what has feminism ever done for us?

(391 Posts)
Judy1234 Sun 22-Apr-07 19:44:00

The C of E has its usual silly fudge - it is letting women in at the bottom whilst prohibiting them from leading as bishops and archbishops.

Some Catholics apparently argue that the huge lack of men getting vocations and big surge of women wanting to be ordained is God - God behind it.

kickassangel Sun 22-Apr-07 19:34:42

so the nearest the catholics have got to having a female leader of any kind is a fictitious character who wasn't exactly the most holy of people!

still, i do think that feminism has made us question the attitude of men at times. i think without feminism the church of england would never have decided to allow female leadership - it was an result of pressure from its own ffemale members rather than because they suddenly saw the light & re-interpreted god's laws.

i went to a c of e school, which had a male chaplain who refused to update the liturgy to say 'human' instead of 'man'. it was also an all girls school. there were times when there were over 1,000 girls in eucharist, and only a few male teachers, but we all were meant to say 'man'. unsurprisingly, there were quite a few of us who said HUman. even at the age of 13 or 14 it just seemed so patronising of him to say the of course, we were included, as if there might have been any doubt. a whole new discussion on who is more moral and likely to go to heaven, might be interesting? from then on i've had major problems accepting male 'father figures' particularly in a religious setting. they only seem to be interested in seeing how far they can subjugate & patronise me.

Judy1234 Sun 22-Apr-07 14:18:21

A few religions have excluded people of different colour I think - the Mormons didn't have a very good record on that at one point. But they just reflect things at the time. The essence of Christianity and Islam is equality of all people. Men just chose to twist the words for their own ends.

" 1601, Pope Clement VIII declared the legend of the female Pope to be untrue. The famous bust of her, inscribed Johannes VIII, femina ex Anglia, which had been carved for the series of papal figures in the Duomo of Siena about 1400 and was noted by travellers, was either destroyed or recarved and relabeled, replaced by a male figure, of Pope Zachary (Stanford 1999; J.N.D. Kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes)."

niceglasses Sun 22-Apr-07 13:48:09

I thought Pope Joan was largely fictitious?

kickassangel Sun 22-Apr-07 12:51:11
kickassangel Sun 22-Apr-07 12:46:03

xenia, i think pope joan was a mistake. it wasn't until she went into labour (part way through a parade) that they realised she was a woman. where she gave birth (in france) has become a shrine to fertility, with desperate women going there to bathe in the middle ages. funnily enough, a lot of single young men worked at the spa there ... anything to do with the success of bathing in 'blessed waters'

that asied, i'm interested in religion & equality. the christian religion is supposed to uphold the view that god created all people equal & loves all of his creation, but so often the greatest oppression f women is voiced through the church. i think it's when i was told that it's ok for men to have exclusinve clubs, parties, meeting etc because they need to bond that i started to really question the teaching. you can imagine the reaction if we said it was ok for white people to be exclusive! i just don't see how some people say that racisim is evil - against god's teaching - but support sexism. surely any kind of supremecy is wrong if god loves us all?

monkeytrousers Fri 20-Apr-07 18:26:10

Caroline - it's another straw man. Where are these women who tell working mums that they are "damaging" their children?

monkeytrousers Fri 20-Apr-07 18:24:56

It always gets down to this paradox with you Xenia - you argue from a Conservative stance for individuality and self determination, knowing full well that an elite can only exist on the back of the pleb majority - yet it's those plebs fault for being there as all of us could be in the elite if we only had some backbone and drive. Do you see the paradox?

Judy1234 Fri 20-Apr-07 18:05:22

99% of what is spewed out by the press is "working women damaging children" and about 1% - thinking of recent Times article here, very very rare - the other way around.

I would not want anyone to censor their views for fear of hurting feelings ever. It's one of the pathetic submissive sorts of traits we need to breed out of simpering smiling women who lying through their teeth make smarmy nice comments to their friends all the time like Stepford Wives produced on a production line and are unable to debate things for hear of hurting feelings because precious week little women will go off and cry if they get their feelings hurt..... we want none of that and certainly not on line. We want women who really enjoy a good debate and support freedom of speech, who would be prepared to die to ensure the UK remains a country where people whose views we strongly disagree with can spout them forth.

Catholicism... therei s quite a feminist movement within the church. My mother was a eucharistic minister and went round houses and homes giving out communion. I of course will only be content when we have a female pope - I think there was Pope Joan years back so perhaps there's precedent for it.

Caroline1852 Fri 20-Apr-07 15:35:46

Xenia - I think women who tell working women that they are psychologically damaging their children should shut up and keep their opinions to themselves. You seem quite content to upset people, by attempting to somehow change their minds and bring them round to your "right" way of thinking, perhaps you should therefore expect others to be allowed to voice their opinions too - you can't have it both ways. I don't think anyone has the right to be rabid and impose their views on anyone about anything. I think we should all live by mantra "first do no harm".

kickassangel Fri 20-Apr-07 14:53:57

i think that one thing feminism definiely HAS achieved, is that we no longer think of womena s possesssion os men. i was horrified when i got married, that i was handed from my father to my husband, snd that it was because he was 'giving' me to the next man to own me. not usre if that's still in the marriage service, but i do think we acknowledge women as individuals in their own right.
what horrifies me is that many people think of racism as a HUGE no -no as bad as committing murder or rape, but still think it's ok to be sexist because that's different - women are different so it's ok to expect different things of them. ? I know there are some differences, but our brains are just as valid & should be given just as much respect.

Xenia, you've mentioned the catholic church in some threads of yours - i would be interested to know how some of your opinions sit within the context of catholicism. i used to be a regular c of e attender, but just couldn't stomach the mysogenism.

Judy1234 Fri 20-Apr-07 13:02:09

Plenty of stay at home mothers seem content to tell working mothers they damage their children psychologically due to the separation. Don't see why in return working mothers can't say how children benefit if mothers work just to try a little bit to right the balance but any woman secure in her choices and happy to stay home (or work) shouldn't mind or be affected. You live according to your own values. Obviousyl some women find it easier if they mix with women with similar values whether in a commune, strict religious group, suburban commuter belt where everyone is a 1950s stayle housewife waving men off to work every day or inner London all wives work area or whatever. Then you aren't threatened or challenged perhaps. Than kgoodness some men and women in the 1800s were prepared to step out the mould and say things that upset other women and men - like women should vote, women's brains can actually cope with being doctors etc.

Cloudhopper Fri 20-Apr-07 10:08:30

I agree Caroline. At least both you and your sister had the choice over what to do.

As a very extreme example, take the situation in Iraq when it was recently post-invasion. Women had been used to having choices, having jobs, and the increasing instability meant that they lost those choices virtually overnight. Suddenly they found themselves having to be escorted to their workplaces by male chaperones, and an increasing pressure to wear the full burka.

This isn't a diatribe against Islam or the Iraq invasion, but I am quoting this as an example of what happens when women lose their freedom to choose. I realise that this is unlikely to happen in this country, but I think we underestimate how free women are now compared to even our mothers' generation.

Caroline1852 Fri 20-Apr-07 09:36:30

I think much of the problem lies with how women measure their own personal happiness/achievement/success/contentment (call it what you like). If it is done based on your own values then I think on the whole women achieve what they want. If it is done, looking over your shoulder, doing what is "on trend" or doing what you believe is expected of you then I think confusion and misery ensue. It makes me very cross when women tell other women that they should be doing this or should be doing that...... when in fact surely the best outcome for them is if they are doing what they truly want to be doing. Clearly there are factors (as suggested by Cloudhopper in a prev post) that curtail women's choices (house prices, geography, marital/relationship breakdown, illness etc) but their choices should absolutely not be curtailed by other women who clearly feel uncomfortable at someone behaving differently (almost as though it undermines their own choice and they feel jittery about it). My sister (who is very successful careerwise and is very wealthy to boot) thinks I am the world's biggest under achiever but actually I am much happier than her - and she would acknowledge that. Interestingly, I would not dream of telling her to go part time or give up her job and spend more time with her children. We are just very different.

Cloudhopper Fri 20-Apr-07 08:22:01

But kickassangel, I'm not sure life was ever easier for previous generations either. In fact we could still opt for the choices they made if we desired.

I could still stay at home with my children I suppose, if I were prepared to move to a cheaper part of the country and live in the cheapest flat I could get hold of.

That might sound like a non-choice to most of us, but it is the reality that a lot of our predecessors were faced with.

I think it is important to distinguish between absolute choices and relative choices. Feminism has given me the absolute choice over whether to work. Whether I perceive it as a choice depends on the expectations I have as part of this society at this point in time.

Judy1234 Thu 19-Apr-07 21:33:43

Many women achieve that. On a personal basis for many posters that gives them more power and ability to manage their ives and work so if mothers have an aim it shouldn't be the rubbish job with low pay and no power but the job at the top with high pay and lots of control. Far too many women aim low.

monkeytrousers Thu 19-Apr-07 20:45:57

What, so we should all be the boss? Don't think that is possible somehow

monkeytrousers Thu 19-Apr-07 20:42:06

The rights of men are part of the feminist debate - don't let anyone get away with that one!

Judy1234 Thu 19-Apr-07 20:23:54

I suppose you might have been in a small rented house - my grandfather in 1911 share a house with 26 young men - we can hardly imagine that now, all cramped presumably on mattresses 6 men per room many unable to get married until they were well over 40. We're all a lot better off now.

I certainly agree that status, high earnings and power at work gives you power to determine work, hours, children. I have so much more of that now at 45 than I did at 26 working full time in the City with 3 children under 4. That's my key difference now. Money and control over your working life makes a massive difference which for me means girls really should pursue that if they can because it makes them more able to be there for their children. A secretarey may find it hard to get time off to watch a Christmas play. The MD probably just says - I'm going out and goes. Obviously that's a generalisation but if you run the place you can often determine your hours - that may mean you work harder than everyone else but at least you're in control of it all.

kickassangel Thu 19-Apr-07 20:18:28

i do think we have more choices than previous generations, but that doesn't make life easier. i've just applied to reduce my hours slightly (less than 1 day a week) because otherwise i would have no contact with dd's school when she starts in sep. dh doesn't have to make that compromise - his work will be more flexible about his start to the school day. my work could be more flexible if they wanted to be but have an active DON'T help working parents policy! so, he earnes more than me, but he is the emergency childcare during term time.
incidently, he would resent me being a sahm shile he worked full time, particularly if that continued for a long period - ther's a reason why men die earlier!
i do think that discussing the rights of men should be part of feminist debate, if we are after equality, we need to consider everybody's rights.

also, whilst i believe that both men & women should have the freedom to choose whether to work or stay home, i do wonder what is the result on children if both parents have very 'full on' careers which keep them away from home. i have taught many children where parents work shifts & children are left at home. this can put the child into quite important decision making & they don't make the best life long decisions at 13/14, but they don't have parents around enough to discuss things with. if we have a society where everyone HAS to work ft, i worry about the social effects. isn't the increase in dual income families partly responsible for the rising house prices? what has feminism given me? a big mortgage!

Cloudhopper Thu 19-Apr-07 09:49:39

But Xenia, in an industry like the one I work in, 80% of the skilled employees are women, so there is no choice over whether to employ them or not. Yes men are given more responsibility and better promotion prospects because of their lack of fertility. But to be honest these days this just looks more like common sense to me than discrimination.

Childless women seem to be treated equally - and to be honest the ones of us with small children are less reliable sometimes when we have to concede to our role as the main carer. There I've said it.

I am still musing over my choice between all out career progress full time and the part time route where I will get to see my children. I feel incredibly spoilt by the choices I have.

I don't feel there are any barriers to this choice other than my own conscience and what I want to do. This is incredible given that most of my mother's generation were nurses and teachers by default and expected to give up work when they had children. Equally in many communities women have always covered home responsibilities as well as low paid jobs.

Judy1234 Thu 19-Apr-07 09:39:39

Agree with CH, particularly about rest of the world and indeed many communities in the UK.

Interesting issue is that if women don't exercise their rights whether they lose them. If 99% of working women on having chidlren make flexible working requests to come back 2 days a week for example who on earth is going to want to hire women in the first place as they're just a complex liability. If only 1% do then the rest aren't tarred with the same brush etc.

Caroline1852 Thu 19-Apr-07 09:26:32

Very well put Cloudhopper. I have said before, I am pro choice. There is no need to seek to justify the eventual choice - just be grateful to have it. And be grateful that your friend had a choice too, and be not jittery that she chooses differently!
Look at what is happening in Iraq - Muslims at war with different Muslims. Sometimes minor differences escalate into major conflict because a minor departure from "the choice" is somehow much more uncomfortable. There was a piece in the Times last week and it had 5 (if I remember correctly) personality traits/skills that we should all have to be effective humans. One of them was "acceptance of difference".

monkeytrousers Thu 19-Apr-07 09:21:49

And most women post children are in low paid, menial jobs - serving men in fairly submissive ways.

Caring for your children is putting them first, not your partner. Those Victorian patriarchal days are well and truly over.

Cloudhopper Thu 19-Apr-07 09:13:41

I think we are lucky to have the luxury of wondering whether feminism has done anything for us. I for one am extremely glad to live in one of the 'islands' of female equality in the world. It is only in Western society that women have 'equal' rights.

As for the problems regarding combining childcare and housework with working full-time, it could be that we haven't yet really worked out what to do with our relatively new rights. We are mid-way through a cultural change where many of our mothers would have done the majority of domestic work and childcare, with secondary careers.

It would be no surprise if it takes more than a generation to work out what sort of role we now play. We need to cherish the rights we have, or run the risk of taking them for granted and slipping back into the tyrannical patriarchy that much of the world still inhabits.

Caroline1852 Thu 19-Apr-07 09:08:21

I do not feel I am serving a man in a submissive way or even in a fairly submissive way. We are a team. Also I do not feel like I am at war with men ("not what we fought for"?). I think it is misguided to only be in the workplace because you believe in some outdated notion of "equality". All that is required is for women to be allowed to be true to themselves. Some, like me, will choose to stay at home and some, like Xenia, will be working for shiny wonga and paying other (women probably!) to look after their children and homes, in the misguided belief that this is a just fight. I think it is absolutely fine to go to work if that is what you want, but to go to work just because you feel the battle is unwon - that is just nuts!

Judy1234 Thu 19-Apr-07 08:31:32

Just because it confirms women's position as serving men in a fairly submissive way, woman's place in the home, not contriuting to the economy, value just as care and cleaning up, not exactly what women fought for, is it? Also I find it hard to see how women can enjoy it but I accept many do. Also never is the man making career sacrifices, is it? So I think women if they have a choice ought to work at least until we have a fairer society and consolidate female gains a bit better and then they can settle back into domesticity if that's what they really want.

monkeytrousers Thu 19-Apr-07 08:30:04

And you are making a valid contribution to society by caring for your children in the environment proven to be best for them.

Caroline1852 Thu 19-Apr-07 08:17:25

Xenia - it seems reasonable to assume from your last thread that you feel that SAHMs do not make a valid economic contribution. This is an incorrect perception of yours. There are a variety of SAHMs - you seem to lump them all together - as if in your eyes you are either a working mother (and therefore worthy) or a non working mother (totally unworthy). It does not seem to matter to you that some families have made a conscious decision (often quite separate from the hard economic decision making) to have a SAHM. My being at home for my children is worth far more to me personally than the loss of my salary. Luckily we earn enough as a family unit to have been able to make that decision. I don't know why it makes you so uncomfortable.

Judy1234 Thu 19-Apr-07 08:07:37

Life isn't fair anyway and yes it's a lot fairer and better than it was. More and more parents are sharing childcare and involved with their children whatever their sex and more and more women are choosing to work. No, fair doesn't have to mean same but I still think there are far too many marriages where the woman does too much at home - just look at the countless mn threads on it, whether they both work or one stays home.

monkeytrousers Thu 19-Apr-07 01:15:32

bump

monkeytrousers Wed 18-Apr-07 20:34:04

“Some resent the burden of having to be sole financial supporter.” Resent? Can anyone go through live without encountering resentment or without making compromises? Women are not to ‘blame’ for these state of affairs. Sometimes Xenia you sound like a 70s radical feminist, others a female chauvinist pig. An easy ride at the expense of men? Having children and looking after them? That is an easy ride at the expense of men? Is that how you actually see it?

And what does ‘fair’ mean? Things are far fairer now. We’ve been through this before; equality does not have to mean sameness. Would you agree?

Elasticwoman Wed 18-Apr-07 19:20:41

Xenia, I understand the kind of SAHMs you know do not pull their weight and seem to contribute little to the wellbeing of others or the running of the economy. I'm a SAHM and this is what I've done this week

- taught recorders as a voluntary helper at local school (no one would do it if I didn't).

- looked after friend's toddler when her childcare arrangement fell through at short notice, so that she could honour a work commitment.

Tomorrow I'm going to take advantage of some free career development to improve my performance in the 4 hours or so paid work I do per week.

Friday I'm going to spend most of the day at my aged ps in-law who are very elderly and infirm.

This is over and above running my own household and looking after my school-aged children, one of whom, incidentally was home sick for the whole week before the Easter break.

Judy1234 Wed 18-Apr-07 18:32:46

Somie do. Some resent the burden of having to be sole financial supporter. Even if they don't want to they ought to. Many women want to be housewives. That doesn't mean they should. They should be forced out for the their own good into the workplace contributing to the economy etc.

Caroline1852 Wed 18-Apr-07 18:28:35

They can both stay at home and mind the children, and go shopping at Lidl together. Xenia, you are fighting a battle on behalf of men. A battle that does not really exist. I do not know any men who would rather stay at home and mind the children and keep house.

Judy1234 Wed 18-Apr-07 18:24:51

Feminism means fairness ,It means no woman being entitled to assume if she chooses to stay home she can even if her partner would rather like to do so. It does not mean choice and an easy ride for women at the expense of men.

Caroline1852 Wed 18-Apr-07 18:24:15

Men do not feel jittery about working full time - whoever minds the children (wife or paid for care). Noone asks a man how they are managing to combine 3 children with such a demanding job. It is just not something that most men concern themselves with, not cynical on their part.... just their natural inclination.

Caroline1852 Wed 18-Apr-07 18:21:38

I thought we were discussing feminism.

Judy1234 Wed 18-Apr-07 16:40:19

And men should as freely have a choice as women, very important part of a fair country and fair relationships.

Caroline1852 Wed 18-Apr-07 15:55:36

The media are merely tapping into a very jittery generation of current mothers hence front page of Times 2 is often something like "Children in Daycare Grow Up to be Hooligans" or the like. I am pro choice. I have friends who are high fliers at work and friends who are high fliers at home! I think individuals who feel the need to justify their choice - or impose it on their daughters! - are misguided. Freedom is all about having a choice.

kickassangel Wed 18-Apr-07 15:26:36

so now we have washing machines instead of 'staff' those of us who would have been staff are now working in offices, we get to choose whether to be wohm or sahm, but frequently seem to end up in charge of appliances & children as well. we frequently have gulit pored upon us by the media whicever choice we've made, the respect for role of sahm seems to have disappeared, and the cost of housing is so high that we have to work ft no matter what.
however, we do have more choices than men, or at least they're more easily accepted, and we are allowed to wear short skirts without being accused of 'asking for it'
hmm, quite glad of femninism, but think i'd like to see some more respect between individuals, whatever they've chosen, so that we don't feel some roles are valued more than others

Judy1234 Wed 18-Apr-07 14:38:43

I was somewhere abroad where you can hire labour at seven US dollars a day and woe betide if you upset the local economy by going up to 10 dollar as one US lady found to her cost. We just aren't a country with huge difference between rich and poor and very low wages any more, that's all in terms of servants. Plenty of british expatriats enjoy lots of servants abroad.

Also I find my 3 adult children being around is really helpful not because they're scrubbing floors but just in terms of being there, the other children always having someone else around.

Perhaps really there's no previous or future nirvana we should hark back to or want now and just get on with things now ensuring they are reasonably fair. Plenty of things in the past were dreadful, life expectancy of 40, most children dying before 5 etc. We have never had it so good as now.

Caroline1852 Wed 18-Apr-07 13:39:54

In that Channel 4 documentary The 1900s House, the family were very definitely working class but they still had a lady's maid who came in to help out with the chores. Households who had paid for help were in the majority not the minority. In constrast to today. Although we do have more labour saving devices and no fires to set etc so I suppose it is understandable to some degree. How often do you all blue your washing?

kickassangel Wed 18-Apr-07 13:28:53

until the time of electricity in the home, it was common to have some help - even the moderately poor, the equivalaent to someone ina 3 or 4 bed house on a development, one or two adults working, would have ahd a day maid & a genearl man - you only need to read your literature to see this. my gran always had at least 3 staff, though not ft - she had a mother's help, a cleaner & a gardener. my grandparetns weren't poor, but they certainly weren't wealthy & they had 4 children to support, my gran was a sahm and would have been shocked at the idea of working - she worked whilst married, but without children, during the war, but certainly knew better than to take a man's job once the war was over!

casbie Wed 18-Apr-07 12:58:28

i think mothers of the house have always had help - only now we pay for it.

think of granny cooking stew, older daughters/barren sisters helping out with other chores as well as looking after children.

it's only now that we have become so estranged from community life that we have to employ cleaners, gardeners etc whereas before neighbours, family would have done it for free or a nice meal!

talking about roles, i'm always having to explain that actually i've got three children and that's why i'm buying three different pairs of children's shoes or interested in someone's baby. i do feel a bit like i've lost a few limbs, if i haven't got lots of children running around (it's so much fun!).

Judy1234 Wed 18-Apr-07 12:58:13

Even then it wasn't most people. It was the very few who were middle class. Although it's true that abroad where labour is cheap servants are common. India just banned live in servants under 16 I thikn and there are at least one million of them apparently so a massive legal change. My ex nanny her indian family in Africa when they went home there they had lots of African servants, very cheap labour indeed.

May be our households have just got too small. Today in my house are 2 children, 3 adult children, a cleaner (this morning) and a nanny (and me working) so the youngest children always have someone around and about to talk to.

monkeytrousers Wed 18-Apr-07 11:51:03

Edwardian England is hardly a substantial part of the past though, isn't it?

Caroline1852 Wed 18-Apr-07 09:44:07

I don't believe it is true what Xenia says about it being a rare thing in the past to have servants. As I understand it, even the moderately badly off had ladies maids (one each!) who would come in and help with the chores..... and the moderately well off had live in maids. You only need to look at average Victorian or Edwardian terraced housing (not exactly the housing preserve if the solely super wealthy!) to see that the house has been specifically architecturally designed to house a live in maid as well as the family.
I am a stay at home mother and house keeper cum gardener (I do have a weekly cleaner and a gardener once in a while). I have three children and am expecting no. 4. I am professionally qualified (in law) and choose to be at home with my children and running my home (which I love!). I do not feel in the least bit cross when people ask me what I do...... I alwys answer that I am a stay at home mum. Although I do have a friend who answers that she is a Barrister but looking after her children at home "at the moment" (being at home with her family is a job she loves!) when in fact she has not practised at the Bar for 14 years!

monkeytrousers Wed 18-Apr-07 09:38:36

Your imagination on relationships is wonderfully limited Xenia.

Judy1234 Wed 18-Apr-07 09:17:57

Anna, you're a special and rare case that can afford because of the man you live with and your own savings / income to look after a child but not scrub floors. Most women aren't in that position.

You do get a lot of stroppy housewives in 2007 which even though they don't earn a penny are pretty bad at the basic job too and look after the child but don't do any of the other housewife things. I'm not sure that's fair on the man although I suppose if the couple have agreed you can let the house be in as bad a state as you like and we always have run out of milk and food and I will do the cleaning when I get in from work then that's fine if it suits them.

monkeytrousers Wed 18-Apr-07 08:32:17

I just emailed you NG. Is your email the same?

niceglasses Wed 18-Apr-07 08:05:19

*monkeytrousers I have tried to flag you on another thread but no joy. Have lost your email as my pc died a while back. Sorry for being useless - would love to hear from you & hope you are well*******

monkeytrousers Wed 18-Apr-07 07:59:02

LOL Xenia!

Elastica, will get back to you anon

ekra Wed 18-Apr-07 07:40:22

"But doesn't that mean you've shirked your proper duties, MT, if you care for the child but don't do the house stuff and been a proper home maker. Doesn't that mean the man supporting you being there at home is not getting the proper housewife services he's entitled to expect?"

Could just as easily say.....

But doesn't that mean you've shirked your proper duties, Xenia, if you have a child but don't do any of the looking after the baby stuff and been a proper mother. Doesn't that mean the baby you had is not getting the proper motherly services its entitled to expect?

Not that I hold that opinion since I don't feel it is anyone else's place to define what a proper wife or proper mother is

Why should a woman call themselves a housewife if their prime reason for leaving paid employment is to be their child's main carer?

Anna8888 Wed 18-Apr-07 06:54:49

Xenia - on the doctors working from home - here in France there are still lots of doctors working out of their own homes in private practice. This is a dangerous model IMO as they get out of touch with developments in medicine. In fact, it has become such an issue here that all kinds of legislation is being passed to ensure medics keep up to date and hone their skills. But I still prefer an NHS type model, far less dangerous for the patient in areas like psychiatry.

Anna8888 Wed 18-Apr-07 06:45:34

Don't be so silly and provocative Xenia.

And stop equating mother = housewife.

I'm a mother, but not a housewife (no house, not married) and I don't do any domestic work I don't enjoy. I subcontract what I don't like and keep what I find fun and rewarding, like any sensible manager does.

Judy1234 Tue 17-Apr-07 21:20:04

But doesn't that mean you've shirked your proper duties, MT, if you care for the child but don't do the house stuff and been a proper home maker. Doesn't that mean the man supporting you being there at home is not getting the proper housewife services he's entitled to expect?

Elasticwoman Tue 17-Apr-07 20:38:37

Sorry to be so long in answering your question Monkeytrousers, I get lost in this thread. Re dredge up - what's wrong with that expression? - it's not like I'm calling you a liar. It's just that attitudes are hard things to prove scientifically and I would like to know more about the way this particular evidence was gathered before I let it change my own opinion on the matter.

Furthermore, I contend that as personal vanity is to be found in both sexes, what does it matter which sex has more of it? You might as well say that because MOST men are physically bigger and stronger, then NO woman should ever work on a building site or other physically demanding task. It is also said (and there may be scientific evidence of this, I don't know) that women have better fine motor skills than men and that's why they are more likely to do things like fine needlework. But should that be a reason to prevent men from having a go if they want?

monkeytrousers Tue 17-Apr-07 20:18:59

I've styaed at home with ds for two and a half years - in that time I've never been a 'homemaker' I've been primary carer.

monkeytrousers Tue 17-Apr-07 20:17:25

a 'blip'? ..yes

kickassangel Tue 17-Apr-07 19:59:27

just part of the complexities of having those extra choices, ones which men don't seem to have.
although people assumed i'd give up/go pt when i had dd, they accepted me working ft, but the same flexibility wan't extended to dh!

Judy1234 Tue 17-Apr-07 19:49:57

But then if you say to someone who has a baby "what you do" and she's a housewife she looks at you crossly.

kickassangel Tue 17-Apr-07 19:37:54

interstingly, whenever i tell people i work ft, i get the comment 'how do you manage it all?', but dh doesn't get the same response - there is such a wealth of assumptions in that comment that i don't know where to start. typically, women are asked if they're giving up work when they have children, men aren't. so as a society we do still expect women to be the homemakers, although we acknowledge their right to a choice, but very few men are expected to have the same range of choices. i do wonder if it is good for society, both on a macro & micro level, whether two ft working parents (particularly where ther are no flexible hours) is best long term. perhaps we should be more flexible towards either parent spending some time at home with young children, and having the right to return to work, without having to start again at the bottom & work their way up.

Judy1234 Tue 17-Apr-07 18:59:27

Interesting though that if you just look at my family - father psychiatrist often seeing patients at home in and amongst us, my sister psychologist sees her clients/patients at home, me - my office largely based at home, my ex husband often here in and among the children teaching the piano here all day from another room when he wasn't at school, loads of accountants we know who work for themselves based at home. The traditional doctor's premises would be ground floor of his home. In fact my brother is seeing a patient here at my home next week. All these teleworkers based at home. So perhaps we had a mere blip of 100 year s or so with people going out to work and now they're going back into their own houses to work

monkeytrousers Tue 17-Apr-07 18:37:44

Yes, it's only been since the industrial revolution and 'time' was reorganised to fit into work patterns to optimise productivity that people, including, slowly, women entered what we now think of as the modern workforce.

Before that women had the support of their families who often lived close by in small communities. Women could go on 'working' or contributing to that community whether they were pregnant of not.

It's a facet of modernity that women were segregated and isolated when they had children. The net is a great way of finding the kind of community and support that was traditionally on our doorsteps, before the 'workforce' was put into motion and mass migration from rural areas occurred and the cities grew to what they are today.

CristinaTheAstonishing Tue 17-Apr-07 17:06:12

"we now talk on-line to bring that feeling of female soliarity" Hmm, it's beautiful day so I'll agree with you that we find solidarity online.

casbie Tue 17-Apr-07 17:04:05

maybe 'the home' is being excluded and not valued because 'the home' is no longer the main focus of society - work is?

so where as before (generalising terribly and fumbling in the dark) 'the home' was central to the community, where women would meet, talk discuss, support, b*tch, we now talk on-line to bring that feeling of female soliarity.

summary:
women's work has moved from the home and therefore community/society has fractured?

CristinaTheAstonishing Tue 17-Apr-07 17:03:32

The US seems to have more people on ADs here (not a very scientific link, quick though) Anyway, why are we exchanging these data? Let me read and see what this discussion is about.

CristinaTheAstonishing Tue 17-Apr-07 16:59:45

UK children have the highest rate of ADs prescription compared with France, Germany, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and the US (2004 data).

Anna8888 Tue 17-Apr-07 16:44:26

sorry, meant to say the highest rate of antidepressant users in the WORLD

Anna8888 Tue 17-Apr-07 16:43:32

Xenia - yes, wonderfully well, also has the highest rate of antidepressant users in Europe.

Judy1234 Tue 17-Apr-07 16:41:15

Sound like France is doing wonderfully well and their women look good too.

Anna8888 Tue 17-Apr-07 16:28:27

Here in France the birthrate is the second highest in Europe, and the percentage of women in the workforce the highest in Europe.

This is often touted as a victory for feminism. Personally, I think it comes at great cost to children (child rearing is a very institutionalised business with parents spending very little of their own money educating their children) and a great cost to women, who are very fraught.

Anna8888 Tue 17-Apr-07 16:24:27

monkeytrousers - what do you want to know about cohabiting couples?

In France, there is an optional legal contract for cohabiting couples which, strangely, is in some ways more favourable towards the non-working partner in case of breakdown than marriage is.

Most cohabiting couples here choose not to have any legally binding contract since there are fiscal advantages for second earners in not doing so.

Judy1234 Tue 17-Apr-07 16:21:36

I don't think the UK birth rate is particularly high amongst people born in the UK. Some non working or well off middle class working mothers like me have larger families but I doubt that is much of a trend.

Sexism? For me it just means being unfair and on grouds of sex. So where both a couple work full time but she does all the domestic stuff too that's sexist and unfair.

On value if you as an individual value a stay at home mother's care and housework (and many many men really do value that highly in their spouse) and you as a woman know it's a valuable thing may be because of your own views or your religion (here religion can help a lot of stay at home mothers I think in traditional roles because it does value that role) then can't you just ignore what society and many working women and men think about housewives? In other words just because you live in one society doesn't mean you have to let it get to you that we as a whole tend to value people's paid work than the rest of their lives/caring for others parts of their lives. Or would it be easier to move to your won town in mid West America like the Amish or other groups or the local Brethern group we have near me who are "apart" in a sense with women submissive to men or the veiled women I just passed when I went out to Tesco. They all maintain their values whilst to a greater or lesser extent living in our capitalist society.

kickassangel Tue 17-Apr-07 16:13:02

trying hard to remember where i saw this & need to go now, but i thought that in the last 5 years the birth rate in the uk was starting to rise again - women are having more babies. partly due to 2nd families, but also more peolple are having 3 or 4 children, rather than 2. the implications of this are enormous - have wmen decided that they don't want to go out to work & therefore have more kids so that econimicallythey justify it?
gotta run now, but enjoying this discussion - will try to evict dh from the puter tonight so i can catch up!

monkeytrousers Tue 17-Apr-07 16:06:18

I didn't know that Anna - what of cohabiting couple though, which is the trend these days?

monkeytrousers Tue 17-Apr-07 16:04:55

I wasn't aware that the birth rate is increasing in the UK; on averge around the world, yes, but not in the west. I thought the west was trying to promote it however as there's going to be a crisis when all of us reach pensionable age and old people outnumber young ones. I might be wrong though..?

Anna8888 Tue 17-Apr-07 16:01:24

monkeytrousers - divorce law is part of the marriage contract ie when you get married you sign a contract which gives you certain legal obligations if the marriage breaks down. So, even though some (stupid) people don't read the fine print until after the event, divorce law does signal what society believes about the value of roles within a family.

Where I live, in France, there is very little if any alimony and limited child support after divorce. Non-working women are expected to go out and support themselves almost immediately after divorce. That signals something about the value placed by society on child rearing (very low, the French employ cheap, low skilled childcare with no qualms).

In the UK, divorce law is much more favourable towards non-working mothers and the qualifications and pay of child care workers are also much higher than France.

kickassangel Tue 17-Apr-07 15:59:35

what about the fact that there is a rising birth rate? people are starting to have bigger families again. ould it be that the introduction of the pill & better family planning, easier access to divorce, and the feminist movement led to a temporary dip in family isxe, but that many of us who grew up in a 2.4 children family, actually prefer the bigger family. tht is going to have repercussions, because it is easier to look after one or two children & work, not so easy with more children, particularly if you're in low paid work. also, although in theory you can still apply for jobs/promotions during pregnancy/maternity leave it is less likely to happen, so a woman going through a number of pregnancies is unlikely to advance her career as much as a man who doesn't have time off.
could the rising number of children lead to less equality?

casbie Tue 17-Apr-07 15:48:14

maybe my issue is that maybe we should pay carers - more? better? anything? because they are contributing more than most people to the continuation of life.

i just find it ironic that my hubby is looking after three potential tax payers who will be paying for everyone elses pension - yet my hubby doesn't earn anything in his own right to provide a pension for himself.

(i also find it criminal that pensioners pay for council tax - but that's another issue!)

i should run for MP!

; )

monkeytrousers Tue 17-Apr-07 15:48:01

Ah, but once it's got to divorce it's already too late, isn't it?

Agree re the nature/nurture false dichotomy

Anna8888 Tue 17-Apr-07 15:44:35

monkeytrousers - I agree wholeheartedly that being educated on human evolution and the inherent differences between the sexes is a critical issue going forward.

What's more, I think that many people in our generation suffer from an education in which we were told, misguidedly, that girls could do anything boys can and that sex differences were more about nurture/culture than nature/genes.

Anna8888 Tue 17-Apr-07 15:40:44

monkeytrousers - I am surprised that you take the position that the state should make greater financial acknowledgement of child rearing by parents in their own home.

Personally, I think that divorce law in the UK does an excellent job of that.

monkeytrousers Tue 17-Apr-07 15:39:37

I agree Anna, and I think being educated on sex differences from an evolutionary POV would be a great start in avoiding the usual pitfalls most seem to fall foul of.

Anna8888 Tue 17-Apr-07 15:36:32

casbie - I quite agree, and I think that the feminist movement has done a lot of harm as well as good to children.

It is a very good thing for children to be brought up by an educated mother who has seen the world and who can prepare them properly for their future place as adults within it. It is also a good thing for children to have mothers who are not economically dependent and who can support their families if the need arises.

However, if that mother is out at work full time and the children spend their days with low skilled carers, the benefit of an educated mother is largely eroded.

I don't like the idea of state intervention in family life. I do like the idea of greater education giving women (and men) better skills for negotiating their own way through the potential minefield of a shared life.

monkeytrousers Tue 17-Apr-07 15:33:32

"however, if he was looking after someone elses children, he would be paid, pay his own pension, Ni contributions. this is the distortion that i think affects our whole society. as the main carer he is ignored by society until he comes back into full-time paid employment. i think this is the problem to alot of societies ills."

Excellently put!

monkeytrousers Tue 17-Apr-07 15:31:56

Exactly Tatat, your post of 14.12. But about your nagging suspicion, I think you should talk to your DH and find out for sure, don’t let it eat away inside you. Once upon a time the slogan of feminism was that the personal was political, now we need to ask how we stop the cultural becoming personal! Most women, and an increasing amount of men too actually, want a better work life balance – for the family to be the primary focus, not the job. Relationships break down under the strain of the career vs the family. When they get into trouble people spend more time working away from the source of conflict, exacerbating the problem and then the family breaks down. It’s a very unhealthy cycle and actually only benefits business in the long run ad millions of men and women shag around rationalising the single life and then die alone and lonely.

monkeytrousers Tue 17-Apr-07 15:20:56

It won’t change Xenia. Or it will change over millions of years. The power you advocate is nonsense, sorry. You cannot swap the sexes. Culture can’t affect the world around it in such a way that evolution does. What seems to be culturally entrenched in the west today is an illusion, helped most of all by THE PILL! Women can control their fertility and therefore have some power to stop being exploited because of it – but only where they have access to reliable birth control and latterly abortion services. These are two of the most important developments in the history of womankind. If anything happens to ‘civilisation’ these will stop and women will be vulnerable once more. And if society becomes unstable expect war, and in war expect rape. It isn’t a pretty picture to paint. I think the feminist imperative should join with the environmental one, as women (as well as men of course) have a huge amount to lose if we don’t wake up soon.

When you talk of ‘work’ are you alluding to work after the industrial revolution? Men and women worked before then, but didn’t get ‘paid’ for it – they worked as part of a community or were serfs/slaves.

The birth rate is high when child mortality is high. That’s the same today. Birth rates fall when the chances of your children surviving to adulthood rise.

Anna, yes there is more interest, but like you say there will never be any sex role reversal on any significant scale.

Good post Casbie, but we are probably all discriminated against because we are all poor - in relative terms, and of course black peoples are one of the poorest and most exploited on earth.

Xenia, can you please define what you actually mean when you use the term ‘sexist’? It seems that you are saying of you are treated in any way like a woman, that it’s sexist.

casbie Tue 17-Apr-07 15:16:41

now this is the real issue - child rearing is seen as not a valuable occupation for a modern couple.

my hubby is a house-husband and the only benifits he gets from the state is a clap on the back, and his Ni contributions paid!

however, if he was looking after someone elses children, he would be paid, pay his own pension, Ni contributions. this is the distortion that i think affects our whole society. as the main carer he is ignored by society until he comes back into full-time paid employment. i think this is the problem to alot of societies ills.

what women have achieved is recognition in the workplace, but in doing so made home-life seem a poor woman or man's occupation.

NB saying this as a fulltime working mother!!

Judy1234 Tue 17-Apr-07 14:50:57

Good for them. When it's 50/50 that's fine. Many men have been denied their caring side and forced to be macho. It's nice culturally that is changing here.

Anna8888 Tue 17-Apr-07 14:50:41

... except that not all jobs are valuable to society. Lots are quite destructive.

ekra Tue 17-Apr-07 14:49:35

But more and more men are choosing to reduce their hours of work and are finding time at home with their young children more rewarding.

Judy1234 Tue 17-Apr-07 14:34:47

Don't worry three are plenty of working mothers who are happy to judge stay at home mothers as dull and unfulfilled. It's not just men making those judgments because objective housewife stuff is deadly dull. It's nothing to do with male standards, success, earning power, macho things - it';s that many adults of whatever gender do for obvious reasons give greater status and admire more achievements outside of the home. This is not women being corrupted by men from their purity of enjoymen of domestic service caring and giving but humans of whatever sex knowing what is more valuable a thing to do - leading a nation or plc or hospital ward being more important and valuable than one parent bringing up one baby.

Anna8888 Tue 17-Apr-07 14:22:50

tatat - and how do you share out the domestic workload? Because if you are doing more of it, you should feel quite justified in needing that extra day a week that doing a four-day week at work allows you. And your husband should support you in that, since he isn't doing 50%.

Tatat Tue 17-Apr-07 14:18:03

And also, should add that I do believe in the principle of equality but that I am unhappy about men being the ones in society who get to define what terms anyone is held up against- it shouldn't just be the bloke's standards that we have to achieve it should be a jointly "agreed" set of standards.
Have a nagging suspicion that when I dropped down to 4 days from 5 at work, when ds was about 18 months, that DH secretly thought "there we go, she couldn't cope with it. Women keep harping on about wanting the same as us men but when the cards are on the table they just can't cope." Dur, IT WASNT ME PERSONALLY who has shaped society's attiudes and i should be able to define my own life instead of living up to someone else's ideals!

OOoooh that one has obvioyusly been brewing up for a while

Anna8888 Tue 17-Apr-07 14:13:07

I agree that the domestic workload (housework and bringing up children) is by a very long way the greatest hurdle to the parallel advancement of two careers in a couple.

However, I think that it is not a simple issue of dividing the domestic workload down the middle between two people in a couple. The negotiation of who does what (and what is sub-contracted) is immensely complicated and many people have no good role models from whom to learn.

Tatat Tue 17-Apr-07 14:12:09

Haven't read all of the thread as I am at work and my boss would notice that I had been glazed of eye for approx 5 hours, but one of my thoughts on the subject (sorry if it's repeating a previous post):

I'm grateful for lots of the things feminism has achieved. Access to birth control, expectation of fulfilling paid work if that's your choice, it being acceptable to have friends of either gender for example.

What I don't like is the feeling that I am judged by men on their terms now. If I don't want "it all" (i.e. kids career family life social life nice home and so on) I am not really a valued member of society. If however I do have all these things on my wish list then I am in the club.
If I'm honest what I want is to be able to be with my family and be a) valued for doing so and b) allowed to be fulfilled by this. (Because ^of course^ my mind must be incredibly soggy if all it took to fulfill me was spending my days with children, my home and other women and their children. )

Thoughts coming out in random order sorry if not propoerly thought through!

Judy1234 Tue 17-Apr-07 14:06:23

..and on c's point I think in work race and age can be bigger problems than sex. Someone last week applied for jobs age 50 something and again as a 30 something; no interviews over 50, 6 interviews with identical CV in 30s.

Judy1234 Tue 17-Apr-07 14:04:53

Good, c. Also Anna I agree with that. Things are changing. I think most of the problem for those women who want to do better in their work is that in their relationship their partner can be sexist. Most couples who both work full time you tend to see the man is there helping as much as the woman and for many women those are much easier relationships than her trying to work full time whilst living with some male chauvanist pig she should never have married in the first place.

It's a good thing - men having to think in their 40s and 50s if the beer gut might in fact put women off even though the wallet might attract them. I reject men on looks grounds all the time.

Although I don't think we're reached a point where mostly we don't want men to work or aren't bothered in the way many men aren't bothered or quite like the quodos and status of supporting a trophy non working good looking clever wife. (just reading Hello magazine over lunch and ulricha Johnson with another man who is giving up his job and life and property in Sweden to move in with her when in last year's hello she was writing that her last marriage broke down because her husband looked after the children and she was having to keep the family - looks like a repeat of the same mistake)

casbie Tue 17-Apr-07 13:48:02

what an interesting debate - it's nice to find a debate about ideology rather than which brand-of-nappy-to-buy.

for my two pennies:

i am a feminist and proud of it.

it means i have access to education, birth control, good working conditions, the vote, access to knowledge, a career.this means in turn, i can educate my children to be positive and have access to knowledge without things like periods being wrapped in mystery. i'm very proud that all my children know about periods, where babies come from, what happens to your body as you become an adult, that poo is waste, where water comes from, where their food comes from etc(they are 6,3, 1).

i know i'm still discriminated against because i'm a woman and non-white, but at least i believe we can change things for the better.

Anna8888 Tue 17-Apr-07 13:43:12

Actually, what is happening across the Western world is that MEN are paying much more attention to their looks and sexual attractiveness just as women are paying more attention to their earning power.

There is never going to be the role reversal you suggest Xenia

Judy1234 Tue 17-Apr-07 13:30:32

Yes, but very few women in the past had servants. So chances are most of our great grandmothers worked. Mine certainly all did. one had 17 children (and two husbands.. one died) and worked even!

I am sure women pay more attention to looks in most countries because their worth is judged by their sexual attractiveness and not their earning power as they are appendages to men. This will change if all mumsnetters ensure they marry men who earn less than them and become househusbands. The power is within your hands to effect change.

Anna8888 Tue 17-Apr-07 12:42:59

I think that when we think about the past and what women's lives were like, we tend to think about our own mothers, grandmothers, greatgrandmothers. Our perception is coloured by our own family history.

So if your grandmother was a servant and you has yourself become a professional person, you might think that your life is rather much better in 2007 than it would have been in 1927. If your grandmother had been to university and was leading a very comfortable life with lots of servants, large houses and children with nannies and at private school, you might find the same job as the woman whose grandmother had been a servant a bit of comedown.

monkeytrousers Tue 17-Apr-07 12:05:04

Elasticwoman, what is it about the idea that women are relatively more interested in looks that you find so hard to accept; even in the fact of massive evidence?

monkeytrousers Tue 17-Apr-07 12:00:27

depends on what you mean by work Xenia. and the factories and workhouses were not nice places

Judy1234 Tue 17-Apr-07 11:28:08

"before feminism woman had the house and the kids. now women have the house and the kids and a career and interests"

Go back 100 years and most of our relatives worked male and female in factories or one of the 1m live in servants in Victorian England or in fields. It is a myth women never worked.

Also what you write above is marvellous. It's wonderful having children and working.

mytwopenceworth Tue 17-Apr-07 09:01:13

hell yes Senora!

before feminism woman had the house and the kids. now women have the house and the kids and a career and interests (that you have to have to fit in and impress, not because you like them, which would be fine!) and have to avoid 'letting themselves go' and can never be content with ok, but have to be the best and take full advantage of the opportunities available nowadays..........

it all means loads more stress and hassle and women put too much pressure on ourselves to do everything.

it seems that in the end, feminism benefitted men more than women!

monkeytrousers Tue 17-Apr-07 08:42:03

'dredge up'

Elasticwoman Mon 16-Apr-07 22:46:23

Despite any scientific evidence you might dredge up, I still feel that vanity is to be found equally between the sexes.

Maybe I just read too much Jane Austen.

monkeytrousers Mon 16-Apr-07 16:08:14

Bloody hell, where have you been??

niceglasses Mon 16-Apr-07 16:02:40

**thread hijack for Monkey Trousers*
Am bumpbing a thread asking for you earlier. Hope you are okay.

monkeytrousers Mon 16-Apr-07 16:01:16

It's not about the survival of the species, it's about the survival of individuals, or even more specifically genes. It just so happens that things such as cooperation and alturism arise from this scenario. These are the basics we'd go back to.

ruty Mon 16-Apr-07 15:03:56

interesting posts MT.

Judy1234 Mon 16-Apr-07 14:35:57

Isn't that though why women are moving into the ascendancy, doing better (certainly below age 25) than men, getting jobs when they leave schools boys cannot get because now in 2007 it's skills women traditionally have that are valued and as you say people don't work in the same groups etc as before although today I was speaking to one man who is at an internal group - they have 1 woman out of 60 men at that director level. Not exactly hopeful... except it's not a very well paid sector so I suppose that shows women have more sense than to pick it.

kickassangel Mon 16-Apr-07 14:15:00

oops

kickassangel Mon 16-Apr-07 14:14:10

so what do we think about the idea that decisions should not be made at face t face conferences, but online, like this? a forum could be set up, which includes proper representation of male/female experts etc, then laws discussed & decided. that way people's prjudices should be limited by not knowing if they are talking to men or women. just thinking back to comments about whether women need men. - if men tend to be more physial & prone to violence, then this could erradicate that influence, and allow women their equal bargaining right.
it would also remove the emotional side of debate - perhaps we should move away from using voice, body etc as part of our communication, and rely on words?

kickassangel Mon 16-Apr-07 14:14:10

so what do we think about the idea that decisions should not be made at face t face conferences, but online, like this? a forum could be set up, which includes proper representation of male/female experts etc, then laws discussed & decided. that way people's prjudices should be limited by not knowing if they are talking to men or women. just thinking back to comments about whether women need men. - if men tend to be more physial & prone to violence, then this could erradicate that influence, and allow women their equal bargaining right.
it would also remove the emotional side of debate - perhaps we should move away from using voice, body etc as part of our communication, and rely on words?

Anna8888 Mon 16-Apr-07 13:34:31

Hmm, not sure I agree entirely there either. Surely if civilisation crumbled, although our lives would be very much driven back to basics in the way you describe, we'd just start all over again and rebuild civilisation?

I don't think human life was ever just about mating/survival of the species.

monkeytrousers Mon 16-Apr-07 13:29:32

Well that's where culture comes in. Of course today our lives are not simply about gaining access to mates - well to some extent anyway.

But this was the case in our evolutionary history and it's this past that has shaped our bodies and brains, our psychologies. The propensities of modern humans can be explained by the challenges we faced in out evolutionary past. Even though culture seems to have taken the edge of this, should civilisation crumble tomorrow, we'd all very soon revert to these basic strategies as surviving, reproducing and helping that offspring survive to reproduce itself would become our primary concern – male and female. If it wasn’t then that genetic line would be extinguished.

Anna8888 Mon 16-Apr-07 13:00:22

monkeytrousers - not sure I adhere to the theory that women are "the prize", or at least not the only one.

Men assert their place in society versus other men with all kinds of attributes that have no interest for women. Just as women assert themselves versus other women without any consideration for men. I don't think that human lives can be reduced to a mating game.

monkeytrousers Mon 16-Apr-07 12:34:07

Xenia, I don’t know what you mean by men dying out. The Y chromosome is, in the word of Steve Jones, the most “decayed, redundant and parasitic part of the human genome” (I’m just quoting that from the cover blurb from his book ‘Y – the Descent of Men’ (you should read it, it’s 5 years old not but still relevant) as I can’t remember much of the thesis now I read it so long ago; but anyway, it’s only function is to give an otherwise female embryo a testes which hence develops male. That is a gross generalisation however as hormones are just as vital at this point in the process of masculisation, as well as many other processes. In nature we have female embryo’s exposed to too many androgens (male hormones) in the womb who can become simply tomboyish, more hormones may predispose to lesbian tendencies and on to transexuality and further pseudohemaphredites with the sexual organs of both sexes. I’m not an expert at this (as will be obvious to anyone who knows their stuff) but it’s interesting non the less – some women, you for example, may get your drive from being more masculine – yet you talk of the extinction of the male.

Erm, if males didn’t exist, females wouldn’t either – or we’d be clones like ants and individuality a thing of the past.

And huntergatheres did have territories, nomadic tribes, the few that are left have territories and they move with the seasons. They are delicate balanced and conflicts to occur. Chimps indulge in raiding parties, mostly for females of other troupes I think, but again it’s not my field.

And being pregnant doesn’t stop women from working. And I’ve said this to you countless time and you always ignore it. You constantly judge others by your own experience and that seems to be that your mothering instinct was not so strong to make you want to stay at home while your children were babies. That’s not a value judgement, just an observation; but I say again, you are an anomaly. Most women want to be primary carer and a fair society would not punish them for following such instincts.

You have obviously also been hurt by a man and are still smarting from it. But that’s no excuse to wish them extinct!

Anna those two resources you mention, physical strength and fiscal resources are also what they use to assert themselves over men – that is their main function actually. Women are the prize. I’ve use this metaphor before but I think it works – think of Elephant seal rookery – a beach with females, infants and huge fighting bull seals. Some females and infants are hurt, even killed in the male fighting, but those males are fighting each other to access to those very females. There is collateral damage, but the real fight is between the males, not males against females. This is nature red in tooth and claw of course. Elephant seals are not moral animals – humans are and that is why women (and men, lets not forget many men are feminists) have this agenda, and it is a worthy one, but we need to understand it better if the aim is to build a better fairer world for everyone, not just middle class, western women.

Society also does its bit to channel latent male aggression – that’s what football is for as well as many other contact, mass spectatorship sports.
Sorry, better stop now.

Judy1234 Mon 16-Apr-07 12:14:40

I do have sons. I don't think they're sexist so far and obviously I wouldn't want to eradicate them.

Anna8888 Mon 16-Apr-07 11:49:57

Well, surely, you have to first ensure that in any relationship you actually have the good cuddly, sharing part (lots of people seem to stay together without that, which seems fairly sado-masochistic to me). And then you have to work at making a fair division of work and pleasure. Doesn't happen naturally, and it isn't the same for all couples.

ruty Mon 16-Apr-07 11:48:16

i am assuming you don't have any sons Xenia? Surely it is to do with the way men are brought up and what values they are taught to believe. I am confident that my son will respect women as equals in every way. At university i discovered more sexism than i'd ever experienced before, my college having a large number of young men from public schools. And my dh, who was brought up under communism and whose mother was the main breadwinner, sees women very much as equals.

Judy1234 Mon 16-Apr-07 11:46:40

Good points.... and I don't think I could be into women in that way either. Still not sure if the downsides are worth it and plenty of people now and always chose to be single. The maiden aunt and confirmed batchelor may have had better lives.

monkeytrousers Mon 16-Apr-07 11:42:03

All animals are territorial Xenia - humans are no different.

Anna8888 Mon 16-Apr-07 11:41:22

Well, I need a man to give me cuddles and affection and sex and to share my innermost thoughts with and to curl up in our cosy nest together... being alone (or with another woman) just doesn't do it for me.

Judy1234 Mon 16-Apr-07 11:38:19

May be but perhaps now we're getting back to the stage where men are really only needed for their sperm. Swathes of lower paid British women tend to have babies on their own as there is no use of a man without a job who is just another person to look after. We get nothing out of men often and more often than not they just damage us.

Anna8888 Mon 16-Apr-07 11:24:18

Xenia - I learnt, a long time ago admittedly, that the reason humans settled was because they learned how to develop agriculture, which was a more stable and comfortable existence and which required staying put, as opposed to the precariousness and discomfort of grazing off nature like nomads...

Judy1234 Mon 16-Apr-07 11:05:02

May be the weather got better so it became possible to stay put, we had more babies and there wasn't enough land/space to keep moving around as in some areas. Anyway I think that's when men started wanting all the women there were rather than one each and all the land there was even if others had hardly any. That vicious y chromosome again.

Anna8888 Mon 16-Apr-07 10:57:37

Xenia - I don't know about the timing, but I believe we went from being nomad tribes to settled tribes which presumably had something to do with increased population and developments that meant that humans could make their lives more comfortable. And therefore desiring to defend our comforts ie territorial.

Judy1234 Mon 16-Apr-07 10:44:47

I think we had about 100,000 years of not being stuck to any bits of land and only about 5000 years ago did we (men really) decide they might settle down and farm and take more land etc.

I agree women get pregnant but that doesn't stop them working those 9 months and it's not exactly "effort". So yes you might have good few hours of hard work to give birth which men don't have and breastfeeding but men can do as much as if they change nappies to the same extent as the time spent feeding. It can be prettyu much 50/50 with children as most couples in the UK often manage as so many women choose to work.

I am not sure women do civilise men however clever they are. They are just witn men clever enough not to let on how many other women they have.

Anna8888 Mon 16-Apr-07 09:26:31

Xenia - men (human beings) didn't "start being territorial". We are inherently tribal beings that want land and resources for our own kind.

(Thank you, went to Val d'Isère where weather was fantastic though mountains bore me silly. Nice company though.)

Anna8888 Mon 16-Apr-07 09:22:22

monkeytrousers - I think that the feminist drive to achieve economic independence from men derives from a misguided view in society at large that men's strengths are somehow more valuable for humanity than women's.

Men have two major assets that they also use at times to assert themselves over women: physical strength and financial resources.

Women are able exert psychological pressure to civilise men such that they canalise their physical strength and use it appropriately, if women are sufficiently educated to know how to do so. This is one very good argument for the advanced education of women. So physical strength is less of a male weapon against women the more advanced a society becomes.

Many post-industrial societies consider that money earned belongs to the individual and does not accrue to his or her family unit (though there are many variants in legislation), therefore forcing women to work for money. On the other hand, the same societies consider children to belong equally to both parents, even though the effort of bringing them into the world is 99.99% female. Women are not valued for the major effort involved in pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and nurturing of children, and not compensated financially for loss of earnings for that effort.

Personally I would like to see a feminist movement that treats women properly for being mothers.

Judy1234 Mon 16-Apr-07 08:57:46

But we probably wouldn't need soldiers and armies and wars if it were not for men making war. It was only when men started being territorial and people settled rather than moving around and men wanted wealth and status and several women that people would fight each other for land.

I think all people are equal but I understand men are slowly dying out anyway as they have various deficiencies although it's going to take a few million years. So just as I might not choose to preserve genes which cause terrible suffering in children if there were a choice so perhaps one might not choose to preserve men who destroy the planet and hurt women so much and make up virtually all the prison population. What good have men ever done me?

(By the way Anna, nice to see you back. I hope you had a good Easter).

monkeytrousers Mon 16-Apr-07 08:36:37

Elasticwoman, it is a generalisation, but it isn’t a gross one. It’s based on sound scientific evidence. I should have added that men and women aren’t limited to these roles, of course but it is a major part of our psychology – that’s why women buy into these magazines, the cosmetics industry and plastic surgery in a way that men never will. Note I’m not saying some men don’t either, just that on a statistical level their engagement is not as significant as with women.

Xenia, yes women brought back food from gathering, but men weren’t only there to hunt, they were there to protect. You might not think we need it now, but why are the majority of our armed forces made up of men? We are still protected by a corp. of men, even if you think you aren’t.

Anna, I’m puzzled as to why some women want total independence from men. Men don’t have independence from women. In the course of evolution, it is women, their sexual choice that has actually driven it. That is real power, yet feminists are still trying to assert that women aren’t as choosy or discriminating as men, and hence in effect trying to wipe out the most powerful tool women have brandished in the history of our species. They are blind to women’s power because they want what men have, which is, very crudely put, the brute strength and temperament to fight other men for the attentions of choosy women.

I absolutely agree on your last point.

Anna8888 Mon 16-Apr-07 08:35:17

Xenia - what a silly contradiction.

In sentence 1 you say you think all humans are equal.

In sentences 3 and 4 you say you think the world would be a much better place without men.

Judy1234 Mon 16-Apr-07 08:29:13

But I think all humans are equal Anna and always have been. They may not be treated equally but intrinstically they are.

It certainly isn't a fantasy that we could live without men. It would be a much better place. Many women now, increasing numbers choose to support themselves and have no men in their lives and in some cultures it's fairly normal for men not to be needed at all - thinking here about groups where fathers don't stick around.

Anna8888 Mon 16-Apr-07 08:22:04

monkeytrousers - I very much like your expression "the Western fantasy" to describe the impossible situation that some so-called feminists fight so hard for, namely the total economic independence of women from men.

Men have also bought into the Western fantasy in huge numbers because it frees them from responsibility for women and children and enables them to despise women who do not earn as much as they do. The Western fantasy therefore does precisely the opposite of what it aims to achieve - it reduces the ability of women to be treated as equal to men.

Women will only be equal to men when their (biologically different) contribution to humanity is value as much as men's contribution.

Londonmamma Sun 15-Apr-07 22:05:34

Thanks X. Funnily enough, when he was a student he always wanted to make a bit of cash through sperm donation and I always told him not to. But looks like there's a brave new world coming !

Judy1234 Sun 15-Apr-07 21:56:06

MT, I don't agree if you go far enough back. Women have always gathered more of the food people live on than men who might have hunted but only rarely brought back meat. Women have found core sustenance and I don't even think we needed male strength necessarily. Anyway here today in the UK women don't just compete on looks. A lot of women compete in terms of their career etc just like men do, if we're competing at all. A lot of women choose not to bother with men at all.

(I will make a special note to preserve LM's husband when I do my purge of all men then.... he can be of the token sperm bank men)

Elasticwoman Sun 15-Apr-07 21:30:17

"Men compete with each other for resources and status; women compete with each other for looks" is a gross generalisation. Some women compete more than others over looks. Some men compete over looks. I have seen plenty of competition over resources, status and even winning board games from women.

But the rest of what you've said about male/female biology I agree with Monkeytrews.

Xenia, you suspect that a hardcore of Mnetters agree that "a woman's principal role is to marry, have babies and look pretty". I hope you are not suggesting that any one who enjoys being a SAHM takes that view.

Londonmamma Sun 15-Apr-07 21:22:39

she aint listening, Monkey. Busy trying on that new thong bikini ...

monkeytrousers Sun 15-Apr-07 21:19:07

Xenia, you are over 40 am I right?

Women are only in their prime in beauty in their late teens and twenties. It's definetly possible to look good after that, but people are crazy to think they could objectvly compete. Thank god for love - it's blind you know.

monkeytrousers Sun 15-Apr-07 21:15:46

"As long as it doesn't lead to women depending on men economically."

This is exactly the western fantasy. Pregnant women, and those with dependent chldren all over the world are dependent on their menfolk economically. That's why men exist - so someone can still go out and get food so the women and then the children live to pass on their parents genes to the next generation.

Those who didn't have a partner to do this, or were abandoned would have perished and hence are nobody's ansestors - inlcuding yours! You got to where you are via this pattern. This is essentially at the heart of parental investment, women commit more resourses to childbrearing from the carrying of finite numbers of eggs onwards. Every step of the way they have much more to lose - but they have developed their own adaptations to avoid being expoited because of this. Male/female realtions in this area are incredibly fascinating when seen from a biological level - seeing the differing strategies and counter strategies that have evolved over millions of years. Concealed ovulation for one.

monkeytrousers Sun 15-Apr-07 21:06:49

And men compete with each other for resources and status, women compete with each other in looks. It has been that way for time immemorial.

monkeytrousers Sun 15-Apr-07 21:05:03

Yes Xenia, you post of 19:33:29. That kind of repression is all cultural.

Londonmamma Sun 15-Apr-07 20:38:53

You are a very enigmatic woman, Xenia. I was really surprised at your response to the bikini. that's all. Don't take out my DH please, he's nice.

Judy1234 Sun 15-Apr-07 20:25:41

May be but I wouldn't expect to pick men up on a beach anyway and I only date clever men who might be interested in my mind as well as my physical attributes such as they are.....

I suppose I could reject men entirely as they've hardly done the planet much good, perhaps work to their total obliteration by putting something in the water to see them all off.

Londonmamma Sun 15-Apr-07 20:13:25

But when you're wearing a teensy weensy little thong, no man is going to be interested in your fascinating intellect.

Judy1234 Sun 15-Apr-07 20:08:11

Why shoudn't feminist want to look and feel sexy and good and attract men? I've never seen any contradiction in that. Lust is a good thing over all in men and women. As long as it doesn't lead to women depending on men economically. You can look good in a bikini on the beach and still be President of France etc I was never a dungaree flat shoes feminist.

Londonmamma Sun 15-Apr-07 20:01:58

So Xenia - why on another thread were you advocating the wearing of a bikini whose sole purpose was to scream 'look at me, I'm REALLY sexy' ?

Judy1234 Sun 15-Apr-07 19:33:29

I'm not an expert but what you said is what I thought.

Just look at all these British men who want women from cultures where women are trained from brith to be submissive to men. Which ones? Indian families around me here in London the girls often are taught to serve the boys (not all but some), men come first, women's principal role in life to marry have babies and look pretty (mind you that seems to be the lot of a hard core group of housewife mumsnetters), Thailand, probably some bits of Africa even.

squeakybub Sun 15-Apr-07 19:31:36

Message withdrawn

monkeytrousers Sun 15-Apr-07 19:21:51

strong and mounting evidence

monkeytrousers Sun 15-Apr-07 19:20:32

Many feminists support a cultural view of the 'construction' of gender which can hence be 'deconstructed'. The blank slate hypothesis. They rejected evolutionary science, or socio-biology, as it held that there were biological differences between the sexes that culture couldn’t erase - and there is sting evidence for a universal human nature, which they somehow believed would consolidate ideas of female inferiority - which it categorically does not. Feminists frequently dismiss evolutionary science as biological or genetic determinism not realising that biology and environment are interlinked; in fact that genes are switched on by environmental stimuli. Having a particular gene isn’t a guarantee of anything in behavioural terms. And I’m sure they wouldn’t be so dismissive of genetic determinism when it comes to the functioning of the parasympathetic nervous system.

The culturally determined model of gender is still very strong within the humanities at the moment, and guess what, the humanities is in crisis too these days as well as feminism! There's a correlation.

Lynne Segal called Darwinian feminists 'the enemy within' and there are numerous attempted broadsides at it from cultural feminist camps (who make up the majority in academia) and it has led feminism in academia up a very dark intellectual blind alley. There is no hope of it surviing if it stays there.

What cultures are you talking about Xenia, where women are submissive? And could you clarify what you mean by submissive?

Judy1234 Sun 15-Apr-07 19:01:11

I didn't really put that very well but there was some 1970s feminism which at the time (and it was understandable because science hadn't got into studying male and female brains and their differences) thought we were clean slates when born and all boy differences and girl differences then flowed from how we are treated.

In fact although obviously treatment does result in some things (just think of cultures where the girls are mostly pretty submissive) there are other differences that no matter how you bring up a girl or boy will often show themselves and most feminists now would accept that. That doesn't mean women can't lead armies but it does mean some of them may be better at certain things than men and vice versa perhaps.

Elasticwoman Sun 15-Apr-07 18:57:50

Sorry I mean PMSL or even ROFL. Getting the hang of these abbrs soon.

Elasticwoman Sun 15-Apr-07 18:56:47

lol Xenia - when was the time any one thought men and women were biologically the same?

Judy1234 Sun 15-Apr-07 18:48:51

I think it is based in facts. I think most people now accept men and women are different biologically in many ways but that doesn't stop women being competent soldiers, leaders, doctors, judges etc.

Elasticwoman Sun 15-Apr-07 18:38:51

What's this about feminism having a knee-jerk reaction to evolutionary science? Tell me more, Monkeytrews.

monkeytrousers Sun 15-Apr-07 16:54:07

I agree Kerrymum - I alluded to this further down - for the majority of women around the world very basic things like access to an edication and reliable birth control is a fantasy.

But that's not to say western feminism isn't valid (I know your're not saying that BTW) as feminism has made many ideological errors in the past, the knee jerk reaction to evolutionary science for instance. If feminism is to become relevent to young women today, its ideas need to be based on facts.

ruty Sun 15-Apr-07 14:11:29

yes Xenia that's true.

Judy1234 Sun 15-Apr-07 14:10:54

I haven't seen it.
Iraq had a secular regime and reasonably (for that region) good rights for women until Bush intervened.

ruty Sun 15-Apr-07 14:05:39

don't know if anyone managed to see a wonderful Iranian film last night, called 'the Beautiful City] made in 2004. It really is a wonderful film about some of the difficult issues facing both women and men in Iran today.
another Iranian film I would recommend is 'Ten' which examines the emotional lives of a series of women in their day to day lives in Tehran. It is really interesting and really helped me to understand the common ground we all share, though it is also about the particular situations Iranian women face.

Judy1234 Sun 15-Apr-07 12:18:58

I certainly agree. One of the worst things about US intervention in the middle east has been it's allowed conservative local leaders to take over and women's rights be set back by decades which I suppose would suit male US women in the home, submissive to men like Christian view point anyway. Not a good time for women's rights on the planet at the moment.

KerryMum Sun 15-Apr-07 11:40:54

I think discussions of feminism should expand to include sisters in the rest of the world who do not have it NEARLY as good as we do.

KerryMum Sun 15-Apr-07 11:39:39

I guess what I'm getting at is that in the majority of the world (population) women are still second-class citizens and have few, if any rights. And while there may be a very few trail-blazers they are in real and immediate danger of their very lives.

Judy1234 Sun 15-Apr-07 11:36:04

There are groups of women in Iran and Iraw and Pakinstan at the moment working very hard to achieve change and they are feminists.

On soldiers I certainly recognised with mt said. It's a very different enviornment from that most of us live in. Women in the city often laugh off sexism which other women say in the NHS or something might find unacceptable - you earn a fortune and coping with a few sexist men is neither here nor there and give as good as it gets, water off a duck's back etc because you know you're better than half of them anyway and have your own testosterone and adrenalin to fire back etc at them.

monkeytrousers Sun 15-Apr-07 11:35:41

What do you mean Kerrymum?

KerryMum Sun 15-Apr-07 11:29:23

Um, haven't read all the posts, but from what I have read I assume we're just talking about western society?

Because in the rest of the world there is no such thing as feminism.

monkeytrousers Sun 15-Apr-07 11:20:50

well Xenia, all female platoons would sort of the problem.

monkeytrousers Sun 15-Apr-07 11:20:09

Sorry if you are offended Edam – but all men are potential rapists – all of us are potential murderers – non of us know what we are capable of in certain desperate situations. It might be a bitter pill to swallow, and it certainly gets people arguing with their emotions and not their intellect, which never helps, but the evidence suggests that rape is one of many reproductive strategies employed by males in certain situations, war a very well documented case. Whether it is a direct adaptation or a by-product of another adaptation isn’t certain yet.

This is in no way condoning rape – it is a crime whatever the circumstances. But knowing what situations are likely to be more risky can only help. Your friend’s personal experience is immaterial when statistics show us that women face the risk of rape in the armed forces, just as someone mentioned below.

I’m really not trying to be controversial here, just talking about facts. Facts aren’t morals, that’s a different area – actually the next step. But it’s no use putting the cart before the horse. We need a clear picture of what happen, and why it might happen in order to potentially stop it happening.

Ruty, I don’t know why that is – certainly all men don’t infer that. Maybe it’s the primacy the media puts on the ‘battle of the sexes’ rather than the co-operation of the sexes. The success of the human race shows that men and women are actually locked in a symbiotic relationship that relies on more cooperation than conflict. In fact, it’s mostly only in issues of parental investment that they substantially differ. I’m writing something at the mo to try and redress this balance.

Judy1234 Sun 15-Apr-07 10:00:34

Can be better though ruty which is why most of the jobs and skills we need at the moment which in the UK nowadays is more likely to be services than production of heavy goods actually require skills women tend to be better at than men of communication, use of words, empathy, seeking consensus.

Anyway I think it's great women can serve in the forces. We just need some all female "manned" submarines to keep me happy next.

edam Sun 15-Apr-07 09:54:33

'Women should know they are substantially increasing the risk of rape if they join the forces'? WTF?

My mate who is a navy surgeon has no problem telling men what to do, and no problem relating to her colleagues, superiors or juniors, thanks very much. And I'm sure her husband, an army officer, would be highly offended at the suggestion that many soldiers or sailors or air crew are potential rapists. As would my BIL, ex-signals.

ruty Sun 15-Apr-07 09:48:56

it just seems if you point out that women are different to men, for men that immediately means inferiority. They cannot adjust to the 'different but equal' hypothesis.

monkeytrousers Sun 15-Apr-07 08:29:15

The issue of women in the forces is a tricky one – not because women can’t contribute, but that if put women in the company of testosterone saturated men you can’t be too surprised at the results. The forces aren’t society and basic training is actually designed to get male hormones pumping a lot more than in civvy street – they fight better that way. You can’t feminise men in the army – not that you would want to anywhere. The army specifically captures and hones latent male aggression. There will be some women who excel in that environment, but with all those hormones raging I don’t think it’s realistic to expect sexism to happen. Men are brutalised in the army and therefore so will women be.

I’m not saying rape should not be punished, but that women should know that they are substantially increasing the risks of rape if they join the forces.

I wish we could stop rape – but the fact is we can’t and women need to be forearmed with sound information about when and where rape is liable to happen so they can make informed choices.

Re computer programmes – men and women do, on average, have subtle differences in brain structure that predispose men to being ‘better’ at some tasks and women ‘better’ at others. This is on average – there will always be men and women who excel at these things, but the stats tell us that, on the whole, men are ‘better’ (note that’s not to say women “don’t have logic” tell your boss he’s talking rubbish) but are more predisposed to constructing 3-d models in their brains. The science on this is very accurate nowadays and the distinctions very precise. On average women excel in some areas of science and men in others; science as a whole isn’t a male only preserve – and anyway the subtleties are no excuse for discrimination of ^any kind^; people always need to be assessed as individuals to find their personal strengths and weaknesses.

warthog Sat 14-Apr-07 20:03:26

i thought that alan turing designed the computer for code breaking, but before the computers were running, women were doing the calculations. they weren't told the logic behind it for security reasons, just given rows and rows of sums to do.

tribpot Sat 14-Apr-07 19:19:04

<raises eyebrow in Spock-like fashion> Illogical, captain.

On a related note, my mum has always claimed that, had I been alive in the second World War (hard going as she wasn't) I would have been hired by Bletchley Park to do code breaking. (I actually doubt this as I am rubbish at crosswords, which is one the things they looked for). But those women who were recruited for having advanced logic skills ... were apparently used as typists. WTF.

warthog Sat 14-Apr-07 18:48:37

god knows tribpot. apparently we lack the logic needed. really ironic since this guy's powers of logic were that of a schizophrenic ouija board. i'm sure he's never heard of ada lovelace. he's been promoted.

tribpot Sat 14-Apr-07 14:00:32

warthog, I assume no merit in explaining to your old boss who the ADA programming language was named after?! What a bizarre attitude. On what grounds were women not capable of programming computers, are we too emotional and prone to burst into tears when a program throws an unexpected error?!

ruty Sat 14-Apr-07 12:03:37

interesting article in last week's sunday times about the sexual harassment women serving in Iraq have to put up with as a matter of course. As well as the frequent incidences of unreported rape. they get the equality of having to risk their lives fighting in the army but not of being able to trust their fellow soldiers with their lives or anything else.

warthog Sat 14-Apr-07 11:55:36

i used to experience sexism on a daily basis at work. my old boss actually thought that women were INCAPABLE of programming computers (except me of course). needless to say i moved teams. most of it was said in a jokey way, but EVERY DAY! i got a thick skin and never took any notice. i did my job better than the next guy, i had to work harder for the same credit, but there you go. i don't see attitudes changing for quite a while.

so feminism still needs to kick some ass.

Judy1234 Sat 14-Apr-07 11:18:18

It's a word best avoided because of what people wrongly think it means but the principle is right and most people agree.

Yes, people like Joan Collins,

ruty Sat 14-Apr-07 10:27:52

but on the news you still get an older man with a dolly girl. Not the other way round. And older men marry young women all the time. It still raises eyebrows if say a 50 year old woman marries a 30 year old man. Sexism is alive and kicking and entrenched. Look at the way working mothers get a rawer deal than working fathers and mothers who SAHs have to risk losing their careers etc [sorry to bring that up again!]
Very bemused by your statement that feminism 'has gone too far and we are losing the plot' kks. and did anyone see that clip from the Apprentice where one of the women was accused of being a feminist. The look of outrage and the swift denial said it all.

Judy1234 Sat 14-Apr-07 09:48:06

Al, always have been. We hav a glorious colour coffee table book the twins used to like to read in bed which shows modern fashion images from all over the world with ancient pictures/recent jungle dwellers etc. It seems no different on Oxford st than in the Amazon in terms of male and female decoration.

And we women seem to judge each other all the time by how we look (just see the bikini thread - more comment on how the woman in the bikini thong looks than any about the man who wanted his woman to wear it)
We can be our own worst enemies.

Aloha Fri 13-Apr-07 21:43:48

MI, sadly I think the 'judged by how you look ' think is really evening up....but boys are judged every bit as much as girls.

southeastastra Fri 13-Apr-07 21:43:29

la la la

i'm skipping through this thread

feminism has allowed me to do so

Judy1234 Fri 13-Apr-07 21:42:34

Yes, and they used to catch up by GCSE/O level and then it was by A level but now girls are head even then and more of those going to univesrity are female than male although the reasons aren't so clear - some of the exams are more girl orientated now. Some schools have changed boys doing English GCSE to boy type books and got better results.

did you know they used to rig the 11 plus in favour of boys? more girls used to pass, but it was assumed that the boys would catch up.

tribpot Fri 13-Apr-07 20:09:03

My mum wasn't taught to do cooking at school because as a grammar school girl, it was assumed she would never have to. My mum was a SAHM, by the way.

how on earth can you say feminism has gone too far?

and really, Xenia: women only do more childcare/earn less because they don't have the skills? Utter rubbish. For one thing, you have to ask why they don't have the skills. It's not that long ago that women were taught to cook and type and that was it. But even where they have been trained, women still lag behind in pay and promotion: most teachers are women, yet most head teachers are men. why is that?

Judy1234 Fri 13-Apr-07 14:46:55

A lot of women have very equal relatinoships, both work and men do as much as women at home. Amongst many people I know that seems to be the norm and although some of you might for some reason marry male chauvanist pigs I don't think most women are so silly. No one should do all childcare and home stuff and work. If it's going to be like that you're better off being a full time mother.

Some women just don't have the skills to ensure they have a fair time about things. Others love to moan but never take action in which case they've only themselves to blame.

idlemum Fri 13-Apr-07 14:00:55

I agree Warthog - it is very complicated and there will always be the need for some type of maternity leave but it is still too widely assumed that it is the mother who has to be the one to take on the role of principal carer and it does not HAVE to be this way. Whilst I don't wish to upset the breastfeeding lobby, we do not HAVE to breastfeed - bottles are an alternative which would allow mums to go back to work and dads to stay at home. We are nowhere near equality when it is women who are the ones made to feel guilty whether they stay at home or go out to work and men can just blithely carry on with their careers and have families too - they are the ones who get to 'have it all'.The big problem is the pay gap of course.

warthog Fri 13-Apr-07 13:11:10

idlemum, that won't necessarily help. we're still the ones who get pregnant and breast feed. it's simply not practical to expect dads to stay at home from the word go and us to be madly expressing all day at work sending milk home. how could it work?? so we're back in the cycle of taking maternity leave, going back to work briefly before having no. 2 etc. and companies are wary of this sort of thing. they're effectively without an employee for possibly years, but having to pay salaries etc. it's too costly.

idlemum Fri 13-Apr-07 12:42:36

We still need feminism - once the debate changes to 'Stay at home Dads' versus those who go out to work then perhaps we might get near to equality.

warthog Fri 13-Apr-07 12:23:35

the thing that really gets me is the whole maternity leave / part time work thing.

you have kids, take leave so that costs the company. then when you come back, in most situations where the job is high-powered, you simply can't work the long hours you used to. so women with babies are the most discriminated against. don't see a way around it tbh. there's NO WAY i could go back to my old job. my boss even admitted it. unless i accept that i will not be there for my children and i'm not prepared to do that.

i want there to be as much status in staying at home and raising kids as there is in the work place.

i feel i've become invisible because i've chosen to be a sahm. i've still got valid opinions and can hold my own in a political debate, but people assume your brain has gone to mush and all you can talk about are babies. pah!

Londonmamma Fri 13-Apr-07 11:30:01

Well said, KKS. MI - I agree that there's still a way to go and I'm intrigued by very young women who think feminism is a dirty word
and are willing to have surgery to conform to some physical ideal. It seems that the more women have advanced the greater the demands made on them to look a certain way - blonde, tanned, big-boobed, thin-nosed, white-toothed etc etc

kks Fri 13-Apr-07 10:51:44

Although talking with some of the women on this other site i go on, i actually established from everyone that woman actually just want to find the right man who is gonna treat her right and have a family. I also discovered that even though it is said that women who 'have sex like a man' ie go with different men as one night stands etc is supposed to be empowering to women and a step up for them, most of them said that now they regret it and feel used and wish they hadn't given their body away like that.

This then got me wondering why women fight so hard so they can sleep with who they like without getting a 'name' for themselves. When really all want is love and respect. does any of this make sense?

motherinferior Fri 13-Apr-07 10:44:03

OH god, I don't think we've got nearly far enough! Women still earn less than men. You only have to read a few MN threads to realise that women still do far more of the domestic work than men. Women - not just mothers, women without children too - aren't taken as seriously as men, in and out of the workplace. We're still judged on what we look like, how much we weigh, and how much body hair we have.

kks Fri 13-Apr-07 10:42:57

Its funny cause i was having a debate about this recently and someone said that HE thinks the reason the balance is in favour of men is because we are not equal in government. He said if we were and men and women could make equal decisions then it would be more balanced.

Then i stuck my 5 eggs in and said it wouldn't work because men in places like the far east would no way except women as equal and have them in government. It got rather heated!

kks Fri 13-Apr-07 10:39:17

I think femenists have done alot for women in the last 100yrs. I do think nowadays though we have gone to far and were losing the plot abit.

idlemum Fri 13-Apr-07 10:37:47

Agree with you Elasticwoman regarding doctors taking period pain more seriously but it angers me that if you really suffer there is still no effective pain relief for young girls. I see the advances that have been made with pain relief for Migraine and don't see the same advances for period pain but that's probably because men get migraines too but they don't get period pain ! And in this day and age when we can put people in Space why does childbirth still have to be so bloody ?!

motherinferior Fri 13-Apr-07 10:25:10

Aren't some of you talking as if 'feminism' were a coherent, and finished, project, that has 'failed'/'succeeded'? Feminism, to me, is a political perspective.

And no, I don't think that we live in a sufficiently feminist society.

Elasticwoman Fri 13-Apr-07 10:13:24

Getting your tits out is one thing, but having cosmetic surgery on them just so that they can conform with the requirements of the porn-market place is far more worrying.

Feminism has improved life for women in oh so many ways. Control over our fertility and (more or less) equal opportunities in education are, for me, the most important. Opportunities in the workplace are much more equal than they used to be. Attitudes in medical care are greatly improved, eg women have a say in their maternity care where only a few decades ago all decisions were made by the medics without consulting the mother. Also, complaints such as period pain are taken much more seriously by doctors now that so many more of them are women.

Londonmamma Thu 12-Apr-07 23:59:16

I revere the early feminists who risked imprisonment and ridicule and it upsets me that young girls today think getting their tits out is a good 'career'.

For me, feminism gave us choice. How depressing to be a SAHM because that's all you were allowed to be, no wonder women turned to the valium. How awful to feel that even when your kids had outgrown your tender bosom, there was no place left for you to go other than your back garden.

chocolatechipmonkey Thu 12-Apr-07 23:47:53

vvvQV great minds think alike!

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 12-Apr-07 23:30:27

Every time i read this thread title, it reminds me of The Life of Brian

chocolatechipmonkey Thu 12-Apr-07 23:27:48

Actually, I don't either mean to imply that being a SAHM is not work in itself, it's the choice to work in whatever job you want, whether it be at home or outside that I appreciate.
The thing is that feminism gave us the ultimate right, the right to vote.
Without that, we were unheard voices in society and nobody cared what rights we had.

chocolatechipmonkey Thu 12-Apr-07 23:21:08

Custy, I dont' know about the UK but years ago, in Ireland a woman with a paid job in the civil service had to give up that job once she got married, even if she had no children. It was feminists who got these laws overturned.
I do attribute all these rights to feminism. What is feminism if it is not women fighting for women's rights?

KickingEasterAngel Thu 12-Apr-07 22:38:46

I think that one thing that feminism did was highlight the tedium of being a SAHM, and consequently that role has actually become less attractive. I have an impression that at one point women were respected for the role they had, but gradually that has been eroded. somehow we're not equal at work, nor are we equals at home.

my mum had a book about the history of sex (meaning m/f not you=know=what), and apparently cavemen didn't realise their role in the reproductive cycle and women were reverred for being able to produce babies. men served tham by producing food. once men realsied the connection between sex & reproduction, they used their physical prowess to subjugate women, and saw them as property to be gained, in order to produce children.

could make a very crass comment about roles in society being decided by the chief cock. so, i agree with people who say that birth control has probably had as much to do with the emancipation of women as any political movement. i also think that for every mysogonist out there, ther's a male feminsit, and i wonder if feminism has achieved anything beyond castigating traditional female roles, to a point where less people wish to do them, and many are embarrassed to admit to them? i know my mum had a kind of apologetic/resentful attitude to her role as a SAHM, and insisted that my sister & i went to uni - something she wanted but was denied, because whe was a girl.

warthog Thu 12-Apr-07 22:33:08

i'd rather have too many choices than too few...

Lio Thu 12-Apr-07 20:48:25

And another little note from me so it doesn't disappear off my 'threads I'm on' list.

tarotmum Thu 12-Apr-07 20:17:04

Interesting thread - about time we had some good discussions on here that challenge our underused brains!
With regard to the original question; Feminism has given us the freedom of choice. However, the paradox is that for me the amount of choices have been my nemesis and I've over-agonised about what a professional, educated woman in her 30's should do re having my cake and eating it! Too many choices are not always the best for ones mental health!!
I'm astounded when I hear of my friends who still do not have joint access to the family finances and have to whore themselves to their husbands to get some extra housekeeping, I'm also shocked by my 'freinds' attitudes when I announced that I'd made the decision to stay at home and take a career break. Too many of us mums are near breaking point because we refuse to challenge the notion of feminism and admit that today we are actually post-feminists, living in a world which challenges both the male and female gender roles whereby everything is up for grabs and redefinition. Oh, and good to get my teeth around something rather than sleep routines, etc

a question to those who think feminism wasn't responsible for the improvements in women's rights in the 20th century: what was responsible?

re maternity leave: it is a bit of an anomaly in some ways. we should allow more paternity leave to even things up a bit.

warthog Thu 12-Apr-07 14:07:21

it's given us the freedom to choose and a good education, but ultimately we can't fight our own bodies.

no, feminism is not to blame for society looking down on housework and mums. that existed before, men refusing to help around the house as it's 'women's work'.

feminism still has to give traditional women's roles the same status as men. we ARE contributing to society when we wipe pooey bums.

woodstock3 Thu 12-Apr-07 12:00:12

well without feminism this thread wouldn't exist - an important element was consciousness raising, getting women talking about what crap they had to deal with and that it didn't have to be like that.
30 years ago you couldn't get a mortgage as a single woman. 45 years ago my grandparents took it for granted they'd pay for my uncle to go to private school and/or university but not my (far brighter) mum because girls' education didn't matter. 40 odd years ago abortion was illegal and many drs wouldn't prescribe the pill unless you were married. 30 years ago female civil servants had to resign when they got married cos why wd anyone with a husband need an income?
i ain't knocking any movement that's given me a university education, property, a bloody good job with guaranteed right of return from maternity leave, the economic independence/social confidence not to get married til i met the right person, and control over my fertility til i actually wanted a baby. and that will give any future dd an infinitely better chance of fulfilling her potential than my mum had.
agree with senorapostrophe's feeling that getting lumbered with all the housework/childcare plus job is a bum deal but just shows feminism hasn't finished - and needs to sort out domestic as well as public realm.
blimey sorry for the long rant. question: without feminism would mumsnet exist?

tinkymummy Thu 12-Apr-07 11:59:38

has feminism undervalued motherhood? And women's desires to be mothers?

ernest Thu 12-Apr-07 07:56:40

I think the laws put in place to safeguard women's right in the work place have to a certain extent backfired. I have heard it often said by small businesses, and know personally one woman (who would consider herself to be an über feminist) who owns her own small business that she would not employ a woman of child bearing age as she couldn't afford the cost of maternity pay, the uncertainty of whether or not she would return to work, and the costs and disruption of hiring a temporary and then possibly a permanent replacement. So women have been given rights on the one hand, just to have them indirectly witheld on the other.

wrt the op, not sure feminism has achieved a whole lot. women have gained a huge number of rights, eg education, the vote etc, but as said, not sure this is due to feminism or not. My school (all girl's grammar) was ultra feminist. Our colours were Green White and Violet. The Pankhursts still rule there at least, (well, they did in my day) God forbid if abyone wanted to learn to (hushed tones) type we all had to be engineers or scientists.

Many women and men consider feminism to = anti men. Many view the 'equality' to mean women can or should act more like men 'ladettes' etc.

Equal doesn't mean the same.

I think it's not clear in many people's minds what they want/should aspire to.

tinkymummy Thu 12-Apr-07 00:33:02

haven't read all of the posts, so don't know if I'm repeating, but feminism has allowed us the opportunity to think and debate about our lives, values, worth etc openly, and to believe that we deserve equality (whether we get it or not) without persecution or being considered to be mad.

Thank fuck for that. There are many women in the world that still lose everything they have, including their lives, for daring to do this.

idlemum Wed 11-Apr-07 12:09:05

Wow- what a good debate. Agree with so much on here and particularly that whilst we have so many better rights and the requisite legislation, society is still dominated by outmoded patriarchal thinking. Examples are how it is still assumed by so many that women are the most adept at nurturing parenting when we can probably all think of examples where men are just as capable.
What really concerns me though,is that whilst we now do have better control of our fertilty not nearly enough has been done by the medical profession to eradicate painful periods and to find a genuinely pain-free way of having children. Why is it beyond medical science to invent pain relief for period pain which actually works? So many young girls are plagued by this and it can seriously affect their performance at school - imagine sitting exams in excruciating pain - the boys don't have too. But the chattering classes would prefer to debate the 'problem' of girls outperforming boys at school - why exactly, is it a problem?

custy Wed 11-Apr-07 11:10:17

the right to work, ... POOR women have always worked
the right not to be beaten by your husband, did feminists give us this right?

the right to vote.. again i would argue that the suffragettes view of equality is not what we consider it to be today - see my posts below

the right to equal pay with men ...did feminism do this?
the right to maternity leave... and this?
the right to be allowed to express breastmilk at work...and this?,
the right to be supported by the state if your husband leavesand this?, the right to be promoted...and this?, the right to choose what career you want...some - most dont have this right.


i would argue that you are attributing things to feminism just becuase women have better rights.

if feminism is such a major political force i'm a bit sketchy on the detail.

i mean some of these rights are reletivel recent...

wy attribute them to feminism?

sophable Wed 11-Apr-07 09:41:14

was a word i learnt in durham meaning someone fiercely and aggressively something. radgeys in fact were beer drinkers out for a fight (as opposed to us e-generation ravers who just wanted to talk crap all night and dance).

so a radgey feminist is a fierce one. i think.

i'd love to know if there is a life of brian link though!

chocolatechipmonkey Wed 11-Apr-07 00:58:14

I think it's the "What have the Romans ever done for us" in "The Life of Brian" It probably doesn't seem as if feminism has done much for us and often I feel that way when I'm rushing to get the 3 boys out in the morning, am running late and there's always one who can't find his shoe. But if you think about it, the right to work, the right not to be beaten by your husband, the right to vote, the right to equal pay with men, the right to maternity leave, the right to be allowed to express breastmilk at work, the right to be supported by the state if your husband leaves, the right to be promoted, the right to choose what career you want................It's not bad.

custy Wed 11-Apr-07 00:17:39

i dont know what that is - i should go and google but can't be arsed

sophable Tue 10-Apr-07 22:52:50

thanks monkey!

radgey it is.

monkeytrousers Tue 10-Apr-07 22:50:18

Radgey

sophable Tue 10-Apr-07 22:47:37

custy....your post of 23.41 last night.

i BOW to it.

I BOW. LOW

but

it is exactly what makes me a raggie (ragey? raggey?) feminist.

exactly.

WideWebWitch Tue 10-Apr-07 20:59:15

Oh gosh, I'm posting here so it will appear on 'threads you're on' next time I get some time, gotta go but back tomorrow.

tribpot Tue 10-Apr-07 20:13:42

MT, I suspect the middle ground you are looking for is called "Sweden".

I think men do feel gulity. My Dh works long hours during the week so he doesn't see DD as much as he would like. I know this weighs on him. I was sick not to long agao and he had a meeting he couldn't miss so I had to look after myself and DD and he felt awful.

monkeytrousers Tue 10-Apr-07 12:21:46

That would be an interesting study. From my personal experience my partner thinks the role of the father is ignored in all of this and they are expected to not mind having less quality time with their children.

So women feel resentful for being punished for being primary carer and men feel resentful for being considered latch key dads. There has to be a middle ground somewhere that doesn't mean men and women swap roles en masse, which wouldn't be sucessful anyway and again, people would be being forced into roles and not being allowed to define themselves as individuals.

hunkermunker Tue 10-Apr-07 09:36:09

Ah, yes, I'd agree with that, I think.

Lots of women need to work on misplaced feelings of guilt that I don't think men have in quite the same way. Feel guilty about things you can change, but not those you can't. But that's a confidence/self-awareness thing too, I think.

Actually, thinking about it, do men feel guilt in quite the same way as women?! [generalises wildly]

monkeytrousers Tue 10-Apr-07 09:21:03

Hunker, that women are because they want to be.

And that they have been exploited because of this.

UCM Mon 09-Apr-07 23:58:22

Cust I am lucky because of where I work, but I can tell you that most of te men think I am a fucking loser because I ahve taken the mat leave twice now.

I have worked in my office for 5.5 years and they must really hate me. What they don't realise is that I have worked a previous 7 years somewhere else without having children. WTF.

I will go back and say my usual 'You're just fucking jealous because when I have a hangover I can say my child is sick, you can't'

I know this is a bad thing to say but I would love to hear any other riposte from any other MN who work entirely with men, who do have hangovers.

UCM Mon 09-Apr-07 23:51:31

My DH is at home because he had a thriving business in London. BUT couldn't compete with the Polish builders. Thankfully, we have had a few calls from old customers, who have had them in and now want DH to go in to repair/replace stuff that has been done on the cheap. He has sort of said 'stuff you, if you don't want to use quality to start with...., but I whacked him on the head with the baby monitor and told him to go'

custy Mon 09-Apr-07 23:41:29

sorry - the other comment i think was senorapostrophe mentioning about men not working at asda!

good point - its mostly students as far as i can tell, with a good proportion of middle aged women and retired men ...well obv,. not but YKWIM.


i have been out of the benefits system for a long while and i havent got young children, and therefore my knowledge isn't up to date - but i wonder...and i dont know... but i have an inkling that the nenefits system and WFTC is geared more to women working in line with the needs of such service industries,

which is a whole other thing i cant get into cos mi brIan is frazled - sommat about taining, oppotunities or promotion, the workplace in general.

and UCMs point ( i think) regarding male equality -

what equality in the workplace is this - if i am supposed to forfeit my place in the workplace all the fucking time becuase i get time allowed for the effing dentist and emergency school chicken pox stuff.

in any given family - if the female has an employer moreundertanding - it makes sense that she would end up being the primary carer becuase of the understanding employer - which i would wager means that she is tutted at behind her back for leaving early again is passed over for promotion becuase jonathon never leaves to get kids from school yadd a yadda - you know where this is going - so this equality female primarty carer shit - its not equality - its chains MAN, chains, your not seeing! equality for all should mean that - shoudl mean my dh gets to get the effing phone call from school when my ds beats someone up, when my dd gets bullied, when my other ds bangs his head .......

but no - he is mr effing reliable - and i end up looking like i cant tell my arse from by elbow.

equality?

custy Mon 09-Apr-07 23:34:05

coming back briefly to a couple of points.
tribpot - my argument is based on the assertion that (middle class women) the suffragettes wanted votes for women on the same basis as men, but a large proportion of men still didn’t have the vote at the beginning of the 20th century, so such a demand excluded many working class women and men.


i have no doubt therefore that the suffragettes wanted equality - but what was their equality? it wasn't as simple as equality for all.


oh and as a further counternance to this argument, in its historical place, the rights of more men to vote - I would wager was in part becuase the French had revolution not in the very distant past - and WHOA! what a revolution, there was continuing unrest and those in power got itchy.

so a few property owning men, with some money as well i think - so they had to have a certain amt of money too, got some more rights. the same year as the London Society for Women's Suffrage formed to campaign for female suffrage.

all womens suffrage?

they wanted equality remember! but that equality was not equality - are you still with me?

hunkermunker Mon 09-Apr-07 23:25:08

MT, I'm confused - are you saying women usually want to be primary carer and often are, or that they just are and it might be because they want to be?

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 09-Apr-07 23:21:54

UCM, the simple fact is, that women can hopefully, and/or if they choose to, breastfeed, and, if the government are to encourage more women to do so, they need to allow an appropriate length of time for this to be established. Current recommendations are for 6 months, thus paid MAT leave changing to suit.

I think you have to be able to distinguish the fine line between family friendly and discrimination against men.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 23:21:33

Not what they say - what they do. Statistics are important as they halp us see the bigger picture.

Im off to bed now.

game theory is very complicated. The wiki thing is just a round up.

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 09-Apr-07 23:18:31

Absolutely Soph.

Although, I suspect that some women still do think that marital rape is 'acceptable', because of the outdated marriage vows they took.

and god, that game theory stuff. am working up a rant about it.

oi, I thought you were goiung to bed?

But anyway, you know very well that just because a majority of women say they want to be majority carer doesn't tell us anything about why they want to be the mian carer or what they would want if we lived in a truly equal society...

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 23:11:32

You buck a trend UCM. Most women are documented to want to be primary carer - that isn't to say all do - but that most do is all. It is statistically significamt

UCM Mon 09-Apr-07 23:09:36

I am trying to suss this out in my fairly pissed state.

The reason every woman gets 6 months mat leave is so they can spend time with their baby. So why don't men get it. DH has been pretty much at home since I had my daughter 10 weeks ago and if I am honest has had more to do with her than me. For instance, I took a walk this afternoon wiht my DS and I am on here now, he is feeding her. We are sharing the whole thing, and I know most of you will be really pleased to hear it. But when I go back to work, there will be men moaning about their wives, having affairs, expecting congratulations on having babies.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 23:04:17

I'd recommed Idiocracy to you all - it's a film, a comedy.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 23:02:21

okay I'm off to bed.

madamez I agree with your post. The mistake feminism made though was think men only attempted to do this to women when they did it to themselves as well!

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 23:01:31

but feminism is obsolete.

thunk.

it's outrageous that women should be at pains to dissassociate themselves from the term isn't it vvv?

UCM Mon 09-Apr-07 23:01:16

No there isn't, but what a waste, giving everyone a shot at everything, even though some people are not suited to it, when through education you can syphon out the people like me, who are the normal everyday people.

I might be in management, but I sure as hell don't have a degree. O&A levels maybe but not degree.

Then where would the people who work in the service industry come from. Shit or bust, I am not a bloody socialist, there has to be a hierarchy at some point, even if its for all of the students to work their way through uni.

If we were all equal, then I would still bow down to the doctors, teachers, police officers, paramedics etc

But no one would care or even understand IYKWIM

custy Mon 09-Apr-07 23:00:45

madamez - domestic appliences - what does that mean?

do you mean that women having hte vote has enabled them to work? or to have a choice to work? or to work and not wash the dishes? or.....

EnormousChangesAtTheLastMinute Mon 09-Apr-07 22:59:59

but hunker you do have the same 'right' to scratch your bits in public as any man. it's just (i'm guessing here) you understand the responsibilities which come with those rights and spare others the sight of you having a good scratch.

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 09-Apr-07 22:59:20

I agree I cast quite a wide net there harpsi.....

Even more shocking that it was only the 1990s.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:57:54

game theory and evolutionary stable strategies

decades of study just opened up there for you

madamez Mon 09-Apr-07 22:55:23

Feminism has given women the opportunity to choose whether they want to live as breeding animals/domestic applicances or not, at least in the developed world. At the core of feminism is the simple belief that women are human beings, not a subsidiary class of humanity that exists only in relation to and for the benefit of "human beings" ie men.

actually, the law in that respect was only changed early in the 1990s.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:54:11

I agree Tribpot - but societies aren't stable. In war for instance when indigenous men are away fighting preponderance of rape shoots up.

Power balances are mobile - have you done anything on game theory at uni?

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 09-Apr-07 22:53:46

"if a husband" would have made more sense in that paragraph methinks....

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 09-Apr-07 22:52:59

I dont know exact timelines, but its only been within the last 30 years that rape has been recognised as being able to happen within a marriage. i.e. at one point, if a man wanted sex, he could do whatever he felt inclined to, and fear no consequences. I have no idea how common it was (and undoubtedly still is), but that was the law.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:51:31

Because you are statiscically more likely to be primary carer UCM. And women shouldn't be penalised for that.

hunkermunker Mon 09-Apr-07 22:51:15

(One day soon I will post on a thread and NOT lower the tone - sorry, sorry, sorry)

hunkermunker Mon 09-Apr-07 22:50:36

"Equal" doesn't have to mean "same" though.

I don't want the right to scratch my bollocks in public, for instance.

tribpot Mon 09-Apr-07 22:49:30

If it's true that rape was a 'recognised' form of courtship until recently (I would argue more a 'not yet prosecuted' one) the fact that this law has been passed surely supports the idea that our society rejects physical strength as a determiner (except maybe in Iraq and Afghanistan: discuss!)

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:49:14

what if though, to play devils advocate subtle biological differences in brains made it obvious that men were better suited to be computer programmers whilst women were better suited to be office managers? Leaving aside the few that would buck the trend and get in both on merit anyway - on average this was scientifcally proven. Nobody is prohibited from doing anything but is is known that these differences exist. Is there any essential inequality in this scenareo?

UCM Mon 09-Apr-07 22:46:55

Ok posted my last one before reading your last one.

But, and I am speaking hypothetically here. If women are to be considered equal in the workplace, then why should they be given more consideration than men. I am asking this as a woman in a management team of 10. I am the only woman. I am given more opportunities to take a day off, the company have to adhere to very strict rules on this.

EnormousChangesAtTheLastMinute Mon 09-Apr-07 22:46:24

wasn't dissing your choice of tenses SP, v fond of present perfect myself still have bee in my bonnet about news bulletins starting to use past perfect. why on earth did it change and who decided on it? crap decision in my book. but again, 'nother thread.

on adverts, agree hate 'useless male' stereotype as much as 'ditzy women' but advertising is fucked in the head. it's not so long ago the 'two cunts in a kitchen' was common parlance and as for black people being seen actually eating or drinking the product... remember all those 'tropical paradise' ads?! and the knots lilt ads used to get themselves in. as far as i can make out advertisers live in a through the looking glass world (er someone thought the sheilas wheels ad was good?!)

and there are plenty of men scanning beans in my local sainsburys. er, slight confession here, i am outing my prejudice. gulp. i avoid the men cos i think they're slower. i know, i know...


so yes, equal, but different!

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:44:07

yes Tribpot, but without those laws we'd be farked. Rape was a recognised part of courtship until quite recently.

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 22:43:17

it is indeed bolleaux

one sex can carry babies. abd have a good idea who the father is. big difference

UCM Mon 09-Apr-07 22:42:31

Because if there are bits that say because we are women, then we can't do this/that, then it isn't equal. Very simplistic I know, but bow to others knowledge on this.

And if it was about getting women recognised in the workplace. Thats good, it's happened. Now there are tons of kids in nursery/childminders. Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:41:58

It was in the 70s UCM. It was an idea. Feminism at that time - and much of it today, attempts to disqualify any difference in between the sexes, to say gender is a cultural construct, which just isn't true.

and lol at "up itself but sincere".

how true.

I'll spend all week thinking up next week's topic now.

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 22:40:51

and some boundaries?

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 22:40:18

but senora thats ok isn't it? that there is co-operation and sharing with control and transparency??

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:40:04

and women want to be able to stay home and care for their children without society punishing them for it

UCM Mon 09-Apr-07 22:39:41

I didn't say I agreed with it MT, but wasn't this what feminism (sp) was about, us being equal to men.

tribpot Mon 09-Apr-07 22:39:36

MT - we already live in a society where to prey on weakness is not acceptable.

I am not attacked on my way home from work (and v pleased about it).

We stop to allow pedestrians to cross the street instead of run them down. (Also a good plan).

On Christmas Eve in the supermarkets we do not have a smackdown to see who gets to go to the checkout first.

In many ways we reject as a society that physical strength/weakness should be our decider (and bear in mind my dh is disabled). We make room for each other, and allow for each other's differences.

That's all that's really needed. Could I win in a fight with an average guy? No. Could I win in a fight about salary with an average guy? Yes.

open source - I do see what you mean, but another way of looking at it is that a thousand people add their own bits to a system and you end up with....a system that feels like it was hacked together by a thousand people without talking to each other much.

I love the idea of open source, but it only really works in small apps. the big ones (like linux, freebsd) only work when some company (like redhat or apple) get some programmers to make the thing coherent.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:37:56

OMG, I wouldn't want my baby to go into any nursery. I am equal staying at home and caring for them for the first year or more!

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:36:03

Doh!

UCM Mon 09-Apr-07 22:35:30

I have not read the entire thread, but think that man & woman will only become equal when ALL children HAVE to go into a central govt nursery whilst ALL parents work.

Someone correct if I am wrong but wasn't this what labour was all about to start with.

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 22:35:25

I am adoring how up itself but sincere this thread is.

fabulous senora.

i'm expecting it every monday you know.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:34:50

Not weaker in what way? - we are less physically powerful than men on average

tribpot Mon 09-Apr-07 22:34:32

All your arguments are undercut by your failure to get my username right, MT

v good point, ecatlm. I didn't mean to suggest femism was a bygone thing (hence use of present perfect tense, not past tense).

But saying that feminism can't fully succeed without socialism is not the same as blaming one for the failure of the other is it?

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:33:26

opps sorry tribpot

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:32:24

I like to think of myself as being at the cutting edge of contemporaty feminism - Darwinian feminism

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 22:32:15

senora come to my local asda....whoops...they're mostly immigrants...although you're right women outweigh men hugely.

oppression

power.

people with power and money wanting to keep power and money.

i'm not being funny or anything but this is why when i heard a programme about open source computing it made me want to whoop for joy. computer programmes that are made transparent in order that you can use them for free and modify them to make them better....co-operation in order to progress...what a simple and truly truly wonderful idea.

makes me want to weep thinking about it....in hope.

tribpot Mon 09-Apr-07 22:31:13

MT, I feel obliged to point out - with feminist love - that my username is tribpot and not tribot (like you are the first person to make that mistake - not).

I dispute the notion of paula's that the rich do not conspire against the weak. If I still had my textbooks I would quote ad infinitum, but let's just say it is in the interest of those who make money by exploiting others to ensure that such exploitation continues. I got a Sociology A-Level me, I know the difference between a Marxist feminist and a feminist Marxist (apparently).

I also dispute that women have been conspired against because they are weaker. Naturally my view of pre-history is coloured by authors like Marion Zimmer Bradley et al which tell of a (mythical?) past in which women's power was stripped from them by generations of men, it must be true and not just a ruse to sell books. I think in an increasingly capitalist world our inability to view other people (read: other people's children) as mere machines is both our strength and our weakness.

Btw, the idea of the suffragettes not supporting a working class vote? I've never heard that - produce your evidence!

hunker, I'm crying with laughter over your precis of the tortilla ad. it must be monday.

EnormousChangesAtTheLastMinute Mon 09-Apr-07 22:30:37

why do we so often talk about feminism as something that happened and is over? i'm still a feminist in this supposed 'post feminist' world. (and yes, i should be more politically active but that's another thread!)

Nor do I think you can blame feminism for not dismantling the class system. Obviously life isn't perfect for women and 'choice' can be as much of a trap as pre-war social mores were (for e.g). feminism has brought a lot of changes for the better...but there's still lots to be done. As i found out when i returned to work part time after having a baby.

'having it all' is too easily dismissed as 'doing it all' and feminism gets the blame - when surely it's down to us to keep making a fuss and demanding changes?

as mothers our positions are hugely powerful. my dh was raised by a strong woman and he had sisters. he is a credit to his mother and his upbringing. i firmly believe that. he respects women and that's where it starts in my book.

hunkermunker Mon 09-Apr-07 22:30:21

I know, Soph - funny old great place, MN, isn't it?

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:28:27

Well, sorry to be pedantic PPB, but they are equal already, in terms of women not being inferior - what thay are however are different. Like I said before different doesn't = inferior. Feminism fights for womens roles to be elevated and that's a vital stand point because they are just as nescessary as male roles.

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 22:28:18

ah hunker...we agree.

hunkermunker Mon 09-Apr-07 22:28:04

Fuck, you're all going on about Marx and I'm talking about Nick Knowles

custy: I don't see many men scanning beans for £5.50 an hour. why is that?

I kind of agree though about the illusion of capitalism - although I think you're talking more about the protestant work ethic (where you work because that way you'll get more stuff and that will show everyone that god loves you). and where do the middle classes who don't give a monkey's fart about what pram/car they drive fit in?

hunkermunker Mon 09-Apr-07 22:26:28

I think it's more complex and unconscious than men knowingly conspiring against women (although there are doubtless there are misogynists in positions of power, just as there are racists, sexists and ageists - sometimes all at once).

There's just an unspoken sniggeriness at work with some men. I was reminded of it watching DIY SOS tonight (yes, I know - I am a sucker for the room reveal if I catch a glimpse of the before ) - the female designer is usually the butt of the jokes and has the piss taken in rather a snidey way by the all-male rest of the crew - it was actually pretty uncomfortable to watch tonight (apart from the fact it was DIY SOS ).

Having said that, there is also the tedious media stereotype of "useless man" as seen in adverts such as that one for the Brita water filter where the woman sneers at him for producing a cloudy cup of tea or that tortilla ad where she's on the phone to her mate going "yeah, he's cooking, the twunt, will probably be inedible muck, the pathetic useless worm" and he puts a decent plate of in front of her. This stereotype is played on by some men to get out of doing stuff (see AIBU threads on here for evidence of that in reams!).

I think that men often have more choice than women, but they don't usually Have It All any more than most women do. Mostly they'll work full time and not see their children as much, for instance. But it's more accepted for a man to do that (and they don't seem to have evolved with a guilt gene in the same way as many women either!).

Not sure I'm making a point or rambling aimlessly, really. Will post and read what's been written while I've been wittering

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 22:26:26

excellent monkeytrousers...you and me both.

I completely agree Monkeytrousers. Whats wrong with accepting that men and women can't be equal at everything all the time.

I completely agree Monkeytrousers. Whats wrong with accepting that men and women can't be equal at everything all the time.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:23:32

I'm not arguing against feminism - I'm a feminist

just needed to restate that

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 22:22:55

[round of applause for custys post: please see my reference to marx further down]

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:22:32

What do you mean by equaity though?

Does a lioness feel unequal that she can't prounce around with the big male lions, scenting trees and generally loitering with intent?

Why do women want what men have when in fact what we are discovering is that what they have isn't cracked up to much at all!

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 22:21:41

oooo the senora monday debate.

what a cure for the sunday night blues (another symptom of capitalist patriarchy).

i agree monkey that patriarchy exploits many men too by the way.

i also agree that it evolved rather than was somehow constructed.

i don't see how that makes feminism irrelevant in any way.

custy Mon 09-Apr-07 22:20:48

i think this is where i mention socialism and capitalist needs forcing everyone to work for their own self interests, this point where i say women have always worked.

i believe women hold a more equal place in society becuase women can also make profit for other people - as well as - and even better than - men.

and forget not. when talking about the vote. POOR MEN were not allowed to vote.

and dont even with the sufferagette shit - middle class women wanting a middle calss womens vote - not a vote for the poor.

not a vote for the poor men & women

an equality of the middle class. not equality of the sexes.

it makes me laugh, daily women work shit jobs alongside men, both working for minimum wage and somehow women are supposed to be spurred on by some false history and count their blessings that they are now free and liberated. EQUAL to the man also scanning beans on checkout 12. for £5.50 ph.



as time goes on people in power realise that giving an added benefit here and there actually increases production within society and the workp;lace and enables them to have more control and profit whilst creating an illusion - an illusion called capitalism. where you work your arse off til you die - and feel proud becuase you have a renault megan.

the middle classes do it better though, they have a beter education and therefore get better jobs better wages - marry better - make money better... they realise the meaninglessness of their existance and grow herbs and recycle to save the planet, make moherhood - a profession in itself, go to yoga and follow the latest parenting guru whilst buying he latest pram which is a fashion exessory, noting the extotionate price but being able to reason that its ok to do this becuase they use decaf, fair trade coffee beans from mexico. highly educated or not - the irony escapes them.

also can I just say that I think this is my most successful debate thread ever, I think I'll have one every monday.

Malaleche Mon 09-Apr-07 22:18:34

Have to go and watch a DVD now...(Upstairs Downstairs!!!)
Señora - give me a ring : 220499 with the usual prefix and we'll meet up, mornings are fine for me

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:18:34

"Do we think that the rich (and therefore powerful) may conspire against the poor (and therefore weak)?"

That's more like it Tribot - and it is unfortunatley true that women are physically weaker than men. But women are the spoils too.

I do agree there, monkeytrousers (that patriarchy evolved and exploits men as well as women) - hence earlier comments about feminism and socialism.

but it doesn't follow that we have acheived equality or anything like it.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:16:43

smaller men will be disproportionably beaten by bigger men. Women are smaller than most men. If some stupid man wants to get his own way and his opponent is smaller, whatever sex they are, he can resort to using his superior strength as a shortcut. That's a fact - I'm not condoning it, just trying to spell it out.

The rich don't conspire against the poor. They just don't consider them at all.

do you?

I suppose I beat mine, but only at crosswords.

tribpot Mon 09-Apr-07 22:13:43

Do we think that the rich (and therefore powerful) may conspire against the poor (and therefore weak)? Isn't this an extension of the same thing? (Am channeling 'theories of underdevelopment' here from my Sociology A-Level). People with power must surely conspire with each other to keep that power, unless it's entirely random?

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:13:17

Soph, I’m not saying that men haven't exploited women in the past and will again in the future. Before I started studying this I accepted (on faith, it seems) the feminist idea that patriarchy was constructed by men to explicitly oppress women, but the evidence I've seen doesn't bare this up. Patriarchy is actually there for men to oppress other men, and it wasn't constructed it evolved. Women don't fair well in it, I accept, especially when they have babies. But two and two don’t make five. Feminism has just been wrong on this and it can only progress and become relevant if and when it understands this fact.

another boy. we really should do that coffee!

Malaleche Mon 09-Apr-07 22:12:55

well, verbally anyway...

Malaleche Mon 09-Apr-07 22:12:42

puts hand up excitedly - i beat my husband!

it's not a conspiracy against women, no. It's a series of assumptions that are still passed down from one generation to the next.

Malaleche Mon 09-Apr-07 22:11:30

Señora, Aha, i think you know who i am then and yes she's nearly 7 months - congrats on your girl(?) too.

but anyway, back to the debate, I agree with sophable. having laws against something is not the same as "society" being against it and therefore equality having been achieved.
If that's true where are all the beaten husbands? (I know they exist, but look at the proportions)

Its silly to think that men conspire against women. Its just silly

Malaleche Mon 09-Apr-07 22:10:19

Maybe its more of a biological conspiracy? I mean we are capable of doing everything men are capable of but they cant have babies so we are bound to end up doing more than our fair share...

I haven't seen anyone in a year.

congrats on your new one btw. she/he would be the same age as my new one? (7 months)

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 22:07:33

NO NO NO monkeytrousers.

we have the laws and NO will to use them...and that is directly because of the fact that patriarchy is alive and well and arguing that women deserve a slap for not doing what they are told.

Lio Mon 09-Apr-07 22:07:13

Malaleche you are doing just fine

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:07:12

and fathers have daughters - surely you don;t think they conspire with other men agianst them?

Malaleche Mon 09-Apr-07 22:06:14

(Señora - begins and ends with A but havent seen you for at least a year)

Malaleche Mon 09-Apr-07 22:05:39

Lio - you dont need to be brainy - look at me!

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 22:05:09

I HATE hearing the feminism is irrelevant as we've all got equality! Argh. makes me choke on my wine.

ffs.

southeastastra Mon 09-Apr-07 22:05:00

i have sons so maybe aren't that bothered but see it more as a class issue.

sophable - true, but I do have a better insight into the male psyche now I think. they just want to play with cars all the time, it seems.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 22:04:05

Sophable, domestic violence can’t be irradiated just as all violence can’t be. Society can only punish those who indulge in it – and it does, the patriarchy puts wife beaters in jail! We have the equal pay act. That is real and the so called patriarchy put it through. There no conspiracy of men against women. Just a fight for survival between all organisms, which actually gives rise to much altruism and cooperation.

We can only try to better understand the conditions that spark domestic violence and rape and try to implement policy that facilitates that understanding and leads to a drop; but we can’t stop it, all of it.

but your name does begin with a though doesn't it? and we did agree to meet for coffee?

yes, domestic violence. 83 deaths last year in Spain, according to the poster at the end of our road. At least there is a poster I spose.

Malaleche Mon 09-Apr-07 22:03:13

(Señora, I am not Ann but you're getting warmer!)

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 22:02:22

LIFE just makes you a bit less militant doesn't it?

Lio Mon 09-Apr-07 22:02:09

Not brainy enough to contribute but need to post so will be able to find the thread again

sophable - I have been drinking wine. I read an interesting article once about feminists becoming less militanat when they have sons. It might be true.

malaleche - that was something that inspired my original point I think. everyone tells me how successful I am (I run a business - never wanted to, but that's another story - have 3 kids and manage to cook soup and bread sometimes) but I have no time for anything. even popping into the city for coffee as you know (I think? )

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 21:57:25

haha exactly Malaleche! If we were all clones (and we'd all be female then) nothing would matter as we'd all still be alive after we had died!

Malaleche Mon 09-Apr-07 21:57:21

I think its just a conspiracy by men to make us do everything, including make the money

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 21:56:40

am a bottle down

'Women certainly aren’t oppressed by patriarchy now.'

OH COME ON!!!!! what a pile of old pants!

domestic violence anyone????? inequality of wages anyone????? jeeez!

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 21:55:47

Ahh Malaleche, but did feminism say we could have it all or the media???

The latter I think created a bit of a straw man and sadly we all use it as a stick to beat feminism - probably the most sucessful humanitarian crusade in history!

Malaleche Mon 09-Apr-07 21:55:16

If i could just clone myself it would work...

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 21:54:50

i said ds not dh.

although they are interchangeable in this context

of course women don't have as much POWER as men have. but none of us have real freedom do we? unless we are very very very rich and very very liberated.

find me a free person? i'll find you a diamond on a beach.

that was the aim wasn't it? and i'm glad that feminism has in some ways been joine (superceded?) by anti global capitalism (come on xenia, come out come out come out!).

i'm kind of with marx on this in a way: dissassociation from means of production is horrendous.

isn't the whole green movement about regaining a sense of connection with the land, with our creativity, our power, our need to look after each other and our future, our childrens future?

in the end isn't trying to find freedom what it's all about?

god more i think about it more i think that capitalism (buy buy buy buy buy more more more more brand brand brand brand) is the root of all evil.

i'm sure i'm wrong, but it feels that way sometimes.

Malaleche Mon 09-Apr-07 21:53:30

Hi, Dont know how you are all managing to be so coherent and educated sounding and while drinking wine too! It's enough for me to read and discipher the posts with my 2 remaining brain cells
I have to say i feel a litle cheated - we are supposed to have it all but frankly its too much! I'm self-employed with 2 pre-schoolers, i dont even have to do much cooking or shopping as DP does it but i still feel completely overwhelmed and have no time for anything. Its simply not possible to be a mother and work and be a partner and run a house without blowing a fuse.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 21:52:58

okay, forget desire, think, drive - the drive to eat and to have sex - these are biological, yes?

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 21:51:50

on the most basic level I2BS, sucess is having children survive to have children of their own. That's all life is about.

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 21:50:16

..or more specifically, there are parts of capitalism that go against the grain of human nature; there is a lot of work going on at the moment in biology and psychology to come up with policy ideas that go with the grain – to minimise suffering within the vital engine of progress. Honestly, when you get a glimpse of the trouble this government goes to help all of us without causing humanitarian catastrophe – it makes your mind boggle. Women certainly aren’t oppressed by patriarchy now. Men and women all are to some extent, but they are also liberated by it.

Life for the majority of people around the world really is nasty, brutish and short.

at my man bashing faux pas.

sophable - you're right about your choices and happiness being similar to those of your husband but I'm thinking in broader terms I think. women are statistically a lot worse off than men still. But you're right, in the end it's about the end result. the personal success I guess.

southeastastra Mon 09-Apr-07 21:46:42

are you watching the jackie magazine programme? it's interesting

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 21:45:27

That's what mean, it's the need for capital in a capitalst society that drives everything.

But is also provides the basic needs.

costs and benefits. it's all economics.

I'm not sure I believe that a desire (other than a secual one) can be biological.

more wine I think

southeastastra Mon 09-Apr-07 21:42:46

to me women seem too eager now to just spend their husbands money.

TwoIfBySea Mon 09-Apr-07 21:42:17

And following on from what monkeytrousers said about success.

We are told by the media and society what constitues success, what we need to do to have everyone else consider us successful in life. At no point does anyone stop and think what they consider success to be. For some it might be the job they do, in others a passion or hobby they have, in others the family they nurture.

Until people concentrate on personal success then it doesn't matter if we are equal or not.

sophable Mon 09-Apr-07 21:42:02

darling no man bashing.

women's liberation was for the liberation of all peoples.

ds is just as constrained as I am isn't he? Still going to be work sleep work sleep if he's not careful.

feminism didn't do nearly enough because as women we are the daughters of women that project all of their own resentment on to us and so perpetuates the self-hatred of the oppressed (and by god make no mistake we are oppressed, as are the poor and the disenfranchised) and the self sabotaging continues.

think feminism did a lot but the fact that it is now considered a dirty word says so much.

granted, the being able to raise your children with healthcare is something we should appreciate more.

but that quality of life thing is very wide isn't it? do people whose children get mercilessly bullied at school, but who can't afford private school have a good quality of life? what about the smack-head prostitutes who roam the streets in many cities?

monkeytrousers Mon 09-Apr-07 21:40:13

yesd it definetly is a man thing biologocally speaking. But that's not to say women don;t have desires and like having stuff. It just dosen't drive them in the way it does men - unconscioulsy.

TwoIfBySea Mon 09-Apr-07 21:39:33

As I mentioned in my post, for some parts of society working was not the issue. Women who worked as servants or at the mill etc. or were at home with a clutch of babies were not the middle-class ones who would be freed from the boredom of being at home, with their servants doing everything for them, by a movement like feminism, they were far too busy for that.

Plus it has not brought wages into line. Yes a woman can consider doing a traditionally male job but they won't be paid the same for it.

I do not believe it does any favours to deny our femininity and charge ahead in an effort to prove we can do everything a man can and better. We do things a lot better than they do and vica versa, work on the strengths rather than whinging on about the weaknesses.