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to think there is a mysogynistic culture of hating MIL/'D'M on Mn?

(123 Posts)
bunchoffives Wed 30-Oct-13 12:30:38

I have seen so many threads where the MIL's or DM's actions seem to be perfectly reasonable (or at least open to interpretation) yet they are accused of committing a heinous crime or they have all sorts of unkind motives attributed to them by angry, self-righteous daughters/daughters in law.

Also, there is a general assumption that DMs/MILs want to control or interfere all the time in their DC's/DGC's lives. Or always want to be with them. On the other hand, if the DM/MIL keep their distance they are accused of being uninterested and neglecting their grandparental duties. They can't win!

Is this attitude a transference of general misogyny in culture at large? Unconsciously adopted by younger women? Or is it more personal than that - younger women feel threatened and that their 'power' and authority is being undermined by older women?

FannyFifer Wed 30-Oct-13 12:34:11


Dobbiesmum Wed 30-Oct-13 12:35:00

I think you're being a little unfair here, usually if the MIL/DM is acting reasonably the OP is told to belt up. But there are an awful lot of them who do butt in and let's face it very few people post about everything being happy and jolly on AIBU.

PeggyCarter Wed 30-Oct-13 12:35:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhatWouldFreddieDo Wed 30-Oct-13 12:36:13


People start threads about MILs/DMs because there are problems.

Very occasionally we have counter-threads expressing huge love and gratitude to same.

YouTheCat Wed 30-Oct-13 12:38:05

I'm not young. My ex mil was a total nightmare for many many reasons. She belittled me, swore at me, called my dd (when she was 10) a bitch because she didn't want to do something. She would pick a fight over nothing at all. Everything was a drama and, in the rare moments when she was actually speaking civilly to me, she would moan and snipe about her (very nice and helpful) neighbours.

My partner's mother is absolutely lovely. My own mother was fantastic.

I have read some absolute horror stories on here. And while I can appreciate that sometimes the dd or dil might be at fault, more often than not it is the dm or mil. My ex mil came as a total shock to me as I had never encountered anyone like her.

AMumInScotland Wed 30-Oct-13 12:39:39

There are threads because there are situations. People who get on fine with their mothers and MILs don't (usually) start threads to tell the world about it.

I don't think you can generalise that these specific relationship problems are caused by misogyny.

Sometimes, I think there are big mismatches in expectations between generations, and that can cause tension. But some people just are interfering and controlling. And others just are distant and uninvolved.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 30-Oct-13 12:44:20

i think we put a lot of blame on women without looking at the bigger picture, we allow excuses for men but not women so i partly agree with you

pumpkinsweetie Wed 30-Oct-13 12:47:30

Fwiw i don't believe all or most mils are awful but the fact remains there are many who do have serious issues. Me being one of them, but i wouldn't say my ils are typical run of the mill irratitating people, they are toxic and wreak havoc to the point of destruction, but here is the only place i can talk about it, likewise do others.

In realife toxic people are not believed to exsist and people look at you like you are barmy for cutting off family members and have even said "life is too short" etc but the the truth is there is no positives in what they bring to my family & i don't see the point in suffering people that will never change.

Crowler Wed 30-Oct-13 12:47:53

I think YABU.

I'm worried I am going to be a horrible MIL because I can't imagine how I'm going to feel when I'm ultimately replaced as the most important woman in their lives. I just don't know how I'll cope. I can't be the only one who feels this way.

Strumpetron Wed 30-Oct-13 12:47:54


I've thread these threads and nearly all of them are warranted. Even if they weren't, why is it automatically mysogynistic? Can't it simply be women being unreasonable towards their MIL instead of blaming it on the 'patriarchy'.

Strumpetron Wed 30-Oct-13 12:48:05


Mintyy Wed 30-Oct-13 12:48:27

I think you have a point. There is way less complaining about fils, for starters. There are just so many "Mil is unreasonable" threads, they can't all be true.

I sometimes read about these "crimes" that mils are supposed to have committed and come away thinking that the dils are actually the ones who are a nightmare.

Obviously, not in every case!

cupcakeicing Wed 30-Oct-13 12:49:25

You make us all sound like Les Dawson.

GoshAnneGorilla Wed 30-Oct-13 12:58:04

I think people often feel free to talk about old women in a disparaging manner, that they might not feel so comfortable using about other sections of society.

If you think of all the outrage and accusations of "man hater" that get thrown aboutabout on here, mainly IMHO, because people are unused to men being discussed in a critical manner.

bunchoffives Wed 30-Oct-13 12:59:12

Okay if some are truly narcissist, ie they have a borderline personality disorder, I can understand how hard that must be to deal with (although I also think in future times we might regard them as suffering a mental health problem). I'm not talking about those with special problems.

I'm talking about the run-of-the-mill daily incidents when posters seem bent on putting as nasty and defensive a slant on it as they can. Where does that come from? Does it reflect a general culture of seeing older women as battleaxes or pathetically past it?

Crowler for you it's about possessiveness? Competing for the love of the son/DH?

AMumInScotland Wed 30-Oct-13 13:02:19

The reason there is less complaint about FILs though is surely that they are far less likely to insult and contradict the way that women are bringing up their children, doing the housework, 'looking after' their husbands, etc? Those are the areas where the majority of the conflicts seem to be.

FILs and fathers may have their own ways of being annoying, but there is much less often a direct clash in areas where women feel they are being personally 'got at' by the comments made.

Mumofalittlegirl Wed 30-Oct-13 13:04:16

If you get on with the matriarch's in the family then they will be perceived to not be interfering or unreasonable.

If you don't get on then of course everything is unreasonable, interfering and outrageous

It's all about perspective

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 30-Oct-13 13:04:26

"Is this attitude a transference of general misogyny in culture at large? Unconsciously adopted by younger women? Or is it more personal than that - younger women feel threatened and that their 'power' and authority is being undermined by older women?"
Or is it just individuals posting about their individual situations, in the same way that other individual posters post about their fantastic MILs and mothers and how grateful they are to these individual older women?

Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.

AMumInScotland Wed 30-Oct-13 13:04:56

I'd say the 'run of the mill' stuff is often a problem because women are being insulted and belittled day after day, week after week, by their MIL. Each incident may seem tiny and petty, but when it keeps hapening it adds up to a frustrating situation.

There may be cases where the daughter is over-reacting, but I don't think you should assume that is true for the majority of cases.

DidoTheDodo Wed 30-Oct-13 13:05:09

As a MIL (and also a DIL) I do occasionally feel uncomfortable reading some of these threads. It can be such a difficult relationship on all sides - damned if you do and damned if you don't.

I actually think that a great deal of heartache could be avoided if the men in the equations grew some and started being a bit more vociferous in the support of their wives. not in a confrontational way, just making it clear where their current priorities lie.

EvenWickedierDevil Wed 30-Oct-13 13:05:47

I get on with my MIL, far better in fact than with my DM. I am lucky. Some people don't. Why is that misogynistic?

Dobbiesmum Wed 30-Oct-13 13:09:06

I agree with some of your last post, sometimes I find myself reading a thread and thinking 'why are you making such a fuss about this?' But then again I see a lot of threads about all sorts of things when I think the same, not just about other female relatives!
Wrt to MIL's I think there is almost a competition between the 2 women about the fact that the man (son/partner) in the situation should be considering the feelings of any other woman apart from them. I know that both myself and my MIL felt that way for a long time, my SIL still does to a large extent.
When you throw a child into the mix then it can become all out war about who knows best and how much help to give or accept.
Don't know about the Mum part, I have a great relationship with mine but many don't due to their own upbringing.
Can't say that I see it as mysogynistic though.

NewtRipley Wed 30-Oct-13 13:09:23


There's a little of what you say, but a lot of very difficult people out there

cory Wed 30-Oct-13 13:10:50

There are quite a few threads where people complain about controlling or abusive husbands or reminisce about controlling and abusive fathers.

So are we both misogynistic and manhaters then?

Or do we just have a tendency to dislike Unpleasant Behaviour?

I have a lovely MIL and a lovely husband. This leads to rather high standards in the MIL and husband departments.

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