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to hate the term "real woman" - argument with SIL

(63 Posts)
pardonisallthesuitihaveinhand Mon 23-May-16 19:25:39

At dinner family dinner yesterday after school and I am on diet so politely told MIL not a lot of rice for me. Wasn't in a weird manic way at all. No one batted an eye lid except SIL who rolled hers. Didn't mind - I'm not a baby and diets can come across as annoying to some people .

Eating dinner and MIL says my arms look more toned - I say thanks and that I'm really enjoying getting back into the gym (again in a normal conversational way). SIL scoffs. Again - The whole gym bunny diet thing can be regarded as boring and annoying. I hate people that go on about fitness but all I've done is ask for less rice and respond to a compliment. We usually get along - so I casually said "Whats that for?"

She went on a little "i'm a real woman and I'm not going to kill myself in the gym enjoy your life and eat what you want" rant. It wasn't aggressive but had nasty undertones. The "real woman" comment smarted.

She mentioned her weight and stretch marks and excess skin represent what "real" motherhood is about.

She wasn't saying "real" in the context of "average" which is fair. It was more so "proper" or "legitimate" or even "serious"

It made me angry....we are all real mums. Breastfeeders / bottle feeders / stay at home mums / working mums / skinny mums / chubby mums / gym mums / i hate the gym mums / stretch marks/ no stretch marks/ body confident / body insecure / cellulite / no cellulite/ the odd night out / never leaving the house.....we are all doing our best to not kill the kids be a good parent!!

So I said society expects women to put on weight after children - it's natural and what bloody happens. Hardly makes you more "real" or dedicated to mothering than someone who loses their baby weight.

Anyway I've said sorry but she wont let it go. Apparently I don't know what it's like to not be skinny. What's that got to do with your ability to be a good mum i.e a "real mum" / "real woman". We go on and on about how it's what is on the inside that counts but label each other as more "real" or "dedicated" based on SIZE? WTF?

AIBU to hate the term and think she's being OTT? We are all bloody real mums. I've got the screaming DD's, dirty nappy's, and stash of wine headaches to prove it. What more does she want?


Queenbean Mon 23-May-16 19:27:17

"Real woman" is a really shit term (are you reading this Dove?)

That said, she sounds jealous for you being skinny.

DuckAndPancakes Mon 23-May-16 19:28:59

I fucking hate comments like that.

so many pretend women out there according to these "real women". Bleugh.

pardonisallthesuitihaveinhand Mon 23-May-16 19:29:22

Queenbean It is isn't it? I'm not being a smug skinny bitch?

Arfarfanarf Mon 23-May-16 19:30:05

Why did you apologise when she was the one being rude to you?
I would leave her to it now tbh.
If anything tell her that her sneering at you was very rude.

pardonisallthesuitihaveinhand Mon 23-May-16 19:30:29

DuckAndPancakes Surely if i can pinch're real? Whats a "real mum" / "real woman" ???

HostaFireandIce Mon 23-May-16 19:30:47

YANBU, I hate that term (and I'm on the side who benefits from the idea that 'real' women are, er, a bit fat). It's her right not to care about her size, stretch marks etc, just as it's your right to feel happier when you're toned and fitter. What's unreasonable is women being made to feel bad for the way they look, whatever that may be. Neither of you is more 'real' than the other.

steppedonlego Mon 23-May-16 19:30:59

She sounds like she's unhappy with the way she looks and is looking for a way to legitimise it. I'm a big girl, always have been, I recognise that I need to lose some (a lot) of weight for health reasons, but looks wise I am happy in my own skin, and so whenever my friends lose weight/start going to the gym/ etc I don't feel the need to do anything but encourage and cheer them on, but your SIL sounds like the opposite.

pardonisallthesuitihaveinhand Mon 23-May-16 19:32:09

Arfarfanarf I am sorry she's upset and didn't want to bicker. I'm fine with bowing out to just shut it down.

Raasay Mon 23-May-16 19:32:28

I know what it's like not to be skinny. I've been and size twenty and then a size eight.

I was a 'real woman' at both sizes and all those in between.

OTOH It sounds like SIL sounds a bit insecure about her looks compared to yours. Be kind to her if you can despite her unreasonableness

pardonisallthesuitihaveinhand Mon 23-May-16 19:33:15

What's unreasonable is women being made to feel bad for the way they look, whatever that may be. Neither of you is more 'real' than the other.


UmbongoUnchained Mon 23-May-16 19:33:20

You should've said "I'm a real woman. I'm just a nice slim real woman."

Then watched her eye balls pop out and roll across the floor.

AgeOfEarthquakes Mon 23-May-16 19:33:48

It's a ridiculous and meaningless term.

Someone said to me recently 'real women have curves'. Really, so the fact that I'm flat chested means I don't count as a 'real' woman? hmm I hate body shaming in all it's forms and their 'real woman' shite is just another stick to beat women with.

Your SIL sounds jealous of your willpower TBH.

pardonisallthesuitihaveinhand Mon 23-May-16 19:34:15

Raasay She actually seemed very smug and very proud.

sharknad0 Mon 23-May-16 19:34:21

It's a stupid comment, she is only trying to make herself feel better. Don't get upset about it, that expression doesn't mean anything at all.

Jessica Ennis is a real woman, I am not a fan AT all, but the Duchess of Cambridge is a real woman, and so is Adele. Never apologise because you take time and effort to get fit and slimmer. I would rather tell my daughters that real woman are fit, toned, healthy and strong. Being flabby is unlucky (bad pregnancy, lack of time and childcare), not something to be proud of.

DuckAndPancakes Mon 23-May-16 19:36:49

I mean even if a "real woman" was someone that had been as a female with female genitalia, it's still bloody offensive and annoying.

I just don't get why women have to be so down on each other about the differences we have. Bleh. People.

Thefitfatty Mon 23-May-16 19:37:05

I understand the anger towards the societal expectation that we all just "bounce back" to our pre-pregnancy bodies or that only thin women are considered attractive. But all women are "real" and we are all subjected to the same pressures. Her anger should be aimed at the media, not you.

DuckAndPancakes Mon 23-May-16 19:37:40

Been born as*

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Mon 23-May-16 19:39:32

It's such a meaningless comment I can't get worked up about it.
I understand you are upset because of what she means by it, but really, it's not worth it.

Frankly, if you are born with a set of female genitals, then you are a real woman. That's all.

ollieplimsoles Mon 23-May-16 19:41:59

Op, food on you for taking care of yourself, toning up and losing weight is great for tour confidence after a baby and helps you get back to 'you'. You should be really proud of yourself.

I used to be a bit like your sil (but nowhere near as bad as I cant stand that 'real woman' crap) buy I used to feel like exercising and dieting to take care if myself was taking something away from my baby in some way, and I acted like I was proud of my stretch marks and weight gain because I had had a baby, but deep down I hated it.

Your sil my be the same, you should ask her if she fancied going to the gym with you some time, you said you usually get on?

Keep at it!

Thefitfatty Mon 23-May-16 19:43:16

Love the "real women are fit, toned, healthy and strong" and "nice slim" comments. Real women are not just fit, toned, healthy and strong, some have disabilities, some like food, some have cancer. I'd prefer to tell my daughter to respect everyone regardless of appearance. And nice has nothing to do with slim. You can be nice and fat, nice and medium sized, nice and short.

DuckAndPancakes Mon 23-May-16 19:44:25

Yeah gotta love that someone comes in this thread and spews the same rhetoric but attacking a different kind of people.


pardonisallthesuitihaveinhand Mon 23-May-16 19:44:47

Thefitfatty Very true and very valid.

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 23-May-16 19:45:56

She sounds like an arse. I wouldn't give it headspace to be honest

pardonisallthesuitihaveinhand Mon 23-May-16 19:46:07

Thefitfatty but surely nice is attached to everything. Nice curvy, nice busty, nice fit, nice slim nice everything really.

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