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equality and mums roles : Views?

(52 Posts)
charlienotcharlotte Sun 24-Jul-11 12:09:10

have just come across this blog http://sleeplessnightsandnappydelights.blogspot.com/2011/07/womens-equality-or-has-it-all-become.html which sums up a lot of my friends who like me want to be treated as equal and yet find themselves doing the opposite. What are your views ladies? Has equality become more respected or are we now doing everything and working in an attempt to hang onto a semblance of equality?

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 24-Jul-11 17:55:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HerBeX Sun 24-Jul-11 23:51:49

I second what SGM said,.

Her problem isn't feminism, it's her partner. He doesn't have a shred of respect for her and the poor woman is too deeply in denial to face that so she's looking around for other reasons as to why her life is so bloody awful. She'd be much better off without this wastrel cocklodger. I feel really sorry for her but haven't the heart to sign up and leave a post on her blog telling her to dump him

Viz the wider question of why so many women find themselves in this position, it's quite simple: many men haven't changed their expectations as much as women have, so they have continued to behave as their father's generation did while women are expecting them to behave as if they are the same generation as themselves. Massive gap in expectations and a lovely recipe for domestic disharmony and eventually divorce if the men involved don't shape up.

mumwithdice Mon 25-Jul-11 09:59:11

I'm a SAHM and we live with my FIL. You know who does most of the washing, cooking and tidying? DH and FIL. This is because they care about me and DD enough to let me focus on being a mother.

So, in essence, I third SGB and HerBex; her partner is a useless waste of space.

InMyPrime Mon 25-Jul-11 10:23:32

Seconded: her post isn't about feminist issues, it's about being in a rubbish relationship with a selfish pig. What's her excuse to be in that situation if she's a feminist? In this day and age, when women have (relatively) equal rights to fair pay and a job, when childcare is available and when there is no social stigma or legal barrier to her being a single parent, she is making a very odd choice to waste her time in a relationship with a loser like this.

TheRealTillyMinto Mon 25-Jul-11 12:10:18

it is not feminism that has resulted in this situation. it is continuing lack of equality. but this issue does directly relate to inequality: many women are prepared to put up with crap. i dont think there are the same numbers of men putting up with the same levels of crap. so i think it is an issue for feminism.

why do women put up with the crap?

I think a better question is why do men do this crap?
Rather than question the victim, question the perpetrator.

But you are right the situation that this woman has found herself in isn't of feminism's making it is of her abusive partner's making.

Being a feminist doesn't preclude you from being abused InMyPrime hmm. You seem to think that this is a situation of her making rather than a situation he has created.

rainbowtoenails Mon 25-Jul-11 12:23:32

I disagree it IS a feminist issue. She is in an abusive relationship. DA is a feminist issue as is her failure to recognise her situation as such.

You cant individualise these cases and lay sole blame on the perpetuater. Society breeds these men, they are products of their environment. As long as women in wider society are disrespected and discriminated against , private domestic abuse will continue.

I didn't say it wasn't a feminist issue - it is, you are right for those reasons you mentioned. But I think the usual cries of "why doesn't she leave", "why does she put up with it" are victim-blaming and miss the point of how abusive situations start, are perpetuated both by the abuser and by society and the disempowerment that occurs to the victim (all of which are feminist issues).

TheRealTillyMinto Mon 25-Jul-11 12:57:28

HDS... your question is correct. I was only seeing it from one side as i have a friend who puts put with load of rubbish, takes loads of support from everyone around her, does nothing to change her life. at a personal level, her husband wont change, so she is the only one worth understanding.

thinking about it again: he is useless and nasty. she puts up with it. they both create the situation.

i think this applies in the wider context.

Insomnia11 Mon 25-Jul-11 16:09:20

My DH isn't lazy and does a fair bit round the house - he doesn't disagree that things should be done equally, but he needs prompting (or nagging if you will) to do stuff. To a certain extent human nature, but he was brought up though in an environment were his mum did everything - basically she gave up her teaching career because his dad never lifted a finger, mum doing all the cooking and cleaning, childcare AND working. "That's how it was in those days" she says. hmm

It probably was, but my parents both worked and both did housework and childcare, and in the same era, 1980s.

Talking to other women, esp those slightly older than me I get comments (re DH) like "You have him well-trained!" if I talk about DH looking after the kids while I go for a run, or how we share childcare responsibility equally. I think it is women as well as men perpetuating the inequality- some women seem to think their "man" will leave them if they don't wait on him hand and foot or god forbid, ask him to "babysit" (grrr) their children. Too many just try and do everything, I think out of control freakery and not let their partner try and help, then moan when he doesn't, or doesn't know how to do something, or doesn't do something to their exacting standards. Also plenty of men as you say who think overtly or secretly that some things are 'women's work'.

charlienotcharlotte Mon 25-Jul-11 16:33:18

Ive read what she has put on previous blogs and from what I can tell she met her partner when they were both 16 .. so I think she stays with him because he wasn't always like that, or maybe because its all she knows?

Wallissimpson Mon 25-Jul-11 16:40:39

I think you can be equal and yet have different roles. We have quite a traditional set up. I don't work outside the home and am responsible for pretty much all domestic stuff ( I have a cleaner, TBF) and DH works and earns the money.

We are absolute equals in every way and on weekends we BOTH do what needs to be done.

She's insane to put up with him and he's a spoilt brat!

aliceliddell Mon 25-Jul-11 16:45:39

HerBeX - loving the phrase 'Wastrel cocklodger'. Will be using it on all possible occasions. <weddings, barmitzvahs, funerals>

Rosmarin Tue 26-Jul-11 11:16:51

Only yesterday I read a very interesting article in Bonnie J Fox's book 'Family Patterns, Gender Relations' about new parents adapting to life and the patterns that evolved in the couples studied.

Basically, the jist was that as females, the women were better equipped to care for the baby early on (of course) and the trend just continued for most of the first year, including taking up almost all of the housework too. The men, like the husband in that blog, equated 'fatherhood' with breadwinning, NOT with equal childcare/housecare/earning as mother. I guess what that suggests, and this blog you mention too, is that this situation evolves in many couples. Sad, because it makes you wonder why the (usually male) partner doesn't value, love or respect his wife enough to meet her half way on everything.

Anyhow, I'm about to undertake a research project (and am just generally interested anyway) on this area so if anyone knows any other interesting articles/books/sources along these lines please PM me.

forkful Tue 26-Jul-11 22:40:21

charlienotcharlotte - love - this is your blog isn't it sad

Your blog profile and your MN profile make that clear to me. Plus your latest post referring to other blog posts when there is only one...

If you'd have posted directly here then you'd have got similar advice but it would have been delivered in a different manner.

Have you been shocked by the responses here? What was your family set up when you were growing up? Has there been a chance since you had the baby?

Rosemarin - useful resources for you:

equallysharedparenting.com/

www.kristinmaschka.com/

Hard Labour

Wifework

www.annoakley.co.uk/

Wallissimpson Tue 26-Jul-11 22:45:09

" Sad, because it makes you wonder why the (usually male) partner doesn't value, love or respect his wife enough to meet her half way on everything"

But equal doesn't mean the same, it means playing to your strengths.

Providing both parties are happy and meeting the needs of the family between them, it is up to them how they manage that. To suggest a man doesn't love and respect his wife because he and her don't split everything ( including earning) isn't split 50;50 is absurd.

Wallissimpson Tue 26-Jul-11 22:48:15

I think equal parenting can work exceptionally well if BOTH want it and BOTH have equalish jobs, i.e both are teachers.

HerBeX Wed 27-Jul-11 23:02:46

But Wallissimpson, most women do want their DH's to do their fair share in the home.

Hiding behind "playing to their strengths" makes excuses for men who think their wife's strengths are picking up their shit and doing shit boring unpaid repetitive dull housework, while their strengths are to go out into the world where their paid work is respected.

that does say something about respect, I think.

Wallissimpson Thu 28-Jul-11 07:31:35

Really?
I don't find it boring . I find not having to work and having all day when my kids are in school to work at my own pace and pursue my own interests, completely liberating.
As I say, when we are both at home, what needs to be done gets done but when he is at work, I do it.

As for respect, my DH has worship level respect for me and what I do. * shrugs* .

All my kids are in school and it takes me very little time to clean and sort the house ( cleaner does help, have to say!) and then I am my own boss, my own person.

Plus, he earns literally five times what I can ( and I'm no slouch) and so his earning allows us all a good lifestyle and also pays for domestic help which I then don't have to do. If we both worked part time to be " equal " we'd not only be far poorer but we'd both be working harder as we couldn't afford that domestic help. Oh, and we'd both be resentful and miserable because I don't want to work and he loves his work!

You shouldn't make assumptions about others set ups. Ours has worked like clockwork for over twenty years .

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 28-Jul-11 07:40:37

If you have a cleaner and your children are school-age, then you are not, in fact, undertaking a 'traditional' role at all.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 28-Jul-11 07:41:12

Actually, the whole WOHD/SAHM set-up isn't traditional. I don't know why people keep saying it is.

Wallissimpson Thu 28-Jul-11 07:45:35

I did though Tortoise, before my children were in school and was equally happy with that.

Why is equal seen as the same? It doesn't make any sense in many families for people to share equally - they don't want it and it would be financial suicide in many families.

My cousin and her husband do it and it works well but they are both teachers so already doing the same job out of the home and within it.

WoTmania Thu 28-Jul-11 08:53:19

What everyone else has said.
I had written out a great long post but the point wasn't particularly clear. Sounds like life would be a lot easier for her if she wasn't with him (at the moment she might as well be a single mum to two children) and does she really want her DD growing thinking that's a healthy relationship?
It's not feminism that's the problem it's men like that who use 'immaturity' and 'I'm not ready yet' as an excuse to not face up to life.

WoTmania Thu 28-Jul-11 08:58:14

Wallissimpson - I don't think anyone i arguing that you have to do the same things to be equal. More that there should be more fairness when divvying up household chores.
I'm a SAHM to 3 (5, 4 and 2) I have my work cut out feeding them, making sure they don't wreck the house or kill themselves during the day. I almost invariably cook the evening meal so why should DH get in and sit down, put his feet up while I carry on scurrying around after him too. We've both been busy and working so he does stuff. He washes up, does his pack up, tidies while I get the DC ready for bed or vice versa.
No, we're not the same but it's more equal than what you seem to be suggesting.

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