My unreserved apologies

(307 Posts)
jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 13:20:01

It seems I have upset MN posters.

I am sorry if you have been upset by me. I apologise.

I wont do it again.


titchy Mon 08-Oct-12 13:32:58

But do you understand WHY your comments are offensive?

pianomama Mon 08-Oct-12 14:21:01

I dont find Jabeds comments offensive. I find them completely silly - i think he is a troll.

He tries to get attention by making "controversial" statements and is generally flirting with the entire forum.

"You ladies". Hmmm

I dont believe you are a teacher as your ability to communicate ideas/opinions to large audience seems somewhat poor.

You seem to have too much time on your hands to post during school time.

Time for name change and adopting new personality I'd say.

jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 14:33:44

You have offended me pianomania.

However I wont report it or complain. smile

Does it matter Titchy?

I know what MN told me. That is enough for me.

I work part time. Three days a week. Today is a day off.

I will not be changing my name.

I have apologised. I see no reason for you to be ungracious about that.


jabed Mon 08-Oct-12 15:21:30

"You ladies". Hmmm

I didnt say that on this thread but FYI from wiki:

The word lady is a polite term for a woman, specifically the female equivalent to, or spouse of, a lord or gentleman, and in many contexts a term for any adult woman. Once relating specifically to women of high social class or status, over the last 300 years it has spread to embrace all adult women.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 08-Oct-12 16:35:14

'FYI from Wiki'... there speaks a true scholar. FYI,MA!

Helpyourself Mon 08-Oct-12 16:42:28

I don't know why you've posted this in Education.

Your comments about why you don't know why people have children if they then farm them out are what upset people. As you then, on questioning, revealed that you can afford children as you didn't become a parent until you were in your 50s, your views are irrelevant to 90% of Mnetters.

Just remember that your experience of parenthood is pretty unique when you post.

hatsybatsy Mon 08-Oct-12 16:53:02

Jabed - this is like a small child's apolgy though - you are doing it because you have been told to not because you feel you have anything to apologise for.

FWIW we can be as ungracious as we like - you have been offensive, condescending and generally offensive this afternoon.

hatsybatsy Mon 08-Oct-12 16:54:23

meant to say contradictory, condescending and generally offensive. Suspect the subconscious repetition of 'offensive' was to underline my feelings.....

titchy Mon 08-Oct-12 16:59:14

Pianomama - doh! Of course he's a troll - I bet he's from that freaky website of squaddies or whoever who's sole aim is to infiltrate MN. <slaps forehead> can't believe I fell for it!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 08-Oct-12 17:07:54

If my child said 'it seems I have upset you Mummy, if you have been upset by me [lovely use of the passive there!] I apologize', I would not consider it a heartfelt apology!

madwomanintheattic Mon 08-Oct-12 17:11:14

Jabed isn't from arrse. He's been around ages. Arrse only appeared when mners linked their site from here. Quite recent. Jabed preceded arrse by months, if not a good year.

No idea what the bunfight was about though.

sohia Mon 08-Oct-12 17:47:18

I agree with madwomanintheattick. Jabed posted helpful comments for me and I dont thnk he is an arrse. I thought he set off the SN brigade. That seems to be a no PC topic here. You cant say anything without setting them off.

Xenia Mon 08-Oct-12 17:57:03

Peoploe who get upset just need therapy and a thicker skin. We all know parents who work do best for their children and the chidlren of housewives have the worst outcomes of any in the UK so if Jabed things otherwise he is wrong. Also children of younger parents aer healthier so anyone over 50 as a parent male or female may not be the best thing but we all make the best of what we have although I would advise all housewives to work if they want to do best for their children. There endeth my lesson.

sohia Mon 08-Oct-12 17:59:40

hatsbatsy, if jabed has apologised he has done so off his own back. If he had one of those mn e mails, it didnt tell him to apologise. I know I have had one before too. It just told him to watch how he expressed his views because he was too strong. If it was like mine they also said they had no problem with it, just the tone.

madwomanintheattic Mon 08-Oct-12 18:03:16

That's lovely sohia. hmm for future reference, I am the sn brigade. 'Them' is a great example of othering.

I have no idea what jabbed said or who he upset, or why. But he isn't a squaddie. The idea is frankly risible.

teacherwith2kids Mon 08-Oct-12 18:06:42


Just out of interest, is there data on the educational outcomes for children whose mothers are SAHM in the pre-school years (or even in the first couple of years of school) vs those who remain at home throughout their child's time at school?

It's just that I know very many of my - Cambridge - contemporaries, very intelligent women with highly successful children, who stayed at home until their children started school, then returned to work either gradually or fully at that point. As I say, all the children have been extremely successful - more so than those from other similar families where the mother has worked throughout. I believe that the cohort of women who stay at home during the early years is very different - in nature, age, education, previous experience etc - from the cohort who stay at home long term throughout their child's school life.

Link to any statistical reports would be very useful, as obviously I am talking about a very specific group of people I know, rather than looking at a statistically significant sample...

(Oh, and of course I mean 'actual success' in the children, not 'school attended giving likelihood of success' - I'm talking A-levels, universities attended, degree classes obtained etc)

pianomama Mon 08-Oct-12 18:07:53

I never thought I'd say that, but OMG.
I believe it has been suggested already on some other thread that jabed and Xenia might be the same person in RL.
I wonder.


Sparklingbrook Mon 08-Oct-12 18:09:33

Not the Wiki Ladies thing again jabed. sad

Why did you spend your whole day off on MN? confused

Xenia Mon 08-Oct-12 19:29:09

I would have to look it up again. (a) family income often determines child success - eg if the mother pays school fees then the child is in an elite 8% who win 50% of good university places, 73% of high court judges etc etc (b) housewives tend to breed housewives who stay home so women's educational achievement goes down and down and acreer success as they want to replicate little miss stepford wife mummy educated to serve daddy (b) women who earn £100k a year plus tend not to want to wipe bottoms all day and are not so stupid as to be taken in my propoganda suggesting a woman's place is in the home in the early years - they use their brains and realise working mother produce the best most successful children.

Xenia Mon 08-Oct-12 19:29:51

I don't think I can be jabed as I'm not male. I had my first baby at 22 (not over 50). I believe women should work etc etc We are poles apart.

Sparklingbrook Mon 08-Oct-12 19:32:59

<arf> at 'produce the best children'. grin And what happened to SAHM? confused

Wetthemogwai Mon 08-Oct-12 19:37:58

I remember you from another thread, you didn't upset me but I did think you were a nobhead. Over opinionated and under informed and pretty damn unhelpful and patronising.

teacherwith2kids Mon 08-Oct-12 19:39:24

Xenia, but all of those are (biased) assertions, and are based on (asserted) correlations, not actual data.

I could assert the exact opposite, using my particularly 'elite institution educated' cohort as an example - but I am intelligent and well-educated enough to be looking for actual data, rather than stating my opinions to be truth.

As i said, I am looking for ACTUAL A-level grades and university degree classes for 3 groups of children:
- Those whose parents worked throughout their life from babyhood.
- Those whose mum or dad stayed at home for a period in their early life
- Those whose mum or dad stayed at home for 18 years

as while I believe that there may well be some difference in attainment between the first and third groups (probably due to an underlying causative factor, such as level of education achieved by the parent, rather than being due to 'working' as a magic ingredient), I do not believe that there is likely to be such a significant difference - if any at all - between the first and second groups.

Wow, another fab post from Xenia.

When are we getting that 'hide poster' option?

As for jabed, the last time our paths crossed he/she amused me greatly by pontificating about the compulsory worship in schools and saying that anyone who didn't like it should leave the country. hmm grin I stopped taking his/her opinions seriously at that point.

teacherwith2kids Mon 08-Oct-12 19:45:02

Thinking about it (always inadvisable with a Xenia post)
"We all know parents who work do best for their children and the chidlren of housewives have the worst outcomes of any in the UK" is a false opposition.

Surely the opposite of 'parents who work' is 'parents who are long term unemployed', not housewives?

And isn't the real correlation between educational attainmen of children and the educational attainment of their mothers - 'employment of the mother' may be a proxy measure for this, but is not an accurate one as it takes no account of the nature of the employment. The most significantly neglected children in the school I work in, in a deprived area,are in fact those where both parents are juggling 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet, and where the children are often left alone or with older or younger siblings for very significant periods of time out of school or in holidays. Those who have mums at home, by contrast, do better because there is someone feeding them, putting them to bed, talking to them, even reading to them and doing their homework with them.

But in the North London ghetto, such lives are probably unimaginable to you.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 08-Oct-12 20:39:05

Xenia and Jabed are not the same person - one of them thinks SAHM are stupid lazy frumps whose children will fail and whose partners will leave them, and the other one doesn't know why people have children if they don't want to be at home with them!

Colleger Mon 08-Oct-12 21:26:24

Is Xenia joking? If not then she must be a very unhappy woman.

Sparklingbrook Mon 08-Oct-12 21:28:59

I don't think so Colleger. She is always saying stuff like that. It's all about the ££££ you see. wink

teacherwith2kids Mon 08-Oct-12 21:37:38

a) I don't think Xenia is joking.

b) I do believe her to be bitterly unhappy. Many of her opinions seem shaped by the fact that she is divorced / separated and thus the costs of putting (I think 4) children through private school has fallen on her shoulders.

Yellowtip Mon 08-Oct-12 21:57:47

I think Xenia has 5 DC and I think she's afforded the fees for all of them with a certain lightness of touch. She bought an island with petty cash.

Yellowtip Mon 08-Oct-12 22:11:36

I'm happy to start off teacher. I best fit Category 3.

1. DD1 has a very high 2.1.
2. The eldest four DC who have been through or are at university all attended or attend Oxford.
3. The eldest four who have taken A Levels have achieved 10 A*s and 6 As between them (stats skewed because 3 of the As predate the A* awards in 2010 and in a subsequent year would have been 2 A* and an A (I think), yielding 12 A*s and 4 As).
4. The eldest six who have taken GCSEs have achieved 56 A*s and 12 As between them. And one B.


teacherwith2kids Mon 08-Oct-12 22:19:48

I am a category 2er but my children are not old enough yet for GCSEs etc.

My mum was a clear Category 3.
- All 3 children went to Oxbridge.
- 2 1sts, 1 2.1, one went on to get a PhD
- No A or O-levels at less than an A. I think we have about 10 or 11 A-levels, 5 S-levels and 30 O-levels at As between us.

but then my mum is also an Oxbridge graduate - which seems to support the research that it is maternal level of education, not employment, that most influences educational outcomes for their children.

Yellowtip Mon 08-Oct-12 22:24:49

Category 3 is looking good then teacher smile

I didn't bother with AEAs.

pianomama Mon 08-Oct-12 22:24:55

Can't agree more.In fact, education and earning potential are not the same thing at all.A well educated mother will never be a bored frump and will bring her DC up better then any childminder/nursery would.

Yellowtip Mon 08-Oct-12 22:25:54

Out of interest are you and your siblings artsy or sciency or mixed?

teacherwith2kids Mon 08-Oct-12 22:33:20

We are all sciency.

My parents are both artsy...

TheFallenMadonna Mon 08-Oct-12 22:39:19

I am an anomaly then, fortunately for me.

Let's hope my children are not...

Yellowtip Mon 08-Oct-12 22:42:13

How does that work I wonder? Interesting though. Actually DS1 went sciency early, against the trend.

Elibean Mon 08-Oct-12 22:43:14

Oooh, I like the way this thread has turned out (so far).

MordionAgenos Mon 08-Oct-12 23:04:17

@yellowtip I'd like to claim that I'm too young to do this survey yet. But the truth is a mixture of me being still a little bit too young but also waiting till I was 30 to have my first child.

Since I am that dreadful thing a career woman who travels a lot, and even worse, one who is most definitely only doing it for the money and not for the love (well. I am definitely only doing it for the money and I certainly don't love what I do but I'm not bored by it either - I do the rather rare (in the context of my profession) thing that I do because my main thing in working life is living a little and not being bored) I suspect that we will not win any bouquets when I am in a position to complete the survey for one or all of my kids. I am undoubtedly a Bad Mother - this has been the clear opinion of the mummy mafia at the primary school since Dd1 started there. Ah well.

Yellowtip Mon 08-Oct-12 23:12:52

Mordion Category 3s can be Very Bad Mothers indeed. I'd actually prefer to be Category 1 but life didn't work that way so I'm a disconsolate Category 3 - and one of its bottom feeders at that.

I was just trying to de-rail the thread, but teacher outflanked me.

MordionAgenos Mon 08-Oct-12 23:16:54

Ah, I see we are doing mothers as well. First generation of my family to go to university. Council flat upbringing, my mum was sick (dying - cancer in several bits one after the other) for most of my childhood and consequently I don't remember her working. Before she got sick she was first in service from the age of 14 (when her mum died) then she went into the army when she was old enough then after she left the army she was a civilian telephonist. I went to Cambridge, my younger sister went to UCL. I got a clean sweep of As for every exam, and got a very high 2:1 (I had more than enough firsts on individual papers to get a first overall but I had one 2:2 on a paper so that meant I could not get a first no matter how well I did on any other paper. Tant pis). My sister had a more spread set of public exam marks - As ad Bs at both O and A level and a CSE grade 2 in French. But she got a 2:1 in her degree too.

Basically my whole aim in life is for my kids to actually have a living mother into their twenties. It will be the first generation on either side of my family that has ever had that.

MordionAgenos Mon 08-Oct-12 23:18:20

If it happens. Long way to go yet. DD2 is only 9.

Yellowtip Mon 08-Oct-12 23:26:39

But I think across your posts that you talk fondly of your young life and home? Is that right? That must inject more chance into any child than an arid bluestocking waving an impressive piece of paper.

MordionAgenos Mon 08-Oct-12 23:44:56

I loved my parents yes. And I went to a great school. I could have done without the constant worry though. My mum and dad both told me I could do anything I wanted (although she wasn't keen on me going to Cambridge, she thought I'd find it too posh and I'd miss London too much) and that education was absolutely the most important thing. I believed them because, you know, why not? At that time, as you will remember, @yellow, we did have plenty of examples of people 'like me' who had got to the top in many many different fields, from business to the arts to politics to academia, through the power of education. It seemed a reasonable enough proposition in the early 80s. I didn't do what I really wanted to do though, and I do sort of regret that. My kids will have choices I didn't have and that's a good thing and makes it all worth while, I think.

FarrowAndBollock Mon 08-Oct-12 23:57:50

Gosh, are we using just A level and university results to measure the success of our children? I was rather hoping my children would also be mentally stable, emotionally intelligent, good team workers, able to influence others ... and happy in their chosen careers.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 00:02:58

My fondest hope for all my children (apart from the whole having a mum who doesn't die before they are done with uni) is that they should be TALL. After many years considering the issue I have realised that tallness is definitely the magic ingredient for both success and happiness. It trumps both maleness and talent (the other two big factors for s&h).

I am not tall.

Neither it seems, are my children and it looks like their destiny is to remain short (despite the fact that I married a very tall man).

It's desperately disappointing. Yet another instance in which I have failed as a mother.

I might buy a rack for Xmas. It's too late for the older two but they might yet be hope for teeny tiny DD2.

Way2Go Tue 09-Oct-12 00:10:37

What I like to do when Xenia trots out statistics supporting her belief that SAHM are damaging their children is trot out some statistics on how much damage having parents that have gone through an acrimonious divorce does to children.

For example, see here or here. I could find many more examples if I wished. Children of divorce have higher rates of divorce themselves, higher rates of alcohol misuse, higher rates of mental health issues and, ironically for Xenia, are more likely to have low incomes.

I don't want this to cause any offence to any single parents but I am, hopeful, that it may make Xenia think again before rehashing the same old anti SAHM stuff over and over again with no consideration for who she offends.

madwomanintheattic Tue 09-Oct-12 04:36:54

Arid Bluestocking. <feels a name change coming on>

jabed Tue 09-Oct-12 06:42:27

I see you have hijaked my apology thread as a SAHM thread. I had intended it to be an open apology and no more

I guess that must have been what upset you all so much then, not my other comments. I do wish though you would get things right instead of making false attributions since that appears to be what caused the original troubles.

My DW chooses to stay at home. I support her in that because it is her choice. I do not make her stay at home (I had always thought she would return to work but she does not wish it). She is well educated and intelligent and gifted even if you cannot/do not want to accept / believe that.

My understanding from the research is that
a) educational achievement is highly correlated to parental income (social class) and attainment of mothers educationally

b) In early years SAHM 's seem to advantage their DC educationally compared to those who return to work

c) Mothers who work seem to do so for their own health and enjoyment rather than their DC (controversial?)

e) Having two parents - mum and dad ,no data on siame sex relationships -and a stable home tends to give DC a good start emotionally and educationally.

I think ladies ( women) should have a choice. It concerns me that too many ladies ( women) use feminism to opress their own gender and prevent that choice and disrespect that choice.

This of course is when there is a choice and returning to work is not done for economic reasons as seems to often to be the case.

Now I have to work. I will be late home. I was writing a report yesterday and I have to attend the after school meeting with that today. See you all later.

Have a nice day smile

Sparklingbrook Tue 09-Oct-12 06:46:46

Writing a report? You were on here all day yesterday jabed. grin And as for thread hijack-you are the thread hijack king. grin

See you later.....

Xenia Tue 09-Oct-12 07:08:35

Mothers who work hugely benefit their chidlren and any conned into thinking otherwise and staying home are just listening to propaganda. Until women own 50% of the world's wealth - it is currently 1% they own - every woman who stays home damages other women at work and their children. The personal is political.Women at home present an image to chidlren that women earn nothing, serve men and clean and do childcare (and in some cases provide sex) in return for board and care whilst their man earns all the money. It is a model many people want to abolish and we are succeeding but we have a long way to go before most mumsnetters earn the 10x what their husband does that I do, a very very very long way to go.

Sparklingbrook Tue 09-Oct-12 07:13:50

grin Xenia.

StillSquiffy Tue 09-Oct-12 07:24:49

Let it out, way2go, am sure you feel better for it, and if anyone can take it like a man, Xenia can. As insults go, I prefer wit or sarcasm myself, but hey! Each to their own.

Back to a point being made earlier, about outcomes for children of working mums, and someone asked whether there is any research. Answer is yes. Most research shows the clearest correlation is between mother's educational level and childrens outcomes, but THIS one shows also that mothers who worked had a positive impact on their children's educational attainment. I do add a small caveat, however: the research paper does reflect the research results I have seen before, but it appears to be an abridged article, without citations. As such I would expect to find a full version if I were to use this for academic purposes.

There is also (to save anyone digging around) research published in March 2011 by the rowntree foundation that suggests outcomes less good where mothers work full time. However, even this research (trotted out with great frequency to prove working mums are bad for children) states this (quoted in full)

Children of more highly educated parents tended to have higher educational attainments and a lower probability of being economically inactive as a young adult. There was also a strong, positive association between parents' occupational status and the probability that their children would gain A-level qualifications. Higher earnings capacity for either parent was generally associated with higher educational attainments for their child and a lower risk of giving birth before the age of 21 for their daughters.

Yellowtip Tue 09-Oct-12 08:02:25

Oh come on Xenia, do the survey - put your £££ where your mouth is, we need more/ your stats.

LeBFG Tue 09-Oct-12 08:32:07

Interesting that someone mentioned earlier about the children of working mums in low income areas doing worse at school. Ancedotally, this is definately what I remember from my period teaching at seconday school. These kids were called 'latch-door kids'. They would have to let themselves in the door at the end of the school day - often cooking for other younger siblings, older ones mothering younger ones, that sort of thing. They really were one of the worst performing groups because they never had time for homework and at school they just wanted to run around like children and not pretend to be adults anymore.

I just tend to read and larf at Xenia's posts. Long may she continue of MN for a bit of light relief. She is poles apart from myself, and I suspect many others on here, that I find it refreshing to hear from her from time to time.

I particularly like the 100k earners producing likewise 'successful' offspring. There is so much wrong with this assertion. But the main, and not least (and has already been pointed out) objection is to question, do we really want to measure success in terms of hours away from family and income? Most high earners I've met in life are total wankers. IMO, the people that want to chase this sort of reward are pretty objectionable, self-centred and insecure types. They very frequently have drink problems and tumultuous love lives. No surprises there then.

And the other bit about staying at home means you are a servile, stepford-type wifey is just a bit of extremist feminist clap-trap invented to be provocative.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 09:20:55

LeBFG biscuit

It's a special kind of poster that can make Xenia look polite and well considered.

StillSquiffy Tue 09-Oct-12 09:27:57

Yellowtip - check the links in the thread I posted for stats.

Anecdotally, checking the data for DC (academic, independent) school, if I look at the top two children academically in each year (per awards day info), the split seems to be pretty much 50-50 in terms of whether the children have SAHM vs WOHM. Interestingly, the ones in this group with SAHM do have pretty clever mothers even if they don't work any longer (eg: one had been a nuclear physicist, another had been a GP). Whilst extrapolating this is impossible of course, the anecdotal evidence does match the research:- the success and status of the mother seems to follow through to children, regardless of whether she is working or not.....which is kinda neat, and does support some of Xenias comments.

Of course, there will be anomalies (Mark Thatcher)

rabbitstew Tue 09-Oct-12 10:22:19

Well, if I were Xenia, I'd have a colossal chip on my shoulder, too. Albeit she earns LOADS of money (apparently), she clearly isn't in a position of any genuine power and hardly employs anyone, instead working from home and being a surreptious mumsy who likes to ensure she always gets to see her children's plays and performances. She only earns money, she doesn't have influence... oh dear. Not good for women's lib at all. She probably also feels a bit defensive about the early age she started producing children and the large number of children she has inflicted on an overpopulated world - I'll bet she's had people comment on that, making her feel the need to justify her decision to start breeding quite so early and liberally with a man she couldn't get to stick around. Of course, it was his fault - all men are weak and women don't have enough power to keep the b*ggers under control.
And if that doesn't get my own back for apparently being harmful to my children by choosing to stay at home with them for the first few years of their lives, I don't know what does....

rabbitstew Tue 09-Oct-12 10:22:53

(should read surreptitious)

rabbitstew Tue 09-Oct-12 10:27:06

And no, I don't always find Xenia's comments light entertainment and funny - I only find that when she moderates them to the genuinely reasoned, rather than downright offensive. She is clearly an intelligent woman with interesting things to say, but she keeps going and spoiling it all by going OTT.

rabbitstew Tue 09-Oct-12 10:29:10

So I thought I'd join in...

Xenia Tue 09-Oct-12 10:39:06

I don't think the fact I have a lot of children is a bad thing for the planet. Indeed I have argued here elsewhere that we need incentives for bright hard working feminist women to have lots of babies as our chidlren do best rather than the perverse incentives the UK has for unemployed 16 year olds to bear children who then get housed and paid for doing so.

Many many City workers can diarise the school play. It is not a problem at all. As soon as you get the school calendar men and women put those types of dates in and to an extent it depends on your interests. I know plenty of fathers who never miss a rugby match - somie take time out even on work days to attend children's matches and drive them round the country (I would have to be paid a lot to go to rugby so that isn't a priority).

I don't think I've ever said what I earn.

rabbitstew Tue 09-Oct-12 10:54:18

Xenia - You've said you own an island and implied you earn 10 times the salary of your ex husband and regularly state that you can easily afford to educate all your children privately.... you also don't seem to know or understand very much about what highly intelligent women who choose to stay at home with their children when they are very small are actually doing with their time, since you take the ridiculous male view that all they could possibly be doing of any use is bottom wiping and house cleaning. But then, what would you know, as you never tried it? You condemn whole swathes of women through your own ignorance and care nothing in any event of the large numbers of women who however hard they worked, would never earn what you earn, even in a society where men and women were treated entirely equally, and therefore could never ensure the quality of childcare which you have assured for your children, unless they and/or their partners did the childcare and/or educating of their children themselves.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 10:54:54

Diarising the school play or concert is only ever an issue if the date is set at relatively short notice.

rabbitstew Tue 09-Oct-12 10:57:39

The date regularly is set at short notice in many, many schools. As are parents' evenings, etc. Lack of understanding of other peoples' lives and arrangements generally leads to sweeping statements and assumptions...

meditrina Tue 09-Oct-12 10:59:21

I had always thought (but do not have links handy to demonstrate) that the biggest indicator was the educational level of the mother, whether or not she takes a sabbatical to look after children.

Success, wealth and utility are not synonyms.

rabbitstew Tue 09-Oct-12 10:59:59

But then, Xenia has already said before that she happily and deliberately keeps herself separate from the majority of people, feels no need to mix with them or try to understand them. Yet she preaches to them by turning her personal viewpoint into a political statement of feminist intent.

Houseworkprocrastinator Tue 09-Oct-12 11:00:58

Xenia - I am so pleased you feel you have brought up the best most successful children because of your influence on them and all the money you have. It is nice to feel proud of your children. (and yourself as a mother)

I will feel I have been successful as a mother (stay at home by the way) if my children grow up happy. Enjoy their life (even if that means staying at home with thier own children) and if they are kind and polite to other people and not belittle, judge or insult others even if they don't agree with them.

LeBFG Tue 09-Oct-12 11:07:51

Thanks awfully for the biscuit MordionAgenos. It's my very first, I'll treasure it smile. Though, I'm don't think I actually deserve it unfortunately. If you read my post in it's entirety, I find it hard that someone may think I make Xenia look polite and well considered. Each to their own I suppose.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 12:15:17

@rabbit that was kind of my point! grin It's all very well Xenia pointing out that senior people can organise their own schedules to a large extent. We can. But once we have booked in an overseas trip or speaking engagement or similar then that's almost always it - you end up missing the thing. Of the 3 schools we have, 2 of them are real types. I think they do it on purpose to zing the working parents. sad

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 12:24:05

Well, LeBFG perhaps you would like being described as pretty objectionable, self-centred and insecure. Or They very frequently have drink problems and tumultuous love lives I didn't. I've never seen Xenia describe SAHMs as typically having drink problems and tumultuous love lives. You certainly did make Xenia look polite. and also well researched since your ridiculous hyperbole was wildly inaccurate. Nobody I work with could be described like that. I'm sure there are some reasonably well paid people who are like that, of course, but I don't know any. And if you genuinely do (and I doubt it) then I think it would say more about you than the income bracket in general.

Perhaps you were just projecting your own drinking habits on to others, hmm?

rabbitstew Tue 09-Oct-12 12:32:29

@mordion... ah, I see grin.

(Although, of course, I don't think schools do do it on purpose to annoy working parents, they just have to juggle lots of competing interests themselves! grin).

rabbitstew Tue 09-Oct-12 12:35:13

ps I'm sure Xenia will inform you that if you chose the correct school for your child, somewhere in North London, you would not have the problem of last minute-ism, because all the parents there are working parents and wouldn't stand for such shenanigans from their child's school. gringrin

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 12:43:48

Ah, but see, I was born in North London, I don't need to live there now like some kind of desperate Northern Arriviste. grin

I have a colleague who has a daughter at Habs though and he is ALWAYS moaning about missing school things because of short notice. So. And he neither has a drink problem nor, so far as I am aware, a tumultuous love life. grin

LeBFG Tue 09-Oct-12 13:22:15

Ahh, Moridon, now I see what you didn't like about my post. I never intended my post to be anything other than anecdotal (surely better than Xenia speculation?). Using phrases like 'IMO' and 'IME' is MN speciality. Why can't I do the same? FWIW, I've represented my RL experiences pretty accurately as so I regret not a single word. The people I know who fall into this group are top level civil servants, business owners and one city stock-n-shares type if that helps.

Xenia might not have said exactly the same about SAHM as what I wrote about high earners, but I expect many would find what she describes as at least as objectionable, if not more so.

I personally find the phrase Women at home present an image to chidlren that women earn nothing, serve men and clean and do childcare (and in some cases provide sex) far more objectionable than you implying I have a drink habit grin.

Colleger Tue 09-Oct-12 13:40:45

I don't know where we got to in this thread but I do agree that Feminists, on the whole, do women a disservice.

The biggest gift a women can give to herself, her children and society is to be there for them emotionally, physically and spiritually. Women rule the earth - why can't feminists see that? No one needs money to rule the world!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 09-Oct-12 13:46:23

Xenia and Jabed both despise state schools, but whilst Jabed despises their pupils because they're an ill-educated rabble who throw chairs and swear and hate his clever child and wouldn't employ him, Xenia despises them because their stupid parents failed to own enough money and now they're all going to be forced to study NVQs in Hair and Beauty before earning a deservedly low wage as a cleaner and then staying at home with their own manky offspring, thus completing the circle.

It goes without saying that both are wrong, and I find little to choose between them. Xenia's blithe sweeping and offensive statements and her utter lack of any sense of how rude and ill-informed she is are grating, but then Jabed's passive-aggressive balls is pretty irritating too.

Sparklingbrook Tue 09-Oct-12 13:48:00

I think they both know how irritating and grating they are Original, it's what keeps them posting. grin

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 13:51:47

LeBFG The fact that Xenia may or may not have insulted you personally or generally in the past is completely irrelevant to your ridiculous post upthread.

And her views have more of an anchor in reality than yours. We do have a serious problem with the perception of women in the workplace because of the reinforcement of stereotypes arising from SAHM. We do not have hordes of medium earners roaming the city pissed and shagging everything that moves. Tumultuously.

Yellowtip Tue 09-Oct-12 14:10:25

Mordion I think it's arguable that there did at least used to be widespread and tumultuous shagging which reached its zenith around the time of Big Bang.

StillSquiffy Tue 09-Oct-12 14:11:00

Although, to be fair, being pissed and having a tumultuous love life does sound kinda fun.

I do feel sorry for poor Jabed. I bet he started this thread thinking it would be all about him.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 14:19:31

@yellow No more than among the SAHMs of my acquaintance. Being a shagger is no respecter of income bracket. Nor is being a pisshead. It's ridiculous to claim otherwise.

Obviously I was still at university when the Big Bang happened though so maybe it was just one long orgy in the city right up until the point at which I began working when suddenly, magically, most people transformed into hard working and, basically, worried, drones. But somehow I doubt that. People like to demonise those on medium incomes but it's very infantile, don't you think? We both know it's not really like that at all.

AbigailAdams Tue 09-Oct-12 14:19:46

I don't think many people on this thread are feminists tbh Colleger. The way the parenting choices of women are being disparaged. Very little analysis of why people make the choices they do and no analysis (or mention) of the men's choices. Childcare is most definitely still a female responsibility. Even to those who claim to have devolved it. They are still focussing on the choices women make rather than the men's choices.

Feminists, in general would like childcare to be afforded a similar status as salaried work in the Patriarchy and more flexibility around the workplace for everyone. At the moment the choices women make are still loaded because society is still set up with men's child free interests at its heart.

Yellowtip Tue 09-Oct-12 14:25:18

I think things did change then yes. I think the eighties were probably different from what went before and what came after.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 14:27:26

I'd be quite open to being a pissed up tumultuous shagger, as it happens. Apart from the whole not drinking thing. And the being spectacularly ugly. grin Oh, and the fact that these days everyone is working incredibly hard just to stay afloat (by which, typically for professional services partnerships at the moment means ahead of the projected pension liabilities), and there's no time for drinking (heroic or otherwise) or conspicuously tumultuous shagging either.

Xenia Tue 09-Oct-12 14:28:54

Anyone who cons a woman into thinking that staying home minding babies and cleaning is some kind of higher really interseting calling is really trying to chain her to a rather dull sink. Very few weomen want a life like that. They want instead a balanced life in the wider world where like men they have a nice family life and earn money. That is the reality.

The fact the press continuously suggest wrongly that a working mother but never of course a working father damgaes a child is something women need to work to corret and indeed show the opposite - that there is little as a mother or father you can do better for your child after you love and care for it as all working parents do anyway, as earn it a better standard of living (unless you want to live in North Korea - which I am reading a book about at present or a commune or some society which is very different from ours).

Affording childcare similar status to paid work defies reality -0 it is low paid and any idiot can do it and all women at all times in history and men have tried to outsource most of it as soon as they can afford it because it's as dull as ditchwater.

What women need to do is ensure their man does at least 50% of the dull domestic stuff they get lumbered with and not tolerate even for one day a sexist man. Before you get pregnant suggest he visits nurseries or drafts the advert for the nanny.

NotForTurning Tue 09-Oct-12 14:29:58

A newbie daring to chime in here but surely anyone representing a 'caricature' viewpoint 'a la Xenia/Jabed', is simply intending to spark debate, challenge a particular viewpoint and ignite lateral thinking?

Isn't that what Jabed and Xenia are doing on MN and don't we need more like them, to get us stirred up enough to think and respond - whether that's for or against their views?

I wouldn't take anything said on MN to heart but might use the 'provocation' to rethink an old opinion. Probably neither is as extreme in RL as they come across on an internet forum, so why attack back so personally?

Re. outcomes for children - the evidence cited here seems to me to enhance the view that mothers are crucial in and out of the home, if their educational attainment (rather than the father's) has such an impact on children's 'success and wellbeing'.

Doesn't this suggest that it's not the quantity but the quality of contact between mother and child, plus probably some genetic inheritance thrown into the mix too, that matters, rather than whether the mother is full time in the home?

Someone else has probably said this more eloquently and I'm merely thinking aloud....

LeBFG Tue 09-Oct-12 14:31:14

You're a very odd poster Mordion. My views have an anchor in reality because ....err, they are my reality. I appreciate yours and Xenia's reality is different to mine. Why can't you appreciate mine too?

Clearly high/medium or any level earners don't roam the city pissed and shagging because they are...erm, earning. I posted what I said because I think you need to have a particular mind-set to want to bag loadsa money. I do stand by this, ridiculous as it may seem to you. Similarly, you have to have a different mind-set if you decide family is more important than money and to work on building relationships at home.

Xenia Tue 09-Oct-12 14:34:55

I have always thought children aer 50% nature and 50% nurture and I still remain of that view. I have non identical twins so that is a good test too and I have 5 children so lots of compare.

Despite what I write about working mothers I know what children want most is parents who are content. So if you are home and moaning all the time, on the wine by 5pm or cocaine or donuts and everything you say to them is negative or get home from work and you are nag nag nagging those poor children whetehr you are male or female they won't be happy. Most parents are not contented when doing 24/7 childcare or 24/7 work and not child exposure. Most of us want a balance which most working parents of either gender achieve and is best for children and parents.

A lot of being a parent of either gender is how you interact with those children. Is the relationship fraught with trouble and upsetting - we allk now how much parents can f uck up their children etc or are the family relationships fun and loving. I don't rate highly my income, our lovely home or anything like that above the fact that I and I think the children are happy. I rate very very highly calm, peace, laughter. Most parents are happiest when they have work and children and some leisure in their lives. As children get older you get more spare time and it becomes easier. Perhaps that is why men and women 50 - 70 are apparently the happiest of any in the country. In that case the best is yet to come for us all and we are lucky.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 09-Oct-12 14:36:06

No, notforturning, because both are rude and dismissive and frequently offensive. Two of them is enough.

Some people like being at home when their children are small, some would like to but can't, some prefer not to. Fine by me.

Sparklingbrook Tue 09-Oct-12 14:36:43

I am glad you have mentioned happiness Xenia. Isn't that what it's all about really?

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 14:40:48

Actually, i suspect it's not 'mothers' that are important but 'the main caregiver'. Or both parents. Historically, mothers have been more involved with their children so the research we have is predicated on that assumption/previously fairly accurate fact. These days it's becoming less true. Things are changing, not fast enough for sure, but change is definitely happening (that's why there is such a debate, really - if there were no changes afoot nobody would feel threatened). I think in the case of my own children, DH is easily as influential on them as I am. Or at least, we both have massive influence and generally speaking it coincides. For myself and my sister, although our dad worked full time I think he did have a big impact on us, and he was much more involved in our intellectual/cultural lives than most of our friends' fathers. That is even more the case with DH and our DCs.

In our house there are some areas which are definitely 'mum' or 'dad'. some of the 'mum' areas are what you'd expect - hair is a biggie (DH either can't or won't deal with DD2's long curly hair and she definitely won't let him try anyway), some of them aren't. Same with the 'dad' areas. But mainly, we are either conducting a war of attrition over some bit of housework neither wants to do, or we are just all mucking in with the vague idea of doing as little as we possibly can get away with of the boring stuff so we have plenty of time for the interesting stuff.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 14:52:28

LeBFG Whereas I think it is you who are odd. And also wrong.

I posted what I said because I think you need to have a particular mind-set to want to bag loadsa money. I do stand by this, ridiculous as it may seem to you. Similarly, you have to have a different mind-set if you decide family is more important than money and to work on building relationships at home.

You may want to stand by your opinion but that doesn't make it right. I earn rather more than the figure you chose to attach to those insulting personal characteristics - what were they now? Oh yes pretty objectionable, self centred So do many of the people I work with on a day to day basis. Some of them earn way more. Very few of them are either objectionable or self centred and those that are have become financially 'successful' despite not because of those characteristics. And what possible basis do you have for saying that SAHMs are the only people who think that family is more important than money? I think that family is more important than money but you can't live on air and wishes. It's because I think that family is more important than anything that I work in order to, you know, keep a roof over our heads. Most of my colleagues also clearly think family is the most important thing (I chose the particular role I am in because of this, in fact.)

Your imagination is clearly very poor - and you are choosing to attribute all sorts of negative characteristics including not valuing family to people who have taken a different path to you because of this. Possibly this is out of envy, but maybe its just out of ignorance. You are cut from exactly the same cloth as those who think all SAHMs are thick. Exactly the same cloth.

NotForTurning Tue 09-Oct-12 14:57:24

Interesting point, Mordion, about data being based on the fact that mothers were/are involved with children more and so their educational level was/is the most important factor.

So it follows that as men become more involved with the day-to-day childcare/input, their level of educational attainment will have greater impact too?

Why is educational level a factor, I wonder? What about extremely high achieving intellectuals who have no ability to do the nurturing side of childcare - whether male or female - versus those who attained little educationally but are very good at tuning in to their children's emotional needs?

Are there hidden and unmeasured factors within those studies mentioned, like not just educational attainment but also happiness or ability to be warm and nurturing with children etc etc?

Have there been any studies done on men who have brought up children without women around - whether that's a mother or any other significant females?

Is it IQ level or educational attainment or EQ plus IQ or what - in caregivers -that elicits thriving children?

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 15:04:52

I imagine those who attained little educationally but are very good at being loving and caring produce little mini-mes just like the rest of us do, to a greater or lesser extent. If education is seen as an incredibly important thing, then the kids will either go with that, or rebel against it - but that idea will still be one of their central touchstones whether or not they buy into it or vehemently oppose it. If education is seen as way down the scale of relevance, then I imagine there will be less to either buy into or rebel against. And perhaps that might be no bad thing? A bit like faith, perhaps? It's an issue (either in a good or bad way) for those of us who grew up in households where there was religion, but for those who grew up in households where it wasn't a thing, it's not a thing for them either, generally, right?

meditrina Tue 09-Oct-12 15:08:13

Educational attainment is measurable, and there is a strong correlation between that and good outcomes for children.

Those who are well educated tend to have wider horizons, which means that SAHMing and finding it dull are not inextricably linked. Unless of course you are limited in your thinking and cannot conceive that it is possible to have a vibrant life without paid employment.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 15:11:23

I certainly wouldn't find being a SAHM dull. grin I would love it. Although I don't imagine there would be any more housework done than is now, and I certainly wouldn't suddenly stop being dyspraxic or start being interesting in things I can't do (like cooking). But it would be absolutely brilliant.

However I'm reasonably convinced my DCs would view such an outcome with horror.

LeBFG Tue 09-Oct-12 15:15:38

I think most people, including myself, would agree with your post, Xenia Tue 09-Oct-12 14:34:55. The important bit for me being what children want most is parents who are content..

I know of more women who would prefer to stop working than would go back to work in the first year of their DCs lives. It seems to me more women in our society would be happier working less not more. Women being the main caregiver in our society (all societies) is no coincidence. In general, it really is what women want.

Oh, Mordian, get it right. I'm wrong, in your opinion. Perhaps I've just had the misfortune of meeting some pretty objectionable rich people - I would never say something as crass as ALL rich people are like the ones I've met and I think that's where you are (deliberately?) misunderstanding me. I've only stated things are they are based on my experiences.

If you are really working just to earn the basic things such as a roof over your family's head you wouldn't need to be earning so much. You could easily work part-time with your kind of salary. So, perhaps to some extent you are choosing earning money to spending time at home. I have no comment to make except that is your choice.

breadandbutterfly Tue 09-Oct-12 15:19:42

I am aware of the research showing that children of highly-educated mothers do bst. i wonder how that fitted in in earlier generations, where women were not generally highly educated, or in other cultures - anyone aware of any research on this?

Also, wondering aloud, whether there is any difference between the mother's impact on boys' and girls' attainment or whether in fact boys are more influenced by their fathers? I say this as my ds definitely seems to be (consciously or otherwise) following his dad in terms of outlook,approach to work etc - anyone seen any research on this?

LeBFG Tue 09-Oct-12 15:21:58

IQ is about 70% heritable or maybe more. The great determinant of adult IQ is parents' IQ. So, clearly a measure of IQ is academic achievement and this runs in families too. The nuture bit is less than some of us may suppose.

breadandbutterfly Tue 09-Oct-12 15:22:36

Xenia - re your post claiming that looking after babies is intrinsically boring and unsilled - all I can say is that you must have had much duller babies than mine. Mine were fascinating and I could quite happily have spent hour just watching them sleep. smile

breadandbutterfly Tue 09-Oct-12 15:22:48


MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 15:29:03

@LeBFG No I couldn't work part time. You can't just slice and dice a job and say 'I'll work half the time, give me half the salary'. that is undoubtedly a possibility in some public sector jobs but not so much in the real world.

I spend plenty of time at home, thanks. I work from home about 50% of the time. If I was earning less money I would probably be at home less too (because I would be less senior and therefore less able to dictate what I will and will not do).

You stated very clearly that you believe that you have to have a mindset that is self centred and objectionable to earn a medium range salary. Your belief is wrong, it's nothing to do with my opinion, it's to do with actual fact. You made an inaccurate statement. Some people who earn that sort of money are gits probably but some are lovely. and most of us are in the middle.

I'm not misunderstanding you at all, you made a ridiculous generalisation and are now trying to row back from it while hoping that nobody notices.

It must be dreadful to have such a paucity of imagination - you can't accept that people earning what you consider to be mega-bucks (it actually really isn't) can be anything other than nasty driven ball breakers who don't think family is more important than money. You can't imagine that there may be women who don't want to work more rather than less (I'd love to work less but I'm very lazy ). I know plenty of women who are perfectly happy working hard but who still value their families more than 'money'. You can't imagine people taking pleasure in doing a job well rather than in the money they earn from it (that is sometimes a driver for me - I don't like doing shoddy work, sometimes)

slipshodsibyl Tue 09-Oct-12 15:33:11

*Xenia and Jabed both despise state schools, but whilst Jabed despises their pupils because they're an ill-educated rabble who throw chairs and swear and hate his clever child and wouldn't employ him, Xenia despises them because their stupid parents failed to own enough money and now they're all going to be forced to study NVQs in Hair and Beauty before earning a deservedly low wage as a cleaner and then staying at home with their own manky offspring, thus completing the circle.

It goes without saying that both are wrong, and I find little to choose between them. Xenia's blithe sweeping and offensive statements and her utter lack of any sense of how rude and ill-informed she is are grating, but then Jabed's passive-aggressive balls is pretty irritating too*

I find your posts far more irritating. The above quote is not an accurate paraphrase of what either Xenia or Jabed says. It is what you have decided they mean. Actually neither of them ever launch personal attacks in the way some of your posts appear to. Neither do they use ad hominem argument as you do (which is, of course no argument at all).

You claim to support inclusiveness, acceptance of all and you strongly support maintained schools and, by implication, the diversity and acceptance that the philosophy and practice of the best embrace, yet appear unwilling to accept or include those whose opinions differ from your own. I may disagree sometimes with the above posters but am never offended by them. How can you be offended by an idea or opinion? I am offended by those who are rude about individual posters however.

And LBFG, How on earth can you stand behind a silly statement like yours about the morals and personalities of those who earn a good salary?

slipshodsibyl Tue 09-Oct-12 15:46:22

Sorry - all the first half should be in quotation marks fro TOSNs post

LeBFG Tue 09-Oct-12 16:04:52

I said I think you need to have a particular mind-set to want to bag loadsa money. and is not the same as saying you have to have a mindset that is self centred and objectionable to earn a medium range salary.. I'm stating an opinion, you are trying to make it sound as if I was quoting a fact.

Slipshod: I stand behind what I have observed to be the case. That's all. My sample size isn't enormous and the most highly intelligent and well educated people have not been very high earners. I've meet many well balanced people from all wallks of life, independant of many factors. All the rich sorts I've met really do fall into my characterisation. Really. They are all also characterised by a drive for getting rich. My comments are directed at those people. I appreciate that Mordion may not be motivated by this AND she may be rich but I personally don't know anyone who falls into that category.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 16:16:13

We are talking about the same amount of money. You quoted an income bracket and then subsequently described it as 'loadsa money' which it isn't (it's high earnings for a wage slave but it;s peanuts to a ruthless captain of industry or an island owning partner in a professional services firm).

You need to sort your definitions out. And you need to decide whether you are talking about millionaires or well earning professionals. And even then while it might be think of anyone earning more than me as automatically nasty - in real life, they won't be.

And I'll say it again - the fact that the only people you know in a certain income bracket are according to you singularly unpleasant says more about you than it does about everyone else in that income bracket.

LeBFG Tue 09-Oct-12 16:37:59

I certainly seemed to have stirred up something with you Mordion. I don't know anyone who owns islands. Did the categories of people I know suggest that to you? They were people earning around the 100k mark and one was significantly richer than that - he no longer needed to work at 45 if that gives you any additional information. I care very little for what they earn as either their private lives were a disaster (and I wouldn't want to exchange my live for that) or they were particularly unpleasant, backstabbing people (not to me, just found out through the stories they proudly recounted).

I also (boringly) did not say or suggest, and do not think, that I think of anyone earning more than me as automatically nasty. Make what conclusions you will.

Yellowtip Tue 09-Oct-12 16:38:15

I agree that it's very odd indeed only to be acquainted with only one type of rich person BFG.

How about top of the rung consultants? Robert Winston types (less the telly). Motivated by greed? Same kind of income. It's pretty weak to generalise in that way when the premise patently can't hold good.

fabsmum Tue 09-Oct-12 16:47:38

Xenia, the vast majority of working mothers earn less tha 30k a year and can't afford to send their children to private school.

On the strength of your argument it would be reasonable to say that those women who marry rich men are the most likely to have successful children, regardless of how much they earn, as they can then afford school fees!

Sparklingbrook Tue 09-Oct-12 16:49:58

I imagine in all these 'ideal' scenarios of mega bucks wage earning, private schools and 'good outcomes' all family members are in very good health. sad

LeBFG Tue 09-Oct-12 16:50:19

I would speculate (don't know any) that the sorts of people you are talking about Yellowtip are motivated mainly by job and much less so by money. I'm not trying to draw insightful conclusions. To put my original post into context (these things get lost as the thread progresses), this was the original paragraph Mordion started on:

I particularly like the 100k earners producing likewise 'successful' offspring. There is so much wrong with this assertion. But the main, and not least (and has already been pointed out) objection is to question, do we really want to measure success in terms of hours away from family and income? Most high earners I've met in life are total wankers. IMO, the people that want to chase this sort of reward are pretty objectionable, self-centred and insecure types. They very frequently have drink problems and tumultuous love lives. No surprises there then.

I talked about people chasing the reward (money) and the high earners I've met IRL. That's all. All I wanted to say was: what's the goal of 'being successful' anyway? You can agree or not. But please don't make the mistake Mordion is making by confounding personal opinion with grand theorising.

Yellowtip Tue 09-Oct-12 16:55:32

One of our godfathers earned sufficient in the City that he'd banked enough not to have to work after the age of 40 (in fact he became a teacher but that wasn't for money). Rock solid marriage to one of my university friends, hugely popular and thoroughly nice. An ex-colleague has earned enough in banking to buy his own large manor house in Glos., also a long happy marriage, keeps bees, sculpts, does charity work - has always been lovely, unlikely to change. He does still work but doesn't need to - he just wants to; enjoys the job. That's just the first couple who spring to mind. In fact I remember being interviewed at one particular merchant bank where the bloke interviewing me took time out to say that the bank (top at the time) had no room for backstabbers - anyone who slipped through the net and started backstabbing would be swiftly kicked out.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 16:57:23

LeBFG Xenia famously owns an island. And earns considerably more than the £100K mark and might consider herself rich. Someone earning £100k is unlikely to be rich however, at least, not from earned income (there may be wealthy people who choose to work and also earn a decent income).

I'm guessing you are claiming that you didn't take the anyone earning more than me is evil line because there is a gap between your income and the level at which you set the 'is evil' bar (which let's remind ourselves you set at just £100k). However this is clearly bobbins. You just cannot set an arbitrary financial limit and say everyone below that is fine, everyone above that is a pisshead and a tumultuous shagger. Well, I mean you can, obviously, but don't be surprised at people call you on it.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 16:59:04

@leBFG I'm not the one making a mistake love. grin

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 17:02:41

Of course, I'm a complete witch grin But I'm not typical. And despite my witchiness, like my colleagues I too am not motivated by the love of money and am neither a heroic pisshead or a tumultuous shagger.

iseenodust Tue 09-Oct-12 17:07:08

breadandb DS's sports coach told us that mother's attitude to winning far more important than father's if your DC wants to be succesful. He said loads of pyschology research backed this...but I haven't a link for you.

LeBFG Tue 09-Oct-12 17:08:53

I find MNers fustrating in this respect. Someone says I know many x people do y. Everyone else says ah, but I know an x that doesn't do y or your clearly stating all x people do y or even how can you possibly state there are many x people who do y. Go figure.

Only you made up the clever arbitrary limit Mordion, but I'm beginning to expect that of you.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 17:19:57

I did not make up the arbitrary limit, you did. I can't help it if you write sloppily. Not only did you make those statements to begin with, you attempted to stand by them until more than one person was challenging you.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 17:21:25

I am now thinking of changing my twitter bio to tumultuous shagger and pisshead. Unfortunately some of my professional colleagues follow me on there, and so do some of the people from our parish, so perhaps it's not the best of ideas.

Tempting though.

Xenia Tue 09-Oct-12 17:30:03

Of course wojmen who are successful and earn a lot are no nicer or nastier than those on the breadline, minimum wage of providing sex and cleaning services to a husband at home in return for being kept by him. Also lot sof people work very hard but not smart so probably work longer hours than I do but earn in a week what I earn in an hour. I think we have seen on here before my hourly charge (which I certainly don't earn every hour (have just been out cycling for a swim for two hours) so zero earnings) is a week on the minimum wage.

As I have often said islands can cost less than a small flat in Spain although it is very good fun to have and much more exciting and I wanted one when I was 10. Ben Fogle owns an island too and he's certainly not rich (and nor am I). However we both did go to fee paying schools. Now I come to think of it Branson is an island owner and he also went to a private school. Find me an English island owner whose mother and father did not pay school fees... I'm getting slightly off track here.

Anyway the bottom line is children of working mothers do best and girls realise women can have careers they adore and be lovely mummies rather than having some stricken choice between a life in the wider world or a life of self abnegation and cleaning and boys realise girls are not glorified servants fit for nothing but domestic stuff.

pianomama Tue 09-Oct-12 17:43:49

Xenia, what's all that about "providing sex services to their husbands" ? High earning women don't have sex or do they pay men to "provide sex service" ?

Way2Go Tue 09-Oct-12 17:50:40

xenia it is very offensive to SAHM's to say that they 'provide' sex to their DH's. It is a nasty and unkind thing to say.

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 17:51:00

@pianonmama Didn't you get the memo? We have tumultuous love lives. Apparently. grin

Xenia's point about boys (and grown men) realising that girls are not glorified servants and that it is perfectly ok for a mother to work and not in any way unnatural, unwomanly, or unmotherly, is well made and important. And deserves repeating many times (until the world is a better place). The fluff round the edges isn't and doesn't. I don't know any mothers (or women who aren't mothers) in paid employment who think that SAHMs provide sex services to their husbands, or sell sex for shelter/protection etc. Everyone I know would just be nun-plussed at that suggestion and then, you know, laugh. Slightly uncomfortably. In exactly the same way as they would at the suggestion upthread that mothers who are in paid employment value money more than they value family.

Way2Go Tue 09-Oct-12 17:53:17

xenias exDH was a SAH parent. I would never make accusations as to what he was required confused to do to be provided 'board and lodging' by xenia

pianomama Tue 09-Oct-12 18:08:09

Thats interesting. In my experience of high earning motivated women and SAH fathers, the latter don't seem to cope with it very well. As kids grow up (again, from my personal experience) the marriages/prtnership often break. I remember a friend of mine who was working all hours while DH styed home with 3 kids confessed that sometimes she woul "sleep with him so he would not take his frustration on children"...

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 18:12:13

That'll probably be the trigger for the excessive drinking and the tumultuous sex then.

Perhaps I have a more interesting future in store than I had previously thought.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 09-Oct-12 18:20:06

slipshod I will quote and respond to your points in turn:

*I find your posts far more irritating. The above quote is not an accurate paraphrase of what either Xenia or Jabed says. It is what you have decided they mean. Actually neither of them ever launch personal attacks in the way some of your posts appear to. Neither do they use ad hominem argument as you do (which is, of course no argument at all).

You claim to support inclusiveness, acceptance of all and you strongly support maintained schools and, by implication, the diversity and acceptance that the philosophy and practice of the best embrace, yet appear unwilling to accept or include those whose opinions differ from your own. I may disagree sometimes with the above posters but am never offended by them. How can you be offended by an idea or opinion? I am offended by those who are rude about individual posters however. *

I'm afraid they have said all of that and more. As unbelievable and unpalatable as it may be, Jabed has said that bad manners and violent behaviour are the norm in comprehensives - or secondary moderns, or council schools, as he sometimes calls them. Xenia has said that in a comprehensive you will be steered towards hairdressing etc because that's what everyone else is doing, and she has said that good mothers get out there and earn £100k a year to send children privately. She's also made various unpleasant comments about accent, pronunciation etc as a state school problem.

That's not a personal attack, it is true. And of course it is ad hominem, because we're talking about two particular people, how could it not be?

I do support inclusiveness and diversity: that's why I and glad to say that my daughters' school would accept Jabed's and xenia's children if they wanted to go there! I'm not religious or right wing, but I'm glad my children go to school with, and debate with, people who are. By comparison, of course, my children wouldn't be allowed through the door of the schools those two posters favour.

pianomama Tue 09-Oct-12 18:23:54

I wonder if there are positive succesful stories with SAHF, like I said, few families I know in this sitution ended up in badly. Mother's were never happy with the way children were growing up, father's were frustrated with mothers, children didn't benefit greatly from being in a not very happy environment.
Dont want to set feminists off, but I think we as women are a more natural choice for caring for children and having carrers (or not). After all, we are officialy better t multi-tasking (<boasts> - I managed to supervise violin practice, cook dinner and express myself on MN at the same time in the last 20 mins)

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 09-Oct-12 18:27:04

Or perhaps we've been sold the myth that we are better at multi tasking to console us for frequently being made to do just that?

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 18:30:45

I just checked with DH and he said we are definitely doooooooooomed. sad

Ah well, never mind eh. grin

Xenia Tue 09-Oct-12 18:36:22

(Way2G, that's not true. We both worked very much full time.)

On the sex point many of the husbands of housewives get a very poor deal indeed as compulsory sex is no longer part of the marriage contract in English law and see thousands of mumsnet threads about women with children not giving their men as much sex as the man want. So in a sense housewives in breach of contract... I jest but there is a serious point - man marries clever thin woman with exciting career; woman gives up career, wears leggins all day and gets very fat and goes off sex.. man swaps wife for original version of wife,... stupidly lets second wife become a housewife too... repeats cycle ad nauseum.

The serious point is indeed as Mord says - that we need to go on and on about women who work being just right, not second rate, not trying to have it all and failing at everything, but perfectyl all right, as all right as working fathers and we need to say it until we are blue in the face - that believe it or not we have wonderful rounded lives with work and chidlren just as men have and our children do as well if not better than those of housewives.

pianomama Tue 09-Oct-12 18:37:44

Well, I would never mention this to my DH, but in the above situation if it was up to him , the dinner would have been burned, practice would not have been started and MN message would have been 5 pages long.
And TOSN, I actully enjoy multi-tasking, never felt that I was being made to do so.

Xenia Tue 09-Oct-12 18:38:12

(I think I might be being misrepresented about my views on schools too. On many mumsnet threads I have said 50% at Oxbridge come from state schools - although most are state grammars. I have never said some of the things attributed to me aboove about schools although I have said if women earn a lot they can buy the best education for their children. If they wallow in impoverished housewifery their children may languish in the worser versions of our comprehensives)

breadandbutterfly Tue 09-Oct-12 18:38:38

iseenodust - thanks.

TOSM - not sure why you're getting stick - you just said more or less verbatim exactly what jabed and xenia do say frequently.

Re the point about rich people being horrid (or drunk and promiscuous or whatever), I don't think it's essential, but it can help.

In my own line of work, if I could just abandon my principles I could be rich very quickly. Making an honest million is quite hard. Making a dishonest million is quite easy and a billion even easier eg prob the majority of modern millionaires are magnates in metals, coal, etc etc who bought up huge industries at knock-down prices eg as the Soviet Union collapsed, and are all corrupt as hell. The lesson about v powerful people in the media eg Murdoch etc seems to be that at the very least, absolute power corrupts absolutely, or possibly, absolute power tends to go to those who were v corrupt already. sad Because they are not hampered by morals in getting their way. Or possibly because a certain type of psychopathy leads people to seek power and money as a visible symbol of that power.)

Way2Go Tue 09-Oct-12 18:40:35

xenia fair enough, sorry, I thought you had said he was a SAH parent.

fabsmum Tue 09-Oct-12 18:40:36

What I find really odd about Xenia's assertion that everyone should get out there and earn mega-bucks to send their children to private school, is the assumption it's based on that everyone CAN earn 100K a year if they just want it enough.

Where is the evidence that everyone can do everything, as long as the desire is there?

I'd love to be a surgeon, but I don't have it in me. Or to be a top flight lawyer or an accountant.

I think it's incredibly cruel, arrogant and a bit... mad... to tell people that there is one way to be a good parent, and that is to earn loads of money, when most people simply aren't capable of succeeding in the sorts of jobs that pay those salaries.

I think everyone has strengths and must play to them. Some women have amazing patience and creativity with small children, and for those mothers staying at home is fulfilling and exciting. I think children who have mothers like this are incredibly lucky. Other women have no patience and find caring with their small children boring and beneath them. Those women are best off contracting this care out to someone who will take pleasure in their child.

On a personal note, I chose to be at home with my children because I couldn't enjoy life when I was working and running a home. And I really, really treasure the time I spent with them. I wasn't thinking about turning them into captains of industry, I was just enjoying being with them. I honestly can't think of anything I could have done with my time that would have given me or them more happiness.

breadandbutterfly Tue 09-Oct-12 18:43:29

Well said fabsmum. Though I could have earned 100K fairly easily, I chose not to for the reasons you describe - because money is worth a lot less than being around dcs.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 09-Oct-12 18:43:42

Thanks bread

The thing is, what actually happens when everyone earns £100k and uses private school etc? How will that work? Or do we accept there must always be some dross who will wipe the bottoms etc?

breadandbutterfly Tue 09-Oct-12 18:45:19

ubermenschen and untermenschen, TOSM - and look where that idea got us last time. hmm

breadandbutterfly Tue 09-Oct-12 18:47:59

That is,of course, what the Tories are aiming at...

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 18:52:15

Sigh. I'm obviously in the wrong line of business given that it;s obviously very easy to earn £100k in some other, unspecified, lines of work. sad Again, how sad.

Way2Go Tue 09-Oct-12 18:52:15

Nice post Fabmum

I was mostly a SAHM and enjoyed it immensely. I loved not working. My DH is lovely and has always respected me in every way possible, as I have him. The suggestion I would have sex with him for 'board and lodging' is offensive to me and to him.

kerala Tue 09-Oct-12 18:54:34

au contraire about fat and frumpy. The SAHM I know are super slim and slinky from all the gym/sport opportunities their lives afford them.

Also I consider the term "housewife" outdated and borderline offensive - along with "career girls" its a way of belittling women.

Silibilimili Tue 09-Oct-12 18:56:57

I don't find xenia. offensive. I find her views ill conceived, and I feel she is a bored housewife making up on here what may have been but overall I find her refreshing, intelligent and consistent in her views. Whatever they are.

It's people like rabbit who grate/irritate me as they are so verbose. And even after reading loads and loads from them, you still can't figure out what they are trying to get at or what camp they are in. Sorry rabbit, I like you really. Then I read posts from bread, who always seems to echo rabbit, and I think they are one and the same.

Sparklingbrook Tue 09-Oct-12 18:57:57

Anyway, when's jabed back? His thread is even more hijacked than before.

Yellowtip Tue 09-Oct-12 18:58:20

The thing which suggests to me that Xenia's success is down overwhelmingly to sheer hard work rather than high intelligence is that her arguments are so black and white. There's a world out there beyond the N.London commercial law ghetto, where the vast majority live.

Yellowtip Tue 09-Oct-12 19:01:56

Well it's not all about jabed, so he's probably gone off to get pissed and have tumultuous sex (he must be v. v. rich, only working part time as a teacher and having a SAHDW.)

Silibilimili Tue 09-Oct-12 19:02:53

Maybe they are in 'benefits'????hmm

Silibilimili Tue 09-Oct-12 19:03:37

I also feel xenia means well and tries to inspire.

Sparklingbrook Tue 09-Oct-12 19:05:09

Inspire? Sili. To do what exactly?

Silibilimili Tue 09-Oct-12 19:08:11

spark, inspire women to do well. To go for it. I read her responses on the 'how to earn 1000 a month' thread and thought she gave good advice. Sometimes I'll conceived and arrogant but generally well meaning.

Silibilimili Tue 09-Oct-12 19:08:39

I'll = ill.

breadandbutterfly Tue 09-Oct-12 19:09:01

I like rabbit's posts, sili, but we have disagreed on plenty of stuff, so no, not the same.

I tend to find the majority of your posts come across as ad hominem attacks, and in that you remind me of no-one else at all.

teacherwith2kids Tue 09-Oct-12 19:14:04

Fabsmum, Just wanted to say that was a great post!

[TW2K worries about which other posters she reminds people of ...grin ]

rabbitstew Tue 09-Oct-12 19:30:47

I find when Xenia is being in reasonable mode, rather than rabid, she has some interesting thoughts and opinions. I find the same with jabed. I find silibilimili a bit dense at times... grin

MordionAgenos Tue 09-Oct-12 19:32:47

I've been checking with some of my colleagues and NONE of us is either pissed or in the preamble, throes or after glow of tumultuous sex. We are clearly, uniformly, rubbish and boring and Letting The Side Down. sad

rabbitstew Tue 09-Oct-12 19:32:47

Maybe it's the engineer's brain - can't cope with too many words and complex feelings grin.

rabbitstew Tue 09-Oct-12 19:40:29

Don't see why I have to be in anyone's camp confused. I don't have any desire to force everyone to be like me.

Silibilimili Tue 09-Oct-12 19:51:02

Engineers brains. grin rabbit, so spot on. I prefer a concise, succinct post.

I don't think I am ad hominem. Oh dear!

twofalls Tue 09-Oct-12 20:03:07

Xenia the problem with your viewpoint is that you present two extremes - high flying, high earning super woman who can afford the best schools, a live in nanny etc, etc or a drudge. The reality is that most people will fall somewhere in the middle. If you take a group of about 30 people i know with children a similar age (oldest 6/7), some have happily stayed at home for a few years before resuming high flying jobs, a few worked full time from the outset, some have changed career, some have happily stayed at home and have git heavily involved i community stuff, and some work part time. As for me, I have my own business where I choose to work part time hours. It is important for me to pick up my dd1 from school so I do. I consider myself lucky and am happy with my balance. You seem to think I am letting myself and my children down by working part time.

The vast majority of my friends are happy. All are intelligent and educated women. I don't understand why in your works they have it wrong. And I find your assertion that women who are not like you are somehow lesser mortals arrogant in the extreme and frankly insulting. But I have said this to you many times do I have no idea why I am saying it again, it makes not a jot of difference.

BrianAndHisBalls Tue 09-Oct-12 20:03:20

fabsmum - agree with the majority of your post, however I think you are being just as 'cruel' (your words) as Xenia when you say:

"On a personal note, I chose to be at home with my children because I couldn't enjoy life when I was working and running a home. And I really, really treasure the time I spent with them. I wasn't thinking about turning them into captains of industry, I was just enjoying being with them. I honestly can't think of anything I could have done with my time that would have given me or them more happiness".

Ermm... I would have wanted that too but I had to pay a mortgage, its not a choice that's available to many, unless your partner can afford to pay the bills.

And with this -

"I think everyone has strengths and must play to them. Some women have amazing patience and creativity with small children, and for those mothers staying at home is fulfilling and exciting. I think children who have mothers like this are incredibly lucky. Other women have no patience and find caring with their small children boring and beneath them. Those women are best off contracting this care out to someone who will take pleasure in their child".

I think there's surely a middle ground between holy mary poppins and the reincarnation of myra hindley?? (i jest but you get the point).

Yellowtip Tue 09-Oct-12 20:04:30

Mordion if a colleague is capable of communicating whilst in the throes of tumultuous sex - respect. That's some multi-tasking smile.

Way2Go Tue 09-Oct-12 21:10:08

I just asked my DD aged 16 whether she thinks it is 'better' for DM's to be SAHM's or for them to work. I also asked her which she would respect the most. She replied that it completely depended on the family concerned and that she could equally respect a low paid worker, a SAHM or a high flyer, it would depend on what type off person they were. smile

Sounds about right to me!

Way2Go Tue 09-Oct-12 21:31:27

Of not off blush

Xenia Tue 09-Oct-12 22:00:13

Have I really ever said anyone is a lesser mortal? I'd be surprised. I do think most adults find cleaning and hours of childcare rather dull and in all cultures men and women choose to outsource a good proportion of that to slaves, child's siblings, servants, others.

When we say this I will feel women have achieved equality and they can let their hair down and be housewives:
I just asked my DS aged 16 whether he thinks it is 'better' for DF's to be SAHF's or for them to work. I also asked him which he would respect the most. He replied that it completely depended on the family concerned and that he could equally respect a low paid worker, a SAHF or a high flyer, it would depend on what type off person they were. "

Why did the writer above not ask the question that way round? Because women are stll expected to do all the drudge dull stuff for no pay and little thanks and men get to have careers, more fun and more interesting lives because they have muggins mum at home earning nothnig whilst she serves everyone's needs doing endless housework and childcare.

Silibilimili Tue 09-Oct-12 22:16:10

xenia, I agree to the sentiment of your post. Then women say they are the new feminist by liking house work and staying a home, as they 'made that choice'.
Don't know who is right but if economic deprivation and borderline poverty is the result, I do not want to be part of the SAHM team.
For my daughter and fellow females I want equality too. So if that means I have a career that paves the way for them, so be it. It's a nice side effect.
Someone has to be the rosa parks of the working world.

Way2Go Tue 09-Oct-12 23:05:09

xenia. confused I asked my DD about women because that was who YOU were talking about. You were slagging off saying what was wrong with being a SAHM.

I think you must have been very unlucky in your life if the men you have come across treat women with that much derision. I have only ever had men around me who treat me with respect regardless of whether I am working or at home. I have never felt pressurised into being a SAHM or into going out to work. I have the self confidence and respect from those around me to do what I want and what I thinks works best for our family.

..and yes xenia you regularly say awful things about SAHM. You are really quite insulting and very patronising. I think you have also mentioned your disdain for nurses, cleaners and other low paid workers too. In your posts you come across as very arrogant and boastful. You make good points, many of which I wholeheartedly agree with but I can't stand the way you are so horrible about other people.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 09-Oct-12 23:12:17

xenia you can't call that one now, because your arguments are always completely gendered: it's the mother who should earn the fees, all fathers go and fuck someone else when the mother gets frumpy etc.

slipshod having responded carefully to your own (ad hominem) attack on me, I'd really appreciate a response if you get time.

twofalls Tue 09-Oct-12 23:56:42

You may not say "lesser mortals" but the implication is constantly there.

And as usual, you ignore the main point of my post. Out of 30 or so women I know, not one is unhappy or presents a negative role model to their children. And those women include sahm, wohm, business owners, part time workers, and people who took many years out and have gone back. Not one drudge or sex slave amongst them.

Please Do tell me what is so wrong with the choices they have made that work for their families?

MordionAgenos Wed 10-Oct-12 00:05:07

We have had this argument so many times before across so many different threads. So here we go again.

There is nothing wrong with a woman choosing to stay at home either because she can afford to, or because her husband earns enough that she doesnt need to work, or being forced through economic factors to stay at home (many women cannot command high enough salaries to make working and paying for childcare an economically sound choice) so long as she is honest about the situation. There is something very wrong with women who rather than tell the truth about staying at home - either that they prefer it and can afford to do it, or that they can't afford not to do it- peddle the falsehoods that it is better for their children for them to stay at home, that their children would somehow be disadvantaged if they work or, worst of all, that mothers who stay at home are the only ones who really care about their famies and that those who work out money before family or are in some other way heartless cold or impatient unnatural monsters.

Devora Wed 10-Oct-12 00:15:50

I like Xenia. I think she'd make a very stimulating and entertaining friend in RL (even though you would be constantly saying, "Now come on, Xenia, you know that's bollocks" grin).

I have absolutely no idea who jabed is, though.

Way2Go Wed 10-Oct-12 00:58:43

As you can probably tell xenia does irritate me a lot blush but I think I am probably in the majority in that I do not think it matters if a Mother (or Father) chooses to work or stay home as long as it works for that family.

What matters is that DC's are raised in happy, stable, supportive homes where they are encouraged to do as well as they can in life and where they are taught to be responsible, positive and 'good' people.

I never defend or criticise SAH parents or working parentd but I do object to xenia constantly attacking and belittling SAHM or women in low income jobs.

Way2Go Wed 10-Oct-12 01:02:08

MordionAgenos. I agree with your post. Some people are too defensive about how they live their lives. I guess they feel better about themselves if they attack other people.

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 06:51:05

It's not what you say it's the way that you say it isn't it? sad

rabbitstew Wed 10-Oct-12 08:12:38

Well, of course people are defensive, because they feel they are being attacked.

Xenia is defensive because she clearly thinks women have to fight very hard to get what they deserve and that men still rule the roost and are all using women as drudges - in other words, all men are the same and all women should be, too, to fight the good fight, which must always be enjoyable because there's no room for people not enjoying it, they're just pathetic drudges whose opinions should be squashed down and ignored;

SAHMs get defensive because people like Xenia tell them that even if they think they are happy and have the total respect and support of their husband and are doing what they want, they are wrong and harmful people who do other women down and couldn't possibly be happy really, just brainwashed;

and Silibilimili gets defensive because she works in a world where she does feel disadvantaged to be a woman and so agrees with everything Xenia says (in slightly more muted tones) - she seems to think that women shouldn't actually do what they want unless what they want to do is get paid work.


rabbitstew Wed 10-Oct-12 08:15:01

Which is probably why Silibilimili thinks I ought to be in one "camp" or the other and dislikes my posts because she can't tell where I'm coming from - you have to take sides, apparently.

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 09:35:49

All welcome to join me in the 'bemused and bewildered' camp. smile

Way2Go Wed 10-Oct-12 09:39:00

sparkling. I am already there....

slipshodsibyl Wed 10-Oct-12 09:41:00

slipshod having responded carefully to your own (ad hominem) attack on me, I'd really appreciate a response if you get time.

I think I was pretty careful not to use any language which could be described as an 'attack.' Neither did I use an ad hominem argument as I did not denigrate your character. I deliberately referred to the impression conveyed in your posts through the points you choose to pick up on and the language and tone you use, not to you as a personality. This is not an attack on the person but on the argument.

I know nothing about you so would not attack you but observe that you have opinions often strongly conveyed. Nothing wrong with that. My observation though is that your posts suggest you appear to become quite offended quite easily by ideas but do not refer to further arguments in the offending post or other posts which, when I read them, seem to me to balance those ideas to some degree. I cannot and do not want to feel offended by people simply expressing different philosophies and experiences to mine. I feel unable to contribute anything when comments become personal and for me, the discussion is spoiled.

I am btw currently a SAHM and very happy that way. I do not mind having my way of life challenged robustly. Why should I not be froced to question my choices? With a partner at the highest level in one of the World's most famous multi-nationals I am acutely aware of issues of diversity and the problems women have in reaching the top and of the problems companies have in supporting and retaining this talent if they also become mothers. (which some of the most senior do not - or they have a SAHD - not uncommon at the highest levels in this company)

It is becoming increasingly clear to me that affirmative action such as not letting meetings run over at the day's end and other flexible practices are useful to women but are rarely used by men, making working life unequal between the sexes. Despite officially being sanctioned and approved of, society is currently at a point where this is seen subliminally, I think as a sign of lesser commitment. Certainly ambitious young men tend not to take advantage. Either capitalism changes to a more socialist kind of capitalism (does that make any sense ) - and I cannot see that happening, especially in a recession where ambitious people are working hard to keep their jobs - or men take exactly 50% of responsibility for family life so that they also take their turn in leaving the office early and it becomes normal and not a subliminal sign of lesser commitment. This is being discussed more and more but it is going to take more time and hammering home.

Until that happens, families need one parent to be less ambitious. In our case, that parent is me, and I am fine with it, but I acknowledge its imperfections too. I do think it is worth emphasising that point to younger women so that if they make a similar choice they are doing it from an informed position and are not just accepting of the idea that all women are programmed to lose interest in their careers when motherhood beckons. S

So instead of getting offended by Xenia, I smile at some of her funnier comments but will make sure my own daughters are aware of how simple it is to find yourself in a vulnerable financial position or to fail to fulfill certain career aspirations. If they decide to weave baskets (an alternative career Xenia has often said is acceptable if it is freely chosen) it will be a positive and informed choice.

slipshodsibyl Wed 10-Oct-12 09:55:12

And sorry to keep on, but i observe that the intellectual satisfaction of working in a job which pushes the boundaries of science and human invention is a precious thing as are many other well paying jobs which add to the prosperity and progress of the World. If you get paid well too then great.

I see high achieving, high earners giving up time to advise and assist governments and NGOs in developing countries etc. They will also give advice (and for all I know money too) freely to charities. Xenia has said she does pro-bono work. I don't see them as insecure money-obsessed people. They are very clever though, think hard about their lives and the World and don't get offended or defensive when their positions and World view is challenged, often very publically.

rabbitstew Wed 10-Oct-12 10:20:34

slipshodsybl - careful, you're almost as wordy as I am grin.

On the whole I agree with you. It should never be a simple choice to stay at home, or to work full time, or to work part time. You must go into it with your eyes open and understand the risks and benefits and then not sit back and assume making that calculation once in your life is sufficient - the risks and benefits change over time. If I had been in a position where I had adored my career, I wouldn't have given it up, though, I know that, because I would have had trouble getting back into it at an acceptable level later on and would always have felt I had missed out on something important. Instead, I would have adjusted the way in which I supported and nurtured my family. Whatever, I know my dh would have been supportive.

The reality is, though, I considered myself lucky to have an excuse to get out for a while and reinvent myself, because I was not happy with my career choices to date and therefore considered my career well down in my priorities at that time. This has also conveniently enabled me to spend some exceptionally happy years at home with my children - it is not at all boring, drudge work, it's wonderful and I find it fulfilling - and the chance to reconsider what really interests me and what I want to get out of life and give back. Lucky me. Most people aren't that lucky.

I also agree that at the moment, most couples have to work out which one is the most ambitious, or the most enamoured of their career (not necessarily the same thing). In my family, sometimes it's the women and sometimes it's the men. I do get annoyed, though, when some women go on about women's rights and the right for women not to be drudges, as though any man or woman who actually thinks that the role of the caregiver is worthy of huge respect is a spineless moron.

Way2Go Wed 10-Oct-12 10:45:06

Excellent post shipshod. A sensible, coherent response. My husband has a similar job and I am happy to report that he holds no antiquated views on women. He does appoint women into very senior positions, and often, due the the ExPat nature of these jobs there are often SAH husbands. It is a non-issue.

I am a SAHM but I have also worked and I found my work extremely rewarding and enjoyable.

I think many of xenias post are written to cause offence, she says nasty things about people who are SAHM/low earners and I don't like it. It doesn't make for a good discussion and it hardly helps any of the people she says she thinks are downtrodden.

Her boastful comments are amusing, when I see her on a thread i can't wait to see how she is going to bring the discussion around to her achievements and island

I wish she would concentrate on her inspirational side. It's there, I have seen threads where she shares her drive and knowledge. I like that xenia not the nasty one.

Way2Go Wed 10-Oct-12 10:50:36

Nice post rabbitstew. Gosh, this is all getting too sensible smile.

rabbitstew Wed 10-Oct-12 11:16:49

(ps my dh appears to like ironing - do you think I should get him to see a psychiatrist? grin).

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 12:14:26

I would love to see Xenia on a fun thread. I wonder if she has an opinion on Wolef fleeces, the zombie invasion or watched Strictly Come Dancing?

Xenia Wed 10-Oct-12 14:15:33

If housewives don't like to be reminded they are unpaid and doing work most people couldn't stand and mostly they don't6 benefit their chiildren and hugely damage the position and cause of other working women by being home they probably need therapy. Of course many of us like a few domestic tasks and childcare but day in day out nothing else but being a housewife and no career is not something most women or men want and given it really does hurt women's achievements if you duck off home t bake cakes it is important women realise that sell out is terribly damaging. Yes most women are not very bright and would not have amounted to mcuh at work (and men too) but a few might. however if most just stay home we will never know and the few good ones will never rise to the top.

Wolef fleeces - never heard of it - some kind of clothing? Why would talk about a type of jumper be fun?
, the zombie invasion - is that some kind of computer game

or watched Strictly Come Dancing? - I don't watch television.

I am reading a book about North Korea. I sing most days. I do lots of fun things all the time which is something youc an do if you earn reasonable sums as it gives you the time to be a rounded person which a life of domestic servitude on low or no income dependent on male earnings never allows you.

Houseworkprocrastinator Wed 10-Oct-12 14:34:17

I was going to reply to that Xenia but got to take my cake out of the oven before it burns so got to run.... grin

slipshodsibyl Wed 10-Oct-12 14:46:02

careful, you're almost as wordy as I am

Whoops. Well I was trying not to be misunderstood. It was a bit wordy though.

I was going to reply to that Xenia but got to take my cake out of the oven before it burns so got to run

Bad luck Housework procrastinator. But it was just a cake. I missed my hair appointment, the school fete committee meeting, a coffee morning and my book club while I was typing mine. grin

NotForTurning Wed 10-Oct-12 14:57:59

This discussion got me thinking.....Will we ever overhear conversations like this, below, in the playground at pick-up time - and if not now, then when and if we did, what would we think??? and why would we think anything, if we did???..... and if we do a double-take and a re-think, doesn't that really indicate that true equality is still a long way off?:

Matthew: "I managed to get that 20% off nappies offer you told me about. Thanks mate!"

Andy: "Don't mention it. Hey, I'm thinking of taking that part time role we spoke about the other day, now little Alice is full-time at school and Henry's shooting up every day. Obviously it's a bit different from what I did before but I think I can manage it if Sarah can do the school run on Tuesdays."

Matthew: "Fantastic! Wish you luck mate. I tried to go back to the hedge funds, a couple of years ago but they wouldn't do school friendly hours. Still, I'd rather be there for the kids when they need me, you know and I actually enjoy helping out as a TA on a Fridays once a fortnight. Wendy isn't sure I've got time for that sort of thing, what with keeping on top of the shopping and cleaning. She moaned that the beds weren't made when she got in at 8.30pm last night! Honestly! She's no idea what I do all day...the laundry, the meal planning. It never ends, does it!"

Andy: "Ah well, you're lucky. Sarah's never there at all - just jet setting round the world, doing endless meetings in exotic places. Still, it was really important for me that one of us is at home, keeping on top of the little-uns needs. I think it's the most important job in the world really, though. Happy to give up my six figure salary and all that...and then it's only right really, isn't it, to support Sarah's career. She told me we may need to move to Dubai in a couple of years anyway. So there's no point in me trying to go back to work properly for many years yet really, if at all."

Matthew: "Hey, did you see on Dadsnet last night, that debate's still raging on about whether men should have as much right to go out to work and bring in the bucks, as the women? There's this really controversial duo - Menia and Wabed. Menia is like, so way out! Claims that children do better if the Dads go out to work too and earn pots of money! Can you imagine! I'm with Wabed, me, I really think a man's place is in the home. I know mums have an important role too but really, it's only us men who can really tune into our kids and 'be there' for them, isn't it?"

Andy: " got me thinking you know....If I went back to work, I wouldn't feel so guilty spending the money that Sarah brings in and we'd have a lot more too. Maybe we could think about sending Alice and Henry to the prep school instead of the local primary. Anyway, why should I have to be the one to abandon the career I worked hard to achieve all those years? I mean I was really valued at the bank. I got contracts for them that brought in millions and the bonuses were fantastic."

Matthew: "Well, maybe...but you'd never have been there to see your kid's first smile and her first steps and remember that day in the park when she and Ollie started chasing each other round the swings? Quality moments, mate, quality moments! The wife's missed all of that, hasn't she? You'll never get those moments back, never! No I'm all for a bit of 'me time' but a couple of hours as a TA will do me nicely, thank you."

Andy: "Blimey! Is that the time? I'll have to shoot off. Got to see if I can get hold of those special ballet shoes Henry needs for the school play. Did I tell you they've given him a starring role? He's really chuffed! You know, you're right really. I couldn't take him to all his extra ballet practises if I was working, could I and it's really important to cultivate his creativity. Of course Sarah doesn't understand at all. She tries to make it to some of his performances but I think deep down, she's really hoping he'll become more like little Alice - a whizz at maths and lego. She's already got Ally 'signed up' as a top enginner when she's older, I think, cos of the dosh you can earn nowadays! Poor Ally's only four for heck's sake! I just want her to me happy really. That's what it's all about, innit?"

Matthew: "Yeah. That's right mate. Anyway, must fly too. I want to have a go at that new flan you told me about yesterday. Wendy'll love it....IF she's actually back for dinner! Ah well, she's got better things to think about I guess. Anyway, might see you at aerobics later on, mate? OK."

slipshodsibyl Wed 10-Oct-12 14:59:06

I do get annoyed, though, when some women go on about women's rights and the right for women not to be drudges, as though any man or woman who actually thinks that the role of the caregiver is worthy of huge respect is a spineless moron

Yes. And privately I really think that most women have a wider take on what they want. Work seems to be just one part of that for the majority, even if an important part. But at present most power is still held by men. There's seem to me to be no harm in re iterating the message for those who are still making their choices. None of us has to change our own lives and I don't need anyone's approval to be ok with mine. Vive la difference.

slipshodsibyl Wed 10-Oct-12 15:01:14


Are you by any chance a frustrated screenwriter?

Xenia Wed 10-Oct-12 15:02:16

Wonderful, not for...

We're getting there. I am a huge optimist. I think Caitlin Moran in the Times said by 2020 women would on average earn more than their husbands. More girls get good degrees and more are having to marry lower earners which means when it comes to does Miss £50k a year give up work or Mr £20k they are likely to pick Mr £20k or hire childcare.

The economy is another issue too. We certainly probably have at least 5 very tough years and it is doubtful the West is in the ascendancy so there may be long term changes, much less welfare as we have no money to pay it, fewer women daring to risk being home etc

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 16:59:45

Thanks for that Xenia, I am guessing you won't be on any fun threads any time soon then and will be sticking to what you are best at.

I should have known that TV watching was a no-no in Xenia-world.

rabbitstew Wed 10-Oct-12 17:40:55

TV is for moronic housewives grin.
NotForTurning - I don't see why we'd have to hear conversations in the playground like that from men or women! I've never found myself having conversations like that in the school playground... However, if a house husband wanted to talk about that sort of thing, then I'd be quite happy for him to go ahead! I think those who would do a double take listening to that are those who think that men are incapable of being the one who stays at home to look after the children or who adjusts their work to fit around their kids. In other words, it is those who are happy with the age old stereotype of what men are like and what men want, but who want women's stereotype to change. Sorry, but I don't think you can change one without changing the other, because all that achieves is both men and women turning into men and nobody wanting to stay home with the kids or make any compromises for the kids. In fact, why on earth does anyone who can't afford a full time nanny and private education bother with kids???!!!.....grin

Xenia Wed 10-Oct-12 17:42:38

I sometimes watch something on iplayer - about an hour a month may be? I have about 30 yeras of cinema films to watch perhaps when I am over 80 and have time. That does not mean I don't have fun though. Fun means different things to different people and I always avoid sex threads on line and I never discuss boyfriends. We have a family wedding to plan. I do feel my life is brimming with fun even if fun for me is playing a Bach fugue, singing Purcell or doing bikram yoga or even if I'm allowed to mention it lying in the sun near the equator on my island. Fun a year ago was a trip to the island to collect plastic from the beach - a sort of cleaning holiday - the FT published my letter about it. I can be quite funny. I get huge satisfaction too from my children and also my work. I have bought a new bike this Autumn.

rabbitstew Wed 10-Oct-12 17:45:40

It's time for science to create an artificial male womb. We could then pump our husbands full of female hormones, implant a test tube baby in their new womb, get them to carry the kids and have a caesarean at the end of it, so no worrying about being too posh to push. And if the baby suckles on Daddy's nipple for long enough, even without the extra hormone injections, I understand he should be able to lactate eventually...

Xenia Wed 10-Oct-12 17:53:55

Hang on that is almost there in a sense. Some women choose not to bear their own genetic chidlren. It is not particularly expensive to hire a host mother to bear it - at present that is indeed a woman but it may not in future have to be.

MordionAgenos Wed 10-Oct-12 18:17:34

@rabbit no it very isn't. TV is for ME. grin

Shagmundfreud Wed 10-Oct-12 18:29:46

"I do feel my life is brimming with fun even if fun for me is playing a Bach fugue, singing Purcell or doing bikram yoga or even if I'm allowed to mention it lying in the sun near the equator on my island."

Have asked mumsnet towers if we can have a pseuds corner board for comments like this. grin

MordionAgenos Wed 10-Oct-12 18:33:29

I think that maybe Xenia the reason why you are so unable to comprehend people being fine with being at home is because of your definition of fun. (Although fun isn't actually the word I'd use. It sounds terribly twee). People lacking in internal resources often find themselves bored - but, as Dorothy Parker might say - that's actually because they themselves are boring. I'm never ever bored, I wasn't bored when I was on maternity leave, I'm not bored even in the passport queue at JFK (3 hours last week. I was angry, but not bored). People who need a lot of external stimulation and who are unable to take entertainment from art, literature, or their own imaginations, may well find being at home difficult. But even then.....I don't do yoga, far too sedate for me, I run - but I haven't run since coming back from NY because of jet lag scuppering me yesterday and today. If I hadn't had to go to NY, or if I hadn't had to work when I was (belatedly) compos mentos, I would have run both days. Next week I will be in Italy and I'm fretting about whether I will be able to run there - if I didn't have to go, it wouldn't be a problem. Surely even with your range of interests you can see how being at home would perhaps better enable you to pursue them?

I certainly don't think being at home is better either politically (clearly, it's not) or qualitatively but at least qualitatively, there are arguments both ways in terms of capacity for fulfilment.

MordionAgenos Wed 10-Oct-12 18:34:36

There's nothing pseudy about Bach or indeed Purcell. If more people did music the world would be a better place.

MordionAgenos Wed 10-Oct-12 18:35:51

Having said that I personally prefer Dallas to Purcell. And possibly even Bach. But certainly not to Mahler or Rachmaninov or Gershwin or Mingus.

Everyone is allowed to like the things they like.

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 19:02:21

You didn't mention going on MN in your fun list Xenia. sad

Way2Go Wed 10-Oct-12 19:11:50

...and dont forget the fun xenia gets by saying demeaning things about other women on MN ...

...and she seems to just relish bragging about her wealth.

......oh such jolly fun!

MordionAgenos Wed 10-Oct-12 19:14:57

Xenia is far less bitchy and snippy than her detractors. In fact, she is not bitchy or snippy at all. And I have STILL yet to see her accuse all SAHMs of being piss heads and being tumultuous shaggers qua SAHM. So.

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 19:19:21

I think you mean 'housewives' Mordion, it's that little bit more demeaning than just saying SAHM. wink

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 19:20:32

Anyway where's jabed? He seems to have abandoned his own thread. confused

madwomanintheattic Wed 10-Oct-12 19:20:52

I'm just worried about Henry shooting up. Every day. And he isn't even in prep school yet. <dials ss to report Andy>

My sahm days are over, it's a bitch to find a job though. Will someone puh-lease link that darned 'how to earn a K a day' thread? Ta. grin

rabbitstew Wed 10-Oct-12 19:22:44

No, Xenia never gets personal, she is incredibly general in her condemnation of huge swathes of people! I think she puts up with us all very well and with dignity on an individual basis grin. Perhaps she isn't childish enough to join in!

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 19:26:00

I don't know what she gets out of it TBH. With her list of interests I wouldn't have thought slumming it on an online forum called Mumsnet would be something she wanted to do.

rabbitstew Wed 10-Oct-12 19:28:27

If you will leave your bored house husband equipment lying around, Henry is bound to find it...

rabbitstew Wed 10-Oct-12 19:34:45

OOh blush. When I originally read about Henry shooting up I did think it was an odd thing to admit to your young child doing. It's only now I realise the shooting up in question was probably entirely innocent growth as a result of all the lovely home cooked food he's eating.

NotForTurning Wed 10-Oct-12 19:39:01

Rabbitstew, my playground 'snapshot' was just a device to elicit further thought on how 'normal' it might be for women to hear other women talking this way but not for us to hear men talking that way. In RL, I DO hear women having these conversations outside DCs school all the time, however and I haven't witnessed anything similar from the men.

So I was just getting a point across.

Mad...I love your interpretation of Henry 'shooting up'...maybe this could make great comedy someday!

The thing is, I find people very complacent about traditional gender roles, in my RL and wonder if an 'extreme' and provocative voice is 'necessary' in a way, to ignite deeper thought and further change.

I don't want DD to grow up in a world where she and whatever partner she may have in the future, can't be absolutely equal in their choices. Neither should assume the other will be the main child carer and only one of them the main breadwinner.

My cameo scene isn't what I'd want either. I'd want neither the man nor the woman to be having this kind of conversation at all. I just think it's a bit of an eye-opener when you twist traditional roles and voices around and enact it with the other gender.

Extremist views, strongly expressed or comedy/ drama/ media - all get people thinking and talking and reflecting. Strong emotional reactions, even negative ones, tend to incite more change, than other ways do.

madwomanintheattic Wed 10-Oct-12 20:05:32

Comedy in this vein is difficult though. Sometimes you end up inadvertently reinforcing stereotypes instead of challenging them. <can't quite think of an example, but it's a fine line>

I sometimes think (and I speak as someone whose own 'Henry' has worn out many a pair of dance shoes) that we put a lot of effort into ensuring our offspring have gender free choices, and far less into ensuring our own choices are not gender-constrained. In this I think Xenia does have a point (I also speak as someone whose career has been obliterated by wifedom and motherhood. Completely obliterated. And I started out trying to persuade the Marines to change their gender policy. grin)

I've been pondering role models a fair bit. <sigh>

madwomanintheattic Wed 10-Oct-12 20:08:25

Oo. Has anyone seen 'the five year engagement'? Not sure if it's out that side of the pond, or on DVD? I haven't seen it, but it looks topical.

jabed Wed 10-Oct-12 20:17:32

Anyway where's jabed? He seems to have abandoned his own thread

Its not my thread anymore. I didnt start the topic that is discussed here.
I am not aware of any obligation to join in.

As for where I am ( or was or will be), well I do work. I have been at work. On a work night I will get home around 7.00pm. I go out around 7.00 am ,so not a lot of time. Hope you can accept that explaination smile

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 20:19:15

Oh well, at least you are ok jabed, I was getting worried.

MordionAgenos Wed 10-Oct-12 20:21:12

@sparkling and yet not as demeaning as saying you are a pisshead tumultuous shagger, who is self centred and obnoxious and who puts money above family.

madwomanintheattic Wed 10-Oct-12 20:21:19

I still don't know what you were apologizing for, tbh. I wasn't there. I only clicked because I like a bit of drama with my tea. I was mildly curious about the apparent sn connection, but tbh not so much that I bothered to do a search. I'm sure if it was that heinous it will crop up again.

Houseworkprocrastinator Wed 10-Oct-12 20:23:54

"Fun means different things to different people"

I think you have cracked it there xenia. For you it is books about north Korea and singing Purcell and sun bathing on your island. This is fine.

For others it may be reading "that's not my bear" and singing the wheels on the bus and going to the park with their children.

Some people like different music (have to admit I thought purcell was a washing powder). Some people like trashy novels or murder mysteries. Just because not everything a person does oozes 'intellectual' does not make them moronic.

As for housework, no I do not enjoy it that much (although I do like the end result) but it is a small part of my life. It was there before I had children and it will be there after they have left home. So nothing really to do with being a mum.

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 20:24:34

But jabed said 'see you all later' before going to work yesterday. When he didn't show I got worried.

Silibilimili Wed 10-Oct-12 21:09:28

I am guessing xenia is reading a book called 'nothing to envy'. I read it about 2 years ago. It is so moving. Puts life into perspective.
However, I do think Xenia needs to take a chill pill if only so that she can enjoy her island! Uou can't be intense and intellectual all the time xenia. It's okay to want to read 50 shades. Go on... I dare you.
* rabbit*, your earlier post where you mention me. Spot on I suppose. Do you know me?!
Yes, in the industry I am in, I have worked very hard to get where I am. Would I give if up to SAH with my babies? No. Short term it is fun. Long term boring. Do I have string viesws like xenia? No.
I don't judge. However, I do find myself agreeing more with xenia than the others. Not her exaggerated silly boasts but the decent inspirational kick arse views...

rabbitstew Wed 10-Oct-12 21:14:49

Mumsnet would be a less interesting place without xenia and jabed. I like xenia and jabed being on mumsnet. smile

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 21:19:32

I think they would both be a hoot on the Friday night drunk thread.

Yellowtip Wed 10-Oct-12 21:23:01

Mordion a good tip to avoid 3 hours in a long JFK passport queue is to have a DC born in the States. You then simply pick up the DC and march past everyone else. This ploy saved me hours during the first Gulf War.

jabed Wed 10-Oct-12 21:24:19

I am sorry to disappoint you sparklingbrook but I dont drink ( alcohol that is).

This is not because I am some sort of recovering alcoholic before someone gets the wrong idea. I just do not like beer, wine or whiskey etc. I may have the odd glass at a dinner party occassionally ( Christmas for example). Otherwise I am a strictly orange juice man.

I might still be a hoot at a drunken Friday night but I would be sobersmile

rabbitstew Wed 10-Oct-12 21:29:24

NotForTurning - I did enjoy your playground snapshot, by the way, and the comments did sound funny coming out of men's mouths (rather than possibly a bit tedious coming from women!).

Silibili - of course I know you. Aren't we meeting up for a drink next week? wink

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 21:40:35

I don't either jabed apart from the odd glass here and there, but it doesn't stop me joining in. grin

Yellowtip Wed 10-Oct-12 21:43:29

Does nobody drink?

Sparklingbrook Wed 10-Oct-12 21:45:52

Too much drink can result in a 'bad outcome' Yellow. grin

pianomama Wed 10-Oct-12 21:52:45

Yellow - I sure do. In fact most of my MN posts were put there after a nice glass or two.
My name is pianoma and I do drink smile

madwomanintheattic Wed 10-Oct-12 22:05:06

<waves hands enthusiastically>

I have to start at lunchtime if I want to make a Friday night thread though. This time zone stuff is v perplexing. Hence I rarely bother.

Yellowtip Wed 10-Oct-12 22:08:42

That's reassuring then piano and mad smile

MordionAgenos Wed 10-Oct-12 22:21:09

@yellow not me. You couldn't get vegan booze when I was young so I never developed the taste for it.

pianomama Wed 10-Oct-12 22:43:08

Vegan booze? Surely its ll vegan? Or am I missing something? Grape and grain?

MordionAgenos Wed 10-Oct-12 22:51:18

Isinglass. And not being able to guarantee no contamination. Vodka and gin have always been beyond reproach but they aren't gateway drinks are they.

Silibilimili Wed 10-Oct-12 23:01:19

Wines are apparently strained using pigs bladders.

Silibilimili Wed 10-Oct-12 23:02:37

Or is it fish bladders. Too late in the day for me. Brain cells dead and early morning flight tomorrow. Have fun friends!

MordionAgenos Wed 10-Oct-12 23:08:41

Isinglass is fish. Cuttlefish, I think.

Xenia Thu 11-Oct-12 13:22:52

Sib, (North Korea) Nothing to envy was much better. The current NK book is written by an American expert and it does not desscribe real lives there in the same way although it's still interesting and he as just finishing it when the new leader took over so it's quite up to date. The NOrth Korea website is quite interesting if people get bored talking about soap powder o babies' nappies or how to save 2p at Asda on credit cruch threads

Their national anthem is at

I will find a link to the £1k thread. It is headed £1k a month but we were all saying that's pathetic - real women earn £1k a day not £1k a month.

Houseworkprocrastinator Thu 11-Oct-12 14:05:08

"real women earn £1k a day not £1k a month."

As opposed to what? Robot women? One of my friends is a teaching assistant in my daughters school. She works very hard and is extremely dedicated to the children. She earns about £900 a month. Is she not a real woman?

Xenia Thu 11-Oct-12 14:15:34

Well we hear so much day in day out from the press and society that women stay home minding babies and cleaning and a woman's place is in the home (or in the wrong) it's quite nice to present the other side - real women work full time, out earn men and often earn a fortune and adore it.

pianomama Thu 11-Oct-12 14:15:40

real women earn £1k a day not £1k a month - get real Xenia.
Why dont we leave greed and power games to men ...Thats is a better kind of feminism.

Houseworkprocrastinator Thu 11-Oct-12 14:33:36

don't real woman get a choice? aren't you, by dictating what all woman should do, just as bad as men that believe that woman should be at home?

MordionAgenos Thu 11-Oct-12 14:38:36

Look, Pianomama, perhaps you need to 'get real' too. It isn't big and it isn't clever to dismiss everyone who is economically successful as being 'greedy' or indulging in power games.

MordionAgenos Thu 11-Oct-12 14:40:35

I do not earn 1K a day, I should add.

MordionAgenos Thu 11-Oct-12 14:48:14

@procrastinator (love the name incidentally) I think Xenia has said several times that she knows that most women and indeed most men couldn't do the sort of job she is advocating more women should be doing. She knows full well that there are actually a limited number of these jobs available in the economy when it's doing well, let alone at the moment. I think I'm right to say she has also advocated people setting up their own businesses and see where they take them, and in theory that could lead to a whole load more women earning big money if they have the right combination of skills and good fortune. Her point is, while they are limited in number and the number of people who could do them (of either gender) is also limited nevertheless there are these jobs and there is no intellectual reason why more women couldn't be doing them because there are easily as many clever women as clever men, as many canny women as canny men, as many hard working women as hardworking men etc.

I find her point resonates so closely with me because I am really fed up of being one of maybe 3 or 4 women in a room of 50 people at high level profession-wide meetings and events all the time. I work in a profession where new trainees are >50% of the cohort. And yet at the top it's 80%+ men. When I began training, 20+ years ago, the gender bias on the intake was neutral - 50:50 split. But that hasn't worked its way through to the upper echelons. And that is just rubbish, it really is.

pianomama Thu 11-Oct-12 14:50:37

Mordion - And it is clever to dismiss women who are not interested in earning mega bucks as "not real" ? Women who look after their children at home as boring frumps?
Economic success is relative you know.
I work full time and have the same number of children as Xenia. And pay for schools and music lessons. But I just find statements like this tasteless. There are much more important things in life then high earnings FFS.
Xenia seems to be pissed off with men for some personal reasons and seem to be in a competition to "out-earn them" and to win a non-existing war between sexes.
The "real" "smart" etc woman knows better then that..

madwomanintheattic Thu 11-Oct-12 14:58:38

I managed to find it, Xenia, thanks.

V interesting. At the moment I don't feel that we have enough of a safety net to take the chance of going for it on my own, so have managed to secure one of the poorly paid (but at least paid) jobs instead of bashing my head against the wall. I'm working with a recruiter though, to tap into the hidden stuff (have had no luck at all on my own despite literally years of meaty voluntary stuff and a reasonably impressive cv.) I do all of the late night early morning, fitting it in stuff but no one is paying me for it! grin I'm assuming that karma will at some point pay out... <futile>

I feel as though I'm literally starting at the beginning again, twenty odd years later. So my plan is to work to build a bit of a cushion, and then to get braver. I anticipate this to be a shorter period than last time!!

Our motives are all a bit mixed up though. We have made a permanent move for lifestyle reasons, and now have to make sure we can fund it. I'm not talking about funding anything lavish grin there are five of us and two dogs living in a 2 bed plus spare, no garden. And we've been late with the mortgage three times this year. grin Realistically speaking, we'd be financially far better off in the city rat race (dh commutes) but made the decision to opt out. So house prices are waaaaaay higher, and job opportunities far fewer. An interesting mix!

I worked as an LSA in a secondary school for a short while. In terms of individual supports to the children, it was very worthy. In terms of actually being able to do anything to shore up the abysmal sn policies and procedures, it was monumentally depressing. I resigned twice (they wouldn't let me the first time as they were desperate for me to stay) as it was making all my fears about the inadequacies of provision in state schools loom ever larger. And this was a great school. I fought tooth and nail for the kids to get them what they needed, but I was the only one doing it. The entire system is in stasis for lack of cash, and for lack of effort by parents and teachers. We had some great parents and teachers. But for the others, no support for the children they were letting down. No advocates? No support. Terrible.

Your friend is a much more worthy character than I, housework procrastinator! I changed as much as I could, and then had to leave for my own sanity (that and the fact my pay statements made me weep).

MordionAgenos Thu 11-Oct-12 15:06:24

@pianomama you are completely projecting, I'm afraid. Xenia has said several times in this very thread that the most important thing for her is that her kids are happy (although she doesn't use the word kids).

Working mothers spend a lot of time being told they are not real mothers, not real women etc. In the same sort of way that skinny women like me are often told we are not 'real'. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Xenia pointing out that real women can be and are, in her case, as successful as (if not more so than) men. The only people who have a problem with that are people who have an agenda of their own, tied in with demonising high earners.

madwomanintheattic Thu 11-Oct-12 15:11:56

<I should that I know first hand how important a good LSA is - dd2 has cerebral palsy and had the best ever job share 1-1s in yr r. But I found limiting myself to supporting one child v limiting, when I could see that there was so much more that needed to be done. Childcare/ education of any form is very vocational. I can do it, and do it well, but it leaves me antsy as I can see that it is in many cases inadequate for the wider majority, with no possibility of change due to the lashings and lashings of ginger beer political and systematic red tape.>

madwomanintheattic Thu 11-Oct-12 15:15:42

<I should also add that I went on and spent the same number of hours a week for no pay at all on the board of a local charity that arguably had way more clout as we were used as an advisory for local government wrt accessibility, as well as providing out of school activities and summer playschemes for the youth that were being let down in the system. Total fail on the personal financial side, but at least I was doing something for a wider gain>

pianomama Thu 11-Oct-12 15:33:51

Thats funny because I've never been told I was not a real mother. Being a working mother becomes more and more of a necessity rather then a choice. My youngest DC had been in full time childcare since a tiny baby so I could support other DC school fees etc by going back to work early. You just do what you have to and what you can.I do feel that I've missed his tender years and am jealous of women who spend at least the first year or two being at home full time.
He has done very well so far, I'd say it was my loss, not his. Never felt the need to compete in testosterone filled boardrooms.
Not sure what "being skinny" has to do with all this.

MordionAgenos Thu 11-Oct-12 15:43:14

It's the whole 'real women conform to THIS' thing. You don't notice it unless you happen to fall in the groups that the what the young people these days call 'haterz' I believe, choose to fixate on. So, real women have curves. Real women (like the Dove ones?) are big and proud. Real women aren't 'high fliers' (almost always used as a perjorative term) real women are nurturing and caring and, what was it? Oh yes, real women know that 'There are much more important things in life then high earnings FFS

This enforced orthodoxy isn't only applied to women, of course, men are subjected to it too, over different things. And it's just as pernicious for them.

Houseworkprocrastinator Thu 11-Oct-12 15:52:22

"Working mothers spend a lot of time being told they are not real mothers, not real women etc."

Well whoever says that is wrong. It must be hurtful to hear. But I'm sorry that doesn't give people the right to turn it around and critisise others. And Xenia did not say real woman 'can' earn 1k a day.

pianomama Thu 11-Oct-12 16:00:14

It wasn't me who introduced the term "real" woman.

And I of cause agree that it is better to be skinny and loaded then obese and broke.

Still, owning an island doesnt automatically turnes you into a spiritual leader and a female role model.

MordionAgenos Thu 11-Oct-12 16:02:55

@procrastinator I know she didn't. I also know she doesn't proof read her posts and is often a sloppy writer. What she should have written is 'some real women', not 'real women can' (because not all real women can, and also, just because some of us can doesn't mean that they do - there are issues around the tension between ability and, for want of a better word, 'permission' - elements of society are loath to let us earn to our potential, and in that sadly we have to include some women not just men ). But I'm perfectly happy to give her the benefit of the doubt on this one since she didn't say ''ALL real women''. grin

I must say though I'm surprised at the new found rigour in this thread - I didn't notice any of you taking issue with the poster who declared that people (not just women) earning £100K + were self centred, obnoxius, greedy, piss heads and possessed of tumultuous love lives. And that women earning that sort of money valued money above family. She subsequently tried to pretend that she was only talking about people she knew but that doesn't really wash.

madwomanintheattic Thu 11-Oct-12 16:08:36

I would argue about the role model bit, tbh. There is room for all sorts of role models - high earners, charity workers, volunteers, professionals in niche fields, athletes, as well as parents who stay home and raise children.

I love to get children to do role model exercises - they come up with some amazing people who wouldn't traditionally be cast in that position.

That said, I think even as adults we need role mothers of varying types in order to let us know what our choices really are - and women do really need to know that sitting at home is not their destiny, in the same way that men need male child care and sahd role models so that they know that bringing home endless bacon is not their life work. Anything that moves this society on from gender pigeon-holing has to be a good thing. It opens up equality of opportunity, for fathers to spend more time at home, as well as women to find out what their capabilities away from the family really are. No one should feel trapped by an externally applied role.

There's no law to say that women can't stay at home and sahm. It's a valuable role. It isn't gender specific though. Fathers can quite equally do it once the breast feeding bit is out of the way (or even during, with adequate facilities for expressing and storage). No one should be criticized for sahm, and no one should be criticized for choosing to work ft and earn a shed load of cash. Both are equally valid female choices. And male ones, too.

Xenia Thu 11-Oct-12 22:00:36

The "real" thing - real men, real women is never a good phrase to use and of course I don't really mean you aren't female if you don't earn £1k a day BUT the point is that women are told all the time that if they don't XYZ - eg shave their legs, or stay at home as housewives or whatever it is they are not real women so it's quite fun to turn the tables and say something the other way round - real women out earn men, real women love power and success. Women like these things as much as men and we need it said.

I don't have any issues with men at all. I like competition and femininsts of course are allowed to be competitive and like to win and I am sure many women get fed up with being boxed into some category which says - female, pathetic, weak, docile, wants to comply, happy to be bottom of all heaps, made to serve men when we are just as likely to be ambitious, keen on power and money and success and of course you can be like that and spend a lot of time with and love your children and other half just as men do. It just suits a lot of people to keep women in kitchens by suggesting women don't also like doing well.

I don't really write about men or sex on mumsnet because I have my own privacy lines and I respect the privacy of others but it would not be true to say I don't like men. I also live with three sons. Men and women are people.

rabbitstew Thu 11-Oct-12 22:36:02

Wow - a Xenia post I agree with! There's nothing wrong with being a competitive woman.

pianomama Thu 11-Oct-12 22:36:21

I think the way women are treated and seen really depends a lot on the women in question. I never felt that anyone has treated me as a baby making machine,cleaner, bottom wiper or a lesser human being then any men around me. Or never I have been dependent on a man - financially,emotionally or any other way. I work in a male - dominated industry but earn just as well if not more then men do. And I do shave my legs BTW not because of any pressure from men but because I dont like hairy legs. I find it really strange when you say women being kept in the kitchen nowdays - you need 2 incomes to support motgage, bills and bring up children.

pianomama Thu 11-Oct-12 22:38:24

rabbit - but is it OK to be a competitive mother?

MordionAgenos Thu 11-Oct-12 22:44:07

Some people need two incomes for those things. But many don't. And many more cant afford to seek two incomes. Basically, if the vast majority of your social and professional interactions are with people who live in the world where both parents need to work and it is economically feasible for the lower earning one to work (ie the lower earning one has enough earning power to be able to afford childcare etc and still have sufficient income left to make it all worthwhile) then you are less likely to encounter the sort of prejudice we are talking about (although you only have to read a newspaper or A mumsnet thread to learn about it..... It's really not a big secret nobody ever talks about). If your social and professional interactions are primarily with people who don't need two incomes or who can't earn enough to make two incomes feasible (so, people at both ends of the scale) then it will be a very different story.

I would also point out that just because you have never encountered sexism in the work environment that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

madwomanintheattic Thu 11-Oct-12 22:59:33

I spent 16 years in the military.

Even the most competitive woman is externally boxed by gender, particularly in circumstances where finances and circumstances limit work outside of the home (or money coming into it). I think until it happens to you, it's easy to ignore the reality of gendered expectations.

The 'takes two incomes' thing is interesting. It doesn't, of course. Particularly if one partner earns a substantial amount, and the couple chooses to provide a parent based care provision for their children. In those circumstances it is generally expected the primary carer will be the female in hetero relationships.
In couples with lower earnings, it is invariably the woman who stays home as the cost of childcare outweighs in immediate terms her income.

That's not to say that women in the circumstances you find yourself are anything but fortunate. But those circumstances are not the norm.

When I joined the military, I had to sign a contract to say if I got pg or married, then I would be asked to leave. This was in 1991. Hardly the dark ages. Sure, I whizzed through the ranks and did jolly well, and earned a lot more than my staff. But to say that I (or other women) didn't experience any gendered expectations would be fallacious. From 'you only joined to marry a pilot', right through to last week when I was on the periphery of an employment tribunal for gender discrimination, equality has been an interesting aside to that particular career.

It is of course changing for the better, but to criticize anyone for wanting women to have the same opportunities that men have is kind of odd.

Is a competitive mother competitive for her children? Just someone that ensures her children have choices? Or a woman who has children and also a career and is competitive on her own behalf?

pianomama Thu 11-Oct-12 23:23:09

There is competitive and there is competitive.

"I'm considerbly richer then you" is silly sort of cometitive.

That's not to say that women in the circumstances you find yourself are anything but fortunate. But those circumstances are not the norm

I would not say so.My circumstances are direct result of what I made my life to be, nothing to do with fortune.

MordionAgenos Thu 11-Oct-12 23:30:40

Don't be ridiculous. You weren't born in Korea. That is down to good fortune. And so on. However I would agree that having to have both parents work full time while not unfortunate in the way that people who find themselves in a childcare/low wage trap are unfortunate, can't exactly be described as particularly fortunate either.

madwomanintheattic Thu 11-Oct-12 23:35:06

Ah, but you can't make choices in a vacuum, it's all about context. I think that blaming others for not being adequate enough to fight against gendered expectations is a bit low, tbh. I'm slightly horrified that you may write off victims of sexual and domestic abuse as being somewhat inadequate for not getting the hell out of there and getting a job? Presumably not, benefit of the doubt, and all.

Sure, there's a certain amount you can do, especially as a naice middle class gel. A daughter raised in a family where early motherhood and staying at home is the norm might need some rather impressive role models to give her the idea that there is an alternative. Particularly where she receives constant reminding of her inadequacies as a woman, and the superiority of the opposite sex. It may be that's the catalyst, but if cleverly done, she may just feel proud of her accomplishments as a mother and believe she is capable of nothing more, whereas her brother has probably been brought up to have nowt to do with cooking, cleaning, and wiping bums, and goes off down the pub to pull a likely looking bird to take the place of his mother (with added benefits).

madwomanintheattic Thu 11-Oct-12 23:35:56

<and yy, I was referring to having a choice as fortunate, rather than having to work>

pianomama Thu 11-Oct-12 23:42:23

No, but I wasn't born in UK either. So totally self-made as it were. In fact I obtained my "good fortune" (i.e. uk education ) with 4 small children (in 3 different schools at some point living on my student loan and casual cleaning jobs in between) . The "equal" partner and baby number 5 came later.

MordionAgenos Thu 11-Oct-12 23:51:43

So let's be clear - you are saying that all women should work in the sort of mid tier doesn't pay enough to be the sole wage earner job that no longer carries with it gendered agendas and sexism as standard (other than the glass ceiling obviousy)? Ok. You're entitled to your view. However shortsighted it may be.

MordionAgenos Thu 11-Oct-12 23:52:07

That was directed to pianomama obviousy......

madwomanintheattic Fri 12-Oct-12 00:03:17

Ach, meh, I had three kids in three different settings and was a ft student and part time LSA. My choice was either to leave my dh or accompany him when work moved him overseas <shrug>

But for the choice of partner, we are frankly twins. When I married him, we both worked ft. I worked ft on and off and sometimes pt when dc1 and 2 were born. Dc3 was born with cerebral palsy. Try finding a gender neutral response to full time care for a child with a disability, however right on and fight for your rights you might be. And ultimately, at that point I needed either myself or dh to stay home with her. I used a nanny when she was a bit older, but by that point the damage to my career was done. No one would employ me as they don't understand my cv. I go from having 400 people working for me, to entry level jobs, and back again, and back again. In truth, it's nothing to do with being a woman, it's being a primary carer of children and muffing up your career progression. And dh being in an unenlightened job in a recession and not entitled to paternity leave.... No point in us both being unemployed. The sad fact is that it is still expected to be a woman at home at home with small children. Men do it, but not enough of them for it not to be a novelty. It needs to be 50% before the expectation that women are the child rearers is demolished and everyone (men and women) are free to make their own choices.

pianomama Fri 12-Oct-12 00:04:27

I never said that all women should do anything ..
As we are all different. I got pi**ed off at "real women should earn 1K a day and not to be housewives".
Looking after children being reffered to as "bottom wiping" and being married as "providing sex services" to husbands in exchange to food and shelter.

MordionAgenos Fri 12-Oct-12 00:06:58

But you were completely fine with all the insults doled out to medium/higher earners.

pianomama Fri 12-Oct-12 00:13:32

Probably was busy either working or wiping bottoms..or..better stop right here smile

MordionAgenos Fri 12-Oct-12 00:18:45

You probably were. But since you seem to have limited experience of the relevant issues - after all, you claim that nobody has ever treated you as a lesser being than any men around you, while at the same time claiming that you need two incomes to run a mortgage bills and childcare- perhaps it would be best not to project your own - apparently considerable - issues onto others. smile

pianomama Fri 12-Oct-12 00:38:49

No, because I would not let them. But I am really hurt now that I stood up for SAHM, housewives and women who do not try to grow bigger b**ls then men and had no support.
So time for bed.

MordionAgenos Fri 12-Oct-12 00:53:51

You've ended as you began - by being rude and crude about people who basically aren't you. You apparently have no time for anybody who isn't living in a dual income don't rock any boats life - whether that's people earning more or less than you. I'm glad I'm not like that. It must be very wearying seeing so much fault in everyone else all the time.

Xenia Fri 12-Oct-12 08:48:35

No one has ever convinced me that it does the cause of women much good if women on the whole are mostly at home serving men and earning nothing. The personal is political.

orangeberries Fri 12-Oct-12 08:51:35

Just an observation here, but don't you think that the concept of "need" is so subjective, even in financial terms?

I know many people on fairly low incomes who are happy to live in very small accommodation and have no holidays and they tell me they are fortunate to be able to live on one income. I know couples on hospital consultants salaries who say they both need to work.

You could see their "needs" items as luxuries but to them they are necessities. Often you'll find that lifestyle choices for some people can feel indespensable. I can empathise with both views really.

I guess we fall in the middle category, as we could have easily lived on DH's salary but I personally feel that with the contribution of my salary we as a family can make many more choices - but I do question sometimes whether the stress is worth it, hence us working part-time.....but it does feel like a compromise both ways.

As a final point, I am really pleasantly surprised at those who say they never encountered sexism in the's not too bad for me now, but when I was a 20 something climbing up the career ladder it was terrible, I encountered sexism every day - I remember clearly every time I started in a new job people thinking I was the new office angel PA and then their look of sheer shock when they realised I was their new manager!!!!

And I was a fierce kind of character so I didn't let it stop me - still it was there - it's good to know that some industries are more enlightened than the one I work in!!

rabbitstew Fri 12-Oct-12 09:20:37

I have definitely encountered sexism, but of the rather pathetic, weak variety that can easily be responded to, rather than sexism accompanied by the genuine power to mess up or hold back my career. I am fully aware, however, that had I chosen a different career and tried to stick with it, or come up against a particular individual who took against me, I might have encountered something more sinister or institutionalised. I am also aware that I am now on a different footing because, like madwoman, I now have a less clear CV. However, since a man who had done what I have done would be treated with similar uncertainty when looking at their CV, I wouldn't view that as a negative for me, it's sexism that counts against men and in favour of women, as people might be more understanding of my having had a career break while my children are small than they would of a man having done the same thing - something utterly unfair on men who have sensibly decided that they are the ones in the better position to take the career break if, in their family circumstances, that seems the best arrangement.

pianomama Fri 12-Oct-12 10:34:06

orange - I think its quite fab to be a manager mistaken for an office angel PA. Girl power! Surely thats not sexist - just funny?

MordionAgenos Fri 12-Oct-12 10:41:35

@orange Quite. The nature of sexism changes, also. I'm way too senior to have British people be overtly rude or dodgy to me now. But being the only woman in the room at important professional level meetings (ie meetings where different organisations send representatives) is to experience sexism, even if its not sexism directed specifically at me. Being constantly met with surprise when new people learn I have 3 kids and then having to field the 'who looks after them, how do you cope' question for the umpty thrumptieth time is to experience sexism. (My standard answer now is 'the daleks'. It's not entirely inaccurate either).Being 'the first woman' to do this that and the other is sort of nice but also .....honestly, I don't want to be the first. I'd rather be the 10th or the 'who knows how many we've had'. I never set out to be a pioneer. I just need to make sure I'm not bored in my job because I don't want to become boring.

MordionAgenos Fri 12-Oct-12 10:48:22

@rabbit you are completely right about men and career breaks. It's not right.

One of the good things I think I've achieved in my current job is that several of my close colleagues (male and female) with youngish kids now work from home one or two days a week - I was the 'door pusher' for that and it has helped quite a few people. I'm rarely proud of anything I do at work in anything other than a 'job done well gives satisfaction' or 'tricky problem solved' sort of way - essentially it's B ark stuff, we aren't splitting the atom - but I'm proud of that.

Xenia Fri 12-Oct-12 10:51:59

It is getting better. Also a lot of people's work these days is by email. People I work with could have 3 legs or no legs or be 40 stone or 7 stone and I'd never know so technology in a sense abolishes the sexism which is great. As I want to work until I am 80+ I also need to ensure ageism cannot apply either.

The power of threes is supposed to work. If 3 women or more on a board are female then they are not special or other and it is no big deal. If you are the only one then it is more of an issue.

Yes, of course there is masses of sexism. I think most sensible young women know how to deal with it but it is there all the time. There is a new casual sexism site (and twitter feed too) I can't remember the reference and there are good stories on there of what people encounter. You may not get the BBC man who used to come back drunk and walk through the office with his penis hanging out of his trousers as one female older journalist described in the press but there will be young women subjected to sexual comments and touching every day all over England. It is much better than it was but still there.

rabbitstew Fri 12-Oct-12 11:29:50

pianomama - in answer to your earlier question, I would rather competitive women directed their energy to other forms of competition than competitive parenting, which I don't think is helpful or constructive competition. (Mind you, devious, putting down others and being rude about them behind their backs isn't healthy competition in any sort of environment, if that's the sort of competition you were thinking of!).

pianomama Fri 12-Oct-12 12:10:22

I was thinking about a conversation with a friend who told me a little girl (8 years old) was being tied up to a chair to make sure she does piano practice for 3 hours.Becuse "it is much harder for a girl to be succesful".
May be her mother would be better off competing with men in who earns more after all. Or is she trying to ensure that little girl will not be dominted by men when she grows up by being super succesful? I think any extreme is not smart..

breadandbutterfly Fri 12-Oct-12 12:37:35

Mordion, you've obviously had a tough life so your v aggressive response to an obviously jokey post about those on 100K being drinkers and shaggers is maybe understandable - but you may be unaware that you come across as v intolerant of other posters who have made different choices to you, on this thread.

i posted a reasoned response to your objections to the shaggers/drinkers point upthread, namely that v high earners may well tend towards being more unpleasant, immoral types on average (not including you or Xenia in this, nor every high earner - but revelations in the news ove the last couple of years of numerous wealthy/powerful people in a range of jobs being exceptionally corrupt does make one wonder how common that is). Whether they are successful because they are corrupt or corrupt becaue they are successful is a moot point.

Clearly, the views of those on this thread as to the ideal role/s of women will vary reflecting the choices that they themselves made.

I don't see why a bit of tolerance can't be expected from all sides - why you and xenia should be allowed to get away with making demeaning comments about other women's work and lifestyles when if the same comments were made by a man "Housewives are stupid", "Chidcare work is inferior" etc then every sane person on this forum would be up in arms about it!

MordionAgenos Fri 12-Oct-12 12:58:41

@bread I am not being at all aggressive. I'm just not prepared to accept that level of insult - it was certainly not meant to be jokey, the poster was clearly trying to be insulting presumably as a result of envy and/or dissatisfaction with her own life. Many many posters bang on incessantly about Xenia's insults to SAHM's (insults I have not supported, I have several times pointed out that people who are bored are in fact boring and sensible interesting people therefore will never be bored being SAHMs) but seem to expect to be nasty about working mums with impunity.Well, they can obviously say what they want but they shouldn't expect nobody to comment on it. The poster has neither apologised for nor retracted her comments, she compounded them with additional barbs about people valuing money more than family. It's clear even to the meanest intelligence that she meant to be rude and she didn't care about offending anyone.

You need to read this thread again, because far from being intolerant of SAHMs I have often said I'd bloody love to be one and certainly would be one if we won the lottery (although I don't think I've made the lottery comment in this thread.) The only people I am intolerant of are dissemblers and hypocrites.

Regarding corruption - corruption at the top of the scale invariably costs more and has a bigger financial impact but in terms of volume of incidents rather than volume of losses, there is far far more fraud committed by people low down in the corporate food chain. And the biggest losses of all (except in Eastern Europe where the situation is muddied by the still fluid nexus between old and new political and business systems) are caused by fraudulent manipulation which can be done by 'middle people' upwards.

I have not made any demeaning comments about housewives at all. Not one. In this thread or any other.

Xenia Fri 12-Oct-12 14:23:07

We have wonderful levels of lack of corruption at the top in the UK compared with many countries internationally. We are very lucky that that is so. In recession it suits governments to find people to blame which could be bankers or single mothers on benefits or the very few people who have made a lot of money in the UK. However much of what is written is not accurate. However just like a "good foreign war" it can help as a distraction from people's day to day woes in a recession. When jobs are scare countries often try to suggest women ought to be at home too so we obviously need to guard against such a pernicious suggestion wherever we see it.

I am not the only person on the planet who thinks childcare and cleaning are low value and low paid. Just about every culture ever has sought to subcontract out as much of that stuff as possible. Obviously parents of both genders do enjoy some baby care and love being with our children in reasonable amounts but no one really wants to do it 24/7. Not surprisingly therefore in most cultures ever it is the lowest paid area of work.

rabbitstew Fri 12-Oct-12 14:29:46

I agree, MordionAgenos, it is unfair to accuse you of having been intolerant of other peoples' choices. You have only ever objected to the reasons some people have given for not making other choices.

I don't know about people in power being inclined to be more corrupt. I think that's rather cynical! I want and need to believe that some people want power because they really (even if misguidedly) think they can do good and have enough self belief to carry it through. But, frankly, I don't really care about whether it can scientifically be proven that power seekers always enjoy abusing their power when they get it, I do think standards should be higher for those in power, whether they like it or not, because of the disproportionate amount of power they yield. Power brings colossal responsibility - or it d*mn well should. Society, however, seems to favour coming down hard on those with the least power and letting those with the most power get away with far lighter chastisement.

rabbitstew Fri 12-Oct-12 14:32:49

Xenia - maybe you aren't the only person who thinks childcare and cleaning are low value and low paid because society around the world is sexist and therefore has always denigrated work done by women. I don't see why you have to retain its low grade status and take women away from it as opposed to learning to value it for what a lot of women actually see as its true worth - and then let men get in on the action, too!

MordionAgenos Fri 12-Oct-12 14:36:31

@Xenia We do OK in terms of (lack of) fraud and corruption here - we aren't the best but we are nowhere near the worst. This is basically one of the more honest countries however of course so many businesses are transnational now and fraudulent manipulation in particular can have an impact far beyond the jurisdiction in which the initial problems occurred. In a recession the drivers of fraud are magnified, sadly while there may be coincident drivers for governments to publicise things such as 'benefit fraud' (rarely actually fraud of course) but this doesn't change the fact that all the research indicates that in times of economic distress the drivers for fraud (broadly, opportunity and incentive) are amplified and the incidence of fraud increases.

Apparently (this is annecdotal information picked up at events in Brussels recently) in some European states we are seeing disproportionate pressures applied to women in the workplace now. Its certainly a fact that the austerity measures introduced in this country are affecting women far more than they are affecting men (at the moment. Of course, what affects a woman will usually affect a man too where the woman is married/in a partnership with a man so its a bit simplistic to ignore this - but still....)

A job having low value in economic terms does not of course mean that it has low intrinsic value, merely that the people who make the decisions about these things believe that it does. In my view they are wrong. If we were to ever see true gender equality I believe we would see much better rates of pay for things like childcare and also care of the elderly not least because these are activities which cannot be done (for want of a better snappy description) digitally. This would be partly because women would have more influence over the attributions of economic value and partly because men would demand that such work was valued more appropriately if they ever had to actually, you know, do it in great numbers (for the reverse of this see the decline in pay rates for formerly male now predominantly female professions and job sectors).

Xenia Fri 12-Oct-12 15:15:00

I think it's much more simple. Free markets decide things. The pretty and kind girl gets the better man. The dustbin man is lucky to get the shop girl. Ayone with arms can clean, hardly anyone in the UK can do what I do hence the cleaner gets the minimum weekly wage which I earn in an hour. It's all just common sense. If people want to try to found some kind of commune where minding a child and cleaning is as highly paid as brain surgery let them try.

It is however very anti feminist to try to elevate boring cleaning and service jobs to heights as it keeps women down and doing them. It is like lazy men who have seduced a housewife type and say - I could never do what my wife does, she's a saint and a hero - he is just saying that to make her feel appreciated even though most people can empty the washer and sing to a toddler whilst the baby is in their arms.

MordionAgenos Fri 12-Oct-12 15:22:37

Well, if you believe we ever operate in a truly free market then I'm afraid I really can't help you. grin

I would be tempted to draw a sizeable distinction between childcare and cleaning, but I have learned the lesson of the B ark better than some, it would seem. However it is I think not tempting any variant of hubris to point out that there is a sizeable space between 'lower than living wage' salaries and those commanded by brain surgeons (brain surgery of course is one of those areas which is most definitely vulnerable to technological advances. As is cleaning. Childcare, not so much).

rabbitstew Fri 12-Oct-12 15:26:34

Only an idiot thinks anyone can do childcare. Just look at the mess we have in society as a result of thinking anyone can do it... In fact, just look at the mess we have in hospitals as a result of thinking anyone can keep them clean!...

rabbitstew Fri 12-Oct-12 15:28:04

And free markets do not decide things, because whilst we have rampant sexism in operation, we don't have anything like a free market.

MordionAgenos Fri 12-Oct-12 15:31:28

@rabbit Exactly. The B ark lesson resonates everywhere. And sexism is just one of the distortions which ensure that the 'free' market is anything but.

rabbitstew Fri 12-Oct-12 15:40:42

Loads of people were willing and able to take up my vacated position as a solicitor in the City. I would have been a fool to think nobody else could do it. I don't think I would have found someone I viewed as an ideal carer for my children unless I had been willing and able to pay them an awful lot of money. I value my role very highly, thank you very much. grin

MordionAgenos Fri 12-Oct-12 15:58:41

@rabbit I expect that all this is true. It is the case though that there are some very specialised roles in the city in some fields which only a very small number of people are qualified to do, in some cases because a key element of 'being qualified' to do the thing is having a body of certain specific very specialised work experience that only a tiny number of people will have. I'm one of a very small number of people in the world who can do what I do. Lots of people could probably do it if they had followed exactly the same career path as me and built up the same CV (and had the same skills mix, because it's not all about knowledge) but few people have done that therefore I get paid what I get paid for being a very scarce commodity. This means that I get away with being (a) female and (b) strange grin

Xenia Fri 12-Oct-12 16:24:32

All cultures and countries have cleaning and housework at the bottom and rich women always find others to help with the dross of day to day childcare although we all of course like a few hours to cuddle and breastfeed our babies. I think you can value rare skills. Miss World will make money and marry a billionaire whereas someone who looks like the back end of a bus won't. Someone with an IQ of 80 will not be in much demand whereas someone rather brighter may find employers and indeed potential husbands in effect bidding for them left right and centre. I agree it is very hard to get entirely free markets just as much as it has been very hard to experiment with pure communism.

It may be sexism that women get landed with years of dull domesticity but they must take some responsibility 0 they can shout from the roof tops I am far too good for this, it is dull dull dulll, they can say to their husband when he suggests they stay home - oi buster - here is the baby, if you think it's so much fun or necessary for a parent to be at home you do it.

To suggest caring for under 3s is very difficult and only mothers can do it keeps women down and in fact is much worse sexism than someone whistling at you in the office when you bend over. A philosophy that dull jobs have value when done by women is very very damaging to women.

MordionAgenos Fri 12-Oct-12 16:36:15

I don't think anyone here has suggested that dull jobs have value when done by women. I have suggested that some (obviously not all) jobs which you call dull may not actually be as dull as you believe and furthermore are currently given low economic value because of their perceived 'women's work' status rather than because they are easy to do well, or dull. In societies across the world we can see evidence of shifting value patterns where previously 'male-domain' jobs have become either gender neutral or more 'female domain'.

I agree that there are some people on this thread who have either suggested outright, or implied, that only mothers can care for under 3s properly. This is clearly lunacy of the first order. Fathers can care for under 3s properly, and men and women who have not had children can also do this. But clearly not everybody can do it well - there is a definite skillset involved (one element of which is probably not finding it boring). There is a world of difference between believing that caring for under 3s is difficult (not that I do, necessarily - I do believe though that not everybody can do it well) and believing that only mothers can do it.

rabbitstew Fri 12-Oct-12 17:39:49

I found the area of work I was doing as a solicitor extremely boring. That's how I knew I'd chosen the wrong area of work! My clients were definitely getting the more interesting end of the transactions. Looking after my under 3s was far more energising - the great thing about kids is they keep growing up and changing and, when they are your own, are somehow far more endearing, amusing and generally diverting than the clients I used to work for... I saw quite clearly that some of the people I worked with genuinely did enjoy what they were doing, some were also highly specialised after years of doing the job and it would have been a disaster for the firm if they had left (and pretty bad for them if their specialism ceased to be relevant), but a substantial proportion really didn't enjoy what they did, they just didn't know what else to do once they'd got thus far and assumed that most well paid jobs were stressful and boring, one way or another.

pianomama Sat 13-Oct-12 22:35:08

rabbit - I think you do not have to explain the obvious. I really think that being a mother is the most important, fulfilling , rewarding , enriching job you will ever do. We are so luckly to be able to give life, admire it,nurture it and keep its bottoms clean. Everything else is secondary. It is the only natural, unselfish and truly rewarding job that will never get boring. (I think) .
Why compete with men when we can make them - men, women and bring them up to be the way we like and believe is right? We are in charge - the hand which rocks the cradle rules the world.Thats my kind of feminism.
I think a lot of sexist behaviour in a work place comes from men who are insecure - why give them a satisfction by engaging in it? If you are good at what you do there is very little they can do to undermind it. Girl power.

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