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Just posting from Radfem 2013 with the MN feminists - couple of interesting comments :-)

(326 Posts)
LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 09-Jun-13 15:25:42

I'm just posting because I'm at a conference with a few MN feminists. We've just been to a panel about feminist parenting, and the others are chatting with other feminist mums.

I've been listening in on the discussion mostly on account of not having any children - which is why I'm posting on MN instead of talking - but a couple of women mentioned the old stereotype of MN being full of anti-feminist middle-class white mothers who only talk about nappies. And a couple of FWR regulars were saying that we're actually quite nice. So, I am hoping maybe people who were at the conference will come to check out this section.

Or maybe they won't, but if they do - hello! :-)

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Sun 09-Jun-13 18:43:23

Hello anyone out there! I am white and middle class, but will only talk about nappies if you specifically ask me and I will get bored quite fastsmile .

Interested to know what was said about feminist parenting LRD. Been tormenting myself today with a thread on gender stereotyping amongst toddlers.

kim147 Sun 09-Jun-13 19:11:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 09-Jun-13 19:19:17

I'd love to hear more about the feminist parenting. I'm sure there was a course on this topic in London run by MN Academy. I might be havering though. I've no idea what I 'am' but I'm pretty sure I don't fit the middle class, nappy talking anti-feminist stereotype. Nappies are well behind me anyway grin

TunipTheVegedude Sun 09-Jun-13 19:22:54

If you use reusable nappies there can be.

Mumsnet Academy is bloody expensive and sadly will only make the middle class stereotype worse!

IsBella Sun 09-Jun-13 19:28:24

Are you kidding?

Nappies have endless ruck opportunities.

a) environment
b) lazy mother syndrome
c) holier-than-thou mother syndrome
d) the politics of housework - who washes the nappies?
d) financial
e) practicalities
f) patterns

That's just off the top of my head, I'm sure there's more.


bunchamunchycrunchycarrots Sun 09-Jun-13 19:30:30

Tunip I agree, it's also located so far away if the price wasn't a barrier, then the location was!

MiniTheMinx Sun 09-Jun-13 19:39:19

Are you enjoying the conference LRDtheFeministDragon ?

I'd like to know more about feminist parenting. Disposables are surely a great thing for working mothers whilst washables make you feel like you are doing your bit to bring down the patriarchal capitalists. What's best? grin

kim147 Sun 09-Jun-13 19:42:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 09-Jun-13 19:43:30

Sorry, I started the thread then lost my internet. I'm on the train now.

The feminist parenting bit was possibly the weakest session, actually, as I think they were running short on time and there was a bit of a mix up between the organizers wanting to run sessions one way, and the speaker who'd planned it a different way. But there were quite a few people asking about it and lots of the stuff they were saying was stuff we discuss on here all the time, which made me think what a good resource MN is.

There was a lot of discussion about feminist parenting of boys. I expect people who were discussing that who're FWR regulars will say it much better than I can, though.

Oh, and also - how cool is this? - there were some women who want to set up a political 'Feminist Party'. They don't mean they think they'll get MPs elected tomorrow (!) or anything, but they made the point that just having the name on the list of political parties would help people think of there being an alternative to Condem/Labour/Ukip. I thought that was really interesting.

I apologize for sidetracking from nappies to politics, but I feel there's a natural link from the contents of nappies to the contents of Cameron's policies. smile

MiniTheMinx Sun 09-Jun-13 19:48:22

Well we certainly need alternatives to the major three, in fact anything that isn't UKIP would get my vote. Any party that has enough members and support can really help to lobby pressure on the other parties for change. It's a great idea.

kim147 Sun 09-Jun-13 19:49:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MiniTheMinx Sun 09-Jun-13 20:00:38

I think there can be enough common ground when it comes to putting forward ideas for change into the mainstream.

TunipTheVegedude Sun 09-Jun-13 20:03:15

I think it's both Kim.
There has been a resurgence. It's incredible.
Though what's less wonderful is that a lot of it is in response to things getting worse in a lot of ways, of course.

OddBoots Sun 09-Jun-13 20:07:24

I hope I'm not speaking out of turn here but I think the internet has a huge role to play in modern feminism on MN and elsewhere. It has given us a vantage over so much of society that we didn't have before and this has the dual effect of letting us see the distasteful (and worse) parts and also to connect with others with the same realisations.

There is a risk with anything political that internal disagreement could tear it all apart but I think there is the will and the passion to see a party formed.

kim147 Sun 09-Jun-13 20:10:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Sun 09-Jun-13 21:43:12

Glad you had a good day, LRD.

<waves> to any new MNers.

Sausageeggbacon Sun 09-Jun-13 21:47:29

Interesting idea on the political party, would the purpose to be to stand against Mike Buchannan and his Menz party? Haven't heard any more on how that is progressing but seems to have died a death fairly quickly.

FairPhyllis Sun 09-Jun-13 21:59:38

Glad to hear it's been a good experience. I wish I could have gone. What other panels did people go to?

(disclaimer for any RadFem people who turn up: I'm white and middle-class but I'm not a parent and would only know what to do with a nappy if it came with a manual!)

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 09-Jun-13 22:01:08

kim - it sounded as if the organizers really wanted to avoid too much policing of different feminist agendas. I can imagine it would be tricky, but I think any political party is. My issue would be how much pro-prostitution/pro-porn people would want to be involved, as that'd be a deal breaker for me. But I don't know quite what they were thinking.

Lots of people agreed with what you say about a resurgance.

odd - I agree. I think that came out really strongly, how good the internet can be. There was a lovely project someone had, to get people translating feminist resources into and out of different languages, so we could all share them very quickly and easily. So if someone writes a good blog post in Iceland, we could get it in English over here and pass it on in French or something.

I did have a good day, btw, thanks mini and sausage. smile

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 09-Jun-13 22:04:23

Cross post ... and fair I'm white and middle-class and disgustingly privileged and childless, too. Let us go forthwith to oppress everyone. wink

Of the optional panels I went to Marlyn Glen's on Politics (so this one I've been talking about), and Cathy Brennan's on Identity Politics - which was really brilliant and I had been worried I would struggle with. I didn't.

But I skipped some sessions (I went for a drink and a chat with this amazing woman who's a survivor of prostitution and is working in Ireland to help women coming out of prostitution and hopefully to bring that system down. She was lovely). So others who went to more will know more!

TunipTheVegedude Sun 09-Jun-13 22:14:10

I went to a session on fundamentalisms, religious and other.
What was really good in that session was the contribution of the Muslim women there and their attitude to how we move forward as radfems.

The facilitator was a white woman and although she did talk about a range of fundamentalisms, not just religious, she had a fair bit to say about Islam. One of the Muslim women in the room said that hearing a non-Muslim hold forth like that made her really uncomfortable, but that she felt it was important for everyone to be able to speak about it. She was quite direct in talking about how she felt but also not in the least silencing.

What was really significant about that, to me, was that it seemed to be part of a general acknowledgement that we will have issues communicating due to our differences but we can work to get over them and move forward together.

It echoed a comment I heard a couple of times from the older women at the conference (there were lots of cool elderly lesbians who'd been active in the 2nd wave) that in the 70s and 80s there was a lot of intolerance in the movement - lots of 'you can't say that!' and calling people out for disablism and fattism etc etc, and that the future for radical feminism must involve free speech and tolerance and not silencing each other.

TunipTheVegedude Sun 09-Jun-13 22:15:31

Rachel Moran's book is on Kindle for £2.05.


MooncupGoddess Sun 09-Jun-13 22:23:08

'the future for radical feminism must involve free speech and tolerance and not silencing each other'

Oh, I do hope so!

I'm glad Cathy Brennan's panel was good - must admit I've been put off her by her Twitter feed, which I find very aggressive.

tribpot Sun 09-Jun-13 22:30:45

I'm sure it wasn't meant that way, but 'white middle class women talking about nappies' is how feminists used to dismiss SAHMs in the 70s. At least according to my Mum, who was a feminist SAHM in the 70s.

If we are going to reinvigorate fashions from the 70s I am well up for some ABBA-style glam rock smile

However, overall it sounds like it was a really good event, lots of diverse opinion and I hope some of the attendees will venture over here to find out we can talk bollocks about any subject under the sun, not just nappies!

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