The Feminist Pub Mark, um, V? Anyway, come in and chat.

(1000 Posts)

As I claimed the last post on the previous thread, I suppose it's my duty to set out the chairs, plump the cushions, stoke the fire, polish the bar and line up the glasses for the next one. grin

Oh, and to clear up a possible miscommunication on my part, it was not in fact I who told LordCopper that women had to choose between a career and a family. Just to clear that up.

What's everyone drinking?

<serves self an Irish coffee>

This could get messy if it's just me tonight...

ErrolTheDragon Tue 11-Feb-14 18:06:41

I'd like half a pint of the citrusy beer I had on the Isle of Mull last year, please.

Failing that a lime and soda.

Anyway, back to LordCopper's informant - I do hope she told him he was quaint.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 11-Feb-14 18:09:30

Glad to hear that Buffy.grin

I need something that'll keep me awake for parents' evening but not make me buzzy like coffee. Any recommendations?

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 11-Feb-14 18:10:24

It was a woman who said that women should choose between family and career.

<< faints again >>

ErrolTheDragon Tue 11-Feb-14 18:11:33

For goodness sake someone get her a stiff brandy.

CaptChaos Tue 11-Feb-14 18:15:45

My female manager said similar, she also asked who was looking after DS while I was working.

I hope DH hurries up and gets his new job sorted so that we can move away. I hate my job, I hate the company and I hate my managers, but I can't really leave and get something else because I know we'll only be here a couple of months maximum now. Still, a person can do anything for a couple of months, can't they? <pleading>

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 11-Feb-14 18:16:02

It makes me so angry.

Last week a London politician was interviewed on telly by some American network. She said "at the end of the day" (some would say people should be shot for saying this to start with) women should be responsible for the children they bring into the world.


What do we do?

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 11-Feb-14 18:17:43

Capt someone suggested (can't remember where) that you should look around, say "Fuck!", and run out of the building to look to see where you've misplaced your children, when people ask you who is looking after your children when you are working.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 11-Feb-14 18:19:43

"Kids? Riding motorbikes or stealing cars, probably." And shrug.

<disclaimer - only if said kids are under 10!>

ErrolTheDragon Tue 11-Feb-14 18:27:06

I'd be more inclined to check a calendar and say 'just checking the year, for a moment I wasn't sure we were in the 21st century'.

How about a variation on the MN classic: "did you mean to be so sexist?" <head tilt>

PenguinsDontEatKale Tue 11-Feb-14 18:45:55

Well done BuffytheReasonableBartender.

Oh dear, oh dear. Stiff drink for me too please.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 11-Feb-14 18:50:11

I've been swimming and now I feel all achy.

Should I
(a) have a drink?
(b) sit and MN?
(c) play the piano?
(d) do the washing up?

PenguinsDontEatKale Tue 11-Feb-14 18:52:34

Depends whether you have a 'bedtime' to do. Can't remember if you have kids or ages.

Assuming no bedtime duties, secret option e), a really long hot soak in the bath with a drink.

CaptChaos Tue 11-Feb-14 19:10:36

Or, for the really talented option f) long hot soak, in the bath, with the washing up, MNing while simultaneously playing the piano.

I don't know what to do about the manager person. She comes out with the most astounding things. We finally have a female branch manager in our region who is apparently a total bitch, natch and my manager said, 'She's at work all the time, never goes home, she has kids, god knows who looks after them' When I suggested that maybe her husband/partner might be a SAHD, she looked at me like I had grown and extra head. So much sexism is internalised, isn't it?

I have melt in the middle chocolate pudding. I think that and the creme egg I snaffled sneakily on the walk home from Tesco-down-the-road will be required in order to deal with Darren.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 11-Feb-14 19:12:52

I don't actually like baths!

I have DC aged nearly 8 and 10. They can do their own bedtimes. In fact they are upstairs sorting out their swimming things.

I opted for (c) after I managed to turf DS2 off. grin

I am now going to have a drink (to give my long-suffering neighbours' ears a rest - poor neighbours, what with a cello and a beginner violin, I try to impose silence from about 7) while rearranging the dirty dishes in the kitchen so they don't look like a lot of dirty dishes. DH will be back soon so he will wash up...

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 11-Feb-14 19:13:59

'She's at work all the time, never goes home, she has kids, god knows who looks after them' That's why a woman should choose between family and career - I am told.

ethelb Tue 11-Feb-14 19:16:56

I was starting to wonder if Darren was a satirical pisstake. Come on, fess up if it is you!

BriarRainbowshimmer Tue 11-Feb-14 19:18:00

Pretty sure it is ethelb!

BriarRainbowshimmer Tue 11-Feb-14 19:18:31

That's it's a pisstake not you

PenguinsDontEatKale Tue 11-Feb-14 19:19:24

You don't like baths Copper. I have heard people say this. My husband has had about two baths in the last year. It does not compute.

I still miss a friend from when we lived in London. I always liked her and then she admitted once that she had a long soak in the bath every single night unless going out. After that I knew we were soul mates.

Darren is not me.

PenguinsDontEatKale Tue 11-Feb-14 19:23:43

I am not Darren. He's too young to be me.

It's like Spartacus but in the land of opposites. I am not Darrencus.

PenguinsDontEatKale Tue 11-Feb-14 19:28:24

I very nearly made a Spartacus joke too Buffy. Great minds!

We probably bake similar cakes and wear the same brand of perfume grin

PenguinsDontEatKale Tue 11-Feb-14 19:43:25

grin. Go on, own up, who is Darren?

I don't think even Darren knows who Darren truly is.

PenguinsDontEatKale Tue 11-Feb-14 19:50:32

I take it back, none of you is Darren. He's a twat.

BriarRainbowshimmer Tue 11-Feb-14 19:55:34

That quickly got boring.

CaptChaos Tue 11-Feb-14 20:09:46

Nice of him to take time out from his busy masturbating schedule to tell us how shit we are grin

Oh, did it turn nasty? DH turned up and we were eating the delicious roast pork I made. Were his insults all that his earlier work promised? Or did he let us down in the final analysis?

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 11-Feb-14 20:21:45

Who is Darren or do I not want to know?

PenguinsDontEatKale Tue 11-Feb-14 20:27:25

He started a thread in sleep where he quickly got particularly insulting and called his imaginary girlfriend a stupid bitch. And fundamentally he didn't have anything with which to develop his line of posting - just the same thing again and again.

A let down, as trolls go.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Tue 11-Feb-14 22:35:31

I was just skim-reading 'Darren' earlier when I should've been getting dc to bed when it was zapped. He seemed to get v upset about golf. I couldn't really understand why.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 12-Feb-14 00:46:18

I am not a Darren. I am a free man.


DuskAndShiver Wed 12-Feb-14 10:06:28

Ooolong tea please and if you have any, a couple of tiny dried figs in the saucer (I had this once at Teasmith and it was a perfect combination)

Really fuming and angry today. There is a person at work (C) whom I usually get on with (although often disagree with) but she is now furious with me. She is the archetypal older sister, and I am so warped and twisted by my own older sister that I find this dynamic really difficult.

I have been really careful of her for years, ever since I watched her get into a really insanely heated argument with a colleague over the new window frames the colleague had chosen. C had never been to S's flat, let alone have any stake in it, but despite this she felt very angry that S had chosen window frames the exact opposite of the style that she would have liked for herself, or rather that S was robustly defending her choice (I would have lied and pretending to change my mind to close the conversation down). This, I thought, is an example of why never, ever, ever, to get into a direct confrontation with C. She cannot conceive of the idea of some things just not being her decision to make. Someone's else's window frames are a pretty clear example of that. Duly noted.

Anyway this was always going to flare up at some point. We got near to it a few weeks ago on a train journey where I had to defend my right to set my own priorities and put my own meetings in. I had to be really careful that that didn't get arsey. Today I talked a little hastily about how I can't reconsider every single decision I have to make on the tenuous grounds that someone, somewhere doesn't like it - not only can I not change many of the decisions but (I did not say this) I do not have time to justify every single one internally either so can she just woman up a bit and represent us externally better (I wish I could think of a way to say that that is not so overtly critical but she just doesn't get that her approach to me with respect to the clients is exhausting - she has a tendency to totally internalise the client's view that the problem is that I haven't said yes to to smething so I am the problem so she trots right along and brings it to me to "solve" by saying "oh alright then" which I can't and then I have to have the same exhausting self-justifying conversation that I have just had with the client that they have totally failed to relay while whining aobut me and C hasn't even bothered to ask "Presumably she did say why?" and AAAAAAAARGH)

So so sorry that is TOO LONG and has NOTHING to do with feminism, except, that I get very very very insecure about making decisions that people don't like in a way that men don't seem to, so, erm, that is all

Sorry to moan, please go back to your lovely drinks
I feel quite shaken.

Grrrrrr angry Bloody freezing wind! Bloddy dd leaving her coat at Brownies so I have to go out this morning to get it. Bloody ds forgetting his spinach so I have to go and drop it off. Bloody bin men for leaving my wheelie bin on its side across my drive so I have to get out and move it before I can reverse in.

OK, that feels better. I will conclude my anger management session with a coffee with double cream and a melt in the middle chocolate pudding even though it is only 10:17

Sorry Dusk I didn't read your post before posting my non-feminist rant.

I remember you talking about this woman and her behaviour on the train. Was she confrontational with you more recently or are you anticipating that she will be because of your earlier conversation?

DuskAndShiver Wed 12-Feb-14 10:24:40

Buffy, does ds often forget his, er, spinach?

Thanks for reading my ramblings. I feel very shaken by confrontation. She kind of made this into a row, admittedly I was being a bit impatient but she escalated it to the point of flouncing off.

I just can't bear it, I am sure it is some deep childhood thing

No, it's healthy eating week, he's making Greek Pizza (which involves spinach, feta and olives, apparently).

I hear you on the difficult people thing. It would be so easy for me to advise you not to let it bother you, to ignore it. But that would be enormously hypocritical because I find this sort of 'low level' stroppy behaviour, over a long period of time and when you can't simply avoid the perpetrator, to be really distressing.

So I can't suggest anything really, other than to say you're not crazy and not over-sensitive and I do sympathise with you sad

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 12-Feb-14 10:52:43

Yes, poor spinach. hmm


Is there a spinach related faux pas I've made or cultural reference I've missed? blush

DuskAndShiver Wed 12-Feb-14 11:02:53

Greek pizza sounds nice, I wish I was making that today. Is it normal pizza base? I don't like spanakopita because I don't like filo, which keeps wrong-footing me because I like the insides and I keep thinking I should like it.

Penguinsdon'teatkale has been talking me down off the window-sill on another thread. (I wonder if penguins eat spinach?)

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 12-Feb-14 11:13:55

That penguin is a fussy eater. grin

PenguinsEatSpinach Wed 12-Feb-14 13:47:42

Just for you Dusk and LordCopper <twirls to show off new name>

Come to my house, there's a massive bag here. ds only needed a little bit to forget to take to school.

Ev1lEdna Wed 12-Feb-14 13:57:57

May I join?

I'm having a coconut latte because it's too early for a large wine and I can't have one in real life.

I am moving over here because a thread on women bosses was giving me the rage and I lurk here (occasionally posting) all the time.

Dusk that woman sounds difficult to work with so I don't think you are crazy. I think it is difficult in work situations because confrontation can really throw the work dynamic, she sounds like she hunts around for an argument.

Buffy your son's pizza sounds good - although I am intrigued by the healthy eating week aspect as if spinach and feta makes pizza a healthier prospect - still it's a cheery thought! grin Funnily enough I am using spinach, feta and olives on chicken tonight (no pizza base - sad)

DuskAndShiver Wed 12-Feb-14 14:21:53

Hi Penguins, I am less worried about your iron levels now ;)

Hi Ev1l. I remember you from the 80s! I had a ceramic Carwash. (why?)

The person at work isn't really hard to work with, I don't think anyone else has a real problem with her, it's just me, at the moment. However - I am ok with it all now, I have positioned it in my head as someone else being weird and overemotional, which happens, and next time it comes up I will smile in an annoyingly calm and patronising way and say "Oh yes, that - so tell me, what has changed since last time we spoke?" and then frown thoughtfully as she says clearly or less clearly, "nothing" and then I will say "Right. I see, so what do you need from me?"

This is a brilliant question I am going to steal from my boss. He always says "so what do you need from me?" when someone is getting in a tizz about nothing.

she will have to say, basically, "I want you to change your mind for no good reason" and I will socratically make her see that that is ridiculous. And I am going to be so nice

Thanks everyone for letting me go on about this

PenguinsEatSpinach Wed 12-Feb-14 14:22:38

Of course Edna. One of the great benefits of the pub is having things you can't in real life. I am pregnant, but I drink large quantities of wine in the pub.

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 12-Feb-14 14:30:53

I really fancy spinach now.

Ev1lEdna Wed 12-Feb-14 14:32:16


Yes the 80s was a halcyon time for me all that terrorising of fairies.

I like the concept of 'what do you need from me' I think I'll store that one in my bank of 'internally raging but projecting outward calm' phrases.

…although the risk with that one is that they say "well first, I need you to x, and then I need you to y".

What do you do then?

Ev1lEdna Wed 12-Feb-14 14:49:45


Ev1lEdna Wed 12-Feb-14 14:50:15

Or implode - I may implode. Then again it could be good to hear what they need from me.

DuskAndShiver Wed 12-Feb-14 15:00:56

I lurked briefly on that "women bosses" thread. Didn't want to get drawn into posting and wandered off.
At least there was some sense on there. Not all sense, but a fair bit of sense.
It was interesting to me today in the context of having had a pep talk from Penguins about not worrying about being liked!

DuskAndShiver Wed 12-Feb-14 15:01:31

x-posts - yes, that is a risk, Buffy, you are right

Just stumbled across these and thought I'd share.

TerrariaMum Wed 12-Feb-14 15:44:00

I love the 'stereotype this!' one. Btw, have come to this pub with lemon sponge cake in hand. I need to test whether it goes with Campari.

Also, despairing or realistic to compare housework with toddlers about to Sisyphus' ordeal?

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 12-Feb-14 17:14:51

Housework: Just Say No. wink

Seriously though, it's like Sisyphus plus Prometheus. Painful and no end to it.

TerrariaMum Wed 12-Feb-14 17:21:56

I don't know. It isn't quite as bad as having your liver ripped out by an eagle. And DD1 wants to help only her version of helping is to dump all her brio track on the floor hmm.

On the subject of Greek mythology though, anyone know of any studies about women and their worship of the goddesses? Specifically Hera as I find her fascinating.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Wed 12-Feb-14 20:19:05

Just popping in to show you all this.. you'll like it

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Wed 12-Feb-14 20:19:17

Why, wherever that video appears, does the first image one sees have a woman with naked breasts running? It's not the first image of the video, nor the last.


I think I know why, but I'll pose it as a question anyway

legoplayingmumsunite Wed 12-Feb-14 21:17:06

This is a brilliant question I am going to steal from my boss. He always says "so what do you need from me?" when someone is getting in a tizz about nothing.

I am so completely going to steal this and probably use it tomorrow on the crazy woman who is currently working for me

Buffy I'm not going to answer that question because you know the answer but I do think it's a very bad choice, not just for the obvious sexist reason, but also because it confuses the message of the video when you watch it.

Ev1lEdna Wed 12-Feb-14 21:49:59

Very far off a feminist topic but TerrrariaMum what inspired your name? I have a sneaky suspicion that I know but I#m just wondering?

On a pleasant feminist note I have a young student who has chosen to write his essay on how women's sports should be promoted more, when I asked him why he chose it he said 'It's just unfair isn't it, it should just be equal' - cheered me up no end that to him that seemed obvious and simple. Small victories count when everything else seems to be going haywire (yes Amnesty I'm looking at you)

Housework - the mere thought of it makes me slump inwardly. LordCopper I now have an eightiestastic Grange Hill song in my head.

AntiJamDidi Wed 12-Feb-14 22:11:20

Here you all are! I lost you for a while there, I couldn't find the new pub on my phone and I got a bit panicky. So I'm marking my place so I don't lose you again.

I'd like a small rant now thanks. I'm going away on a school trip for 4 days/ 3 nights next week. I'm very excited because I'm very sad it's going to be a great trip even though there will be 50 teenagers with us. So far this week I have had 8 people ask who will be looking after my dc. They will be at home with dp, who can manage taking dd2 to the cm and collecting her etc for 4 days. Dd1 is 14 so can pretty much take care of herself and she has plans with her friends. Absolutely nobody has asked either of the male teachers who will be looking after their dc who are similar ages to my dd2, nope, it's just assumed that their wives will be at home with them, even though both of their wives work longer hours than my dp.

PenguinsEatSpinach Wed 12-Feb-14 22:22:32

Grrr to that. Though looking forward to going away with 50 teenagersshock

TerrariaMum Wed 12-Feb-14 22:42:04

Ev1lEdna, are you, by any chance, a gamer? If you are, then your guess is probably right. If not and in case anyone else is interested, my name comes from a game I started playing when DD1 was about 7 mo. I still play it with her now she is 3 because it isn't the sort of game you actively win. You just make stuff and explore.

Actually, it sort of ticks my feminist boxes because your sprite can be male or female and look feminine or masculine but it makes no difference to your in game abilities. Also, either sex can wear any accessories that you find. DH's current male sprite is wearing a red hairbow atm because, as DH said, why not?

And that was far more than any of you wanted to know.

Antijam, I think I'm guilty of perpetuating that because whenever DH takes our girls out to give me some time to myself and I go out too, I preemptively tell any acquaintances I run into where the girls are so they don't think I am neglecting them or something. Which is effed up in itself.

AntiJamDidi Wed 12-Feb-14 22:50:49

I think I'm pretending I won't have 50 teenagers with me and just looking forward to 3 nights in a hotel, 3 west end shows, Harry Potter studios, etc and all the other activities we've got planned. In my head all those teenagers will be absolutely lovely, there will be no fighting or arguing, we won't have any emergencies or lost children or anything, it will just be a lot of fun. I have a feeling it might not be quite as good as I'm building it up to be.

I can just about cope with random aquaintances not being up to speed on the fact that dp is in fact a capable parent, but my mum even made a sarky comment about "you love your kids so much lol". She would never, ever make a comment like that to a man, my dad used to take school trips away during the holidays when we were young and she never thought he loved us any less. It's very, very annoying.

BusinessUnusual Thu 13-Feb-14 07:19:01

I liked the first half of that video but bit the second. There no way that a woman would shout at a Gang of Four intimidating men to bugger off when they were verbally harassing her. And I don't think anyone's DP would victim blame immediately after collecting them from hospital.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 13-Feb-14 07:28:54

antijam we went to the Harry potter studio recently. It was fun! What shows are you seeing? (Plan to avoid 50 teenagers milling about. LOL. Teenagers are big, aren't they? Once you get used to your children of a certain size then children of other ages seem either too big or too small. grin Or is it just me?)

We have movies and shows planned for half-term. That is subject to the beasties behaving themselves when I take them to work.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Thu 13-Feb-14 09:18:29

I liked the first half of that video but bit the second. There no way that a woman would shout at a Gang of Four intimidating men to bugger off when they were verbally harassing her. And I don't think anyone's DP would victim blame immediately after collecting them from hospital.

Probably not on the way home from the hospital but there are time constraints..and MANY women have said they wern't bevlieved by their "d"ps sad

Same with shouting back, you don't do it every time, you don't even do it most times.. but every so often you do... and it's a risk you take when you just get so fed up

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Thu 13-Feb-14 09:19:47

time constraints to the video I mean.. it's trying to show all elements of sexism in a 5 min video.

Was it made by women or men?

<dashes off to google>

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Thu 13-Feb-14 09:43:04

I really liked that they had the women running past topless... it's not something I would have considered in making a video because I am so used to it.. but that constant feeling that your dress is being judged while men can run about topless is such a constant reminder of our place.

Yes, I liked the video too, very much. I think I would have had the man appear physically smaller, dwarfed by the women and clearly at a physical disadvantage if violence broke out.

I would also have had lots of billboards etc of provocatively posed, unattainably beautiful ,thin and bodyhairless men everywhere.

There may be more, but I have to dash because I have a meeting with important-man-prof-dean bods. I will be the only woman and have thought about stuff posted on here in preparation. Will update you afterwards!

<leaves post on cliffhanger>

DuskAndShiver Thu 13-Feb-14 10:16:26

Good luck Buffy, report back.

I liked the video but I would also like another one (I don't ask for much, me) where the really violent attack doesn't happen and the protagonist has a more normal day. Most street harrassment end in humiliation and that is bad enough.

I would also like this second, more quotidien video to somehow magically clarify an inequality in workload / leisure time and "slut shaming" in my personal sense of the phrase (my mother always used "slut" in a non-sexual sense to mean slattern or similar, so I think of "slut-shaming" as being about women being held unfairly responsible for the state of the house, no matter what else they have to do - not helpful and confusing, it is just how my mind works and we don't have another expression for that - I suppose "slattern-shaming")

I do like the running topless women, and the jerk of "visual anomoly! Free, physical, women!" that you get when you see it.
(although you won't catch me running anywhere without a top-grade Shock Absorber sports bra)

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Thu 13-Feb-14 12:10:46

(although you won't catch me running anywhere without a top-grade Shock Absorber sports bra)

dusk someone in the comments of where I originally found the video said "big surprise even in the video the women have perfect pert boobs"

I think that might have been the answer to their query! Anyone bigger might have posed a danger to themselves! grin

Ev1lEdna Thu 13-Feb-14 12:12:39

Ev1lEdna, are you, by any chance, a gamer? If you are, then your guess is probably right. If not and in case anyone else is interested, my name comes from a game I started playing when DD1 was about 7 mo. I still play it with her now she is 3 because it isn't the sort of game you actively win. You just make stuff and explore.

I am indeed and I play it with my sons on multiplayer grin we still haven't beaten the Wall of Flesh though.

Ev1lEdna Thu 13-Feb-14 12:17:40

I liked the video but I would also like another one (I don't ask for much, me) where the really violent attack doesn't happen and the protagonist has a more normal day. Most street harrassment end in humiliation and that is bad enough.

I agree and what I thought was missing from it was all the advertisements and magazine covers of barely clad women with provocative poses. Things I did like about it were the more subtle aspects, the adjusting of clothing and dismissal of his opinion at the beginning. I thought that represented the more everyday pressures of being female. It would have been interesting to have a look at life at work in an office or in a traditionally female job (just to compare to say, a woman in construction or similar.)

TerrariaMum Thu 13-Feb-14 12:28:56

I couldn't watch it once it got to the woman yelling at him on the bike. It freaked me out so I am glad I have you all to tell me about what happened. I'd have preferred a more ordinary day too.

Slight change of topic for a moment:

I am just appreciating the irony of an equality and diversity training insisting upon capturing people's titles (Miss, Mrs, Ms, Dr, Mr). You'd think that they would avoid the whole are you male or female and if the latter, do you have a male owner question, no?

TerrariaMum Thu 13-Feb-14 17:34:57

You would. It's interesting though because I have discussed this with DH and he says he would actually really like a title that made it clear he was married. If both sexes had titles, would that make a difference? In that Mrs wouldn't necessarily mean possession but rather 'in a partnership'?

But why do they need to know this? Why even to know whether the person receiving the online equality and diversity training is male or female, let alone whether they are married? confused

TerrariaMum Thu 13-Feb-14 17:45:22

Wait, this is online training? There is no reason that should affect one's ability to click a mouse or learn. That's bonkers. And it shouldn't make a difference off keyboard either.

I was just musing about titles in general if one chooses to disclose them. They should never be mandatory.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 13-Feb-14 19:08:05

"...he would actually really like a title that made it clear he was married" Just to be awkward, how about co-habiting unmarried couples? How about civil partnerships? Divorced? Separated? Should we know that too from people's titles? Why is marriage a special case?

Why do we even need titles?

Well, except Dr, which denotes qualification. Other than in professional contexts when people need to use Dr, people's title should just be M. I think. Why not?

TerrariaMum Thu 13-Feb-14 19:56:57

I don't know. I don't think titles are necessary either. I just don't think they are inherently evil. I think whether or not you have a title should be like wearing an accessory. And that title, should you choose it, should be anything you want.

But we are a long way from a society where that could happen so I also agree with Buffy.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Thu 13-Feb-14 20:03:09

I quite fancy being Dame Vegetarian

legoplayingmumsunite Thu 13-Feb-14 20:51:00

They shouldn't be asking for titles or gender at the beginning of diversity training. Don't they know that reminding people of their gender leads to more gender specific behaviour? Tut tut.

I'm liking M. as a title. DH gets pissed off because in conversations about titles it is always assumed he is Mr (he's Dr) but because I usually get asked what my title is (Miss or Mrs) I'm Dr on everything. Except, as I tell my Mum who says I should only use it 'professionally', at work where everyone uses first names only.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 13-Feb-14 21:45:30

I have actually said to someone in RL that my friends call me by my first name and to everyone else it's Dr LordCopper. blush But I was provoked! They kept trying to call me Mrs. They are lucky I didn't kick them.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Thu 13-Feb-14 23:52:38

Evening all.

<plumps cushions, gets wine >

I'm becoming increasingly annoyed at being known as Mrs, when my dh has a neutral 'Mr' status. I might start being a Ms. We should all be Ms. Miss and Mrs should be consigned to the past.


SconeRhymesWithGone Fri 14-Feb-14 02:14:54

In the US, the default is Ms, especially in professional settings. I don't know any married women who use Mrs. And I have noticed that more and more letters are addressed with no title and the salutation is "Dear Jane Smith." This is the Quaker form of address, though I am sure that is not the reason for its use, except maybe in parts of Pennsylvania.

I've emailed the equality and diversity unit with a polite question about whether they'd considered that this requires people to state a gender and, for women, whether they are married.

I wonder what they will come back with? Hopefully not some defensive waffle...

Here's an article about that video. The (male) journalist thinks it's more of a comment about France's views on Islam than anything else.

I think he's wrong. I think he can't conceive of how it feels to be a woman - sexual harassment, views dismissed - so he can't understand why anyone would think that just a little bit of sexism is important enough for something to go viral. It has to be about something more important, about men (i.e. it's actually a critique of Muslim men)

This annoys me rather a lot.

TerrariaMum Fri 14-Feb-14 11:18:08

But he's still wrong. Even if the film is a critique of Muslim men, it is clearly a critique of some Muslim men's sexist attitudes. So it is still about sexism.
Also, he isn't very good at film analysis if that is what he came up with. The bit with the headcovering was about 2 minutes of a half hour thing. It was a small example showing one particular face of sexism. Did he not actually eatch the whole thing?

DuskAndShiver Fri 14-Feb-14 11:25:12

the article is wrong, but the film is a bit racially dodgy. I was a little furstrated that it reached instinctively to "other" to drive home the messages of sexist abuse; both the "other" racially, and, as this author says, "other" in the sense of strangers. the pernicious horror of sexism is that some of its worst effects are meted out by those closest to us whom we are instructed constantly to love, support, and not criticise. And this is part of what I meant when I said I wanted a more "quotidien" film

There is a grain of truth in the article in that the family is the prime matrix of sexist exploitation, yet the fear of the "other" is what people (men) want to hear: rapists are dark strangers, traditionally (though not in fact, statistically). so the film slightly copped out by indulging that traditional view, though not entirely by representing the limited sympathy also of the victim's partner.

However, this author is wrong in his main thrust, and a much better and more interesting article should have been written on this (by a woman? god forbid)

(by one of us, probably)

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Fri 14-Feb-14 13:17:11

I've been Ms. since I was a teenager, but like scone says it's more common in America.. as soon as realised that men get away with one title I was very certain when I checked the boxes that I should always be a Ms.

It's a struggle here as I am almost always assumed to be a Mrs especially as I have been doubly annoying and changed my name.. SO of course everyone thinks I am divorced. You have one bloody neutral title and people ignorantly go and decide it's a woman who is divorced. Because god forbid you should not be able to tell her marital status via her name. angry

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 14-Feb-14 18:00:56

Just heard a man on radio 4 asking when the male Winter Olympics was going to start.


TerrariaMum Fri 14-Feb-14 18:31:17

oh, Doctrine, seriously? FFS

TerrariaMum Fri 14-Feb-14 18:31:32

him not you obv.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 14-Feb-14 18:42:40

It was on one of those feedback bits but I so wanted to scream at the radio "welcome to how women see the sporting world every fucking day, cockweasel!" But the DSes were in the car.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 14-Feb-14 18:49:24

I agree that DC do cramp one's style terribly. grin

I've had to resort to polite insults.

legoplayingmumsunite Fri 14-Feb-14 20:57:59

Maybe when the British Men start performing at a world class level? After all, that is the reason why no female sport is ever shown on TV, no???

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Sat 15-Feb-14 13:33:52

Anyone see Ellen Page's speech yesterday? I really like her and it was lovely to see her look like this massive weight had been taken off her especially as there was speculation for so long.

But (and I AMBU) I was also a bit disappointed. Because it seems like all the speculation around her being gay was to do with her doing intelligent films/ dressing normal not primping every second and being a quite out and proud feminist. As though none of the above could possibly be normal for a pretty young heterosexual woman...

UptoapointLordCopper Sat 15-Feb-14 15:45:26

Was going to link to Mary Beard but there's already a thread on it. smile

legoplayingmumsunite Sat 15-Feb-14 17:28:56

Ellen Page is fab. I suppose the reason why she has been able to do so many intelligent films is because Juno was such a success and she's so clearly talented she's been able to pick and choose the scripts. Other less talented and successful actresses don't have that opportunity.

I think in such a sexist industry like Hollywood you can see how the most successful actresses (Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts) have the opportunity to do films that do have good female roles in, especially as they get older and have more clout in the industry.

Isn't she great?

I thought she said it so well.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Sat 15-Feb-14 20:18:47

Just back from ASDA where I was vulturing over the Whoops Aisle.

I'm really pregnant and had my arm on my back for a bit of support when some twat knocks me out of the way to get to a half price sausage roll.

So I apologize. blush

Then he gives me a dirty look.

Why do we apologise? I might start a thread in FWR "What have you apologised for today"

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Sat 15-Feb-14 20:25:54

and yes, Ellen Page is fabulous. It must be such a massive relief, I can't imagine having to hide dh until I was 27?! Boggles the mind that it is still an issue for people.

legoplayingmumsunite Sun 16-Feb-14 18:22:59

It must be such a massive relief, I can't imagine having to hide dh until I was 27?! Boggles the mind that it is still an issue for people.

SIL didn't tell the PILs she was in a relationship with a woman for years, when she told MIL her first reaction was 'don't tell your father', when she did eventually tell her father he said 'how do you reconcile this with your religion'. Thankfully they have come round and now like her partner but it took them a few years. America is a more conservative and religious culture than the UK so it's not surprising so many celebrities there feel the need to hide their sexuality (we're not perfect here, no footballer has come out yet). The more that stand up and be counted the better to normalise it.

PenguinsEatSpinach Sun 16-Feb-14 19:48:32

Sigh. Large glass of white burgandy please bar person.

I shouldn't join any thread where I want to point out that choices aren't made in a societal vacuum and 'choice' isn't a magic answer. People really, really get upset. shock

Also grrrr at ridiculous article in Times today about how men who are domesticated have less sex. huge article. Omits to mention until about 2/3 of the way through that they are also far less likely to get divorced. So we know what matters then.angry

UptoapointLordCopper Sun 16-Feb-14 20:37:03

There's also a big long article in the Guardian about this less-sex thing. Not sure what it is all about.

TerrariaMum Sun 16-Feb-14 21:15:38

Ah, but do these articles talk about quality of sex at all? These men may well be having more satisfying sex and thus not want as much.

HollyMiamiFLA Sun 16-Feb-14 21:53:32

I need a drink. A large one. Just because I dared to challenge someone on AIBU.

Someone used a very personal attack on me. Then it seemed a tag team joined in.

It's the first thread I've ever hidden. And the second time I've probably been deleted for swearing at someone.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 16-Feb-14 22:17:44

We had a discussion earlier in the week about the article when it was in the US press. 1.5x per month works out as 18 shags a year - which in the context of 2-3 per week (i.e. 100-150) doesn't seem like much in exchange for lower divorce rate, sharing responsibility etc. But hey.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 16-Feb-14 23:03:51

AntiJamDidi Mon 17-Feb-14 08:57:55

Are you ok Holly? I didn't see the thread you're talking about but it sounds horrible.

I can't imagine having to hide my dp either. I have a few lesbian and gay friends who do hide it though. They are out to their family and close friends but hide it at work, mostly because they are secondary teachers and teenagers aren't generally known for their acceptance and understanding.

Was it the Christian / Church marriage one Holly? I read the start of it, missed it getting nasty (though some of the early responses were typical AIBU) and agree that it is hypocritical to promise to bring up a child according to the word of god if you know full well you will not.

<Hands Holly large medicinal brandy>

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Mon 17-Feb-14 10:15:25

Quick <stupid> question for the academic types..

I finally got my phd dissertation submitted, so now I'm waiting for the defence date, but I think sometime in the spring I should have it finally over with.

friend sent me this in an email. So does that mean she will be receiving her doctorate and be done with university? ANd so is it appropriate for me to congratulate her?

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 17-Feb-14 10:18:34

Not got doctorate yet - you have to pass your viva first, but it's nearly the end!

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Mon 17-Feb-14 10:21:23

Thank you uptoapoint!

Would "congratulations on nearly getting there" be OK? Or just leave it?

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Mon 17-Feb-14 10:22:00

<Not going to bother asking what a viva is>

ErrolTheDragon Mon 17-Feb-14 10:22:45

Finishing the thesis definitely merits congratulation, but the champagne comes out after the viva. However, she may be essentially 'done' with uni now (I didn't finish my thesis let alone do the viva until after I'd started my first life out in the Real World)

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Mon 17-Feb-14 10:24:58

She's been studying since I've known her (a decade!) but works as a teacher as well. Got to be nice to finally be done

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Mon 17-Feb-14 10:25:12

oh and thanks errol!

Viva / defending your thesis is when you get to sit in a room with the examiners and answer their questions about your work. An interview, of sorts.

Then they decide whether you've passed with no, minor or major corrections (or <whispers> not). Then you get a period of time to make those corrections and resubmit.

Speaking as someone who is working full time and also due to submit a PhD thesis in a few months that should have been finished years ago congratulations on getting the fucker thesis submitted is probably appropriate! grin

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 17-Feb-14 10:52:15

Oh most definitely congratulations due for submitting thesis. grin

In some place viva = public defence of thesis. Anyone can come and ask hard questions. Scary.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Mon 17-Feb-14 11:21:09

thanks guys, I had no idea you had to do that, how terrifying!

Talking of academics, and how they're male and white, here's an interesting study of children's books and how they "represent" us

I identified, worryingly, a great deal with the depiction of professors "kindly, but baffled, obsessive egg-heads who don’t quite function normally". Almost tempted to name change to BuffytheBaffledEggHead grin

I'd insert a degree of killjoy caution about celebrating post-viva but pre-corrections.

I love that study, buffy. grin

legoplayingmumsunite Mon 17-Feb-14 13:29:49

Talking of academics, and how they're male and white, here's an interesting study of children's books and how they "represent" us

DD1 was told by a school friend that I couldn't be a scientist. She was really upset about this. I am actively seeking out books about female scientists to counterbalance this since apparently my colleagues and I are not enough proof that women can be scientists!

I had an interesting exchange on twitter with the Institute of Physics and Prof Athene Donald about female science and tech role models in primary schools. They only do work with secondary schools and by then quite frankly it's too late to change the conditioning that says science isn't for girls.

When I submit my thesis in June/July, I will be celebrating. I will celebrate upon submission, upon surviving viva and upon handing in corrections grin Whole thing has been a massive slog, tbh. Started when ds was 1, he's now 10!

HollyMiamiFLA Mon 17-Feb-14 15:13:12

No, I'm not ok.

It was the Thailand thread. You may disagree with someone but then someone attacked me in the most personal way you can attack a transwoman and no one on the thread said anything. If you want to really hurt a transwoman, then that is how to do it.

If it was any other kind of attack, the person would probably have been banned.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Mon 17-Feb-14 15:13:27

A partner of a family member is a scientist. I have long said we will one day get a call that X has been done for indecent exposure.

Not because he's a perv, but I just know that one day he will go to work and forget to put trousers on. Honestly I don't know how he functions he in the real world. He is an uber cliche

PenguinsEatSpinach Mon 17-Feb-14 15:20:03

Holly- sorry you have had a tough time. I didn't see that thread. Hang out here with a stiff

HollyMiamiFLA Mon 17-Feb-14 15:38:05

I've had two trans attacks directed personally at me this weekend.
And been told by someone else I'm a crap tutor.

Funny - it seems to always be the same group of people. So I'm going to give MN a break as it's bad for my mental health.

PenguinsEatSpinach Mon 17-Feb-14 15:43:59

Sorry to hear that. sad I am here if you want to chat but take care of yourself in the meantime. x

Holly sad

Just hang out with us?

AntiJamDidi Mon 17-Feb-14 17:23:11

I'm sorry to hear that Holly. sad Some people are horrible. If you need to take a break from mn I understand, I did that a year or so ago when things were upsetting me. I came back after a few months but there are a few types of thread that I hide immediately rather than engage with them. I'll miss you though, I always think you have something interesting to add, even if I don't always agree with you.

Blistory Mon 17-Feb-14 19:19:30

So the BAFTAs.....

Not something I'd normally watch but I happened to catch the end where Helen Mirren receives a fellowship award which I gather is essentially a lifetime recognition. Jeremy Irons was doing the presentation and instead of simply recognising her acting skills, there were umpteen references to her sexiness and sex appeal and how this was one of her major acting attributes and a major part of her career.

I can't think of any other credible older actor who he would have said the same things about. Is it just me being a grumpy old feminist or was it unnecessary and inappropriate ?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 17-Feb-14 19:51:45

Holly. flowers

I have NEVER started an AIBU thread.

HollyMiamiFLA Mon 17-Feb-14 19:54:54

You know how MN has a reputation. I've seen it properly now.

Blistory Mon 17-Feb-14 19:58:08

Holly - you've been disagreed with. You were insulting to one poster, she was insulting back. You both apologised for being out of order.

You've accused her of having a gang instead of seeing it as a discussion. You've accused various people of being sexist. You started another thread about how you're leaving as you're so upset. And now you're bringing it over here.

You're better than this which is why people are surprised on the other threads about this. You have a problem with Chibi - take it up with her and not everyone else.

HollyMiamiFLA Mon 17-Feb-14 19:58:52

And the craziest thing is - people who don't usually post suddenly seem to be posting and agreeing with each other. I recognise most of the names.

You'd almost think there was something going on - or am I being cynical?

Blistory Mon 17-Feb-14 20:00:46

And people didn't see the insult because it was reported and deleted. No one agreed with her, no one disagreed with her, - because very few people saw it.

HollyMiamiFLA Mon 17-Feb-14 20:02:13

The insult was up for ages.

So people did see it. And that was one of the cruellest taunts you can make to a transwoman.

HollyMiamiFLA Mon 17-Feb-14 20:04:26

It was also the second attack on my trans status made on me over the weekend.

So yes - I am pissed off and extremely upset.

Blistory Mon 17-Feb-14 20:05:04

You're being cynical. There are quite a few FWR posters posting on it because of the subject matter hence the recognition of names.

If it helps - there really hasn't been a claxon call to come and insult your transgender status. Posters are upset at being called sexist. No one is posting in an attempt to hurt you, provoke you or upset you. Honestly, I promise you that you are being too sensitive. Yes, be annoyed at the poster who insulted you but address it with her.

Blistory Mon 17-Feb-14 20:05:52

Not too sensitive about the insult but about the perception that there is a bit of a witch hunt going on.

HollyMiamiFLA Mon 17-Feb-14 20:06:30

And if you were on a forum where your gender was used as a weapon to attack you with - I'd bet you'd be pissed off as well.

And I know that happens to women as well.

HollyMiamiFLA Mon 17-Feb-14 20:07:13

"Honestly, I promise you that you are being too sensitive"

Should I also calm down?

FloraFox Mon 17-Feb-14 20:09:51

Holly are you suggesting there is a FWR witch hunt???

And if you were on a forum where your gender was used as a weapon to attack you with - I'd bet you'd be pissed off as well.

You do realise that many of us post on FWR because of the abuse we get for talking about feminism on almost every online forum on the entire internet, right?

HollyMiamiFLA Mon 17-Feb-14 20:12:13

Welcome to the pub. I see it's your first post.

Blistory Mon 17-Feb-14 20:13:01

Gender's used as a weapon to attack me all the bloody time - you don't have a monopoly on it and the pity party is why you're getting the responses on that thread that you are.

I didn't defend the comment, I was simply reassuring you that there wasn't a concerted attack on you. It was one crass comment on that thread that the poster apologised to you for. By all means be angry about it but don't see it as transgender bigotry across the whole of MN which is what you are doing.

I obviously haven't seen all the threads, but I did see the one where someone told holly she was trolling and never posted about anything except transsexuality. It was totally out of line.

I've no idea who the poster was, it wasn't a name I recognize (not that this means much).

Can we please go back to having pints and moaning about people we can all agree to hate, if we're going to moan?

FloraFox Mon 17-Feb-14 20:15:20

Welcome to the pub. I see it's your first post.

What are you the thread police now?

FloraFox Mon 17-Feb-14 20:18:07

Sorry LRD for contributing to this negativity. I read the pub thread most days though I don't normally post. I don't think it's right to come on here and start complaining about people you don't think are reading, especially FWR regulars.


God no, I wasn't trying to police what people post. It's none of my business.

It was intended as a 'maybe we could ...' rather than 'shut up'. Realize it didn't come across that way.

FloraFox Mon 17-Feb-14 20:21:24

Sorry LRD my first one was at Holly, not you. God, this is all going downhill!

HollyMiamiFLA Mon 17-Feb-14 20:25:26

Sorry flora for implying you were part of a gang. It just seemed too much of a coincedence.

I've having a really hard personal time at the moment and that comment on the Thai thread hit me in a way that I don't think people on here can truly understand. It was horrible and hit me mentally as well at a very vulnerable time. I am desperate for surgery but have to wait. And that is really really hard. So it's more than my trans status being used as a weapon. It was an incredibly mentally difficult part of my trans status being used.

So yes - I am sensitive. Coupled with other recent attacks, it proved too much.

I didn't think your first was to me, don't worry.

I just didn't mean to come across as thread police. That's all.

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 17-Feb-14 20:35:08


I didn't see any of the threads mentioned but they all sound a bit stressful. Hope things get better for you soon holly.

I've seen Flora in the past so definitely not a first poster. smile

Did anyone see the list of things that are not ladylike? shock

I'm going to have a real drink now. A small one, but still, it's Monday night. It's probably not ladylike. In fact I'm going to have neat whisky, which apparently is not ladylike.

Ohhh ... 'unladylike' pisses me the hell off.

I was stunned that there were actually people who do still believe a woman having a pint is unladylike. Even though they'd have two halves.

FloraFox Mon 17-Feb-14 20:40:50

Holly I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. I didn't see the comment before it was deleted but I saw you repeated it in two posts. I really don't think you (or anyone) should pick fights in AIBU when you are feeling vulnerable. You and chibi apologised to each other on the other thread, I think you should leave it at that.

holly, we might not understand.

I know I don't understand what things are like for 99% of the women I interact with every day. I think that is part of what all of this is for, so we can chat and try to understand each other.

AntiJamDidi Tue 18-Feb-14 00:03:05

I don't think we can truly understand what it's like for you right now Holly, but I do think LRD is right that we can do our best to TRY to understand, in the same way I have to try to understand women posting about abusive relationships, or rape, or unwanted pregnancies, or infertility, or life changing ilnesses, or bereavement, because I haven't been in any of those situations either, and even situations I have been in I still don't truly understand what other people are going through because we all have different reactions.

Definitely stay well clear of AIBU until you are in a stronger place mentally (or forever cos it can be very bitchy in there). Stick to the pub if you like, we're generally very friendly in here, and there's nice drinks and comfy sofas.

On the subject of 'unladylike' I had a HUGE "debate" with some other teachers at school because they told a girl she was unladylike. She'd burped loudly in class and then laughed, much like the boys do. The boys generally get a bit of a look and "don't do it again" sort of thing, this girl got a huge lecture about how much worse it was for her to have bad manners because she is a girl and it is unladylike. I was SOOOOO angry with these teachers (female) for publically stating the idea that girls and boys have massively different codes of behaviour. It's bad enough that those different standards exist and we're socialised into them but for an authority figure to explicitly tell a girl that she has to have higher standards than the boys really got my rage going. I was in the minority, but I was definitely the most vocal, and most of my department (and all of the kids in my form blush) ended up agreeing with me just to shut me up.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 18-Feb-14 07:48:22

AntiJam Well done! Unladylike = nonsense.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Tue 18-Feb-14 07:58:20

Well done antijam!

Anything "ladies" do is "ladylike". Until society flogs it out of them.

Grennie Tue 18-Feb-14 09:56:28

I can't believe you are posting about thsi here Holly as well. You insulted the other poster first - twice. Then she insulted you back. If you don't want to be insulted, don't insult someone first. And she even apologised to you on the thread, and you are still posting about this everywhere!

When are you going to let this go? Because it is getting truly ridiculous now.

And women, especially feminists, are always getting insulted on the basis they are women.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 18-Feb-14 10:04:24

Antijam I've changed my mind after remembering what someone said about ladies:

Ladies = women who know their place


Unladylike = Highest Possible Complement.

thatswhatimtalkingbout Tue 18-Feb-14 11:09:26

Might out myself here, but I once told everyone that I am hoping to have on my gravestone "Seldom ungentlemanly, never ladylike"

(Of course I look back at the younger me and am deeply suspicious of the uncritical adoption of such invidiously gendered language. I know I was partly making a conscious joke about it, but I wasn't entirely without internalised misogyny, I think.)

Had a dream that we had a lovely new childminder / au pair called Fire. She was young and childless and very energetic and alt-pretty. Dp had negotiated an agreement with her that she do "after schools, half terms, and the occasional muddy holiday". I wasn't sure what the muddy holiday was going to cost but was very happy about having some back-up jollying fastidious dd1 along outdoors, especially back up from an inspringly good looking young woman. I asked dp whether she had friends called Earth and Wind and then woke up. She seemed so real. I wish it were true! But I am also depressed that my sub conscious seems to have accepted that dd1 can only be persuaded to do things if she thinks they look good (and feminine)

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 12:36:20

I've got to admit it's a bit ironic.
Feminists have told me to avoid AIBU because it's full of abuse and that highly personal insults based on gender -well what do you expect?

And then I'm being told I'm too sensitive.

I could have sworn that's what women have been told to do on Twitter and other forums. Either not post there or get accused of being too sensitive.

Hey ho.

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 12:40:49

But anyway - it's just more experience as part of my Real life experience.

Grennie Tue 18-Feb-14 12:44:44

Holly, stop trying to rewrite what happened. You insulted and swore at the other women twice before she retaliated.

Avoid AIBU if you want to be able to insult and swear at others, and for them not to retaliate.

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 12:48:26

Is there a difference between "fuck off" and a highly personal insult?

Or not?

I'm not denying I swore at her. Because she was constantly misrepresenting me.

She came back with a highly personal right to the core insult?

Or is there no difference between the 2?

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 12:50:21

Because there is no way I would ever use a gendered insult on someone. I could think of lots of highly personal gendered / racist etc insults. But I know that's totally unacceptable.

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 12:51:41

And people say fuck off etc all the time on the Internet. But gendered based insults are mainly said by men against women.

As has been said on here plenty of times. And that's wrong.

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 12:52:06

I wouldn't have minded being told to fuck off.

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 12:53:32

So that's what I fnd ironic. A feminist using the same tactics that men use on the Internet.

chibi Tue 18-Feb-14 12:54:06

how nice to discover a thread bitching about yourself. how reassuring, how welcoming, how sisterly.

how exciting to have people slag you off, and pick over why you deserved to be insulted

how refreshing to discover that an apology just means 'i am going to carry on, just where i think you won't see it'


Grennie Tue 18-Feb-14 12:54:11

You are in no position to take the moral high ground here.

And she apologised to you, but you are still complaining about it all over MN. Why?

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 12:55:52

I'm just saying how ironic it is.

And chibi I honestly don't think you understand how much that comment hurt me. It really did.

chibi Tue 18-Feb-14 12:56:30

FYI prioritising the feelings of men over the abuse of women and children is a gendered insult

fighting to ensure that men are at the center of everything, is a gendered insult

how could it possibly not be?

Grennie Tue 18-Feb-14 12:57:01

Holly, you have no idea how much your gaslighting around prostituted women upset me and others. But you frankly couldn't have given a damn.

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 12:58:52

Then why don't you get back on the thread and criticise the other posters who also agree with me and tell them how upset you are with them?

chibi Tue 18-Feb-14 12:59:40

women and children i have loved have worked in the sex trade, and some were grievously harmed. some are dead now.

your casual dismissal of their lives to split hairs over what exact number 'most' vs 'some men' did more than hurt, it enraged

you still have zero awareness of that it would seem, and the only thing you can take away is that someone was mean to you for no reason.

i regret saying what i did, i would rather have told you to go fuck yourself in any other way.

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 12:59:55

Or carry on the debate that you wanted?

Or answer some of the comments people have said without being abusive?

Grennie Tue 18-Feb-14 13:00:00

I give up. You are so focussed on yourself and your own feelings.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Tue 18-Feb-14 13:00:45

NO you were insulting their intelligence and their gendered experience. You don't have to use a specific insult to do that.

If someone jumped on to an FWR debate and said "as a bloke" he would be rounded on.

You jumped on and in several occasions said "when I was a man". You mansplained, use a penis as some kind of trump card then got incredibly angry after verbally abusing someone when they in turn insulted you.

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 13:00:54

If you RTFT, you will see quite clearly what I thought and what I said. So you can think what you want.

Grennie Tue 18-Feb-14 13:00:59

Holly, unlike you, I have not once been abusive to other posters.

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 13:02:13

Then get off this thread and give the other posters who agree with me your opinions.

chibi Tue 18-Feb-14 13:02:22

i have done. you were easily the loudest, and most dismissive.

i think also i assume that a woman would somehow know better, would empathise with other women.

you clearly identify more with the poor men who just want to rock climb and golf and are so unjustly assumed to be paying for sex. fair enough. i am not going to waste my time arguing over women's humanity and the fact that our lives matter with someone who seems incapable of seeing it

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 13:03:09

I don't agree with what you assert.

Simple as that.

Grennie Tue 18-Feb-14 13:03:45

cbibi I agree that Holly clearly identifies with the "poor men" more than the prostituted women and children. I wonder why that is?

chibi Tue 18-Feb-14 13:03:54

you are not in a position to tell people to get off threads, or post on threads or anything of the kind

holy shit your sense of self importance is incredible.

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 13:04:53

But in your world - not agreeing with you means not thinking there is a problem confused

chibi Tue 18-Feb-14 13:07:02

in my world, constantly redirecting and recentering a discussion around men as though they and their concerns are obviously paramount, and erasing women and their lives and concerns by so doing is actually kind of misogynist

plenty of people disagree with me without being misogynist

funny, eh?

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 13:08:09

Let's try this:

1 in 10 men pay for sex with a prostitute.
9 in 10 don't.

Most men don't pay for sex.
The sex industry is a massive problem

Not dismissing the sex industry. Just saying most men don't pay for sex.

But the sex industry is a problem.

It is possible to think like that..

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 13:09:09

And that is what I and others have been trying to say. But you don't seem to get that concept.

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 13:10:39

And if I started a thread saying AIBU to assume most men pay for sex?

What would happen?

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Tue 18-Feb-14 13:13:49

Holly, women are well-used to being attacked and told to fuck off -and far worse- on forums all the time - simply for having an opinion. We are quite used to being silenced. It happens over and over - and it happens because we are women. Because we are seen as uppity, or not worthy of having an opinion.

On that Thailand thread you went on the attack first by telling posters to fuck off. That attack is still there. The attack against you was deleted. You've already started you're own thread on the subject, and gone over it (and apologised/been apologised to) on the thread concerned.

Please stop bringing this into the pub - this particular thread has always felt like a safe space.

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 13:15:25

I brought one thing into the pub. No names mentioned. It was other posters who added to it so I felt I had to say something.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Tue 18-Feb-14 13:16:43

Please just stop, Holly.

HollyMiamiFLA Tue 18-Feb-14 13:16:47

Anyway - fight over. But I can understand why some people find feminism hard.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Tue 18-Feb-14 13:18:45

Tentatively proffers wine brew and cake

<smoothes cushions>

chibi Tue 18-Feb-14 13:31:26

oh indeed. when you can no longer make it be about you, or when there is no more sympathy to be had, it's 'fight over'

i know this thread is a safe space for women to chat about feminism so I'll leave it

i find it incredible that you can so blithely announce that now you know why some people find feminism hard. as though misogyny is a cakewalk.

i am not going to follow you around the boards, but be so kind as to take any issues you may have with me, up with me, rather than bitching publicly. alternatively, bitch privately.


<polishes bar rather frantically>

Free drinks for everyone?

Damn. My aim for visual perfectionism is marred by an extra bunch. Do you think if I report my post, someone from MNHQ will remove it?

BriarRainbowshimmer Tue 18-Feb-14 13:45:11

Wow, this is the first time I've seen someone trying to fight in the pub and even telling feminists to leave the thread (!). I'm sad to return to it and see that. There have been many misogynist trolls on this board but the pub has always managed to be safe.
Really bad. Don't do such a thing again if you are a poster with honest intentions.

BriarRainbowshimmer Tue 18-Feb-14 13:48:07

For women everywhere who have been attacked for simply existing and writing opinions online.

This really isn't the place to bring disagreements like this. Not to fight over them. It's the place to bring the issues for honest discussion on the understanding that posters will not be attacked.

So if you want to argue <adopts do not mess with me tone and steely glint in eye> take it outside, please.

If you don't, then do sit down and enjoy one of these lovely free drinks. Gingerbread Latte of Peace, anyone?

PenguinsEatSpinach Tue 18-Feb-14 14:00:33

I'll have a gingerbread latte. Easy on the milk.

I'm going to leave the fight alone because I wasn't on the thread and, TBH, I'm not sure much is served by diving in. I feel for anyone and everyone who has felt upset, angered, wounded or silenced.

On another topic, a while back we were talking about girls in science and how the 'official' encouragement tends to start too late. My 5 year old is very keen on science. Neither me nor DH are scientists, but both did sciences as far as A level. Anyone have any ideas for resources for encouraging her interest? She has quite a few books, and borrows them from the library, but a lot of the science-y books or toys are a bit old for her yet. I'd really love to help keep her engaged.

thatswhatimtalkingbout Tue 18-Feb-14 14:01:49

Thanks Buffy, I'll have one.

All pubs, however nice, get the odd weird moment. It's the regulars who can decide how to manage that and retain the nice atmosphere.

(I am a regular, by the way, a name changer)

My usual modus operandi is to rather pointedly pretend it isn't happening and carry on as normal. Does anyone feel remotely envious of my imaginary au pair called Fire?

PenguinsEatSpinach Tue 18-Feb-14 14:08:24

She certainly sounds better than Earth or Wind!

ReadyToPopAndFresh Tue 18-Feb-14 14:16:14
ReadyToPopAndFresh Tue 18-Feb-14 14:20:45

Penguins are you on facebook? Have you added

They're very good and often point to games/books/camps that encourage stem.

Does dd like doing experiments there are loads of safe science experiments she can do it at home.

First google brought up this for ideas, but I suspect pinterest would be good resource too.

ReadyToPopAndFresh Tue 18-Feb-14 14:21:02

Penguins are you on facebook? Have you added

They're very good and often point to games/books/camps that encourage stem.

Does dd like doing experiments there are loads of safe science experiments she can do it at home.

First google brought up this for ideas, but I suspect pinterest would be good resource too.

BriarRainbowshimmer Tue 18-Feb-14 14:26:03

I really need some digital wine right now. Can't drink IRL because of an illness and it's pretty serious actually. It's shit. Today is yet another day when I've visited a doctor and felt like I'm not being taken completely seriously because I'm just a silly sensitive woman.

PenguinsEatSpinach Tue 18-Feb-14 14:28:46

Thanks Ready

Briar - I can't have (much) real wine either, but I shall join you. How infuriating not to be taken seriously with something so serious. Can you escalate it?

thatswhatimtalkingbout Tue 18-Feb-14 14:39:27

Sorry to hear you are ill Brian. and that it is serious. And that you are being dismissed! want to talk about it? Or rant about it?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 18-Feb-14 14:47:52

Sorry Briar sad

I have some cool science books at home, let me check the titles. And I did ask Nickelbabe on Science and Nature club once... Will post again later!

BriarRainbowshimmer Tue 18-Feb-14 14:59:17

Thanks you. I am not being completely dismissed, thank goodness! But it's attitude of the doctors, esp the male ones, that bothers me. I'm getting treatment and so on but it feels like you have to be especially alert and stand up for yourself and point out how serious things are when you're female and ill. I've female friends and relatives who have similar experiences. One was completely dismissed...she almost died.

BriarRainbowshimmer Tue 18-Feb-14 15:00:20

*Thank you!

CaptChaos Tue 18-Feb-14 19:58:48

I got my DNiece an electronics set from Cambridge(?) brand. She really loves it. There seemed to be sets aimed at slightly younger children, to grow with them so to speak. There are also heaps of horrible science kits which, even if aimed for slightly older children, if you did them with her, and explained the more difficult concepts to her, she'd probably love them.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 18-Feb-14 22:17:58

We also bought an electronic set from Maplin, but it's rather complicated so may not be suitable for 5yos....

Sorry to hear that, briar. Awful what you describe, too. sad It sounds shit.

AntiJamDidi Wed 19-Feb-14 07:33:14

That does sound awful briar. When you are ill the last thing you need is to feel dismissed. I hope you get better soon and the doctors treat you more compassionately.

When dd1 was little she LOVED science too. We did loads of the simplest experiments and talked about proper scientific concepts rather than explaining things away by magic that so many people do. She's now 14, is top of the year in science <not so stealth boast> and she's seriously considering a career in science. She seems to think the only decision left to make is what branch of science she wants to go into. I don't remember her ever doubting the existence of female scientists, but then again I don't remember her ever doubting the existence of dragons and unicorns either so it could be that they were filed under the same "imaginary creatures" box in her head.

legoplayingmumsunite Wed 19-Feb-14 20:27:49

Lots of science options at 5. DH and I are both scientists so have rather pushed the STEM agenda at home!

Does she watch Nina and the Neurons? My girls (6 & 4) love it and I like that it has a female scientist presenting. It presents simple concepts really well. DD1 managed to teach DH something about planetary science (he's got a PhD in astrophysics). If she's into nature then Andy's Wild Adventures or Deadly 60 are good options.

The Wildlife Trust has a good website, you can sign up and get sent an email newsletter every 3 months or so with some good activities.
Science at Home is one of the better science blogs I've found with lots of good ideas for science experiments to do with kids. Science Sparks is pretty good as well.

DK Eye Know and Usborne Beginners ranges are fab for this age, the language is great for early readers. The Usborne 'See Inside' books and the Nature Cards are also fab. We've also got some RSPB 'First Book of ...', different nature reference books that are very well designed, again with good language for early readers. We've also got some books about female scientists, The Watcher by Jeanette Winter about Jane Goodall is particularly gorgeous and there are a few options if you want a book about Mary Anning. Annoyingly these kind of autobiographies are much easier to find in the States than the UK.

We've got some of the Learning Resources Primary Science Kits and they are fab, they have some really well made science kit and a set of 10 cards with experiments on them, not the cheapest option though. Do you have any science museums or zoos or nature parks/reserves nearby? Those kind of places usually have lots of good activities for young kids AND shops with lots of science toys.

PenguinsEatSpinach Wed 19-Feb-14 20:34:48

Thank you everyone. Am away and on my phone but will have a proper read and digest when I am back on wifismile

ReadyToPopAndFresh Wed 19-Feb-14 20:41:05

your daughter might like this.. my nana bought me this when I was young

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 19-Feb-14 21:45:31

I found this brilliant girls clothes maker through ltbt the other day - sewing circus they make stem themed dresses and skirts etc. DD1 (4) wants her and baby DD2 to get matching dinosaur dresses!

Lately dd1 has been very down on girls. That girls can't/don't certain things. She asked me to take her pirate and knight costumes out of her dressing up box.

I'm gutted.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 19-Feb-14 21:50:48

Briar - I hope you are able to get what you need and health improves.

I've had experience if my pain being dismissed because I was female. I was nearly released from hospital with severe appendicitis because I was also on my period, and the 3rd of 4 male drs who checked my f2f thought period pain was more likely (wtf) thankfully I was still in the hospital when my appendix burst.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 20-Feb-14 00:08:16

TeWi sad

ReadyToPopAndFresh Thu 20-Feb-14 08:35:17

Those clothes are brilliant! too expensive for me sad but so cool.

Tiwi, my dd says she is a boy, I think that's how she gets around doing what ever she wants and not "girl" things angry I don't know where they learn this shit.

ReadyToPopAndFresh Thu 20-Feb-14 08:39:27

oh god there's a totoro dress. And a spaceship and planets one. I'm going to have to have to do it aren't i?

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 20-Feb-14 08:50:04

I know! I love them.

After all the girls don't do x rubbish lately I am going to save up and get her some. She is very visual at the moment so combination of dress and stem might be a winner.

Oh, this is so unfair. envy

All my friends have boys. The only girl in my circle is my niece, and my mum makes her shedloads of clothes so I reckon SIL would drown in fabric if I bought her any more.

Btw, can I ask a really non-feministy question? I like buying things for people's babies, and I offered to buy some stuff for my cousin before Christmas as she'd put on her facebook page what size their baby takes (because people were asking). I don't know her that well so I admit I ended up asking her if I could buy something then going to the shop and not being sure what she would like.

If someone bought you clothes from somewhere reasonably mainstream, so you could return them easily, would it bug you if they chose stuff you hated/that didn't fit?

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 20-Feb-14 09:07:58

I don't mind at all.

When they are babies there is quite often some things that never get worn, but might have done if the weather was different etc. I normally just pass them on to someone else when they get grown out of. Occasionally we've taken stuff back and swapped for a different size/something we're short on.

Mind you I love baby clothes, and I'm never offended by gifts!

Soft comfortable things are generally a good bet. Sleepsuits and vests with pretty designs, leggings and jumpers.

If in doubt LRD go for the next size up. You end up with so many things in the size the baby is now and they grow very fast! And yes to funky babygros or all in one cotton suits. Comfy for the baby!

Thanks! Good to know.

PenguinsEatSpinach Thu 20-Feb-14 09:31:42

But if you size up, allow for season! With DD1 we were given loads of summer clothes in sizes likely to fit mid winter! People just bought summer stuff cos that was what was in the shops, but sized up.confused

ReadyToPopAndFresh Thu 20-Feb-14 09:34:34

No not offended at all. And if you want to avoid what penguinn said, get things that are mainly worn inside. Underclothing and pajamas that sort of thing where the season doesn't matter too much. Baby grows are a safe bet all year, they get worn under clothes in the winter and as clothes in the summer

PenguinsEatSpinach Thu 20-Feb-14 09:36:11

We also layered short sleeved t shirts over long sleeved vests a lot, if that helps.

Thanks! smile

thatswhatimtalkingbout Thu 20-Feb-14 13:00:21

More on that film. This comes from "I blame the patriarchy". Sorry if this is bad form but I want to copy and paste the whole goddamn thing.


Rape culture: marriage’s evil(er) twin
2 I Blame The Patriarchy by Twisty / 17h // keep unread // hide // preview
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The other day I posted a YouTube link to a short film wherein a hapless dude gets a beatdown in a “matriarchal” society. It was a sort of regenderization of a sexual assault set in a bizarro-world where women are the aggressors. I interpreted the tone of the director as something like, “OK, dudes, now do you see how it feels to live in a rape culture?”

Blamer Serial Cereal commented:

Can’t y the x, Twist. Can’t penguin a giraffe. Bad math. Otherwise, nice. Makes me want to throw together a crack team handycam indie short.

Along with an admirable disregard for the convention of subjects in sentences, Serial Cereal raises an excellent point that I failed to articulate in my original post. You can’t simply reverse the roles, or “Y the X”, because there is not a one-to-one, apples-to-apples correspondence between the actors in the primary reference dudes-vs-dudessess scenario. Dudesses and dudes are, in our culture, more like apples and roundworms.

Today’s thesis, brought to you by Captain Obvious, is this: rape culture, not unlike marriage culture, is a pretty heavily gendered culture.

I know, a-doi, right? Well, I was skimming through this scholarly article, Gender and the Culture of Heterosexual Marriage by Karyn Loscocco and Susan Walzer, when my lobe farted out the idea that the dynamic the authors describe, that of detrimental imbalances that obtain in het marriage as a result of internalized gender differentiation, is precisely the same dynamic that produces rape culture.

I am aware that this lobe fart appears to more or less equate marriage and rapiage. Without getting into a whole big thang with you happily married ladies, I’ll just say this for now: of course they’re not the same, but marriage and rape culture are both points on the same continuum of patriarchal oppression. As cultural institutions go, they are of equally ginormous prominence, with marriage as the conspicuously “official” narrative of blessed motherhood and human harmony, and rape culture the furtive, prurient, underground counter-narrative of violent peen-power. They’re equally reinforced by the same patriarchal mores that disproportionately privilege dudes and damage women, having evolved out of the same primordial gender-predicated social soup. They’re two sides of the same coin, where the coin is a wooden nickel.

Here’s a pithy little paragraph from the article:

Societies go to great lengths to create gender distinctions that yield inequality, and then use the differences they have created to explain the inequality (Lorber, 1995). Major articulations of gender construction theory emphasize the pivotal role that defining women and men as opposites plays in the reproduction of women as ‘‘less than’’ men (Connell, 1995; Risman, 1998, 2004; West & Zimmerman, 1987).[p.3]

This contingency not only forms the substrate for marital discord, it’s the whole Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women in a douche bag, i.e., the key concept what permits rapers to glorify, celebrate, and commit rape.

Gender — by which I mean the construct of gender difference (and the concomitant oppression to which it inexorably leads) — is so deeply embedded, so heavily reinforced, and so seamlessly integrated in every aspect of human social structure — from the personal to the interpersonal to the institutional* — that it essentially operates invisibly, and congratulations if you made it through this sentence alive.

What this means is that, nice effort though the film is, you probably noticed there’s something about it that just doesn’t compute. Our gendered brains cannot suspend their disbelief. As viewers, we can’t help but approach the film as members of, and indeed participants (albeit unwilling ones) in, the Patriarchal Matrix: a gender-differentiated, misogynist culture. As in, our only reference point is a culture that is based on grossly exaggerated and artificial gender norms, which norms are internalized to the extent that they not only feel normal, but inevitable.

Thus, even though we grasp the director’s intent, the film’s shirtless female jogger reads, not as “free-wheelin’ member of the master class,” but as “tople$$” or perhaps “degraded”; we can’t buy that she’s not stimulating every dude’s ogle gland. The dude character seems extra pathetic because the mean women around him have so unjustly usurped his position as oppressor. You really can’t Y the X. The concepts don’t translate between the genders.

That’s why regenderization isn’t, to my mind, as useful a persuade-the-oppressor tool as it is an illuminate-the-oppressed tool. As I’ve maintained all along, feminism isn’t so much about using clever arguments to persuade recalcitrant dudes to view women as human. It’s about fomenting a revolution that liberates us from male oppression, screw those dudes’ fucking irrelevant opinions concerning our humanity.

As for marriage culture, I leave you with another pithy quotation from the article:

‘Every woman I know is mad at her husband, just mad mad mad at everything. Every time I bring it up to a woman like me she just goes bananas’ [p.4]


TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 20-Feb-14 13:16:11

Same happened to me Penguins so I returned the m and s items (receipt attached)!

thatswhatimtalkingbout Thu 20-Feb-14 13:36:27

Mary Beard on the "miss Triggs question"

ReadyToPopAndFresh Thu 20-Feb-14 14:38:19

You know how if a man does something wrong/stupid.. that man did something wrong or stupid? But when a woman does something wrong/stupid...women are wrong and stupid?

Do you think that follows with female dominated professions?

Thread on at the moment about how health visitors are all basically illiterate idiots who can't even follow current guidelines.

Health visitors are nurses or midwives who then go on to train further. Yes, occasionally one will give you bad or outdated advice (although mine have all been great and totally accurate). I have had bad advice however from GPs/surgeons/ nurses/ But I don't assume they are all idiots. Just that particular HCP got it wrong and that in general HCP are people who did very difficult degrees and who generally know what they are talking about

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 20-Feb-14 16:15:48

"Do you think that follows with female dominated professions?"

I worry about that. But I can't wait for more women in rocket science and brain surgery. Then we'll see. grin

I have no experience of health visitors. But I think it holds true in other female-dominated professions - in countries where the gender split in professions is different, I believe the stereotypes about the profession differ too. Engineering is very male-dominated over here (though less so than it was), and in Russia it's less unusual to be a woman engineer. Over here I'd say engineering is seen as sciency and intelligent and so on, whereas I hear Russians talking about it as a more creative discipline requiring good interpersonnel skills.

Anecdata, but ...

ReadyToPopAndFresh Thu 20-Feb-14 16:36:36

I'm doing my best Lordcopper but I've got another couple of decades of priming dd before she's quite ready to go work for NASA... still think TIWI's dress will help somehow though!

Very interesting anecdata though LRD grin I'm really surprised by the idea of engineering being seen as a creative type job where you need any good interpersonal skills!

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 20-Feb-14 16:41:19

In why so slow there is a story about how the job of a bank teller somewhere in the US flips from being "masculine" and "feminine" depending on what workforce was available when. Can dig it out if anyone is interested.

Gah, realized (depressingly) my post implies I think that engineering is female dominated. I don't! shock

ready - yeah, I wouldn't know really. My dad and MIL were both trained as engineers. Dad does need interpersonnel skills far more than he actually has, but that's not saying much! grin

Midwifery would be an interesting one to look at. There's the bits in Tristram Shandy (which is like, almost fact, honest ...) where the man-midwife is essentially presented as a batty professor.

DoctorTwo Thu 20-Feb-14 17:53:49

My DD1 wants to study maths and physics at A level. The head of department asked her if she knew how 'academic' it was. She put him in his place to such an extent that the female tutor had to disguise her snort as a minor choking fit.

I quite like this site and point out that one of the largest science pages on the Facebooks, IFLS, is run by a woman. She does everything, all admin, all dropping of banhammers, finding interesting stuff etc, and she has about 4million people who follow her page.

I try to encourage my DCs to do what they want, and when they finally figure out what that is work out what it is that's stopping them doing it and overcome any obstacles.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 20-Feb-14 18:20:30

Dh is an engineer. If they had better interpersonal skills something, anything might get completed on time. I do actually think it's a very creative job and I think that problem solving excitement could be pushed a bit more with stem recruiting.

If you want some more anecdata people watching at his graduation, I noticed that engineering seemed to be a relatively popular choice for black women. My degree (philosophy) is quite 50/50, but very white by comparison.

I think maybe lots of jobs really have all of these elements? I mean, I'm sure my dad works with men who are actually very good at interpersonnel stuff (they'd bloody have to be to put up with him). And I know, because I worked for his colleague briefly, that he himself is actually very good at multitasking organization, which is traditionally 'feminine'.

I'm in a very white discipline too. And I've often been told that men and women who're conspicuously non-white get their colleagues (or teachers at the early stage) just assuming they will be interested only in a narrow area. I say 'conspicuously non-white' because it's interesting - I know someone who changed her name when she got married so she now has a conspicuously Middle-Eastern name, and I notice how people make assumptions about what she would want to do based on that, which are very different from the assumptions people make if they're introduced to her in real life, where she's a white woman saying 'hi I'm Jane' (not her real name, but her real name is equally anglophone).

I really want to talk about the intersection of race and gender, and to learn more about it, but I'm on the edge of outing myself. Gah.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 20-Feb-14 19:42:46

It's an interesting topic!

I have 2nd gen/mixed friends who have anglicised their names.

I am opposite end, am 1st gen immigrant but from a white English speaking area with a very English name.

Re jobs - absolutely. It's more male and female jobs madness really, the maths side is overplayed which puts off those who feel they aren't good at maths.

From school (all girls) of those who did sciences and maths at a level, almost everyone went into academics/research or medical careers.

I wasn't given the options I needed for architecture because everyone else was heading down the medical route.

legoplayingmumsunite Thu 20-Feb-14 20:15:35

We have a funny view of engineering in this country though, I think if England didn't split people into STEM or Humanities at 16 there would be a greater cultural understanding of the creativity and multitasking and interpersonal skills required in STEM professions.

It was in either Delusions of Gender or Pink Brain Blue Brain that countries where there was less emphasis on 'having a career that is your passion' and more on 'doing a job that provides for your family' actually have more girls (and people generally) studying STEM subjects because they lead to well paid careers. Whereas in Anglophone countries there is more gender segregation by subject because you have to fight all cultural prejudice to say 'actually I'm a girl and I like science'.

My impression (from University 20 years ago!) is that the Humanities are very middle class whereas STEM subjects tend to be more socially and ethnically mixed. I think it was Paul Nurse who said that for him as a working class child the sciences were more accessible than the humanities because there wasn't an immediate advantage for the middle class children who has spent years going to art galleries, theatres and museums. In Science you just have to be bright to do well.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 20-Feb-14 20:51:32

I didn't know that. Is there a difference in job satisfaction between those types of countries or not?

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 20-Feb-14 21:14:14

I do wonder how many other women there are like me who were all rounders, but lost confidence and did a humanities degree instead of the stem one we really wanted.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 20-Feb-14 21:50:20

Getting in there is one thing. Staying in there and progressing is another. STEM has phenomenal drop-out rates for women ...Eg in academia maths has roughly 50/50 at undergrad level but has about 6% women professors. "It's because women are less ambitious". << faints >>

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 20-Feb-14 21:55:01

That reminds me of this attempt to make more women professors I felt kind of uncomfortable reading it but not sure why - what do you guys think?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Thu 20-Feb-14 22:03:10

Interestimg, Lego. I made quite a logical decision at 16 that STEM a levels would leave more doors open than the alternative, so that's what I did.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 20-Feb-14 22:16:16

TeWi - that's a report about the letter but not the letter. I went to a lecture Athene Donald gave the other day and she mentioned it. I would like to read the letter first. I can probably do that on Monday and report back unless someone has got it.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 20-Feb-14 22:26:34

The letter.

Another report.

Going to bed now. Will read properly tomorrow.

UptoapointLordCopper Thu 20-Feb-14 22:28:52

Noooo! You can't read it!

I found it through the website. Maybe you can do it first time round only ...

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 20-Feb-14 22:38:39

Will look tomorrow in case I only get one chance!

legoplayingmumsunite Fri 21-Feb-14 07:42:32

My feeling is that a lot of the focus on the attrition of women in STEM is very focused on academia. Academia has some systemic issues that disproportionately hit women. The short term contracts and expectation that you will move institutions regularly in the early part of your career make it very hard for 'the trailing partner'. Academia is a race to the top and maternity leave puts women at a disadvantage (the most successful female of my Oxford peers didn't have children until her 40s by which point she had a permanent contract).

That is not true in all STEM professions. My experience in Pharmaceuticals is that the industry is generally very female friendly with good maternity pay and flexible working. It's not an industry that expects silly hours so is possible to still appear fully committed after having children. In my own company there are several female Heads of Department, and not just in 'female' areas. Lower down about 50% of the managers that most people deal with are female, and there's not a lot of people leaving post children.

My impression of STEM jobs like engineering, accountancy, actuarial work, and jobs in the chemical industry are that they all have the relative job security and good terms and conditions that make them family friendly.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 21-Feb-14 09:58:51

"Academia is a race to the top". I keep wondering why that should be. I'm in academia because I like research and I don't mind teaching (much) and I will guide a student as much as I am able to. I dislike admin stuff but will do it at a push. As long as I get to do interesting research I'm pretty happy. But that seems to mean I will stay at the bottom. What is the purpose of academia? I think that letter questions some of this.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 21-Feb-14 09:59:19

TeWi Apparently first 5 articles for free.

Hmm. I'm not a STEM academic by any stretch and it's starting to feel as though we are being erased from debates like this yet we still have the macho targets culture in my subject. All this 'women value other skills' business sails very close to the 'women are just happier doing domestic tasks' patronage that irks so much in other areas of life.

Yep folks, female academics prefer to be less successful by conventional measures because they value a wider range of skills. Oh, wait...

For me, it makes more sense to ask:

1. Is this culture where we value grant income and prestigious publications to the exclusion of all else leading to good research?

2. If it is, why are women excluded from participating on equal terms (we know, I know!) and what can be done to level the playing field?

3. If it isn't leading to good research, merely good research by one male centric judgement of good, then what should we be doing instead?

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 21-Feb-14 10:18:40

I'm not an academic of any kind, but it does look a bit like they are saying - women take on more responsibility sideways (pushed? Because they can't get the things they need to go up?) and those should be other routes to prof.

It's the way it's phrased that annoys me. Making out that women choose to do x, even though they know that other factors severely limit the choice.

Instead of owning up and saying it's harder for women because of y factors, some of which we can't control (like research funding and contract lengths) so we want to recognise other areas of development to balance it out.

thatswhatimtalkingbout Fri 21-Feb-14 10:29:59

I don't know anything about academia from the inside, but I feel that in work in general, ambitious people who want to do great things, have to, by sheer pressure of personal resources, get to a point in their career where they are able to start saying no to trivial things, and things that support other people's objectives. It is very hard for women to do this as they are perceived as uncooperative or lazy when they do so.

When I was little I had a Richard Scarry book about "Pig Will" and "Pig Won't". Pig Will was the good guy who leapt up saying, "I will!" whenever his mother asked "who will help me with such and such?" Pig Won't was the bad guy.

In my head I have constant battles about the benefits and penalties of "Pig Will Syndrome". To get anywhere in a competitive field (media) you have to start by being Pig Will all over the place, left right and centre.
There comes a point where you have to be "Pig Not My Turn" or "Pig How Can I Service Your Business Needs And Have Something Impressive Against My Own Name?". It can be hard to be those pigs and not be seen as "Pig Won't" or "Pig We Don't Need Around Here Now The Recession Is Biting" etc - if you are a woman.

Far Far easier than being either of these pigs is "Pig Nobody Asks Me To Do Their Shit Because I Have The Physical Profile Of Someone Important" (ie a man)

It's a hard transition mentally as well. I recently sat in quite a big meeting (as in size, not importance) and, looking around, realised I was the second most senior person there. That was quite a shock actually. You get used to being the enthusiastic junior and it's hard to break out of that pattern sometimes smile

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 21-Feb-14 10:47:36

I'm uncomfortable with "women valuing a wide range of skills" too. I think it would be more productive to question fundamentally what all this "progression" mean.

thatswhatimtalkingbout Fri 21-Feb-14 10:55:15

I guess to put it really simply without talking about pigs, the thing I always want to say on these threads is to challenge the supposedly gender neutral advice to "be assertive" cos no one likes assertive women and they get sidelined. Just like non-assertive people.

"valuing a wider range of skills" = "doing the shit that no one else wants to do out of justified insecurity about being wanted around the place"

all this relates a lot to the Mary Bead thing I posted a link to yesterday. Which also relates to another thread on here where a poster is being advised to lower her voice like Margaret Thatcher

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 21-Feb-14 10:56:31

I like the PIgs. smile

I feel pretty certain that the reason women don't reach the top of so many areas in life in an equal portion to men is emphatically not because they don't want to or they aren't good enough, it's because the deck is stacked against them.

And by exhorting the existing system to somehow change it's entire value system so as to appreciate and reward what may either be coping strategies or an acceptance of lesser opportunities by many women, is that really to women's benefit?

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 21-Feb-14 11:13:21

I wonder if there will just be more competition for those roles if it is seen as an 'easier' route to prof.

There shouldn't be an 'easier' route to prof. It should be hard to become one, you should have made a significant contribution to the academe in some way.

What there should not be is one route to prof that relies significantly on behaviours that are a) very hard for women to enact given the structure of our society and b) women are subtly (or otherwise) penalised for enacting. In other words, there shouldn't be one road that we know is systematically harder for women to travel.

Social censure for staying single and pursuing career? Censure for deciding not to have kids, have them late or use childcare? Different (and negative) perceptions of assertive, career focused women? These things are barriers to women within the current criteria for attaining profship.

Sad thing is, if they adopt what is being suggested in this letter, then I fear it most likely will be seen as an easier route, a sop for less clever and competitive women people.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 21-Feb-14 11:37:18

Sad thing is, if they adopt what is being suggested in this letter, then I fear it most likely will be seen as an easier route, a sop for less clever and competitive women people.

Yup. I think that is true.

My read on the 2nd article from Athene Donald seemed quite dismissive if the idea that universities as individual institutions could do anything about research/publishing barriers women face, and it seems a bit defeatist to say "this is the main issue, but we can't do anything about it so we're not going to be very vocal about it either".

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 21-Feb-14 11:44:43

Also, going back to earlier - what is the point of academia?

Surely the point of a good publishing record is to prove that you are coming up with New ideas and communicating them well. A good/advanced teaching record ought to prove that too.

Well the thing about publication (certainly in my area anyway) is that it fetishises novelty. Newness is what gets published, not replication or anything perceived as old ideas. It has to be novel in some way, or it doesn't usually perform well against the criterion of 'contributing to knowledge'

Teaching, on the other hand, doesn't generate new knowledge, it passes on knowledge (and other things, one hopes, like critical thinking etc). So it isn't valued like publishing is.

Though the famous impact agenda is, I believe, designed to address this tendency for academics to essentially write complex letters to small numbers of their peers by way of subscription based journals. As is the notion of open access publishing, but…

In my experience so far, these have made little difference to the nuts and bolts. Just a bit more box ticking.

So really, to get academia to change, I reckon we'd need to redefine what a contribution to knowledge is. And the obvious point of caution is whether it's a good idea to do so.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 21-Feb-14 13:55:40

I'm bored. Trying to do the dull parts of the job while kids are on half term. I've answered too many emails from postgrads, and now trying to review a paper. Bored bored bored. Going to kwikfit later to get new tyres. Will that be exciting?

Also on academic progression - despite being a woman I don't value a wide range of experience. ALL I ever want to do is do some research. Which I do quite well. smile But I am rubbish at getting grant money ... sad But I'm quite good at teaching. smile And I bake quite good cakes - I value a wide range of cakes. grin

I've got a tension headache. Which might be explained by my trying to write a position paper whilst hosting a revolving selection of children. Just bid farewell to one, awaiting the arrival of the next before dragging all to drop dd at a birthday party, before welcoming yet another and delivering said three boys (you've kept up, yes?) to football practice, before hosting one for a sleepover, before collecting dd from her party and dropping her off for a sleepover elsewhere...

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 21-Feb-14 14:51:30

Flipping children, running and and out of the house, letting cold air in. I'm frozen. I'm going out.

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 21-Feb-14 16:02:07

For some reason we are sitting in a cafe now...

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 21-Feb-14 16:06:44

grin I'm in bed. Had the crappest half term, everyone ill, think it's my turn. Blurgh.

If I was an academic I think the undergrads would drive me crazy! Working with the postgraduates sounds more interesting and New Idea making.

I lurve undergrads! I can't explain it really. Just really enjoy them.

That sounds creepy, I don't mean in a creepy way. I just like them as people, you understand.

<shuffles feet, adjusts beige mac>

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 21-Feb-14 16:44:00

Buffy, is there an athene Donald equivalent in humanities?

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 21-Feb-14 17:17:56

Finally home.

I have some very nice undergraduates and some meh ones. Same with postgraduates. There are some who make you think that you will never supervise another student ever again, but they are rare. I fucking hope.

They are doing a gender equality mark for arts and humanities, last time we heard.

I heard that there was going to be a sort of generalised Athena Swan equivalent across the whole sector. Not heard much recently though. If there is an Athene Donald in the humanities, they are doing an extremely poor job of promoting their work. I guess we have Mary Beard, who I think is great, but she isn't specifically working on female representation in academia. Perhaps because she's also at Cambridge and so AD's already got the job?

UptoapointLordCopper Fri 21-Feb-14 17:55:47

I think from the last two pieces of publicity (MB on women's voice and AD on women professors) I agree more with MB ...

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 21-Feb-14 18:29:56

To be honest I'd just he a crap teacher, I don't find it appealing. I wouldn't mind working with groups with good discussion, but from when I was an undergrad there were only ever a few of us confident enough to say anything, and sometimes we talked some right bollocks.

legoplayingmumsunite Fri 21-Feb-14 20:05:57

I feel slightly sick, I've watched too much TV today. DS spent the night and morning vomiting so I've had the day off work (DH is at his parents with the DDs for half term) and all he has wanted to do this afternoon is sleep on me. Which is lovely since the first half of the day was spent washing vomit splattered sheets and clothes. But much as I love 'The Good Wife' I can't watch episode after episode. I'd be a shit SAHM if one easy day does for me. And DH doesn't come back until Sunday, I may go slightly mad tomorrow since I can't expose any of my friends kids to this bug. Argh!!!

I love undergrads too. smile

I've just got back from teaching (nine hours commuting for two hours teaching so I'd better love it!). It's really fun and it feels like a privilege (if that doesn't sound bizarre). The thing is even when they're not getting it quite right or they're nervous to speak up, it is amazing watching them starting to get something new.

I felt bad for them today though, because they completely nailed the material in terms of asking all the right questions about limitations of the scholarship - but some of them obviously really hated that the scholarship wasn't giving them neat answers to those questions. I kept saying it was great but a couple of them (and I did notice it was the women not the men) obviously equated asking a difficult question with failure, not success. sad

On the positive side, I got to mention twice as many women as men in a course on pre-modern literature, and none of them commented on it! I felt really good about that, because either they took it as normal to be talking a lot about women, or they didn't notice - either of those is so much better than 'how come there are so many women, this isn't a women's studies class!'

Btw, re women professors, my old supervisor (who was a professor) told me that back in the day, Oxford was getting concerned about its lack of female dons, so they decided they'd like to create some new professorships to be filled by women. Only they didn't have much spare cash, so they suggested women could have the title but might be happy with cash below the market rate. hmm

I would love to know if it was as brazen as she makes out, because if it was it's a shocker.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 21-Feb-14 22:50:05

grin good day then.

Sorry you're feeling rubbish lego, we've had vomming bug this half tterm, luckily(!) dh had booked holiday already so we shared it out. But yes. Sahp. Very very dull sometimes.

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 21-Feb-14 22:51:18

Xpost, wtf?!

TeWiSavesTheDay Fri 21-Feb-14 22:55:24

I can absolutely imagine that meeting sadly.

Me too.

Still, let's hope things have changed, eh?

rosabud Sat 22-Feb-14 07:46:54

I have a question. I am asking it in the pub because a) I want genuine musings on the possible answer rather a 'prostitution is OK versus it is not' response and b) the brothels thread is going well and I don't want to derail it. My question is:

Ever since biblical times, societies seem to have regarded prostitution as 'wrong' - either making it illegal or women who provided the service shunned etc etc. Lately, our modern world seems to want to debate making it OK (largely by legalising it) on the basis of consenting adults are OK/it would be safer for the prostitutes/other ill considered notions. The modern argument dos not seem to touch on whether it is morally right, it is assumed that we do not impose our morals on each other in a modern society, I suppose. BUT, all those other societies in the past - why did they think it was wrong then? Was it just because they thought it was 'immoral' and we have a different moral compass today? And is that a good or a bad thing?

I have rambled. Sorry. Perhaps I am wondering whether I am stll allowed to argue the immorality of it in this day and age without seeming like a right-wing religous fanaticist. (Which, I'm not, by the way.)

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 22-Feb-14 08:29:35

That is a very interesting question.

Certainly in The past moral rights and wrongs were linked to God, which allowed for absolutes without justification.

As 'God told me so' became less of a valid answer most moral systems lean towards upholding individual rights to do what they want as long as they don't effect others rights (and that's where you start getting the variation between systems - right to happy/to do what they want etc)

I'm an existential girl personally. Without God how we treat each other is the most important thing. And that allows for moral absolutism about not letting others be abused even with their consent.

Not a popular position these days though. Individual freedom has been popular for quite a while.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 22-Feb-14 08:33:22

<takes off slightly rusty philosophers hat>

WhentheRed Sat 22-Feb-14 08:34:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 22-Feb-14 10:15:30

Rosa, I think so much "morality" was to do with being able to follow the inheritance line for any children. So frowning on prostitution as wrong was less about the moral harm involved on both sides in buying consent and more about the general prohibition on sexual relations outside marriage to ensure parentage. After all, the same "morality" was just dandy with non-consensual sex within marriage.

But now the link between sex and children is more or less removable, any morality round sex hinges on consent. Some people view buying consent as morally similar to buying another personal service like a massage or like a personal care assistant. Others view it as morally closer to buying a blood donation or buying surrogacy.

I'm on really shaky ground here because the sources aren't good and my understanding of them is basic (really helping here, aren't I?!). But in the epic of Gilgamesh, it seems that prostitution isn't portrayed as morally wrong, and I think bits of Greece didn't act as if it was. I think there were certainly past societies whose stance was pretty like ours - there were lots of people saying 'well, prostitution is inevitable really, but not my daughter'.

I do think it is a different debate with available contraception. I know that in practice, women don't necessarily get a choice about this, but in theory, prostitution needn't result in pregnancies or STDs. So I think for some people, that shifts the morality of it, too.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 22-Feb-14 12:11:46

In ancient Greece young men/boys were often paired off with older men for sexual relationships (pederastry) there were advantages to the boys so I think you could argue that it was a kind of coercive accepted prostitution.

I don't know much about historic prostitution of women.

linerunner might know, I think, or tunip.

There were semi-organized brothels in late medieval/early Modern London. Not, I guess, that different from the mega-brothel being suggested.

I am a bit sceptical of the terms of the debate TBH. I think we're being told that concern for prostitutes' living conditions and safety is a totally new thing so that we'll all sigh happily and agree. I would be interested to know how far this concern will in practice extend. Because if it ends up being quite limited, it will be precisely the same as previous eras.

thatswhatimtalkingbout Sat 22-Feb-14 16:41:23

I know patriarchal religion has got a lot to answer for and I think that the way in which sexual mores have been articulated and policed has often been about protecting men's interests in "their" women. In those terms, prostitutes are threatening because they don't belong to one man by marriage; and low status, because they haven't "snagged" a husband.

but..... but but but.... I have a rather old fashioned sense that at the heart of this judeo christian circumspection about sex there is not just all that bollocks, but if you look and if you think (harder than most do who talk about those religions, or are heard to talk about them) you can find something that is about the sacredness of the person, and sex being precious and dangerous and sacred too. I would probably be seen as a terrible old prude for saying this but it seems to be a wiser way to treat people and to express sexual feelings to match it up with love. Especially if / when sex could make babies, far safer and better to love their father than not. I think you can see a basic respect for sex and for people that is violated by prostitution in those terms. I know we don't want to think of women as fragile weak creatures (and they are not) and I know that much of the helping-the-ladies manners that were traditional were part of the racket of not letting ladies help themselves. but in a deep way to do with the physical dangers of childbirth women are at greater risk from sex and sexual codes can, if you look at them a certain way, be seen to be about protecting women by restraining sexual activity to contexts in which they can be cherished and protected and looked after in case of pregnancy. that this then becomes a cataclysm and outrage against the vile creature that is The Fallen Woman is just a classic example of poeple's inevitable propensity to elide subtleties and fuck things up and be mean and judgey for no good reason.

People say "it is no different from hiring someone to do x" and I profoundly disagree because I think sex is a different category of activity from anything else, in an intimate and holy way, and I am sad that young people probably do not think this, and I think we are letting them down for not letting them become aware of this in their own time in their own way, and I think it damages people potentially. Maybe not all people. Maybe there are people who can be unscathed. But I know I could not be one and it makes sense to me that there may well be others like me who will never have a chance to be as circumspect about sex as they should be to take care of themselves.

UptoapointLordCopper Sat 22-Feb-14 19:43:54

<< sidestepping questions about prostitution - ignorant but reading >>

DC has been reading Asterix and the Secret Weapon, where a feminist came to the village. DS1 said how scary the woman was, and I told him about how it was thanks to "scary women" that women now has the vote, can own property etc etc. He looked a bit shocked...

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 22-Feb-14 20:04:08

<orders a JD and coke, and Asterix and the Secret Weapon>

UptoapointLordCopper Sun 23-Feb-14 13:23:18

Asterix being Asterix, it's more of a caricature than life-like narrative ...

ReadyToPopAndFresh Sun 23-Feb-14 17:16:24

I have a thread in FWR about gender neutral names, would love to hear everyone's opinions.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 24-Feb-14 11:36:07
ReadyToPopAndFresh Mon 24-Feb-14 11:58:02

Grim, I thought punters believed women were capable of giving informed consent, which is how they aren't raping them? hmm That's vile, and being honest, knowing what prostitutes have to do and who they have to do it with.. this guy must be particular horrid or a have a very bad reputation for her to have turned him down, I'd have thought

“I would like the gentleman involved to visit Harrow again, but perhaps this time he could enjoy some of our more wholesome pursuits – like our wonderful open parks, leisure centres and historic churches.”

grin although I really would prefer people like that stayed the fuck away parks and leisure centres.. ergh

ReadyToPopAndFresh Mon 24-Feb-14 11:59:56

Keep hearing about the JS case and all the money the women will be getting hmm

Feel a bit ick about it. They deserve the money, they can't get jail time for their abuser so they have to get something. I just wish it couldn't be turned around so that people who accuse rapists of rape are thought to be after a "quick buck" hmm

ReadyToPopAndFresh Mon 24-Feb-14 12:12:42

Also has anyone noticed Boy George around a lot on the radio and on TV? Have we forgotten he chained someone up, whipped them and threatened to sexually assault them?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 24-Feb-14 14:01:47

Is there any other crime where receiving compensation gives rise to sneering?

ReadyToPopAndFresh Mon 24-Feb-14 14:59:39

Nope...and considering how people are very quick to compare rape to other crimes. you wouldn't leave you house unlocked you wouldn't leave you mobile on show.... You'd think they could at least be consistent.

UptoapointLordCopper Mon 24-Feb-14 18:20:58

I've discovered that our library lends e-books and I can download them on my phone. Am reading Laurie King's The Beekeeper's Apprentice. Quite enjoyable - young feminist meet Sherlock Holmes. hmm grin

rosabud Mon 24-Feb-14 19:00:47

Thank you to those who attempted to answer my 'Is prostitution morally wrong?' conundrum. I am still mulling it all over but this poster came closest to how I feel, I think:

People say "it is no different from hiring someone to do x" and I profoundly disagree because I think sex is a different category of activity from anything else, in an intimate and holy way, and I am sad that young people probably do not think this, and I think we are letting them down for not letting them become aware of this in their own time in their own way, and I think it damages people potentially. Maybe not all people.

I once discussed this with a friend who said that she felt the reason sex was in a class of its own (ie not like any other 'service') was to do with associations of intimacy being about protection. On a feminist level, that sounds awful, (we don't need men to protect us, do we?) but on an emotional level, this struck a chord because I think that sex/intimacy is more than a 'transaction.' Perhaps it's about 'protection' on both sides.....anyway, thank you for your thoughts.

BriarRainbowshimmer Tue 25-Feb-14 12:55:34

The thread has moved on a lot but I want to thank those who expressed sympathy earlier.
and TeWiSavesTheDay, I’m sorry you had such a bad hospital experience too sad Yikes!

I’d like to discuss something…
Notice how ”feminists” are often thought of as a special type of woman by non-feminists? ”Feminist” means you are only a feminist and nothing else. You probably always were one. You walk around being an angry fem all the time. I used to think like this. Now I hear myself say things and…wow…I sound like one of those feminists. It feels weird!
At the same time, I’m mostly the same old me, an imperfect human who isn’t a super feminist all the time. So I feel a little guilty about that. And weird when I do sound feminist. How annoying! Anyway, just wanted to rant, can someone relate to it?

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 26-Feb-14 09:53:11

I'm a feminist who sometimes do unfeminist things and make unfeminist choices. So is feminism like a moral stance - like we say you mustn't lie but we still do? confused

We had a discussion on the way to school about why people laugh at boys who do "feminine" things and why people tend not to come down on you like a ton of bricks - which we think they should - if you make blanket sexists statements like "boys are naughty" and "girls can't run". hmm

Staggering in feeling sorry for myself. I need a cup of hot honey and lemon. Or hot whisky, which is foul in real life but sounds very nice. I have lurgy, and it would have been all better if I'd spent yesterday in bed instead of spending it on the train full of other people hacking and sniffing. Plus, my delightful but flaky students keep assuring me they are writing their essays, but they don't sound particularly committed. I am sitting here willing them to knuckle down.

Sorry, back to feminism. I find it slightly odd when people imply that if you're a feminist you must live and breathe every single tenet (including those you don't actually agree with). I think it's the reason for some of the big misunderstandings, actually. Like, say, with high heels. I know all the feminist arguments about them. I've read Sheila Jeffries and find her convincing. I also understand that the reason I find them attractive-looking is conditioning. But I still wear them.

To some people, that's hypocriticial, because they assume when we say some forms of beauty practice are bad for women, what we mean is that we have a whole different aesthetic and don't see them as attractive.

(I know some of you don't find heels attractive and you are better women than I, etc. But I bet there's something you feel like that about.)

PenguinsEatSpinach Wed 26-Feb-14 12:51:36

Poor you LRD. Take some day nurse and have a big cup of brew.

I agree. I actually find it massively easy to reject high heels, being tall and having odd feet meaning I am crippled by them after an hour or two. The only time I really liked them was in the office when I never had to walk far!

On the other hand, I love make up. I can take it or leave it. I've worn none the last two days and today I have a full 'face' on. I just love all the colours, love eyeliner, love how doing my eyebrows opens up my face even if I do nothing else. <happy sigh>

I also shave my legs and armpits. But then people always raise this as hypocrisy if you try and talk about the wider societal and misogynistic issues around pubic hair. I know I like my legs shaved because of societal conditioning. That's kind of the point. I'd like to avoid oppressive social conditioning extending to the appearance of my genitals (though I have nothing against some people exercising a genuine choice to remove that hair).

I find it really hard that so many people seem to think that you aren't a proper feminist unless you reject everything that society might have conditioned you too regarding 'femininity'. I think a more important aspect is awareness of why you make choices and focusing on those issues which matter to you, not necessarily devoting all your energy to 100% consistency.

Thank you. smile

It's interesting, isn't it ... I quite like makeup, don't wear it that often but quite like it. But I agree, it's nice having the awareness. And I think it does make a difference.

I was watching a really old episode of Smack the Pony (remember it?). And the 'joke' was that the woman was getting into the pool with a massive beard of untrimmed pubic hair sticking out of her swimsuit. It annoyed me. And partly that's because I don't feel the need to shave my legs every time I go swimming. And I prefer it like that.

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 26-Feb-14 13:17:42

I don't wear heels (the only time I did it was to tower over my then boss grin) and I don't wear make-up (can't be bothered). I shave my armpit but not anywhere else - but then I'm not very hairy. (TMI maybe. grin) But I do understand that many things we do are not done in a vacuum IYKWIM. We need the long view, like that Mary Beard article about women's voice. I just wish people are aware of this and stop saying things like "letting yourself go" and "making an effort" when it comes to conventional beauty standards.

I've eaten chip-shop-style battered fish and oven chips for lunch. It's not particularly nice, but we need to clear out the freezer... (Not sure what this has to do with feminism... hmm)

And I need to grumble about bad eating habits that my children's teachers are giving them. But I also need to check on my postgraduates first...

For a moment there I glanced at your last sentence and wondered why you were worrying about your postgraduates' bad eating habits. blush grin

If you would like, I can spin an earnest feminist message about how you've ended up sacrificing yourself by consuming the unwanted produce rather than subjecting your family to it. But I suspect you're just clearing out the freezer.

I do wear heels less than I used to, but whether it's the influence of MN feminism or the fact I am not 19 any more, I dunno. grin

One thing that bugs me about the heel debate is, people seem to have gone from 'it has similarities to footbinding, isn't this comparison shocking and doesn't it make us think hard' to 'it is exactly like footbinding'. And it isn't. Sorry. But it's not, is it?

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 26-Feb-14 14:45:53

I don't know what my postgraduates' eating habits are. No doubt they are shocking. Young people. << disapproves. >> grin

As for clearing the freezer, I did think about that same feminist interpretation too. I'm worried that might be true as well.

No, not exactly like footbinding. I understood that footbinding was initially to make girls look unattractive so they don't get conscripted into the palace (can't remember where I read this - may or may not be true). Didn't work though, did it?

Really?! That I did not know, about footbinding. Later on it was seen as very sexy, wasn't it? But it's disturbing what people find sexy.

This is not feministy, but I am getting butterflies about my students. I think they're bright and generally good, but I've got major imposter syndrome.

UptoapointLordCopper Wed 26-Feb-14 14:55:29

I spent the whole of yesterday scrutinising all their project plans in a serious attack of imposter syndrome and worrying that I've led them all down the garden path.

ReadyToPopAndFresh Wed 26-Feb-14 14:56:37

sorry off topic rant

An AIBU thread "To be upset re having to tell MIL I'm pregnant before we tell my parents".

The Op agreed with her dh to wait until the 12 week scan to tell their parents. He informed her that MIL would be around tomorow and he would be telling her then. Before they have any assurances..she wants her mother to know first but at around the same time as MIL after the scan. She wants to let her mother have the first becuase she lives far away and will miss out on seeing the baby first etc.

She's a massively unreasonable princess apparently. Too full of hormones to understand she is being unreasonable. And it's her husband's baby she is incubating for him so he can tell who ever he likes whenever he wants to.

And it's not unreasonable or controlling for him to do the exact opposite of what they had agreed and tell her when she has to give private medical information to the rest of the world. What happens if she has a miscarriage or is forced to terminate? She shouldn't have to tell anyone she doesn't want to.

So angry

ReadyToPopAndFresh Wed 26-Feb-14 14:59:15

I actually had to hide the thread it made me so angry blush

I'm very private about pregnancy. Dh had to wait till I was about 20 weeks before we told anyone. He felt it was a bit weird but he respected that as long as it was my uterus and me vomiting all morning and me not drinking and me taking on all risk.. that that my beliefs be respected.

Oh, poor you upto - but thanks, that makes me feel better! I just have sinking feelings because mine aren't asking the worried questions the other parallel classes are, and I've a horrible feeling it's because I've not managed to get across to them that they can't coast it.

Ah well, I'll find out soon enough I'm sure.

ready - oh, it pisses me off, that sort of thing. I'd think my DH was a total wanker if he knew I didn't want something of ours told, and he put his foot down. It seems perfectly logical to want to wait for the scan.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 26-Feb-14 16:05:15

Just going back upthread a moment 'I know I like my legs shaved because of societal conditioning'

Most blokes shave their faces but not their legs/chest/whatever - that's societal conditioning too, presumably but no one makes an issue out of it (except the Taleban I suppose...) So why should anyone give a FF if a woman prefers to shave or not any part of herself?

I wear heels sometimes. And makeup. And I shave some bits. Being a full on feminist would be really hard. Well I guess being a full on ethical anything would be hard smile

LurcioLovesFrankie Wed 26-Feb-14 16:23:07

Errol - that's something I've thought about too. But again, I think it's another false equivalence. For men it's an issue purely of aesthetics and dominant fashion at the time. Making a choice that's the minority choice doesn't (Taliban aside) come loaded with judgements about being "unmanly", "unhygienic", "smelly". (I say this as a woman who has an aesthetic preference for having my own legs clean shaven, albeit one I accept comes with all sorts of social conditioning attached, and a woman who prefers not to shave her pits if she can get away with it, 'cos I find it much more comfortable that way).

Funnily enough, the other weekend I wore both high heels and rock climbing boots (not to the same event!) for the first time in years. Heels were pretty bloody uncomfortable, but I'd forgotten just how bloody agonising my rock boots were! And I can't even blame the patriarchy for the latter.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 26-Feb-14 16:26:16

It shouldn't be a false equivalence though, that's my point.

BriarRainbowshimmer Wed 26-Feb-14 16:28:06

The shaving thing annoy me because it's something so unimportant, it shouldn't matter. It should matter as much as a man with stubble and unshaven body hair. Isn't it bizarre that when a woman doesn't do anything about her body hair for whatever reason somehow this becomes political? You can go from being seen as an attractive acceptable woman to gross hairy feminist by simply not doing anything.
We shouldn't have to waste our time by thinking about things like leg hair but are forced to, unless we want to cover up with clothes at all times.
I think it's part of the conspiracy wink to keep women's minds occupied with frivolous things.

My brain still hurts from the combo of feeling that people disapprove of my feminist/non-sexist ideas and then not feeling like I'm feminist enough...
Not logical, I know.

LurcioLovesFrankie Wed 26-Feb-14 16:31:23

Sorry - I misunderstood, Errol! Yes, I think we're saying the same thing - why does women's choice not to shave come so loaded with other things. Agree with Briar, "it's a conspiracy" (dons tinfoil hat wink)

BusinessUnusual Wed 26-Feb-14 19:17:25

LRD is it right that spinster used to be a positive word because a woman who could spin could earn her own money?

Dunno, possibly? It's the feminine form of the word 'spinner', is all, and I don't know if it would have had positive or negative connotations especially.

Women being able to earn their own money (especially from the textile trade) was never very unusual, so I'm not sure it would have had more positive connotations than anything else - I could be wrong, though!

TeiTetua Wed 26-Feb-14 20:28:22

Well, women's body hair may be a minefield (figuratively) but then, women get a lot of choice about how to wear the hair on their heads, provided it's not entirely shaved. Whereas in respectable circumstances, men have to be pretty uniform about hair if they're past student age. I sometimes wonder about these physical issues and who really has the most restrictions, and whether we're just attuned to looking at the ones that apply to women.

LurcioLovesFrankie Wed 26-Feb-14 20:54:34

Fair point Tei. My DS (aged 6) has decided he wants to grow his hair long. Negotiating peer pressure is proving interesting to say the least. He is very clear that some his friends think it's "girly", that he thinks they're wrong to think this, and that he wants to grow it anyway. We've been reduced to googling footballers with pony tails to give him ammunition to take into school for discussions!

Funnily enough, this is all coming from him. I had his hair in a short-back-and-sides till he decided to grow it. It does look completely lovely, though.

Mmm. I don't agree, tei.

Women get judged for hairstyles too. Loads of comments about how women of a certain age must have short hair, or how short hair too young looks 'butch', or whatever.

I may be biased as DH has shoulder-length hair but rarely (never?) gets comments on it. He does dress quite formally which may offset it, though.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 26-Feb-14 21:00:24

We may have an influx of people need stiff drinks from the very scary Jeremy Kyle thread...

<downs double vodka>

That doesn't sound good.

I didn't see the thread but am happy to pour out stiff drinks. I'm currently annoying DH by picking feminist/historian holes in the Musketeers, which (I will concede, but not to DH), doesn't exactly set itself up as serious enough to merit it.

LurcioLovesFrankie Wed 26-Feb-14 21:03:29

Ah yes, the Jeremy Kyle thread. Shudder. Make mine a quadruple.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 26-Feb-14 21:07:23

Don't do it to yourself, LRD. I kept reading in hopes that there were only a few "filthy skank" judgeypants posts. Unfortunately whilst it was a minority, it was a sizeable minority.

Ok, I'll ignore, then. smile

Bringing up doubles/triples/other illicit measures of booze for all.

SomethingkindaOod Wed 26-Feb-14 21:15:01

<Slinks in, looks for alcohol. Any alcohol>
May I join? Never have I let a thread on here piss me off as much as that one on chat is doing right now...

BriarRainbowshimmer Wed 26-Feb-14 21:15:49

I want to hear about the feminist/historian holes in the Musketeers LRD!
I haven't watched it yet, do you recommend it anyway?

LurcioLovesFrankie Wed 26-Feb-14 21:19:31

I saw the first episode and have to admit (guilty pleasures) I loved it, but it's a total disaster area from a feminist perspective (and even more of a disaster from a historical perspective, I would imagine.

SomethingkindaOod Wed 26-Feb-14 21:22:39

I tried to watch an episode but it all seems to be artistic hair flicking and Peter Capaldi to be honest.

SomethingkindaOod Wed 26-Feb-14 21:23:18

The hair flicking was mainly done the the blokes...

Hi something. Have a wine

I'm afraid I quite like fair-flicking blokes. But each to their own.

It is truly awful both feministly and historically ... but it is also massively, wonderfully 80s and takes me back to my youth. I'm not sure that's a recommendation exactly, briar ... you might have more taste than me.