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Time as space

(17 Posts)
TerrariaMum Sat 08-Nov-14 09:47:22

This is not meant to be a TAAT, rather it was inspired by a thread.

I was reading the AIBU thread about faffing and I found it interesting how many women seemed to take pride in how little time they took up when doing things. I may be especially sensitive to this as I am dyspraxic and many things take me longer than other people to do which basically means I feel like an inconvenience a lot.

Anyway, it occurred to me that women are socialised to take up as little space as possible and I wondered if time counts as space so the less time you take to do things, the less space you take up. And. of course, you are fighting the stereotype of women taking forever to do things.

I just wondered if anyone else sees the connection. I could be completely wrong of course and feel free to tell me if so, but I would love to hear some other thoughts.

BertieBotts Sat 08-Nov-14 09:58:48

Sorry am too cold riddled this morning to post anything constructive blush but would be interested in reading the thread about faffing, do you have a link or know the title?

TerrariaMum Sat 08-Nov-14 10:11:55


TerrariaMum Sat 08-Nov-14 10:12:56

But as I said, it inspired the thought and of course, I might be being silly, but you lot will set me straight if I am I'm sure.

cailindana Sat 08-Nov-14 10:39:27

There is a definite connection. Women are expected to do far more work than men in a shorter amount of time. Look at housework - time consuming, tiring, boring - but women are supposed to just get it done at the same time as adjusting to motherhood and taking care of a new baby on no sleep. That's just one example.

geekaMaxima Sat 08-Nov-14 10:47:25

Very interesting idea, Terraria. There's research in cognition / neuroscience showing that time and space are mentally represented in (largely) overlapping forms, so it seems possible to me that conditioning in one domain might leach over into the other.

I can't comment from a feminist theory perspective - definitely not my area of expertise - but you're talking viable science there, my friend! grinwink

FrauHelgaMissMarpleandaChuckle Sat 08-Nov-14 19:13:41

so the fact that I have no problem taking my own time and space to myself (metaphorically) shows I have a more "male" attitude?

<am easily confused>

TerrariaMum Sat 08-Nov-14 19:24:35

No, I'd say it just means you're more confident than I. I was idly musing not trying to pronounce judgment. Sorry if it came across as though I was.

FrauHelgaMissMarpleandaChuckle Sat 08-Nov-14 19:28:16

Oh I didn't think you were - I'm just trying to get my head around it smile

redwarf Sat 08-Nov-14 19:57:37

Could be to do with things like housework being seen by society to be a womans domain. So women are stereotypically seen as supposed to do all/the majority of childcare and housework, which in itself is not valued, meaning that some womens beleive they should be busy looking after children, keeping house and home, working, socialising and having no time to themselves. Some may even feel guilty about taking time for themselves and see it as an indulgence, such as those given spa days as a birthday treat when hubby goes off to footy, in playing games, to the golf club whenever or at least weekly

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Zazzles007 Sat 08-Nov-14 21:36:04

women are socialised to take up as little space as possible and I wondered if time counts as space so the less time you take to do things, the less space you take up

Yes, I have had this realisation myself in the last 6 months or so. For example, I have realised that for certain things which take a great deal of effort, it is entirely reasonable for me to take a couple of days to recuperate, and therefore say no to others who might want something of me. In the past, I would have cut my recuperation short, or not had any time to recuperate at all, and said yes to the things that were wanted of me by others. I have decided that I am being respectful of myself and my body, by allowing myself time to heal whenever I feel I need it.

TerrariaMum Sun 09-Nov-14 10:10:30

Thank you everyone. I definitely do the feeling guilty thing. For example, if I am bfing DD2 and gaming, I feel as though I am being unproductive by doing something fun. I wonder if there is also a bizarre idea that if something is fun, it doesn't 'count' as work which is why sahms might get so much flack. If you enjoy singing 'wind the bobbin up' then you aren't working. Again,not trying to judge, just thinking onscreen.

outofcontrol2014 Mon 10-Nov-14 10:43:57

Fascinating question. How are we defining 'space' here? As presence/representation in public, so including disembodied/cultural space? Or as physical presence within a grid-like system of coordinates? (Not that the two are necessarily mutually exclusive)

TerrariaMum Mon 10-Nov-14 11:52:54

I was thinking about physical presence. I have very little spatial awareness as I am a) dyspraxic and b) have no peripheral vision in my left eye. I try really hard to figure out where I am so I won't be in anyone's way, but I never quite succeed. Therefore, I try to shrink myself into as little space as possible so the inevitable bump is less unpleasant for the person I bump into. And I'm always saying sorry for taking up time. I suspect these are related so I posted here to see if I was right.

Beachcomber Mon 10-Nov-14 16:31:38

I think you are right that women's time is treated like women's space.

I think with space, women are expected to not take up too much of it and with time, women are expected to be 'selfless' with their time. Our time is not considered to be terribly valuable and we are expected to give it up for others/use it to the benefit of others.

The world would come to a shuddering halt if women stopped doing all the caring/volunteering/wifework/housework/shitwork/unpaid work/low paid work/lower paid than a man work/etc that it is considered normal for us to give our time up to.

PetulaGordino Mon 10-Nov-14 17:12:14

Women are expected to take up little of other people's time, but expected to be available for others to make use of their time. I think it is the same with space, definitely

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