children will be modelled a rather sexist set up and grow up to have sexist views.

Absolute bullshit. Pretty certain that your household growing up or that of your grandparents were sexist, hell they may have even been pleasant, but you can't say all has been passed to you, can you?

scottishmummy Fri 07-Jun-13 18:54:59

you're a bit het up Bristol.over an ex mp who's usp is her looks

RippingYarns Fri 07-Jun-13 18:57:59

believe me, Bristol the general consensus seen here about la Mensch isn't confined to MN

it's in RL too

BristolBanshee Fri 07-Jun-13 19:00:03

Not het up, love. Her USP clearly isn't her looks, I'm not sure looks get you elected, but she is beautiful and has possibly been told that her whole life. I'm guessing you haven't, otherwise I think you would understand.

scottishmummy Fri 07-Jun-13 19:02:16

you're a little ball of anger,Bristol
fortunately I don't need to trade on looks alone
I'm intellectual and bonnie without need to dress for men

BristolBanshee Fri 07-Jun-13 19:05:59

I know that, but it's spiteful. As a confirmed lefty I have issues with much she says about, well, everything! But she wrote a blog not a handbook and coming on here was ill advised, at best, but the charge of a "nest of vipers" has never rang more true.

Scornful posts and nasty personal attacks.
How childish.

BristolBanshee Fri 07-Jun-13 19:07:52

No anger here, at all. In comparison to your passive aggressive whining I am a sea of tranquility.

Intellectual and Bonnie? I'll have to take your word for it as clearly there's no evidence of either.

scottishmummy Fri 07-Jun-13 19:08:25

you're content to cast aspersions on mn posters but get all. twitchy mn opine on lm
I see you've no problem deciding who may/may not be munter to support your pov
but you're all het up at mn for daring to opine on lm blog,that invited opinion

BristolBanshee Fri 07-Jun-13 19:08:52

ScotMum, is this your USP? Silencing people by accusing them of being angry.

Funny.

BristolBanshee Fri 07-Jun-13 19:10:46

Nope, still not het up. smile

Surely we all know the world is not full of universally beautiful people, thankfully we have different tastes. BUT if you've spent your life being told your beautiful then it probably carries more weight.

scottishmummy Fri 07-Jun-13 19:12:57

lm has done what she always does,use media to maintain her profile
she knew her bog would generate comments.it feeds the ego,maintains her
naturally mn et al will have a counter opinion and make it as vociferously as lm

RippingYarns Fri 07-Jun-13 19:22:22

i see quite a lot of personal attacks in your posts, Bristol hmm

BristolBanshee Fri 07-Jun-13 19:23:58

Clearly.... pfft.

Xenia Fri 07-Jun-13 19:50:27

LM (like Samantha Brick for that matter) will be read because she annoys - she is the non feminist who claims to be feminist, the Stepford wife who sacrificed all for her much older rich husband and yet likes to suggest she espouses some kind of feminist cause. All most of us would prefer to hear about is her children and why they have been moved and perhaps have been put last by all the adults involved.

scottishmummy Fri 07-Jun-13 19:52:28

indeed she's poster girl for the mummy martyrs,gies it all up for her man
boak

TheCrackFox Fri 07-Jun-13 20:12:45

I would describe Mensch as a disappointment at best and she has badly let down her constituents who expected her to serve them for at least 4yrs not until she got bored.

I dress for myself and sometimes DH likes what I am wearing.

BristolBanshee Fri 07-Jun-13 20:52:13

Ah you're the "mummy martyrs" woman! Totally makes sense now.

What are mummy martyrs? As I figure it noone is altruistic, we all do things that ultimately please ourselves (and I mean everything) so LM must have got a massive trade off for her actions. I'm not sure she's a poster girl for anything really, she's not that relevant to most people.

I had no idea she had children.

scottishmummy Fri 07-Jun-13 20:54:20

I afraid I think you've exhibited complete lack of sense
in fact nonsense on this thread
mn grubby hands made me laugh though

carovioletfizz Sat 08-Jun-13 08:03:19

I think the way LM has been treated on this thread is vile, too - is it not possible for people to express their disagreement with her without slating her looks, her work and her husband? Really horrible.

peteypiranha Sat 08-Jun-13 08:08:20

Can you honestly say you would pick an unattractive man to marry? I dont get it when people say looks dont matter to women of course they do. If you read threads on here many women stop having sex if their husbands/partners have let themselves go. I think its only natural for either gender obviously some ageing is inevitable but most people dont want their dhs to change much physically.

peteypiranha Sat 08-Jun-13 08:17:56

Having read this I agree with xenia I am not attracted to old men, bald men, overweight men, men that have untamed eyebrows, men with beards/tashs, or hairy chested men.Physcical attraction is very important to me and I dont think its shallow if your having sex with one man for the rest of your life that you want them to look good.

Xenia Sat 08-Jun-13 11:40:09

Yes, petey, it is fairness that mattesr. When a woman says - men can look how they like and get fat (presumably because they are rich and keep women) but women have to please that we have the feminist issue coming out. Instead it should be gender neutral.

LM put herself out there presumably to earn a bit of money by writing articles which provoke and will not be surprised if she is then talked back to. It is just how things work. If you don't want comment and debate you don't offer views.

On her chidlren yes it was all over the press and she wrote about it. I think 3 children. What I had not worked out was whether by moving them from the UK to the US she moved them closer to her ex husband and their father or further away. If the former then that is not too bad although even so their whole life has been turned around and moved countries just to satisfy a mother's lust. If the latter it is utterly unexcusable and why cannot all these men move to where LM's career is? Plenty of men move for women's careers these days in fair equal marriages.

BristolBanshee Sat 08-Jun-13 13:56:12

Well ScotMum, I have to say you've come across exactly as I expected, nothing less and certainly nothing more.

x

scottishmummy Sat 08-Jun-13 18:32:00

oh pack it in faux musings
hong king phooey makes more sense than you
try Ponder and deliberate before you make a move

Hunn1e Sun 09-Jun-13 01:00:02

Wanting to look good for your partner is nothing to do with feminism, it's about sexual confidence and how we feel about ourselves.

I also think that half the time women don't get dressed up to please their man - they try to look good because at heart we are a competative lot and we don't like the idea of other women looking at us and thinking we look a mess!

Snorbs Sun 09-Jun-13 22:41:42

they try to look good because at heart we are a competative lot and we don't like the idea of other women looking at us and thinking we look a mess!

Is women's competitiveness over their appearance not a feminist issue then? What drives that competition? Could it be society's general pressure to believe that what women most have to offer are their looks?

Xenia Mon 10-Jun-13 07:40:07

Not all women are like this despite what the press like to suggest. I have no problems with couples who each try to look good for each other to please their partner. I have problems when people produce sexist views that women have to look good and men simply have to earn money to keep them as that is tantamount to prostitution except less honest.

kawamura Sun 16-Jun-13 22:32:34

As an 80-year-old male, I'm sticking my neck out when i say that women should make an effort with their appearance when out with their husbands, and so should the husbands!. This demonstrates self-respect for the woman and flatters the man. It's a 2-way thing!.

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