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I suppose this proves that women just can't stand the heat.........

(243 Posts)
seeker Sun 24-Feb-13 10:23:45


Springdiva Sat 02-Mar-13 17:07:42

Well, many wealthy people choose to pack DCs off to boarding school - in the belief that they will come out better because of it, I think, so those parents must not agree with your veiw that a daily presence is required.

exoticfruits Sat 02-Mar-13 19:40:15

I wouldn't send mine to boarding school- although there are situations where it might be necessary, but I wouldn't do it before 11yrs. Do they take them under 8yrs these days? They certainly don't send the under 5s. By the time they go they have made a relationship which they can sustain by phone, weekends and the long holidays. By that age friends are very important and they can cope with the gaps between 'quality' time. It used to be very emotionally damaging when the very young DCs went.

Dazzler159 Mon 04-Mar-13 12:01:20

Springdiva Sat 02-Mar-13 12:48:46

The devotion to child rearing is a relatively new thing because the lack of reliable contraception in the recent past meant that babies weren't always a blessing, quite the opposite alot of the time.

And, imo, many DCs didn't get the fuss made of them that DCs do these days. Are we happier than in the past, not sure.

So stating that DCs want your time over anyone else's is not true imv. A good nanny could surely do as good as job, or maybe better if the parent wishes they were in their interesting job rather than baby minding.

Are we producing more rounded, confident, happier people than in the past through all this child rearing advice? debatable imo.

Really? Are you suggesting that (with the possible exception of the 60's) the bulk of the population didn't get married and plan their families?

It's possible that children get more fussed over nowadays but I think you're missing something very valuable. Admittedly there has been research to suggest that children with 2 working parents don't suffer any ill effects. However, whilst development on a purely academic POV may not suffer I believe you're missing the relationship aspects and the essential input that a parent has on their children.

All things being equal, spending more time with someone will invariably result in stronger bonds and this is hard to argue against. You might dissagree but how close can you expect to be with someone if you only spend 2 hours a day with them compared to 8 or 10? Is human bonding theory fatally flawed or is investing time in people fundamental to building strong relationships? I believe it is. Devotion to child rearing may be a new thing but we've also moved away from the idea that children should be seen and not heard. Fortunately we are more interested in what children think nowadays and empower them to make their own decisions/choices.

I purposely don't work long hours but if I did and my wife said she wanted to spend more time with me then I would do something about it. Why should it be any different with children? Like anyone else that has an emotional connection, it is normal to want to spend time with you and if anything children are more sensitive to this.

Feminists often talk about how gender is a social construct and how society conditions us into perpetuating the status quo. I don't know about anyone else but to me the revolution starts at home. Society isn't something external to us. We are society and one of the ways of changing it is to develop the population of the future with the right values/morals and ability to question convention. I don't see how this can be done effectively if you pass the responsibility to a nursery for 8 hours a day. A nursery isn't going to care whether your child plays with blue/pink toys, reads books that perpetuate the wrong messages or discourages free thinking. The only way to influence these things in a meaningful way is to do it yourself.

Wealthy people may well send their kids to boarding school but IMHO this is even worse as you're effectively placing the responsibility on everyone else to shape your child's character.

DrRanj Mon 04-Mar-13 12:37:37

Just skimmed through and realised that dazzler is not a sahd, why not? So would the mother of your children have the choice to work full time? I'm guessing not. Sorry, how is this fair? Sorry I'm guessing many have already pointed this out but I am astounded as to how you can have such string views about childcare but yet not be at home yourself. All your quoting other posters and "eloquent" semantics doesn't get round the blatant hypocrisy of that.

DrRanj Mon 04-Mar-13 12:39:52

And if you want a cookie medal for simply moderating your hours to suit family life, well, ALL women already do that, even the ones that work full time.

Schooldidi Mon 04-Mar-13 12:41:12

Dazzler I don't think many people ahd a chance to plan their families before reliable contraception became available. Certainly the majority got married before they had their first child, but not all (my great aunt was cut off by the rest of the family for years because she had a child out of weldock, funnily enough the father of that child had no negative effects). I really don't think many people would plan the number of children they had, especially when the next baby would push them over the edge of being able to feed the whole family. I know my great grandparents had very little in the way of planning involved as they had 8 or 9 children, their children were seen as the unavoidable consequence of having marital relations.

Of course "we are society" and we can change our own immediate society most easily but that shouldn't mean we don't challenge wider society. My own children are wonderful and are growing up with the right morals/values, despite not having a parent at home with them.

We want more representation for women in positions of power, so at least some women need to be able to fight within a wider society and be seen to be succeeding. The attitude that women don't really want those positions, or that women will find it more difficult because they ahve to worry about childcare, etc needs to be challenged. There are women out there who do want to do those jobs but are not being selected as political candidates, or are not successful in interviews for promotion, purely based on their gender and the assumptions that are made about women rather than men. That is what needs to change.

Dazzler159 Mon 04-Mar-13 13:18:02

Woah, steady on there DrRanj. As you've only 'skimmed' then I suggest you read all my posts before jumping wildly in and doing yourself a disservice.

It really does amaze me how so many take issue with something when they really do stand from a position of poor foundation and then assume things that hold no water. But never mind, you carry on.


If that's the case then it's no wonder the world has ended up in a mess. If sexual gratification between two consenting adults took greater precedence over unplanned childbirth then what are we to expect from society?

But who is influencing the morals of your children? I'm not knocking your choices or criticising you personally but it really does seem quite simple to me. Unless childcare is well vetted and you know the values these people are imparting on your kids then how do you know what characteristics your kids are forming? If a boy is not conditioned to see women as equals then how is society going to change? My guess is that 99% of nurseries are not feminist in any way, given feminism is a minority thing.

You're talking about what's happening today but the boy being taught (potentially incorrect) values by nursery staff is going to be the adult of tomorrow. If you think the short time a working parent spends with their child is enough to influence them, then what about the majority time that is spent in a nursery? There is already a thread on this board where a child has picked up misogynistic tendencies and it was attributed to the time spent at a nursery. If you are not there to correct (and the staff do not do this either) then we have lost control over the development of our children.

I'm all for challenging things today but this is simply an elastoplast for what went wrong yesterday. If it is agreed that social conditioning is part of the problem for the current status quo then part of the solution is to alter the social conditioning of our kids.

BTW I'm not advocating that women stay at home. I'm advocating that at least one parent stay at home, whether that's a man or woman.

Schooldidi Mon 04-Mar-13 13:37:43

It wasn't always two consenting adults that took precedence over unplanned childbirth, don't forget how recently rape was legal as long as you were married to your victim. Of course some couples planned their children as much as they were able to without access to reliable contraception (do you know how reliable the rhythm method or withdrawal are, not very), but I would suspect that a significant number of children weren't planned or recieved very happily.

Who is influencing the morals of my children? That would be me, my dp, their grandparents, the fantastic cm that we looked for carefully, then pre-school, school, friends, tv, internet, wider society in general. The only way parents can have sole influence on their children's morals and values is if they choose to home ed and isolate their children from wider society, not many people choose to do that.

Why do you assume nurseries aren't feminist? Quite possibly the nursery workers won't identify themselves as feminists but I would hope that they would defend a child's right to play with any of the toys available, and they will ensure that the children are treated as equally as they can be taking into account their different personalities.

We need to challenge things today in order to change things for tomorrow. We wouldn't have made the progress we have made in recent decades if people hadn't challenged expectations of wider society. It's all very well saying that we need to change the social conditioning of our children but we actually need to change the social conditioning of all children, not just our own. It does my dd no good to have the expectation of equal treatment if the rest of society has the expectation that she will not want or be able to do the job she wants to do. If I raise my dd to believe that she can indeed be an MP, the PM, or the CEO of a major company that's great but it doesn't help her actually achieve that unless wider society also believes that she can do those things. Currently that wider society doesn't believe women can do those things as well as men, for various reasons, so I believe it's my job as a mother to challenge the expectations of today in order to make society a more equal place for my dd and others of her generation.

Dazzler159 Mon 04-Mar-13 14:13:13


But that's my point. Of course we cannot have sole influence on our children but we can have the majority. The sad thing about work is that we spend more time with our colleagues than we do with our families. The easiest way to see this in a meaningful way is to break it down into hours. Start with 7 x 24 hours and then break it down into sleep, work, commuting and all the other things you do in a day. Then look at the 'real' amount of time we spend with our children. It's quite startling to see just how much time we don't spend with our kids and how much influence is exerted by external means.

I'm not saying all this to make you feel bad (so no offence meant at all) but is something I did many moons ago as part of a course. It was to hit home just how important time was to the people I care about.

I'm with you on the challenging of things today (so no debate there) although I think we differ on what is expected of women. As bad as it is at the moment I don't think it is so bad that women can't get on. It just depends on how much you want it. We could do with more but fortunately we have a fair amount of high profile, female role models in all walks of life. Many successful businesswomen are in the public eye and Margaret Thatcher was proof that it is possible for a woman to become an MP. It's not enough but is a start and an improvement to when I was the same age as my kids.

Schooldidi Mon 04-Mar-13 14:34:11

I don't feel bad in the slightest. I fully believe that dp and I are the main influence over my children, even though we both work full time. I know that time is important to them and I do my best to provide that time, but honestly I do not believe that me being out at work is damaging them in any way. Our cm has a great deal of influence over dd2's behaviour, but that's why we chose her carefully and I assume that the majority of working parents do the same.

I agree that our expectations of women are very different. I do think it is bad that women can't get on. Why should women have to want it more than men to get to the same place? Yes we have female MPs but nowhere near as many as men, that was in the article int the OP. Yes there are successful busineswomen, but nowhere near as many as men. It's better than it was but that doesn't mean we should be satisfied with that, it's still not equal and we need to challenge the assumption that because it's better than it used to be then that's ok. Your example of Margaret Thatcher is great (not that I agree with all of her policies, but the fact she was a female Prime Minister), but she is the only female Prime Minister the country has ever had and we don't seem likely to have another one soon, women are woefully underrepresented in parliament. We, as a society, need to figure out how we can get more representation for women in public positions.

exoticfruits Mon 04-Mar-13 17:32:34

Margaret Thatcher sacrificed a relationship with her DCs for her job- not many women would want to do that.

FloraFox Mon 04-Mar-13 17:38:49

Dazzler I'm still struggling to see your feminist perspective on what you've posted. When I asked you about this earlier, you said you assumed it was a given that sexism was a factor but I can't figure out what you mean by that given your other posts. Now you're saying things are not so bad that women can't get on and we have a "fair amount" of high profile, female role models in all walks of life. Really? Do you consider yourself to be a feminist?

Earlier you said you expect to say pay parity in five years from now - how will that come about?

I must say I find your overall position quite muddled.

Dazzler159 Mon 04-Mar-13 21:51:06


I don't know if I'm a feminist. I understand what feminists describe as the patriarchy and the concepts of male privilege. I don't necessarily agree with 100% of it but IMHO that's not as important as actually treating people as equals and challenging what I perceive to be wrong with society. But I digress.

The op posted a link to an article about female representation (or lack thereof) and this thread has questioned the possible reasons. When I say that sexism is a given it is because it is most definitely a contributor to the shortfall. How much is unknown given we only have stats. Since joining in the discussion I have given my possible reasons which counter the argument that the shortfall is 100% due to sexism. Again I believe there are a number of factors as this is a hugely complex issue.

I'm not saying we don't have a problem but it is true to say that we have a fair number of high profile female successes that should help to inspire women. Sure there are still not enough but this is a more positive scenario than 50 years ago.

When I say things aren't so bad I mean relatively.

With regard to the pay gap this is based upon ONS statistics over the past two surveys (2007 and 2012) and assuming a similar trend over the next 5 years. Sadly the Fawcett Society paint quite a bleak picture but this is because they used ONS data for their 2007 manifesto and not for their recent press release (where they conducted an independent survey). I don't know why they chose to do this but it led to them claiming that the gap was worsening when the ONS found it to the contrary. Whatever is being implemented is obviously working and I have read no convincing reason why the trend will not continue, which is a good thing.

FloraFox Mon 04-Mar-13 22:48:50

Did you read the link from the OP? You've come on this thread to tell us that things aren't so bad though as it's better than 50 years ago. Ok.

As far as the "hugely complex" issue is concerned, if I distill your posts, it seems to be a combination of nature, evolution, history and women not wanting it enough.

You don't know what measures are being implemented to improve the pay gap but you feel it will be resolved in five years based on trends. I guess in that case women will be earning more than men in another five years.

I think I get you now.

Dazzler159 Tue 05-Mar-13 09:55:11


Maybe I'm reading too much into your post but it seems like, true to form, someone (me in this instance) is getting the, "oh, you've come on this thread to tell us.......". I've not come here to tell you anything. I've come here to post my opinion. Do you understand that there is a difference between the two? You're making it sound like it's a cheek for me to even have an opinion, let alone one that may conflict with your system of beliefs. Maybe it's eluded you but:

Forum (noun): A meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.

You're roughly right about my posts except that you've simply distilled it to highlight your own skewed preconceptions. You really need to throw a healthy dose of sexism in there too. Then you've pretty much got it, oh and also women feeling they cannot fit everything in because they chose to marry and have kids with a sexist fool. The responsibility for this needs to be shouldered by both parties.

Yes I read the link and the related article and it mainly alleges that women are being queezed out. Where is the evidence for this? The article states that there were many more women MP's when labour were in power but not so many now the Conservatives are in. Maybe it's because women don't like the tories? Of course I'm being facetious but to paint this phenomena with such a broad brush is foolhardy. To be so selective as to only look at FTSE100 companies is foolhardy. Why? Amongst a multitude of reasons it could be because:

a) it neglects the diversity and myriad of successful companies out there, some of which have been incorporated by women, who may not prejudice female employees in the same way.

b) it neglects the senior female managers who have a good level of control over how their female team members are treated, supported and trained to succeed.

c) companies who actively look to meet quotas and treat women fairly but do not have a pool of potential females to choose from.

Anyone who wants to attribute 100% of the shortfall to one reason is a fool. Sexism/oppression may well account for a high proportion but will not be the sole reason. It cannot be. Exoticfruits and I have given examples of this and there are articles like this that prove it. It's just that some are holding their hands over their ears (like children) and refusing to listen.

You may not like it but you cannot deny that some women just don't want it. Have you asked yourself why you don't want to be the next female PM, CEO, head teacher etc. etc. if you're not at the top already?

I know of some measures like laws to prohibit gender discrimination and equal pay policies. You assume again but I have colleagues/friends that work in HR and employment law. These measures are something that many companies have been implementing for years (obviously). Naturally I don't know of all the measures (I doubt any of us do) but given none of us are experts then all we can go on is statistical data. I've already said that I don't like statistics but at least the ONS provide some background information with theirs. And there's no need to wait a further 5 years because the ONS has already found that women have exceeded men when it comes to part time employment.

Anyway, if you have the time then do some research and you'll find the current gap to be less than 10% and falling. Of course the Fawcett Society chose not to use ONS data for their last press release as it's too positive for the spin they want to apply. I hate inconsistency (being an analyst) and they have given no rationale as to why they opted for an independent survey last year but felt that the ONS was perfectly valid for their 2008 manifesto. Maybe it's because the ONS found the gap almost halved in 5 years it just looked too good for their campaign? I have no idea but anyone with any hint of balance/impartiality would be sceptical of a survey that cherry picked a selection of companies to paint a picture. The same could be said of the ONS but at least they use HMRC pay figures from a cross section of the UK's employees.

But ultimately I guess we need to agree to dissagree as I don't want to be tedious for sticking to my belief that the situation is complex and down to many, as opposed to one reason.

skrumle Tue 05-Mar-13 11:59:27

I don't want to be tedious for sticking to my belief that the situation is complex and down to many, as opposed to one reason

it is indeed a complex situation - i don't think anyone would view it as tedious if you wanted to discuss the many related issues from a feminist perspective in the feminism section...

Dazzler159 Tue 05-Mar-13 12:38:48

"from a feminist perspective" hmm

FloraFox Tue 05-Mar-13 18:15:59


- "true to form" - hmm

- "It's just that some are holding their hands over their ears (like children) and refusing to listen." - hmm

And yes, this is Feminism / womens rights chat so it's not too much to expect a discussion from a feminist perspective. It's not AIBU, Chat or In the News.

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