Isn't the name of Mumsnet itself sexist?

(160 Posts)
MissPeach Thu 09-May-13 16:17:29

The Mumsnet slogan is 'By parents for parents', suggesting that it is of course, for mothers and fathers. Yet the name Mumsnet would suggest otherwise. It suggests that the forum is only for women, which in turn conveys the idea that women do more parenting than men.

To be honest, it doesn't irk me that much, but it was just a thought I randomly had, and was wondering other opinions on it.

WilsonFrickett Fri 10-May-13 14:58:22

there x2 blush

MoreBeta Fri 10-May-13 15:05:39

I am a bloke and not bothered by the name at all.

I think when I joined there were about 8 men regularly posting but it seems like a lot more on here now who dont necessarily identify themselves as men. That happened when mainstream media began quoting MN a lot more about 2 years ago and a jolly good thing too.

Mainstream media does still tend to think it is a 'women's issue website' though and that perception might need addressing when MN is campaigning on things like parental leave that affect both sexes.

tethersend Fri 10-May-13 15:07:55

I think it's the same as mum's gone to Iceland and the thousand and one nappy/formula/food adverts which specifically talk about their products making mums happy. Because fathers don't give a fuck about their kids hmm

It wants changing.

Change it.

At once.

zippey Fri 10-May-13 17:34:26

The name is a bit sexist but I think Mumsnet is allowed to get away with it because of its tolerance to people outwith the scope of being a mum.

Snorbs Fri 10-May-13 18:14:10

tethersend I must admit the "mum's gone to Iceland" kind of thing does irk me a bit. But mumsnet's name doesn't.

I think the difference with mumsnet is that there are loads of alternatives. There are websites that are set up for non-gender specific parenting, eg parents.com. There are websites aimed primarily at fathers, including dadsnet.com.

By contrast, the generic "Capable mums deal with the kids while roller-skating through their period, dimwitted fathers can barely dress themselves and need showing how to use a microwave" cliches offer less choice in avoiding them.

I'm on mumsnet simply because I prefer it here. There are loads of fantastically clever, funny, erudite, thoughtful and/or downright rude members. Plus I can swear here which is something of a rarity on parenting sites.

Ilikethebreeze Fri 10-May-13 18:58:01

didnt know about parents.com. Will take a look

Ilikethebreeze Fri 10-May-13 19:02:38

ooh no. Only needed a quick glance to know that site is not for me. I am well past the baby stage.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 10-May-13 20:27:32

You can't swear on other parenting websites!? shock

BeCool Sat 18-May-13 13:17:50

"CarerNet" just isn't quite as catchy is it?

"ParentNet" - sounds like a social services special op.

"DadsNet" wouldn't have led to the same place and besides its was started by and for (initially) Mums.

I think "Adultnet" might be in use elsewhere!

Ilikethebreeze - And some debates would be much more realistic with men's perspectives.

I find this statement quite fascinating.

I'm at last getting round to reading Dale Spender's book, Man Made Language and there's quite a lot in there about how 'objectivity' = male subjectivity. This reminds me of that.

There's nothing unrealistic about women's perspectives, they're just not heard or taken seriously with anything like the frequency of men's perspectives, which are considered the mainstream.

I'm perfectly happy for men to post here but I really like how MN is predominantly a female space because it allows women's equally realistic perspectives to be heard and I don't think that's all that common.

Ilikethebreeze Sat 18-May-13 16:43:25

I read in a newspaper article recently, cant remember which one, that Justine is thinking about starting a dadsnet.
Which mean that mumsnet are more than aware that the current dadsnet is really just an add on.

PearlyWhites Sat 18-May-13 16:44:01

No, get a life

YoniTime Sat 18-May-13 17:50:27

It's a site intended for mums. The name MN makes perfect sense!
And what acatfromjapan said.

YoniTime Sat 18-May-13 17:50:59

*thecat

flowery Sat 18-May-13 18:01:53

I think there is a point here actually. I'm not 100% comfortable with the name and I also think it's doesn't actually reflect the culture and activities of the site. It's not a mumsy place, and nor is it somewhere where people think it's ok to assume mums should do most of the parenting.

Too late, obviously, it's an established brand now, and it's not a big deal but it's a valid point to make.

I was at a conference last week and the woman who started Little Dish did a presentation. Wound me right up the way she kept talking about how their business was all about mums making choices about what to feed their kids, and they were there to help mums, mums this mums that. Arrrgggh! It's 2013! Dads feed kids too!

Anyway, that's only slightly relevant, sorry, but it annoyed me, and if my kids were younger, would put me off the brand enough not to buy from them as well...

YoniTime Sat 18-May-13 18:30:35

How is MN not mumsy? It's full of mums.

flowery Sat 18-May-13 19:02:59

I don't think a place with lots of mums in is automatically mumsy in culture.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 18-May-13 19:07:02

I see what you are saying flowery but to me it's a demonstration of how "mums" are loads of other things too - daughters, sisters, lawyers, royallists, caravaners etc etc

arsenaltilidie Sat 18-May-13 23:56:22

Site was created for mums by mums and evolved to to include men. It reflects the origins.
Just like the 'Men at Work' sign.

Ilovemyself Sun 19-May-13 17:50:03

Mmmmm. Interesting. I am a dad and I do find the fact that there is feminist section on here does make it a site that men do not find inviting.

I also think that Thecatfromjapan also shows the extreme views of some feminists. The way she refers to men that are "seething with rage" is not really conducive to equality - most of us men see women as equals and the feel of her post really has the feel of someone who dislikes men.

I share the parenting with my wife, and as I am unlucky enough to be out of work at the moment I am lucky enough to be able to do more of the parenting than I normally would.

I would love to be able to stay at home and be a full time parent, but one of us has to work and my wife's dream in life has always to been to be a full time mother.

YoniTime Sun 19-May-13 18:04:52

I feel you man once I visited a site mostly aimed at black people and they had a anti-racist board. it was so uninviting.

Ilovemyself Sun 19-May-13 18:12:21

Oops. I must apologise that I only read the first 15 posts or so as I didn't realise there were 2 other pages. Still stand by my comments though, especially having read the feminism pages-it is not friendly to men who would be keen to ask for advice as well

Ilikethebreeze Sun 19-May-13 18:14:25

That is an interesting pov, Ilovemyself.
Even that a feminist site exists on MN, you find it off putting?
Would never have thought of that one.

Sunnywithshowers Sun 19-May-13 18:15:26

Arf Yoni

Ilikethebreeze Sun 19-May-13 18:15:38

Would you ask for advice on the feminist part though?
I dont think there is much advice sought on that part of MN, by men or women.

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