Other threads on Mumsnet.

(38 Posts)
MyCrispBag Thu 12-May-16 08:45:47

Can we post about those here? Or is it just bad etiquette/against the rules? I joined Mumsnet solely for this board and rarely look outside it. When I do I am often dismayed by what I find.

Part of me wants to run back here to discuss it, part of me thinks that is chicken shit and I should challenge posters in the OT... another part of me thinks I should get a fucking grip and just navigate away from the site (this part usually wins).

Grimarse Thu 12-May-16 08:57:34

I don't see a problem with you discussing an issue raised elsewhere, if you want to look at that issue from a feminist perspective. Obviously, slating posters from other threads is bad form, but discussing issues isn't. This board is here because most people roll their eyes when 'feminist perspective' is mentioned.

Trills Thu 12-May-16 08:59:47

Depends on if you are discussing an issue that another thread made you think of (OK)

or actually just discussing the other thread, and individuals on it (not OK).

MyCrispBag Thu 12-May-16 09:05:37

I wouldn't single out a poster. It's a series of posts and general consensus. I feel like an OP in another thread is being gaslighted because she thinks that a random man who drives on her street shouldn't be talking to her 9 year old daughter. The same man has told the OP to "cheer up" on one occasion.

She is basically being told she needs to get a grip and she is the one being the social weirdo by not accepting this as it is intended.

And yes actually she is being weird, because women are socialised to react to these interactions politely. After all it's not sexual or sinister! Let's not bother analysing the fact that these interactions happen almost exclusively one way.

Maybe it's me. Maybe I am just unique in that I have only been told to cheer up by random men. And that my husband is unique in never being told to cheer up by any stranger ever?

MyCrispBag Thu 12-May-16 09:07:06

or actually just discussing the other thread, and individuals on it (not OK)..

Oops, although it's more of a jumping off point. To be honest I have seen this discussed here before. What surprised me was how many people are keen to accept this behaviour. I was genuinely surprised.

DoesAnyoneReadTheseThings Thu 12-May-16 09:10:33

What a coincidence MyCrispBag! I've often been told to 'cheer up' 'smile baby' 'give us a smile' 'smile, you know you want to' 'smile love, it might never happen' but my husband never has hmm

Almost as if no one gives a tiny fuck about women's thoughts and feelings and if they might be sad or depressed or busy or THINKING as long as they're smiling decoratively....

GreenTomatoJam Thu 12-May-16 09:25:36

I've only ever been told to cheer up by strange men, DP hasn't.

On the other hand, I've also had some lovely conversations with female strangers on the bus/waiting somewhere/in the loos, and I don't think the women weird for striking up a chat.

Perhaps that's the difference, the women pick up something my kid's dropped and make a friendly comment, or we both comment on something like there never being any paper towels and it goes from there - it's tentative and relevant, rather than a command.

thecatfromjapan Thu 12-May-16 09:30:15

Women are massively over-socialised to be 'polite' - and I put that word in inverted commas because it needs unpacking!

I do think you should say something on the thread, though. The OP deserves to hear her intuitions (and that needs unpacking too!) given ration validation.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Thu 12-May-16 09:30:30

I'm told to "cheer up" and "smile" by both men and women. Women tend to dress it up as pretend concern though "oh dear - you look unhappy" or similar shit.

I have come to the conclusion I have Resting Bitch Face.

sad <-- clearly my natural expression.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 12-May-16 09:32:40

Given the number of thread musing (and yes, that's ironic word choice) about the state of mind of the regular posters on FWR, I don't see why not!

MyCrispBag Thu 12-May-16 09:33:25

Milk

My husband has a face like a smacked arse.

thecatfromjapan

I will but it will have to wait now. I am off out in a minute and would prefer to be able to reply to any responses.

thecatfromjapan Thu 12-May-16 09:33:29

It's about boundary invasion. It's cultural grooming.

thecatfromjapan Thu 12-May-16 09:35:07

Intuition = when your head is telling you this is wrong but mainstream culture doesn't give you the words to name how it is wrong.

thecatfromjapan Thu 12-May-16 09:35:40

Good luck, OP.smile

MyCrispBag Thu 12-May-16 09:36:46

thecatfromjapan

If that means what I think it does I tend to agree, I just couldn't think how to put it.

It's not so much that women should smile etc. It's more that it's a 'power' thing. This thing you can use with any woman you feel like interacting with that she cannot get annoyed about, cannot reject, should just accept or she is the 'bitch'.

Not terribly well articulated I'm afraid.

thecatfromjapan Thu 12-May-16 09:47:52

Articulated just fine. It's about one group of people not being recognised as individuals, with socially recognised boundaries. They aren't a house, where you knock on the door to gain entry; they're a public park! With a house, you break in: it's against the law; you stand outside shouting: it's a public nuisance.

My belief is this: there is a huge cloak of invisibility hanging over gender power imbalances: if a woman 'senses' her boundaries are being violated ('It makes me feel uncomfortable. I can't really say why.'), then they are almost certainly being eroded big time.sad

On the whole I find MN to be a feminist place. For example, every post on a thread where a woman describes controlling and abusive behaviour, or describes how she's expected to do all the domestic work, that says 'no, that's not normal, you deserve better, you are worth more' is feminist, IMHO.

I think (again IMHO) that the conflicts come from different beliefs about how society works. Many people think that we are all individuals with full agency, and equal in law. So you get the 'you wouldn't say this if the sexes were reversed' posts. And the 'give him the benefit of the doubt, it's not fair to assume, bet you'd hate it if a bloke assumed you can't park because you're a woman', which come from this way of thinking.

This way of thinking, to a woman who is happy to call herself feminist (or, OK, to most of us, always exceptions!) comes from a place of socialisation or inculcation of patriarchy, as thecat says. Internalised misogyny, falling over yourself to be polite even when you feel threatened and want to run, that sort of thing. But to a person who hates the idea that they aren't completely and fully rationally in control of every thought and action, this sounds like we're arguing that they're brainwashed, which to them means weak minded, unlike us strong minded feminists.

IMHO, that's where a lot of the conflict lies. Few women on MN think they're lesser than men.

shins Thu 12-May-16 12:23:19

I cursed out some builders recently for telling me to smile. Hadn't happened in a while (I'm in my 40s!) but it made me realise it's not just about allure is it? It's just a total invasion of your space. I had extra rage because I thought of my lovely daughter as she approaches adolescence and all the crap that she'll get angry

Trills Thu 12-May-16 20:26:34

Good topic smile

^ it's not just about allure is it? It's just a total invasion of your space^

I agree - it's about some people thinking that they are entitled to be given smiles. They deserve to have other people make that extra effort to make their world a nicer place.

Nope. You have no idea how much effort it might cost me to smile at you, but even if it's "only a little", you still have no right to demand that from me. It's my face.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Thu 12-May-16 20:56:34

I've never (at least I don't remember) been told to cheer up. I guess I must wander around looking like smile all the time.

Dh doesn't get told to cheer up but he constantly gets comments on his appearance - that he looks a lot younger than his years.

Are men really socialised not to be polite? I've done some kind of customer based job for the past 20 years. In both rough as fuck areas and very middle class professional areas. Most people are pretty polite - yes you get complete arses but I always found the split pretty even.

Unless the issue was violent or threatening in which case there was definitely more from the men. Both men and women could be rude though, but they were the exception not the norm.

Trills Thu 12-May-16 21:00:10

Men are socialised to be polite where politeness is required.

Women are socialised to be polite even when someone is being rude or threatening or unpleasant. It's our job to put up with it, or even to diffuse the situation.
We mustn't cause a fuss, even if we feel someone in being inappropriate.
Our opinions and feelings don't matter, we must always put the feelings of other people first.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Thu 12-May-16 21:10:45

Thanks Trills - I've never really thought about differences in politeness before. Just seen some rude gits on both sides but most people are pretty decent.

Given me something to have a think about.

Kidnapped Thu 12-May-16 21:27:17

There was a thread on her a while ago (talking about other threads) where a delivery guy used the OP's mobile number from the OP's order to text her that she had a nice smile. Then he called her and texted her again. She felt it was inappropriate and made her feel insecure. here

Most of the comments were of the supportive sort but I recall that one of the comments was "you don't want to completely squash his confidence" in approaching women.

It had a real vibe of 'Just put up with feeling unsafe and violated because the important thing here is that this bloke is not made to feel bad in any way. Doesn't matter if you feel bad even though you did nothing wrong. It's how he feels that is important'.

Puffinity Fri 20-May-16 20:41:08

Can I change the topic a little by asking opinions on another thread that is related to feminism? If this is rude I'm happy to start a new one smile. There was a thread a few days ago where the OP got an almost unanimous roasting for saying that she felt uncomfortable about her DP's ex-DW still having his name. PPs were saying she was being completely anti-feminist. I suppose the issue of women changing their names upon marriage is a bit of a feminist minefield I made my views quite clear on the thread I'm talking about. Surely accusing someone who says she'd find it more reasonable if a divorced woman reverted back to her birth name rather than continuing to have her ex-husband's name of being an anti-feminist is the world on its head? Surely the problem the OP was experiencing is today with an inherently sexist tradition - the continuing implicit expectation that women will take their husband's name upon marriage in the first place? Seems a bit unfair to accuse her of being anti-feminist or sexist because she is experiencing personal problems as a result of it...

LassWiTheDelicateAir Fri 20-May-16 22:19:21

The problem the OP on that thread is her problem. Cards on the table, I don't understand why one would change one's name in the first place and far less why one would retain it after the divorce. But plenty of people do.

However the OP has no right whatsoever to expect the ex-wife to accommodate her wishes.

Was she being accused of being "anti-feminist "? Isn't just a case of it being none of her business and the AIBU was her thinking she had any say in the matter.

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