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How has your feminism affected those around you?

(37 Posts)
PumpkinGuts Fri 11-Oct-13 14:26:36

DH comes home shouting about sexist things he has seen in the media and gets incredibly ranty about the toys and clothes found in the "girls" section. In a way that could be to with dd too though as she is so un"girly" it's kind of a joke and we both worry about her going to school one day and coming out of her gender neutral bubble. A few friends who appeared to be closet case feminist have started brining up adverts that piss them off etc.

Darkesteyes Fri 11-Oct-13 14:27:43

I dont think my feminism has gone down very well at my Slimming World group.

PumpkinGuts Fri 11-Oct-13 14:29:41

How so darkest?

WilsonFrickett Fri 11-Oct-13 14:39:13

I was with a couple of friends in an old man's pub in a small Scottish village. We were having a giggle and we were 'shusshed' by one of the regulars. We were all really shocked and just sort of laughed it off, but when we got back to my friends she said 'please can you put your feminist hat on and can we talk about what just happened because I am so, so cross about it.'

She's now at the stage of self-defining as a feminist. So that's one success! (I'm sure she would have got there on her own, but we've been talking about it a lot since)

DH struggles with it though, but I think that's because we have very traditional roles and - while those roles are right for us right now - I don't particularly like our set up and I get very angsty about it. Which translates to chippiness, which he puts down to feminism. And actually, it's not, it's boredom/worry about the financial pressures he's putting himself under.

(DS has SN so I'm freelancing from home, it's absolutely the right thing for him and therefore for our family, but it's not the situation either DH or I envisaged for us.)

Darkesteyes Fri 11-Oct-13 14:40:52

Well ive made it clear im there for my health not my looks and got the eye roll.
And i spoke up when a lady said she was using a photo of a much slimmer friend as inspiration And when the consultant said what a good idea this is i said i didnt see the diffrence between using that and a picture from a celeb mag We are all diff body types and we should be happy with heathier versions of ourselves.
Ive had looks as if to say "this ones gonna be trouble"

PepperGrinder Fri 11-Oct-13 14:49:31

DH is finally coming round to the fact that statistically, many, many men can be and are guilty of sexual abuse or sexual harrasment. Women are far more aware of this (no kidding eh?) because they talk amongst themselves about it. It took the events around jimmy Savile and the discussions we had about the behaviour of people working at the BBC, the articles about the culture etc for the penny finally to drop.

He also hates gendered toys and books and makes good choices of present for his niece.

And MIL thinks I am some sort of rude harridan for not changing my name on marriage, and not making approving noises when SIL did. I would say I have affected her in some way. Meh. grin

PumpkinGuts Fri 11-Oct-13 15:08:23

lady said she was using a photo of a much slimmer friend as inspiration And when the consultant said what a good idea t I wonder if the friend realises she's carrying around a "thinspiration" photo of her hmm quite creepy tbh!

WF I am in a very similar situation in regards to traditional gender oles and had equally difficult time explaining to dh my feelings. I wrote an essay short letter explaining what it feels like to suddenly go from being independent adult who made her own money and own accounts etc to someone who's whole livelihood depended on another person etc.. and how different I have found my role in life viewed since becoming a sahp etc.. Being a mother was the biggest turning point for me for feminism ever. Sometimes its the little things like dh used to come to me for directions regarding babies etc..and it was like "dude they are your children" I shouldn't have to tell you where the nappies are. (those were our issues within the set up anyway)

He is a different person over past 3 years. I do think he "gets it" now.

PumpkinGuts Fri 11-Oct-13 15:11:29

PG, I think the penny might be dropping for a lot people recently regarding sexual abuse.. I remember when saville first broke and all the comments were "why didnt they go to the police if this were true they seem to be "dig him up and string him up" grin

Lottapianos Fri 11-Oct-13 15:16:19

'Well ive made it clear im there for my health not my looks and got the eye roll'

I know what you mean. I've lost some weight recently - I've cut back on booze and increased my exercise and vegetable intake as part of trying to manage my depression and anxiety. I've had some colleagues (all women) comment excitedly about how I've lost 'so much weight!'. When I've responded in a measured way and haven't joined in with the excitement, I've had blank looks and the conversation has just died. It's like obsessing about how you look is an essential part of being a woman, and if you don't think about your weight, you're not a real woman confused

PepperGrinder Fri 11-Oct-13 15:18:11

It's true PumpkinGuts (and thank goodness for the awareness).
Before, he was aghast and particularly bothered by the idea that he undoubtedly knows some men who have committed abuse/harassment. For an intelligent person, he found it very very difficult to accept. And I found it difficult to accept that I was telling him facts and he disbelieved me.

grimbletart Fri 11-Oct-13 15:30:15

I have to go back 44 years for my outstanding memory. I was at an ante-natal class when it was quite revolutionary for any male partners to attend. The class leader was doing her spiel about the process of giving birth and a bloke piped up "Can't see why there is all this fuss about having a baby. In Africa the woman have the baby under the hedge (yes he really said that) and then go back to work."

I was waiting for the class leader to tell him not to be such a twat but no one spoke. So after an embarrassing silence I said to him "Well, considering that every year half a million women die in childbirth and most of them will have been squatting under a hedge or similar, that attitude clearly works very well doesn't it: but of course as a man and therefore an expert in childbirth you are bound to know better aren't you? Why don't you take the class?"

Even after 44 years I've remembered it almost word for word because it was a) the first time I probably really went for it feminism-wise in public and b) I was persona non grata for the rest of time. grin

MurderOfBanshees Fri 11-Oct-13 15:36:18

DH is much more aware of sexism in the world than he was. He always was to a degree, but he's noticing things he'd never noticed before.

In the past it also made an impact on those I worked with (whether they wanted it to or not grin )

PumpkinGuts Fri 11-Oct-13 15:42:25

grin at grimble tart

Darkesteyes Fri 11-Oct-13 21:57:49

grin at grimbletart. I saw some internalised mysogyny today. i bumped into someone i used to be at college with today She asked how i was getting on with my weight loss so i told her how hard i was trying but not getting the results on the scales. (half a stone in two months) At one point she said to me "turn around and look at the girl behind you" So i did and saw a young woman in a burgundy dress (bit like a Herve Leger dress) then she said "would you wear that if you had bulges like her" I said yes i would theres nothing wrong with it.

This was AFTER id mentioned to her about my discovery of feminism 2 years ago and how empowering ive found it.
Why the fuck does looks even have to come into it. The young woman she was being derogatory about was slimmer than me and her although i do realise that is NOT the point.
Why do some people just not get it.

CailinDana Fri 11-Oct-13 22:40:22

This is a bit of a sore subject for me. Dh is a good kind intelligent man but he was brohght up by a misogynistic cunt and a mother with very low self esteem who doesn't tell the cunt to fuck the fuck off. Down through the years he has done some really selfish things - nothing awful but things that have made me feel like I am totally secondary and inconsequential. I have always challenged these things and he has apologised/backed down but tbh we were always baffled, both of us, why a considerate person would have such glaring blindspots (as he genuinely did these things without any malice - he simply didn't consider the impact on me).
I've always had feminist views but it's only since delving more deeply in the last couple of years that it's dawned on me that dh has, like all men, a sense of entitlement and because he's seen his mother trail around after his father he also has an insidious case of subconscious misogyny. I've pointed this out to him and he has accepted it but I feel I've unfairly made him face up to quite seriously negative things about himself and his family. I feel bad because it truly was unintentional and he has made such an effort to counteract it. I fear that if he identified such a personal flaw in me I would tell him to shove it up his arse blush.

WilsonFrickett Fri 11-Oct-13 23:09:39

Cailin thats amazing though. And he wouldn't be facing it if he didnt want to. Stories like that give me a lot of hope. It is so hard to look beyond our conditioning (my mother visited yesterday and I'm really struggling with a few things, but that's a whole other thread) - he is not only unpicking that but also the fact society says its ok for him to act in certain ways. Good on him.

WilsonFrickett Fri 11-Oct-13 23:12:47

Op - thanks for your comment back. Weirdly I think DH probably 'gets it' more than me. I'm struggling with how to be a feminist in a sahp role, if I'm honest.

CailinDana Fri 11-Oct-13 23:28:49

I do very mich admire his willingness to admit hia shortcomings wilson. It takes a lot of character I think.

I'm mostly a sahp - I work very part time - and I felt ok about it until I went for lunch at dh's female colleague's house. Her friend was also there and they were both wohps. We had a good chat but then I mentioned that I run a toddler group and immediately I could see them mentally pigeonholing me as a nobody - seriously it was actually visible. When I mentioned my job ( which sounds far more high fallutin than it is) it was clear they decided I wasn't a boring braindead sahp after all. Very odd. As I mostly hang out with sahps so it was my first experience of being excluded (or almost excluded) from a non sahp group.

Darkesteyes Fri 11-Oct-13 23:48:35

my parents are quite mysogynistic My mum worshipped Princess Diana when i was growing up and i felt seriously lacking.
My dad openly fat shames overweight women when they come on tv I remember him doing it when they were watching some singing reality show over the summer and the lady who played Heather in Eastenders came on and he "cracked a joke" about her needing to go to a fat farm. This happens a lot but in the last couple of years ive called him on it each time.

my mum brought me up to believe that the most important thing about a woman is what they look like. She can be very shallow about this sort of thing.

Darkesteyes Fri 11-Oct-13 23:49:50

Cailin you have nothing to feel bad about. I wish my dad would at least try to see it.

PumpkinGuts Sat 12-Oct-13 00:24:47

I'm struggling with how to be a feminist in a sahp role, if I'm honest.

I think when society starts to respect the role and when men do it 50% of the time that will be a much easier task

cailin I think you did your dh a favor really, I bet you would want to know if you had been unwittingly treating people of a different race or class badly wouldn't you?

KaseyM Sat 12-Oct-13 01:01:37

DM and I were in a restaurant and this old bloke started banging on about how women these days were tarts and that there were too many women producers in TV. DM gave him a very eloquent and snappy tongue-lashing, left him looking like a bumbling fool.

When we came out I told her how awesome she'd been and she replied "Well I got all that stuff from you Kasey". I was so proud of her. grin

Darkesteyes Sat 12-Oct-13 01:02:54

Kasey smile

PumpkinGuts Sat 12-Oct-13 01:16:36

grin kasey

JadziaSnax Sat 12-Oct-13 02:05:39

DD has had a stomach bug this week & DH was off work earlier this week so I went into work to make up a few hours. My boss asked how DD was and who was looking after her, I said that DH was. He then said that if I needed to go home, it was fine.

I relayed this convo to DH when I got home, who immediately pulled a humphy face & got annoyed at the idea that he was deemed incapable of looking after a sick baby just because he's a man.

DS (7) gets really annoyed about gendered toys. He says that there's no such thing as girls toys and boys toys, there's just toys [proud]

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