MN mentioned in Guardian article about feminism

(61 Posts)
SunshineBossaNova Sat 31-Aug-13 01:14:31

"The website, with its four million users, nearly all of whom are women, is possibly the most mainstream and politically important example of this slow-burn resurgence in feminist thought."

www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/aug/30/mumsnet-social-media-forums-feminism

Go Mumsnet! grin

I didn't read the comments because I read it in the paper, but I thought it was a great piece.

Then in the same paper, same day - www.theguardian.com/money/work-blog/2013/aug/31/dear-jeremy-work-issues-solved this 'work dilemma'. <despairs>

Sunshine, I don't think the article was trying to suggest the only mothers really "get" feminism, though you're certainly not alone in drawing that conclusion. I read it to mean, rather, that many women don't truly "get" feminism until they become mothers, which was certainly the case for me.

MoaningMinge - <facepalm>

I was reading it in the bath. It made me so cross that it really spoiled my bath shock I checked the date - it was published yesterday, in 2013 not 1973.

It was the 'your overpowering instinct, at least initially, may be to stay with your child. And that's an instinct that has to be followed.' that made me shock It has to be followed. Yes, not to worry about whether or not you might actually have an fascinating, valuable, well paid career that keeps a roof over your head, or not.

I am currently a SAHM. I am not a SAHM because I am following my mothering instincts. I am a SAHM because it is bloody impossible to get childcare around a job that needs shift work.

Was a good article, the comments are daft though.

Before being a mum most of my hobbies and skills are in traditionally male areas, I was constantly up against the inequality, so I knew it was there all too well.

But oh god it turns up the dial being a mum as well! That just piles it on.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Sun 01-Sep-13 13:30:08

I read it the same way as annie.

I am not a mother and I may never be one, but I do think MN is brilliant because you can't really post on here and not be aware of the issues around motherhood and feminism. Those are really important issues and they always will be, whether or not an individual has children.

SunshineBossaNova Sun 01-Sep-13 13:34:01

Annie thanks for your comment, it's really helpful. I could possibly be a bit sensitive about perceived slights in that area smile

I do think that I have become more aware of feminist issues WRT motherhood and marriage since coming on here. And I'm reading Wifework - I found myself underlining bits and have since sent a copy to my sister.

I read Wifework before I had children. Now that I have them, well. It should be on the reading list at school.

anaotchan Sun 01-Sep-13 14:13:24

MoaningMinge: what also made me angry about the article you cite is the advice itself. There are very good reasons why women are not legally expected to tell their employers about their pregnancy until much later in the game, so why oh why make her feel guilty and advise her to "come clean"? If it's your legal right, you shouldn't feel guilty at all about using it! And the employer has absolutely no right to resent you if you don't tell them.

Not to mention, the woman in question was only in the "very early stages" of pregnancy. Advising her to tell her future employer (and even possibly to turn down the job) when she is only a few weeks pregnant is not only wrong, it's also potentially cruel. So many pregnancies fail. And then what, she's left with a broken heart and the lovely task of explaining what happened to a bunch of strangers? or with a broken heart and a job turned down for nothing? Disgusting advice.

YY, absolutely. I thought - oh let them know, then you can see if they mind...was just so WRONG. They don't get to mind and legally they need to not discriminate. No mention of the protection from discrimination at all.

It's no wonder so many women feel pushed out of the workplace.

anaotchan Sun 01-Sep-13 14:27:07

Exactly. Such casual, pseudo-common sense support for discrimination. And from the Guardian of all places. Disheartening...

We get the Guardian every day. I mostly love it. But it is often surprisingly anti-homebirth, anti-breastfeeding, anti- lots of parenting practices that I feel strongly about. I'm looking at you, Zoe Williams!.

I think it's the best paper but still poor in ways that surprise and disappoint me, I suppose.

this book review from Thursday also made me grrr. So dismissive in tone. I should stop looking, for today. I have run out of goodwill smile

K8Middleton Sun 01-Sep-13 14:52:30

Oh that Dear Jeremy column is a pile o'shite. I say that as an HR professional and a sentient human being.

I think there are many feminist issues I have become aware of and helped form a view on since Mumsnet that are unrelated to motherhood (it's just my personal nadir occurred due to becoming a mother): The sexual assaults perpetrated against many women from groping and offensive comments through to rape. The offensive language against women and threats of violence online. Page 3. Lap dancing clubs. Domestic violence. Lads' mags. Financial abuse. Domestic slavery. Inequality in the home. Emotionally abusive relationships. Abortion rights past 24 weeks etc etc.

I would have got here eventually but seeing these issues and reading about them on Mumsnet has made me more active as a feminist. I don't use the feminism board that much these days because there's a definite feminist undercurrent to the whole of Mumsnet. As it should be.

Zoe900 Sun 01-Sep-13 15:07:36

I think we pick up on the difference between netmums and mumsnet but a lot of people reading the article if they weren't registered with either site would miss the fact that that quote (about liking lipstick and men) was a quote from another forum.

I agree K8.

It spills over outside MN too. I have forwarded friends links to WA and the Freedom Programme, instead of just listening to them moan about a dickhead partner. And I am only aware of the freedom programme because of MN.

At a school meeting there was some grumbling (by the staff) about the girls having low aspirations. So I suggest we look at doing some PSHE type work on raising their aspirations rather than complaining about the lack of attainment grin It's making me a troublemaker rather assertive.

anaotchan Sun 01-Sep-13 15:49:10

hah we've been reading the same articles!

I'm in two minds about that book. On the one hand I'm always wary of arguments insisting on the "natural" differences and roles between genders. On the other hand, I do feel strongly about breastfeeding etc, and I resent being told I'm holding back feminism for wanting to breastfeed or have skin-to-skin contact with my baby!!

I do love the Guardian too, but they're weird about women-related topics. They vary wildly between extremes. (Apart from Hadley Freeman, I always enjoy her fun feminist common sense!)

kim147 Sun 01-Sep-13 17:16:26

I have a slight problem with Hadley Freeman. She writes some great articles on feminism and then criticises the outfits celebrities are wearing at film events as part of her role as fashion correspondant.

I agree, I read that Dear Jeremy column and wondered how he still had his job, his advice is often SO wrong!

BOF Sun 01-Sep-13 18:34:42

What's the problem with that?

ShootMeNowPlease Sun 01-Sep-13 19:26:50

I think the Dear Jeremy column is entirely from the employer's point of view, without much regard for what's either moral or legal. I'm sure, in this week's deplorable example, if the correspondent's prospective employer has discriminatory tendencies, they'd be delighted to be told she's pregnant so they can withdraw the job offer.

K8Middleton Sun 01-Sep-13 21:14:55

Well I work for the employer but I'm not stupid enough to come out with the tripe Jeremy does. A large part of my job is making sure there's no cause for trouble... and pregnancy discrimination is big trouble and best avoided.

I think that column needs to come with a huge disclaimer about seeking proper legal advice. The week before some poor woman returning from maternity leave was told some sexist and unlawful bollocks by Jeremy and the selected reader reponses both said she had grounds for constructive dismissal. She probably didn't sad

Takver Mon 02-Sep-13 10:01:04

Dear Jeremy ought to have been quietly retired to a golf club somewhere in Kent in about 1985. I've always wondered whether he was the editor's uncle or something (or had a file of embarassing photos tucked away?)

Takver Mon 02-Sep-13 10:02:06

YY to K8 - I don't think most employers want to behave illegally either or even risk appearing to do so (well big ones anyway).

ShootMeNowPlease Mon 02-Sep-13 13:05:59

Sorry, didn't mean my post to come across as though I thought employers generally don't care about the law - what I meant to say is that his starting point is always 'what does the employer want?' And then he advises on that basis, and he doesn't care what the law says. I also advise an employer and we would never behave in the ways he advocates! I agree with K8 that there should be a massive disclaimer on that column.

anaotchan Mon 02-Sep-13 16:58:27

K8, just wondering: if (if!) a woman decided to tell their future employer that they are pregnant before the contracts are signed, would she really put herself at risk? I would have thought that withdrawing a job offer on such grounds would be a lawsuit waiting to happen, and therefore that the future employer would tread very carefully...

(also, I once turned down a job while pregnant, but for other reasons, so I never got to find out what their reactions would have been if I'd accepted and then announced "sorry, can't actually start for another year"...)

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