Laura Nowadays

Political Rantings and Insight From a Not-So-Stupid Twenty-Something.

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Location: United States

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Parental Love and Feminism


Thanks to my (future) sister-in-law, my blood pressure went up about 1,000 points this passed week.
Check out why here and here.

Angry yet? Mothers, how about you?
I would HATE to be this woman's child. If ever one needed proof as to how (radical, which, most of them are) feminism has truly wrecked the family unit, this is it. Hypocrisy of feminism aside, do they really expect to gain popularity from the very group of people they're criticizing?
If you're too lazy to read these articles, let me sum everything up for you in one sentence. Being a mother is a waste of time because you can't make money doing it. In other words, this is where the author's priorities lie:
-Self
-Money
-Career
-Education
-A bunch of other rubbish
-Children
-Husband
Is the reason why self-esteem has become such a major issue over the last thirty years only glaringly obvious to me? If your own mother doesn't value the "job" of raising you, what good will that do for your mental state?
She especially criticizes those women of the "elite class" with superior educations who quit their jobs or just put them off for the time being to raise their children. And here I always thought a college education extended beyond the four walls of the workplace into everything else that one does. Guess I was wrong. Forgive me for believing that motherhood is the most important job one can undertake in a lifetime. If I'm not mistaken mothers are or do the following:
-Psychologist: from boo-boos to breakups moms make you feel better about almost everything.
-Philosopher: the beliefs and ideals that your mother instills in you will ultimately affect your outlook on life.
-Teacher: some of life's greatest lessons are learned from mom
-Maid: the always controversial, never appreciated talent, noone can wash dishes or do the laundry like mom.
-Doctor: taking temperatures, diagnosing illness, and giving you that disgusting cough syrup that always makes you feel better.
And guess what else? There really is more to her than all of the above. She's also a wife, an individual, someone who just wants to soak in the bathtub or go shopping without screaming children. But guess what? When you're six years old, these things just don't matter to you. I guarantee you though, that if your mom focuses her attention on you when you're younger, you're going to care a whole lot more about who she is when you grow up, and then it can be about her. That's the tradeoff in life but it's a fair one.
What feminism has done is made it all about the woman. It's about her desires and dreams first and everyone else comes second. With that comes the thinking as a child that you're really not good enough and that even your mom doesn't want you.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the other areas that have been negatively impacted as the result of feminism. The divorce rate has skyrocketed due to the belief that women are the same as men and that men should have no more leadership in the relationship than the woman. Unless of course a woman wants to be, say, in the military or the police force, then all of a sudden they have to change their policies because women just can't do as many pushups or situps as men. But, don't be mistaken, we're no different than a man. Unwed pregnancies occur more because it's our body and we can do with it as we please even if that means being promiscuous and not knowing who our "baby daddy" is. Abortions in their first years of legality were at their highest and the numbers are still high today because it's an inconvenience, it just costs too much, or the relationship is bad. So basically what they're saying is, I'm more important than any other life, I won't have enough money to buy those great new Prada shoes, and I didn't have enough foresight not to sleep with a man who I don't get along with. Good, just wanted to make sure.
The other terrible reality of feminism is the key role in a child's life that is so disposable to these women. Men.
I love men. I love that they're (most of them) stronger physically than I. I love that my emotional, sometimes illogical point of view is always challenged by the logical, non-emotional view of a man. I love that men are problem fixers instead of dwelling on the problem. I love that they can't multi-task the way women can because they can focus they're whole being on the task at hand.
Most of all, I love that a man is an irreplaceable person in a little girl's life. It is not duplicable. No other person can explain to a little girl that she is worth much more time than that drug dealer on the street is willing to give to her. Noone but a man can truly show a little boy how to become a decent, upstanding, protective, tough-guy like a man can. Like I said, irreplaceable.

But you can't tell that to a feminist. To them marriage is legalized prostitution and men are pigs. Maybe, if they would stop sleeping around with any Joe Blow that walks in front of them, they would meet a decent man. One who's worth *gasp* submitting to. One who won't hit them or make them feel inferior. Maybe feminists are bitter women who are just jealous of the stay-at-home mom who found herself a decent man to sleep in bed with at night. And, instead of like, raising their standards for finding a decent man, they want to impose their beliefs on all women (and gay men) everywhere so they'll be just as miserable and bitter as they are.
Here's an idea, feminists should just take their hypocritical, man-hating, family ruining, baby killing idealism and flush it down the toilet. Then it's time to put on your cleaning gloves ladies, because that kind on trash leaves a lot of residue and I'm not going to be the one to clean up after it. There are a lot of years of that garbage in the drain and it's time they took responsibility for it.

7 Comments:

Blogger agl said...

I don’t have a toddler’s blog to respond to this post; therefore I’ll have to directly reply to it. Every so often I read this blog – just to see how some christian conservatives think. I do not dislike conservatives – or christians. However, opinions without research are difficult to take seriously. I have replied to this blog before with simple questions (without any derogatory language or personal attacks), but they were deleted. I would guess that this will be erased as well. However, it is important to me to respond to unsupported and outlandish claims.
Like any philosophy, feminism is divided into many movements, but radical feminists are spotlighted – much like the extremist Muslims. Not all Muslims are terrorists and not all feminists are radical. Dr. Hirshman doesn’t represent all feminists (maybe refer back to the Newsweek article where the interviewer inferred she was using feminism).
Laura claims that self-esteem has become an issue over the past 30 years and she attributes that to feminists. Self-esteem has become an issue over the last 60 years because the concept of self-esteem has been spotlighted through the self-help movement. Furthermore, self-esteem is strongly related to media images and peer interaction.
Obviously, parents do impact their children’s development. Laura infers feminists do not care about children, nor do “career women.” Mothers that work aren’t given enough credit. According to Huston and Aronson (2005) from the University of Texas, Austin, mother-child time is “necessary for children’s cognitive activity, language, and positive social interactions.” With that being noted, the same study concluded that time spent with children must be attentive and sensitive. Furthermore, they concluded that employed women compensated by lost time during the week by increasing time during the weekend – by decreasing leisure time. Finally, employed mothers spent more time in quality activities (e.g. playing, talking, and holding their children). There was no conclusion that mothers’ time working interfered with the quality of their relationship with their children. Yes dear, it seems women can work and have a family too. Feminists weren’t so far off when they imagined this world. You do remember that
Laura clearly has no idea what “feminism has done.” Feminism has made a choice available to women. This so called divide between stay-at-home moms and working women has been perpetuated by the media; much like the Newsweek article in the 80’s that claimed women over 40 were less likely to get shot by a terrorist that be married (this was retracted and overwhelming evidence refutes this claim). People that resent feminism blow “Mommy Wars” out of proportion.
Really? The divorce rate can be attributed to feminism? Again, the choice that was offered to women is a result of the feminist movement and cultural shifts. So, women and men that are unhappy have to stay in a marriage? As Laura has so eloquently put it “women are the same as men and that men should have no more leadership in the relationship than the woman.” There is an undeniable difference in the physiology of men and women, so that should be magically overcome right? Women can’t be in the military or physically demanding jobs because of this difference? We are not as cognitively competent? In my marriage, it is a partnership between my husband and I. Watch out – an egalitarian relationship? I thank the women before me that worked so diligently for this cultural shift.
As for abortion, we could debate this for years. Ending a pregnancy can be the best choice for the woman and fetus. Let us address the children that result from unwanted pregnancies. A study done by David et al. in 1998 followed children from unwanted pregnancies and wanted pregnancies. By adulthood, unwanted children were more likely to abuse drugs, have legal issues and have overall psychological difficulties – this list is not exhaustive. Women that go through with unwanted pregnancies are also unhappy and report that they treat their children poorly throughout development.
Just a few statistics I have for you: before Roe v. Wade, an estimated 200,000 to 1.2 million illegal abortions were performed each year and about 10,000 women died from them. Women used crude and harmful ways to induce abortions. A woman is 25 times more likely to die as a result of childbirth than of a legal abortion. (Matlin, 1998).
I have worked in a group home for cognitively disabled and unwanted children. Have you met children that have been in and out of foster care and that are unwanted by everyone - only having revolving staff to look up to? It is heartbreaking. However, our friends in the government cut funding to social services and this group of people is forgotten.
We’re not going to stop people from having sex. Instead, our president has promoted an abstinence only policy – these people aren’t even getting the education they need to protect themselves against disease and unwanted pregnancies. Educated individuals are less likely to have children at a young age and to practice safe sex. Abstinence only policies don’t work. Not everyone is a christian – nor does everyone want to be a christian. Even people that identify themselves as some type of christian have premarital sex.
Laura is misguided by what feminism stands for. Many feminists work for HUMAN rights. For example, boys are trailing significantly in school and it is the feminist psychologists that are working towards understanding this trend.
Before making such wild claims, please Laura, do your homework. You write as though you know feminists, but from your description you have no idea what the philosophy is about. You make extreme generalizations about a group of people you obviously don’t know. It seems as though your trend is to criticize groups of people you couldn’t begin to understand.
You seem to think that feminists hate men. Where did you get that? And feminists are promiscuous. Please, come up with something better than that. How can a promiscuous woman hate a man? It seems to be the exact opposite, don’t you think? Oh and maybe you should take a look into third-wave feminism and the ‘girl power’ movement. It encourages self-respect and loving yourself – no matter your physical appearance. Feminism is about empowerment – not at the expense of anyone else.
Substantiate your claims at least. I consider myself a feminist and I love my husband and our egalitarian relationship. As for my sex life, well dear, sorry to disappoint you but I wouldn’t be considered promiscuous by any standard. I’m also pretty satisfied and happy in my life. I could provide you with all kinds of similar examples, but that wouldn’t add to your ridiculous claims would it?
By the way, primary references are helpful when making any type of point. I respect that you are a christian, but have you ever thought critically about the information you are fed? Maybe a course in general psychology or sociology – or God forbid, a course in gender would expand your ability to have an informed opinion. I hope you’re able to write a rebuttal that is researched – but I understand if you cannot.

10:47 PM  
Blogger the occasional cig... said...

ditto agl (whoever you are).

11:24 PM  
Blogger agl said...

Much like how you take attacks on Christianity personally, I take attacks on feminism personally. It is difficult not to take it personally when someone has so disastrously interpreted it. You seem to think I don’t have a good understanding of Christianity, doesn’t that frustrate you – it seems like it does. Imagine how I felt when I read your complete misunderstanding.
It is great that you were able to use the information from an abstinence program. Too bad that isn’t the case for more people. “According to Columbia University researchers, virginity pledge programs increase pledge-takers’ risk for STIs and pregnancy. The study concluded that 88 percent of pledge-takers initiated sex prior to marriage even though some delayed sex for a while. Rates of STIs among pledge-takers and non-pledgers were similar, even though pledge-takers initiated sex later. Pledge-takers were less likely to seek STI testing and less likely to use contraception when they did have sex.” (http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/factsheet/fssexcur.htm – this web site cites several reputable, peer reviewed journal articles)

As for your daycare comment, that seems like you’re attacking working mothers that put their children in daycare. Those that can afford expensive cars tend to put their children in preschool (an educational setting) as opposed to daycare. For you information, a psychologist, Mary Main, has found that day care provides children with valuable lessons in independence and social interaction. Preschool, and even daycare, can be beneficial for a child. And the reason these children cry when their mothers leave is a natural progression of how attachment develops. Maybe read a child development book – Piaget and Boulby are good places to begin.

The problem with the differences perspective is that people overgeneralize the difference. Oftentimes differences other than physiological types are minute, but are blown out of proportion (see Janet Hyde’s 2005 meta-analysis). You wrote: “Women may generally be weaker physically, so what?” My thoughts exactly. As for your example of the woman being beat to an inch of her life – aren’t there many male police officers assaulted and killed too? How can you say that if it were a man he wouldn’t have been beaten as badly too?

There are several hypothetical situations I could supply for ways women do not have the power of no. Furthermore, the mainstream culture degrades women and definitely socializes our women and girls into objects. You seem to think that it’s so easy to just say no. Even Nancy Regan has rethought that campaign. I suppose you couldn’t interject any personal experience here. Personal experience isn’t really a sample large enough to infer anything about a population anyway.

Again, you ramble on without any credible sources. If you think Christianity is misunderstood at least quote some scripture. I admit that I am not as familiar with Christianity as you may be, but maybe you can enlighten me. You still haven’t cited any empirical evidence from what I’ve read so far. How can you make such claims without anything backing it up? For now I suppose we’ll agree to disagree. I’m guessing this debate has ended. (Oh, and thanks for replying to me directly on my blog. Jude doesn’t understand all the ramblings you put on his blog.)

8:32 PM  
Blogger girlymama said...

Well, I’m the “future sister-in-law” who originally commented on the controversial article on my blog and opened the sleeping giant that is lauranowadays.
I am also a conservative Christian. And a feminist. And (was) a political science major. And (was) a preschool teacher. And (am) the mother of two daughters. (Somehow I am all of those things ;-) I once worked for one of the country’s founding feminist organizations, WILPF. I guess I would consider myself a “conservative feminist.” I believe that men and women are completely and utterly equal. Not the same, but equal. A woman should have every right and privledge a man enjoys. I want my girls to have the same opportunities as everyone else, regardless of their sex, race, ethnicity, etc. I think it is a positive scandal when a man makes a higher salary at the same job simply for being a man.
Anyway, I think we can all agree that this article was written by an extremist. This woman clearly does not represent the average woman, or even the average feminist. Pretty much any extremist view will evoke a passionate response in people – as we can see in lauranowadays ;-) Personally, this article highly offended me, as a woman, a stay-at-home mom and as a human being who has a mother.
I do not agree with lauranowadays that feminism “causes” divorce and abortion. Feminism has greatly contributed to both of these simply by empowering women in general. Divorce, especially, as women are now free to ‘go it alone,’ whereas 30 or 40 years ago they did not have that option and were financially dependant on their husbands. As a gal raised post-feminism revolution, I was raised to think that I could (and should) have it all: the family, the job, the husband who cooks and cleans. Feminism has raised our expectations of marriage (and of husbands and wives) and marriages are falling short. Divorce results. Feminism is no more to blame than Hollywood, who paints such an unrealistic view of what a marriage should be. (Abortion is a whole ‘nother can of worms, which I will not address here.)
I fully believe that mothers can work and still be fantastic mothers. One of my best friends is a perfect example – she is a high-powered, brilliant attorney who has two happy, well-adjusted children. It is possible. But this friend has made tremendous sacrifices in her life to be able to do both of these things successfully. (like sleep and free time. Mostly sleep.) And we have shared tearful phone calls in which she agonizes her choice to go back to work. This was her choice to make. I fully support her. But it is not the choice that I made.
I am a stay-at-home mom. I think that I have the most important, most difficult, most rewarding job in the world. Hearing someone belittle my choice, saying I am ‘wimping-out’ by staying at home, I’m wasting my life and I’m hurting the worldwide plight of women by not “contributing to society” (grrr…) is extremely hurtful and made me quite angry. (My blog post was written, then edited when I calmed down a bit and realized I was ranting ;-)
As a feminist, I appreciate that I have the choice to go back to work if I want to someday. As a feminist, I appreciate that my daughters have the greatest opportunities of any generation of women so far. As a feminist, I appreciate that my girls’ lives are valued, that they have rights against harrassment, that there are finally laws to protect them from preying men.

But as a conservative, I do think that many feminists - not all agl - have taken equality and choices much too legalistically. As a woman, I certainly may choose what to do with my body – provided I am not harming another person with it. As a woman, I am equal partners with my husband – but he is the 'head' of our household. I willingly submit to his leadership, but I am not his subject or something. I still stay a full and equal partner. I am a doormat. It does not mean that my husband doesn’t consider my opinions or that he makes all the decisions alone or that he controls the money he earns. (Hardly - I hold the purse in this house!)
I also agree with agl that abstinance should not be the only thing taught to kids in sex ed. Since, realistically, a good percentage of them will have sex, they need to know how to do it safely. Esp with AIDS and other nasty stuff running rampant in our society, safe sex education is important. Those who do not have sex are more likely to engage in, ahem, other types of activities and need to learn how to safely participate in those. STDS like HPV are high among virgins, who are catching them during oral sex and such. BUT abstinance education should not be laughed off as irrelevant and impossible. Thats not fair, either.
Anyway, off the soapbox. This is very rambling and probably not very well-thought, so I apologize. As a stay-at-home mom, I probably should go see what my kids are doing. But I just wanted to put out my two cents. See the blog if you want another opinion of the articles...

10:56 AM  
Blogger girlymama said...

Wow - maybe its just me, but it looks like agl made up her blog simply to respond to your blog. impressive...

1:00 PM  
Blogger girlymama said...

well,ladies, its been fun. i feel like i'm back in college, debating politics and all. makes me forget the loads of laundry, whiny kids and incredibly dirty house i'm ignoring as i sit here debating feminism. thanks for the comments. ya'll have inspired me to do some political ranting on my own blog....
cheers

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Amie said...

I don't know . . . the contradictions in this paragraph are confusing:

"I am equal partners with my husband – but he is the 'head' of our household. I willingly submit to his leadership, but I am not his subject or something. I still stay a full and equal partner. I am a doormat. It does not mean that my husband doesn’t consider my opinions or that he makes all the decisions alone or that he controls the money he earns. (Hardly - I hold the purse in this house!)"

How is one both a doormat and an equal partner? How does one submit, yet still hold the purse in the house? It comes off sounding like a lot of rhetoric to please both the feminists and the Christians and one somehow cancels the other out.

8:12 PM  

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