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Put some clothes on, you're a mother...

(23 Posts)
TooOldForGlitter Mon 26-Jan-15 17:10:14

I hope this will make sense, I do struggle with putting my feelings into words so it might not be very well written and a bit rambly confused.

I was on the bus last week and overheard two young lads having a conversation. They were probably 16 or 17 yo. They were reading a magazine and talking about Jennifer Lopez who was pictured in it. They both commented that the way she was dressed (I think it was a low cut body suit and boots) was, "gross, she's a fucking mother". It really got me thinking. Not least because I wonder where two teenagers would get such an opinion but more because, when I think about it, I have heard it said a lot. In newspapers, Daily Mail i'm looking at you, by other women, certainly I have read comments on various internet forums etc. What does it even mean?

I actually googled "put some clothes on, you're a mother" and there have been facebook pages set up called, very imaginatively, "Put some clothes on! You're a mother!". It seems the pages have been removed but I found three separate pages with this and similar titles. I also found plenty of articles in which people felt it reasonable to post photographs of celebrity women, who have had children, and comment that they shouldn't be dressed in a certain way, because they are mothers.

I suppose what I am saying is what the hell does this actually mean? It's just yet another vile way of deciding what women should and shouldn't look like isn't it? You can be sexy or you can be a mum. You can be decoration or you can be a nurturing mother. I don't really think I have a question to ask or a point to make, it just pisses me off greatly and it seems like I can't turn one way or the other without facing misogyny and sexism at every turn. Boy that turned into a bit of a ramble didn't it blush

PasstheDaimbars Mon 26-Jan-15 17:30:13

Not rambley at all.

I mean when have you seen/hear someone say, For Gods sake cover up you're a father. Much more likely to see/hear appalling behaviour by men of all ages excused with 'Oh boys will be boys'.

TooOldForGlitter Mon 26-Jan-15 17:46:33

Yes exactly. David Beckham did a hell of a lot of posing in his pants but I never once heard or read a single comment suggesting that he should put some clothes on because he was a father.

YonicScrewdriver Mon 26-Jan-15 18:34:24

I would bet JLO was wearing more than Paula Radcliffe or Jess Ennis Hill at an athletics event.

Should they too put some clothes on because they are mothers?

Of course not, because it's not about the flesh to clothes ratio, it's about it being disrespectful to your children,or some such bollocks, to want to dress sexily after they've arrrived.

YonicScrewdriver Mon 26-Jan-15 18:40:22

Or more likely "I don't want to fuck
a woman once she's had a child, so she should tidy away her sexuality and let someone I deem more fuckable get the paparazzi cover"

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 26-Jan-15 18:45:15

What Yonic said. A real Madonna /whore thing.

YonicScrewdriver Mon 26-Jan-15 18:51:05

I could understand a 16 year old not finding someone who is a parent sexy (and quid pro quo I'm sure JLO isn't at all interested in 16 year olds!) still, no need for anything more than "hm, not for me"

The mail is old enough to know better, though!

Anniegetyourgun Mon 26-Jan-15 19:02:20

It may have escaped their attention that the usual way women become mothers actually involves, you know... <whispers> sex! Unless that's just a filthy rumour. (Of course all four of mine were virgin births.)

We may also point out that if everyone became an instant no-go area the first time they gave birth, the human race would die out.

GaryShitpeas Mon 26-Jan-15 19:05:50

Yeah I hate this

The comments I saw re madonna's topless shoot fairly recently were vile. Ie disgust as she is a mum of however many etc.and far worse

As others have said no one would say the same if it was a "dad"

TooOldForGlitter Mon 26-Jan-15 19:07:22

I think the madonna/whore thing is definitely in play here. I can't quite put my finger on why it pisses me off so much to be honest. I think it's the idea that somehow once you have had a child that all you are allowed to be is a mother. Not a woman. Not sexy. Unless of course you are being sexy for your husband, then that's OK, but otherwise no.

TooOldForGlitter Mon 26-Jan-15 22:03:04

I saw some of those comments about Madonna too Gary, it makes my blood boil. I wish I could get my head around what people mean when they say it. Is it an expectation that mothers should somehow act and dress a certain way confused.

EBearhug Mon 26-Jan-15 23:24:23

Don't be daft, Annie. Of course it's a filthy rumour. Everyone knows the stork delivers the baby under a gooseberry bush.

I don't think being a mother is relevant to anything. If they weren't having a go for them being mothers, it would be because they're too fat or too skinny or too old or ... they're going to find a reason one way or another, because they're women. I think it probably is the madonna/whore thing which is something they can latch on to here, but they'd always find something.

scallopsrgreat Mon 26-Jan-15 23:33:48

I think there is an element of truth in what EBearHug says. When you are a woman you can't win!

However I think what you say TooOldForGlitter about losing your identity in certain men's eyes, once you are a mother is also true. Once you are a mother the discrimination and misogyny does change, or even increases. There are more ways the misogyny can be directed at you. And of course you become someone only in relation to someone else be that your children or your husband/partner or both.

HopelessFancyFeigned Mon 26-Jan-15 23:42:06

Does this mean MILFS and GMILFS have had their day?

I've not heard of this phenomenon but many current phenomena pass me by. As did Madonna posing topless to which my response is boredom really, both about her and anyone who cares enough to comment about her being topless.

ItalianLemons Mon 26-Jan-15 23:49:43

A relative of mine recently commented "You are not 21 any more, you're a mother" on the discovery that I had gone out with some work friends while my child was in the safe care of another relative. It's a shocking attitude.

ItalianLemons Tue 27-Jan-15 00:08:26

Oh, and, it's ok to be demure and subtly sexy as a mother. In fact that's perfectly acceptable and expected, no one wants to offend a mans eyes with an over tired over weight sleep deprived badly dressed woman. Remember ladies, sexy, but not overtly so. It's a fine line.

GaryShitpeas Tue 27-Jan-15 09:27:00

Deffo 100% agree with your second paragraph ebearhug. sad

MaudieAtkinsonsGardeningHat Wed 28-Jan-15 15:14:12

Reminds me of the fuss that went on after Katie Price slept with Gareth Gates when she was 4 months' pregnant.

Now neither of them are my favourite people but first the way he denied it happened and made her out to be a desperate fantasist made me ��

But then when it was all confirmed, the horror that greeted the fact that a pregnant woman had enjoyed sex with a man was quite shocking. They comments seemed to feel discrete sex with the father of the child would be overlooked, but lustful one night stands were somehow beyond the pale.

Goes back to the incubators thing in that case I think. She had ceased to become a person, a woman, with her own sexuality, and had become a 'MOTHER' and thus should have looked on such activities with disgust

anothernumberone Wed 28-Jan-15 15:21:12

You see for me there is another question here and that is why are Beyoncé, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Madonna etc etc dressing the way they do. I don't think we can ignore the patriarchy at play in their actual chosen attire anymore than the fact that teenagers are offended by it. I think many older men would be so busy ogling over JLo's lack of attire to care where she fell on the Madonna/Whore spectrum, God writing that spectrum makes me as bad as them. It runs deeper than the 2 teenage boys for me.

YonicScrewdriver Wed 28-Jan-15 15:46:08

They don't sound offended, they are mocking. As they might if, i dunno, someone bigger than a size 12 or someone with a visible scar was depicted. More "I don't fancy you so put it away"

ReallyAngryBeavers Wed 28-Jan-15 20:23:16

I think for teenagers "mother" is just a word for "old" and "past it".

They were saying she was too old to dress that way. Had she been young and half naked I'm sure that would have been fine. Beyonce has yet to be hit by the 'eurgh she's a mother put some clothes on it' brigade yet.

ReallyAngryBeavers Wed 28-Jan-15 20:25:46

Also teenage bravado and that lovely thing men do to bond where they discuss women like meat. I am willing to bet my life savings of nothing that should J-lo give either of the time of day they'd have something else entirely to say

TooOldForGlitter Wed 28-Jan-15 21:27:18

I would agree that the comments I heard by teenagers are not to be taken to heart but the same comments are also made by grown men and women.

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