Mumsnet in the news(55 Posts)
There have been several articles in the news, lately (Thanks to Penis-Beaker, no doubt) about Mumsnet regarding members discussing sex and suggesting that it is a negative thing. Why the outrage?! There are hundreds (thousands? millions?) of sites dedicated to Porn, promoting the more misogynistic acts of sex, rating women on their performance in the sex industry. There is porn on the shelf in corner shops and lads mags in supermarkets.
As far as I can tell men of all ages, job descriptions and parental status are allowed to indulge in their base instincts but mum's are not. Bit of a Madonna-Whore complex by the media in general. It's ok to like sex if you are pretty and discussing it in the realm of men, for men, and in a way that men like. But it's not ok for women to discuss sex in a forum mainly frequented by women. Especially one mostly used by mothers.
I just don't get it. There are constant jokes and criticisms about how all mothers lose their libido after children and yet when an opportunity arises to dispel this myth people don't like it. We should all go back to just discussing child-rearing and the many uses of baking soda
So, men can divulge and indulge in deviant ideas but women shouldn't ask their friends if these things are normal...
One article said these things are private but their not really are they? We have sex aimed at us by the advertising industry and media in general but we're not allowed to discuss it? We are supposed to listen to what men and the media want - shave your armpits, wax your genitals, make them smell like flowers, have a skinny waist and massive boobs, make sure they're pushed up and in etc. without checking with other women if they think this is all normal.
The reason all this bugs me so much is because I grew up in this world and my DD is going to have to as well.
I grew up seeing lads mags (and the Sun) on coffee tables read my the fathers of my friends, my brother, all my boyfriends and their friends. Objectification of women was normalised and I suffered for it.
The thing is I look like I turned out ok and I'm sure I did for the most part so people will say "ah well, it didn't do you any harm" but I think it did.
Mums talking about bumsex?
This is more than enough to make the DM rear back in horror at the awfulness of it. It's worse than PC gorn made and 'elf and safety combined!
Yes sex and sexual imagery is so private we have public ads in which a man shaves a G into a woman's pubic hair.
So private that the media openly discusses the minutiae of the sex lives of those in the public eye and pays money to people willing to kiss and tell. Maintaining truthfulness whilst doing this is not top priority either.
What is bothering them is the rise of public use digital media whilst print media (controlled and owned by rich old men) is on the decline. They cannot copyright Female disclosure on here and MN is Female owned.
Yes the DM -We must have been hi-jacked because mothers wouldn't dream of talking about sex. The thing (not bumsex, obvs!) that made them mothers in the first place
It was the Telegraph yesterday - "parental potty mouth" should be a drunken hiccup. Not sober discussions of a healthy sex-life between couples.
We should all become virtuous, soup-making, iron-wielding, husband -pleasing (but only in bed dear and save the naughty stuff for your child-less mistress), mumsy-boot wearing types as soon as the product of your sexual pursuits has nestled into the lining of your womb.
It's all about control. The desire to control what women think, talk about etc. It's why we get men on here (as in FWR) telling us how we should feel/think/what we should be focusing on/how we are doing feminism wrong etc.
They are scared that when women get together to talk about their lives and experiences they might realise that they will want and expect more.
Ach its starting for the men too. My 13 year old is very proud of his 8-pack . Although certainly not to the same extreme and not with the same pressure the media are making a fair enough job of sexualising men. We need to continue to normalise sex and sexuality on forums like these. I don't know if our youngsters are getting more aware of the ridiculousness of it all but my older boys are horrified by what miley cyrus feels she has to do to be popular. Itgives me hope.
Good post op. Ive missed all this in the mwdia but was aware of it and you're absolitely right. Which newspapers has this moral outrage been in, out of interest?
Fully agree with you.
I want to expand my knowledge and understanding of women (particularly my girlfriend, but also in general) to unpick the myths around female sexuality. Mumsnet has provided some profound insights.
To be fair I think I must have missed all the posts "sharing eye-wateringly intimate information best kept entirely secret" so maybe I shouldn't comment. I didn't even think Penis-Beaker was that bad. So what, he likes to have a clean up after sex and he uses a beaker of water to do it. It's not really that shocking. Now if she'd said her husband likes to wipe his cock on a baby alpaca that would have been worth the outrage.
I agree, it's about control. Divide and conquer. When women group together and get along we can be a powerful force. The sad thing is (and I think I speak for most feminists when I say) we don't want to take over the world. We just want a fair share of it. I'd like to see the world be a better place for men to live in too. It's not a good thing if little boys are having to worry about their appearance. That's not the kind of equality we want really; drag-all-people-down equality.
SHRIIIEEEKFuckingBearBlood The DM, of course! haha Moral Outrage HQ and The Telegraph (two articles)
ps. Oops I said a naughty word!! cock best go wash my potty-mouth out with soap
If the DM has its way, they'll reopen the asylums and have us all detained for Nymphomania.
Men don't like it when women (particularly those not in the first flush of youth) gather together in large groups and share experiences and stuff.
It gives the the willies (no pun intended).
Plus what others have said about mothers/whores.
What beachcomber said.
gain expectations raise our standards if we all get together and talk about stuff.
I actually think mumsnet is good at raising women's standards. Look at all those women who have left awful partners because of the advice they have been given in relationships. Telling women they are important too and their needs and desires matter, is actually a pretty revolutionary thing.
No wonder certain papers and men don't like what they are now aware, mumsnet is like.
Interestingly, one of the first things that an abusive man does in a new relationship is try to drive a wedge between the woman and her close female friends. This distances her from a sense of perspective and ensures he does not need to compete with such friendships for her time and attention. In this instance, the papers concerned are trying to do the same thing. The Daily M has a large female readership, so web-sites like Mumsnet are direct competition.
It's a good thing, isn't it, that these papers don't condone overtly sexualised behaviour by, for example, including photographs of young women posing suggestively in very small bikinis on their web pages alongside unrelated articles. Because that would be hypocritical, if they did that.
Apparently Mumsnet has areas like this
"Real Sex Tips” is where it all gets most, ahem, loose lipped. Lizzylou’s confession that “DH likes his knees kissed” is about the only repeatable line. “Lightshinesinthedarkness” is charmingly naïve: “I am serious btw, what is a cock ring?”
One user imparts the comparatively tame tip that “it is a little-known fact that men’s nipples are as sensitive to stimulation as a woman’s”, but alas she has already dropped the f-bomb in her username so it can’t be reprinted here. “Lightshines” is a lone lighthouse in a sea of filth, and a keen proponent of “Original Source Shower Gel”, though she fails to elucidate on what one is supposed to do with it."
A sea of filth
You'd think a broadsheet journalist could find a few synonyms for the word 'filth' . And "over-educated mums" eh. Double
It's so bizarre. Are they trying to badmouth MN by saying posters here talk about sex, omg?! Like sexual things are never discussed elsewhere on the internet. The most hypocritical thing was when DM published the article with the usual celeb bikini crap next to it.
It's a strange way to badmouth MN, I thought the favourite methods was to call it a nest of vipers and manhating and such things.
" The Daily M has a large female readership, so web-sites like Mumsnet are direct competition."
Very good point. MN threatens them not only idealogically, but financially as well.
All that shit about things needing to be kept private.
1. Privacy, secrecy, behind closed doors, has always been the friend of the abuser. Vested interests anyone?
2. How is anonymously posting breaching any RL privacy? This isn't about privacy is it, it's about women not even talking about sex theoretically with reference to RL situations with all participants' names redacted.
Men don't want women to acknowledge how they behave behind closed doors. They don't want their dirty little secrets - the coercion, the contempt, the emotional blackmail - being widely known about and acknowledged. If every woman living with a sexual bully or emotional abuser thinks that either everyone lives like this, or that she's the only one and it's because there's something wrong with her, then men get to continue to abuse women without let or hinder. Win win for them. If they all find out that actually, they don't have to put up with it, this seriously threatens the ability of abusive men to abuse with impunity.
Mumsnet has always been a threat to abusive men. Sex as socially constructed is so much bound up with men's abuse of women, that no wonder they are alarmed.
Everyone should be getting their sextips from porn, obviously.
It's funny how they focus on the sex & swearing and none of the advice on pregnancy, the huge variety of issues round childrearing, legal advice, employment advice, consumer reviews, education, language, living abroad, chats about literature, health, exercise, cooking, animals, gardening, not to mention feminism, and everything. All human life is here, which includes sex and swearing, but misses out the massive amount of shared information and support on goodness knows how many topics. It might not be the more obscure threads or whatever which go viral, but it's perfectly possible to spend time here without spending your entire time swearing and talking about sex. It's strange how journalists manage to miss that. Almost like they're only looking at the stuff which supports their argument.
Interesting, Basil. Do you think that is why those "articles" were written?
It won't shut anyone here up though.
Seems to me that there is a lot of 'anxiety' for many in our society around 'us' wimin finding our true selves and gaining back control of our lives in general after hundreds of years of stripping away our 'wild woman' side.
Anyone read 'women that runs with the wolves'? Fab book!
The pendulum swings and 'we' are finding our inner strength, many find that threatening
I read the Independent article. It's just weird. I mean, is it really breaking news that a thread in a forum about conception has the word <whisper> shagging in its title?!? And there's obviously not enough sex on MN as the article has to fill up space with talk of OPKs and mucus ;)
Hadn't thought about the wider context, but you're right OP, it's not great.
The DM and the Torygraph feel their main readership is the sort of person, who in an ideal world would still live in the perfect village and go to their local CofE church.
Of course the industrial revolution happened and there readers are stuck in suburbia.
But they are still trying to perpetrate the myth that nice people don't talk about the sex they are having. It's OK to speculate about other people's sex lives, but not your own.
Because if everyone talked openly about their own sex lives, if all DCs got decent sex education and sex was just an ordinary part of life, we'd not care about the sex lives of celebs. Teens wouldn't have to seek out porn to answer simple questions (and much of the teen, young people's media is soft porn) and the church wouldn't be able to convinces us sex is dirty.
This makes the media, the church and the establishment in general twitch.
Some EXCELLENT points on this thread. I have talked about my marriage quite a bit on MN.
I was talking to a female friend about my situ yesterday and a bloke friend of hers was earwigging.
He said to me, a. sex isnt everything.
b. Why dont you become an escort if you like sex so much
So what he really meant was.... Sex isnt everything
for women cos they shouldnt like it anyway
And why dont you become an escort
because the mens needs have to be fullfilled
So that is a good example of how womens needs are seen by society.
I was incredibly upset about these comments yesterday but your comments Basil and Starballs put it into even deeper context.
We have a massive Madonna/whore complex in society Its fucking HUGE. And the DM and their ilk are only too happy to feed on it and emphasize it at every turn and every chance they get.
Why is it so wrong for women to talk about our needs. Im so sick of some ppl as seeing women as either virgins or whores. I had a cry about it because its so bloody depressing.
Thanks for these posts Basil and Starballs You have articulated it so well
It's all very interesting isn't it ?
Several recent articles, the DM with Jenni Murray, The Independent (lost innocence of journalist ), and The Observer (most balanced, "And you're shocked ?" - also on Guardian website)
I was most shocked by the lack of integrity of Jenni Murray. I thought she'd stick up for women and mothers, and was disappointed that she sold out to the DM.
At the risk of being picky and a rule-breaker, I notice that the INdy whine cites a poster who has been banned, so he's found quite an old thread to moan about. (No, nothing to do with Anyfucker).
picking on the conception thread is insensitive and pathetic.
that tosser should be ashamed of himself.
and for that Jenni woman - if she's wearing het eyebrows as a hairband over the weirdest places that people have sex she is probably in the wrong job.
anyway, 20 threads in a month with explicit content - MN is slow, we must do better!
I think (hope?) it's a silly 5 minute wonder during a slow news week.
After all 'adults are interested in all sorts of things, including sex, and can talk about them in whatever terms they like' isn't really incisive news, is it?
'Sold out' is right, Juggling. It seems that a number of female writers have done that...Samantha Brick, Liz Jones, of course are the two obvious woman haters (dressed up in the sheep's cloak of feminism). I like to think they are desperate for money and totally hard up...but really I know they are fame mongers who want to be talked about, and will sell their souls to the devil to achieve that.
Sad, sad, sad. And a huge betrayal of women.
One of the journalists is on MN now on the Chat thread.
and he is digging himself deeper into the pit of stupid
That was like a car crash. He just dismissed everything everyone said and finished by throwing in an insult from his ludicrous friend.
Hideous, insidious little man.
Digging himself deeper into the pit of stupid - Love it.
I thought this article on Mumsnet - someone mentioned it earlier - made some good points about the other coverage of Mumsnet recently in the media.
Yes, there is some sense of proportion in that article Ruby.
I was involved in the chat with the journalist who wrote the Indie article too and he said that it was intended as humorous. He also refutes that his article is in any way irresponsible, slap-dash or misogynistic. I think this tells me everything I need to know. I think he is genuinely ignorant to what he has done and of course it's my sense if humour failure that is at fault.
Hear hear Bear. I had a few things to say too. I grew very weary of yet another man-ostrich.
This is the problem. I'm sure if I met him in a normal situation in RL before the article I'd have thought he was a nice guy: funny, probably quite like a lot of my mates - educated, liberal, certainly not a woman-hater! And he can't understand why he writes a tongue-in-cheek lighthearted, fluffy article like this and a load of crazy loons who are professionally offended and take things too seriously all pile in on him. But all I see now is how normal it is to be casually sexist. Without meaning to be. Without meaning to cause offence. He is totally unable to accept that what he did was wrong, to think about it in any broader context. He wont learn anything from this - except not to cross the MN nutters again. Which I find supremely sad.
Sorry - MN nutters, fuckwits and tedious fools.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
As ever, the comments below that Barbara Ellen article represent precisely the mindset she's describing. They can be summed up as:
- no-one cares about what mothers think, all they ever think about are daytime telly and their brats
- no-one cares about Mumsnet, they are all manhaters
- no-one cares about Mumsnet, they use abbreviations and therefore are all simple-minded
Oddly, the fact that they've all clicked on the article, read it and avidly commented on it makes the "no-one cares" line ring a little hollow.
The reaction by Tom Peck is a textbook reaction to being called on his words.
Agree. He's probably always thought of himself as a nice guy who likes feisty women, but has subconsciously fallen into a whole loads of sexist ways of thinking (pretty common for loads of men and women who live in a sexist society). Now that one of these ways of thinking has been pointed out to him, his head has exploded and he's decided to fight tooth & nail to retain his self-image.
Which means demonising hundreds (if not thousands) of women as professionally offended manhaters who couldn't POSSIBLY have a point.
Agreed on him probably being a fairly alright human being, but he's backed himself into a corner now just by being so defensive and arrogant that his position is the correct one and we are all hysterical wimmen.
A little bit of humility would go a long way.
Someone wants to write yet another article about this
I saw that Yoni and sighed. I mean, FFS, aren't we done yet?
It's getting really really dull now isn't it?
Well, they've all stopped writing about false widow spider bites now so need to turn their attention to a (slightly) more recent novelty.
Not to worry - the attention span of the average hack is pretty slight (I should know as an ex-one . The caravan will move on....
Mine's a pint of Caffrey's please.
Bugger, wrong thread for a pint. Thought I was in the pub for a minute.
ThoRAVEN - wtf are mumsy boots?
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