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I'm giving up.

(416 Posts)
GarlicShake Sun 17-Apr-16 17:36:10

This is more of a despairing rant than an invitation to reply. Sorry! I feel like I've nowhere else to put it.

I am 61 years old. I'm facing ageism & ableism as well as sexism. I have a corner to fight.

I went on strike for maternity rights, for equal pay, even for the factory to have a women's toilet. I forged a career in a world that was predominantly male, argued for my pay rises and trained younger people up to be non-sexist. I've been blamed and misconstrued, beaten up, raped, and carefully answered the gamut of sexist assumptions. I battled for my pension rights and I threatened the bank with legal action when they refused to take my salary into account on my first mortgage. I am still fighting.

But I just can't hack fighting for younger women any more. They're throwing away all that we, and the two generations before and the one after mine, won for them. I can't even tell whether they don't give a shit or they think all their rights are safe so they needn't bother.

I'm not going to argue the transgender thing any more. I'll stick to supporting the handful of FB friends who get it, but I'm not arguing in my own voice from now. I'm giving up on explaining why "Ms" matters - it's been around for 50 years, for crying out loud! People can figure out why the Nordic model's a better idea for themselves - or, most likely, not. Women can congratulate themselves on being financially dependent on husbands, and figure that out for themselves too.

And I think this country's going to vote itself out of Europe. That'll wake a few people up in short order, I fear, but I shall be needed to stick up for older & disabled people like me as our rights will get shredded. I am tired.

I am very tired and disappointed. Thank you for all the brilliant discussions, MN feminists! Good luck.

But I just can't hack fighting for younger women any more. They're throwing away all that we, and the two generations before and the one after mine, won for them. I can't even tell whether they don't give a shit or they think all their rights are safe so they needn't bother.

Can I ask what has prompted you to take the above view?

oliviaclottedcream Sun 17-Apr-16 19:49:38

The last U.S poll I saw concluded 70% of women (all ages) shunned the label feminist. I'm not so sure we can solely blame those 'young women' you are referring to, as not giving a shit. I'm sure they do care about their rights and sexual equality. Maybe feminism has to look at itself for the reasons why this is happening?

PalmerViolet Sun 17-Apr-16 20:00:34

But I just can't hack fighting for younger women any more. They're throwing away all that we, and the two generations before and the one after mine, won for them.

I agree with you Garlic. Although, I am sorry you're feeling so let down by other women.

Endless circular arguments with women who either deliberately set out to sabotage other women or who are merely too stupid to recognise what's happening get you to the point where you want to give in.

The answer is simply not to engage with them, there are many young and not so young women who are worth making the effort of speaking to, so I concentrate on them.

GarlicShake Sun 17-Apr-16 20:05:44

Thank you for asking. This was the tipping point. I've found myself more & more feeling anxious about: pornification; women's blind ignorance to what government changes are doing to women; the sheer numbers of women I encounter who assume feminism's nearly redundant ... I perceive increasing sexism, whether I'm wrong or not, and regression towards gender stereotypes. I perceive "choice feminism" being used to shoot down basic equality issues. Just a whole load of stuff that makes me sad & anxious. I feel like I've been making the same points over and over again, instead of moving forward.

Just seen there are more posts! No, I don't think feminism needs to look at itself. I think women need to look at patriarchy.

GarlicShake Sun 17-Apr-16 20:05:48

Here's the image from my link above.

GarlicShake Sun 17-Apr-16 20:07:30

Thanks, Palmer thanks Sorry you feel sad too ... and glad there is still fight in you!

oliviaclottedcream Sun 17-Apr-16 20:16:14

No, I don't think feminism needs to look at itself. I think women need to look at patriarchy.. That's a shame, you sounded rather balanced in your first post. But, . The patriarchy ???? ....This is the point I skip out, I'm sure you'll be happy to hear. I'll leave you and your fellow conspiracy theorists to have a good old moan. Enjoy!!!

LurcioAgain Sun 17-Apr-16 20:23:21

I can see where you're coming from, Garlick. The thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that somehow I have to do a decent job of bringing up DS, so he ends up as a respectful human being. But urgh, some of the things on some purportedly feminist websites these days.

Can't say I'm surprised by the Green party's "non-men" comment though - it simply confirmed what I'd already realised about them from their stance on prostitution and their willingness to join in the "TERF" witch hunt. - that they're typical lefty misogynists. What's that old adage? "When a man tells you what he's like, listen." Or in this case, "When a political party tells you what their policies are, listen." Or even that great quote - was it Dworkin - "Right wing men see women as individual property, left wing men see women as collective property."

GarlicShake Sun 17-Apr-16 20:24:52

Just for oliviaclottedcream: www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/patriarchy

A system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is reckoned through the male line:

A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it:

A society or community organized on patriarchal lines:

GarlicShake Sun 17-Apr-16 20:25:52

Hadn't seen that Dworking quote! Hah, yes!

GarlicShake Sun 17-Apr-16 20:26:21

Er, that would be Andreag Dworking ... blush

QueenLaBeefah Sun 17-Apr-16 20:30:46

I can see where you are coming from Garlic TBH.

I'm 42 yrs old and have benefited from your efforts but, my goodness, women 20yrs younger than me are unbelievably ignorant.

I had one early 20s work colleague tell me that all feminism has managed was to give women 2 jobs (paid and at home). I asked her how she would have earned her degree and masters without feminism (silence) and asked what her two grannies had done for a living. Unsurprisingly they had both worked - she chose to believe the narrative that women never worked. I was fuming.

PalmerViolet Sun 17-Apr-16 20:32:19

Feminism is hated because women are hated. Anti-feminism is a direct expression of misogyny; it is the political defense of women hating.

Said so long ago, and it's as true now as it was then.

QueenLaBeefah Sun 17-Apr-16 20:34:57

I would need a gun held to me head before I vote Green. How fucking dare they call me a non man. Completely insulting.

PlentyOfPubeGardens Sun 17-Apr-16 20:36:20

flowers Thank you for all your generation have done for us, I don't blame you for feeling like giving up.

Take a break, surround yourself with people who 'get it' for a while, and (I hope) when you're ready, come back fighting because we need older women's voices. Your generation knows how to fight and can see straight through the current nonsense, on the whole. You're also a big cohort and politicians care about what you think because you're much more likely to vote than the youngsters.

So please, take a break but don't give up permanently, we need you!

RidersOnTheStorm Sun 17-Apr-16 20:36:55

I know how you feel, Garlic. I'm close to giving up myself. So disappointed with so many young women.

LurcioAgain Sun 17-Apr-16 20:38:19

Oh God Queen yes to the rage about the 1950s Doris Day movie as the state of nature! I'm 50 and my grandmother always worked outside the home (had to, my grandad did a runner to a different country, no maintenance payments, and my grandmother didn't even pursue alimony as she could have done back then, because she believed in supporting herself). It was only a tiny proportion of middle class women who didn't have to work in paid employment.

I always feel tempted to ask women who say "I'm not a feminist" "Well which bits don't you like then? The vote? The right to earn equal pay (more honoured in the breach)? To have your own name on the mortgage without a male guarantor? Not to be raped in marriage (1991, I think, that particular one)? To be able to get a degree? To be a doctor if you want?"

SummerSazz Sun 17-Apr-16 20:40:32

Thankyou flowers. I have benefited 😊

I fight in my own way and challenge the crap whenever it appears. I teach my children the same but I get your despair.

QueenLaBeefah Sun 17-Apr-16 20:41:09

"I'm not a feminist" makes me apoplectic with rage.

Usually said by a woman with
A degree
Mortgage
Car loan
Travelled the world
Own bank account

Do they really think any of that would have been achievable without feminism?

RNBrie Sun 17-Apr-16 20:55:18

Really sad to read this Garlic. I'm in my mid-30s and my stance on Feminism has changed dramatically since I had daughters and joined Mumsnet. I'm pretty sure I used to be one of the young women you despair of.

But if people like you weren't here, then I'd never have had my eyes opened to the ongoing struggles that women have. I wouldn't be raising my daughters as the feminists of the future (I hope).

Something has gone wrong because when I was younger, feminist was like a dirty word no one wanted to be associated with (think hairy, braless, lesbian) and I needed to come here to be educated (interestingly my mum is part of the problem, so it's not just the younger generation, she's late 60's and thinks there is no need for women's rights anymore).

Please don't give up, the world needs you, my children need you!!

GibbousHologram Sun 17-Apr-16 21:02:31

Garlic, I very much hear you. I'm only early 40s but I feel powerless and horrified.

Thank you for everything you ever did that allows me to live my life as I do.

VestalVirgin Sun 17-Apr-16 21:12:41

Something has gone wrong because when I was younger, feminist was like a dirty word no one wanted to be associated with (think hairy, braless, lesbian)

There's nothing wrong with being a hairy braless lesbian.

At least, back then, all those who called themselves feminists actually were feminists. (Or so I like to think)

Whereas nowadays ... it is just a fashionable label, and has no really meaning anymore. So-called feminists are pro-prostitution, pro-porn and claim that there is such a thing as a lesbian with a penis.

It's depressing.

Thank you for fighting for our rights, Garlic. flowers

Clonakiltylil Sun 17-Apr-16 21:17:31

Big thanks from me too. We will have to keep up the fight, for a little while at least. But I too am horrified at what has come of all the wonderful ground work that was done in the name of feminism.

shins Sun 17-Apr-16 21:23:19

Thanks Garlic. I'm 44 and while I do question and criticise some of the ideas and thinkers of second wave feminism ( and have many Heated Debates with my fabulous 1970s warhorse MIL), I have enormous respect and gratitude for the battles and achievements of the generation before mine. I know full well the shit they went through so that I didn't have to. I see us as part of a continuum, always figuring out a way to get it right. Having my own daughter made my feminism "go to eleven" as well when I look ahead at what she'll face-some the same, some different.

But oh I hear you on young women. I've been getting a bit involved in an abortion rights group ( depressingly the law in Ireland hasn't changed that much since I was young) and their campaign is full of jaw dropping statements like "Not only women are in need of abortions but.. " ...or calls for all "women, cis and trans as well as nonbinary people who are affected.." The transactivist narrative is now all over the fight for reproductive rights and it enrages me. I mean, just fuck off. We don't even get to own our own experiences anymore. And the young women are so desperately brainwashed that they don't see the dangers in this and I can't bear the way they've been treating Germaine Greer, like she's the pope and they're Galileo. When in fact it's the other way round.

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