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Fri Apr 13, 2012, 09:21 PM

Ann Romney and raising children:

I'd like to see a conversation on how Women feel the Ann Romney flap.

I'd like to preface this by saying that I have no issue with Women staying at home to raise children. I find it a preferable choice.

My issue is that Mrs. Romney seems to not understand that this choice is getting harder and harder to obtain. What Mother doesn't want to raise kids at home full-time?

Is a stay at home Mom now a luxury? Two income households seem to be the norm. Single Motherhood is even more prevalent.

Weigh in Ladies! I'd like to see if I know what I speak. I am childless.

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Reply Ann Romney and raising children: (Original post)
Texasgal Apr 2012 OP
Siwsan Apr 2012 #1
Texasgal Apr 2012 #3
hlthe2b Apr 2012 #2
Texasgal Apr 2012 #4
seabeyond Apr 2012 #170
hlthe2b Apr 2012 #173
handmade34 Apr 2012 #5
Texasgal Apr 2012 #6
iverglas Apr 2012 #27
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #28
iverglas Apr 2012 #30
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #77
iverglas Apr 2012 #88
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #177
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #7
PassingFair Apr 2012 #9
seabeyond Apr 2012 #10
PassingFair Apr 2012 #11
seabeyond Apr 2012 #12
PassingFair Apr 2012 #13
seabeyond Apr 2012 #15
Warren DeMontague Apr 2012 #61
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #80
iverglas Apr 2012 #99
Little Star Apr 2012 #109
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #19
PassingFair Apr 2012 #20
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #32
seabeyond Apr 2012 #33
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #35
seabeyond Apr 2012 #36
Warren DeMontague Apr 2012 #63
seabeyond Apr 2012 #66
Warren DeMontague Apr 2012 #70
PassingFair Apr 2012 #34
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #37
PassingFair Apr 2012 #39
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #40
PassingFair Apr 2012 #51
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #54
PassingFair Apr 2012 #55
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #57
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #38
seabeyond Apr 2012 #42
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #43
seabeyond Apr 2012 #45
customerserviceguy Apr 2012 #52
seabeyond Apr 2012 #58
Warren DeMontague Apr 2012 #60
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #81
iverglas Apr 2012 #47
seabeyond Apr 2012 #56
iverglas Apr 2012 #67
Warren DeMontague Apr 2012 #69
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #82
seabeyond Apr 2012 #89
iverglas Apr 2012 #93
seabeyond Apr 2012 #95
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #171
seabeyond Apr 2012 #8
wildflower Apr 2012 #14
boston bean Apr 2012 #16
seabeyond Apr 2012 #17
MadrasT Apr 2012 #21
hlthe2b Apr 2012 #159
MadrasT Apr 2012 #18
seabeyond Apr 2012 #22
Nikia Apr 2012 #23
boston bean Apr 2012 #24
Warren DeMontague Apr 2012 #48
iverglas Apr 2012 #25
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #29
iverglas Apr 2012 #31
seaglass Apr 2012 #73
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Tumbulu Apr 2012 #178
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iverglas Apr 2012 #44
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iverglas Apr 2012 #71
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boston bean Apr 2012 #74
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iverglas Apr 2012 #102
boston bean Apr 2012 #106
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boston bean Apr 2012 #108
iverglas Apr 2012 #112
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iverglas Apr 2012 #117
Warren DeMontague Apr 2012 #175
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #76
MadrasT Apr 2012 #78
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #83
seabeyond Apr 2012 #86
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #167
seabeyond Apr 2012 #169
PassingFair Apr 2012 #144
boston bean Apr 2012 #75
iverglas Apr 2012 #85
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iverglas Apr 2012 #96
seabeyond Apr 2012 #103
iverglas Apr 2012 #110
boston bean Apr 2012 #128
iverglas Apr 2012 #130
boston bean Apr 2012 #136
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boston bean Apr 2012 #142
seabeyond Apr 2012 #100
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Tumbulu Apr 2012 #162
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iverglas Apr 2012 #126
seabeyond Apr 2012 #131
iverglas Apr 2012 #133
seabeyond Apr 2012 #135
seabeyond Apr 2012 #129
iverglas Apr 2012 #132
seabeyond Apr 2012 #137
iverglas Apr 2012 #141
iverglas Apr 2012 #156
seabeyond Apr 2012 #163
seabeyond Apr 2012 #179
iverglas Apr 2012 #26
iverglas Apr 2012 #120
Scout Apr 2012 #115
iverglas Apr 2012 #118
Scout Apr 2012 #121
iverglas Apr 2012 #124
seabeyond Apr 2012 #125
iverglas Apr 2012 #127
seabeyond Apr 2012 #134
iverglas Apr 2012 #138
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #165
seabeyond Apr 2012 #168
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #172
seabeyond Apr 2012 #174
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #176
Scout Apr 2012 #160
seabeyond Apr 2012 #164
Tumbulu Apr 2012 #166
Texasgal Apr 2012 #145
iverglas Apr 2012 #146
Texasgal Apr 2012 #147
iverglas Apr 2012 #148
Texasgal Apr 2012 #151
iverglas Apr 2012 #152
Texasgal Apr 2012 #153
seabeyond Apr 2012 #161
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boston bean Apr 2012 #154
PassingFair Apr 2012 #158
iverglas Apr 2012 #150
boston bean Apr 2012 #155
iverglas Apr 2012 #157

Response to Texasgal (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 09:29 PM

1. I seriously doubt Ann Romney has ever actually worked on or for much of anything - literally

She was born into wealth and married into greater wealth. She's never had to worry about financial issues, or provide more than companionship and comfort for her family. Yes, those are very important, but so is struggling to provide food, clothes and shelter. I would love to know what sort of household staff she employs - from cooks, to cleaning people to nannies.

So, she hasn't a practical clue as to how the majority of women have to work and worry.

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Response to Siwsan (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 09:32 PM

3. Oh, hey I agree..

I just saw a post in GD that asked why where the "feminists" are complaining about a stay at home Mom.

Thought I'd weigh in here.

I agree 100% with your post.

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Response to Texasgal (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 09:30 PM

2. Nearly two decades ago, the mother of my godchild expressed the attitude...

that women who didn't take time off to stay with their children when young, were basically "selfish". She believed that those who stated they "needed the two paychecks" merely needed to reign in their spending and stop trying to "outdo the Joneses"...

It wasn't true then and it certainly is not now. Even then, fewer and fewer families could live on one paycheck--even if they were both college-educated (and presumably in middle class kind of jobs).

The Romneys and their ilck are totally clueless. Not only do they not understand how much the middle class has been devastated, so as to make "stay at home Moms" virtually an impossible option, but they totally don't understand how many single parent households (largely headed by single females) there are and why. For "devout" practicing Mormons, these concepts are foreign and has rendered them largely clueless, yet it is their elitism that has really rendered them so unable to understand or appreciate the "real world".

How very different they are from those wealthy families of "old" who actually practiced the adage that "to whom much is given, much is expected in return"...Ayn Rand is their "role model" and it is certainly not a "pretty image." I'm sure they would point to their tithing to their Mormon religion to "counter" my claim, but I have to think that to be a very different situation and impact than when one donates to charity--no religious strings attached.

I don't know if either Romney is necessarily a "bad" person. But, I do think they are so clueless as to be a real threat to the well being of the populace and our future.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 09:43 PM

4. I don't think Ann is a "bad"

person, I just think that she is clueless.

My Mom and dad had to work back in the 70's raising me and my brother. We were latchkey kids. My parents worked hard to get us to college. I am thankful for that.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 04:30 PM

170. and btw hlthe2b

just so you know, when i was having my issues and you were at work having a conference call.... and BB, i was pretty damn envious of you two, also.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #170)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 05:05 PM

173. If only we could be two places at once and "truly" do/have/experience it all.


I guess the extension of the Old Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song, "Love the One You Are With" would be "Enjoy Where You Are, When You Are..."

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Response to Texasgal (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 10:03 PM

5. as a mother of 5...

I know there is no way to put anyone (or any situation) into a neat box... we would all be well advised not to judge too many people.

I was home with the first 4 but milked cows and grew crops and gardens and did hundreds of hours of volunteer work... so is that really a "stay at home mom?"

Texasgal, you are correct... the issue is choice; the ability to choose what is best for oneself, kids and family... the argument here is that someone in Ann Romney's position most likely has options... ALL women should have such options!!!

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Response to handmade34 (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 10:30 PM

6. I agree... ALL women

should have options.

That's what is so messed up here! That's the point that so many do not "get".

Where is that living wage that we all need to raise our families???

Mrs. Romney is so out of touch! -

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Response to handmade34 (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 08:43 PM

27. why?

 

First off, no, you weren't a "stay at home mom" if you were actively working to produce things, whether for the household or for market. Cows and crops fed your family. Tending to them is no different from selling shoes in a department store to earn a living to buy milk and veg. Assuming that those agrarian activities actually did produce an appreciable contribution to sustaining the household.

But where I say "why?" is this:

ALL women should have such options!!!

First off, why WOMEN? Isn't this the great big huge question? Why are we talking about women staying at home to do whatever it is that women who stay at home do? Are women born wanting to stay at home to wash dishes and tend to children's needs and wants? If not, and gosh I just so much hope that our answer is "not", then where is this whole issue coming from and why are we talking about it?

If this is what we want, we're talking about a world in which one adult produces/earns enough to support an entire household containing another adult and however many children. Presumably wages would not be based on number of dependents, but on the same factors (bad as many of them are) that they're based on today -- I assume we're not talking about all women having the option to stay at home come the revolution, we're talking about the regulated capitalism we live with now.

So adults with no dependents would be getting paid quite handsomely, in terms of their needs, so that their co-workers with dependents could support them adequately. That just strikes me as odd. Everybody's wages go up significantly so that some adults don't have to work. I don't know where the money is going to come from. Whereas, if all the adults work, dependent-less adults get a wage that supports them, and adults with dependents get two wages to support them and their dependents. The wages reflect the productive labour. I really just don't want my wage to reflect somebody else's needs, i.e. to have my wage reduced to support someone's "choice" not to work. And that includes tax measures and public benefits that someone with a dependent adult in their household gets that I don't get.

But basically, I still just can't figure out why feminists are talking about WOMEN and saying women should have the choice to drop out of the adult world and devote themselves to their children. What's feminist about this, again?

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Response to iverglas (Reply #27)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 10:24 PM

28. I think that you have highlighted the difference between N. American Feminism and N. European

feminism.

Back in 1981+2 a friend of mine from grad school (who was from Germany) used to tell me how strange she thought our vision of feminism was over here.

She maintained that due to our over-the-top capitalism we wanted women to act like men, to be equal to men, to pretend there were no differences between women and men.

In Germany and Scandinavia she said that the emphasis was on changing society so that it valued and came to appreciate and compensate financially those occupations and professions and vocations that were more typically associated with female- but certainly not only done by women. Those professions would be teaching, nursing, childrearing, eldercare, etc. That by valuing financially both the creative and the maintenance of our society adults of both sexes would enjoy equal opportunity and respect.

I came to motherhood very late in life- at 45 yrs of age. I am floored by the enormity of the task. It is not at all possible to raise children as they were raised when I was a child. That sort of free range stuff is now an almost certain guarantee of disaster. Without a culture providing a safe structure for children, parents have to do so much more and this so much more is not really possible while holding any sort of professional job- one that requires 60-80 hrs per week. I never had a professional job that did not require that kind of commitment. The mothers that I know who left those professions when they had children did so because these professions have no part-time options or even 40 hr week normal options.

Being a parent is huge and being a mother is even bigger as one has the physical changes of the body to deal with along with the emotional.

As time has passed I feel that my friends in Germany and Sweden and Denmark have it right and we have it wrong over here.

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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #28)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 11:55 AM

30. that sounds muddled to me

 

In Germany and Scandinavia she said that the emphasis was on changing society so that it valued and came to appreciate and compensate financially those occupations and professions and vocations that were more typically associated with female- but certainly not only done by women. Those professions would be teaching, nursing, childrearing, eldercare, etc. That by valuing financially both the creative and the maintenance of our society adults of both sexes would enjoy equal opportunity and respect.


Yes ... valuing those occupations as occupations. Like providing good affordable childcare, with qualifed, properly-paid staff, so that women can work at real jobs -- and so that children benefit from early childhood education. Not somehow organizing society so that women can stay home and not have jobs.

There is simply no reason for women anywhere to take years out of the workforce to rear children. For starters, there is no reason for anyone in an industrialized society to be having more than two children.

I did mention that the factors that determine wages as we currently operate are not all good ones. My grandfather fought for the 40-hour/5-day week as a union man during the Depression. He was in the union movement, in a good, skilled industrial job (printing) until about 1965, and during his work life things improved for workers steadily: paid vacation and various kinds of leave, for instance. And where are we today ... back where he was 80 years ago, for many people. Longer hours, fewer benefits. And the childcare situation has not improved in decades. Obviously, these circumstances are not conducive to women staying in the work force.

I can't speak for the US, but here, for instance, the Law Society of Upper Canada has taken a serious interest in women's working conditions in the law profession for some time: http://www.lsuc.on.ca/with.aspx?id=397

But the question remains, why are the things being addressed still framed as:

Women have been entering private practice in record numbers for over two decades. However, they have also been leaving in great numbers, largely because private practice has not adapted to their realities, such as childbirth and taking on a significant portion of family responsibilities.

-- by which, of course, it means "a large majority of family responsibilities". Why are women lawyers, among the most sophisticated workers in society, still doing that? The income imbalance between them and their male partners is surely not a good reason in their cases, for example.

A large portion of postsecondary education in Canada is funded by the public (i.e. not just by tuition fees). Law firms devote resources to their young employees' professional development. If women are going to keep dropping out to become stay-at-home mawms, who could blame the public or employers for not wanting to spend those resources on women?

Yes, it's all chicken and egg. More resources to support parenting and an end to stereotyping throughout society are both needed before women can be said to have real choice.

But arguing for dropping out to be recognized as a legitimate, equally respected choice doesn't combat the stereotyping, and not fighting for the supportive resources doesn't bring real choice about.

A couple of quick reads about childcare (and the status of women) in Sweden -- pro and con:

http://www.childcarecanada.org/resources/issue-files/early-childhood-education-and-care-sweden
http://childcarecanada.org/documents/child-care-news/11/06/nordic-childcare-model-best-economic-and-social-wellbeing
http://childcarecanada.org/documents/child-care-news/11/06/swedish-childcare-system-hardly-utopian-model

I recommend the second one. Note that the author of the third one (a response to the second) is a patron of the Iona Institute in Ireland: "The Iona Institute promotes marriage and religion in society and defends denominational schools and freedom of conscience and religion." And note also that income inequality and thus social inequality has recently been rising in the Nordic countries as well, and it is to be expected that women's status will not be rising, public childcare schemes will suffer, etc., when that happens.

In Canada, the Liberal Party for years ran on a platform of eradicating child poverty (by the year 2000, I think it was -- child poverty remains one of the things we are criticized for internationally) and instituting a univeral childcare scheme. They were about to be forced to fulfil the latter promise, when they were in a minority position dependent on NDP (my party) support to stay in power earlier in the decade. They were brought down and the first minority Conservative government was elected. Instead of direct funding to create childcare spaces, the Conservatives brought in a payment of $100 per month per child for parents to use as they saw fit, e.g. for sports equipment for children of families with a stay-at-home parent. Utter nonsense, of course. That amount did nothing to create childcare spaces, because $100 isn't going to pay for a week of proper childcare. So my taxes go up to give households with stay-at-home mawms another $1200 a year that I get no say in the spending of, i.e. that is not subject to any public oversight so it is spent in the public interest. And it does nothing to enhance women's equality or make choice available to women.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #30)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 11:38 PM

77. Muddled? Why?

You seem to have no respect for the incredible job of parenting

And it is a serious job. And a terribly important one. Just an unpaid one.

It is not something for some worker to take on so that the "woman" can do a "real job" as though parenting is not a real job. I find your ideas to be insulting and condescending on this subject.

Secondly, professionals such as lawyers and accountants tend to work 60-80 hr weeks. There is no childcare in the US for that sort of work schedule. Maybe for the 40 hr workweek, but even that is rather hard to find actually. 60-80 hrs and then come home to children or babies at their wits end...this is suicidal. Anyone with half a brain cell will not do this. What we need in this country is for a parent to be able to take years off of their paid careers and then be go back into the workforce. The time of unpaid childrearing needs to be respected. It is clear that you do not respect it. Do you think that this is the position of most feminists?

Here is the parental leave link at wikipedia. You can see what civilized countries give parents and women for the serious work of childbearing and caring for the infant and toddler.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parental_leave

I think that your ideas on childrearing seem to be a reflection of an industrialized mindset, something I associate with the old Soviet Union. Although I wonder what sort of leaves women there got after childbirth- now that would be something that is within our history of feminism group..... even US slaves got 3 months off after giving birth....

But my main point from my interactions with my German and Swedish friends is that feminists in North America in the 1980's emphasized that women should participate in the values of the patriarchy by proving that they could behave just like men- that they were not different. The emphasis has been on women being encouraged to act like men, as tough as men, as strong as men, etc.

Feminists in Germany and Sweden and Denmark (that I knew in the 1980's) did not want women to feel as though they had to try to behave like men or compete with them. In fact they felt that men should not have to compete in this capitalistic macho patriarchy either. They wanted women to be respected and valued for bringing to society both what they traditionally used to bring and what in modern times they now bring since most professions have been opened up to them (and childrearing expectations have been reduced so significantly) . So if a woman wished to become a doctor, wonderful. If a man wished to become a RN, wonderful. Both professions are important. Both should be paid decent wages. Parental leave- if you look at the wiki article above can be done by either parent. That mothers tend to chose to be the primary caregiver over men reflects in my opinion that for many women the creation of the child by their own bodies also creates a bond that is unique and with it come a whole pallet of sensitivities and capacities. One result is that many mother's (not all by all means) wish to be the primary caregiver and stay close to the child. At least through the first three years when breastfeeding is going strong. Many chose to continue on this journey. It is work and it is unpaid, but it is absolutely important for the fabric of society that some parent does do this.

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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #77)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 08:36 AM

88. as I just said below

 

you have put an end to this discussion by mischaracterizing and attacking.

even US slaves got 3 months off after giving birth....

And early on in this thread I pointed out that Canadian working women get MORE THAN 3 months' maternity leave (15 weeks) on employment insurance benefits, plus 35 weeks of parental benefits to divide with their partners as they see fit between them (and this applies to adoption and similar situations as well), and I approved that policy. (edited; misremembered the numbers of weeks) So why would you be throwing this at me?

Feminists in Germany and Sweden and Denmark (that I knew in the 1980's) did not want women to feel as though they had to try to behave like men or compete with them.

I certainly appreciate your telling me that my many years of successful, enjoyable paid employment mean that I am behaving like a man. I have no idea what this competing business is all about. I shouldn't compete with men for jobs, and just let them have them?

But my main point from my interactions with my German and Swedish friends is that feminists in North America in the 1980's emphasized that women should participate in the values of the patriarchy by proving that they could behave just like men- that they were not different. The emphasis has been on women being encouraged to act like men, as tough as men, as strong as men, etc.

And now let me tell you how incredibly offensive I find your apparent adoption of this characterization of MY life. Beyond belief. That I worked my ass off for over a decade for women refugees who were victims of sexual violence, among others, and you characterize me that way is just gobsmackng. I should have left that work to the men, I guess. If the women could have found any willing to work as hard at it for as little pay as I was. Or if a woman who had been raped by a dozen members of the military happened to feel like disclosing to a male lawyer. And doctor.

Where is the division and disparagement coming from, now?

From your wiki:

In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, it is standard that mothers stay at home for 3 years with every child. All mothers can decide to take 2, 3 or 4 years of maternity leave. It is also possible for the fathers to take the leave instead of the mothers but it is not common.

And this is progress? Women performing stereotyped women's roles/work. Do we have some figures about how well those women fare economically after interrupting their work lives for a decade?

In fact they felt that men should not have to compete in this capitalistic macho patriarchy either.

Well duh. Maybe you actually read what I said about my grandfather fighting for the 40-hour week 80 years ago, and how much of what he and the union movement gained has been long since lost again. Maybe you thought I was saying that was a good thing, who knows?

They wanted women to be respected and valued for bringing to society both what they traditionally used to bring and what in modern times they now bring since most professions have been opened up to them (and childrearing expectations have been reduced so significantly) .

Funny how I'm not seeing much of a reduction in those childrearing expectations, in this thread among other places.

That mothers tend to chose to be the primary caregiver over men reflects in my opinion that for many women the creation of the child by their own bodies also creates a bond that is unique and with it come a whole pallet of sensitivities and capacities. One result is that many mother's (not all by all means) wish to be the primary caregiver and stay close to the child. At least through the first three years when breastfeeding is going strong.

Well, there we are: the stereotype, and what a good thing it is. Breastfeeding for three years? Women didn't do that in prehistoric times, fer fuck's sake. But what better way to keep women out of the work force than by guilting them into breastfeeding for three years?

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Response to iverglas (Reply #88)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 05:46 PM

177. I get the feeling that we are misunderstanding each other

and I do not know why you think I am attacking you, personally.

My entire adult life I have participated in the paid workforce- except for my time as a Peace Corps Volunteer. In order to have been taken seriously I have had to behave in a way that is valued by the capitalist patriarchy. I speak for myself and the women of my generation who live in my area. I do not know you or where you live or what you do, although what you have shared above seems to be very impressive work to me. Thank you for doing it.

I do not know where blame is coming from either.

And have you not seen a reduction in children being born per female where you live? Where I live maybe one in three women has a child and those that do have children perhaps have one or two.

When I was a child the average family size in my part of the country was four children. Quite a reduction over half a decade.

Yes, women sure did and do breastfeed for three years- go to any non-industrialized country and you will see. The non-industrial countries that I have observed this is in are The Gambia, Senegal and Mali. But I have friends from many other parts of the world and this is the case from their home areas as well.

Where do you get the idea that anyone is guilting anyone here? I am sorry that my style of writing has somehow given this impression.

But wanting to be a mother in a non-industrial do-it-yourself way should by no means upset anyone else. Why would my choices be upsetting? They are my choices to make. No one guilted me into making them. I came to my own conclusions working in Africa.





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Response to Texasgal (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 10:47 PM

7. I hope this story goes away after the Sunday talking head shows are done chewing it

It's a battle that no one can win, all that happens is gasoline gets dumped on the fire. There is, and has for too long, been a tension between women who hold careers and those who are traditional homemakers. It's just part of the way that the reich wing has divided us, and it needs to heal. Ms. Rosen's comments were not a soothing balm on the situation.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 10:36 AM

9. I think you're wrong. I don't think there are many "traditional homemakers" left.

I've never really been a "stay at home" mom. I did WORK from home
through much of my kid's childhood. I also worked outside the home.

Sometimes they went to daycare, sometimes a family member watched
them, sometimes we had a "babysitter" come in during the summer --
whatever it took to get the work out.

I understand that some women and their husbands CHOOSE to have
one spouse take on the full responsibility of childcare, but those kids
eventually go to SCHOOL, and unless you're homeschooling or you
decide to have a truckload of kids, the stay-at-home "career" is over.

My own mother stayed home for 4 years, having 4 children in rapid
succession, while my father worked a pretty large territory as a salesman.

She remembers those years as the scariest, worst years in her marriage.
No car, no money and no husband to pick up the slack.

I never remember her NOT working, since she went back to work before
my youngest brother started kindergarten. She had another child years
later, who went to daycare while my mother continued teaching.

"Homemaking" and "Housewifery" are NOT careers, they are, at best,
phases in a woman's reproductive lifespan.

There's no "tension between women who hold careers and those who are traditional homemakers."

Democrats (and you) are fighting a "battle" that's already been DECIDED.

We need to not apologize for talking to women as fully functioning HUMAN BEINGS
who have REAL responsibilities for the fiscal well being of our families. It's 2012!!

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 10:54 AM

10. see, this is the thing. we do see it differently

you are right that it is a lot less women that choose to stay at home, but stay at home they do. and when the kids are going to school, it is not that the job stops.

i cant tell you the number of hours it was the same moms, over and over and over..... over the years, volunteering in the schools, doing the parties, helping with the classes, going on field trips and doing a lot of other volunteering in the school where they needed other people besides the employees.

until the last couple years (friday i ran a backpack to school and later went to sons district track meet my husband wasnt able to get off to watch), at any point i could be called out to take care of the kids in school. forgotten homework, sick, dr appt. now granted, parents deal with these issues while they work, but i got to be exclusively the one dealing with ALL issues of kids thru out the day, without hubby having to leave the job or telling the kids no, or feeling guilty about work or family.

or the same parents that did the favors for the working parents getting the kids home or bringing to their home, or picking up for practices or boyscouts cause the parent was at work and didnt have the ability.

or the number of times i have babysat other peoples kids cause they were sick or for whatever reason couldnt be taken to day care and the parent had to work.

another part that we really appreciate with one at home and one at work, is ALL things within house, and personal life is mine to do. so we both get down time. tons less stress and work.

not to create a battle, cause i dont really care. but a different perspective is all.



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Response to seabeyond (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 11:07 AM

11. I understand. When my youngest daughter was in second grade...

either my husband or I had to get a job that provided health care,
because our home business had fallen off, and we were paying over
$1200/month for health care.

I got a job first, so my husband began a 7 year stint as a freelancer.
Emphasis on the "free".

In those years, he never made more than $10,000/year...

He is now back at work full time (yeah!!!!!).

He never considered his work from home years as a "career",
although he did most of the schlepping around of the kids to
doctors appts and sometime to and from activities (as did I)
because my sales job had some flexibility.

I don't think that you consider "homemaking" a career.
I don't think, from reading anything I've seen you write,
that you consider yourself a "traditional homemaker" that
will never work outside the home.

I think the Democratic party is wrong to act as if there is
a "class" of women who will never work.

Long lives have their phases....

What will be your status when the children leave home?

(I have no idea how old your kids are....)

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 11:14 AM

12. i dont see it as a career.

you are right. and i argued that absolutely and immediately. it isnt a career.

i explained my situation in the post below. i have been thinking about going back to work, and hubby and i (me, not really hubby) are back and forth. what are the advantages. is it worth it and changing our whole structure we have had for almost the last two decades. he would have to start doing other shit, too, cause i have no desire to do it all. very much into balance and fairness. i dont know. as i said, what i see looking at the job market and being out for 17 yrs, it is a career killer.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #12)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 11:24 AM

13. I really get it!


My point is that the PARTY doesn't need to be out there
spewing conciliatory talking points that intend to mollify the
"homemakers" out here, because that "divide" between
"homemakers" and "career women" ended IN THE FIFTIES!!!!!


And about your current position:


You don't need to be a CEO, but you can and will find
a way to be indispensable and to have success at a job.

Doesn't matter what you DO!

Part time work and some volunteerism is still work. One thing leads to another....

You are smart enough, and quick enough, and determined enough to rise!




:hugs:

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #13)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 11:32 AM

15. i just read an OP in GD that i am defined as "a lady of leisure". that is a real

fuck whomever.

this is why from the start, it was.... leave it alone. digging us deeper and deeper. hillary apologized, dems spoke out. end of story.

but nooooooo, lol. it all has to just keep going to where people are gonna get pissed. ok, women.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #15)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:27 PM

61. Unbelievable.

Some people REALLY don't get it.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #12)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 12:07 AM

80. I am sorry, I do see it as a career

Last edited Mon Apr 16, 2012, 06:09 PM - Edit history (1)

and I am sick of women putting it down (as if the patriarchy minimizing it's value isn't quite bad enough!) , and so called feminists at that.

Raising a child or children is real work. It is critically important and whichever parent takes it on does a service for their own families and for those around that cannot for all sorts of reasons be there. Just as you do for your community. This is real and it should be respected.

And I am quite angry that there are feminists here calling it some sort of hobby.


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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #80)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:23 AM

99. wow

 

And I am quite angry that there are so called feminists here

Just wow.

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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #80)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:03 AM

109. I agree Tumbulu, raising children is real work....

Most important job I ever did in my life and the most fulfilling too. I made the choice to be a mother and wouldn't trade that experience for all the money in the world.

I have no opinion when other women make a different choice such as having a career. Or having both. It's complicated being a woman.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 12:47 PM

19. While there may not be many of those types of women where you live

They still are out there in places where you can live on a single income. Let's also acknowledge the fact that there are a lot more single-earner families than there used to be before the recession/depression.

That aside, everybody knows and loves somebody who fits this description. They will be receptive to "victim" talk from the reich wing, which has been practicing its lines on this topic for many, many years than you can imagine. I used to lurk over at Freeperville quite some years ago, and the place went nuts every time the homemaker vs. career woman debate happened to come up. They've really honed their arguments to produce massive amounts of guilt, which is what reich wingers are accomplished at.

We don't need this battle, and I salute the President and the First Lady for looking to get past it as fast as possible.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #19)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 12:55 PM

20. "...We don't need this battle"

We already WON this battle.

It was called THE SEVENTIES.

The fact that you use the term "single-earner families" shows
that people today make hard choices about how to care for
children and the elderly that don't preclude a woman having
NO CHOICE, or pretending that "homemaker" is a career.

People, men and women alike, from FREEPERVILLE, are
not going to vote for us regardless of how we pander to
outmoded gender stereotypes.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #20)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 01:34 PM

32. Then you don't have a clue what's going on in suburbia and rural areas

The "Mommy Wars" as Cokie Roberts referred to them today are still boiling under the surface. Moms who work outside of the home in a two-earner family still feel pressure from the stay-at-homes, who often subtly, sometimes snidely make remarks about vacations, Blu-Ray players, and other "frills" that they boast that they can get along without, so that they can be home when Junior gets back from school. Stay-at-home moms pick up on counter-barbs from the working moms that they're not able to handle the work world, and are mentally stagnating. That battle sure didn't end in the Seventies.

I only cite the Freepers as a way of showing that there are places where you can go to see this battle, they don't have the civility we generally show here. But this incident does bring up a point, if fundie women were ever going to support Romney, they just got something on the first step to that path.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #32)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 02:09 PM

33. we see it on the thread. and you are right on.

after days of this, i see it just another opportunity of attack on ALL women. i am beyond disgusted with it on this fine saturday morning customerserviceguy

i agree

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #33)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 02:17 PM

35. The Repukes thrive on this

They love being able to paint progressive women as those who choose to neglect their children, just buying them 'toys' to avoid having to parent them. The rural (and some suburban) women eat this up. It's how they keep them on the plantation.

I've always said that Hilary Rosen should have simply said, "It's fine that Mitt Romney listens to his wife, but what women does he have in his life to listen to, who have to take care of a family on a job that pays a modest income? Who informs him on their issues?"

If she had done that, the flap never would have happened. And Willard would not have his first step towards convincing fundies that he's really genuinely one of them.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #35)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 02:22 PM

36. i agree. i am disgusted by the whole thing

the woman did not phrase it properly. she apologized. she was not an employee of obama. he and others spoke out. end of story.

instead, we have another attack on woman. pitting against.

defending.

i think it is atrocious justifying what we are doing to romneys wife. i look at michelle obama and hillary clinton and i know thru their wealth and education, being an employee and raising children were a 100xs simpler for them than most all of us. it is hypocritical of us to not be on those womens ass if we are going to tear the other woman up.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #36)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:31 PM

63. They want to change the Subject from birth control.

There's no way to spin it... I get the point H Rosen was trying to make, and it was economic, not gender based... But that point is better made by mentioning Romney's car elevator IMHO.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #63)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:43 PM

66. if she had merely said.... had never been in the workforce. but, even what she said was not a big

deal. it is what we are creating out of it that is the mess.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #66)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:52 PM

70. No, but of course the right wing noise machine is going to latch onto it.

I mean, they're pretty desperate right now.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #32)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 02:10 PM

34. I LIVE in suburbia. Once a kid is in 1st grade....

the function of the "stay-at-home mom" is mostly negated.

Now, you can have multiple children, or you can choose to
"home school", but after that, the job itself grows up and
moves on, and you are looking for another "career".

I have been a SAHM and a working mom myself throughout my life,
and being a SAHM is more a PHASE than a "career".

I know many like myself, and I HAVE NEVER "picked up on" barbs and
counter barbs. On the soccer sidelines, at parent teacher conferences,
at home or at work.

We do what we can.

When we can.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #34)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 02:23 PM

37. Maybe you live with people who have gotten past the debate

And I salute the folks you choose to congregate with for that. But outside of polite society, on message boards, it's really evident as an undercurrent. I doubt Cokie Roberts would have mentioned it on "This Week" if it were ancient history, she's usually got a good sense of what's going on in middle America.

Even after my siblings and I were grown, our Mom never went out to work, and she only did light volunteer work (with her church) after we were of school age. My sister's twins just turned 21 this year, and she still has not gone back to the work she did before she had them. There are a lot of folks out there in America who have had (and still have) the choices that afford them that sort of lifestyle, and we need them on our side in November. Ms. Rosen's comments about an out-of-touch candidate conveyed a sense that she herself was out-of-touch.

I just hope the news cycle on this is over, and we can get back to telling America why Mitt Romney should not be President, and not why Ann Romney should not be First Lady. If we let them shift the debate that way, we lose.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #37)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 04:28 PM

39. If you really are a "guy", then it speaks volumes that you are the only one

...arguing this issue.

You are the only person that agrees with Ms. Romney that I've seen,
on line and IRL.

I reiterate that the women you cite would not vote for Obama in any case.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #39)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 05:33 PM

40. Ah, yes, I've seen that here before

Because I'm male, my opinion on this is worthless, right?

And I never said I "agreed" with Ann Romney on ANYTHING, just that it is folly to attack her when we should be keeping up the attacks on Mitt Romney. She gets to become a martyr-hero to the fundie women who really haven't decided to support a Mormon, and he gets to be the brave macho defender of her. It's not a matter of whether those women would not vote for Barack Obama, its a matter of whether they would vote for Mitt or some fundie nutcase religious whackjob. If we can see enough of them do that, we've got a shot at winning some states that the President won only marginally last time. We need everything we've got for this fall, especially with the economy still being in poor shape.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #40)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 06:53 PM

51. Not worthless. Did you read the OP?

Asking women to weigh in, in the History of Feminism room.

Honestly!

There IS no divide for the democrats to worry about. There is no battle
between "home-makers" and "career women".

There are just women, trying to make the best choices for their families,
sometimes working, sometimes not.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #51)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:01 PM

54. Ok, then since I'm a straight guy

should I stay out of the LGBT forum, too, unless I can totally agree with everyone posting there? As a matter of fact, I have gone to that forum to state that it was better to have civil union/domestic partnership as a step along the way to marriage equality, and that it's better to achieve marriage equality by legislation rather than court action. I don't seem to recall being told that as a heterosexual my opinion was less than valid.

There is a tension, and if you can't see it, then maybe you live in a nice place. I know loads of people who say there is no racial tension or homophobia in their areas, but they may not be looking hard enough.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #54)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:07 PM

55. I guess I live in a nice place.

And know and speak to and confide in and with lots of women.

Your mileage may vary, but I don't see "division" in this room, or
on this board.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #55)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:11 PM

57. You're right, I'll admit

I stand alone on this board. However, both the President and the First Lady have made statements that they're not into pursuing this "Ann Romney doesn't work" thing either. I guess I take some comfort in that.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 03:01 PM

38. If you think that being a homemaker is not helping "the fiscal well being of our families"

then you're mistaken. Often, that second job gets its income whittled away with higher marginal tax rates (its usually the greater wage that takes the withholding allowances) and FICA taxes that bring the second earner not a dime more in Social Security, if they make less than half of what their spouse makes. Add to that the costs of clothing for work, commuting costs, and the costs of meals out, and you have an awful lot of second earners not really making that much from the activity.

On the other hand, a homemaker has time to plan shopping trips for maximum efficiency (making sure to hit the sales at the right stores, within reason) and being able to prepare nutritious meals at home from scratch, or at least from boxed ingredients rather than freezer-to-microwave foods. In the homemaker families I've observed, mealtime becomes a time for a family to gather around a communal dinner table, rather than just grab-and-nuke and sit separately in front of the three TV's. That ultimately has an effect on school performance, which helps the children get better grades, and lifts their economic potential.

I'm sure I'm missing a few other potential contrasts here, but I think you can get the idea.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #38)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 06:03 PM

42. though i forgot the tax level i would be at, i basically said the same as you in another post. so,

one person agrees with you.

i will also add another.

when only one works in the work force, leaving the other to deal with all things at home, it allows the one to focus exclusively on work without interruptions. kids sick days, cant find babysitter, overtime, out of town is not an issue. making this employee of higher value and more likely to get pay increases, job security, promotions. my husband bought a business when kids were 2 and 4. put in 60-80 hours a week not to mention the stress of meeting payroll. it paid off for us, but he lost those years with the kids and there would be no way he could have been successful if i was working, too.

division of labor. it is that simple. but some are having issue with how the division of labor is to be had. i have been thinking about this thread today and i wonder why the division of labor must be both working and dividing household chores and childcare as opposed to a division of worker and household/children.

we make enough money to live. what sense is it to promote a person to materialistically gain more and more and more.... merely to have the insistence of being in the ADULT world. both of us more tired and more work to be done. children put in positions of being outside of home for care, or alone without supervision. all so we can have more money that we do not need.

i am having issue with this, if you cannot tell. common sense, intellectual sense, i cant get beyond the hypocrisy of this.

then with so little money brought in so i can do a menial job that has no benefit to throw the house into chaos.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #42)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 06:06 PM

43. Thanks, well said

In our home, my lady likes to work the OT, and I can't wait to get out of the place. You won't find my bun prints on the door on the way out.

But by the time she gets home, there's a good dinner cooking and the laundry gets done on the weekends when she's doing the OT, too. She tells friends that I'm the best wife she ever had!

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #43)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 06:14 PM

45. that is another thing. i am seeing more and more fathers as SAHFs. i love it. really appreciate

it and value it. i think it is great. i encourage it. i have seen some and one in this thread stating, that they were less patient as moms.... i know women that prefer to work and the father is more adept with the kids. just like i am more so than my husband. i dont see it as a gender issue. and i applaud the people that recognize and go with their strength. YET

we are solely focused on the womans role of worker or nonworker (rolling eyes) SAHM. i am not hearing people shift it to people, or the mothers and fathers that.... just women.

that tells me it is the same pitting women against women, creating battle on women bullshit as always, allowing men to not even be a part or put under microscope.

though i am hearing you are employeed and this is really not about you.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #45)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 06:56 PM

52. There is a similar thing that goes on with men

If a man is not either employed or in a solid educational program that should reasonably lead to a job, and the woman in the house is the family breadwinner, then he's automatically considered a "bum". Now, mind you, I certainly know men who fit that description, but many others are tarred with that brush.

See, it happens to both genders to make ourselves insecure. But it doesn't happen to working men.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #52)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:13 PM

58. i see that often too. hence, why i say this issue is solely about pitting women against women

SAHFs are the first to be degraded and humiliated. yet, there is not a word being said about "people" that stay at home. solely women.

but, you are correct what you are saying, and it bothers me a lot.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #58)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:17 PM

60. Absolutely. I'm someone who has done both.

Society needs to do a better job of supporting parents-regardless of gender.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #60)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 12:12 AM

81. I agree with you (nt)

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #42)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 06:31 PM

47. and I keep having a problem with this view of women

 

we make enough money to live. what sense is it to promote a person to materialistically gain more and more and more.... merely to have the insistence of being in the ADULT world. both of us more tired and more work to be done. children put in positions of being outside of home for care, or alone without supervision. all so we can have more money that we do not need.


Why aren't we saying this about men who work outside the home? They just do it for money.

Some of us women really do have other reasons for working. Although, yes, the idea that an adult is responsible for supporting themselves and their kids is really kind of fundamental.

Something not being mentioned is the rate at which women who do not participate in the work force end up in poverty in old age. I hope we all know about that. They do not have private pension plans, they do not have adequate contributions to public pension plans, etc. Marriages break down and partners die in middle age too, of course, and non-working women can be left in poverty even before retirement.

And no, as a working, pension-contributing, taxpaying individual, I don't really want to be footing the bill for keeping such women out of poverty in old age, in perpetuity. Women like my mum, who married in 1950 and did what she had been socialized and otherwise pressured to do (like by being fired from a government job when she married) -- stay home and rear children -- who are in their 80s now, absolutely; they got screwed in various ways and deserve help. But women who are young and middle aged now? Nope. They need to be paying their own way in future in the same way all us working adults will be.

These are the things we used to talk about in the women's movement. The need for women to be able to achieve equality. Not some claptrap about all choices being equal and equally deserving of reward.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #47)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:09 PM

56. yes.... what you are saying. i prefer to say people that stay at home, recognizing more men are

making that choice. and i am all for it. hence, my issue with the last handful of days with this issue. i see it fully focused on women and see it as pitting women against women. bullshit, needs to stop.

i was referring to my situation, which i am familiar with. my husband has the masters, makes the money. i tend to be better with the kids. we work to our strengths.

yes, we know it sets women up in the future and that is part of the sacrifice and bitch about it. we have responsibilities and choices as parents. i understand it killed my career when i had kids and i was not willing to put them in day care, to ensure my future. i did make other choices, being aware of my vulnerability. that is the wonderful thing with choices.

along the way, i made sure i was covered.

it was a choice both my husband and i carefully considered, and this is how we want to live our lives. knowing that it puts me in a situation later in life, we set me up a couple decades ago. i had my own money, i had my own career.

i do not see my hubby "taking care of" me anymore than i am him. it is a unit, in marriage, and divided responsibilities.

it behooves ALL of us to be smart in marrying and deciding to have kids. and it is also a risk we all take.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #56)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:43 PM

67. the problem being that "people" do NOT stay at home

 

These stay-at-home dads ... they stay home for two decades, do they? Most of them don't keep up some kind of work life (telecommuting, freelancing) while staying home? And there are how many of them? Maybe 0.01% of the father population? It's really just ridiculous to pretend the discussion is about anybody other than women.

i did make other choices, being aware of my vulnerability. that is the wonderful thing with choices.

Well, except that if you end up divorced/widowed and unemployable/elderly and poor, the tremendous thing about your choice is that somebody else will be paying for it. This is just a fact, is it not? Social assistance in one form or another.

Ah, you say you made sure you were covered. Well, I guess if the working partner can sock enough away in retirement savings plans, or amass enough property, or whatever, and there is an iron-clad marital agreement of some sort, that's possible. It isn't really, for many women. Presumably you had savings from the lengthy time you spent in the work force before leaving it, and by agreement your husband would have no claim to them if you separated. Your average sahm is not in that position.

it behooves ALL of us to be smart in marrying and deciding to have kids. and it is also a risk we all take.

Well of course it does. But a majority of 20ish women aren't, fairly obviously. And the more we glorify the "career" of motherhood, the more we set them up for dependency and vulnerability.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #67)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:51 PM

69. Some data on (US) stay at home dads

... These numbers are old, of course (2004, 2007, some based on the 2000 census)... My hunch is, the current percentages, etc are higher, due not just to changing cultural attitudes but also economic reality.

http://www.seattledads.org/node/34

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/16/AR2007061601289.html




Here's one for Canada, that shows 12% as of 2011.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/economy-lab/daily-mix/number-of-stay-at-home-dads-on-the-rise/article2065381/

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Response to iverglas (Reply #67)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 12:17 AM

82. what stay at home parent stays home for more than a few years per child?

I think that you must be thinking about women from 40 years ago.

All the parents that I know who are caring for children do so until they enter grade school whereupon many start up part time jobs. Some go to full time then. But none go back to 60-80 hr professional jobs- this is where the problem is for the primary caregiver. The inability to do the full court press work. Unless the other parent is then willing to go to normal work or part-time work.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #67)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 08:41 AM

89. one of the biggest challenges for me was having worked for a couple decades

and my style of work, putting in a 10-14 hour days was how to scale back not doing a thorough job and doing less as a parent and employee. cause there was no way, the day i had the baby, to be the same kind of employee and still be the parent i wanted to be.

those were our options. some people are able to figure it out. i could not. i could not go into work and work less hours and i could not come home after a 10-14 hour day and feel i am giving a baby what he needed.

mentally, in any job i take i have to give it all. talk about a quick break down? i would be put into a situation where it was totally opposed to who i am.

so we work with what we have.

being so old when i got married and having the experience and options and wisdom, i covered my ass.

it boggles my mind to hear someone suggest i need to pay someone to watch (and it would merely be watching not nurturing, teaching, loving .... all criteria of parenting) my baby so i can earn money to pay them. many parents do not see it as a good option, but the only option. that still is not good.

are there lots of YOUNG women that set themselves up in a situation where they are vulnerable? yes. that is what we need to address. not that a PERSON chooses to divide labors in a manner that does not meet others approval.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #89)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:01 AM

93. "watching" children

 

Once again, the stereotypes. Modern childcare is not babysitting, any more than modern parenting is -- although of course parenting not so long in the past actually was little more than babysitting.

The individual and social benefits of excellent early childhood education are indisputable. And yet we aren't arguing for it to be available ... we're guilting women into staying home by saying that childcare is

(and it would merely be watching not nurturing, teaching, loving .... all criteria of parenting)

-- as if children would be put into institutions 24/7, to boot ...

One study among so many:
http://www.childcarecanada.org/publications/other-publications/98/11/benefits-and-costs-good-child-care-economic-rationale-public
(Downloadable; http://www.childcarecanada.org/sites/default/files/bc.pdf
we could always read something like that and talk about it or something)

This study examines the economic argument concerning the investment of public funds in the education and care of young children across the economic spectrum. Using traditional economic analysis, it concludes that the developmental benefits to children in high quality early childhood education and child care programs and the benefits of employment to parents significantly exceed the costs. Thus, publicly-funded, high quality early childhood education and care would represent a prudent and productive use of scarce public funds.



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Response to iverglas (Reply #93)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:12 AM

95. no stereotype about it iverglas, a reality. yes, lets argue for it. i am all for that.

i will be on the front line.

but that child care is not our reality. adn even if we had something like that available, with two little children the cost alone would have about met my paycheck. another reality check. what i stated is our reality. and we are talking about my children, my choice and i was not willing to put them in the environment. and i did not have to put them in that environment. so i didnt.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #89)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 04:30 PM

171. Well this was my work personality as well

I cannot switch from "super charged selling mode on on" and "work my body to the bone tired" to nurturing loving and biggest problem of all "PATIENT" . Wow being patient is the hardest part still.

I came very late to motherhood as well.

I do not think that these days many women in the US have any option other than going back to paid work ASAP. Some can take a few years, but that is it.

My observation is that being a parent is so huge and that those who are good at it and are able to be there for their kids, are a gift to all the rest of us who juggle.

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Response to Texasgal (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 09:56 AM

8. romneys are clueless to how so many in the nation live because of wealth.

i was not around to see the work she put into her kids, choices she made in life, volunteer, and other efforts or ventures, so i will not make any comments about the work involved.

she wasnt in the work force ever. without being in the work force, it is hard to have a concept so i think that lacks. it is stupid romney using her, firstly, to say there is an empathy and voice for all women, as much as he saying he understands the low wage earning father and his stress.

you can bet hillary and michelle obama had help while they were raising their daughters, too, while they were at work and had a more flexible schedule than most working moms.

that is what wealth allows.

i worked for two decades before i got married and had my first baby. the first 8ish years with two babies, my hubby had it easy going to work every day. but then, he is not a coal miner or some other physically strenuous job. now, my job is much easier. we were surprised i decided to stay at home, but there are so many advantages to a family and we were lucky enough to be able to do it. soon (my youngest doesnt get to stay at home alone) i can go back into the workforce and i have been looking at it and what we see is almost two decades out of work force, the economy, being old.... doesnt leave me a lot of choices. a career killer staying at home. the little i can bring in hardly seems worth upsetting the whole structure of the way our family works. something i have been pondering lately.

what i discuss with niece and families that are lower income is to take a hard look at that second paycheck. making barely nothing just above minimum wage, will it cover the extras. childcare for two kids. extra eating out. extra gas spent. extra clothes bought for work and other expenses.

many families have both parents working and when getting down to the nitty, gritty, it is costing more to send the second parent to work.

i dont judge on these situations. as far as i see it, hillary could have said she has never been in the work FORCE while raising kids, but she apologized sincerely for what she said. i think dems handled it appropriately. i like them pointing out to cnn their employee. i like that they said was wrong, and she apologized. i think it is a strong difference what dems did and repugs with rush.


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Response to Texasgal (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 11:28 AM

14. To be honest, I've been growing increasingly uncomfortable with progressives piling on Ann Romney...

including "the rude pundit" ... the top two Greatest threads on DU right now are about his remarks and an alleged phone call from Ann's nanny. Though I disagree with her policies, I just feel uncomfortable to see any woman attacked, no matter who it is. Thanks for posting about this.

Edited to add: Thanks again to those of you wo created this group. Though I can't post often, this group is the only place I feel safe posting something like the above. Thank you.

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Response to wildflower (Reply #14)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 12:04 PM

16. You don't see anyone making remarks about

Mitt Romney staying home or not staying home...

Once again, a circular firing squad of sexism abounds emanating from the patriarchy.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #16)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 12:09 PM

17. right on BB. this is how i see it. nt

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Response to boston bean (Reply #16)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 12:55 PM

21. Yes, this. Exactly. n/t

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Response to boston bean (Reply #16)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 03:03 PM

159. Yes... good point..Admittedly, I am still more focused on the hypocrisy relative to Mitt's comments

As nicely illustrated by Chris Haye's discussion on MSNBC Saturday relative to this:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/15/mitt-romney-mothers-welfare-moms_n_1426113.html?ref=politics

But it is clearly overtly sexist/biased when this is continually asked of women and not men. Abssolutely.

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Response to Texasgal (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 12:34 PM

18. Thanks for this thread

Is part of the problem that women get so many mixed messages about who and what we are supposed to be?

When I think of my own life, it is no wonder I myself have been so confused.

I was born in 1965 and grew up with a stay at home mom who was also a feminist who taught me that "wife and mother" was not what I was supposed to be when I grew up. I was supposed to fulfill my highest potential as a human being.

Yet she herself was "wife and mother" and had no life outside those roles.

I knew I didn't want to be a mother so I focused on a career. And failed horribly at the "wife" bit, LOL.

On a bigger scale, it seems like society has so many mixed messages about what women are supposed to be, that no matter what we choose, it puts us on the defensive.

Maybe we need to stop justifying and apologizing for our choices.

Seeing women under the magnifying glass like this feels bad to me. First it was contraceptiongate, now it's this.

I would like to see men put under the magnifying glass for a fucking change.

Edited to add: there is nothing wrong with a woman choosing wife and mother as her societal role, if it is a choice. My mom didn't present it as a choice to me, she presented it as "don't choose wife and mother, it is not a valid option anymore, we are liberated now."

Fuck it's confusing to be a woman.





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Response to MadrasT (Reply #18)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 01:30 PM

22. I would like to see men put under the magnifying glass for a fucking change.

good post.

On a bigger scale, it seems like society has so many mixed messages about what women are supposed to be, that no matter what we choose, it puts us on the defensive.

Maybe we need to stop justifying and apologizing for our choices.

Seeing women under the magnifying glass like this feels bad to me. First it was contraceptiongate, now it's this.


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Response to Texasgal (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 02:32 PM

23. My husband is a stay at home dad

With our three year old and expecting a child this summer. For various reasons, I have more income potential than he does. He also seems to have a better disposition to take care of our child all day while I tend to get depressed, lazy, and irritable towards my son when I wasn't employed.
I make around average income. With our second child, we will be just out of eligibility for Head Start for my son. The fact that we only have one income makes us "poor" although I know that we are more fortunate than those with less income and his mother does often buy our son things. I feel much more fortunate than those couple who make minimum wage or near it that both work and make less I do with one income. We would be much more comfortable though if my husband had a job. I think that some couples that were dual income no children would hesitate to go down to one income if they as a couple were in our situation.
I am very much my son's mother though and spend most of my non work time with him. I have found the work place rather non parent friendly, both at my current job and previous job. Having very short notice about overtime has been common for both. If my husband also worked and had this situation, childcare for people like us with no nearby family support would be difficult, especially in our area where the only accredited daycare centers have 6 am-6 pm hours as if no one with kids would be working other hours.
My grandmothers both worked before they were married. One grandmother worked full time until after her second child. She had six children and worked part time after the youngest was in school. While the youngest was in high school, the business where she worked closed and she decided to retire, as my grandfather was retiring as a police officer around the same time. Although she did a lot of the house work, my grandfather was fairly self sufficient for men of his generation and did some things around the house and did things with the kids. My other grandmother worked part time when her children were in school and played the part of a full time house wife and mother.
My own mother divorced when I was young. In general, we spent most of our time with our grandparents while she was working or at school. I think that we missed out on a lot. I don't think that her lifestyle would have been possible without the free childcare provided by my grandparents.
I do think that there are challenges balancing childcare and work for many families. Most employers believe that they should be a person's top priority in life. Most part time work is low paying with few offering the all important health insurance. Day care is expensive and often does not have flexible hours. Ideally day care would be low cost and be available at all hours in all communities. Employers would realize that everything in everyone's life does not revolve around them. Health care would be universal. Employers would be more willing to offer part time professional positions, may be job sharing. Potential employers would be more willing than they are now to hire people who have taken time off to raise their families.
I think that many adults would like to have some employment outside the house, spend more time with their families, and know that their children are well cared for when they can't be with them. I think that this is true of both men and women.

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Response to Nikia (Reply #23)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:56 PM

24. My husband and I both worked full time jobs.

He worked the day shift and I worked nights or overnights. We did this until my son was off to school full time. Once he was off to school, I went back into sales full time during the day.

My mom and dad helped watch my son after school for a few hours. I was so, grateful for them.

We made this choice and were able to, so my son didn't have to go to day care, that was the driving factor. I am glad we were able to do that. Without the help of my parents and sometimes my grandparents, it would have been quite different for us. The cost of day care would have eaten up a lot of our income, and was just not worth both of us working a day shift.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #24)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 06:31 PM

48. And that's the other thing, right there: The nuclear family, the mobilization of society

along with a serious lack of social support structures like they have in many European countries... make it VERY hard for parents who both work full-time. If Grandma or Grandpa or other relatives are available, that's one thing. For the people for whom they aren't, it's something else.

For a lot of people it makes more financial sense for one to stay home than for both to work and the kids to be in day care, but it's a tough nut to crack either way for most people whose last name isn't "Romney".

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Response to Texasgal (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 08:23 PM

25. well, I do have an issue with women staying at home to raise children

 

Since this is the History of Feminism group ...

This silliness about being a mother being a job comes to us from very recent times.

Not so many generations ago, the family was a unit of production, not a unit of consumption. Way back when, the entire family worked, children from as early as they could stand upright, basically. Before land was assembled under private ownership, in Europe, people used it to grow, gather and hunt, and every member of the family was involved in the effort it took to keep the family fed, clothed and housed.

As society got organized and occupations and classes developed, divisions of labour started getting sharper. There were blacksmiths and blacksmiths' wives, say. But the blacksmith's wife didn't stick around the house to look after her darling offspring. She made their clothes, made their soap and candles, made all their food ... kept it all clean to the standard of the day, etc. There were millers to mill the grain, then, and shoemakers to make the shoes. But their wives worked as hard as the blacksmiths' wife. And the agricultural labourers, known fondly to us genealogy hounds as ag labs, their wives worked in the fields too.

The only people who had ever made wife/mother a full-time "job" were the wealthy. Those women didn't make or wash the clothes, or make the food or clean the kitchen -- their husbands hired other women to do that for them. And they hired nurses to look after their children, too.

This has always been the case for what we now call the working class: the women did work damned hard in their own homes, and in many cases worked outside their homes doing the women's work in other people's households. And then with the industrial revolution, they began to form a cheap labour pool for factories as well. And with the industrial revolution came more division of labour, and people started buying bread rather than making it, let alone milling the flour, and so on.

And that proceeded apace, until now we all need 100 different products to care for the household: a dozen bottles and tubes of stuff for cleaning and conditioning various body parts, soap in battery-operated dispensers, a couple of dozen different producs to clean floors, toilets, clothing, dishes ... and somebody to keep them all in stock and use them all.

The jobs of "stay-at-home moms" outside the leisure class a few generations ago didn't involve any of that kind of fretting about what went on in the home, let alone chauffeuring Madison to ballet class or Jayden to baseball practice. The kids looked after themselves, and one another -- as soon as a girl was old enough, yup, she took on much of the care of the younger children while the mother did the actual real work that the household depended on, and the older boys got paying work of some sort.

I look at how family life is organized today, in the US in particular, and I am agape. The family has become ever more nuclear, a parent or two and the kids, going it alone in splendid isolation in some oversized building (with its oversized needs for all the equipment the household needs, for which ever more space is needed ...), dependent on gas-guzzling vehicles, preferably two of them, for its every move, consuming and consuming and consuming ever more, and producing essentially nothing, not even the meals they eat, let alone the clothes they wear or anything else used in the household. Consumption in massive quantities, of pointless masses of clothing no one needs, the crap that is sold as food, the crap that is sold as entertainment, the activities that everyone's time is crammed full of.

And women are the ones who get the "job" of marshalling everything that goes on in the household. Well just imagine what might happen if it were decided that kids could bloody well play like kids have always done, without hundreds of dollars of equipment and lessons, and schedules and transportation. For starters. That nobody needed all those shoes or an entire new wardrobe every season. That kids could actually help prepare meals and do laundry and clean house.

Why, exactly, should any adult have the "choice" of filling their life with pointless consumption activities to meet invented needs that, on top of it, contribute significantly to the degradation of the physical world around us, and expect others to contribute to paying for that choice, let alone applaud it? I don't applaud it. I think adults should do adult work, not spend their lives as house servants to a man and a couple of kids and consumers of crap.

The health care situation in the US was mentioned. Why should people who don't work for an employer get the benefit of that employer's other employees' labour, and a free ride on the group health care policy, just because they're married to someone who does work there? Kids, sure; there's a public interest in people having kids and kids being healthy, and most people do have them at some point. (Obviously public health insurance / health care is the appropriate way to cover that question, of course.) But why would I, as an employee, feel I should pay for somebody's wife's health care, when he is the one getting the benefit of her services, not me?

The volunteering and caregiving and all that? Work should be more flexible. I know it isn't. But packaging up what "stay-at-home moms" do as a job isn't going to do anything to help the women who can't or don't want to stay at home and still have those responsibilities for their families.

And five children? Well, the OP asked for our opinions. Who on this green earth, in the last 30 years at the very least, has thought it remotely reasonable or responsible to have five children? Environmentally, economically, socially, personally ... there is no way I could begin to get my head around that. What an invented need that is -- keep having more kids so one has to keep staying at home. Again, this is something I see mainly when I look over the border, and I just shake my head.

There are women who have little option but to stay at home with kids when the kids are young -- lack of childcare, lack of transportation, lack of employment that pays enough to cover the expenses that working entails. That's one thing. Taking some mid-20th century invention, the notion that children need a woman on call in the home 24/7 to serve them, something that has never been the reality for the vast majority of women throughout history and is still something that a majority of women either can't or don't want to do, and packaging it up as a choice to be revered ... bah, no thanks.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #25)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 12:29 AM

29. Choosing to be a mother is a major life changing choice

and whether one is financially able to stay home with them (vs sending them to day care or hiring a nanny) someone is raising them. The issue is whether that person is paid or not.

The first 6 years are the most intense with the first year being almost inconceivable. Parents describe those years as big blurs. But it really never ends.....

Until I had a child I had no idea. And no one has any idea until they have a child. And every child is so completely different in their needs.

In civilized nations that value the caretaking roles parents have years to be "home" with their children.

What do the "stay at home" parents do (the ones that I know)?

They cook highly nutritious foods for the whole family, they (sew, knit) make clothes, they grow food, they tend chickens, they help all the other parents out who have to go to paying jobs. They are teaching their children how to learn, how to love, how to be with other people, how to eat, how to go to the bathroom, how to get dressed...my goodness what a child has to learn......and children do not just pick it up by osmosis - unless the child is in a big family and older siblings are there to do the teaching. Mostly the unpaid "stay at home parent" does all this stuff that our society deems silly and useless and therefore not worthy of pay or social security or respect.

The work of the "stay at home" parent is harder than any job I have ever had and I have been a Peace Corps volunteer, a fermentation microbiologist, supervisor of three labs, ran my own company, still run my own farm...every job that I left required two or three men to replace me and being a "stay at home" mother has been harder than any of these jobs.

Children absolutely do need a parent who cares for them- especially the first years. Taking on the role of motherhood is very serious and if one does not want to do so, wonderful- no one should take the role on lightly. But to minimize it is not what feminism is about.

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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #29)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 01:22 PM

31. again, I'm not sure where this is

 

In civilized nations that value the caretaking roles parents have years to be "home" with their children.

?

Yes, the first year is difficult to combine with work outside the home. That's why, as I've mentioned, Canada provides employment insurance benefits to parents -- both parents, to divide as they see fit except for the actual maternity period. But not "years". I don't know of any country that pays any kind of benefit for a parent to stay home with children for years (unless we combine the periods allowed for each child, say).

edit -- except that the way the right-wing government has structured child tax benefits here in Canada now, with the direct payments I mentioned, that are in fact more than I suggested, we are in effect paying women to stay home, since the benefits are on a sliding scale by income, and are not really available at the two-income level. Putting that money, and more, toward creating actual childcare spaces would enable more women to have jobs sooner -- and we just don't seem to be talking about the benefits to families and society, and children, when women do participate in the work force.


Children absolutely do need a parent who cares for them- especially the first years. Taking on the role of motherhood is very serious and if one does not want to do so, wonderful- no one should take the role on lightly. But to minimize it is not what feminism is about.

It is just that: a role. Not a job. And to call it a job is to minimize what all the women who do have jobs do, and that, to me, is not what feminism is about. Nor, I'm sorry, is the message implicit in what you said: that women who are not willing and/or able to play this role as a full-time "job" should not have kids, and that kids whose parents both have jobs are somehow deprived of what they deserve.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #31)


Response to seaglass (Reply #73)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 12:13 PM

143. thanks and very interesting

 

Maybe we actually aren't freaks for thinking these things at all. Maybe there are feminists who do think this way ...

What you quoted says it in a nutshell.

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Response to seaglass (Reply #73)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 06:34 PM

178. You are most entitled to your opinions on the matter

and people who embrace the natural parenting movement, such as myself are entitled to ours.

I fail to see how breastfeeding my daughter until she was ready to self wean and using cloth diapers- which in my area are far better for the environment than the disposable ones- and potty training her before she was one year old, and parenting much as I observed the West African women that I worked with 30 years ago somehow undermines feminism.


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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #178)


Response to seaglass (Reply #180)

Thu Apr 19, 2012, 01:22 AM

181. I think that you have asked a good thought provoking question

and I am going to think about it for a day or two and then write what comes to me.

I know a number of lesbian couples where the birth mother stays home with the children and the other partner works for $$, I know a gay couple with a stay at home dad and the other partner works for $$. I know straight couples doing this and couples both straight and gay who both work outside the home for $$ and then share household duties and family obligations.

So, let me think before I write lest I somehow hurt people's feelings or not write clearly.

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Response to seaglass (Reply #180)

Fri Apr 20, 2012, 01:39 PM

182. OK, some thoughts and questions


Where do you think the attitude has come from that childrearing is not a respectable occupation for a woman?

I get the strong impression from these discussions that some people think that childrearing is easy, a cop out, a way to stay home and do nothing.

Do you value the non paid works people perform in our society? The artists, writers, craftspeople, musicians, small business owners who barely scrape by?

Do you think that if one partner is an artist and the other partner is working for steady money that they have a relationship that is somehow flawed, or is it only when the art is childrearing and homemaking?

The choice around me for childcare was to drive 20 miles to a house where ..... oh my goodness, if I wanted my child to grow up hearing racist banter and watching sexist TV, it would have been a great place. Sorry, no way! Childcare should not be about putting kids in front of TV's, imo. Wonderful childcare was an hour's drive away (each way) and only lasted for 6 hrs/day.

And once I had my child I wanted to keep my child with me, on this beautiful farm that I am still in the process of learning about. To do this I had to sell most everything I could because unlike all the strong women I had read about, I could absolutely not be nurturing, calm and patient- qualities that I think are important around babies and children (which do not come easily to me) and run my farm/business profitably. For me a new side emerged. A side that found non monetary things to be so very interesting and important and crucial for a baby and child and for the new me that was also emerging.

Like seabeyond I read and studied many things to do with children and childrearing. Just because women have not been paid to be mothers (and dad's who stay at home suffer the same indignities- but this is in regards to your question of women staying home with children) it does not mean that it is worthless work. On the contrary.

For some children being in a group childcare is fun and stimulating and for others it is overstimulating and overwhelming. For some parents working 20 hrs a week for money gives them a feeling of rest and relief from the drudgery of the day to day. For others paid work is a financial necessity and they would far prefer to have one parent be home with them, but cannot swing it. For other parents working 60-80 hrs with two nannies is what works. Everyone is different and no one knows how it will be for them until (if) they have their child(ren). But for most of the parents that I know, adequate childcare that is open during the times that they work is not really there yet. They spend endless hours juggling who is watching their child between or before childcare and heaven help then when anyone gets sick. Most people that I know cannot afford a nanny, either. And so they divide the home unpaid work with the paid work among themselves as partners.

Most parents love their children dearly and want to do what is best for them. Some feel that being home with the children is better than putting them into a group childcare- especially the first years prior to potty training. More parents these days prefer bringing their children to "the professionals". They thrive doing the work that they get paid money to do. In these days when there are a minority of people who can do this financially- be a homemaker- why is this choice not respected?

If a couple who chooses to have children wishes to divide the household labor and money making labor up, so be it. Nurturing children and running a household is real work, and at a minimum the social security of the money earning partner should be split with the partner at home working as a volunteer. The terribly unfair fact that women have been exploited and not paid for doing this work for so long should not be a reason to disrespect the work, dignity and importance of it. The patriarchy has typically regarded women and homemaking as inferior, why should it be somehow considered feminist thought to devalue this work that women had exclusively simply because the choice was this or becoming a nun?









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Response to iverglas (Reply #31)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 11:53 PM

79. In my reply above I posted the link to the parental leave

periods in various countries.

2-3 years is the norm as most preschools will not take children who are not potty trained.

I find your anti parenting attitude positively puzzling.

It is an unpaid job if the children are your own. If you are a paid childcare worker or a nanny it is a paid job. But for goodness sake raising children is real work.

There are plenty of parents who chose to have children and put them in childcare, or hire nanny's. This route has it's own ups and downs and is not some easy way to go. There are plenty who decide to have one of the parents stay home with child or children, another not easy way to go. There are single mom's who decide to stay home with children, another not easy way to go. The women who pay someone else to care for their children while they work somewhere else do not work harder than those who work all the time taking care of the children and home. All are working, some are paid for their work and others are not. That is all. Having a child is really hard in modern times, no matter which route we take.

This is our modern life. We all get to make decisions about this. In plenty of places childcare outside the home is inadequate or at times not suitable to the working parent's schedule and for us, we have no choice. But in most urban or suburban areas parents do have some choices here. All parents work hard whether they pay someone else to help them or whether they do not.





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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #79)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 08:13 AM

84. well I guess when it gets to this point:

 

I find your anti parenting attitude positively puzzling.

discussion has ended. I'd like to think that in a "safe" group, no one mischaracterizes someone else or their words.

It is an unpaid job if the children are your own. If you are a paid childcare worker or a nanny it is a paid job. But for goodness sake raising children is real work.

Washing dishes is an unpaid job if the dishes are my own. If I am a paid restaurant worker it is a paid job.

Lots of things in life are real work.

The issue here is how women are assigned the unpaid work in our societies, and thereby excluded from paid work.

And, of course, whether feminists approve of that.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #84)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 08:46 AM

90. They should have said "I find your anti mothers-staying-at-home-attitude positively puzzling'

That would have been accurate, imo....

This comment in an earlier post is very judgemental: 'And to call it a job is to minimize what all the women who do have jobs do, and that, to me, is not what feminism is about.'

If a mother who stays at home with her kids considers it work, it definitely does not minimise what I do. In fact, having been in the position where I spent some time at home with my daughter amongst the bouts of working, my experience was I did far more in the way of work at home than I did in the office. No way am I going to sit there and judge another woman's choice. If I'd been able to, I would have stayed home the entire time till my daughter started school, and I wouldn't have given a shit who didn't approve of my choice or how they thought it'd affect society. And if it had got to the point where I had to put her in childcare when she was younger than two, I would have quit my job with no hesitation at all. That's because for me at that point in my life, raising my child was so much more a valuable thing than turning up to a soul-destroying job every day just so other women wouldn't judge my choice...

Maybe it's different over here, but I know a fair few fathers who stay at home to look after the kids while the mother works. It usually seems to depend on who's bringing in the most money or whose career is on the rise. There's also the ability to switch to part-time hours, and to work from home. I don't care what parents decide is the best option for them, and I'd never judge them, just the same way as I'd never judge another woman's choice when it comes to pregnancy...

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #90)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:11 AM

94. false dichotomies

 

That's because for me at that point in my life, raising my child was so much more a valuable thing than turning up to a soul-destroying job

But I guess that's the way this thread has gone and it ain't gonna go anywhere else.

Not all jobs are soul-destroying. But the big thing is that I don't think anybody is saying that women, or anybody else, should have a choice between soul-destroying (exhausting, low-paying, whatever) jobs and staying home with children.

If I had a choice between a soul-destroying, exhausting, low-paying job and staying home, children or no children, I'd say home every time.

In our current economic and social context, staying home with children is not an option in many cases, it is an unavoidable fate -- because of the lack of supports like childcare, because of the low wages and benefits in the only jobs many women have access to, and so on.

But all these false dichotomies. We have seabeyond who had only two options: working 10-14 hours a day or not working (seriously?); and then we have women whose only two options are working at a crap job and spending their entire income on childcare or staying home.

Can we really not imagine something better? Is THAT not what feminism is supposed to be about?

And in the meantime, do we really have to disparage women who have jobs and stand up for the Ann Romneys of the world? Because that really is what is going on here.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #94)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:20 AM

97. i think people are working really hard not to "disparage women who have jobs"

and IF i had gotten a degree where i could find a career that would have allowed more flexibility and bring in a significant amount of money, then ya... i would have more options. i didnt do it. i didnt get a degree. that pretty much guarantees the lower wage. my bad.

but these are the realities.

so, as i do with my children, i share with them my oooopses and hopefully they will not make the same mistakes. they also see my success. not setlling and waiting a lot of years before starting a family so we had the options we did.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #94)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:36 AM

105. Not at all. Even my current job is soul destroying...

But they pay me a shitload of money for doing it, so I keep on turning up every day and acting like I care. Me saying that isn't disparing women who have jobs, nor is it standing up for Ann Romney, who I'm guessing is some conservadroid US political wife sort of creature. It's telling you *my* view of my own value system at the time, and it was a system that valued raising my child far, far more than having a job. And when it comes to *my* child and how I chose to raise her, my view is the only one that matters. And my view was that I WANTED to stay home and raise her. I wanted to, and the reality was that I couldn't. It should be about what parents themselves want, not what any of us as individuals think their choices should be or to judge them on what choice they make...

Sorry to disparage all working women around the globe, but my job pays my way and it corrodes my soul*



*That's from 'Frankly, Mr Shankly' for anyone out there who isn't familiar with The Smiths....

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #105)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:11 AM

111. jobs are soul-destroying

 

So men should do them while women stay at home and have the fulfilling "job/career" of rearing children.

Still not getting it ...

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Response to iverglas (Reply #111)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:19 AM

113. Yr not getting it because I didn't say that, nor anything remotely close to it...

I thought what I've been saying is very clear. How people choose to rear their children is their choice and they'd be wise to ignore folk out there passing judgement because they don't want to raise their kids the way someone else wants them to. I support whatever choice is made, whether it's to stay at home with the kids or have a job.....

If believing that my own career has been, and will continue to be soul destroying, and that I'm only in it for the money, is at odds with being a feminist, then so be it...

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #113)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:50 AM

116. only in it for the money

 

But as I've said, why else do people work? Even if this were anarchist utopia, we would have to work. And not all, or even most, work that needs to be done is intellectually stimulating and world-changing, or whatever one would prefer one's work to be.

People have to work because goods and services have to be produced and distributed and accounted for and so on and on. A majority of adults in the world have to have jobs because otherwise we would have nothing to eat, nothing to wear, nowhere to live, nothing to read or listen to or watch, nowhere to go and no way to get there ...

The nature of work in our societies is a problem, in whole lots of ways. Soul-destroying or back-breaking or underpaid or accompanied by harassment, whatever. Why not talk about that? Along with the supports needed by parents.

The fact is that women who stay at home to do the wonderful fulfilling important work of childrearing are leaving the soul-destroying jobs to men, and of course to the other women who choose or need to do them. They aren't part of the solution.

But I do have to think of the absolutely soul-destroying, back-breaking work my ancestors (male and female) were doing a mere 150 years ago, and less in some cases. Working in the mines in southwestern England and dying (along with half their children) of tuberculosis. Working in the fields, men and women alike, in northeastern England, "ag labs", which, at the time, meant "lucky to sleep under a roof that night". Domestic servants sexually exploited by their employers (with my great-aunt to show for it). Dying in the workhouses all over England in their old age.

Do working people really have it so terribly bad these days that the nature of work itself is good reason to drop out of the work world?

Dropping out is a luxury for some people, that only some people can afford, plain and simple. (And even with all those sacrifices we hear about that the drop-outs' families have to make, it is still a luxury to be able to do that.)

Women in working-class/agrarian families a very few generations ago may have worked in or from their home, but there truly was no option. What they did in the home was far more than child-rearing (especially when children began working themselves before the age of 10), and there were no alternatives for childcare, not even schools for older children until really quite recently in our history.

For many women there is no option today: they can't work because it is not economicaly viable to do that, or they can't not work because it is not economically viable to do that. The choice isn't a matter of liking/wanting to work or not work, it is a matter of having to work or not work.

But work is work, and all the problematic or unpleasant aspects of work are common to everyone who works, not just women with children. So really, I am not seeing how this is much of a factor to be considered here. Women with children prefer not to have jobs. Well, don't we all, at least at some times in our lives.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #25)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 06:03 PM

41. Just out of curiosity...

...do you have kids?

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #41)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 06:13 PM

44. curiosity is a good thing

 

... when it's really curiosity, anyhow ... but I don't give out personal information on the internet.

edit - unless I break a leg.

Seriously. Social policy is not a subject on which a woman should have to present her reproductive credentials.

I also don't state whether I've had an abortion when I advocate reproductive choice.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #44)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 06:20 PM

46. I'm guessing "no". Not because it's any of my business, but because, from your post

it appears that you don't have much idea of what having kids actually entails.

And I suspect that pretty much anyone here who actually IS a parent will back me up, on that.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #46)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 06:34 PM

49. guess what you like

 

and discredit a woman's words about a matter of social policy relating to women based on your baseless assumptions all you want ... in the History of Feminism group's forum.

Looks real good.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #49)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 06:52 PM

50. No, I'm saying you don't seem to have any idea what the job- and yes, it's a job- of being a parent

entails.

That doesn't mean you're not entitled to your opinion, that doesn't mean I'm somehow "discrediting" your words... it means that your analysis of what parents, or stay at home parents-- do all day, is so completely goofy and off-base I have to believe it could only come from someone who has never done it.

That's all.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #50)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 06:57 PM

53. I really think you should quit this while you're behind

 

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Response to iverglas (Reply #53)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:15 PM

59. Quit what?

I'm right. If I were to make a statement like "I think menstrual cramps are all imaginary", the first thing I would expect to hear is, "do you actually have a uterus?"

But if the hosts here feel that anything I've said in this subthread is somehow contrary to, say, the SOP of this forum, I will accept their judgment on the matter.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #59)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:31 PM

62. I think you're out of line with this line of questioning.

It's none of your business whether or not any of us have children.

This was a thread where WOMEN were asked to weigh in with their
thoughts on this subject.

Not to be cross examined about our reproductive history.

Her opinion is valid.

You are welcome in this room, but not to determine whether or not
a particular woman has a valid opinion about WOMEN.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #62)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:32 PM

64. Really. So experience as a stay at home parent doesn't count, regardless of gender?

Interesting.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #64)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:35 PM

65. Not if you're questioning the validity of her opinion like you are.

Not here.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #65)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:44 PM

68. Well, like I said

If the hosts of this forum feel I have violated the SOP, I will graciously accept their judgment. My words are right there for all to read.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #59)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 07:53 PM

71. what a very strange analogy

 

I'm right. If I were to make a statement like "I think menstrual cramps are all imaginary", the first thing I would expect to hear is, "do you actually have a uterus?"


A man's opinion about menstrual cramps is somehow equivalent to a woman's opinion about social policy and socially constructed gender roles.

You a friend of Dr. Johnson?

http://www.samueljohnson.com/dogwalk.html
"Sir, a woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

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Response to iverglas (Reply #71)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 08:01 PM

72. To be fair, I missed the part of the OP directing it to, quote, "ladies"

Given that, I should probably let the women whose lives and choices you are commenting on, respond for themselves.

For the record, though, there are a lot of statistics on percentage of stay at home dads on the Internet, if you feel inclined to research the topic further.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #72)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 08:29 PM

74. This is the history of feminism group

not the Mens group.

You are welcome to discuss the issues from a feminist perspective. But where you might find your opinion or posting at odds with a feminist perspective, it will most likely not be well received.

Asking women about their reproductive choices and making judgments about them personally due to their choice is just not going to be acceptable in this group.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #74)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:21 AM

98. I'm actually agreeing with what Warren's been saying...

I don't think his opinion is at odds with a feminist perspective. And in a thread where the discussion is about parenting, I don't think there's anything wrong with asking any participant in the discussion if they've got kids. Back when I was 19 or 20, my best friend was an older woman who had two daughters and was raising them on her own. A mutual friend around my age got into an argument with her one night about how best to raise children and lectured her about what she thought she was doing wrong. When asked how she could be armed with such wisdom when she didn't have any children, she insisted that doing some early childcare course at TAFE gave her the knowledge and expertise in raising children that most other people didn't have. And nothing was going to sway her on thinking she knew just as much about raising children as any mere parent. Back then, a still childless me suspected she didn't know half as much as she thought she did, but a much older and wiser me knows that parenting's one of those things where experience actually does matter...

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #98)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:27 AM

102. oh well

 

And in a thread where the discussion is about parenting, I don't think there's anything wrong with asking any participant in the discussion if they've got kids.

If only that was really what he'd done.

I dunno. Must be some kinda third-wave stuff, I guess. I'm just not seeing much feminism in this thread.

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #98)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:38 AM

106. Hey Violet... I would like to explain further the point to my post to Warren

He was questioning a woman about her reproductive choices and invalidating her opinion.

Iverglas, is saying that the options women have are not really choices, I get that. What Warren was saying to iverglas is because she didn't have children she could not really have an opinion.

As you can see down thread, I'm not totally agreeing with Iverglas. When people have options, good or bad, it is still a choice, and in my opinion, should not disparage those choices for any reason.

We can all work for more fair options, but we are not there yet, and to discount that, is wrong headed.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #106)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:53 AM

107. That's cool....

I think you and I are pretty much on the same page when it comes to choice being really important

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #107)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:58 AM

108. I'm sure too!

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #107)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:13 AM

112. but the post you replied to

 

was about Warren DeMontague attempting to discredit me and my arguments about the feminist way to view this "choice" based on his presumptuous characterization of my reproductive status ... and you have not retracted your agreement with him ...

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Response to iverglas (Reply #112)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:22 AM

114. That's because I still agree with Warren, and he wasn't attempting anything of the sort...

There's some things where it does help to have experience, and parenting is one of those things....

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Response to Violet_Crumble (Reply #114)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:53 AM

117. well, really

 

That doesn't mean you're not entitled to your opinion, that doesn't mean I'm somehow "discrediting" your words... it means that your analysis of what parents, or stay at home parents-- do all day, is so completely goofy and off-base I have to believe it could only come from someone who has never done it.


Since that had nothing to do with anything I had said, well, I'm seeing an attempt to discredit based solely on a presumptuous and baseless characterization.

You may be seeing something different.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #106)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 05:13 PM

175. Actually, that's NOT what I said. In fact, it's a total misrepresentation of what I said.

I left the thread because it was directed at "ladies" and that's fine, but as far as I understand it I don't need to sit back and allow my words to be continually misrepresented without answering the charges.

I have not discredited anyone's opinion or "judged anyone's reproductive choices" (as if)...

Please, read the words.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1255&pid=801

What I DID do was respond to a particularly JUDGMENTAL post with an observation that, for someone making authoritative statements about what the job (or not-job, in her opinion) of being a parent entails, she did not seem to have anything resembling an accurate idea of what she was talking about. Parenting isn't all about chauffeuring little muffy or biff to "hundreds of dollars of unnecessary lessons", or enabling excessive consumption... and whether or not in the good old days we "let kids just play", you can't let an infant watch itself or have your 4 yr old raise your 2 yr old.

Facts matter. Thanks.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #46)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 09:27 PM

76. I back you up on this and find the opinions

stated by iverglas to be preposterous and not a reflection of feminism at all, but of industrialism.

Feminism should not disparage the work of mothering or parenting.

For goodness sake it is work. A heck of a lot more work than any paying job.

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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #76)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 11:50 PM

78. No, it is not.

It is not "more work than any paying job".

It is different work. Work which I do not disparage.

Please do not let us fall into this trap of elevating some work women do and diminishing other work.

I know a good number of women who work their asses off as mothers, and I know a good number of women who work incredibly hard doing other wonderful, productive things.

Can we please stop pitting one against the other as the harder or more glorious or more elevated choice?

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #78)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 12:27 AM

83. I am not pitting one against the other

I have said that for me being a mother has been harder work than any paying job that I have ever had. And it has.

I have done both. I am not diminishing anyone. I am expressing my observations about my own life.

Most women in our times do both kinds of work- parenting and paid work. It is not one or the other anymore, nor has it been for a very long time.

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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #83)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 08:24 AM

86. having two kids, two and half yrs seperate

there were a lots of yrs i looked at hubby enviously as he showered without interruptions or without care or thought. lol. something so simple. and watch him walk off to work. there was a lot of years work would have been easier. not so much now. but the reason it is so easy now, is cause of all the hard work i put in for over a decade. i am reaping the rewards. it is exactly like a career in all ways, until the point of pay.

i was in the workforce for over two decades. i think one of the things that makes the job so challenging is the devaluing and lack of appreciation. i grew up watching my mom and refused to even consider that life. then had my babies and had to rethink it.

someone said to me yesterday, i was validating my choices. i am not. that is one thing i refuse to do and havent for a long time. it is just like when i talk about womens issues, i do not need to clarify that i like sex, or am not a prude. i dont have to validate choosing the life i have. i see the worth, with what hubby and i have created. that is good enough for me.




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Response to seabeyond (Reply #86)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 04:20 PM

167. I thank you for following your intuition

and deciding to do what you did.

it takes great courage to swim against the stream.

You have my respect.

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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #167)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 04:27 PM

169. well, see

then it is mutual cause i said the same about you on a post below. i love what you were able to do.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #78)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 12:52 PM

144. And it is work that can hardly be considered full-time, once the kids are in school.

Unless there are multiple children, spaced 5 years apart, or you are home-schooling.

It's not a "career".

It's not a "job".

Mom's can't be fired or demoted, they don't have to dress up for work,
and they always get to be the boss.

(I speak as a mom and a working person).



(And we haven't even STARTED to add care of our elderly parents and relatives into the mix here.)

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Response to iverglas (Reply #25)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 08:49 PM

75. I'm not so sure the objective is to "revere" stay at home mothers.

The issue is respecting the choice.

A agree that raising a child is not a job. However, a stay at home mother, does the laundry, cooks the meals, does the shopping, brings to the doctor, cleans the house, etc all of which is unpaid work (job). Most stay at home mothers aren't living the life of luxury.

I don't think it's right to disparage any womens choice.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #75)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 08:20 AM

85. what I don't think is right

 

is to call something a choice when it is determined by outside factors to the extent that this one clearly is: social pressures, economic pressures, etc.

We hesitate to call a woman prostituting herself a choice, and we point instead to all the factors that most women who make that "choice" are affected by.

When a society defines childcare and housework as women's role and women's work, as our societies absolutely still do, and when a society values women according to how well they fulfil the stereotyped role of woman, and when individual men expect a woman to play that stereotyped role in their relationship, and when a society fails to provide the kinds of supports that make it possible for a parent to hold a job without going broke or breaking down, well, I think it's just a little too early to talk about "choice".

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Response to iverglas (Reply #85)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 08:29 AM

87. iverglas

it is still a choice made with the options available. Yes, there should be more options, I agree.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #87)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 08:46 AM

91. if I saw anyone in this thread

 

arguing forcefully for more supports to be available to parents so that women could remain in / return to the workforce when they had children, and a little less arguing for women adhering to the stereotype imposed on women, well, I'd be seeing more feminism.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #91)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 08:48 AM

92. I just want to be clear, is what you are saying

that women should not have a choice to stay at home and raise their children? And if they do, they are hurting the cause of feminism and equality?

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Response to boston bean (Reply #92)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:19 AM

96. better to ask open-ended questions

 

Choices like these, in our time and place, are largely determined by factors other than pure personal preference.

Until women HAVE choices, meaningful, non-binary, choices, it is ridiculous to talk about what choices they should or shouldn't have.

If, in some perfect all other things being equal world, women in significant numbers chose to isolate themselves in their homes with their children for years, well, then I'd have to scratch my head.

At present, we need to be talking about working conditions, wages, social supports, economic supports, etc., that make it possible and reasonable for women who have children to have jobs as well. And recognize that women who stay at home with children are not all doing it out of pure personal preference, if only because of the strength and pervasiveness of the patriarchal stereotype of women.

Why the hell we are not recognizing all of this is absolutely beyond me. Carrying on and on about the marvellous important admirable "work" done by women who stay at home with children is what is divisive, since it both (a) implicitly disparages women who do not have that choice and have to work to support their families, along with women who make the choice to have jobs because that is their preference, and (b) contributes to the pressures that keep women in the home and exclude them from the work place and other spheres of life.



typo

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Response to iverglas (Reply #96)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:32 AM

103. iverglas.... with who i am, raising children is ideal for me. everything about it.

i should have gotten a degree in psychology. it is what turns me on. stimulates me. excites me. staying at home, raising children, studying and reading all the materials on human behavior and children, educating them was the most profound experience in my life. it is what does it for me. i didnt get paid for it.

another person is turned on by running a business, or arguing law, or.....

we are all individually different. i have seen people that cannot handle the frustrations of a baby. that is not an insult to them. not recognizing this or being forced to be with that baby is what is harmful. that person needs to do what is best for them, because ultimately it is best for the baby, too.

so though you may scratch your head, not getting why someone can be thrilled with staying at home, it really works for some people.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #103)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:07 AM

110. and yet I didn't say that

 

so though you may scratch your head, not getting why someone can be thrilled with staying at home, it really works for some people.

Did I? I really didn't say that. So why are you saying I did?

We all have things we love to do, many of which are unpaid, and many of which a lot of us do really well. Some of those things involve nurturing and caregiving, just not on a full-time basis. Not everything we love to do, and do well, is paid work.

Women who have jobs are quite capable of loving the role and activities of childrearing as much as women who do not have jobs, and of doing it just as well, really ... aren't they?

And once again: given that what I really said was that I would have to scratch my head if, in a perfect all other things being equal world, large numbers of women chose to isolate themselves in their homes with their children, your replying that "someone" can be thrilled with staying at home (I didn't say "someone", I said large numbers of women) is just another expression of the stereotype that women are natural caregivers / household workers.

And your reference to people not being able to handle the frustrations of a baby, and being forced to be with a baby, well, again, that is the disparagement of women who choose to have jobs. Women who choose to have children and jobs are just not all properly pushed into the box of people who can't handle the frustrations of a baby.

so though you may scratch your head, not getting why someone can be thrilled with staying at home, it really works for some people.

It would really work for me. I could probably have lived well with never having to hold a job in my life, children or no children. You do see this, don't you? How do we separate your thesis from the fact that pretty much everybody would prefer not to endure the pressures of the work world if there were an alternative that still allowed them to live comfortably? Let's grant that childrearing is "work". It still is not subject to job insecurity, layoff, harassment on the job, cruel or unreasonable employers, the frustrations of commuting, the physical demands and dangers of some jobs, the demands of others to publish, etc. etc.

And the fact is that it works until it doesn't. It works until the woman is a victim of spousal violence, and finds herself economically dependent and disconnected and unable to support her family if she leaves. It works until the supporting partner walks out, or dies, and the woman finds herself without financial support and without the experience and qualifications and seniority to get work to support her family.

Children isolated in the home with a parent (and heaven help us if the parent also "homeschools") are also more vulnerable to abuse without the watchful eye of the "village" on them. Children of parents who themselves have problems are less likely to get all that nurturing and developmental assistance than if they are in an early childhood care/education setting (the single most important investment if we want to reduce crime rates, for instance).

Not all stay-at-home mothers/parents are childrearing experts, or regard the role/work as a profession. Not all are as nicely middle-class as the ones we're hearing from here. Women stay at home with children, in our societies, largely because they are conforming to the patriarchal stereotype of women, before all else. Until that is gone, there is no genuine choice.

Chicken and egg. Provide parents with the supports that enable mothers to work, provide women with the educational and employment opportunities that make working economically viable for women, the stereotype will be eroded.

Continue to call this staying at home with children a choice, when for so many women, for various reasons, it just isn't, is not helping women.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #110)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:26 AM

128. There are options that are available

therefore a choice. They are not all great options as you very pointedly state above.

But they are choices, there is not doubt about that. People make decisions and choices about a lot of different things.

When a woman decides, for whatever reason, economics, want, best choice out of many bad ones, they are not in any way disparaging women who have careers or are able to, nor are they the ones preventing women from having those things.

Because the choices aren't always fair ought to give one a some pause about criticizing other womens choices.

Stay at home moms are not preventing women from having a career. And vice versa. Society as you know, as you have stated eloquently, in so many words, is the problem.

The choices women have based on what this society offers are what we work with in the present. This might be a conversation that had more merit if all was equal. It is not, right now.

There is a long way to go for women, and until then we need not be criticizing eachothers choices about whether to stay at home or enter the work force. Lots of work to be done, that's for sure, but this circular firing squad is doing jack shit.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #128)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:40 AM

130. then why am I the only one saying this?

 

The choices women have based on what this society offers are what we work with in the present. This might be a conversation that had more merit if all was equal. It is not, right now.

I'm not hearing anything like that from the advocates/practitioners of staying at home.

The conversation can have complete merit without all things being equal. The fact that they are not is the entire issue in the conversation.

Lots of work to be done, that's for sure, but this circular firing squad is doing jack shit.

There's really only one side firing, that I see. It's the side arguing that the "choice" is not one determined, to varying degrees but always to some degree, by stereotyping or other aspects of patriarchy, and telling the other "side" that the "choice" some women make, of not holding jobs, is one that must be "respected" (and not just that: that it is a good choice for this or that reason) and, apparently, not be subjected to any critical analysis.

Because the choices aren't always fair ought to give one a some pause about criticizing other womens choices.

Yes, and if the other "side" here actually consisted of criticism of other women's choices ...

I'm not seeing it, but I am seeing some important need to characterize it that way.



formatting fixed

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Response to iverglas (Reply #130)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:53 AM

136. They are too busy defending themselves

from the criticisms of their choice, which it is.......

I don't think that anyone here in this group would advocate against women having more fair/equitable options.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #136)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:57 AM

139. maybe they are too busy inventing things

 

to defend themselves against.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #139)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:57 AM

140. yes, this. n/t

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Response to iverglas (Reply #139)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 12:12 PM

142. The conversations take on a life of their own

dependent on peoples posts.

It's all good.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #91)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:24 AM

100. i am not going to apologize or work really hard to insist that i work with babies. i LOVE my job

i am so happy and thrilled that i have had the opportunity to do EXACTLY what i have done. i am THRILLED that i was able to stay home with my kids. they are THRILLED i was able to stay home with them. my husband is THRILLED that i have created this environment. i dont want to fight for my right to work when my kids were little. i want the opportunity to be able to stay at home. i did a kick ass job with my kids. i thought i had the best of the world. regardless how tired, regardless how frustrating the job was, i LOVE what i was able to do.

i will fight for the respect and ability for a woman to have a career, but you dont get to take my choice away from me.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #100)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:25 AM

101. wow

 

you dont get to take my choice away from me.

Just wow.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #101)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:33 AM

104. why????? lol. nt

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Response to iverglas (Reply #101)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 03:35 PM

162. Perhaps you do not realize that 80% of women have to go back to work

right away after having a baby? At least where I live that is the case. Every parent who makes the choice to stay home with children is swimming against the tide. Even for just a few years.

About 60% of the parents who leave their children with others that I know HATE it.

It is the societal norm to go back to work and fast here in California.

And those that do not go that path are few and far between. And most feel quite isolated.





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Response to seabeyond (Reply #100)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:57 AM

119. "you dont get to take my choice away from me"

where the heck did that come from???

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Response to Scout (Reply #119)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:05 AM

122. this would just be one of a handful

I'll judge choices women make that I think are bad for society, bad for other women, bad for other people.


the post of iverglas right below. but i FEEL it is sprinkled thru out her posts.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1255&pid=775

btw... i agree with your post below.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #122)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:06 AM

123. and how does that lead to taking away your choice?

i really don't think that is what iverglas is saying.

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Response to Scout (Reply #123)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:14 AM

126. if not facilitating a choice to the nth degree

 

means taking it away, well, I guess I'd be guilty.

I fully support providing financial support for parents to take some time out of the workforce -- and providing job security for their return to work -- up to a certain point. I like Canada's arrangement, which basically amounts to appropriate actual maternity leave for mothers and shared parental leave for parents, totalling about a year.

Beyond that, I don't think it is the public's responsibility to pay for the choice of not working. I do think it is the public's responsibility to pay at least part of the costs of good outside child care / early childhood educatoin, because it is in the public interest for women to be able to support themselves and their families (whether or not they have partners at the moment), and for children to have public lives. If someone thinks it is in their and/or their children's interests for them to stay in the home beyond a certain point, that is a choice for which they can take the financial responsibility, since it is purely personal.

What other possible way my words could be construed as calling for someone to say that I can't take that choice away, I have no idea. Which is why my response was what it was.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #126)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:43 AM

131. but you basically confirmed me saying you do not want a parent to have the choice of raising their

kid. that we must be in the workforce and hire someone to do it for us. if that is not saying you think choice should not be there, then i dont know what is.

and you get to think that way. cool. i disagree. lol

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #131)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:48 AM

133. I think that's about enough for today

 

The poitn when someone misrepresents what I say and think, and reiterates the misrepresentation repeatedly in the face of demonstration of the misrepresentation, is the point when it becomes pointless.


but you basically confirmed me saying you do not want a parent to have the choice of raising their kid. that we must be in the workforce and hire someone to do it for us. if that is not saying you think choice should not be there, then i dont know what is.

What it is, is a complete fabrication. And pretty ugly.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #133)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:50 AM

135. sigh... well, there was no intent to be either ugly or mispresenting what you are saying

truly

seemed like you were agreeing. i cant do any better than that.

and i dont know what is ugly in the post

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Response to Scout (Reply #123)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:39 AM

129. a few. the feel i get anyway.

Are women born wanting to stay at home to wash dishes and tend to children's needs and wants? If not, and gosh I just so much hope that our answer is "not"


I still just can't figure out why feminists are talking about WOMEN and saying women should have the choice to drop out of the adult world and devote themselves to their children. What's feminist about this, again?


There is simply no reason for women anywhere to take years out of the workforce to rear children.


But arguing for dropping out to be recognized as a legitimate, equally respected choice doesn't combat the stereotyping, and not fighting for the supportive resources doesn't bring real choice about.


And this is progress? Women performing stereotyped women's roles/work.


They need to be paying their own way in future in the same way all us working adults will be.


These are the things we used to talk about in the women's movement. The need for women to be able to achieve equality. Not some claptrap about all choices being equal and equally deserving of reward.


the more we glorify the "career" of motherhood


I think adults should do adult work, not spend their lives as house servants to a man and a couple of kids and consumers of crap.


The fact is that women who stay at home to do the wonderful fulfilling important work of childrearing are leaving the soul-destroying jobs to men, and of course to the other women who choose or need to do them. They aren't part of the solution.


When a society defines childcare and housework as women's role and women's work, as our societies absolutely still do, and when a society values women according to how well they fulfil the stereotyped role of woman, and when individual men expect a woman to play that stereotyped role in their relationship, and when a society fails to provide the kinds of supports that make it possible for a parent to hold a job without going broke or breaking down, well, I think it's just a little too early to talk about "choice".


Until women HAVE choices, meaningful, non-binary, choices, it is ridiculous to talk about what choices they should or shouldn't have.


in some perfect all other things being equal world, women in significant numbers chose to isolate themselves in their homes with their children for years, well, then I'd have to scratch my head.


ok... i stopped before the last of her posts. and i posted only those questioning choice, non that were misrepresentations or flat out insults.

but i guess it would be best to ask iverglas if a parent should have the choice to stay at home and raise her kids. because i certainly get the feel, especially having just now read thru so many of her posts again, that she feels an adult should not be able to "opt out of the adult world" isolate themselves and their children.... yada yada yada

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #129)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:46 AM

132. how really quite awful

 

Aren't you one of us in the habit of saying that criticizing pornography and its users is not the same as advocating that it be outlawed?

Really, how dare you reply to ANYTHING in what you quote me as saying by stating that I am not going to take away your choice?


but i guess it would be best to ask iverglas if a parent should have the choice to stay at home and raise her kids.

(Telling, that "her".)

Ya think? Ya think it might be decent to ask the question, even if you do have not the slightest evidentiary basis for asking it? The slightest reason to think that I suggest that people should not have the choice to do as they like with their lives? (Which I assume is not the same as advocating that the public bear the cost of their choices, of course.)

Did you think maybe I would say: No, everyone everywhere should be forced to hold employment from the time they complete their education until the day they reach an approved retirement age?

What kind of really disrespectful "question" is yours?

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Response to iverglas (Reply #132)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:54 AM

137. what???

i really do not get you some times. it sounds like..... i cannot do better than that iverglas..... it sounds like you are saying a parent should not drop out of the work force.

is that wrong?

because i say it out loud, is that insulting you? when all your posts are sounding like that is what you say.

i dont care that you feel differently than i. it is ok. i do not agree with your assessment, though. not from what i picked up on. there are things i hear you say, that i see as flat out wrong, when it comes to kids. i am allowed to say that, as much as you are allowed to say what you do.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #137)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 12:04 PM

141. here is what you said to me

 

i will fight for the respect and ability for a woman to have a career, but you dont get to take my choice away from me.

Have you really forgotten?

You have been cutting and pasting various things I have said, and none of them support the implicit accusation that I would "take your choice away from" you. That is a pure and very unpleasant misrepresentation.

I just don't have to "respect" the "choice" to drop out of the work force and stay home with children for years. Really, I don't.

I do have to recognize that women who do that are responding to any or all of the pressures on women to do it: stereotyping, lack of employment opportunities, lack of childcare and other social supports, etc. I don't have to agree that it is a matter of pure personal preference and that it is a choice that is as "good", for women, children or society, as the alternative.

All I'm seeing is anyone who doesn't think that being told to shut up. That's what I'm seeing.

If you think something I've said is "flat out wrong, when it comes to kids", feel quite free to say that. Just don't think that all you need to do is say it (and toss in a little claim to superior knowledge/understanding based on presumed reproductive status). Try some genuine discussion. And maybe try making it relevant to the lives of a whole range of women, not just those who don't like having a job / can afford not to have a job. And to a whole range of children, not just those whose mothers are fascinated by child psychology.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #129)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 02:08 PM

156. let me try woman-speak

 

ok... i stopped before the last of her posts. and i posted only those questioning choice, non that were misrepresentations or flat out insults.

but i guess it would be best to ask iverglas if a parent should have the choice to stay at home and raise her kids. because i certainly get the feel, especially having just now read thru so many of her posts again, that she feels an adult should not be able to "opt out of the adult world" isolate themselves and their children.... yada yada yada


Your post is hurtful. It is hurtful to be represented and spoken about in a way that is just so flat out inaccurate, and portrayed as being something so obviously unpleasant when it is not the truth. It is hurtful to be called, basically, a fascist -- fascists of old forced women to stay in the kitchen, us new-fangled fascists would force women out of the kitchens, I guess -- when one is not.

It is hurtful to read that being a wife and mother is harder work than any work one has ever done for pay, by people who don't even know what another woman has done. It is hurtful to be told that being a wife and mother is a more important "job" than any job one has held, by people who don't even know what job another woman has.

(It's also just pandering to say those things, of course, but it's hurtful to other women all the same.)

It is also hurtful, generally, to tell a woman that if she does not have children her opinions about the whole octopus of social and economic policies, and religion and dog knows what else that operate on women's choices, are of no value.

And of course it ultimately hurts all women to say those things.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #156)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 03:38 PM

163. " try woman-speak". ok. but, i am not good at it.

Your post is hurtful. It is hurtful to be represented and spoken about in a way that is just so flat out inaccurate, and portrayed as being something so obviously unpleasant when it is not the truth. It is hurtful to be called, basically, a fascist -- fascists of old forced women to stay in the kitchen, us new-fangled fascists would force women out of the kitchens, I guess -- when one is not.


i am sorry it is hurtful. i dont get why. it sounds to me like you think women should not stay at home. i may be wrong, but the purpose of gathering those comments was not to diss you, but present (like you do with quotes) the feel that you think a woman should not be sahm. a lot of people feel like you. i get that. and i am ok with that. i dont agree with my situation and circumstances, obviously. that is not accusing or dissing you. it is a difference of opinion.

It is hurtful to read that being a wife and mother is harder work than any work one has ever done for pay, by people who don't even know what another woman has done. It is hurtful to be told that being a wife and mother is a more important "job" than any job one has held, by people who don't even know what job another woman has.


but, i have not said that. yes, i agree, it is hurtful. i have heard tumbula say that it is the hardest job she has done. she is allowed to express that, and i am sure you will agree she is allowed. at certain ages with little ones, i can say it was also the hardest job i had. and i had some tough, physical, stressful and horrible work condition jobs. that is our personal experience. i would never say it is the hardest job, or the most important. for me, that would be putting down another. i do not do that. and i dont agree.

(It's also just pandering to say those things, of course, but it's hurtful to other women all the same.)
but, i would not say it is pandering either, because that disses the sahm, too.

It is also hurtful, generally, to tell a woman that if she does not have children her opinions about the whole octopus of social and economic policies, and religion and dog knows what else that operate on women's choices, are of no value.


it probably would be hurtful, but i have not seen anyone tell you or anyone that. i did hear you make a lot of comments on parenting that people with children disagree with you on. if you are suggesting that it is hurtful that a person who has children, tell people who dont have children that they might not see all of it, then you may be being a bit unfair. i know prior to having children i had my opinions. and they were pretty educated opinions. i also know once i had kids i saw things differently. as a matter of fact, it is the example i use when i discuss empathy. and privilege. and how unless we experience some things, some times we need to just be quiet and listen. but, i would never say you dont have the knowledge or insight or ability to discuss women/feminist issues as a whole. you are the best.

i dont ask for you to respect my choices. i dont need anyone to validate my choice. i know many dont agree with my choice. society as a whole, du, repugs lol, many people make it clear to me that my choice is not valued. and yet, i think my choice is. as do my kids and husband most of the time. that is all that matters to me. this works for us.

what it feels to me is, the importance of what i do you have ignored, or dismissed, or dont value. so you are seeing it only from your point of view without equally weighing it. i think that is the only place i have issue with all this. but that is ok, too.

i am not here to defend sahm. that is what it has become. i think this created battle needs to stop. and really, that is my only position. i know women that want and need to work. i know women that have to work and would rather not. and i know women that have to stay at home and dont want to. and i know women that are like me and happy with what we are doing.

and i am not into pitting any of them against the other.



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Response to iverglas (Reply #156)

Tue Apr 17, 2012, 08:45 AM

179. hey....

i rarely watch tv. last night had on stewart and colbert. an hour of this shit. hearing things like hardest job, women special, yada yada.

yes. it is nauseating. was more a wtf, as stewart went on to put a naked woman with legs spread and something in between to cover crotch. but just amazing the defending while dehumanizing and using it all in the course of "provocative".

anyway.... if this is all over tv and the articles and stuff, of course there is a backlash.

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Response to Texasgal (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 08:29 PM

26. as long as I'm reading last Saturday's Toronto Star ;)

 

Heather Mallick is great, but I don't always agree with her.

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1161510--ann-romney-vs-women-with-paying-jobs-republicans-are-goading-women-again

The latest battle, engineered by the male-run Republicans, is over a female Democratic strategist responding to Romney’s statement that his wife advises him on economic issues. “She reports to me regularly that the issue women care about most is the economy,” Mitt claimed. Hilary Rosen responded that Ann Romney “had never worked a day in her life.”

She has worked but not in a formal sense and certainly not as an economist. It’s not as though Romney says over breakfast, “Quick, Ann, tell me what to say about Germany’s current account surplus. Is there any prospect of a turnaround?

Hint: the correct answer is, “It’s over the top. No, Merkel’s not budging and it’ll probably kill the EU. But don’t say that last bit.”

But I bet the conversation didn’t go like that. She probably just said, “Willard, all the ladies care about is jobs, jobs, jobs. I’ve never had a job in my life. But don’t mention that last part.”


And the part I don't agree with:

The only strategy for the constant baiting of women by the hard right is to refuse to assault women of any political leaning for the choices they make for themselves. Women only open themselves to judgment when they attack the choices other women make.

I think Heather herself would backpedal a little if asked to apply that dictum to all choices.

I'll judge choices women make that I think are bad for society, bad for other women, bad for other people.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #26)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:00 AM

120. I'd have been interested in a little more discussion of this

 

The only strategy for the constant baiting of women by the hard right is to refuse to assault women of any political leaning for the choices they make for themselves. Women only open themselves to judgment when they attack the choices other women make.


Why does this apply only to this particular choice?

We have no problem criticizing other choices that some women make -- being anti-choice activists, being anti-feminist fundies, being sex trade workers (while recognizing the various factors that determine choices to various extents in various cases) -- why is this one immune?

Not that I see any value in any kind of your choice is bad, no your choice is bad exchange, or have offered any such thing myself. But critical analysis? Whither?

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Response to Texasgal (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:45 AM

115. can women weigh in? or only ladies?

"What Mother doesn't want to raise kids at home full-time? "

i know several who don't....

if mothering is the most important job you can do, what if you SUCK at it? is it still the most important? SHOULD you do an important job at which you suck?

is mothering the most important job every woman can do? what if she could be researching the cure for cancer, instead of just raising another average human being?

i think many women who say mothering is the most important job they can do are just saying that to themselves and others so they can stand it. maybe, raising YOUR child is the most important job YOU can do, but that does not make it true for all women.



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Response to Scout (Reply #115)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:56 AM

118. it occurred to me a little while ago

 

Something from the early days on the net that I'd forgotten.

When discussions like this arise, there is always a disproportionate number of sahms involved in the conversation ... because they're the ones with the time and place to be involved. Other women are at their jobs.

Me, I have a job with no boss, that involves sitting at my keyboard in my home office all day ...

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Response to iverglas (Reply #118)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:02 AM

121. well, i'm posting from work ... multi-tasking ... i have two monitors

and when i need only one of them for real work, the other is busy on DU.

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Response to Scout (Reply #121)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:06 AM

124. I was going to mention the two monitors ;)

 

Ditto. Work on the left, DU (or my beloved genealogy board, etc.) on the right, and now I am going to cover DU up with the window ful of research tabs for the work on the left and get back to it.

Good to see you here! (Of course you may have preceded me since I was late to the new group party, and I just hadn't seen you.)

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Response to iverglas (Reply #118)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:07 AM

125. except what i see there is like ONE, possibly two stay at homes.....

so i think this is a false argument, lol.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #125)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:15 AM

127. it wasn't an argument, it was an observation

 

It may not be true in this case. I have no idea how many of the people arguing the stay-at-home case are doing so from a workplace. (edit -- or outside work hours or whatever, obviously)

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Response to iverglas (Reply #127)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:48 AM

134. ok. a false observation. i am a stay at home. tumbulu may be, i am not sure.

that is it.

i do know. the rest work for a wage.

now, i am off, to do some

work.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #134)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:56 AM

138. no, yours is the false observation

 

Mine was a generality:

When discussions like this arise, there is always a disproportionate number of sahms involved in the conversation ... because they're the ones with the time and place to be involved. Other women are at their jobs.

Oh, dear, perhaps badly phrased. "Always" in the sense of the internet universe as a whole. Tot up the online conversations that have been held about this, or even the ones I have seen, and you will find that they are disproportionately inhabited by stay-at-home mothers.

Even two in this thread strikes me as somewhat disproportionate, if that's what it is, accounting for ages and parental status. Some are not parents, I imagine, and I, for example, am too old, unless I had had children quite late in life and were still at home with them when they were in high school.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #134)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 04:11 PM

165. I farm 100 acres organically/biodynamically

I keep ~90 ewes and have 65 lambs on the ground, just brought a ewe back from the vet hospital whose dead lamb I was unable to pull out myself, it took three vets to get it out, but these fine women did it and the ewe is recovering. All women vets now at the vet teaching hospital. My daughter went with me and she got to see them at work.

I grow heirloom wheat on my farm as well and market it.

I am a single mom.

I downsized my business and sold most everything I could sell (when she was a babe) so that I could care for her myself. And as I have mentioned above 10,000 times I believe that it is work and a honorable and important career to parent. It is a short lived one now-a-days with only one or two children, but still it is something that should be respected as very few people do it anymore (at least where I live).

Now that she is in school I am able to get way more done and my income has rebounded a bit.

I feel extremely lucky that I could do this. Most of the women around me have absolutely no choice and have to go back to work within 6 weeks of giving birth. And their partners do not have the option either.

The women that I know find this inhumane (to be forced back to work a mere 6 weeks after giving birth) and I am absolutely amazed and completely disappointed that people here appear to be dismissing the choice- the financially suicidal choice- of rearing children "do it yourself style".

I do not for one minute think that every parent should interrupt their career to parent if they do not want to. What I would like to see is an economy that allowed parents that want to make a home and take the job of parenting seriously - as seabeyond seems to have done- where this can be done.

I want to see the parent who stays at home get 50% of the social security that the spouse/partner being paid to work gets put into their account. I want the 'stay at home parent" to be supported emotionally and financially by society.






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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #165)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 04:24 PM

168. ok, you have a job, too. lol.

and some job. how interesting is all that. just wow, what you were able to accomplish and as a single other, too. i admire.

you were able to figure out a way of doing it that worked for you.

i think the 6 week thing is a tough one. that is what i was looking at, and couldnt do.

one sahm.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #168)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 04:39 PM

172. well, since it is my own farm and business

that I have from my own life's work prior to having my child, I have been able to make the changes that allow it to be something like a part-time job. I just grow the easy crops, which make way less money, but give me TIME, things like that.

Having had the decades of my self worth defined by my accomplishments, rather than by my abilities to be calm and supportive, loving and patient, I have found the double whammy of lack of respect for parenting in general and my own reduction of accomplishments in the public world to be very tough to handle emotionally.

I remain impressed by your courage and think that you have done an excellent job of writing clearly about it here in our discussion.



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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #172)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 05:08 PM

174. i spent my 20's very selfishly working on myself not to allow others to define me.

prior to that, i had grown up allowing it and being the nice girl and the perfect daughter. all self imposed. it did me no good and my parents really never asked it of me.

a decade of being responsible for no one but myself. and not real social.

that is what i really appreciated with what ashley judd had written. there is a wonderful book, the four agreements by ruiz. a very easy and quick read.

agreement 1

Be impeccable with your word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

agreement 2

Don’t take anything personally - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

agreement 3

Don’t make assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

agreement 4

Always do your best - Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #174)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 05:16 PM

176. Thanks seabeyond

your posts here are a great reflection of these agreements.

I will try to read that book.

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Response to Scout (Reply #115)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 03:07 PM

160. "What Mother doesn't want to raise kids at home full-time? "

i know several who don't....

if mothering is the most important job you can do, what if you SUCK at it? is it still the most important? SHOULD you do an important job at which you suck?

is mothering the most important job every woman can do? what if she could be researching the cure for cancer, instead of just raising another average human being?

i think many women who say mothering is the most important job they can do are just saying that to themselves and others so they can stand it. maybe, raising YOUR child is the most important job YOU can do, but that does not make it true for all women.

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Response to Scout (Reply #160)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 03:58 PM

164. over the years, this is where i go with all this.

i have a brother and his x wife. she never should have stayed at home with the kids. and my brother should absolutely have stayed home with the kids. because of the roles and gender definitions they never considered shifting it around. probably the greatest problem in their marriage resulting in divorce.

my aunt in the early 60's had four girls in a row, right off the bat. she had a nervous breakdown. she went to work and my uncle dropped his hours and didnt not go for upward mobility in his job, assuming the primary responsibility of the girls. he was a great nurturer and my aunt went to the top of the corporation she worked for all her life. i believe she is still working in that company. she loves it. and she is healthy and the best to her kids for it.

i know many women tell me they would go crazy if they were sahms and be bored to tears. (i am never bored)

differences. uniqueness.

what i like today, is i am seeing more and more people make these creative choices. more power to all of us.

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Response to Scout (Reply #160)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 04:18 PM

166. I know plenty that far prefer their paying jobs- wonderful -

but I know others who would far prefer to be the stay-at-home parent, at least for the first few years.

Mothering is a big deal for many and a not at all a big thing for others.

I have found it really hard to do- I see others for whom it appears effortless. My hat is off to them!

Where I live it is not at all the norm for anyone to be able to take the time off of paid work to do the unpaid work of being home with kids.

And this is very distressing and depressing to many, and a great relief to others. There is no right way, but I do not approve of disparaging anyone who chooses to be a stay at home parent, whatever sex they are.



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Response to Texasgal (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 01:24 PM

145. Interesting.

Quite predictable however.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #145)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 01:27 PM

146. is it really fair

 

to post a topic for discussion, invite opinions, and return 145 posts later and say only "quite predictable"?

That isn't really discussion.

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Response to iverglas (Reply #146)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 01:33 PM

147. It's predictable

that this thread hasn't turned into a discussion at all.

So yes, it's fair.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #147)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 01:36 PM

148. well

 

I guess you could try telling us what you wanted discussed when you posted the OP, and discussing it ...

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Response to iverglas (Reply #148)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 01:45 PM

151. It's beyond discussion.

It's very hard to communicate with you. You lash out and post long nasty diatribes that lose their way and then pile up on people that disagree with you.

I am not that kind of person. I'm sorry. I am here to try to learn. I am not here to be brutalized by someone that overtakes the discussion and makes me feel stupid or insignificant. I am very disappointed in how you have treated seabeyond in this thread. She is one of the nicest and honest posters on this board.

No way I'd enter this conversation now.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #151)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 01:46 PM

152. perhaps

 

you are not aware of the SoP of this group ...

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Response to iverglas (Reply #152)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 01:49 PM

153. Fully aware.

I have read it.

Ofcourse, I am sure that at this point you will point out to me the error of my ways, In a way to discount me or make me appear stupid. Go ahead.

I'm off to lunch!

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #151)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 03:14 PM

161. hey... was gonna give you a shout out. busy working. upside with my jjjjob, ok

Last edited Mon Apr 16, 2012, 04:10 PM - Edit history (1)

existence is if it does not directly interfere with the kids, i can hold off a bit. but i am busy, so, lets get her done.

thank you. it is a hard conversation. but it is all good, too. i get where iverglas is coming from. obviously, with my choices i see it differently. hands down, the majority i think, agree in a lot of ways with iverglas. i am use to that. it was like that back with my mom and why i refused to live this..... choice? lol. i changed my mind once i had kids.

i dont need to validate what i do. i dont need others to feel good about what i do. what is important.... for me with this conversation, is seeing this is all about pitting women against women and that is what bothers me. that is what i would like to stop. for us women not to do.

but, i think once again, you created a kick ass OP.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #147)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 01:39 PM

149. and you tried so hard to make the thread a good discussion

you must be so disappointed.



perhaps it would have gone better if you hadn't tried to limit the discussion to "ladies" and instead invited all women to weigh in.

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Response to Scout (Reply #149)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 02:01 PM

154. to be fair scout, I think this was the first sentence of the OP:

I'd like to see a conversation on how Women feel the Ann Romney flap.


And then in a friendly manner asked again for the "ladies" opinion.

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Response to Texasgal (Reply #147)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 02:19 PM

158. I think we've seen many different opinions.

Which is what the OP called for, no?

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Response to Texasgal (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 01:41 PM

150. so ... where is the line drawn?

 

http://thegloss.com/beauty/mitt-romney-dignity-of-work-674/

Mitt was more upset saying “all moms are working moms.” But Mitt Romney’s response doesn’t line up with his assertion regarding mothers applying for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits on MSNBC this January. There he claimed:

“I wanted to increase the work requirement. I said, for instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless.’ And I said, ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.”

Basically, Romney asserted that taking care of children does not fulfill a “work requirement.”

Wait. What about “I happen to believe that all moms are working moms?” What happened to that being work

... But let’s think about this. What is the difference between the women in the first group – who have children and are on welfare, and apparently need the dignity of work – and the women who are Ann Romney, and need to stay at home and be mothers?


Do we here believe that women should be given public assistance (whether they are single mothers or their partners are not able to support the family adequately) if they choose to stay home with children? If so, for how long? How long per child, for how many children ... ? And if so, what happens when the children reach whatever cut-off age it might be? A possibly middle-aged woman with no qualifications or experience, looking for work; what is society's responsibility to her then?

Questions for discussion ...

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Response to iverglas (Reply #150)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 02:04 PM

155. What do you think? nt

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Response to boston bean (Reply #155)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 02:09 PM

157. whatever

 

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