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To think a significant minority of MN users don't respect SAHMs?

(355 Posts)
Bumpitybumper Thu 24-May-18 15:47:35

During my time on this forum I have seen the following views being expressed about SAHMs:

- SAHMs are bad feminists and therefore not entitled to any kind of opinion regarding feminist issues. Particular objections are raised about SAHMs having thoughts about feminism in the workplace irrespective of their previous experiences when they were employed.
- SAHMs are sponging financially off their DPs and just don't want to get a job. Many posters seem to think it is impossible for a SAHM's non financial contributions to equal or exceed the financial contribution provided by the breadwinning partner. SAHMs therefore deserve less than there working partners in any break up/divorce.
- SAHMs should be responsible for all housework regardless of capacity to fit this in during the day. If a SAHM struggles to get things done due to ages and temprament of children they are told they are just not trying hard enough.
-SAHMs should do the vast majority, if not all the night wakings with babies and young children. This usually extends to women on maternity leave and holds true even if SAHM is shattered and her working partner is relatively well rested.

There are loads more examples too that I can't think of right now, but I see it pretty much on a daily basis. Is this just me or is the quite a lot of disdain for SAHMs on MN?

SoyDora Thu 24-May-18 15:50:46

Ive seen SAHM’s being called prostitutes on a thread on here (fairly recently...)

ILikeMyChickenFried Thu 24-May-18 15:53:53

Society in general is full of disdain for SAHMs, just as it is for working mums. Basically we can't win.

RockingMyFiftiesNot Thu 24-May-18 15:54:58

I’ve observed a lack of respect both ways to be honest. I think people often are trying to defend their own decisions by knocking other people’s. Whether people continue working or don’t is their own business and there are so many different reasons why people make the choices they do. No one has the right to judge or question either way.

Bumpitybumper Thu 24-May-18 15:57:10

SoyDora wow I don't think I saw that one

RockingMyFiftiesNot I agree about people being defensive/judgemental on both sides but it genuinely does seem that there is more SAHM bashing.

Caribou58 Thu 24-May-18 15:57:17

If I'd been blessed with children, I'd been a SAHM for a few years at least.

I consider myself a radical feminist, but I believe that women who make this choice for themselves can do what the hell they like. The objection is when culture/family/etc makes them do it when they'd rather do otherwise.

SoyDora Thu 24-May-18 15:58:31

I think people often are trying to defend their own decisions by knocking other people’s

I think this is the crux of it.

RockingMyFiftiesNot Thu 24-May-18 16:01:10

@Bumpitybumper I do agree with that. Probably lots of reasons why but not necessary.

Grandmaswagsbag Thu 24-May-18 16:01:42

It’s just on MN, in RL no one cares that much what choices (or not) others make. I’ve never experienced any negativity for being a SAHM. I actually think there’s more negativity towards working mums in RL society. Maybe that’s why WM on here feel the need to get a bit agressive in defending their positions? Because that’s what they’re used to having to do.

InDubiousBattle Thu 24-May-18 16:02:51

YANBU, I have always found mn to be very hostile towards SAHMs. Varying from the very obvious accusations that we must all be stupid and the likening it to sex work to the 'I worry for their future' fake concern, yes, most threads regarding SAHMS generally turn pretty nasty. You forgot 'waste of education'!

RubiaPTA Thu 24-May-18 16:03:25

I've seen alot of SAHMs not accept or understand their privilege on here and people obviously reacting to that. Nothing past that though. Maybe you are just going in looking for the negative, a confirmation bias?

BoxsetsAndPopcorn Thu 24-May-18 16:05:27

I don't get why they would command respect from anybody else.

They aren't contributing to society, they aren't a tax payer so are not paying into the system but will be taking out etc. They are simply parenting which millions manage without opting out of work.

Whereas a nurse, heart surgeon, teacher etc is helping many people, paying taxes and likely parenting alongside.

I get they may want respect off their partner if it was a joint idea to not work but not from others.

BigSandyBalls2015 Thu 24-May-18 16:05:49

I don't understand why, it's very odd. Surely it is a personal choice, based on preferences and/or finances.

Having said that, I do find it kind of weird now that my kids are late teens and some of my ante natal group mums still have returned to work/got some sort of job.

InDubiousBattle Thu 24-May-18 16:05:52

I really wish it was a mn phenomenon grandmas. I've had negativity irl about my decision to be a SAHM, not deeply upsetting but enough to piss me off!

The80sweregreat Thu 24-May-18 16:07:11

I had more grief working full time in the early 90s than i did as a stay at home mum, was told i wasn't committed enough to my child and looked down upon.
I think things have changed, there is more ' wrap around care' available and more women do tend to go back to work as they have to these days too as things are so expensive. whatever works for the family should be paramount and stuff anyone else's opinion, but its hard. you can't win really. ( i do know of a stay at home dad and he gets grief too, but it works for them and he doesnt care what anyone thinks)
also, people forget that school isnt childcare, there are 13 + weeks of the year when they are not at school. that is forgotten sometimes i think ( unless you happen to work in a school of course!)

Gladys123 Thu 24-May-18 16:07:38

I do judge sahms (in my head and only those women who dont go back to work once their kids are at school) i just wonder their backstory. Like what was your upbringing like to think that this is a good use of anyones time. Also find men who are happy to have a woman at home deeply unattractive. Meh. Each to their own.

CorianderDestroysFamilies Thu 24-May-18 16:12:22

Boxsets I might not be paying tax but the fact that I’m a SAHM has allowed my husband to build his business up and pay a lot more tax/employ a lot more people etc because when he needed to work crazy hours, go away for meetings etc I could pick up the slack for weeks at a time which is not something I could do if I was working.

JelliedFeels Thu 24-May-18 16:12:33

I don't get why they would command respect from anybody else. They aren't contributing to society, they aren't a tax payer so are not paying into the system but will be taking out etc. They are simply parenting which millions manage without opting out of work.

Absolutely agree with this. Why is there any expectancy to receive respect? Other than being a human being?

I don’t think anyone should be disrectful of someone because they have chosen* to live in a certain way but it is odd to expect respect.

*notice I said chosen before people jump on to say ‘what about those who don’t have a choice in being a SAHM’.

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Thu 24-May-18 16:13:37

I agree with you OP. Society has moved into thinking that people only matter of they are directly contributing to society via taxation.
There's no understanding of nuance - that a sahm might be looking after a disabled child (whose care would be very expensive if the state had to fund it all) or parent, or enabling a hrt payer to contribute more in tax payments than if both partners worked ft and earned that salary between them.

InDubiousBattle Thu 24-May-18 16:16:15

I don't think SAHM s do expect respect (or at least no more than that which any person should expect)just not any abuse or nastiness.

mustbemad17 Thu 24-May-18 16:16:49

Can't win really. And some of the comments on here show that! I was slated for being a SAHM, then when i went back to work i was slated. Women are arseholes to each other sometimes.

Just because a SAHM isn't paying tax doesn't mean they aren't contributing to society, what a ridiculous statement. So raising decent, well rounded kids isn't a contribution to society? Giving the working partner support in their role?

SoyDora Thu 24-May-18 16:18:08

I was a higher rate tax payer before becoming a SAHM. I also still pay tax on my investments. We have private health care and educate privately. I probably cost the state a lot less then a lot of working parents. That’s irrelevant though, really. It’s still my choice.
I don’t want respect from anyone who doesn’t know me/my circumstances, as I couldn’t care less what they think of me. I’d rather not be called a prostitute though smile

rockshandy Thu 24-May-18 16:19:25

I've seen alot of SAHMs not accept or understand their privilege

Most people do not accept or understand their privilege. It is not a character flaw reserved for SAHM.

The thing is, there is only a very narrow range of circumstances in which it truly is a privilege. A lot of SAHM are so because of the issues surrounding the cost of childcare, the availability of jobs that fit around childcare/school hours, the fact that most employers would not be understanding of having to leave work/not come in due to children being ill (which still largely falls on the woman by default) and don't get me started on single parents.

Yes, lots of women are able to negotiate all that, but they would be the first to say what a nightmare it is, and also how much grief they get for going to work.

So the truth of the matter IMO is that women cannot win. A man goes out to work he is providing. He stays at home, isn't he a great support to his wife, allowing her to advance her career.

A woman goes out to work, she is neglecting her kids. She stays at home, she is sponging off her husband and failing to set a good role model for her kids.

If that is privilege then I am the Pope.

So please, lets not partake in a race to the bottom, calling each other out on our privilege. That is a fallacy designed to pit women against each other, preventing anything from really changing.

NameChanger22 Thu 24-May-18 16:19:40

Maybe it comes from a bit of jealousy. Who wouldn't want to slob about at home all day? I most certainly would now I have a school age child.

Unfortunately, I'm not rich enough, plus I'm single so that probably makes it impossible. It's a shame, I'd make a great SAHM.

InDubiousBattle Thu 24-May-18 16:20:04

Soy me too. I could live without 'Stay at home leech' too!

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