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Live webchat with Steve Biddulph about Raising Girls, Wednesday 16 January, 9pm to 10pm

(246 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-Jan-13 14:08:03

Parenting expert Steve Biddulph is joining us for another webchat on Weds 16 January at 9pm - 10pm. Steve last joined Mumsnet back in 2000 when he talked about his book Love, Laughter and Parenting as well as his worldwide bestseller, Raising Boys.

We're delighted that Steve is returning to talk to us about his latest book, Raising Girls. This was written as a response to the 'sudden and universal deterioration in girls' mental health, starting in primary school and devastating the teen years'. The book is both a call-to-arms for parents and a detailed guide through the five key stages of girlhood to help build strength and connectedness into your daughter from infancy onwards. Join the discussion and you will be entered into a draw to win one of five copies of Steve Biddulph's Raising Girls. 

If you're interested in Steve's latest book, Mumsnet Academy are running a one day seminar with Steve on 26 January in London. Here's more information.
 
Put the date in your diary to join the discussion on Weds 16 at 9pm-10pm and if you're unable to join us then, post a question in advance to this thread.
 

TunipTheVegedude Wed 23-Jan-13 12:31:52

smile @ "excellent antidote"

AbigailAdams Tue 22-Jan-13 12:25:02

Dr Fine would be an excellent antidote.

I hadn't actually twigged slammers was a term Steve used to describe working parents. How awful. He has sunk even lower in my estimation <I am sure he is heartbroken!>

Well said scottishmummy.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 22-Jan-13 09:48:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Jan-13 09:16:59

scottishmummy

I'm not trying to censor or inhibit what mnhq do as I said I liked the web chat
variety is good,I just find biddulph v incongruent for a parenting site like mn
do invite dr fine,she's outstanding,robust and sound efficacy and governance

Thanks for suggestion - we'll certainly look into getting Dr Fine involved.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 21-Jan-13 23:06:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scottishmummy Mon 21-Jan-13 22:44:59

I'm not trying to censor or inhibit what mnhq do as I said I liked the web chat
variety is good,I just find biddulph v incongruent for a parenting site like mn
do invite dr fine,she's outstanding,robust and sound efficacy and governance

scottishmummy Mon 21-Jan-13 22:31:07

mnhq thanks for answers.my objections are
1. pejorative terms like slammers for working parents using daycare
2. questionable research and summation to support assertions. the assertion of gender differences.this has not been robustly established
3 a mismatch for parenting site aimed at supporting all parents and who's founders work,and your model is employing working parents too. biddulph regularly asserts work is detrimental, has strong beliefs that society is becoming avaricious advocates working less,down scaling
4 IMO he opportunistically spots gaps,manipulates parental worries, anxieties can be a real money spinner
5 he's rehashing established liberal feminism as if wow lookey here,new theory,new book

Wow, brilliant videos. Have watched and donated.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Jan-13 19:41:44

Trills

scottishmummy I have reported your post to ask someone from MNHQ to come and tell us if having someone do a MN Academy class constitutes Mumsnet "approving of them".

Asking someone on for a webchat does not constitute approval, IMO, it just means that MNHQ thinks we would like to talk to them (and we are here because we like to talk to people who have different opinions to us).

Running a paid-for class under the MN badge seems rather different.

Evening all,
We're running a class with Steve Biddulph because we thought lots of Mumsnetters would like to attend and that it would be popular, and indeed so it has proved - we've sold nearly 100 tickets so far I think. As you can see from this thread Biddulph does have fans on Mumsnet and lots have said his books have helped them. Obviously he doesn't ring everyone's bell, which is fine by us and, I suspect, him.

In general we choose people to run a course for our Academy who are recognised as leading voices in their fields but that doesn't necessarily mean that Mumsnetters or, indeed, Mumsnet is obliged to agree with everything they say.

That said, I'd doubt we'd put on a Gina Ford course, even if she were to want us to (which I doubt she would) grin but we are looking for interesting and engaging tutors who a good number, if not all, Mumsnetters will want to hear from. Think Biddulph ticks that box. Thanks for raising it.

flow4 Mon 21-Jan-13 16:44:41

They're really good, aren't they?! smile I cross-posted with everyone after Abigail cos I found them, and spent an hour watching and thinking! grin

I think the 2nd one may even be better than the first!

flow4 Mon 21-Jan-13 16:42:14

I hadn't seen that Stewie, thanks for linking it smile

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 21-Jan-13 16:37:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flow4 Mon 21-Jan-13 16:33:56

He doesn't strike me as especially misogynistic TBH, but ignorant and out-of-touch. He conveys a sort of old-school paternalism, portraying girls as vulnerable, potential victims and prey; sweet things we must protect from corruption. There is not the merest whiff of empowerment anywhere.

I haven't read Raising Girls (and won't be buying it) but from the extracts and web-chat, it seems his advice is idealistic, unrealistic and self-contradicting. For example, parents are told to "never snoop" AND to "check her phone" and insist she "has you as a FB friend". They must "keep the lines of communication open" while simultaneously doing several things that would make most DCs refuse to talk to you ever again, like insisting they only use computers in family spaces and removing phones at night.

The articles are pretty lazy bits of journalism (though it's hard to know whether that's the fault of Biddulph or The Mail hmm ) - they're full of generalisations, pseudo-science and similar nonsense. And it was interesting that he told us repeated in the web chat that he is not an 'expert'. He expanded (22:22): "Remember my role is not to be cutting edge, its to get good information to parents who don't read a lot or have much chance to reflect. Nine specialists in these fields helped shape Raising Girls. I am just the storyteller who makes it accessible."

He's doing several significant things here: he's letting himself off the hook and distancing himself from facts and science (he's "just the story-teller"); he's telling us clearly his theories are reductive and simple (his theories are based on just nine 'specialists', out of the tens of thousands of scientists, social scientists and academics focussed on gender studies); he's making no attempt to keep up-to-date and is comfortable with old messages (he's "not cutting edge"); and lastly, it's his intention to be popularist, not rigorous, let alone intellectual (he's aimed at "parents who don't read a lot")...

So we shouldn't have been surprised (and I admit I was) to find there isn't much evidence to back up his 'testosterone surge' theory: he's not focussed on evidence - he's just telling a story.

You can see why the DM likes him: simple messages, old fashioned, paternalistic... Slightly finger-wagging, but in a benevolent uncle kind of way... hmm grin

Those of you who like slightly subtler and more considered theories might enjoy these two thought-provoking short documentaries about Lego (which I stumbled upon accidentally):

www.feministfrequency.com/2012/01/lego-gender-part-1-lego-friends/

www.feministfrequency.com/2012/02/lego-gender-part-2-the-boys-club/

The presenter of these looks forward to a future where girls are "unconstrained by regressive notions of gender"... So do I... And I'm pretty sure this future is not going to be built by Steve Biddulph...

TunipTheVegedude Mon 21-Jan-13 14:44:52

I too agree with ScottishMummy.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 21-Jan-13 14:40:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Trills Mon 21-Jan-13 14:35:46

scottishmummy I have reported your post to ask someone from MNHQ to come and tell us if having someone do a MN Academy class constitutes Mumsnet "approving of them".

Asking someone on for a webchat does not constitute approval, IMO, it just means that MNHQ thinks we would like to talk to them (and we are here because we like to talk to people who have different opinions to us).

Running a paid-for class under the MN badge seems rather different.

AbigailAdams Mon 21-Jan-13 14:13:36

As do I!

caramelwaffle Mon 21-Jan-13 14:02:57

I also agree with scottishmummy

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 21-Jan-13 13:35:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scottishmummy Mon 21-Jan-13 13:30:47

it gets worse he's doing a mnhq academy paid for class
IMO his ethos and ideologies don't sit comfortably with mn
im genuinely surprised mnhq are endorsing his ideologies via paid for class.wonder if mnhq profit share with sb

AbigailAdams Mon 21-Jan-13 12:47:07

The first piece is disgusting. Totally focussing on girls, their behaviour and reaction to boys behaviour.

He recognises "[Porn] tells girls that they are mere service stations for men and boys." Yet instead of focusing on boys mistreatment of girls because of this he focuses on how girls are reacting to it. And keeps the focus on policing girls behaviour rather than boys:

"Don’t let her go out simply to cruise the clubs or pubs. Have a definite deal about how she’s getting home and when; and be prepared to go and collect her anywhere and at anytime."

Your daughter doesn’t need you to be a friend. She desperately needs parents who set curfews, stop her drinking under-age, and know at all times whom she is with and where.

What about stopping boys from treating girls like sex objects? What about stopping porn and children being able to access it?

"But don’t make the mistake of dividing the female sex into ‘good girls’ and ‘bad girls’. The problem with this approach is that if your daughter feels desire, she may unconsciously label it as ‘bad’." How about you don't compare teenage girls to prostitutes Steve, as if that were a "bad" thing.

But I suppose me getting angry about this is just down to my hormones. Nothing to do with the misogynistic bullshit being spouted in these articles at all.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 21-Jan-13 12:30:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gazzalw Sat 19-Jan-13 10:56:11

I think he was using his reflective skills to the hilt

flow4 Sat 19-Jan-13 10:35:08

Definitely selective. I'm not sure whether he was avoidant, or whether there was some kind of time-lag, or whether he just read, typed and thought more slowly than us lot! grin

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