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Did the feminists get it all wrong?


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#26 becstarr1

Posted 10 September 2009 - 08:01 PM

I thank the women who put in the hard yards that gave me the choice. The choice to be educated, the choice to be a sexual being, the choice to be a mother and the choice to either stay home or work full time or part time, equal pay and equal; rights.

I have these choices because my husband is also one grateful for his choices to work full time and progress his career, by his choice to trust me to organise just about everything for him beause that is not one of his skills.

Together we have choices and I am grateful for that choice.
So did the feminists get it wrong? No they did not. They gave us the right to choose where our happiness lies and if taht is being a SAHM or a working mum or not a mum then there it is.

#27 seepi

Posted 10 September 2009 - 08:29 PM

We are only part of the way there.

I would still prefer to be able to go out and work (and vote!), than to be stuck at home, referred to as Mrs Andrew Smith, not have access to any money of my own etc etc.

Things have come a long way, but we are a long way from the ideal. I agree that too much is expected of wome, but I am hopeful that that will change - my partner does more cooking and cleaning than my Dad did, so that is promising.

#28 tothebeach

Posted 10 September 2009 - 08:59 PM

OP, since you asked for opinions, I found your post a bit inane.

I would have thought by now that we had stopped asking the question about whether feminists got it wrong - surely we all want to vote, to be able to support ourselves if we need, to study and expand our skills if we desire - all things that feminism gave us.

A larger question may be, "how do we make society and work more family friendly for both men and women" or "has our consumer society driven us to need two incomes to afford things that are now the norm" or any number of other more valid questions.

#29 bendystraw

Posted 15 September 2009 - 01:47 PM

some days I DO think 'damn feminists, for expecting me to work full time, then come home for the next job of being a mother, cleaner, chauffer, maid, prostitute, chef, nurse, entertainer, wife and best friend'.

But I know that's not what feminism was/is about.  

I don't think feminists got it wrong, we're just not there yet.

#30 doramae

Posted 20 September 2009 - 11:49 AM

Saying that a woman CAN do anything isn't the same as saying a woman SHOULD do EVERYTHING.

I think we have forgotten that mothers were always part of fighting for women's rights. Women knew that having children seriously curtailed her opportunities for having power in the wider world. The way the world is now is not the way that our foresisters could have predicted. They thought that no-one would be working more than a 40 hour week. That household appliances would free up women's time to be more involved in paid work, politics, creative arts and the community. That government and business would share the responsibility for children. That men and women would equally share domestic and child care duties. That we wouldn't still be fighting for women to be respected, by not treating them as objects in advertising etc. No-one could have foreseen the current phase of Intensive Mothering.  

It seems the only part of a mother's contribution that is valued in our society is her right to contribute to the economy. Care work is still not valued. We still live within male-defined paradigms.

Some European countries have come closer to the ideal than we have. We could look to their policies. We don't need to live with motherguilt, and workplaces where the only good worker is one without care responsibilities. All this is in our power to change.

However, the clincher is, we need to convince men. Men still hold the power. We need to present our arguments in terms of how these changes will benefit them. Because men are not going to hand over their power simply because it is the right thing to do!

I agree that feminism is still necessary. Don't blame the women who fought for your rights. If you look at the history, you'll see we haven't gone far enough. We need to learn form the past, look at the good policies held by other countries, see what is possible, and get active for change. It is up to us to improve society for our children!

Edited by doramae, 20 September 2009 - 12:47 PM.


#31 *SYM*

Posted 22 September 2009 - 04:31 PM

If it means total equality and fairness for the sexes, then no they didn't get it wrong, but it means taking the good with the bad.  A woman's equal right to promotion and fair pay, a man's right to paternity leave, but also a woman's responsibility to be drafted in times of war and a man's responsibility to do a fair share of the housework.

#32 .Ally.

Posted 15 October 2009 - 11:55 AM

QUOTE (doramae @ 20/09/2009, 12:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It seems the only part of a mother's contribution that is valued in our society is her right to contribute to the economy. Care work is still not valued. We still live within male-defined paradigms.

Some European countries have come closer to the ideal than we have. We could look to their policies. We don't need to live with motherguilt, and workplaces where the only good worker is one without care responsibilities. All this is in our power to change.

However, the clincher is, we need to convince men. Men still hold the power. We need to present our arguments in terms of how these changes will benefit them. Because men are not going to hand over their power simply because it is the right thing to do!


True. I believe that as men get more involved in child-rearing/domestic duties we'll see a direct increase in understanding and workplace flexibility. (They'll realise how hard it can be to juggle and say bugger this!)



#33 premmie-29-weeks

Posted 29 October 2009 - 04:26 PM

Which feminists are you referring to? The feminists who got us the vote? The feminists who argued for equal pay for equal work? The feminists who fought and gave us the option of keeping our jobs after getting pregnant and having children or those really pesky feminists that agitated for law reform so as we could say no and mean no and make a rape charge even in the confines of marriage? Gosh those pesky feminists are just one interfering amorphous lump aren't they?

I LOVE THIS STATEMENT. Maybe for some women out their the costs of actually going back to work make that paid work kind of redundant. I also think there is a long way to go in making work a family friendly environment, but that being said you go to work - to work and be paid for doig your job and I have worked with a number of part time mums, some of whom are fantastic at balancing their time and really do a ft role in three days or less, and others who seem to be unable to get their head around the fact that industry doesn't stop on the days your at home.

For me not being a parent yet I can't say how I'll handle it but - I like the idea of doing both, my Mum worked PT when we were kids and having something else other than her family (her own business) made her a more rounded (if a bit tired) and better parent.

I think we should bear in mind that sometimes working isn't completely about the money it's about using your education, having adult company, and throwing yourself into something that requires a different skill set to mothering and is rewarding on a personal level.



#34 MotherhoodStatement

Posted 29 October 2009 - 04:35 PM

I simply can never understand how any woman who earns wages, has had educational opportunities, and has access to reliable birth control cannot call herself a feminist.  That goes equally for men who expect women to enjoy those rights.

I'm also surprised that Fairfax appears to just let its bloggers push "submit" without at the very least checking their spelling and grammar, or indeed hires them without finding out whether they are capable of expressing themselves in English.

#35 Darkmoon

Posted 06 November 2009 - 12:29 PM

I am wondering when the pendulum will swing back.

It is quiet funny that women had different rights to men in the 1800s.

Since then nothing has really changed, good fathers will teach there sons.  Women who marry powerful men become powerful women.  Educated people can speak better.  Men will always dominate the powerful positions.

Things that have changed are women have gained equality in some areas, and lost respect in others.  Dont think every thing will always be positive.  There is always give and take, sometimes some things are alot less obvious to notice.

#36 taddie

Posted 06 December 2009 - 01:02 AM

I think the OPs post, initial statement etc is more about getting free advertising for her book, sales of which are AIMED AT STAY AT HOME MUMS. All publicity is good publicity right! And nothing like making a baseless and inflammatory statement on a mums forum to generate great publicity original.gif

Personally I can't wait for the day people stop being victims who are wounded by waiting to be told something perfectly obvious. I always knew I'd be the primary carer if I had children, because I make the baby and I have the boobs to feed it. If I'd been earning considerably more than my partner at the time (and was satisfied he would be a good carer) I was prepared to revisit that so the money burden of supporting our lifestyle didn't fall unfairly on him but was glad not to have to.

In my career 5 years out of action basically dooms you in the labour market. I'm going to have to completely retrain before I have a proper job again in my chosen field and I knew that when I decided to have kids. But my children are what I leave behind on this earth and compared to them my career means nothing special, I am certainly not defined by my work (how sad would that be). I'm happy to give my kids 5 years of the best childhood I can give them as their start in life and feel quite blessed that I now have a partner who allows me to do that.

That said I'm lolling at the "women who earn $100k or more and can afford childcare and cleaners etc". I did and couldn't afford either because I had a massive sydney morgage I was paying by myself. That's why I had to wait until 38 for my first bub original.gif We'll have to restrict the lifestyle for a few years but that's what you get for not being DINKs anymore!

#37 Ben01

Posted 12 December 2009 - 11:26 PM

Feminists must love the fact a man still tells them when they can cross the road.

#38 PurpleWitch

Posted 13 December 2009 - 03:39 AM

QUOTE
Feminists must love the fact a man still tells them when they can cross the road.


Or a woman in pants.

#39 Guest_Maureen G_*

Posted 14 December 2009 - 10:56 AM

As an older woman and a new member of this forum I have been fascinated by the first two topics I have dipped into. The first was “Teaching Religion in Public Schools. Why bother?” and the second was “Did the feminists get it all wrong?”

Reading both it occurred to me that a lot of hot air is being generated but it is unlikely that much action will be the result.

Regarding feminism, as a young woman and a mother I read Germaine Ggreer's “The Female Eunuch” and was impressed by the simple quotation from the nineteenth century philosopher John Stuart Mill: “everything that is could be otherwise”. This idea encouraged me to make changes in my life and to seek a level of autonomy that was denied to my mother and aunts, and to many of my contemporaries. Looking back, I am satisfied with my life which has been largely, but never entirely, lived in accord with my values and principles, one of which is “to thine own self be true…….”

This is what feminism is all about. It is not about handing a perfect life to twenty somethings who haven’t yet decided what kind of life they want. It is not about arguing whether it is better to be a stay at home mum, or a mum who works full or part time, or whether to remain childless. Arguments on this front are a waste of breath. To allow young women of today to choose the life that accords with their values there are still many structural elements of our society that must be changed.

Improvements have been made in the workplace. In 1959 I could not secure a position in the NSW public service because, as a female I needed to be able to type 30 words per minute, and having received a high school education that concentrated on academic subjects only, I was ineligible. Boys with my academic record were eagerly recruited. Equal pay for equal work was yet to become a reality for most female workers. Today the situation is more enlightened, thanks to the second wave of feminism but Australia still has one of the most gender segregated work forces in the world. Women are no longer legislated lower pay but nevertheless they are not as well remunerated as men with equivalent levels of education. The child care sector is the outstanding example of the economic under valuing of the work of women and by extension, the contribution of stay at home mothers.

The time of John Stuart Mill was a time of social and economic upheaval brought about by the Industrial Revolution. Many social problems surfaced and were addressed by enlightened thinkers and social activists. The Victorian era was a time of social reform and advancement .

We are also living in a time of flux caused by the introduction of global information technology. More than ever before, everything that is now a problem can be examined and improved.  We have the power to address environmental damage, to overcome global poverty, to improve the lot of women and girls everywhere and to restructure the economy in such a way as to enable our daughters and granddaughters to have more opportunities for a fulfilling life.

To these ends should our voices and actions be directed. Carpe diem, seize the day!



#40 ikt

Posted 26 December 2009 - 01:36 AM

QUOTE (Maureen G @ 14/12/2009, 11:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Reading both it occurred to me that a lot of hot air is being generated but it is unlikely that much action will be the result.


As someone who has been on the internets ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKTH6f1JfX8 ) since I was 10ish you'll find 99% of the interweb ( http://xkcd.com/181/  / hold your mouse over the cartoon for subtext) is exactly that, hot air.

On topic; the thought that the initial wave of feminists got it wrong is completely preposterous, it doesn't even enter my head as something to debate.

QUOTE
The child care sector is the outstanding example of the economic under valuing of the work of women


What's the deal with that?

I would have thought an industry dominated by the female sex pay would be up and equal, if not more so in the opposite direction, males paid less than females for the same role.

Edited by ikt, 26 December 2009 - 01:39 AM.


#41 Guest_Maureen G_*

Posted 30 December 2009 - 05:31 AM

QUOTE (ikt @ 26/12/2009, 02:36 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As someone who has been on the internets ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKTH6f1JfX8 ) since I was 10ish you'll find 99% of the interweb ( http://xkcd.com/181/ / hold your mouse over the cartoon for subtext) is exactly that, hot air.

I would have thought an industry dominated by the female sex pay would be up and equal, if not more so in the opposite direction, males paid less than females for the same role.


Hi ikt,

Fancy meeting you here, of all places.

Child care workers are not well paid. They work 38 hours per week and have 4 weeks annual leave plus public holidays. The NSW pay scale for TAFE trained (diploma) staff is

Advanced Child Care Worker (Qualified)

Step

From Sept 09 - per week
1

778.26
2

857.56
3

899.06
4

943.80

Non qualified child care workers get less and university trained teachers get more, but not as much as school teachers who also have longer holidays. I know this because I am the treasurer of a community based CCC associated with our church. They only get a pay rise when the award of the lowest paid workers is adjusted every so often in the courts. I've known one CCC Director who had a second job at MacDonalds to make ends meet.

Why not be generous and pay above the award I hear you thinking?

Very hard to do given that in NSW DoCS funding for long day care centres has been frozen permanently. Any wage increases impact directly onto fees. Our centre has invested in additional staff to lower the child:carer ratios. For our 2 year olds we budget 4 staff for 18 children. Three year olds and above are allocated one university trained teacher and one advanced CCC (qualified) per 20 children and that is superior to most privately run long day care centres. Children with additional needs have a 1:1 ratio which is (mostly) covered by additional funding.

These workers will soon be transferred to a Federal award. It will be interesting to see if the situation will improve or decline further.

#42 ikt

Posted 02 January 2010 - 10:16 PM

QUOTE (Maureen G @ 30/12/2009, 06:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Any wage increases impact directly onto fees.


But I thought your fees were to high already?

So are the fees to high or are people just not willing to pay enough to cover the costs?


#43 Guest_Maureen G_*

Posted 05 January 2010 - 09:43 AM

QUOTE (ikt @ 02/01/2010, 11:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But I thought your fees were to high already?

So are the fees to high or are people just not willing to pay enough to cover the costs?


Yes to both I guess.

The Australian Government discounts the costs in two ways - one is by direct subsidy (Child Care Benefit - CCB) to the parents based on an income test. Not everyone qualifies for this subsidy and there is a sliding scale applied. The other method is by a taxation refund of 50% (?) of fees paid over and above any subsidy. Most families get some fee relief but if this were not so the cost of child care and preschool would be more expensive to families than private schools and universities.

Our centre charges $60 - $62 per child per day. We are competitive with other centres in our locality. Our surplus last year was 38 cents per child per day. This is a wafer thin margin. Fees are kept to the minimum necessary because the management committee consists of at least 50% parents with children attending the centre.

Edited by Maureen G, 05 January 2010 - 03:41 PM.


#44 acemummy

Posted 06 January 2010 - 11:49 PM

I do think feminist years ago, have helped us along,  however, I really don't think they would be all that happy with the outcome today.  

As woman we continue to struggle, YES if we work we are made to feel guilty, If we are SAHM's we are made to feel guilty, and asked when are you going back to work.  When I answer maybe when ALL my children start school, I get odd looks. ( do I have horns, is there something on my face).

Yes I have gone to uni, but my chosen degree (which I completed as a mature age student) or rather career will allow me the luxury of having much the same hours as my children (not counting all the work at home).

For all the feminist out there ask yourself why do you want to ....? Most answers I normally hear are totally selfish and just trying to prove a point.

ed for a typo

Edited by acemummy, 23 January 2010 - 07:15 PM.


#45 RealityBites

Posted 19 January 2010 - 11:38 AM

'The feminists' ?!!  blink.gif  rolleyes.gif

#46 BlancheNeige

Posted 05 February 2010 - 12:20 AM

'the feminists' indeed! Given that the majority of men and women are still unable to adequately reconcile caring responsibilities with their careers then I think it's pretty safe to say that 'the feminists' continue to be right on the money and they'll remain so until the issue isn't one that is only viewed as a mother's dilemma. I know plenty of fathers who would dearly love to spend less time at work and more time with their children but struggle to do so due to the way in which the capitalist labour market is structured and the fact that men are frequently penalised to an even greater degree than women if they opt for flexible or part time work.

These are important issues and it's a shame that the Fairfax empire is unable to recruit commentators who're capable of providing a more thought-provoking level of analysis than the OP brings to the table in her advertorial masquerading as a blog.

ETA: Have just realised that the original post is about 18 months old and that the blogger no longer seems to be on the list. I hope that that means that the powers that be have decided to exercise a bit of quality control in their choice of contributors to the site.

Edited by BlancheNeige, 05 February 2010 - 12:35 AM.


#47 Pooks Combusted

Posted 07 February 2010 - 07:53 PM

did the feminists get it wrong?
of course not.
next question.

#48 new*to*this

Posted 08 February 2010 - 07:49 AM

Intrestingly enough this is something DH often comments on saying "feminists really messed it up for woment".  The first time he said this I really paid him out about it until he started to explain his point.  His point being that if it wasn't for women demanding equal opportunites and pay we wouldn't being living in a society that is geared towards double income families, which consequently leaves most women with little choice but to return to the workforce to cover everyday expenses.

Whilst I am grateful for all that the feminists did to improve the role and life of women I do think it has backfired somewhat now that we are all expected to be "Super Mum".  Good on those women who can juggle high powered careers with motherhood and don't feel that they are missing out on anything or those women who do not feel that they are expected to do it all.  I for one though would not mind turning the clock back a little so that the role of the SAHM is better supported and catered for in society.

#49 Sentient Puddle

Posted 08 February 2010 - 08:04 AM

Turning the clock back how far?  Women have always worked in Australian society.   Yes, for a few short years post WWII there were many that were forced out of the workforce. However, many had to find alternative employment (cash in hand) cleaning houses, sewing, washing etc to support both single and double income families.  This utopian ideal that people want to hark back to where men were the breadwinners and women were in their frilly aprons was only a reality for small numbers of women for a short time.  

What we really need is not to turn the clock back but to look to the future where parenting and care work is supported and valued and both men and women can share the care load as well as contribute to the labour market and be able to choose how they combine the two.

#50 bessidy

Posted 11 February 2010 - 05:49 PM

I can remember in grade 2 being asked to depict what i 'wanted to be when i grew up' (i still have the drawing somewhere). I drew myself infront of a house with a boy, a baby and a dog. Underneath is scrawled 'I want to be a mum and a wife like my mummy'. My female teacher then wrote in red pen underneath 'I'm sure you do, but I asked you to draw what job do you want to do'.
I think that is the 'backfire'! The fact that a child who says she wants to be a wife and mother can be told, at age 7 that that isnt enough.
I am now a SAHHW, and love it completely! ( tthumbs.gif to the teacher who told me it wasnt enough... you were wrong original.gif)

As a SAHHW I get judged and pressured by women all around me all the time... it's the attitude that I am somehow 'LETTING DOWN THE TEAM' by not earning my own money. I've been called a 'gold digger', 'lazy', and 'stupid' for choosing my life, by women who thought I should be working.
It's silly because the feminists didn't fight for the REQUIREMENT of women to work, THEY FAUGHT FOR THE RIGHT FOR WOMEN TO CHOOSE! I think it's a shame that more women don't say 'well good on you for choosing what makes you happy'.
And put simply, work for women on the land (as many women were 2 or 3 generations ago) is hard and never ending. As a SAHHW i feed between 3 and 25 people 1-3 cooked meals a day (depending on what work is happening here), i run a kitchen garden where i grow the veggies to feed them, i do our bookwork, lookafter animals, and i maintain a house and yard. Anyone who says it's 'boring' concerns me!

New*to*this I agree.. Being out of the city is truely a different world. I think that centralisation is a major culprit in forcing women (those who don't wish to go) back to work after children.
People become caught up in a very materialistic world where they feel obliged to carry on a dual income to support a higher standard of 'wanting' not a high standard of living.





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