Thursday, August 24, 2006

women, don't marry a jackass

so, apparently, while i was gone, Forbes magazine published a craptacular article from one of their editors called "Don't Marry a Career Woman."

a furor ensued (as well it should in the face of such bad writing and even poorer thinking, ironic or not) and Forbes took down the piece, then repackaged it as a craptacular debate when its own female employees expressed some, uh, anger.

(and the editor might have some anger issues of his own; a previous videogame reviewer for Wired, read: dork, and his credits include an article positing men shouldn't marry when they can buy a whore! niiice. maybe he and joe francis can move in together.)

Feministing has a very nice timeline of events, links to commentary and, through it all, you should get a real nice view of how neanderthalic some people (cough - men) still are about women in the workplace.

get. over. it.

46 comments:

tin95 said...

Oh I know a lot of my girlfriends married jackass. And to think that these friends of mine are quite a catch, they are rich and professionals. I don't know with jackass men, why do they end up with great women sometimes.

Molly Malone said...

Since I met my husband, my only hope has been that one day I can scale high enough my career that I can be his sugar-mama and he can be a stay at home dad. So far, he's been the big bacon bringer (big surprise) and I've been floating around in entry level positions for various places. Now that I think I've found the path I want to take, what saddens me is that we'll easily be 60 before I make enough money to have him live off my bounty. (The entertainment industry isn't as bounteous as people like to think.) Alackaday!
Luckily, he's not a jackass. He knows we're all happier when I work!

ding said...

my mother was also happier when she was working. i saw a different side of her when she was with her coworkers.

it all comes back to virginia woolf and 'A Room of One's Own', doesn't it?

Andrew Tatum said...

You know, you would think that by now this sort of thinking would be the fringe. The scary thing for women today is this growing number of religious conservatives who still think the victorian family model was a good idea. I'm not sure of your denomination, but as a Baptist myself, I've seen more than my share of that different spheres for different sexes crap. I'm interested to see how the American church grapples with these issues in the future.

Cheers,
Andrew Tatum

Anonymous said...

Ding,
You mean to tell me that your mother was not happy raising you? Correct me if I am wrong, but are you implying that she was not working, but raising you and that she was much happier working with people instead of her "OWN" child?

So a woman can't be statisfy raising kids?

I will admit that there is a statisfaction being around adults who speak your language so to speak. However, there are trade- offs and I think your comments are self-center, not base on experience of any sort, but on how you defind your worth as a woman. Pehaps she was unhappy about other things, not neccessarily raising children. Was she married to a jack-ass?

I agree that the the guy who wrote that sexist article is a jerk,and a jack-ass!Life is about choices and we choose those choices that best suits our own interest or needs at the moment. Personally, I don't miss working at all. My pay check maybe, not the grind of the corporate world, no, no. I rather wipe snot off a two-year olds nose, who smiles after you do it and, may I add, a little person who I can have a greater influence on,not needing some one else to do it for me. Now, that's statisfaction. But...then again, I didn't marry a jack-ass, so there you have it!

Happy Mom!!

ding said...

Happy Mom,
ok, you are wrong.

read what i wrote carefully:
"my mother was also happier when she was working."

'happier' does not mean that nothing else can make you happy, just that there is a heightened sense of happiness and fulfillment. my mother lived for me and my sister (and her husband) but she was emotionally happier, more content, when she was earning her own money, contributing to the household, when she could make friends outside of the home and when she could have time away from her family. she was happier because her world was fuller.

and i think i'll trust my assessment of my own mother more than yours, thanks. you can keep your guilt trip for my mother's choices.

i've never said that all women can't be satisfied raising kids; personally, that's not my gig. however, let's stop getting defensive and open yourself to the idea that there are, indeed, mothers out there who *don't* feel emotionally stimulated by staying home with children all day.

your satisfaction is your own; i'm happy for you. but your argument is too black/white. you're assuming that it's either a woman stays home and must be happy or if she works, she hates her kids and neglects them.

working mothers still carry the lion's share of child rearing and, in my experience my sister and i never suffered for it. we had a happy working mother, a happy working father and so there.

as for my 'self-centeredness', big deal. it's no different than yours. i've chosen to live my life single, childless and i resent any implication that i should be any less proud of my situation than you are with yours.

ding said...

and another thing -

the Mommy Wars arguments are tiresome.

working moms vs. stay at home moms vs. not moms. it's all such bullshit.

and it's especially so because it's so fucking sexist, calculated to keep women anxious and worried whether they're being 'real' mothers or 'real' women.

basically, we find ourselves arguing with each other over things that men NEVER have to worry about. making it, therefore, a sexist construction of female identity.

why not ask about my father's sense of fulfillment when he was working and supposedly also raising me and my sister? why not ask your husband if he'd have been happier staying at home with the babies, instead?

but no. because men work and women raise the kids. (SEXIST)

jeebus, ladies, let's keep the eye on the ball.

Anonymous said...

"Happier" Ding, can only mean that she was not "happiest" raising her children. No, I am not starting a war between those who choose to stay at home and those who want to work. I have both in my world, and yes, their children are doing find. They are honest though, unlike some women, and wished they could have it all. Like being able to be there for their children all
the time. We must be realistic. What mother in her right mind wants to leave her children to complete strangers daily? None that I know. Some women have to work. Some don't have to work, and some choose to give working a back seat, for a period or maybe forever.
"Emotionally stimulated"???? Wow, I see why you don't want any children. It makes perfect sense. Children, Ding are not laundry that you take to the dry cleaners and pick up when you are ready. Gee!

Why men don't stay at home? Uhm... I have seen stay at home dads in the park with their little ones why mom is working doubly hard and probably twice as hard as her male co-worker just to be successful. What kind of male would let his wife work hard like that? Don't tell me that its okay, it's not. There are exceptions as to why a man would be at home with his little ones, but it not because he wants to see his wife sweat and labor hard while he kicks up his feet and have fun raising junior. What a wimp!! No wonder the wife can't wait to go to work. There is no stimulation coming from her mate to make her want to even consider staying at home, being their for him and her children. Then again, you have woman who need to be in control at all times. "I can bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan, and make you not forget you're a man. because I'm a woman." Men are driven by being succesful providing for their love ones.

No, you can't have it all. As a mother at home, I would love to have maybe an hour or two without my little person around, and you better believe I do get that time. Although, I constantly miss my baby's little face and I am glad to see my child through out the day. Things change in the raising of kids. They won't be with you always.

Working women carry the lion share? Oh, really? Please explain WHY they do?

Happy Mom

You are saying that your mother obviously wasted her life away. She could have done a lot as a mom at home. She had the "TIME"to do many things. Many women start home businesses, tutor others,become mentors for other women,etc... Some women just don't use there smarts to make the right choices. Then what they do when they realize they let time slip away, they tell their daughters don't be like me. And there you have it,the dawn of the new thinking women trying to find what they think is a man.

Anonymous said...

Also, you said your mother lived for you and your sister. Good for her! She knew what motherhood meant.
Working gave your mother an option for fulfillment. Ask her what gave her joy and contentment?

May God bless her!

sokari said...

Blog Day 2006

Black Looks

ding said...

i'm going to keep this as short as possible.

leaving the stock gender stereotypes at home (which we try to get away from here because we're feminist), let's just address the fact that you rely on a sense of what's 'natural' when, in my opinion, what our culture says is natural ("all women enjoy domesticity unequivocally") is a construct. (def.: a social mechanism created to control others in the interest of the status quo.)

now, if you want to buy into this construct, that's fine. buy into it. but there are others who find the construct chafing and so look elsewhere.

do you hear the judgment and superiority in your tone when you say things like "What mother in her right mind wants to leave her children to complete strangers daily? None that I know."

you've just pathologized and called crazy working mothers who just might feel ok with working because they enjoy it - and raising their kids.

when you call men 'wimps' because they choose to stay at home with their kids and create that bond that mothers/children share, as well as to support their spouses who may want to reenter the workforce, you emasculate them because they refuse the social construct of 'masculinity' in order to fit into your tidy gender box. (the stay at home fathers i know love it, work hard at it and, not surprisingly, are from my generation where we don't carry the sexist baggage of other generations.)

and i'm NOT saying my mother wasted her life; that's you saying that.

frankly, stop talking about my mother. you didn't know her, she would have laughed in your face and she's dead so i don't like people who obviously don't 'get it' using her to bolster their own defensive bullshit.

Anonymous said...

What mother in her right mind wants to leave her children to complete strangers daily is comming across as superiour? No, it isn't Ding. It's a fact, that if you happened to care and love your children. It not easy to do that. If it is, then your statement is right, I am superior in my thinking.



I am really amaze that you are attacking me. Amazed! Your mother was brought into this because you and other commenters are talking about being happy going to work instead of being at home? You are not a mother so that is why YOUR mother was used. I am sorry to read that she is no longer with you. You said she would have laugh at me? Don't worry I wouldn't laugh at her for marrying a jack-ass, your definition of what man is when he wants a traditional wife, Or, did you father wanted her to work? I am sensing something here from you. Since she is not able to visit your blog to comment, you have given a enough info so that anyone would know, you do not want to be like your mother.
We have become so selfish in this nation. This is America where we have choices and more freedoms especially as women. Future generations will be messed up because certain people decided they were going to make statisfaction in their lives role reversal and dumping their children on others.Why? Because I need something for myself;something more stimulating to give me worth as a woman or some man giving up because he's a coward. Woman have many avenues in our choices. To use working over not working as some "superior" way of thinkingis stupid. If a woman wants to return to work after having a child then go to work, but please don't try to to convince me that it's because of some state of mind.

For those who are reading this blog who are mothers,why do you have children in the first place? what's the purpose?

Something natural is never meant to control others is a natural order to life. When we try to change it, that is when you have a stupid converstions like we are having.
You find it chafing,women raising children without a career? No, it's a choice, Ding. Just as a mother who decides to return to work after having a child, No different. If you hate the idea don't do it. Simple. To attack the natural role of man working, and a woman staying at home is a construct!

A jack-ass(male) is anyone trying use the natural to control others so they can dominate. Not someone who desires and wants a traditional family.

Men staying at home? Is he working from home, has a disablity? Too feminine for me, If you like, ok!
Most men that I know will find that insulting.

It's like a woman picking a guy with no job. ooh! Would you do that?

ding said...

sigh. i'm not attacking you, i'm taking apart your statements. there is a superior tone you use when you scoff at the idea that there are women who are fulfilled by both home AND work. it's faux, disingenuous and if it was said to someone's face, it would be insulting.

frankly, it's bitchy.

let's look at *your* language.

what you've said:
my mother married a jackass
my mother was a bad mother because she liked working more than staying home (even though she did a crack job at raising us)
my father is a jackass because he wanted his wife to be happy
or, is he a jackass because he did want a traditional wife? (that's a little unclear)
a woman cannot feel more than one emotion at the same time - if she's happy in one context then it must be that she's unhappy in others
that only motherhood confers 'real' womanhood and is the only experience to be used as a filter for all others; if i'm not a mother then i don't know what i'm talking about - about anything
that all men want to be primary breadwinner
that all women prefer the same things that all women prefer all the time
that 'traditional' is the only way to go
that men are 'cowards' if they don't toe the gender line
that men who opt out of the rat race are effeminate
that i'm selfish and women like me are selfish
that women who work and have children hate their kids

YOU said all this.

all i did was call it bullshit.

that's not an attack; that's an adjective.

HappyMom said...

Tin 95, Molly and Andrew this will also apply to you as well. This way, Ding won't think I'm singling her out.


What I didn't say:

"Your mother married a jack ass".
No, you said that men who wanted women to traditional roles for women were jack-asses. I assumed when you said that your mother was much happier working, I thought you meant that she was at home raising you and your sister and it made her miserable so she went to work, despite your fathers possible being against it.

No, once again, if your mother wanted to return to work it was her choice. See simple.
You Ding is painting picture of women being misarable at home. Aren't you? "Being more fulfilled"?
Yeah, right. No, thanks!

And...
Your father is a Jack-ass for wanting a traditional wife.

No, he then would be smart. But, that does depends on how far he takes his traditional views. You know some men aren't comfortable with a little freedom in a woman. Which is why I when I saw your posting I had to comment. I think the the guy who wrote that article would fit into the Jack-Ass category, don't you think so?

And...

Ding doesn't know what she talking about because she is not a mother. hmmm... have you ever have to put anything or anyone before yourself constantly, and you enjoy doing it and sometimes you dreaded it? Is so, then yes you understand motherhood.

And...
All men want to be traditional breadwinner.
No, Most males have in them to do some sort of providing and protecting and all that mushing stuff and of course working hard. However, some men, my husband included would care less if I made more money then he does, but he wants to do it and insisted that he does. To any man who feels that its okay to be at home watching kids all day without doing some type of providing for his family. Has become a wimp and reverse his role to feel more comfortable. He wants a woman leading him all the time. And no I am not attacking any particular group. Just married men who reverse roles because they have wimped out of leading. Especially if he is at home with the kiddies and thinks it normal to do it. Most men would be bother about that. There are exceptions though.

And...all women perfer the same things. I already answered that above.

Traditional is the only way to go?

You read Ding, and you see our country's state? Figure it out Ding,your mother taught you well. Learn from her. Keep in mind you are single and you "think" like you are. Before you know it we won't be able to distingish nothing.

Lastly,

women who work and have children hate their kids. No, they don't hate them. Your comment is too general and assuming. Like I said, I have friends that work outside the home who have kids. They just don't lie to themselves about why they are working outside the home. They aren't trying to prove something to society or to themsleves. They are who they are.

Why of course all of this is bulshit to you. Remember, you live for yourself and you are single.

HappyMom said...

I forgot this..
Superior, bitchy?
Thanks! I appreciate all the adjectives.
That is just what a sexist male would,and have said to me.

Anonymous said...

"You mean to tell me that your mother was not happy raising you? Correct me if I am wrong, but are you implying that she was not working, but raising you and that she was much happier working with people instead of her "OWN" child?"

Oh boy...its the guilt patrol!

Anonymous said...

on behalf of Christian women everywhere...I apologize for Happy Mom...she is so quick to defend herself...perhaps you are not the one she is trying to convince.

Anonymous said...

"To any man who feels that its okay to be at home watching kids all day without doing some type of providing for his family. Has become a wimp and reverse his role to feel more comfortable."

Do women know what they are saying when they say this? They are actually degrading their own roles. "Any woman who stays home with the kids and takes care of the house and thinks this is work is just a big wimp." That is what that sounds like.

Anonymous said...

"Remember, you live for yourself and you are single."

So, instead of singleness being a gift from God as the Bible says it is actually an earmark of selfishness? Here again...you did not make the same choices as she has so you are wrong...and she is going to tell you just how wrong you are...so that she can more fully validate her own life.

ding said...

it's ok, Anonymous. me and Happy Mom are speaking totally different languages and i really don't care. i can't understand half of what she's trying to argue. it's all degenerating into nag nag nag.

shorter Happy Mom: everything that gender stereotypes tell us is true. period.

i think she needs to meet Patriarch Verlch, over at some of my april 2006 posts. they'd get along like a house on fire.

do you recall an Oprah show where ayelet waldman, author Michael Chabon's wife, said that she'd grieve more if her husband died than if her children died and all the moms in the audience howled with fury and practically went hysterical with anger? how dare she say such a thing? what kind of mother was she? she never should have had kids! she was a bad, crazy woman to not love her children more than her man! scream scream scream.

i watched the entire episode with such distaste. distaste for the hysteria and distaste at the ease with which these smug mommies, who don't this woman at all, could dare to put themselves in judgment over her because she expressed her honest feelings that were different from their own.

that's the place that Happy Mom is coming from. that's what she reminds me of.

ding said...

gasp!

i just successfully embedded a link! squee!

Anonymous said...

I know, I hit a nerve. It's okay, must be the woman in me. Oh, yeah, I saw that episode of Oprah. Let see, I love my husband more than my kid and he knows that, but you see, I don't have to prove that to anybody, but him. I almost remembered when Mrs. Waldman was talking, that she was sooo concern about some young hot woman stealing her man, Oprah even looked worried for Mrs. Waldman. She was worried. Why? Is it because he was gourgeous and younger than her? Why worry, since you are loving your man more than your kids, which is good, but are the motives for loving your man more than her children honest, sincere or manipulative? Uhmmm ... you girls better think it over.You don't want to get yourself in these selfish situations, if you decide to take the plung. Something like that would drive a woman back to work and writing about it so the world would know. I would do whatever it takes to keep my man, even go on Oprah!

Once again,to Ding, kids are the by product of a union between a man and a woman. Some moms, not I, do idolized their children over their marriage, I've seen it. Sorry my litte person can't give to me, what my hubby can, but my little person has given me much.My little person has taught me, others matter.

Now, if you want to talk with women who understand FAMILY and the roles in that family? Than we can go there. This isn't about loving your man more than your kids, is it? My child will grow to see two people who love and care for each other. My child will also grow up to see what is normal, like masculinity and feminity, and my child will know,there is a distincion! My child will know the truth, not a lie.

Let's agree to disagree.

ding said...

happy mom contintually chooses to misunderstand my point.

my point has never been about debating particular choices women make but about our society's *reaction* to them.

how we react to women's choices tell us a great deal about how we view gender and gender roles in our society. clearly, HM chooses to react negatively to the idea that some women (for whatever reason) choose not to live their lives like they live in the 19th century.

i choose to react differently to the same ideas. understandable.

the point isn't ayelet waldman's assertion (even though it may be informed by her well-documented clinical depression) to love her husband more than her children, but the fascinating reaction this created in the women around her.

THAT'S what's interesting to me. THAT'S what tells me which way our society is leaning when it comes to accepting women's variegated experiences.

i don't want to talk about traditional roles because i believe what our society calls 'traditional' is a social construct - it's fake, it's arbitrary and it serves the status quo. i think they're useless and debilitating for some women (some women happen to like it - whatever). if women had stayed in 'traditional' roles, we'd have remained an uneducated, chattel-like, secondary class.

for me, that's unacceptable.

so, yes. we agree to disagree.

Hailey said...

It's incredibly sad to me that people, if they had a choice, would spend time away from their children and talk about that being a "happier" experience.

If people really don't enjoy their children they should strive to be childless.

ding said...

i hate to sound incredibly harsh, but really. for the moms out there who simply 'can't believe other women like working rather than stay home!' your incredulity serves no purpose here.

it's like a christian saying, 'i can't believe atheists don't believe in God!' it's a useless exclamation.

what does your so-called disbelief contribute? it only serves to try and make people feel guilty for their choices, it makes you feel superior, and it absolutely does not move any conversation forward about women, work and how our society treats those who decide (or must) do both.

i just finished having this 'conversation' with happy mom and i'm not about to restart it.

Happy Mom said...

Ding, your reply is weak.
You are still implying that woman who stay at home to raise their children are looking down on women who work, totally untrue. You see, you can't relate to the world of mothers.
It is feminists' who have started the mommy wars, all to the destruction of mankind, telling young women that they will never be fulfill being at home raising there OWN kids. The Feminist movement, would want young women to know that if they do decide to get married or if they skip that part and just want a kid, stick the kid in government daycare so you can go and compete with men who are oppressing you. A lie, and what big lie! Why would a group of women poll from Havard, want to opt out their careers to start famliies? Is it because they do not want to be deny a God-given ability to conceive? Eggs will get old. Those women and millions of others who opt out, do so because we know that family matter in our world. People are priceless.

Ding, did you know that Brenda Barnes, CEO of Sara Lee opted out of being a coporate head to raise her children, she came back and is now the 8th most powerful woman in the world?


We can hope and pray for the next generations of women and hope they bypass the feminist lie.

personally I think you have been dealing with way too many jack-asses in your life. It has blinded your mind to the truth, churchgal.

Happy Mom.

ding said...

again, you and i are talking about two different things. it's arguable that the Mommy Wars, which go back to the 80s, was not a product of the feminist movement but of women like Phylis Schafly, who opposed the feminist movement and made working mothers out to be harbingers of doom for domesticity everywhere.

social and cultural history, feminist and otherwise, also show otherwise - the movements that are most vocal in their opposition of women working or leaving their 'proper spheres' are conservative, traditional and not feminist at all. your reading of feminist history is flawed. back it up with some authors and we'll have something to talk about.

but until that happens, your arguments are really just opinion and not fully fleshed out ones, at that. they depend on cliche and tired 'feminists ruin everything!' hysteria.

throughout our exchange i've noted the way *you* respond to different ideas - and your responses have always been to rely on stereotype, traditional gender roles and grossly exaggerated claims. my responses have merely been to say your points aren't rigorous enough.

note that i make no judgments about your personal life, your family life or inner psychology. notice i don't try to make you feel guilty or express fake disbelief that you believe otherwise; i just disagree and define the terms i'm using and wait for you to do the same.

ding said...

and let me be absolutely clear about my ever-loving, fracking point:

whatever a woman's decision to organize her life in a way that works best for her, it is our society's reaction to her decision that is significant in measuring women's social progress.

ding said...

and since the flawed NYTimes Belkin article was mentioned here's a link to more, uh, complex arguments surrounding the women and work (more complex than, let's say, 'biology is destiny'.)

ding said...

ooh!
and this one is good, too.

it looks at what's 'natural' in our mommy discourse and what's not.

Happy Mom said...

ding said...
whatever a woman's decision to organize her life in a way that works best for her, it is our society's reaction to her decision that is significant in measuring women's social progress.

9/05/2006 8:43 PM





Nobody is reacting to women roles more than the feminist agenda. Feminist would love that wonderful child care system that every woman have available to her so she can be more successful in working outside of the home, there is power in numbers. Afterall, being a mom at home is not a REAL job. Feminists of whatever decade you choose to associate with, are trying to redefined what a woman's worth really should be. I am so sorry you have bought into this crap. I've been reading your blog and you pretty much Ding,push the social, economic and any other political agenda in favor of women at the expense of putting men in there places, right? You want to deny men their rights and push women to rule over men, or better yet, let it be equal. Okay, single men should be paid the same as single women for doing the same job. A marry man with a family to support should be paid more than both. There, equality.
You want to tell me that men and women are really the same and should be treated the same in all aspects of life. A man who is working hard to support his family should be commended, a woman who is stressing over not having equal pay at the expense of her family should ask herself why does she has all this stress in her life.BOTH wife and husband in that relationship should re-evaluate their choices. All I am saying that women should really considered their choices and options and really look at what our society is trying to tell them. Is all this worth it, at the expense of their famlies? Weigh your options and choices, sit down with your spouses and talk it over throughly.
Those links you have provided are your agendas and not mind. Name some names??? Hillary Clinton comes to mind and so many others. You know your kind.I don't need to name them, and no I will not be researching them for you. I know who they are.


Women are suceeding very well Ding. Not all are suceeding in the right direction and for the right reasons. There is big difference between having wisdom and being smart, don't you think so? You don't become a CEO of a major corporation after opting out, and the 8th most powerful woman in the world by being unwise.

To those mom who HAVE to work, and to those mom who are single moms, not by choice. This dialog is not about you.

I know I said I would disagree with you and end it, but you just brought me back to so many of the conversations I had when I first decided to opt out and the many people who try to discourage me in my decision by saying the same things you are saying. Looking back I thank God for His widsom and the women and men who encouraged me in making this wonderful fulfilling decision to be a mom CEO.

And, if you can't figure out what is natural and unnatural. I'll say a pray for ya! ; ) Stop trying to find arguments to support your agenda.


Okay I'm done!

Anonymous said...

throughout our exchange i've noted the way *you* respond to different ideas - and your responses have always been to rely on stereotype, traditional gender roles and grossly exaggerated claims. my responses have merely been to say your points aren't rigorous enough.


Rigourous enough? I lives this. and you don't.
The facts are stated.

ding said...

"I lives this. and you don't.
The facts are stated."

and if someone lives different, what then?

all us women live different. and so our different lives have different solutions and a forward thinking society would support those different decisions and those of us in the society would, as well, instead of reacting the way you and Happy Mom do.

and 'life' isn't a fact. it's just an experience.

ding said...

"Afterall, being a mom at home is not a REAL job."

AHA!

this is the kernel that's been bugging you all along...sooner or later it had to climb out the tunnel, into the light of day.

no, Happy Mom, not all feminists think that staying at home isn't a real job. have some feminists said that? not the smart ones. most feminists acknowledge, assert and fight to change the fact that being a caregiver is one of the most underappreciated jobs a woman can have - but because it takes place in the home our patriarchal society (not feminists) says it's worthless.

but that's ok you think that. you also think gender discrimination is ok. that's cool.

clearly we come from two different universes.

the difference is this: i'll still fight for your universe. as a feminist, i'll fight for the right for women to stay home - and i'll fight for the right for women to leave the home. i'll fight for ways to make it easier for stay at home mothers to provide the care they need - because mommy issues are feminist issues.

i'll fight for these things because i trust women enough to make the best decisions to govern their lives.

but while i'm fighting for the decisions that women need to make, i'll also fight for social change - so that we can start rethinking stereotypes and played out gender roles. because while some women wllingly bear this unequal burden of patriarchal expectation, a lot of us won't.

now. will you fight for my universe? will you fight for my right to stay in the world of work and get paid what i've earned? will you fight for my ambition and drive? will you fight for my autonomy and independence? will you fight for other women who have the support of stay at home dads (and it works for them)? will you fight for paternity leave, queer adoption, telecommuting, flex-time, subsidized child care, health insurance equity?

will you fight for the different women who live different from you?

or is your fight just what you live?

uh-huh. yeah; i didn't think so.

Orange said...

I couldn't disagree more with Happy Mom. I am a liifelong feminist. I am a stay-at-home mom, and I do a little freelance work to keep my skills and connections intact; I used to make more than my husband. My husband works full-time out of the home, but is incredibly attentive to our son on evenings and weekends. I take some vacations without my family, just "me time," because I deserve some time that's not about taking care of other people. I am happy, and I love my kid, but I sure do need some mental space for myself to be a complete person. Happy Mom appears not to have this need, but me, I like to exercise my mind. I refuse to be chattel.

When I was about seven, my mom got a job. I wouldn't say she was unhappy raising children, but it didn't offer complete fulfillment. She didn't have "strangers" raise us (and after the first day of daycare, the workers are no longer strangers to the mom, Happy Mom. So cool off your inflamed rhetoric, will you?)—she sent us off to school and had a sitter watch us after school. We never felt the slightest bit neglected.

Rather than sitting on my pedestal and insisting that my personal life choices should be what everyone else does, I support women's right to make their own choices.

Work and use a nanny/daycare/family to take care of the kids? Fine. Work and trade off shifts with one's partner so that one of you is always with the kids? Fine. Stay home and take care of the kids and house? Fine. (But I hope you're using your mind in some way, for your own sake and to set an example for your children.) Don't want kids? Fine. Single mom by choice? Fine. Same-sex couple having kids or not? Fine. (Happy Mom said "kids are the by product of a union between a man and a woman." Wrong!)

Pretty radical of me, I know—I didn't come straight from the 1950s like Happy Mom.

I do have one last bone to pick with Happy Mom, who wrote "My child will also grow up to see what is normal, like masculinity and feminity, and my child will know,there is a distincion! My child will know the truth, not a lie." My child sees a nurturing dad, a competitive mom, and kind, funny adults (our friends) who are lesbian, gay, or bi. We encourage him to explore all facets of himself—if he likes pink and purple, he gets a couple shirts in those colors. I suspect Happy Mom is squashing any interest her kids express in venturing beyond traditional gender roles. Happy Mom, if one of your kids grows up to be a career woman, a stay-at-home dad, a radical feminist, a gay man or lesbian, or a staunch childfree advocate—I hope they don't despise you. Maybe they'll forgive you for not knowing any better.

Oh! And in one comment I just saw, Happy Mom mentions "stick the kid in government daycare." I'm confused—is there some great government daycare benefit I haven't heard about? Because it seems like most working families have to pay a lot for daycare.

Sorry for the rambling comment, ding—it's hard to respond to such a long thread in a concise way.

Anonymous said...

Orange you didn't read comments Happy Mom very well.
Even I being a male read her comments, and she is only asking for moms and dads to consider their choices. She wanted moms to used their options and choices correctly. That's all.
Ding, you twisted Happy Mom's comments. Happy Mom, you ARE being a little superior.
Let me leave this cat fight alone.
Richard

ding said...

um...i don't think we've misread her. HM wanders a bit but she's pretty clear about what she's in favor of: traditional roles, domesticity and gender inequity in the workplace.

Happy Mom's greatest hits:
"Feminists of whatever decade you choose to associate with, are trying to redefined what a woman's worth really should be. I am so sorry you have bought into this crap."

"A man who is working hard to support his family should be commended, a woman who is stressing over not having equal pay at the expense of her family should ask herself why does she has all this stress in her life."

"My child will also grow up to see what is normal, like masculinity and feminity, and my child will know,there is a distincion! My child will know the truth, not a lie."

"We have become so selfish in this nation. This is America where we have choices and more freedoms especially as women. Future generations will be messed up because certain people decided they were going to make statisfaction in their lives role reversal and dumping their children on others."

"What kind of male would let his wife work hard like that? Don't tell me that its okay, it's not. There are exceptions as to why a man would be at home with his little ones, but it not because he wants to see his wife sweat and labor hard while he kicks up his feet and have fun raising junior. What a wimp!!"

"And no I am not attacking any particular group. Just married men who reverse roles because they have wimped out of leading. Especially if he is at home with the kiddies and thinks it normal to do it."

"Keep in mind you are single and you "think" like you are. Before you know it we won't be able to distingish nothing."

if she's asking for everyone to, as you say, 'consider their choices' she's also pretty clear about what those choices should be: do the traditional thing or the world is doomed and your family is ruined.

the rest of us just don't think so.

(and what you dismiss as a catfight is a difference in opinion. keep the sexism to a minimum.)

Happy Mom said...

Allow me to help clear this up a bit. Hopefully I can do this.
Ding, I see you called in the reinforcements, didn't you? I thought you had better balls then that, Feminism haven't taught you how to stand up for yourself? The good thing is, you brought in a stay at home mom to comment.

Anon- Thanks, Ding was bouncing so I bounced with her in this dialogue. (1) She brouht in Aylet Waldman, Why? It had nothing to do with the dialogue that we were discussing, nothing! In fact, I like Aylet's writing on being a mom, and I really didn't want to say what I said, but I called it the way I saw it, Aylet's appearance on O' that is. Oh, for the record a friend told me that Michael her husband works at home now.

Orange,
thanks for putting your 2-cents in. I do appreciate your comments somewhat. I disagree however, with some of it, but you and Ding know which parts of your comments I disagree with. Oh, and for the record I understand your lifestyle very well. My mom worked outside of the home, too. She is supportive of women rights, so am I and she probably would support everything you just wrote.

With all of that said,

Orange you said: Rather than sitting on my pedestal and insisting that my personal life choices should be what everyone else does, I support women's right to make their own choices.


No, I am not sitting on my pedestal, just my sofa typing away and wondering how this conversation shift to feminism. Oh, I know how,
Ding said:
how we react to women's choices tell us a great deal about how we view gender and gender roles in our society. clearly, HM chooses to react negatively to the idea that some women (for whatever reason) choose not to live their lives like they live in the 19th century.

Which is not true, because I said:
I agree that the the guy who wrote that sexist article is a jerk,and a jack-ass!Life is about choices and we choose those choices that best suits our own interest or needs at the moment.
and...
women who work and have children hate their kids. No, they don't hate them. Your comment is too general and assuming. Like I said, I have friends that work outside the home who have kids. They just don't lie to themselves about why they are working outside the home. They aren't trying to prove something to society or to themsleves. They are, who they are.
And...
To use working over not working as some "superior" way of thinking is stupid. If a woman wants to return to work after having a child then go to work, but please don't try to to convince me that it's because of some state of mind.

For those who are reading this blog who are mothers,why do you have children in the first place? what's the purpose?

In other words Orange, as a mother, you are at home with your kids because...? And, if you do decide to go back to work outside of the home, it's your choice.
All I was saying that our choices rather we agree with each other about them should be made wisely.

Happy Mom said...

part 2

Ding, go ahead and fight for my choices. Just make sure your fighting the right fight for men and women to exercise that choice to have one parent at home without it being a burden for a woman to come home. Fight that if, and when I do decide to return to work, taxes would not be so high that it would only seem finacially right that I stay at home. In other words, I don't want my money going to a daycare. Oh, before I forget, Orange, the goverment daycare statement was written wrong. I know that some feminist organization are asking for the government to pay for child care expense of parents. Remember, ( some, being fair here), Feminist organizations want big government to get their agenda's across, Which I am against. There are other avenues to fight for women, issues without higher taxes. That would backfire against women eventually.

Okay.
Orange you have an interesting blog. I think I'll bookmark it.

Ding, the whole churchgal, feminist thing through me off with you, that is why this argument got started. I was thinking something totally different about you. Now I understand we are on different sides of the fences.

This is what i will do for you:
Pray for you.

HM.- I finish with this. I hear you all, loud and clear.

ding said...

(shrug)

Anonymous said...

I always love it when the snide ones leave you with. "I'll pray for you, you filthy sinner!"

E.I. said...

"I'll pray for you" is fundy Christian lingo for "f*ck y**".

Inky said...

Heh, nobody's going to read this cause it's so late, but I'll post anyway:

No feminist or feminist organization I've ever encountered has wanted to prevent women from staying at home with their children. The debate is between "women can choose whether or not to stay home" and "women must stay home". Also, what the heck is wrong with daycare? That's the part that confuses me most, that it's supposed to be harmful for a kid to be in a group with others of her/his own age under the eyes of childcare professionals. Now 24-hour daycare would suck because of the lack of one-one-one attention, but we're not talking about it being round the clock like that.

ding said...

hey, Inky - thanks for weighing in (even if it is late.)

there's a whole different reality for women that women like Happy Mom aren't familiar with - women who are single moms, women in low income jobs who can't afford to stay home. i think a good portion of us, if we had the resources and could say that we could be completely fulfilled (the mommy part of us and the part of us before mommyhood), would stay home.

but, alas, our recent economic conditions prevent that for about 60% of the women in my state (and that's just from 2000 census data.)

Anonymous said...

Heh!
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=467390&in_page_id=1879

ding said...

shorter british tabloid article:
"see? the old gender roles made everyone much happier. better is mommy never got a job in the first place."

thanks, dude.