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Help me digest this please

(50 Posts)
LoopyLoopsPussInBoots Tue 27-Sep-11 00:42:40

I had a row discussion with my MIL recently, about a variety of things, centering around feminism generally. If I highlight most of her statements and my responses, could you please help me come to terms with how I feel about her now? I did quite like her, but am struggling to get past her viewpoints now.

* Feminism has gone too far. Women are taking men's jobs and it demasculates men to have women working above them or their wives earning more - > If a woman is better qualified or capable, she should have the job. End of.

* Boys are being failed in schools. Boys should be prioritised and less focus should be on girls. They don't need to learn as much. For some reason schools can't give boys what they need. - > (I'm a teacher) There have been so many initiatives to help underachieving boys. Unfortunately, a big factor is discipline. Boys tend to be more disruptive, whereas girls often want to learn Girls shouldn't be discriminated against for being more motivated.

* Women are programmed to stay at home and nurture. Man and male animals have always been the hunters and gatherers. - > So they should 'hunt and gather' in offices? That doesn't apply in the modern working world.

*Things were so much better before (60s and earlier). We should go back to thinks exactly as they were then. {Whole other tangeant, won't go into that}

* More and more young men being unemployed means more antisocial behaviour. There aren't enough jobs, so women should take a step back so the men don't cause trouble. I'd prefer to see women on benefits than men - > Bored women don't cause trouble? The trouble is a lack of jobs, it isn't the fault of women, we need more jobs to be created. And what would this do to birth rates? Surely more children being born to families on benefits doesn't fit into your ideals?

* No we shouldn't be encouraging women on benefits to have children. So many of them have kids with different dads, and they (children of single MOTHERS) are always the ones that cause trouble. Then they go on to have loads of kids who cause trouble and it never ends. - > (SO many issues with this bit!) So, this is all the fault of the women? They are the ones with the kids, them men play no part in this? Do only children from single parent families cause trouble? Do they ALWAYS go on the 'breed' (yuk) in the same pattern? So what would you do about it?

*Well I suppose out options are either a system like China's, or sterilising 'unsuitable' women. - > WTF? End of conversation (pretty much)

There was more, it was very long, and other things came into it, but the post would take all night. How can I reconcile her beliefs with the sweet and slightly frail grandmother of my children?

MillyR Tue 27-Sep-11 00:46:29

I think it is easy to make ridiculous comments like your MILs if you actually have grandchildren. If all women took your MIL's advice in contemporary society, most people would never get to be grandparents.

LoopyLoopsPussInBoots Tue 27-Sep-11 00:48:44

How do you mean?

lisad123 Tue 27-Sep-11 00:51:50

You don't do anything. Clearly she believes all that she is saying and you don't. Difference of opinions don't always need to become a battle, you just avoid the subject grin

MillyR Tue 27-Sep-11 00:52:50

I mean that the world is now awash with men who want to be financially responsible long term for an uneducated woman who stays at home with her children in order to make jobs available for men.

If only the women who could find such men had kids (and how could you even make that decision? He could divorce you two years in and you would be a single mother on benefits), there would be hardly any women having children.

MillyR Tue 27-Sep-11 00:53:34

Sorry, the world is not awash with men...

LoopyLoopsPussInBoots Tue 27-Sep-11 00:53:35

No, I wouldn't have done anything, but I'm a bit upset about how I feel about he now. I can't like a person who thinks like that, can I? (Or can I?)

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 27-Sep-11 00:55:50

I'm just going to be [jawdropped] that a teacher doesn't recognise that the so-called disruptive behaviour of boys is at least partly due to modern teaching styles. And in the feminist forum!

<leaves thread>

lisad123 Tue 27-Sep-11 00:58:43

You can but you don't have too grin my fil often used to spout this crap at me, but he doesn't talk to us anymore (lonnng story) so I don't have to put up with it. My granddads the same and tbh I just let it wash over me, his opinion is just that, an opinion based on his upbringing and generation. Doesnt make it right at all, but not doing harm either.

LoopyLoopsPussInBoots Tue 27-Sep-11 00:59:26

Oh no, I agree with that OldLady, and we talked about that too. Lesson have to be so bloody fun all the time. This is a mahoosive synopsis of the conversation.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 27-Sep-11 01:01:37

Ah, OK, I'll carry on lurking then. blush

LoopyLoopsPussInBoots Tue 27-Sep-11 01:09:10

So basically, I should just forget the conversation ever happened?

piprabbit Tue 27-Sep-11 01:15:38

I think that she is mired in the ideas she grew up with. It is a shame, and you can continue to try to educate her - but not at the expense of your blood pressure or relationship with her if it is otherwise good.

I would however be alert to what ideas she may be teaching to her GCs (if she has any - sorry, don't know if you have children Loopy), as you can't assume that what she tells them will fit in with how you are trying to educate them.

MarginallyNarkyPuffin Tue 27-Sep-11 01:30:31

Does she have a granddaughter?

orangeisthenewgreen Tue 27-Sep-11 06:46:51

What pip said. She is old school. You're not gonna change her mind but I'd try to minimize influence on gcs. She's also got it wrong re. the hunter gatherers thing. Women were generally the gatherers and were responsible for the majority of the food collection. Not sure how you'll casually drop that into your next conversation though!

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 27-Sep-11 07:46:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LoopyLoopsPussInBoots Tue 27-Sep-11 10:20:25

Both of my children are girls.

Thanks for the book advice, SGM, going to the library later so will look it up.

I don't think I will ever change her mind, but I'm not the type to let her think it hasn't riled me, nor will it influence my daughters' choices in future. It came so out of left field - she worked! (Albeit in 'female' roles, part time, and purely as an ancillary to her husband's 'important' job). Hmmmm....

I do, however, now understand the sometimes warped views that SIL has. I always thought she was massively overly-traditional. I know where it comes from now.

sportsfanatic Tue 27-Sep-11 11:31:20

Hi. I'm on Gransnet and have only lurked here 'cos I'm getting on a bit grin - not a suitable member? But there is no feminism forum on Gransnet (why I wonder?), and hope you will forgive me if I comment on this thread. I've seen several threads where people say they understand (excuse?) attitudes because someone is older - e.g. one where a female doctor excused older women for sexism, which, ironically, made her guilty of ageism wink .

Just want to say age is no reason for a woman to hold the attitudes exhibited in the OP and she shouldn't be let off the hook. What she is actually doing is denigrating her own sex and elevating the male sex with no logical reason for doing so. I am probably of the same generation as that MIL (my 'children' are in their 40s):it's an attitude I simply don't understand and have fought against all my life as a feminist long before the women's liberation movement of the late 60s/70s.

Don't let this female dinosaur off the hook and don't let her damage your daughters. Tell her it is impossible to emasculate a real man and strong women should not have to pretend to be weak to allow weak men to pretend to be strong.

MarginallyNarkyPuffin Tue 27-Sep-11 11:36:33

strong women should not have to pretend to be weak to allow weak men to pretend to be strong.

I love that.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 27-Sep-11 11:37:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LoopyLoopsPussInBoots Tue 27-Sep-11 11:39:51

strong women should not have to pretend to be weak to allow weak men to pretend to be strong. Absolutely brilliant line.

sportsfanatic Tue 27-Sep-11 17:04:45

Thanks MNP and LLPIB - there's no copyright on it - feel free to plagiarise grin.

Thanks also for the welcome SGM.

MrsKarbonara Tue 27-Sep-11 17:29:32

Hi Sports, would also like to say welcome - post anytime you want! Your perspective would be most interesting, having 'been there, done that' since before a lot of us were even born smile. Wise words never go amiss.

ElderberrySyrup Tue 27-Sep-11 17:49:08

yes, welcome. Would love to have visitors (even regulars) from Gransnet here.

btw if there are a few feminists on Gransnet, have you thought of asking MNHQ (or GNHQ I suppose) for a feminist section? We got ours because a few posters asked for it.

then we could work together on things.

sportsfanatic Tue 27-Sep-11 17:54:29

Thanks again. Re Gransnet - I am pretty new there (post there under the name of whatamess, but couldn't use the same one here as it's been used already - by me - if you know what I mean).

Thought I should wait a while before making suggestions. Seems polite. I'll see how it goes. Will bear your suggestion in mind Elderberry.Ta.

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