If anyone had told the young woman I was in the 70s what very little.......

(99 Posts)
seeker Mon 01-Oct-12 13:27:49

.......actual progress would have been made in changing attitudes to women in society by 2012, I think I would have jumped off the Forth Bridge.

Well, having missed out on the 70s entirely, I'm not sure what to say ...!

It is depressing at the moment. American elections really bring it home to me (for one thing).

Alameda Mon 01-Oct-12 13:49:27

I remember the 70s and it all feels more regressive today than it was then - I mean we have cycled back and further beyond where we even started. In some ways. On paper many things look better though, legislatively at least even if it is taking time to materialise?

MorrisZapp Mon 01-Oct-12 13:50:41

Can you give any examples of what you mean, OP?

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 13:57:08

Totally agree OP, it is very depressing

seeker Mon 01-Oct-12 14:00:38

You only have to read mumsnet for a day or two, Morris!

OatyBeatie Mon 01-Oct-12 14:16:46

Trying to think of the plight of women then and now, I find myself wanting to say that in those days we had clear external obstacles -- legislation and workplace practices that explicitly permitted and encouraged discrimination against women in the arenas of employment and pay, for example. A really significant degree of progress has been made in relation to those (although there is clearly more work still to be done). But now we have significantly greater internalised obstacles, or at least we face a significantly greater pressure to internalise certain constraints -- to do with the sense of self, of who we are and what women are. And we face these greater pressures because of an intensively more consumer-driven, media-driven society which has become absolutely adept at shaping shared perceptions in pursuit of profit.

Our sense of self is much more forged by capitalist pressures than it was. And also, the seventies were characterised by the relative strength of working class solidarity, compared with today, which made it easier to retain a critical perspective on the values that capitalism promotes. And perhaps in some ways (though not in others) the survival then of working-class solidarity made the whole project of gender solidarity a more plausible and natural one to adopt.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Mon 01-Oct-12 14:34:02

The influence and amount of porn has exploded. I worry greatly about the impact this will have on our children as they grow up. Teenage girls report being pressurised to do sex acts with their boyfriends that I wouldnt even have heard about at the same age. Very scary.

seeker Mon 01-Oct-12 14:44:15

And women remain complicit. It breaks your heart.

oaty, thank you, that is one of those posts where I just read and think 'wow ... yes!'. Thanks for explaining that/putting it into words.

I think you're on to something, Oaty - I think the non-legislative stuff has got more sexist - eg, Loaded - their sexism was 'ironic' (erm, no it wasn't) in the 90s and now it's just sexism - as bad as anything said or done to women in the 60s, frankly, and embraced by heaps of people. I think we've won important legal battles and have lost ground of equally important cultural ones. I think the backlash has been extremely strong.

ShirtyKnot Mon 01-Oct-12 15:03:36

I think it's sneaky now. In the 70's the sexism was right there in your face. Nowadays it's sly "make us a sandwich", "ironic sexism".

It's actually even harder to fight that in a way I think.

Xenia Mon 01-Oct-12 15:04:06

I remember the 70s soo. It is not too bad now but still far too many women who serve men and earn nothing.

I see more young people going for equitable sharing of roles. Mmy daughter's ex boss took the first 3 or 6 months off and now her husband is tkaing 6 months off with their first baby. That used to be very rare. She is back full time.

In terms of cultural battles girls liking clothes and cupcakes is pretty dire. Thankfully most bright women with good careers aren't really like that and would rather read the FT than buy shoes but not all by any means. We have a long way to go to ensure we bring up daughters and sons who are feminist. I hope I do my bit.

I am not remotely interested in shoes, but would rather eat one than read the FT.

Now, the NYRB, that's another matter.

I like shoes.

I am also aware that, you know, they are quite useful and good to have, and not inherently beneath anyone's notice.

It's not like buying shoes need take up a huge amount of mental energy.

I did resort to reading the financial section of the Guardian when I banned myself from MN for a couple of weeks. It was intensely boring and surprisingly easy to understand ... I'm curious how finance is seen to be 'complicated' when clearly, many idiots can make a career in it.

Devora Mon 01-Oct-12 15:49:11

Some things have got better, others worse. I'm really cheered by changing attitudes to women working, to lesbian and gay rights, to abortion rights.

I'm really depressed by the growth of porn and its impact on everyday life, by the way women's bodies are policed, by the early sexualisation of children and teenage sexual coercion, by men's slow slow progress in taking on domestic responsibility.

The best thing, though, is the resurgence in feminism. Back in the 1990s it felt like a dirty word.

Xenia Mon 01-Oct-12 16:30:26

You can be a feminist and ilke shoes and not be interested in the FT. I would have to be paid about £500 an hour to go into a shop whereas I like reading the FT or a book I'm reading about North Korea. We all like different things but what we need to avoid is so many mumsnetters who know nothing about money and pensions and then we get all those threads - husband gone off, wife has no idea what he earned, never seen his P60s or even know what they are, has no idea what a pension is and doesn't earn a penny and has no idea what bank accounts he has. There are far too many cases like that where man is interested in money and wife is brought up to be interested in shoes and looks as her only currency is her looks and her family have concentrate on that as they brought her up.

That's certainly true.

I think it's even the case that some women are brought up to feel it's 'rude to talk about money'. Meaning they don't hammer out the situation in their relationships.

seeker Mon 01-Oct-12 17:27:49

Please do me a favour, Xenia. Just this once, can you not make this thread about how the only way to be a feminist is to earn mega bucks, and we are letting our daughters down if we're not Chair of ICI? Please?

Bonsoir Mon 01-Oct-12 17:30:36

I like shoes and the FT and clothes and The Economist. And, while I think cupcakes are the height of culinary mediocrity, I do very much like cooking.

ShirtyKnot Mon 01-Oct-12 17:37:19

Are we just making lists of stuff we like now?

I like bread and hats and guinea pigs. I also like faces.

messyisthenewtidy Mon 01-Oct-12 17:59:02

I like shoes too.

But I don't like the way the media has decided that every single f*(&ing woman on television must wear shoes with heels as high as the Eiffel Tower. And I don't like the way they sell them to us as a source of empowerment, whateverthefuck that means.

I don't like all this empowerment crap. "Strong women" and "Cos we're worth it girls" - it's patronising, clearly money-driven and the idiots that peddle it don't give a crap about women, just about draining them of their disposable income.

buggyRunner Mon 01-Oct-12 18:07:51

I'm a child of the 80's but it does sometimes feel like were stuck. for example in my female dominated industry all 4 of our directors and our CEO are all male. (I plan to change this one day wink)

however in all my mummy friends it's the women (with myself and 1 other as the exceptions) who are the financial experts in the house hold. I simply stubble with numbers, statements etc but know exactly what dp and I earn and pensions and have equal say in the relationship. my friend is being financially and emotionally abused by her dp.

FromEsme Mon 01-Oct-12 18:11:00

A while ago, I went to get some information about the gym and I was told how lucky I was that they'd just refurbished so that the weights and cardio rooms were now separate. So now the women don't have to walk past "sweaty grunting men."

Well thank God for that, it's not as if I could possibly be interested in lifting weights, is it?

He then launched into a patronising spiel about "not being put off" going into the weights room and how I should "give it a go."

Quite how he knew what I'd previously done in my workouts, I don't know.

FromEsme Mon 01-Oct-12 18:14:19

And what I meant to add to that was that it really depresses me that men and women are seen to be different.

There is so much sexism at my university, my eyes are permanently set to roll.

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