Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Only the SOWs shall speak


http://bluewavecanada.blogspot.com/2006/08/chauvinist-sows.html

Suzanne has waded through a great deal of feedback that she received when she spoke out against government funding of the Status of Women and suggested that valuable contributions could be continued under a different government umbrella and that the funding for Status of Women as a separate body should be discontinued.

She has outlined things more clearly on her blog which I have linked to and she has cited the various sources of these comments.

For women who say that a womans place is in the home, they sure do alot of public bitching about the State replacing the Church as the source of social services.

Believing that a mother who has small children can make a valuable contribution in the family home providing direct care and nurturing to her children does not mean that that role is less important than paid employment in the community. Believing that a mother can make a valuable contribution by assuming that role on a full-time basis does not mean that women that they are devoid of opinion on matters of public policy or less qualified or entitled to articulate those views than women who do not provide direct full time care to their children.

This poster, to my eyes, is inferring that that role is less important and one worthy of disdain. I believe that stay at home mothers and people that truly value that role believe that the women who assume that role have the intellectual capacity to express their thoughts and the right to participate in society by engaging in discussions.

Those who reject a stay-at-home mother as being unworthy of forming or articulating a position on a subject are disproportionately "progressive" people.

Suzanne stated: Let me dispel some of the myths. Many of us are college-educated. Many of us have jobs outside the home-- sometimes full-time, sometimes part-time, sometimes with a stay-at-home husband, and sometimes not. Most of us prefer to stay home, because we believe that no one can be a full-time substitute for mom.

While Suzanne is correct that many of those articulating their views have had the opportunity to complete post-secondary education I do not see that as terribly relevant. I don't believe that women are only entitled to speak if they pass some elitist academic understanding. I also don't believe that "progressive" people generically wish to see women who have not completed University deemed unworthy of engaging in public discussion on current events. Women who agreed with them from any educational background would be a welcomed voice. I believe that they wish to see women who do not share their views voluntarily withdraw from discussions due to the hostility.

Suzanne quoted: " They want all women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. In fact, someone should tell all those REAL bloggers to stop typing and get baking"

Clearly this should resonate with people. It speaks very clearly to how women of certain mindsets see the role of a homemaker, the value of pregnancy, and the importance of women who hold different views.

Referring to an expectant mother as "barefoot and pregnant" is cleary a note of disdain and gives powerful insight into how pregnancy and motherhood are viewed. Obviously, they are viewed as a failure. When people who self-identify as feminists talk about being pro-choice and not pro-abortion please remember how negatively they characterize the choice of giving life and nurturing another little human being. When a pro-life person speaks in disdainful tones about the decision to abort they are criticized for this but when a pro-choice person openly mocks the choice to give life they must realize they lose all credibility as a supposedly unbiased individual on the subject. Clearly, the choice to give life is only worth mockery.

Suzanne said: I'm not pregnant and barefoot. Or uneducated. Or servile. Or unable to reason. Or a wallflower. Or a victim. Nor are most so-con women. But I suspect many lefties need to project that image in order to create a kind of anti-feminist bogeyman that's easy to shoot down. It's easier to paint one's opponent as a false stereotype than to actually address the issues. It makes debate so dispensable.

I am not pregnant or barefoot either but I recall my pregnancies as a time of great happiness and anticipation. I'm partly sorry that the feminist movement uses such as a beautiful time in the life of a family as an insult and partly happy that they are so candid about it. It allows expectant mothers, women staying at home, women who are working but respect mothers who stay at home, and the families of those women to really ask themselves if Status of Women speaks for women in Canada. When advocates of this organization present childbearing and women who enjoy family life in such disdainful terms you have to really ask yourself some questions about whether or not that is the only voice of Canadian women that should be funded and heard.

Anti-choice, anti-same sex marriage, hell -- anti-anything-since-June-Cleaver

And yet another example of the negative attitude towards women who stay at home with their children.

Clearly, feminists do not represent us and think we are not worthy of respect or should be taken seriously. They're the new chauvinist pigs-- or should I say SOWs.

Many of the advocates of Status of Women have responded to very valid questions about why a separate funding body for women's issues is necessary and whether or not that body reflects the values of most Canadian women with mocking the decision to stay home.

These are not women who value the decision to stay home.

These are not women who value child-bearing.

These are women who applaud the decision to have an abortion (the whole "I had an abortion" t-shirt and campaign) but who talk about the choice to continue with the pregnancy and stay home with a child as "barefoot and pregnant"

These are women who frame childbearing and parenting negatively ("barefoot and pregnant") when clearly most Canadian women who have children see that as the most defining and important things that they have done.

These are women who demean the management of a household making fun of cooking, baking, doing laundy, etc rather than acknowledging them as valuable contributions.

These are women who do not seem to equally respect the choice to stay home versus the choice to work full time.

These are women who deny the diversity of voices and opinion amongst women.

In sharp contrast, I loved being pregnant with my children. Those are memories I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I never felt demeaned. I am sorry some women have to mock that.

I love to be able to take care of them. I am thankful I am able to do this full-time. I am sorry that not all women value that.

I love to bake them cookies and cinnamon buns. I like to watch my kids lick the spoons after I make the batter. I remember doing that with my mom on saturday afternoons. I delight in this time of their life. I am sorry that not all women see value in that and frame it as demeaning.

I acknowledge not all women or men have the option of staying home and believe that we have a responsibility to support those families with good child care options. I believe that Stephen Harper's child care funding model of $100/month is flawed and regressive.

People who advocate for SOW by mocking traditional choices and insulting people's children do little to inspire people to re-consider. They simply re-affirm that SOW does not represent them. They do not even value them for anything other than the financial contribution that they make through taxation.

16 Comments:

Blogger SUZANNE said...

I love that post. And the picture.

I think I might use that.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Who are these poeple you are ranting about, Hailey? Who are these people Suzanne is ranting about? Got any names? Any quotes, or are you just repeating the same tired straw men that so many social conservatives trot out?

I am a liberal, and so are most of my friends, yet none of us have ever sneered at a stay-at-home mom or dad. Most of us have been one or the other at some point.

Can you actually quote someone making the cartoonish argument you are railing about? I mean, I see you being incredibly cruel to women who do support the Status of Women portfolio (SOWs? Good heavens, have you no decency?), but honestly, I have never heard a progressive put down someone who chooses to stay at home adn raise their child. Not once in four decades on earth. The only time I ever hear about these alleged people is in some straw man argument put forward by individuals like Suzanne, who values "unborn life", but can barely contain her loathing for living adults she disagrees with. I feel sorry for her and, frankly, for you.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Hailey said...

I was commenting on Suzanne's blog and referenced it. Suzanne has linked to at least some of the references. I have additional ones. Some of the quotes are in italics as per the message board.

I dont consider myself a social conservative - it depends on the issue. I'm definitely a social conservative on some matters like abortion. I am not on other issues.

I don't disbelieve you that you haven't "sneered" at women who stay at home. That isn't my normal day to day experience with progressive people. I have, however, seen that element in the last few days of the discussion on the funding matter. People have said things difficult to read.

If you've been reading the forums and blogs on this issue you will absolutely have seen "progressive" women suggesting that women who are conservative shouldn't be articulating themselves. They've made comments about getting back to baking, laundry etc. That, to me, is sneering. There is another website - one that you came to as your referral page I believe - that is calling women who are conservative and speaking out "cunts" and myself, specifically, a "harlot".

I don't normally post a comment if it's critical of someone other than myself but I felt you raised some decent points and I didn't want your comments about Suzanne to overshadow the strengths of your post. I've posted it unedited but if you are having an issue with Suzanne the best place to address that is with her.

9:01 PM  
Blogger SUZANNE said...

Who are these people Suzanne is ranting about?

I give examples on my blog. But just read the leftist forums with a so-con eye and you'll get this.

I am a liberal, and so are most of my friends, yet none of us have ever sneered at a stay-at-home mom or dad. Most of us have been one or the other at some point.

Let me guess. You're not a radical feminist.

I mean, I see you being incredibly cruel to women who do support the Status of Women portfolio (SOWs? Good heavens, have you no decency?)

And the vile things they spew at us...?

I have never heard a progressive put down someone who chooses to stay at home adn raise their child.

They say things like "go back to the kitchen and bake cookies" to traditional women...stuff like that. As if being a stay-at-home mom was some kind of imprisonment or degraded state.

The only time I ever hear about these alleged people is in some straw man argument put forward by individuals like Suzanne, who values "unborn life", but can barely contain her loathing for living adults she disagrees with.

You should see all the snark we get on the Canadian blogosphere. Check out Canadian Cynic and Stageleft for samples.

I don't loath people who disagree with me, Tim. I loath the loathing they aim at me

This is politics. There's no other way around it. When people disagree strongly, they will not be "nice" to one another.

I feel sorry for her and, frankly, for you.


What about? What about our state is worthy of being "sorry"? The fact that we care about fetal rights? That we're stupid and uneducated? The fact that we're not "liberal"?

You have not lived our lives, you have not seen the things we've seen, in the light of our beliefs. You cannot substitute your judgment for our own. If stay-at-home moms often feel disrespected by radical feminists, it's probably because there's something to it.

5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're 23 and have three kids?

You're a harlot.

6:48 AM  
Blogger SUZANNE said...

There Tim, there's your example.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

I feel sorry for you because you buy into the arguments that so-called leaders in the social conservative movement feed you without verifying it against actual evidence on your own lives.

Suzanne, most of my friends are "feminist", although not of the "radical" variety. In fact, these radical feminists you speak of seem to be some creation of your mind. If they exist at all, they are a fringe group, and not part of mainstream feminism at all, which is all about ensuring women can pursue whatever choices they want - either working at home or out of the home.

My wife is a social worker, but she gave up her job to raise our two children for seven years (and ran a home daycare while she raised them). That was her choice, and she enjoyed those years. Now that our kids are school age, she has reutrned to work. Feminism made those choices possible for her. She could be the women she chose to be, and she found fulfilment in both roles.

Again, I would like to hear some actual quotes from actual people who are denigrating stay-at-home moms. Someone who is actually in a leadership position in Canada today. Can you name one? Just one?

I can give plenty of examples of social conservatives putting down feminists (although they seem to believe attaching the word "radical" makes all their insults okay).

Although I disagree with you both on most issues, you seem to be reasonalby intelligent women. That is why the grotesque insult "SOWs" is so very unpleasant. If you can't put your position forward without cruelly insulting an entire group of people you have never met, is your position worth defending?

7:56 AM  
Blogger vicki said...

Tim...I'm not trying to insult you when I say you must have a very cushioned point of view. You ask 'where are these insults?'
One of the most famous insults was from Hedy Fry in the house of Commons when a Reform member of Parliament was trying to introduce changes to the income tax act that would allow tax breaks for families where one parent (usually mom) stayed home. Fry used this for a 'barefoot and pregnant, anti man rant.'right in the HoC. (I don't have the link...I googled to find it)That is only one incident.
As a male you need also to be aware that the philosophy behind the Status of Women Canada is very anti-family and anti-man. If you, or any fathers you know ever have to experience divorce and parental rights issues you better hope that a feminist lawyer (encouraged by the Status of Women) is not fighting against you.
The info is there ...the fact is SWC (or SoW) does not represent the majority of Canadian women, therefore our tax money should not be wasted on their special interest projects.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Hailey said...

Thanks Vicki!

Tim, based on this post, is a reasonable person. He's not one of those people that calls women "harlots" or "sluts" as a strategy to silence women.

What talking about this issue online has done has allowed the voices of certain feminists to ring loud and clear.

I was not previously aware of Hedy Fry's comments and I thank you for bringing that to my attention.

12:16 PM  
Blogger vicki said...

Hailey...I got to musing on that 'harlot' comment.Isn't there some strange irony in that?The liberated view of 'sex whenever,and with whoever' is tolerated by feminism. Formerly that would be activity associated with a harlot, and sadly she may have aborted her children. But a woman who chooses to have sex with her husband and procreate and take care of those children...is labelled a harlot! strange!

8:45 PM  
Blogger Hailey said...

Thanks for your comment, Vicki. It is quite ironic that the feminist movement that has long fought against the idea of using such terminology against women choosing to use words like cunt, harlot, etc towards women when they disagree. It is a term that I had thought and understood was inappropriate to use towards any woman but apparently that in this branch of feminism that allows words like "harlot" and "cunt" that that is a perfectly appropriate term to use towards women who stay at home, women who begin their families young, and/or women who are not political allies. It is a strange morality.

8:57 PM  
Blogger vicki said...

Also Tim..I would have to agree with you that in my personal surroundings I haven't been insulted by peers for choosing to stay home.At the most a few innuendos directed toward me by some young university women. The worst negativity has been thru the activities of SWC and their determination to not recognize staying home as a 'choice' They push an agenda for daycare, which taxes single income families to subsidise working families daycare.
REAL Women and this blog do not have a problem with most of your friends,they sound reasonable.The problem is the agenda of special interest that is payed for with our tax money...when SWC does not represent the majority of Canadian women.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Hailey said...

Vicky, I appreciate that your own personal surroundings don't insult you for staying at home with your children. Mine, for the most part, don't either but that's a funtion of who I choose to spend time with.

I would also have to point out that I bet if 3 weeks ago someone had told you that feminists would use the words "cunt" and "harlot" to refer to women who disagreed with them you would have said that was just impossible as would I have.

Clearly, in a moment of impatience some people are quite bold and their true thoughts come out.

I am sure that they say many things about you staying at home when you are out of ear shot.

I wouldn't have believed that even three weeks ago.

Clearly the level of disdain is in proportions we never previously understood.

And, yes, we have to be careful who is allowed to speak for Canadian women using tax dollars.

9:36 PM  
Blogger LittleFury said...

I've nothing against stay at home moms or mothers in general. I do have a problem with women who internalize and unquestioningly suck down patriarchal bullshit like its bad chocolate. IOW, we're not mocking you because of your pride over your functioning uteruses, or for your choices: we're mocking you because you're stupid.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Hailey said...

Little fury I noticed you were a male so I struggle with how you can see it as other than patriarchial to tell a woman how to think.

As well on what basis would you say that any of the women who hold my views " internalize and unquestioningly suck down patriarchial bullshit like its bad chocolate.".

Are you really refer to pride in motherhood as "pride over your functioning uterus" ?

Tell me on what basis you've concluded that I or other women who hold my views are stupid. I'm curious.

9:37 PM  
Blogger LittleFury said...

"Little fury I noticed you were a male so I struggle with how you can see it as other than patriarchial to tell a woman how to think."

Again: who's telling women how to think? SWC? Or REAL women?

"As well on what basis would you say that any of the women who hold my views " internalize and unquestioningly suck down patriarchial bullshit like its bad chocolate."

Your blog, for starters.

"Are you really refer to pride in motherhood as "pride over your functioning uterus" ?"

That is what I wrote, so I guess the answer is yes.

"Tell me on what basis you've concluded that I or other women who hold my views are stupid. I'm curious."

I got eyes. I can read.

12:05 PM  

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