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The demand for free childcare dropped from new list of feminist demands

(56 Posts)
foreverastudent Fri 29-Oct-10 09:48:21

I went to a talk by Kristin Aune, co-author of Reclaiming the F-word:the new feminist revolution.

She was very good but I was a bit shock angry sad confused that in their reworking of the 7 demands of the feminist movement the demand for "free 24 hour community-controlled nurseries" has been dropped. There is a more general demand for 'equality at work and home' but I dont think that's sufficient.

I think the childcare demand does need some reworking and needs to include the demand for child-frinedly public spaces and child-friendly timings of work/leisure.

Have feminists given up on childcare?

BTW she was aware of the feminist topic on Mumsnet so may be a poster/lurker wink

fluffyblanket Fri 29-Oct-10 09:49:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anastaisia Fri 29-Oct-10 10:00:28

"needs to include the demand for child-friendly public spaces and child-friendly timings of work/leisure."

And for responsibility for childcare to be shared by both parents?

Could that possibly be why it's been dropped?

Not that childcare isn't a huge deal for women, but that pushing for a community solution bypasses male parents and sort of keeps childcare as a 'womens issue'? And so vunerable because only one 'group' (women, who are also mothers) see its value.

<undecided on this, it's just an onscreen thought>

stirlingstar Fri 29-Oct-10 10:32:28


I just had to look up what the "7 demands" were blush - link for anyone else who is lost!

What is the 'reworked' version? Could you post here?

First thoughts:
- Free 24-hour nurseries are logistically a lot more difficult than the other demands. (If it sounds impossible, it could undermine how seriously the cause it taken?)
- Need for them perceived most acutely by a minority group of women (those with pre-school children) - less obvious to those without children, or those with older/grown-up children (?)
- Could still be leaving the onus on women to provide these nurseries; doesn't in itself require any take-up of responsibility from men (as anastasia's point).
- Related to this - the statement does not take in to account impact on children (inc female children) of spending time in nursery, and could be interpreted as "children to spend 24-hrs a day in nursery" (??!)
- And also may play against an aim of "valuing caring (ie women's) work" (?)

I'm also undecided as think all of the above arguments can be readily challenged.

AliceWorld Fri 29-Oct-10 10:33:35

Anastasia that's the same immediate thought I had. I always get a bit unsure with the childcare stuff, cos I see that danger of it negating the role of the father (or other responsible adult), but then if it's left out it leaves out something that does define so many women's lives in the here and now. So maybe that is what they are addressing - childcare focus has a danger of it accepting it is a woman's responsibility whereas it needs addressing more broadly as not being just a woman's responsibility.

I am looking forward to seeing what people say on this thread though, as this is one of the things I struggle to find a way though

foreverastudent Fri 29-Oct-10 11:18:59

1. Liberated bodies
2. Sexual Freedom and Choice
3. An End to Violence Against Women
4. Equality at Work and Home
5. Politics and Religion Transformed
6. Popular Culture Free from Sexism
7. Feminism Reclaimed

is the new list of demands.

scottishmummy Fri 29-Oct-10 11:20:25

free childcare shouldnt be offered to the prosperous who can and do pay for it anyway.the cost would be astronomical.

in austerre times id prefer allocation of resources to go the needy

fluffyblanket Fri 29-Oct-10 11:26:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

stirlingstar Fri 29-Oct-10 11:29:45

Hmmm - have to say that I don't immediately like the reworked list as well as the original. It's much less concrete.

"Politics and Religion Transformed"? You can't even tell that that's about women.

stirlingstar Fri 29-Oct-10 11:31:13

fluffyblanket - yes maybe an emphasis about it being available, rather than necessarily "free". Free is a very loaded word.

scottishmummy Fri 29-Oct-10 11:32:42

that list is woolly could put it in a field and call it dolly

surely something bit more specific with demonstrable (measureable) outcomes would be preferable.and with timescales

anastaisia Fri 29-Oct-10 11:35:11

scary thought [shocked] but I agree with you scottishmummy

Surely the first rule of campaigning is to have specific targets with measurable outcomes against which progress can be reported back on!

anastaisia Fri 29-Oct-10 11:35:25


msrisotto Fri 29-Oct-10 11:40:13

I thought the free childcare thing was ludicrous anyway. The new rules are too vague to be anything close to useful.

scottishmummy Fri 29-Oct-10 11:40:53

in order to agitate successfully you need measurable outcomes and a timescale of action.method of review and dissemination of progress

AliceWorld Fri 29-Oct-10 11:47:15

"Surely the first rule of campaigning is to have specific targets with measurable outcomes against which progress can be reported back on!"

I totally disagree (not picking on you Anastaisia, just the best quote to pick smile)

A political movement needs aspirations and fundamental principles. These can be translated into more specific targets for specific purposes but to reduce a political movement down to that removes the essence of a political movement for me. Without principles, the politics, ethics, all those things worth fighting for that keep people going despite all the knockbacks, there is nothing of substance left.

anastaisia Fri 29-Oct-10 11:49:40

That would be a mission statement though wouldn't it - not a list of demands?

scottishmummy Fri 29-Oct-10 11:50:24

an ideology needs an action component and agitation otherwise it is a talked about frame of reference but not a force for change

anastaisia Fri 29-Oct-10 11:50:58

Unless of course, the list of demands is actually a mission statement and more detailed breakdowns of specific targets have been published?

ForMashGetSmash Fri 29-Oct-10 11:57:32

Free 2 hour nurseries? confused why bother having any children at all?

foreverastudent Fri 29-Oct-10 12:00:17

I agree that they need to be specific.

So what would you/our specific demands be?

1. Liberated bodies
2. Sexual Freedom and Choice
3. An End to Violence Against Women
4. Equality at Work and Home
5. Politics and Religion Transformed
6. Popular Culture Free from Sexism
7. Feminism Reclaimed

I'd adapt/extent these to:

1. The right to choose when and how we give birth.
2. The right to abortion on demand, within 1-2 weeks of requesting. Free emergency contraception from pharmacist.
3. For all local areas to have rape crisis/womens aid coverage. To have sexual assault referral centres in all police areas. To increase the rape conviction rate to the level of other crimes. To reduce the male to female domestic violence rates to the female-to male one.
4. Equal pay audits for all companies. Btter access to legal representation for women who've been discriminated against at work. 50/50 split of housework.
5. Quotas in politics. More family-friendly working hours in politics.
6. Greater censorship.
7. For feminism to do soem serious PR.

hocuspontas Fri 29-Oct-10 12:00:54

I'm glad it's been dropped. It doesn't apply to the majority of women at any one time. Also 'free' will at best equate to 'adequate', maybe 'good', never 'excellent'.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 29-Oct-10 12:04:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeninGhoul Fri 29-Oct-10 12:06:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeninGhoul Fri 29-Oct-10 12:08:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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