Mumsnet - a site for parents?

(519 Posts)
anidea Mon 22-Feb-10 12:29:55


We have recently been in contact with Olivia Vandyk of mumsnet regarding the practises and values of this website.
Here follows a transcript of that conversation, see what you think:

On 21 Feb 2010, at 08:54, James Wallace wrote:


My girlfriend and I recently heard about your website and we are interested in your tag line "By parents for parents", when the site is called 'mumsnet'.

We think a title such as this propagates a stereotypical view that women are the main parents, and can't quite believe that anyone would think this as acceptable.

We think we as a society have grown beyond the point where such stereotypes are applicable and we hope we have passed the point where they are acceptable.

We look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

James Wallace and Tania Pieri

On 22 Feb 2010, at 09:21, Olivia Vandyk wrote:

Hi there

Thanks for your comments. We hope Mumsnet isn't exclusive to mums and indeed we know we have plenty of dads who log on and contribute. If it doesn't sound too pompous we think the concept of "mumming/mothering" goes beyond gender so don't feel mumsnet is too exclusive. We did think of calling the site but it just sounded so hideous.

While the majority of our posters are women, we do have Dadsnet specifically for men to chat here

But folks won't be surprised or bothered by having a male joining in anywhere on the site.

We also have a section for same-sex parents here

Hope this clears up any concerns. Welcome to Mumsnet - do let us know if there's anything else with which we can help
Best wishes

On 22 Feb 2010, at 12:04, James Wallace wrote:

Dear Olivia,

Thank you very much for the response. We're glad to hear that men can and do join in with discussions on mumsnet, but we are somewhat disappointed that there is an apparent need to have separate areas of the sites for dads and gay parents. Every caring parent has one individual goal - doing everything they can to promote the welfare and happiness of their child or children; so why not all work together, talk together, support each other and help promote understanding between different groups whether they are of different gender or different sexual persuasion. These categorisations are irrelevant we believe amongst a community of parents.

We can see that there are definite differences between the sexes in terms of the fact that women are the only gender that get pregnant and have the choice to breastfeed. However, whatever discussions are had between women on the topics of pregnancy or breastfeeding, it would be useful for all parents to join in the conversations so that they may better understand the situation and the difficulties and joys of the process.

We hope you are well and having a happy day,

James and Tania

<happy day.jpg>

On 22 Feb 2010, at 12:10, Olivia Vandyk wrote:

Hi James and Tania
I'm having quite a happy day, though the snow is dampening my spirits somewhat as it complicates all manner of the day's logistics!

Thanks so much for your reply.

Your points below actually sound like a great starting point for a a Mumsnet discussion.
The best place to ask for strategies and tips is our Talk board.
You can post and debate this with our users and see what they think.

Our Talk board is where we get all of our hints and ideas on how to handle issues - you'll be in good hands.
One pointer though, as you're a new poster you may want to avoid posting this in our "am I being unreasonable?" topic to start off with as this is our feistiest area which encourages people to be particularly forthright in their replies.
Again, do get back to us if we can help further.
Best wishes

On 22 Feb 2010, at 12:25, James Wallace wrote:

Okay, thank you for the reply, we will post on the site shortly.

I think they need to lighten up

ToccataAndFudge Mon 22-Feb-10 12:34:46

hmm didn't MN users themselves ask for the gay parents and dad sections?

Seems a bit of a daft argument to me.

Should they rename "Babyworld".......because lots of the posters don't have babies (because they're somewhat larger than the "baby" stage) now.

ChristianaTheSeventh Mon 22-Feb-10 12:34:49

Message withdrawn

SazzlesA Mon 22-Feb-10 12:34:49

Like 'Mumsnet'. 'Parentsnet' is dire. I regularly converse with a lady with no children on here and have had plenty of debates with men (knowingly or unknowingly) and grandparents. Not really so sure why you are getting your knickers (and boxers obv) in a twist about this hmm

Just wondering, do you have the same issue with NetMums? What was their response to your letter?

Rosa Mon 22-Feb-10 12:35:37

I would try it out first then whinge / make complaints / suggestions afterwards.

Welcome to Parents net, granparents net. Nanny and Aupair net. Friends net Step parents net ...Probably foogot a few others as well.

BariatricObama Mon 22-Feb-10 12:35:52

i think you and your girlfriend need to get out more.

SazzlesA Mon 22-Feb-10 12:36:19

Oh and Bounty, is that a site exclusively for ships or chocolate bars to converse on? confused

Lulumama Mon 22-Feb-10 12:36:19

not sure what you are trying to achieve

men and women can comment anywhere on any part of the site, including childbirth & breastfeeding.. women can comment in dadsnet and men on mumsnet

the site is huge, to ahve everything in one big homogenous lump does not take into account the varying needs and experiences of mums & dads

many of these subsections exist because regular uses of Mumsnet wanted them to exist, MN has evolved to take into account the needs/wants of its members

it is by parents, for parents

Rosa Mon 22-Feb-10 12:36:24

Sorry spell check not working !

BariatricObama Mon 22-Feb-10 12:36:26

and lol @ olivia politely passing the dullards over to us

Comewhinewithme Mon 22-Feb-10 12:36:38

Are you just trying to smeak in a really tedious link to your website or something?

PollyTroll Mon 22-Feb-10 12:36:53

Poor Olivia grin

I like the fact that this is an overwhelmingly female site; it's very different in tone and content from male-dominated sites (ie most internet sites), and is all the better for it IMO.

Plus, the womanly nature of it all means that when we want to start threads about bleeding nipples, heavy periods or surprising discharge, we can do so without having to worry about men's sensibilities.

Because of the site's nature, the men who do post here regularly tend to like women (real women, not souped-up femme-bots) and are happy to take part in a conversation on women's terms. Which is still a very unusual thing in the public sphere.

There are a gazillion gender-neutral parenting sites out there; it's not like MN is the only alternative. This site is successful and feted because of its largely female status.

IMO grin

Lulumama Mon 22-Feb-10 12:37:39

it might be stereotypical, but it also true on the whole, that mothers are the primary care givers

CMOTdibbler Mon 22-Feb-10 12:39:57

Not quite sure what your issue is tbh. There are specialised sections for Gay parents, Disabled parents, Adoptive parents, Dads, Grans etc, but people post whereever they feel their post fits in best. But sometimes when it is a topic specifically related to their parental status, they post in that particular section as other people in the same grouping (for want of a better word) will usually check their bit so they are more likely to get useful responses.

And since the users of this site are happy with the way it is, perhaps you'd be better being part of the community first, then judging it

Lulumama Mon 22-Feb-10 12:39:58

I also find it terribly presumptous and rude to email the founder of a v v succesful and well known website, that has hit the headlines frequently, and basically tell them off and say 'could do better' and then post that on the site itself.

Anguis Mon 22-Feb-10 12:40:26

Exactly so, pollytroll.

weegiemum Mon 22-Feb-10 12:41:02


Or just don't have enough to do? unlike busy old me.

KentuckyFriedPenguin Mon 22-Feb-10 12:41:31

anidea - is that your contact with Olivia?

The seperate parts that are mentioned were asked for by members not to feel like that is the only place to post if you are for exapmle a dad but so that IN ONE PLACE you can find "dads" or "same sex parents" just the same as you can find "recipes" "special needs" and "chat".

There already is a dadsnet

NFI Mon 22-Feb-10 12:42:13

Do you really think it is appropriate to C&P an conversation with someone verbatim? hmm you could have paraphrased, I think that is rather rude.

Nice (but not terribly subtle) plug for your own website, by the way.

MNHQ are a private company, not a government organisation, they can call their own website "" if they want.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 12:42:19

psml at Bariatric.

Can imagine Olivia rolling eyes and thinking oh ffs just go and ask them then. 10 kindness points for advising to avoid AIBU. I would not have been so kind smile

DorotheaPlenticlew Mon 22-Feb-10 12:42:37

"Because of the site's nature, the men who do post here regularly tend to like women (real women, not souped-up femme-bots) and are happy to take part in a conversation on women's terms. Which is still a very unusual thing in the public sphere."


And second the question about Netmums: OP, have you approached them with a similar query?

I think they might not quite understand the idea of different topics. It is good to have different sections for different topics but obviously everyone can post wherever they want.

Carrotfly Mon 22-Feb-10 12:44:05


Oh yes, I am presuming netmums has also been approached.

KentuckyFriedPenguin Mon 22-Feb-10 12:45:00

would be interested to hear your answer to these questions please ...

1) why have you left a blatant link to your website? That should be paid for in a different section (which you would know as it appears you have explored them all wink)

2) have you raised this issues with NetMums and Dadsnet?
2a) What was their response?

3) did you take the time to look at the threads on MNbefore you emailed Olivia? If you did you will notice several users use the word DAD in their name, the nicknames are anonymous - anyone of us could be male.

norksinmywaistband Mon 22-Feb-10 12:45:18

I agree with olivia, as have other debates on here, Mothering is an occupation which is not gender specific.
If the OP bothered to use the site they may find that out!

Hadn't even noticed the subtle plug of website. Too subtle for me

squeaver Mon 22-Feb-10 12:46:06

No she's a dancer

Very strange

Olivia - diplomatic medal of the day goes to you.

KentuckyFriedPenguin Mon 22-Feb-10 12:46:12

Also, do you have issues with place names too such as MANchester?

paisleyleaf Mon 22-Feb-10 12:48:45

Do the happy days couple really want us to change it all because they've had an idea?
Is their agenda as simple as that?
I'd thought mumsnet was quite successful.
There are other sites.

aoyama Mon 22-Feb-10 12:50:28

"we are somewhat disappointed that there is an apparent need to have separate areas of the sites for dads and gay parents."

I don't understand the disappointment here. I am not a gay parent (or lone parent or a living overseas parent or a parent of a child with sn for which there are 'seperate areas') but I would assume that a gay parent might post something relevent to being a gay parent in the gay parents section with the hope that it would be seen by someone who could help with that specific issue. I wouldn't expect a gay parent to confine themselves to this one area and post other threads such as 'AIBU to not want to go to a wedding of people I have never met', 'dd will only eat bread', 'do you have snow where you live', 'what do do in London for 3hrs without dcs'. Ditto dads posts in dadsnet. You are being ludicrous.

" Every caring parent has one individual goal - doing everything they can to promote the welfare and happiness of their child or children; so why not all work together, talk together, support each other and help promote understanding between different groups whether they are of different gender or different sexual persuasion. These categorisations are irrelevant we believe amongst a community of parents."

Isn't that exactly what we are doing here on Mumsnet?

And the fact that we have grown to be the biggest, feistiest, most influential, most helpful, most interesting and entertaining parentign website on the planet suggests that perhaps we're going about it the right way - sexiest name notwithstanding!

Her legs stretch very well

GhoulsAreLoud Mon 22-Feb-10 12:51:52

Um, get a life springs to mind.

Sorry James and Tania, I'm not good with very earnest people.

What a typo! blush I oughtt to preview before posting, not review after posting.

Obviously I meant sexist name.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 12:53:04

Where are the (boring) OPs?

Come on you two where is your rationale. And don't you know that you can also watch telly or read books rather than concoct your own personal theories on how perfectly good websites shoulkd be amended.

Lol at paisley's 'happy days couple'

WoTmania Mon 22-Feb-10 12:53:32


Valpollicella Mon 22-Feb-10 12:53:44

Wow. Too much time on your hands to think this all through I think.

Time which you probably could spend redesigning your site tbh...

I don't understand what their problem is?

"it would be useful for all parents to join in the conversations"

Truly, who is stopping anyone from chipping in their tuppence worth?

It's not like we actually read what each other write is it? wink

paisleyleaf Mon 22-Feb-10 12:55:35

Good delegating Olivia.

PollyTroll Mon 22-Feb-10 12:56:05

" Every caring parent has one individual goal - doing everything they can to promote the welfare and happiness of their child or children; so why not all work together, talk together, support each other and help promote understanding between different groups whether they are of different gender or different sexual persuasion. These categorisations are irrelevant we believe amongst a community of parents."

Actually, this paragraph gives me the willies (no pun intended). It's like those men who hang around labour wards saying 'We want a natural birth.'

Some aspects of parenting DO differ between men and women. And maybe some of us women rather like having a space in which we can talk to (largely) other women about these aspects. It doesn't mean that we don't appreciate fathers/grandfathers/men in general - it's just a different space/

ShauntheSheep Mon 22-Feb-10 12:56:21

It all seems a bit like semantics to me and depends on how you define the words 'mother' and 'mothering'. I am the 'mother' in our household but dp as the SAHD does lots fo the 'mothering'.

paisleyleaf Mon 22-Feb-10 12:57:14

Oh, and it is starting to seem as though we need a 'new ideas and criticisms from first time posters' topic.

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 12:57:33

Oh Fgs

weirdy weirdy people


it would be useful for all parents to join in the conversations so that they may better understand the situation and the difficulties and joys of the process.

Can you not understand that MN is user-led

there is NOTHING to stop anyone joining in anything they want to.

just leave us alone!

PollyTroll Mon 22-Feb-10 12:58:43

lol paisley

So, er, what exactly is the problem? This is a parenting forum frequented largely (but by no means exclusively) by mothers. It is therefore called Mumsnet - this makes it clear that the main link between the majority of posters is motherhood. There are however many posters who are not mothers - and they are welcomed anywhere in the site, but also have "special-interest" corners for their own possible areas of interest - Gransnet, Dadsnet, Mumsnot.

They are not excluded from any area - no-one is! However, everyone is aware that the majority of other posters you will encounter are mothers - and therefore if you want to join in with the forum, you should generally be happy to be in the company of mothers. If not, then this probably isn't the forum for you. A forum that had equal proportions of fathers and mothers would be different, and a forum that was mainly fathers would be different again. Not necessarily better or worse, just different.

GhoulsAreLoud Mon 22-Feb-10 13:00:05

Am having visual images of Oliviamumsnet politely directing them to post that on here and then whispering "kill them" into a secret microphone.


shonaspurtle Mon 22-Feb-10 13:00:39

The majority of posters on this site are female and the majority are mothers. I think the name of the site describes its core user group well.

However, it's not exclusive. People who aren't parents post, men post.

Actually, I can't be bothered typing any more. I'm totally baffled as to your point. Tis pc gorn mad, and in all seriousness I never ever thought I'd say that.

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 13:00:58

...and what do you WANT the site to be called?

Are you even parents? Why are you posting here? Can I not click on your website unless I am having a happy day?

Ewe Mon 22-Feb-10 13:01:28

OP clearly mad.

I suspect anyone who puts a happy day message/picture on the bottom of an email might find that other forums would be a better fit for them grin

paisleyleaf Mon 22-Feb-10 13:01:40

GoulsAreLoud grin

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 13:01:41

LOL Ghouls grin

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 13:02:39

Team posting really gets up my arse.

bosch Mon 22-Feb-10 13:02:41

To be fair to the OPs, we all know what Mumsnet is about but if they've only just discovered it, they might have a point that someone who's just come across it would assume that a site called Mumsnet is for, erm, Mums.

On the other hand, I think Mums do take the major parenting role (when dh and I try to split it 50:50 its a bloody pain - I need one of us in charge!) and the op's are being a bit hmm in suggesting that 'in this day and age we all know that parenting is truly shared experience'.

Financially, if neither dh nor I put career ahead (even slightly) of childcare responsibilities, we'd be far worse off. Which means that the other one of us has to take the principle parenting role...

Anguis Mon 22-Feb-10 13:02:50

I can't stop thinking about Keith and Candice-Marie from [[ Nuts in May]. Anyone remember them?

Ingles2 Mon 22-Feb-10 13:03:04

oh bless them...
with their earnest comments and amateur website..
I wonder if they even have children..

Anguis Mon 22-Feb-10 13:03:16
Ewe Mon 22-Feb-10 13:05:31

Perhaps OP should name change to 'ashitidea' - more appropriate?

That link is BRILLIANT Anguis.

CaptainNancy Mon 22-Feb-10 13:05:33

rofl... I thought this was Greeny, until someone posted a link to Tania's website (who, incidentally, I have seen perform).

James- you have too much time on your hands- clearly you have no children, so why are you reading a parenting site?

LilyBolero Mon 22-Feb-10 13:06:04

MN is a VERY female-oriented site. Only today I read on a thread that 'mothers have more rights to an opinion than dads, because they 'grew' the baby.'

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:06:42

Look, I started a thread last week requesting that we have a new 'twat' emoticon.

Justine turned me down flat.

Bet you regret that now MNHQ, when a twat emotiocn would come in so useful here.

BariatricObama Mon 22-Feb-10 13:07:58

do you think james wears cheese cloth adn celebrates tania's menses?

ChoChoSan Mon 22-Feb-10 13:08:05

I think they should re-name it tragicbarrenhag because I don't have kids but still use the site...flounce

stealthsquiggle Mon 22-Feb-10 13:08:06

OP is/are clearly barking. And joint email/MN accounts are just naff - you are two people FGS not one.

Olivia - full marks for not just ignoring them completely. I would have done.

nighbynight Mon 22-Feb-10 13:08:21

OPs - lighten up a bit. this question is as old as mumsnet itself!

I think the name Mumsnet is apt, as the site is overwhelmingly feminine in style. When men do come here, by and large they bend to the prevailing style, which is very different from some male dominated chat boards.

Why are British people so obsessed with some phoney concept of "Equality" these days, wanting everything to merge into some median whole, where nobody stands out as different from anyone else in case their feelings are hurt?
What happened to Diversity and its sibling Tolerance?

BariatricObama Mon 22-Feb-10 13:08:35

new twat emoticon [james]

Valpollicella Mon 22-Feb-10 13:09:17

grin Bariatric

nighbynight Mon 22-Feb-10 13:09:35

Getorf - Justine was wise. Half the posts would be [twat] if it was allowed!

Dominique07 Mon 22-Feb-10 13:10:04

I realise it seems totally OTT and extra PC.
However my partner did feel similarly, even when we first walked through the door of Mothercare when I was pregnant, he was surprised that it had that name.
He made the same comment about mumsnet himself.
I bet he'd shop at 'mothercare' more if it were a more unisex name and were targeted more at both sexes. I have to say he is a fantastic Dad and I do feel sad at the part of our society which feels it is ok to shoulder out the man in favour of the mother knowing best for her child.
It is easy as a woman to say, rubbish, mumsnet is a perfectly ok name for the website. But we are mums, so, we wouldn't feel alienated by that title would we?

KerryMumbles Mon 22-Feb-10 13:10:24


go set up


or something

Valpollicella Mon 22-Feb-10 13:10:49

When they do have kids they probably will throw a party for the DD's first period

Blackduck Mon 22-Feb-10 13:12:06

Blimey people don't half get their knickers in a twist about some odd things....

Lulumama Mon 22-Feb-10 13:12:54

I don't think the OPs are coming back

Ivykaty44 Mon 22-Feb-10 13:13:08

Well if mumsnet got rid of the dadsnet section and gay parent section - well there would be uproar, just like if they got rid of the food section or teens - they are all parts of the one whole board and responses come form either men or woman, I have no idea who I am talking to - it really doesn't matter whether they are whoever.

LeninGrad Mon 22-Feb-10 13:13:33

I am not discussing this until the £30 is stumped up for advertising their website. I won't click on it either (so if someone could just tell me what it's about, that'd be great smile.

And hands off the LGBT section, we're like a circle in a wheel, or summat.

BariatricObama Mon 22-Feb-10 13:14:11

they are too busy having tantric sex

ChristinePrattsDog Mon 22-Feb-10 13:15:13

this is a bit infringing on Olivias privacy - surname and all?

Mumcentreplus Mon 22-Feb-10 13:15:19

<<still chuckling @Ghouls>> grin

See this is the type of thing that occurs when people have too much time on their hands wink

Ingles2 Mon 22-Feb-10 13:15:28

Then there is the argument for not taking things at face value...once you have spent many an hour realising what a fantastic, diverse and eclectic community this is, the name is inconsequential.

Gosh! How lucky we are to have someone who can come on here and tell us how wrong we've been doing it all these years!

What a debt of gratitude we owe them.

smile (more passive aggressive than [twat])

ThePinkOne Mon 22-Feb-10 13:16:26

Ooh, you nest of vipers you. They only had an idea <snort>

Ingles2 Mon 22-Feb-10 13:17:03

no they're not coming back... they're probably cooking their lentils

AitchTwoOhOneOh Mon 22-Feb-10 13:18:02

i SO AGREE with pollytroll, thank god it's called mumsnet, it prevents the worst of the snooty sexist guardian/mail/times male forumites posting here. i am thrilled to come on here and get the female perspective, and for the most part the men on here are fine too, insofar as they generally pass unnoticed in the thrum. but if it comes down to it and the men were acting like they do on other forums, i'd ditch 'by parents for parents' in a heartbeat.

how funny of tania and james to write that letter, though, it's kinda cute. do you think they actually have kids? that legz akimbo posish must have been handy during labour. lol at olivia throwing them to the dogs btw.

PollyTroll Mon 22-Feb-10 13:18:54

I was searching 'mumsnet' on Twitter after Victoria C slagged us off on telly the other night, and there were loads of tweets to her saying 'Thank god you said that, posters on mumsnet are a load of smug bitches'. I was wondering who all these people are who hate us so much.

Now I'm thinking that they are people who have posted unwisely in the 'Newbies: criticism and bright ideas' topic.

DorotheaPlenticlew Mon 22-Feb-10 13:19:03

They're not posting here again because they've realized they should have started their thread in the new "twatsnet" topic that Olivia is busy creating right now.

i think james and tania are nutters

crumpette Mon 22-Feb-10 13:19:28

James and Tania, assuming you are real, nice, genuine people.. and not journalists looking for an easy story.. welcome to mumsnet

I am a mum, but I do regularly converse with dads and grandparents on this site, a lot of posters are dads and post all over the place, not just in a separate thread

I think the ethos 'by parents for parents' sums it up well. Not that everyone is a parent either, but it is indicative of a broader range of people than simply mums and shows that the site is user led and is obviously what users want. There are other sites out there is mumsnet is not your cup of tea.
I can't help but feel that such a painfully 90s PC outlook on life is rather demonstrative of limitations of one's own biscuit

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 13:20:25

Christine if you have been banned enough times, you know all their surnames...

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:21:32

Lol at 'throwing them to the wolves'

Do you think MNHQ view us all as a bunch of errant children sometimes.

Oh I do hope so.

Lol again at Bariatric.

PollyTroll Mon 22-Feb-10 13:22:12

Olivia, can we all get a sticker please?

<waves to aitch>

BariatricObama Mon 22-Feb-10 13:22:28

you love that bariatric thing!

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:22:52

Mumsnet: A Site for Twats.

PLEASE MNHQ can we have a twat something.

It is such a good word and sums up so much in life.

ChristinePrattsDog Mon 22-Feb-10 13:23:35

i want a head girl emoticon

stealthsquiggle Mon 22-Feb-10 13:23:47

LOL Polly - I was thinking exactly the same - although I have to say that Victoria C's ill-informed vitriol did only serve to convince me that I didn't like her much - so clearly it is mutual.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:23:47

No, Bariatric, I am not laughing at your name again, I am laughing at what you are saying, you daft twat happorth.

BariatricObama Mon 22-Feb-10 13:24:43

[gets room with getorf]

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 13:25:58

they might give us a [prefect badge] or something.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:27:05

Bariatric stop being a [james]

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:27:39

Starts stamping and jumping up and down and throwing pencils on floor to gain MNHQ attention.

ChristinePrattsDog Mon 22-Feb-10 13:27:43

lol at banned
who was bariatric obama

DorotheaPlenticlew Mon 22-Feb-10 13:27:48

James and Tania will be shaking heads and going all cats-bum-mouth when they encounter the repeated use of the term "twat" in our posts.

I fully expect them to infer from it that we are irredeemably anti-women, at the same time as being prejudiced against fathers.

GypsyMoth Mon 22-Feb-10 13:28:14

am just marking my place for when it all kicks off when James and Tania come back......IF they come back.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:29:26

Yes Bariatric who did you used to be (Christine I thought it was one of your name changes at one point)

ShauntheSheep Mon 22-Feb-10 13:29:29

I agree with Pollytrol and Aitch too. 'worst of the snooty sexist guardian/mail/times male forumites' sums it up so totally. Deal with enough of those in RL.

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 13:29:33

I am sorry if the OPs are upset by this gentle hazeing

It's just that, well, most of us try to engage with the site, not shoot criticism at is not a computer screenshot, it consists of all of if you take it to bits, you are taking us to bits.

'Only Connect'

it is like walking into a party and saying' Ahem, erm, people...why are you all wearing these interesting costumes?'

rather than grabbing the nearest police cone, putting it on your head, and joining in...

morningpaper Mon 22-Feb-10 13:30:10

> <happy day.jpg>

<falls about laughing>

WHY do married couples BOTH sign emails? What is that ABOUT? It drives me NUTS!

It's almost as bad as people signing from "The Smith Family"

ChristinePrattsDog Mon 22-Feb-10 13:30:40

oh i hate that - coupley

BariatricObama Mon 22-Feb-10 13:31:00

i was eleanora bunting cupcake

Rindercella Mon 22-Feb-10 13:31:37

*Dorothea&, PMSL @ Twatsnet grin

I just reckon James & Tania saw yesterday's piece in the ST hmm

RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Mon 22-Feb-10 13:33:33

Oh I wondered where you'd gone EBC.

Perhaps JamesandTania would like to be my Nemesises?

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 13:34:27

Do you remember when those ceramic signs used to be the thing, 'The Bloggs live here'

our neighbour got one, the neighbours on the other side had been intending to and were most miffed. They considered getting 'The Bloggs live next door'.

Valpollicella Mon 22-Feb-10 13:34:34

Do you reckon they're like that Sew Liberated woman?

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:34:43

Christine - you need to change your name again it is too 'christine is a school administrator. She has home perms and has a secret crush on the caretaker'

ChristinePrattsDog Mon 22-Feb-10 13:35:11

OH MY GOD dont start on sew liberated

was browsing that only the other day wink

pixiestix Mon 22-Feb-10 13:35:43

I'm not a mum (yet) and have never ever been made to feel unwelcome on this site.

Oh, and if you are going to harp on about sex and gender at least have the decency to look up the meaning of those words.

"women are the only gender that get pregnant" angry

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:36:13

My grandfather was called Benjamin and my grandmother was called Winifred.

They called their house "Benwins" and had a piece of slate carved with the legend.

I think they are the spritual forefathers of James and Tania.

ChristinePrattsDog Mon 22-Feb-10 13:36:13
ChristinePrattsDog Mon 22-Feb-10 13:37:27
GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:37:38

AAh thyanks Bariatric (penny drops).

You make me larf.

PollyTroll Mon 22-Feb-10 13:38:16

lol '"women are the only gender that get pregnant" - there is a world of wrong in that sentence.

shock getorf - I think we might be related. My auntie Glenda and uncle Keith have a bungalow named 'Glenkeith'.

<feel mean posting this, they are top people>

morningpaper Mon 22-Feb-10 13:39:32

roffffffle@ halfbaby half-pea

ChristinePrattsDog Mon 22-Feb-10 13:40:50

when we bought our place the couple who left( divorcing along the way - found cans of beer in teh bedroom cupboard) left a nice fox ornage pink sign calling our new home


oh yes
and we BINNED it - i so regret it now

Valpollicella Mon 22-Feb-10 13:41:08

So virtous


ChristinePrattsDog Mon 22-Feb-10 13:41:18

pine sign
not a pink one

I bet they share one of those email addresses


RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Mon 22-Feb-10 13:41:49

I have an Auntie Glenda too, I've never heard of anyone else with one. I had thought that there were only about three people in the world called Glenda.

PMSL at GlenKeith.

People up th eroad from us had Shmervyn (Shirley and Mervyn). AWESOME.

BariatricObama Mon 22-Feb-10 13:42:20

i got totally sucked into the world of craft blogs over christmas. wanted to throw everything up and stay at home making vintage spoon warmers or whatever.

CatIsSleepy Mon 22-Feb-10 13:42:49

ah Olivia was beautifully polite

ChristinePrattsDog Mon 22-Feb-10 13:42:56

shouts louder
it was a pine burnedy tree trunk sign


Do you think they have monogrammed bathrobes with their initials intertwined?

OPs, obviously, not your Auntie Glenda Polly..

PollyTroll Mon 22-Feb-10 13:43:51

Schmervin ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaa

Reality, I have about 40,000 cousins (some of them not as removed as I would like) but AFAI can see you are not one of them. Shame. I do like a good cousins' piss-up.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:44:40

Lol Christine - it would have been better as a pink sign (las vegas) rather than a Pine one.

"Benwins" was carved in slate in german gothic script - looked distinclty odd.

My gran always decreed 'that sign will be worth a lot of money one day'. Eh? Why?. You're not Jackie O.

Christine, we hear you my love

V funny.

<<pats head>>

KentuckyFriedPenguin Mon 22-Feb-10 13:45:04

what the FUCK is that hat thing CHristine????shock

paisleyleaf Mon 22-Feb-10 13:45:42

I keep looking here to see if they've come back too.
They could be anywhere by now - there are a lot of websites that will need putting to rights, not just us.
9 o'clock sunday morning they e-mailed Olivia to justify mumsnet. That's dedicated.

ChristinePrattsDog Mon 22-Feb-10 13:45:50

its a very very pfb blog
the kids bedroom is montessoried

adn the dad wears dungarees in public

pixiestix Mon 22-Feb-10 13:46:13

"Gladdyerin" is just gorgeous!

The people out the back from us had a house called "Andes" - very exotic until you realised they were called Anne and Des.

RemyMartin Mon 22-Feb-10 13:47:16

So what if it's female-dominated? Men dominate the rest of the world.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:47:38


at Anne and Des.

Am going to start another thread for house signs.

BariatricObama Mon 22-Feb-10 13:47:40

and the grandparents have cutesy names despite the fact the child can't have possible made them up yet

I remember that, didn't the kid have some kind of dressing table at 18 months or something?

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 13:48:58

eowwww at the dungarees shock

Oh no.

ABetaDad Mon 22-Feb-10 13:49:37

My advice to James and Tania if you are looking is to just to join in and start posting wherever you want. If you are just thinking abut a family it is a great time to join and I certainly wish I had joined before our DSs were born.

The name Mumsnet does not matter at all because to each of it members it means a different thing. A good way to think about it would be to say 'You are what you post'. What and where you post evolves over time as your needs and interests change. Some people post exclusively in a few areas a few post all over the place.

Yes it is distinctly feminine and some female posters do clearly define themselves as 'Mums' and want it to be an exclusively Mums website. Other female posters come with a much more neutral 'parent' mindset though. I post with 'Dad' in my name as do some other men but mainly out of politeness to other posters - but in my mind I post mainly as a parent rather than Dad. The name maybe puts some men off from joining but my wife encouraged me to join even though she has never looked at the site herself and am glad I did.

In a sense I agree with what James and Tania are saying because parenting is still seen all too often as a female role - but MN is a parent website even if it says Mum on the tin. It just has a very different and welcome flavour to most other forums that are dominated by men.

Valpollicella Mon 22-Feb-10 13:51:02

That would be his 'personal care area' notwwaving hmm

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 13:51:30



that's it! I was trying to remember what title it had.

Have just gone back in, scroll down to "what my left hand saw this morning".

Odd doesn't even begin to cover it.....

KentuckyFriedPenguin Mon 22-Feb-10 13:56:03

ABetaDad - why do you feel you should have dad in your title?

ChristinePrattsDog Mon 22-Feb-10 13:56:39

but check THIS OUt

one yearsn for a nice power ranger

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:59:30
Valpollicella Mon 22-Feb-10 13:59:45

grin at theis comment made by someone on that post...

Annie said...
Clearly this is your first. Good luck!

Annie, are you a MNer? grin

Kewcumber Mon 22-Feb-10 14:03:32

isn't that Olivia a nice polite well-brought up young lady.

Not good form to use her full name though, tut tut, James and Tania (Jamania?)

It's hardly Brangelina is it? grin

AbricotsSecs Mon 22-Feb-10 14:07:04

Hardy har.

I'm amused that this couple were squicked out or offended enough by the site name 'mumsnet' to actually write in to express their 'disappointment' about it.

Wonder if they've been onto netmums yet with the same beef?

Actually, I'm incredulous. Surely this is a journo thing?

Kewcumber Mon 22-Feb-10 14:07:32

that sewliberated blog makes me feel that Finnian is going to hoard choclate and Ben10 stickers underneath his organic on the floor crib as soon as he can scrouge them from his mates.

(PS I was forced to use a matress on the floor for DS for a while and it gets a bit old coming in to scoop your sleeping baby off the floor on a regular basis)

ChristinePrattsDog Mon 22-Feb-10 14:08:06

haha re ben10

WilfSell Mon 22-Feb-10 14:10:23

They just wanna advertise their website or summat? I'm not clicking on it though. They should pay the fee like everyone else.

And who cares?


KentuckyFriedPenguin Mon 22-Feb-10 14:10:53

That room looks so lovely and nice but then when you imagine the practicalities of it you just go hmm

The steel bucket WILL be poo'd in at some point - he is a boy, The lovingly hand made baskets will be trashed when he is searching for his current favourite toy which has Been Put Away To Encourage Proper Play, That mirror will be plastered with Pokemon stickers before they can even sew that odd swimming cap hat from organically reared virgin sheep from italy.

Netmums reply:-

Hi there huns

We luv havin' evryone on this site - more mumz 'n' dadz = more 4 evryone 2 talk about.

Ps luvin the Happy Day jpeg - we hv tickers

Valpollicella Mon 22-Feb-10 14:14:49

Ah, but Kentucky (and I'm paraphrasing here...) They mentioned how thankful they were at Xmas that they were supported in their choices, and that people only bought him toys that were approriate hmm

You can imagine all the realtives muttering after trying to source organic wooden bricks, produced by Latvian community co-ops.. 'FGS this would be so much easier if I could go to frigging Tos R US...'

AitchTwoOhOneOh Mon 22-Feb-10 14:16:57

"some female posters do clearly define themselves as 'Mums' and want it to be an exclusively Mums website."

name names, abetadad. grin i can't think of a single poster on here who clearly defines herself as a mum, thank god. that seems to me to be the best thing about MN, funnily enough, that we are all so much more.

why do you feel it's polite to post with dad in your name, i'm curious?

Kewcumber Mon 22-Feb-10 14:18:10

Valpollicella - should that be "Tossers R Us"

Lotster Mon 22-Feb-10 14:21:18

Oh good grief. James, Tania and their "Happyday.jpg" need to get a grip. And something more worthwhile to do.

Perhaps mothers shouldn't call ourselves "mothers" - maybe just "biologically related/non biologically related (delete as app.) primary caregiver"?


Valpollicella Mon 22-Feb-10 14:25:04

Lol Kew...what an approriate typo grin

AitchTwoOhOneOh Mon 22-Feb-10 14:26:28

och, let's not scoff too much. tania looks like an AMAZING dancer, for starters.

but imo they're missing the point spectacularly, that if it was it would just be

stealthsquiggle Mon 22-Feb-10 14:27:36

OMG that room - and that blog in general.

If I knew that child I would be subverting the parents with gifts of brightly coloured plastic at every opportunity, and rescuing him from hat hell - why does the poor child always have a hat on FGS?

<<kicks self. must be more tolerant and polite. must take lessons from Olivia>>

Kewcumber Mon 22-Feb-10 14:29:00

presume you're not talking about fathers as being "non-biologically related" Lobster grin

you need a pimary/secondary/teriary caregiver option too.

Though perhaps that is somewhat judgemental impliying that primary is better than secondary is better than tertiary... perhaps care-givers could be given names instead primary = Bunny, secondary = cat, tertiary = mouse

DuelingFanjo Mon 22-Feb-10 14:34:06

late to this.

Why, in the OP, is there a link to here?

it's bugging me.

Also can I just say that I don't remotely feel annoyed or upset by the fact that there's a separate area (if that's what you want to call it) for people trying to conceive.

Is it possible the OPs are not that knowledgable about how web forums work?

ABetaDad Mon 22-Feb-10 14:34:50

KentuckyFriedPenguin - I only put 'Dad' in my name to avoid confusion because the natural default setting is to assume any given poster is a woman on MN. Nothing more than that really. I used to occassionally use ABetaDad on Alpha Mummy too.

Sometimes I have seen men on MN who do not put Dad/Bloke/Man in their name having to explain at some point that they are actually a man right in the middle of a post and then other female posters express shock that they are talking to a man! grin

Some female posters have 'Mum' in their names too of course.

Lulumama Mon 22-Feb-10 14:36:39

I'm not just a mum, I'm a mama. maybe i should change to ma'am. <<awaits curtsies>>

i don't thikn the OPs are coming back, but there will be another broadsheet article about bitchy MNers

ABetaDad Mon 22-Feb-10 14:38:08

Aitch - the last post was a reply to you as well.

LMAO at the self importance of the OP!

I'm sure my response has already been covered, but might I suggest you get a life OPs?

absinthe Mon 22-Feb-10 14:43:58

Tania, all that dancing has over-elevated your endorphin levels. First have the baby, secondly, sit in your little nursing chair recovering and bfing while James wanders around trying to look busy. Finally, come back to this thread and tell me what you have discovered (it will come back to haunt you anyway, i am sure).

Honestly, you should be doing those high kicks and sipping on skinny lattes and the rest.

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 14:45:52

Yes Lulumama please change your name to LuluMa'am, what with you being MN royalty and all grin

Kewcumber Mon 22-Feb-10 14:46:32

Tania is very very bendy which is impressive Aitch I agree - which makes me thin kshe hasn't had children. However I would be terribly impressed if in fact she has...

I wish they would come back and post so I can know whether to sneer or be mightily impressed.

AitchTwoOhOneOh Mon 22-Feb-10 14:49:08

me too. grin

Lotster Mon 22-Feb-10 14:49:56

Kew - I am less tertiary and more "terse" caregiver today!

Can anyone point me towards the thread I am assuming will be out there somewhere today ref: the bloke from Style magazine who is currently 'infiltrating' MN? (yesterday's ishoo)

absinthe Mon 22-Feb-10 14:50:44

Tania has provided us with the following info

Tel: 07977929108

so she is apparently quite willing to be hunted down (in some glossy dance studio if you would dare to enter). I have not checked whether this is further linked to some scam based in Nigeria though!
Would like to know if James is the journo though??

Lulumaam Mon 22-Feb-10 14:52:39

coulnd't get a ' in Luluma'am.

this is the best i can do!

Anguis Mon 22-Feb-10 14:52:55

I'm wondering whether the thread should be deleted in kindness to the OPs -- they shouldn't have revealed real contacts (I'm guessing the inclusion of the link was accidental) and they might not know about the thread deletion option.

Am loving OlivaMN's ever patient replies. She is so polite at saying "ffs go away!"

smile <passive agressive>

Valpollicella Mon 22-Feb-10 14:56:06

Lulu that just makes you look like you're channeling the fishie one grin

morningpaper Mon 22-Feb-10 14:56:38

Oooh yes Tania IS well fit

You could crack nuts with her thighs

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 14:57:30

<curtsey and flourish of hat at LuluMa'am>

Shame about the apostrophe <pedant>

DuelingFanjo Mon 22-Feb-10 14:57:57

James is a writer, he writes poetry as far as I can see.

Kewcumber Mon 22-Feb-10 15:02:29

I could MP but I won't, its not really a very polite thing to do to a stranger.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 22-Feb-10 15:09:21

You will see from my email that I assured the OP "you'll be in good hands"
<raises eyebrows at errant children in manner of schoolmarm>
<puts stickers firmly away>

Aw come on Olivia... you knew what you were doing wink

hee hee

AitchTwoOhOneOh Mon 22-Feb-10 15:12:19

or should that be 'claws'?

<wees on the floor because Olivia has frightened me>

DuelingFanjo Mon 22-Feb-10 15:17:23

Well - to be fair I suppose that the OP might have a point, don't you?

Though many people here may have very traditional divides when it comes to parental roles, to 'mum' and 'dad' etc - perhaps 'mumsnet' does exclude people from the off, or at least make them feel excluded?

It was a site, IIRC, started by mums for mums not a site started by parents for parents.

Thing is, I wonder if this couple will ever find a forum which has equal input from mums and dads. Even some of the parenting forums out there which aren't gender specific are largely populated by women and largely populated by women who don't go out to work, just like mumsnet is.

I chose mumsnet over all sorts of other forums when TTC because I liked the whole site and found there were lots of conversatins on here which I can enjoy with people who are often like me. However, I think it would be nice to have more male posters on here.

Another thought - in my experience the dadsnet part of the site mostly contains threads from women seeking a male perspective rather than men talking about parenting.

stealthsquiggle Mon 22-Feb-10 15:18:31

<<stomps off in a sulk because Olivia told us off - s'not fair>>

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 15:21:42

<kicks the wall and makes scuff marks in black boiling rage because won't be getting a sticker>

<or my fucking twat emoticon>

morningpaper Mon 22-Feb-10 15:21:58

<looks guilty and puts Tania's thighs down>

Merrylegs Mon 22-Feb-10 15:23:31

Dear James and Tania
Your comments are earnest but I think a little naive.

You say "These categorisations are irrelevant we believe amongst a community of parents."

I think to disregard that which is fundemental to ourselves is disingenuous.

There are occasions when being gay, for example, may colour your experiences in a unique way and a specific section dedicate to exploring this is relevant.

You are falling into the trap of pretending there is no history which informs and defines us.

Actually, sometimes categories are important in terms of celebrating or understanding an issue.

This may be a community of -largely- parents- (although many aren't) but it doesn't mean parenting is the only thing that is debated here. Have a look around and you will see what I mean.

However, I have said before and it is my bugbear so I will bang on about it again -

Many (largely those who are no better than they ought to be), consider 'Mum' to be a pointless and no-status role and the term Mumsnet allows them to be dismissive and sneering.

(Especially journalists, who all congratulate themselves for Twittering. Now really, is there anything more pointless?)

Kewcumber Mon 22-Feb-10 15:29:40

(largely those who are no better than they ought to be) - I've never understood this saying and my mum uses it... you're not my mum are you? [suspicious emoticon]

stealthsquiggle Mon 22-Feb-10 15:30:56

Joins Kew in confusion - how can I tell if I am no better than I ought to be?

flashharriet Mon 22-Feb-10 15:43:44

This has been bugging me - I heard a very earnest couple on Radio 5 a little while ago talking about something v similar but I can't remember exactly what (because I was going hmm I think and not listening properly).

Will see if I can find it.

pixiestix Mon 22-Feb-10 15:45:47

MP - <looks guilty and puts Tania's thighs down>

grin grin grin
Oh god, I think I just wee'ed a little....

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 22-Feb-10 15:47:26

This is why i don;t interact with my children. When I do i miss all the fun. [SGM goes off to sulk in the corner]

DuelingFanjo Mon 22-Feb-10 15:48:47

flashharriet would be interesting if you could. How long ago was it?

bonkers as conkers

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 15:54:00

If the OPs had just posted properly instead of C&Ping their entire email conversation, we wouldn't have jumped on the dodgy bits and might have taken them - paradoxically - more seriously.

As it is it looks as though they are already doing the taking seriously thing rather vehemently, ref: themselves.

But I hope they re not too fed up with the response. We have good intentions. I'm not entirely certain what theirs are, tbh. Perhaps they would care to explain?

FioFio Mon 22-Feb-10 15:54:59

what boyz sez

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 15:55:58

Don't really care re teir intentions tbh.

If they had been on MN for more than 5 mins they would have realised what response such pompousness would have got.

Bless them and all.

Lulumaam Mon 22-Feb-10 15:59:43

thanks for the curtsy and flourish <<looks patronisingly at lesser MNers>>

i really want teh OPs to come back now, just to be outraged at us.

i am a leetle bored, you see

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 16:07:55

I am LOVING these status hovers.

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 16:08:28


GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 16:10:08

Lulu <genuflect> the OPs are aswe speak composing strongly worded emails to MNHQ.

They will incorportae one or all of the following words: 'smug', 'bullied', 'intimidated', 'misunderstanding', 'cruel', 'belittled', 'bewlidered'.

Cue yest another yawnsome artcile in one of the papers next weekend about how an 'innocent' debate was turned round ended up being a scrap.


DuelingFanjo Mon 22-Feb-10 16:13:22

You missed out 'paranoid'

flashharriet Mon 22-Feb-10 16:32:33

Grr - I can't find anything on the 5Live website. I wish I could remember what the couple were wittering on about...

morningpaper Mon 22-Feb-10 16:36:14

Are you thinking of the couple who were after a civil partnership? They were earnest sounding

ShauntheSheep Mon 22-Feb-10 16:41:24

I still dont get this whole bullying thing tbh. I came here 5 years ago when I was being bullied at work and tbh it was my life saviour, lots of open honest chat and people who were willing to listen and offer advice and not just platitudes.

Obviously you get the occasional thread where things get out of hand but then that happens everywhere and those threads generally get pulled /sorted before too long. I have been on other sites (when I couldnt get onto MN and they are just as bad, actually worse cos its bullying covered with pink fluff to disguise it)

flashharriet Mon 22-Feb-10 16:43:05

YES MP that's them! Probably not the same people at all after all that grin

posieparker Mon 22-Feb-10 16:45:19

What a load of crap....Whilst I am sure gay parents have many of the same concerns as me as a parent, I am sure that I have never encountered lots of issues that they have, or Dad's, or single parents etc etc.

flashharriet Mon 22-Feb-10 16:45:34

Definitely not the same people - same tone though.

Kewcumber Mon 22-Feb-10 16:47:58

isn't a marriage in a registry office a civil partnership? What exactly is teh different between a civil marriage and a civil partnership? confused

WhoIsAsking Mon 22-Feb-10 16:50:11

Yes MP - I remember them.

PixieOnaLeaf Mon 22-Feb-10 16:58:28

Dear James and Tania,

Why are you bothered about the practises and values of this website? Do you write similar emails to the BBC - afterall, they broadcast to Wales, which isn't part of Britain.

Every parent may have a 'common goal' but surely how they reach that goal is different? Dads, however much they have an equal role in parenting, are different to Mums in many ways. I would list them but I have fat fingers.

Do you have children yourselves?


chalky3 Mon 22-Feb-10 16:59:48

I don't know what the problem is. We're wannabe parents and I've always felt welcome on mumsnet. I know DH sneaks a peak occasionally too.

Merrylegs Mon 22-Feb-10 17:07:04

Stealth - if you have to ask whether you are no better than you ought to be, then you probably are...... grin

(tis my granny's expression. Truly brill. And very northern. Sorry. Next time will post in Northern-net)

Um surely Wales is part of Britain?

Northern Ireland is not part of the British Isles I'll grant you.

TeaOneSugar Mon 22-Feb-10 17:11:41

Firstly, I can't believe I read that all the way through (My dd keeps asking what I'm laughing about but it's too hard to explain).

Secondly, there are probably millions of websites on the interweb thingy, so if you don't like this one, choose another.

I'm not sure what you expected to happen hmm, we like it, you don't, so what.

stealthsquiggle Mon 22-Feb-10 17:12:14

Merrylegs would you care to explain how I should feel about being no better than I ought to be?

<<goes off in search of born-in-the-north-but-lived-all-over-the-bleeding-place-net>>

PixieOnaLeaf Mon 22-Feb-10 17:12:32

Fair enough, ManicMummy!

I think I meant England, but then it wouldn't have worked with the BBC!

Where is the OP, anyway?!

ShowOfHands Mon 22-Feb-10 17:13:06

Dear Two People Writing One Email,

Blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah.


Blah blah blah blah blah? Blah de blah!! grin Blah de bloody blah blah, blah blah, blah blah blah: blah blah. Blah blah blah, blah?

Blah! wink

Blah Blah! smile

Lots of love and snuggles,


Lulumaam Mon 22-Feb-10 17:13:51

i am still fascinated that someone who does not use the site, would feel it necessary or apporpriate to email the HQ to tell them how it was failing and why it should be different and then C&P it for it's users to discuss

Dear James and Tania,

As you have so kindly taken the time to write to us questioning the very fabric of our website I have put my thinking cap on and come up with the following organisations you could possibly contact next when you have tired of us.

Saga - only caters to the over 50s. Perhaps you could lobby with an ageist agenda?

Sandals holidays - just for couples. Possible an anti-family agenda? Or do they just hate single people? - dating for single people. I think this is where you could come into your own. They are not just anti-couples... but surely anti-family too! There are no family membership options or discounts for 2 adults and 2 children or anything! I think they need you. And it is surely your duty to put them straight?

Well, I hope you find something that takes your interest,



PixieOnaLeaf Mon 22-Feb-10 17:15:24

<<Pixie curtsies to Lulu Ma'am before speaking>>

I know - it makes no sense - don't these people have better things to do?

Lulumaam Mon 22-Feb-10 17:17:29

great news, my minions !

the OP is back and has started the same thread on dadsnet, taking an anti segregation standpoint.

grin SOH.

Sorry Pixie no idea where the OPs have gone. I only know a little geography wink

What about S4C which is what Wales has instead of Channel 4? Although I have seen that and they should really try to speak English IMO <channels James & Tania> grin

Flightattendant Mon 22-Feb-10 17:18:45


Ah I see Luluma'am has found them!

Shall we head them off at the pass?

PixieOnaLeaf Mon 22-Feb-10 17:20:08

JAMM - you've forgotten WarnerBros holidays - they only cater for the Over 18 market - what if I wanted to go on my family holiday?

And some rock climbing walls, they don't allow the under sixes on their climbing walls - surely discriminatory against the younger family? Although, one of our posters - PrincessPushy - she's found a way round the discrimination - you'd love her!

PollyTroll Mon 22-Feb-10 17:20:39

LOL at BIWI weeing on the floor

Merrylegs, I agreed with everything about your first post until the Twitter bit angry

(I'm getting a sticker, right Olivia? Right?)

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 22-Feb-10 17:20:42

They are in Gay and Lesbian parents too.

Lulumaam Mon 22-Feb-10 17:21:14

it's been posted in AIBU too


Darn it! Every where you look there are people doing their own thing. I bet none of them even asked James & Tania!

PollyTroll Mon 22-Feb-10 17:22:22

'What about S4C which is what Wales has instead of Channel 4? Although I have seen that and they should really try to speak English IMO' - JAMM, I think you'll find that about 70% of the Welsh population agrees with you on that one... Pobol y Cwm my arse.

TeaOneSugar Mon 22-Feb-10 17:24:24

Just to add, very silly to post full names and contact details.

posieparker Mon 22-Feb-10 17:28:36

Shall all criticise their website, it is shit, perhaps we can start with how unimaginative and pretentious it looks.....bloody performers.

PixieOnaLeaf Mon 22-Feb-10 17:35:48

Grrr. . .What do they want us to do?

ShowOfHands Mon 22-Feb-10 17:36:48

Do you understand that most of us can see most topics? Lesbian and gay parents don't just post in the lesbian and gay topic, dads don't just post in dadsnet. We don't ringfence people. It's grouping conversations by type, not people by type. It's all about the ease of navigation. Which you clearly don't understand as you're starting the same thread all over the place.

It's really very straightforward.

Shall I interpret the concept for you through modern dance?


<forces pasty white flesh into too small leotard>

shonaspurtle Mon 22-Feb-10 17:43:21

<gives benefit of the doubt>

I don't think they know about active convos and that it's the way most people view this site.

Maybe they also don't know about "threads I'm on"

That said, they should spend some time getting to know a site before deciding what should be changed...

Tortington Mon 22-Feb-10 17:43:52

this is all getting a bit silly and personal now i feel.

think it's time to put the torches down and ignore

posieparker Mon 22-Feb-10 17:46:07

oooohhh[groan] alright then.

<blows out torch>

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 22-Feb-10 17:49:14

But, then I might have to do the dishes. shock

sarah293 Mon 22-Feb-10 18:34:47

'handmade from recycled paper and elephant dung so entirely vegan. '

is elephant dung strictly vegan?

"Every caring parent has one individual goal - doing everything they can to promote the welfare and happiness of their child or children;"

Ahh I thinkyou will find most parents on mumsnet have a different goal to you and that is getting to 7pm without killing either themselves, one of their children or/and breaking any laws. I'm not sure if that means we are not caring or just realistic.

JamesAndTania Mon 22-Feb-10 18:52:26

Sorry what we really wanted to say was "buy our shit". But that would be rude.

LadyGaggia Mon 22-Feb-10 19:06:25

Hilarious, thank you all for cheering me up. I was in a miserable mood, but this is why I LOVE MUMSNET!
I wish I could see ShowOfHands's dance...Youtube it for us...?

LeninGrad Mon 22-Feb-10 19:14:28

I've covered lesbians' corner, the rest is up to you.

Earthstar Mon 22-Feb-10 19:17:44

The site is primarily for mothers to talk to other mothers. That doesn't involve any judgement on whether or not mothers should be primary carers. The doors are not closed to non-mothers.


Why is that a problem?

PixieOnaLeaf Mon 22-Feb-10 19:28:07

Where are they?

I want a showdown!

posieparker Mon 22-Feb-10 19:31:22

Leningrad, Are you the poster who' partner gave birth and carried your egg/baby...can't think?

I tell other people about are a friend of a friend(can't say I read it on MN can I?)

LeninGrad Mon 22-Feb-10 19:35:23

I do that, pause, 'friend' thing too. smile

No, not me, I am bio-mum to our two. Bio short for bionic. (There's a thread in this I reckon.)

posieparker Mon 22-Feb-10 19:38:31

I wonder who that other lady was, I think her partner grew her baby(if that makes sense?).

theyoungvisiter Mon 22-Feb-10 19:39:24

OP's, I totally agree.

I also think that Boots the Chemist should be renamed because of its shoeist implications. The name is offensive to all those who prefer to wear shoes, sandals or slippers or - even sadder - those who have suffered amputations and are unable to wear footwear at all.

Likewise Pizza Express should be renamed as it implies exclusivity to fast eaters. A name which is more welcoming to slow masticaters would be more sensitive.

Startrite shoes should definitely be renamed to avoid upsetting parents of left-handed children. Such categorisation is not relevant in today's society. Startleftorrite is more acceptable.

I would be interested to know what other organisations could be renamed more sensitively. Perhaps we could start a website - could be a catchy title?

theyoungvisiter Mon 22-Feb-10 19:41:34

PS does anyone think Olivia secretly adding a "mwah ha ha ha ha!!" as she typed her last email?

"you'll be in good hands" - mwah ha ha ha ha!!!

LeninGrad Mon 22-Feb-10 19:42:27

Yep, pp, it has been done. It's the same as any egg donation essentially. There was a couple who'd done that on this board and I've heard of it with others but nobody I know personally.

pointysayhiphip Mon 22-Feb-10 19:43:52

"We hope you are well and having a happy day,"

I smelled a rat when I read that in the op. lol

dawntigga Mon 22-Feb-10 19:51:49

FFS if there was exclusion on any of the topics on the bias of race/gender/sexual orientation/gender orientation/religion/worshiping small purple unicorns etc. you'd have a point. You don't.


absinthe Mon 22-Feb-10 20:10:31

Guys - in the words of my late grandfather: WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT???

YoMoJo Mon 22-Feb-10 20:43:09

"Ahh I thinkyou will find most parents on mumsnet have a different goal to you and that is getting to 7pm without killing either themselves, one of their children or/and breaking any laws. I'm not sure if that means we are not caring or just realistic."

Libra so true - grin my vote for "quote of the week"

take it these are our posters they obviously have nothing better to do.

They remind me of my neighbours who have excluded themselves from most residents in our road for being petty about so many things.

Have posted on all four threads they started but obviously should only stay on gay/lesbian parents cause of their imagined segregation

HawaiianPig Mon 22-Feb-10 22:15:46

Just looked at their website - these two rate a 9.0 on the weirdshitometer.

which website Tania appears to have at least 3

HawaiianPig Mon 22-Feb-10 22:40:05

There's more than 1?! Sorry, I couldn't get beyond the bendy pictures and had to turn back...

Clarks must also change its name. I have never found a single Clark in there! Let alone a married one! shock

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 13:36:13
"My grandfather was called Benjamin and my grandmother was called Winifred.

They called their house "Benwins" and had a piece of slate carved with the legend.

I think they are the spritual forefathers of James and Tania. "

This would make James and Tania Jatan


solo Mon 22-Feb-10 22:56:57

Take heads out of arses anidea and you may see the light that iscMumsnet ~ please!!!

SerenityNowakaBleh Mon 22-Feb-10 23:09:31

So they just posted four OPs on different bits of the site, and never returned? Sheesh.

FWIW, I am not a parent. I will be one day (hopefully), but I still hang around MN because
a) my work colleagues can be very boring and its nice to have some intelligent chat [harsh]
b) I have learnt a LOT
c) I pick up lots of useful tips (especially crap ones, from take a break)
d) MNers are HILARIOUS

GetOrfMoiLand Mon 22-Feb-10 23:21:07

lol at Quint laughing at her own joke grin

anidea Mon 22-Feb-10 23:49:56

Hello all,

This is James writing, Tania is asleep.

I have read the comments on this thread with interest and have several apologies to make and several questions to answer.

I am sorry to have caused offence to anyone and to have caused unrest amongst the people who use this website. I also must apologise for the poor taste in putting the link to the website into the thread, though I'm glad some of you have gotten to know us a little more. Also I am sorry for posting the message four times, this demonstrates clearly how unknowledgeable I am about your site and the way it is used. I didn't know how the active thread system operated or indeed that the community on this site was as involved with all areas as it is.

This thread has been good for me as I have learned more about the website and about some of the people who use it. I understand the anger at me and my girlfriend bumbling in and shouting our opinions and must concede that perhaps I was insensitive and overzealous in posting this. I am learning all the time and it is good sometimes to be put in my place as spectacularly as in this thread, I must admit it made my cheeks red and I daresay I won't go about this sort of thing in the same way again.

I should have researched your site some more before I said anything and I must thank you for the information and the praise for the site throughout this thread.

I would also like to thank those of you who made cases for different sides of the argument, which was what we were trying to achieve, albeit badly!

Some answers:
No we are not parents, nor are we married. And we are not journalists!

We wrote the messages together, so signed them together

JAMM and others I take your point that PC can get ridiculous, (or perhaps your point that WE are ridiculous!) But we can and do face difficulties in our lives that arise from people's preconceptions about the way things are. There are those who agree and I hope Dominique07 won't mind me singling out her reply, but it is the example of the problem I could not provide. I hadn't even thought about Mothercare, it's been such a solid institution, sitting there on the highstreet my whole life that I hadn't noticed the gender bias. (I realise, as some of you have pointed out, that 'mother' can refer to parenting/care in general but the impression one gets from the title is that it is a shop for female mothers in the way we normally use the word mother.) This example of Mothercare is exactly the problem me and Tania are trying to highlight. The traditional image of women doing the mothering is sewn into institutions such as Mothercare, shools offering HomeEc to girls and not to boys(in my personal experience (although I must add I went to a boys school, which is a whole nother kettle of fish!).

We often live in the shadow of society's expectations - I was given a rugby ball when I was at school and told to run, Tania was given a leotard and told to dance; and this story is true for many boys and girls. When we reached teenage years the boys were expected to ask out the girls, we are expected to be romantic on Valentine's day and to be excited when it is our birthday. When we don't live up to these expectations we are met with frowns, disappointment and sometimes anger and abuse. As such we feel it could make the world slightly more user friendly if such preconceptions are not placed upon us from the word go, including gender roles in child rearing.
I have noticed also that baby dolls are aimed at girls and not boys, as are pretend ovens and dolls' houses. This can leave an impressionable mind with a hard set image of families and homes being the domain soley of women. This can cause problems in later life for those that don't feel like they fit into this world view.

I could list countless ways in which discriminatory ideals are subtly spread through society. Section 28 is a good example of how lack of discussion or openness could make people feel alienated from others and perpetuate confusions/fears over sexual persuasion.

I think it would be great if we could all feel comfortable doing what we feel is right in the way that feels best, and perhaps open discussion is a way towards dissolving preconceptions, stereotypes and traditions and achieving a level of populationwide comfort and acceptance in the community.

From what I read that is what's happening on Mumsnet, everyone is talking to everyone, which is great! But there are a great many blocks to this sort of progress including something as simple as a name.

I hope you are all well and do wish you all a happy day and look forward to reading your responses.

James Wallace

Valpollicella Mon 22-Feb-10 23:53:21

Hey James!

Please do check out the responses on the othe thread you started.

We came up with some pretty good poetry

Valpollicella Mon 22-Feb-10 23:56:30

everyone is talking to everyone, which is great! But there are a great many blocks to this sort of progress including something as simple as a name.

There are no blocks here. We all love a good bumsex;WOHM/SATM; parking; Greggs debate

Do you and Tania have children?

Do you aspire to Sew Libretaed status?

paisleyleaf Tue 23-Feb-10 00:10:38

Your post started alright then anidea
but then you started on about mumsnet's blocks towards progress in dissolving preconceptions etc

Valpollicella Tue 23-Feb-10 00:15:34

Oh Paisley...we'll be waiting another 10 hours for a reply. Don't hold your breath grin

AitchTwoOhOneOh Tue 23-Feb-10 00:32:21

i think you and tania, rather than telling everyone how things should be, should just get on with your own lives and your own eventual rugrats and raise them how you see fit. and work on your own issues with your own parents.

if you didn't like rugby and wanted to do ballet instead, you should have taken this up at the time. likewise, given that tania has got a career and knockout thighs out of it, it seems beyond churlish to moan about not having been handed a rugby ball.

other than that, good effort on the apology front in the first few pars but you fell badly into 'lecture mode' by the end.

it might shock you, but we're pretty smart here, despite many of us having wombs and ovaries and everything, and tbh i resent your assumption that because the site is called Mumsnet we are incapable of having thought about and worked towards solving many of these casual day to day sexisms in our own parenting.

ffs we just cannot win, we're either empty-headed pinny wearers or a poisonous hydra. it's beginning to piss me right off tbh.

so, ladies, wimmin, sisters (and the occasional tolerated brother grin) do you think that this kind of attitude ( the victoria coren mum, the beta career mum, the daily mail mum, the james and tania mum) actually stems from a lack of respect for people's own mothers? it would never occur to me to assume that my own mother wasn't ten steps ahead of me strategically at any given point, yet we're all treated like numbnuts on a daily basis here... hmm

AitchTwoOhOneOh Tue 23-Feb-10 00:33:29

oh and btw james, no matter HOW involved you think you'll be as a dad, it won't be a fifty-fifty split. i guarantee it. grin

Valpollicella Tue 23-Feb-10 00:41:05

despite many of us having wombs and ovaries and everything

psml Aitch grin

Good posts (all I can seemingly do is veg porn poetry. Gah)

AitchTwoOhOneOh Tue 23-Feb-10 00:45:55

i'm sure jimbo has his own imprint for the very same, val. grin

solo Tue 23-Feb-10 01:05:55

And last year, my friend ~ a mother of two boys passed on to me their toy kitchen with pots and pans and pretend food!
Another friends twin boys asked for and received baby dolls that they love to carry around and play with...I could go on...I even bought my Ds a cook book when he was 8 shock. Loads of parents buy stereo typical toys for the other sex. My Dd loves to play with Thomas the Tank trains hmm

anidea Tue 23-Feb-10 01:10:28

I'm sorry if I am being accusatory in my posts, I must admit am not blameless in this, I have my fair share of prejudices.

I came on to this site with a prejudice against it, lumping it in with other instances of discrimination I have encountered. Mumsnet is unique with it's own vibrant community, who on the whole appear to agree that there is no segregation going on here, which is great to hear.

I think it would be great to see a world without arbitrary discrimination and perhaps just talking can pave the way.

Aitch, I have nothing against women, or mothers, and I do not doubt there may be an uneven split in parenting should Tania and I have children, this was not the point we were making. Though there may not be a 50:50 split, this does not automatically mean the mother takes the bigger share. Please correct me if that is not what you were saying in your post.

I think perhaps we are in the same boat as each other Aitch - I have a prejudice against things that seem discriminatory - I have lumped Mumsnet in with other institutions of discrimination such as single sex schools and the idea that boys must have short hair and play sports, and girls must have long hair and play with pink things and dolls. Just as you have lumped me in with those that seek to label you empty-headed or a poisonous hydra.

I must admit I find it difficult to shake my preconceptions and initial judgments of many things, but perhaps this conversation can help me and others to do just that.

I would like to add that peer pressure is a powerful agent. If parents, who you live with and give you all your food and support urge you into an activity, you are likely to go along with it. If the school teachers push you as well and all your contemporaries are playing along it is hard not to feel outcast stepping back, especially with a history of bullying for doing just that. I have suffered at the hands of traditions and social preconceptions of 'the way it is' as have many of us, if not all of us. There are those still who suffer the consequences of such social pressures. There are gay people in straight marriages, and classrooms full of people studying a particular subject to please their parents or teachers. There are men who find it difficult to wear skirts in public even if it is more comfortable than trousers and there are women who wear high heels when they would feel more comfortable in flats. I'm not saying all trouser-wearers are following the herd or that no women want to wear high-heels, just that there are those who don't follow these trends and they can often be met with hostility. This is mostly due to a lack of understanding I think. And perhaps this conversation and others like it can spread and help us all understand each other a little better.

Molesworth Tue 23-Feb-10 01:10:50


This thread might merit 'classic' status.

Thanks James for explaining how we "often live under society's expectations, m'kay?".


anidea Tue 23-Feb-10 01:11:13

Hello solo,

It's great to hear that these gender stereotypes are becoming less frequent smile

Molesworth Tue 23-Feb-10 01:13:42

"I think it would be great to see a world without arbitrary discrimination and perhaps just talking can pave the way."

OMG! I think you have just given birth to a new social movement! Maybe we could call it "feminism"!

anidea Tue 23-Feb-10 01:40:37

Just read the following on your news page:

"In January 2010, the Outdoor Advertising Association pulled posters for a £1.25 million campaign that unwisely declared "Career women make bad mothers" after an outcry and mass letter-writing campaign on Mumsnet. The OAA issued a formal apology, stating: "We did not intend to cause any offence." The advertising agency responsible for the campaign replaced the posters with new ones stating: "Sexist adverts damage us all."&#8232;"

Cracking stuff, well done everyone involved!


solo Tue 23-Feb-10 01:47:13

Feeling slightly head patted here...hmm

anidea Tue 23-Feb-10 01:51:47

It just seems odd to me that a community that can fight to change an outside company's ad campaign to make it more PC would laugh and ridicule someone who suggests you do the same yourselves. (though of course, not all of you have made fun of us). I think this issue is important and clearly there are those among your number who agree strongly enough to make their voices heard on the point.

The Mumsnet Local link on the homepage says "Meet other mums" not "Meet other parents" and indeed the site is called Mumsnet, which seems to me counter to the above news story.

Or am I missing the point and the use of the word mum is not gender specific?

anidea Tue 23-Feb-10 01:53:06

Sorry to go from positive back to negative,

want to stay positive and I'd like to understand what I am missing here.

Your help is appreciated,


I think that's very unfair anidea.

I can't see a single poster who hasn't laughed or riduled you grin

riduled ridiculed blush

JamesAndTania Tue 23-Feb-10 02:00:53

Hi James it's us.

You clearly need more help than these poor people can offer.

The site, as we've correctly identified, is Mumsnet. Not explaining-the-obvious

These people would talk to their own children if those circular conversations interested the.

Get a grip man.

echoing what solo said a few posts back - my son had baby dolls,cooking pots,a toy cooker,and cook books (and went to cooking school in the holidays from age 4)as well as the usual boy paraphenalia -as indeed I had cars as well as toy irons,washing machines etc - he was just given stuff we both liked,regardless of gender specifics.

Lulumaam Tue 23-Feb-10 07:35:25

well done for coming back and for seeing what MN is all about

do you think that your cries of segregation were a little premature, as we can all use and see all parts of the site??

theyoungvisiter Tue 23-Feb-10 08:15:41

Hey James well done for coming back on and taking all the flak in such good spirit (and glad you enjoyed the poetry wink)

Why don't you and your partner stay around and enjoy the site for a while and then decide what you think?

You might be surprised
1) how welcoming we are (when not bristling and laughing)
2) how inclusive we are
3) how celebratory of difference we are - you seem to mistake the special niches on this site for outside segregation whereas in fact they are largely spaces requested by the people in those minorities in order to have a space to congregate. They are not ghettos, but rather social clubs - would you march into the local LBG society and tell them they are being segregatory? Yet the MN spaces you mention (dadsnet, gay and lesbian parents, --chicken keepers--, special needs) are actually far more inclusive than any RL club I have ever encountered, and welcome contributions from all mnetters.
4) that we can actually think for ourselves
5) that we are generally pretty fiercely political and had our consciousness raised a looooooong time ago grin

You and Tania seem like interesting people so stick around - just get separate posting names, eh? It's a bit 1950s to morph your identity wink

Either way, good show for providing lots of Monday night hilarity, and for coming back and taking it on the chin.

AitchTwoOhOneOh Tue 23-Feb-10 08:30:14

"Aitch, I have nothing against women, or mothers, and I do not doubt there may be an uneven split in parenting should Tania and I have children, this was not the point we were making. Though there may not be a 50:50 split, this does not automatically mean the mother takes the bigger share. Please correct me if that is not what you were saying in your post."

i take it tania won't be breastfeeding? hmm or, y'know... going through labour? grin

as i've said before, if this ever morphs into some ghastly 50/50 male/female split on here, i'm orf. i get plenty of male opinion in RL, thanks, sometimes i actually want to hang out with women and seek their opinion.

I think, James, you should work a little harder on your own preconceptions, before you start battling them on behalf of other people based on your own preconceptions about them.

You came jumping in here, judging the book by its covers (ie the name mumsnet), as it were, having formed an opinion on this site and its users, without even posting, let alone lurking a bit to actually find out for yourself what it is like. You even went as far as to take your grudge up with "the powers that be", the lovlie Olivia & gang, before you were tossed down to us. grin Welcome. I can see you are working very hard on your replies. Well done.

Do you always go bottom first into new adventures?

Change needs to come from within, in yourself, not from changing us, we are all fine and dandy here! wink

I have two boys. The oldest is 7, he is a sensitive and lithe boy with beautiful features, he reads comics, he loves watching Hanna Montana, and this mermaid series whatever it is called. He goes to Tae kwon do, he whizzes down the skiing slopes, he plays football (badly I admit it, but I would never tell him as long as he enjoys it), he is two years ahead in mathematics from his peergroup, he played with dolls when he was little, he loves lego, he loves drawing, he loves fashion. He has made collages out of fashion catalogues and magazines, he dances to Michael Jackson. Gender is but a name, and we should try to not hang ourselves up in labels, but encourage our children and ourselves to do what we want to do. Play with what we want.

Dont just assume that we gender stereotype. Try and imagine that even if most of us here are "mothering" as our prime focus at the moment, this is just an added dimension to who we were before we started a family. It does not take anything away from who we were before. We havent lost our minds, our intelligence, our integrity. We have the added wisdom that taking part in raising a child gives.

I hope you realize that there is nothing you can teach us, as long as you keep the "better than thou" attitude and lecture us.

But I have a fealing you are talking more to reason this out within yourself. You have found a perfect medium for doing so.

You might even find that being here is the closest you can to reliving a truly Socratic experience. We are all peripathetics here! wink

sarah293 Tue 23-Feb-10 08:43:00

he came back. Least he is taking it in good humour. Fair play to you James and don't forget disabled poeple.

theyoungvisiter Tue 23-Feb-10 08:43:52

BTW, do you think it's relevant at all that this was a business started by a network of mothers?

Are they "allowed" to call it mumsnet as a historical declaration of how they started? Is that etymology more acceptable to you?

Do you think it's relevant at all that 90% of website forums are male dominated? It is still a political statement to have a website run by and mainly posted to by women. Is it "allowed" to have a name that celebrates that and flags that this particular site is a safer and more welcoming place for women? Parenting isn't the only area where there is a gender bias you know.

Anyhoo, I think the upshot of what everyone is saying, is that you should stick around, post for 6 months or so (contributing some poetry along the way, if you so choose grin) and THEN favour us with your opinions, joint or (hopefully) otherwise.

Incidentally the day I start posting joint forum posts with my other half is the day hell freezes over. I thought "we are borg" marital opinions went out of fashion with the first adaptation of Stepford Wives?

Let's get Tania on here under her own name and see what's what.

Gah. Can't be bothered with you. How dare you come here and try and patronise us all.

Stop patting us on the head and just fuck off. We're managing just find and dandy without you.

<BIWI is cross>

pagwatch Tue 23-Feb-10 08:47:41

thank you Quint for posting what I would have, were I am smart as you.

Is sucking eggs vaguely erotic. If not James and Tania you might like to try and teach your Grandmother...

Doublebuggy Tue 23-Feb-10 08:52:58

Where is Tania? Why is she letting a man speak on her behalf? Has she no voice?

I think we should start a campaign to free Tania's voice.

pagwatch Tue 23-Feb-10 08:56:18

I don't like the suggestion that Tania is weak and needs more sleep than James. He should god damn wake her up. She is his equal - he is being sleepist.
But then waking her would be exerting his masculine dominance of her right to sleep...

confused. I am caught in an equality debacle

theyoungvisiter Tue 23-Feb-10 08:56:38

I somewhat suspect that James wrote all that while Tania sulked in front of the telly going "oh James, you're so embarrassing. Don't put my name to that shit."

But he needed a girl's name on the letter to prove that he wasn't just a patriarchal bully dictating to a lot of little ladies, but rather a liberated, multisex duo speaking to all.


Of course I'm quite prepared to be proved wrong, if Tania wants to come on and tell us that yes, she absolutely does agree with James in all respects and that being a surrendered wife is actually a very liberating experience - oops no, sorry, that was another thread.

Sakura Tue 23-Feb-10 08:59:53

Actually, this paragraph gives me the willies (no pun intended). It's like those men who hang around labour wards saying 'We want a natural birth.'

Totally agree Pollytroll; you took the words right out of my mouth.
THere's something unsavoury about a man pretending that mothers' experience is something that can be made generic and accessible to all.
Being a mother is a right of passage for women. How can I put it: you can't know unless you're a mother yourself.

Instead of trying to change mumsnet maybe he should create his own inclusive website for everyone.

Mmmango Tue 23-Feb-10 09:00:48

Oh brilliant, I've been having a crap day and now I'm grinning. 'Specially:

"The site, as we've correctly identified, is Mumsnet. Not explaining-the-obvious

These people would talk to their own children if those circular conversations interested them."

theyoungvisiter Tue 23-Feb-10 09:03:08

btw James, if you want to see where the real entrenched prejudices on this site lie, wander over to the battleground of this thread.

I am still scarred from doing battle with the wrong-minded. There are a lot of blinkered, dogmatic people on this site who refuse to question their deeply entrenched beliefs.

Often they were brought up this way, and now can't open their minds sufficiently to question the logic of their position.

Your contribution in enlightening them will be welcome.

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 23-Feb-10 09:05:45

Aw, I think he is trying hard now to get it right, and at least isn't a time-waster in the sense of some other recent arrivals to the site, in the wake of all the meedja coverage.

James, I do think you and/or Tania (w separate posting names!) should stick around. Please do. You've gotten off to a bad start (understatement) and taken a well-deserved ribbing, but I reckon the fact that you didn't just vanish means there is definitely hope for you. Redemption is possible and MN can be a fabulous, eye-opening place to spend time.

Sakura Tue 23-Feb-10 09:07:37

Sorry not knocking the SAHDs on here, or the non-mothers.I just feel irrationally irritated that someone wants to take the "mum" out of mumsnet.

squeaver Tue 23-Feb-10 09:23:17

LOVING this thread.

And totally with Aitch et al on this - the great thing about Mumsnet is precisely that it's mainly female. In the inequal, male-dominated, sexist world you describe, what's wrong with that?

If you really want to continue on your 6th form quest to change the world, J'n'T there are many, many other institutions you could take aim at.

YeahBut Tue 23-Feb-10 09:27:03

Could the OP be any more patronising?

DorotheaPlenticlew Tue 23-Feb-10 09:34:02

No, he probably couldn't, but that is exactly why I think he needs to stay around here and have his consciousness raised grin

James, Tania, you can namechange to anonymous nicknames and nobody needs to know it's you -- a fresh start, if you so wish...

anidea Tue 23-Feb-10 09:36:10

I'm sorry to theyoungvisiter and others if I have seemed like I was attacking your parenting. You're right, I was thinking about my own experiences. But one meets people on a daily basis who seem paralytically trapped by the pressures of tradition and the image of the ideal for people presented in things like the media and the arts and school and at home. These sorts images can stick on some people, myself included and as another example can cause confusions about relationships with others.

I must concede that mine and Tania's experiences may well be things of the past for youngsters but we are still seeing the effects because we predominantly work and socialise with people who grew around the same time as us or before us. Perhaps the world has changed and it will take 20 or so years for the society we live in to be populated by a new generation of more open minded and less stereotyped individuals.

Perhaps Tania and I merely require patience and need to wait for society to continue on it's current anthropological path. Although I have just started reading a book that deals with the sort of issues I am raising, but it was written in the 1920s, so perhaps the fear of having to wait a further 80 years is making me shout!


sarah293 Tue 23-Feb-10 09:40:45

exactly how old are you?

If we take the "Mum" out of "Mumsnet" then it becomes "Net" - not really going to sell an idea to anyone is it?

However, if you take various letters out of the words, ooh I don't know, say and rearrange them a bit

you get..

If there were more letters I could possibly have made the words, but you can't have everything.

Uriel Tue 23-Feb-10 09:46:16

I think the op has another think coming. wink

OrientCalf Tue 23-Feb-10 09:48:17

James people on here know about these things and they have been discussed at length - why would you think they haven't?

AitchTwoOhOneOh Tue 23-Feb-10 09:48:33

i bet they're about thirty-five, riv. grin oh, but with the weight of the world on their shoulders it makes it older.

did you by any chance go to public shool, james?

GypsyMoth Tue 23-Feb-10 09:49:57

you'll never get the name changed James....its Mumsnet,and will stay so....

think you need to pick your battles a bit better my love

AitchTwoOhOneOh Tue 23-Feb-10 09:50:16

aye, answer the calf's question james, please. it's just EXTRAORDINARY that you think this stuff hasn't occurred to us.

BurnyHill Tue 23-Feb-10 09:53:27

This thread just begs question 'why?'

I mean really, what is the point? How can James (and Tania?) be so spectacularly arrogant to believe that they can tackle gender discrimination in society single handedly? And, in the process, select a website which is open to all with a large, active and mixed community? Its craziness.

James - What (in your wildest dreams) were you hoping to achieve by writing to Mumsnet? Did you think that after a letter from James and Tania they would change their name???

PS. James, if you want to earn some money I suggest publishing a book of all the stupid, ridiculous letters you have sent to perfectly worthwhile organisations. It would make for very good, wait... someone has already done that.

This thread wins the award for the thread that made me most annoyed, but then made me laugh most.

dawntigga Tue 23-Feb-10 09:55:25

You know what? There are plenty of organisations who actually discriminate or practice separation on the basis of sex etc. Are you writing to them? I'd really like to see your letters to the following:

The Masons
The Cardiff and County Club
All major political parties
The Alexandra Club
The Catholic Church
Muirfield Golf Club

There is still actual discrimination and separation out there and you're bothered about this?

Oh, and stop being so bloody condescending about it - people are bothered that you are worried about this stuff, it's the attitude you do it with.


anidea Tue 23-Feb-10 09:58:17

I didn't know it had occurred to you, but it's great to know that it has! Tania comes home from work every day absolutely baffled by the people there for whom this sort of thing has never occurred, and it's not just in that one job, it's all over the shop and I and others meet these people too. I'm sure many of you have also encountered those who haven't thought about and discussed these sorts of things, so we are trying to promote discussion on these topics where we can. Apparently for many of you there is no need for us to speak up, but perhaps someone has stumbled upon this thread who has considered something that they hadn't thought of before, in which case, brilliant! ...I think!

pagwatch Tue 23-Feb-10 09:59:33


I want to hear the answer to calfs question too.

I believe James feels we have all been sitting here chittering ( as women do) about washing powder and undergarments waiting for someone to arrive on a steed and show us the light.

James - you don't seem to have a very good opinion of us wimmin do you? Were our mind on other things?

Is Tania up yet? Too long abed makes your face all squishy - she'll be needing a cream for that. ( style and beauty plug )

anidea Tue 23-Feb-10 10:01:39

Hello pagwatch
TBH I didn't think that I was talking to women. I was just talking.

pagwatch Tue 23-Feb-10 10:02:03

"I didn't know it had occurred to you, but it's great to know that it has!"

Oh James. I am starting to fall a little bit in love with you now. You sweet thing you.

Perhaps Tania and I merely require patience and need to wait for society to continue on it's current anthropological path.

Or maybe you need to move out of the written word, and start experience life?

You know what James, you sound very young, I hesitate to use the word "immature", because I am sure you are not.

But you cant bury yourself in theory, and you cant avoid life and living waiting for change. You have to just get on with your life and take it for what it is.

Go travel! See the world, experience a little, eh?

And FGS, stop reading so much, you wont gain much insight from that.

pagwatch Tue 23-Feb-10 10:02:54

we just use wimmin as a cover. It includes all the hairy handed amongst us.

LeninGrad Tue 23-Feb-10 10:03:11

I've considered doing things to you I hadn't thought of before if that helps.

AitchTwoOhOneOh Tue 23-Feb-10 10:04:33

but really, james, don't you think that in Not Even Bothering To Look At The Website before venting your spleen, you were being ASTOUNDINGLY arrogant?

more to the point, don't you think that your assumption that we hadn't discussed these issues in great detail because the website is called 'mumsnet' is profoundly sexist?

Libra Tue 23-Feb-10 10:04:41

James is beginning to remind me of some of my students, who sit through my 'introduction to feminism' lecture with mouths open wide as I explain precisely why THEY need to do something about the discrimination THEY are going to face in the real world. And no, we are not all equal now.

James - we get it, really we do.

We work with it, live with it, deal with it, every day.

And then we come on here and talk to like-minded people who just also happen to be mainly mothers.

Could you direct me to another website that caters for intelligent people who want to discuss the type of question you are desperately trying to raise (as though it is for the first time)? Because I am not sure that there is one.

OrientCalf Tue 23-Feb-10 10:06:06

yes, I think that's the problem - you were talking but you weren't listening

you have made many assumptions about this site and the people who use it and run it

pagwatch Tue 23-Feb-10 10:07:00

my son is very disabled.
I find that sometimes when we are out in the world I have to challenge peoples views. Occasionally on here I have to do that too.

But what I almost never do is roll up at a website aimed at my sons community and lecture them about the manner in which they have chosen to engage with that community.

Frankly I would feel that I was failing somehow if i had so little to occupy myself productively ,that I considered that to be worthwhile

morningpaper Tue 23-Feb-10 10:07:13

James, I think you and the lovely Tania are very naive about the real-life politics of parenting - as are most people who haven't actually had children. Unfortunately, despite the great efforts of the last few decades, for the vast majority of couples, women's work hasn't really changed. I think that is the nub of your issue here.

And also, at Aitch has said, men on internet talkboards are generally willy-waving idiots. If we wanted an equal gender split on our talkboards we'd go and be patronised on guardian talk unlimited instead.

LeninGrad Tue 23-Feb-10 10:07:15

James, who did you think you were talking to?

BurnyHill Tue 23-Feb-10 10:07:17

James 'but perhaps someone has stumbled upon this thread who has considered something that they hadn't thought of before, in which case, brilliant! ...I think!'

Do you really think that gender discrimination , stereotypes and inequality are things that haven't been thought about by almost everybody? I think most of the posters on here will have spent a lot of time thinking about it actually.

Women who feel they have missed a promotion because their employer suspects they are TTC and men like my DH who find they can't change their own babies' nappy in a restaurant because only a female toilet would need a baby change...

But thanks for bringing it to our attention for us all to think abut!

Doublebuggy Tue 23-Feb-10 10:08:00

And the really sad thing is .... Tania has remained silent through all of this and yet when your google her name, this thread appears on the front page. I think this imaturity will be haunting her for a very long time.

I do actually feek very sorry for her - its a prime example of how the internet never forgets sad

morningpaper Tue 23-Feb-10 10:08:47

> "I didn't know it had occurred to you, but it's great to know that it has!"

I can't help reading this in a shrill Jon-Ronson voice

Are James and Tania very young? It feels a bit like teenagers who have just discovered sex....

they have discovered inequality in the world and will stamp it out, oh yes. And tell all those dim oldies about the perils of it all, because they clearly haven't noticed. Feminism passed me right by, and racism, (tries to remember 80s).

Mumsnet celebrates diversity and difference in a rather groundbreaking way, young people...

And another top tip, learn your audience before engaging with them. You'll have less egg on you downy, shiney, principled faces then.

AitchTwoOhOneOh Tue 23-Feb-10 10:10:18

lol mp. and you fancy him. grin

absinthe Tue 23-Feb-10 10:10:19

James (and Tania when you have allowed her to come out of the cellar).

I am not going to bore you with yet another tale of how my pretty, little son loves cooking for his dollies in his pink kitchen; even if that is all true. (Btw, he also loves his toy trucks).

However, I think that there is something deeply unpalatable about your insistance upon men and women taking on an equal amount of responsibility in rearing their brood, or possibly men adopting a policy of having to do more than 50% just to prove a point (what point this would make, i cannot work out atm). If this is the way that you choose to proceed, I think you may find yourself eventually pushed out of your family unit; surely, Tania would feel suffocated by your rigid approach to parenting. Do you have underlying issues to do with lack of professional success which make you want to over-compensate as a father? Besides, it's all so hypthetivcal at your stage of life. Some issues can only be worked through as you are experiencing them. With parenting, it is not possible to get things staightened out, at the outset.

As parents, we are keen to advise each other (both online and in RL). I am not precious about Mumsnet per se. I know that it can be a lonely place when the tide of opinion turns against you. However, it is obviously NOT a virtual women's refuge for the down-trodden or an apartheid state. So what's in a name?

Family units are fluid; their fluidity is non-negotiable as only God can see round corners. My aunt was a SAHM, did absolutely everything for her dcs, suddenly died when they were young, leaving their father (previously a hands-off, alcoholic, gambler) to step up to the mark and bring them up properly (he did a fine job too). Pack your ishoos into a trunk, get down from your ivory tower, be courageous enough to put your money where your mouth is and start reproducing... then see how your views change alongside your experiences.

BurnyHill Tue 23-Feb-10 10:10:29

Double - I suspect there is no Tania... I think this is research for some spotty students degree dissertation or something.

pagwatch Tue 23-Feb-10 10:11:45

It is all quite sweet really.

I am tempted to send James to find a website for Bears and talk them through their shitting options. I hear woods are generally de rigeur.

sarah293 Tue 23-Feb-10 10:11:46


sarah293 Tue 23-Feb-10 10:12:59

thats linky to tanias website. Cos I am too bone idle to go hunting for it myself. Today is my day of rest.

PerArduaAdNauseum Tue 23-Feb-10 10:13:08

have you actually used mumsnet yourself? Or are you just making a point for the sake of it?

PerArduaAdNauseum Tue 23-Feb-10 10:13:19

have you actually used mumsnet yourself? Or are you just making a point for the sake of it?

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 23-Feb-10 10:13:29

Oh bless his cotton socks.

Perhaps we should have realised that MN was the ideal place to discuss feminism, working, career choices, porn, sexism and media attitudes, instead we have just clogged the place up with threads about the colour of tea towels and how to arrange your knifes and forks.


Or, actually James, if you had spent any more time on here you would have realised that in fact MN can do both. It's all that feminine multi-tasking.

Seriously, rather than try and recreate MN when it is working perfectly fine without you, please try and apply your attention to something in the world which deserves your attention. Write yourself a little letter to Paul Dacre for instance. Or Richard Desmond. Or Rupert Murdoch. Or anyone who publishes something which can be construed as perpetuating prejudices in the media. Not Olivia ai MN for crying out loud.

And, your tone is excrutitatingly patronising. How can you not see that? You have the manner of someone who was very good in the debate team at senior school and has found real life to be disappointing and a challenge in comparison with that.

Bucharest Tue 23-Feb-10 10:13:39

BurnyHill you need to be careful, I suggested more or less the same on TaniaAndJames other thread and have been deleted.

You might want to report yourself....grin

Doublebuggy Tue 23-Feb-10 10:13:54

"Do you have underlying issues to do with lack of professional success which make you want to over-compensate as a father?"


noddyholder Tue 23-Feb-10 10:16:00

bunny glad you said that!Quite obvious on a 2nd read

OrientCalf Tue 23-Feb-10 10:17:50
absinthe Tue 23-Feb-10 10:17:53

db - yes fair enough, i would tweak that a bit in retrospect to say:

"...which make you want to over-compensate in terms of how much parental reponsibility you take on"

squeaver Tue 23-Feb-10 10:20:45

MNHQ - Are you all pissing yourselves laughing? And rubbing your hanfs together in "job done" way??

confuddledDOTcom Tue 23-Feb-10 10:21:57

OK, this thread seems to grow each time I go to the next page confused and I was going to read to the end before posting, but I had to say this one I read Startleftorrite as Startle and then couldn't figure out what to make of "ftorrite"!

I have a suggestion to help Jamia why don't we just close all the topics and just have one topic? Each topic promotes some form of exclusivity, so get rid of them all!


confuddledDOTcom Tue 23-Feb-10 10:24:38

OK, this thread seems to grow each time I go to the next page confused and I was going to read to the end before posting, but I had to say this one I read Startleftorrite as Startle and then couldn't figure out what to make of "ftorrite"!

I have a suggestion to help Jamia why don't we just close all the topics and just have one topic? Each topic promotes some form of exclusivity, so get rid of them all!

absinthe Tue 23-Feb-10 10:25:29

I am also puzzled why you would hook up with a lady who works as a dancer and wears skimpy, little outfits- body-facism is surely incompatible with your pro-equality stance and is bound to make you both feel jaded and cynical.

Perhaps Tania could re-train as a plumber once she has hung up her pumps. Her flexibility would be a great transferable skill for tackling U bends and she wouldn't even need a regular brazilian.

PuzzleRocks Tue 23-Feb-10 10:26:09

Mumsnet is all over the press at the moment. Not trying to grab a little bit of the spotlight are you James? wink

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 23-Feb-10 10:26:26

Perhaps they are a couple of journos who have got a commission - 'go and piss off the mumnsnetters and come back with some cracking quotes when they start ranting on'.

Page 32 of the Sunday Times Style supplement covered: 'How I raised the Kraken that is Mumsnet'

snigger Tue 23-Feb-10 10:26:45

This is a wonderful thread - I've now stifled three harrumphs and a hmm

I suppose we could call it peoplesnet - but then the dolphins would get arsey. If they had opposable thumbs and broadband, that is.

Valpollicella Tue 23-Feb-10 10:27:42

I'm looking forward to reading the Daily Mail on Thursday, as that's where I'm guessing these thread will be condensed into a Femail article

<awaits deletion>

Valpollicella Tue 23-Feb-10 10:29:28

X posts getorf...


and pmsl at Snigger..

'I suppose we could call it peoplesnet - but then the dolphins would get arsey. If they had opposable thumbs and broadband, that is.'

Bucharest Tue 23-Feb-10 10:29:31

<budges up on the Unclean Unclean deleted sofa to make room for Getorf and Val>

Can you just all hold that thought for a moment and keep quiet while I go grab a cup of coffee and some lunch?

Valpollicella Tue 23-Feb-10 10:31:36

biscuit Bucharest?

theyoungvisiter Tue 23-Feb-10 10:35:01

"By anidea Tue 23-Feb-10 09:36:10
I'm sorry to theyoungvisiter and others if I have seemed like I was attacking your parenting."

EH???! Did I say that? (reads wildly between the lines trying to figure out where that inference came from).

However since you are concerned, my second son (14 months) is currently whacking his mini maclaren pushchair with a toy hammer. My first son went off to nursery on his bike wearing pink socks and holding a sparkly purse.

Is that gender-neutral enough for you?

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 23-Feb-10 10:36:20

<sits on sofa with folded arms and 'we shall not be moved' expression on face>

If MN delete any of my threads but keep James's rancid drivel, I am going to get all biblical on their ass.


Bucharest Tue 23-Feb-10 10:38:04

Val Why, don't mind if I do. Nom Nom.

Is Quint brewing for everyone? Why is she having lunch at 10.30???? Hope that's not a snack between meals....vairrrr bad parenting (mumming????) example.....

AitchTwoOhOneOh Tue 23-Feb-10 10:39:14

she's forrin, remember.

BurnyHill Tue 23-Feb-10 10:40:04

'biblical on their ass' LOVE it!!!

Bucharest I'd be quite excited to have a post deleted, never had that before. I think I'd feel like a fully initiated mumsnetter then!!

theyoungvisiter Tue 23-Feb-10 10:41:31

I'm also baffled as to why you think we wouldn't have considered this issue.

Try being a parent of any type for a year and NOT starting to fume about the inevitable lazy assumptions, gender stereotypes, career discrimination etc etc etc.

Have you ever researched how hard it is to find a baby changing table in a men's loo? No? Thought not.

Have you ever looked into the obstacles faced by men when requesting flexible working? No? 60% more likely to be refused than women, for your info.

Have you looked at the pay disparity between men and women and how that's affected by children? Go and have a check.

Have you campaigned against the gender stereotyping in children's toys and clothes at all the major retailers? Have a pop at that first.

<dons pinny>

<serves fruit scones with jam and coffe>

Valpollicella Tue 23-Feb-10 10:42:19

I may go postal on their ass GetOrf


Kewcumber Tue 23-Feb-10 10:42:32

"a community that can fight to change an outside company's ad campaign to make it more PC"

So glad you came back James to lecture some more apologise. One teensy point. I think the fight was to make that ad campaign more C (no P necessary - it was just incorrect)