Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: Feminist as crazy old man

500 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 16 17 18 19 20 Newer→ Last

  • Logan O'Callahan,

    This thread has come a long way.

    Put us down for two home births, both breastfed for four years or more.

    Hospital birth was out of the picture after we visited NatWomens and my love basically fainted. She doesn't like hospitals.

    Both births were great. As Russel says - best thing is relaxing at home with your new one when everyone else leaves. That and the older one being at the birth.

    When we had our first the local DHB gave us 6 weeks free nappy service as a bonus for saving them money.

    He also got all the experiments: frozen expressed milk, sleeping in a cot, baby sitting. Takes a while to realise that the real benefit of breast feeding is convenience.

    The second one slept in our bed from day one and still does. IMHO the prize for anecdotal grandstanding goes to the coroners.

    Best birth book: Spiritual midwifery
    Best baby book: LLL womanly art of breastfeeding (good for all parenting not just the feeding).

    Since Apr 2008 • 70 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Or all those things at once. Spare no expense, that's what I say.

    I thought it was a hot curry, hot bath, hot sex.

    Two out of three bought on labour with my oldest. Sadly labour took most of two days, so perhaps we got it started too early.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Two out of three bought on labour with my oldest.

    Kyle that could be taken ,well,let's say, a little creepy

    Sadly labour took most of two days, so perhaps we got it started too early.

    We?? With your oldest??
    With all these difficult labour stories I can totally understand a delay in passing what must feel like a volley ball through the eye of a needle. Frankly I am not surprised! :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Many years ago I helped facilitate ante and post natal groups. At the antenatal class we (the 'experts' who already had a small child each) talked a lot about post birth things like breastfeeding and getting enough rest. When we had the post birth reunions many of the new mothers asked us why we didn't tell them about how difficult and painful breastfeeding is to get established, what sleep deprivation and fluctuating hormones do to you, but most of all how the baby is a whole new fascinating,absorbing and unique person.

    We did, but I think as first time parents they were so focussed on the birth itself that the rest didn't register.

    At post natal groups there was always a lot of angst from mothers who felt they hadn't done the birth 'properly' ie baby popped out in a couple of hours with no pain, pain relief or stitches, and within hours smiling family is at home ready for the admirers, with a happily breast fed baby sleeping peacefully.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3204 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Kyle that could be taken ,well,let's say, a little creepy

    Umm yeah. Well for clarity's sake, my oldest is a boy.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I've never wanted to breed little islands.

    Really? I can understand not wanting to breed babies but making islands would be really cool in a geeky engineering way of course.

    An archipelago even?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I've started an island in a book...I look in on it, every so often.
    But - *breeding* them?
    No thanks.
    Not even by budding them off-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Alien Lizard (anag),

    Keeping up with the Smiths...
    Mycocepurus smithii that is!

    Revealed at last a whole colony of Amazons!
    are they devi-ants?
    or even miscre-ants?
    maybe they are Lesbi-ants...

    The complete asexuality of a widespread fungus-gardening ant, the only ant species in the world known to have dispensed with males entirely, has been confirmed by a team of Texas and Brazilian researchers.

    so no fun guys to be with
    just farmed fungus...

    Garden! Garden Will Robinson! Garden!
    dig...

    The Arrrgh Complex • Since Jan 2010 • 158 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    Hi Islander. I have a funny feeling that most feminists who were banning boys from meetings were white middle class women. And, yes I suspect that the general idea was that women were (are) conditioned to 'let' men hog the limelight. Present company excepted, there are still plenty of women who actively participate in the men hogging the limelight thing. I grew up in a house where men/boys were definitely treated as slightly more important (right/worthy) than women and in my extended family chauvinism is rife with complicit support from the women.

    Hi Sacha. Your memory is better than mine. I could only recall a vague image of a playroom behind a one-way mirror. I think the point of the study was to show that women (and men) behave towards babies differently depending on what sex they think the babies are. I can bet that feminists once thought that men babies would be a distraction in a way that girl babies wouldn't be.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I was bought up to believe that a woman's place was in the wrong. My Father was one of those Blokes who used to laugh at his own jokes, the kind that war drags away and when there wasn't a war he left anyway (thank you Billy Bragg, those lines still make me cry).
    I went to Pre Natal classes before my kid was born. They had us stand around in little circles, holding hands. One circle was the vagina, one circle the perineum. Me and the other guy there made up the last circle.
    I still don't hate anybody though.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Badoom tish

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19697 posts Report Reply

  • bronwyn,

    Oh gosh, you go away for a week to visit the Hector Country Music Museum and look what you come back to.

    Anyway, discussion has moved on a little bit, but just wanted to respond to a couple of things.

    I would like to note, however, that discussions about this on the interwebs almost invariably will start with rape ---> women/feminism and almost immediately divert themselves to "but prison rape!" ---> men. This thread was like a textbook case. It might be interesting to analyse why that is - why there has to be an immediate 'but also men!' before the discussion even gets going. Because I'm sure we all agree that statistically, rape and sexual assault are gender-imbalanced.)

    Danielle, I know this is not exactly what you're saying, (I make no claim to try and understand the interwebs) but my take on the response to also include male victims of sexual abuse comes from the feminist position that many sexual violence agencies work from - that if you want to work towards equality then of course you have to acknowledge that this happens to both genders. As Steven has pointed out, traditionally services have been, and still can be, pretty unhelpful for males and this is not to anyone's credit. Certainly working with a male who openly talks about his experience of being abused by a woman has been pretty good at making me been mindful of using gender-neutral language when talking about this.

    More generally, might be interesting to note that there are a handful of females in prison in NZ at the moment who have been convicted of sexual violation. A strong impetus behind creating the crimes of "sexual violation" and "unlawful sexual connection" was to recognise that "rape", defined as penetrative sex involving a penis and a vagina, meant that a whole lot of pretty shitty things were happening that people couldn't be charged with.

    On another point, if we're talking about feminist writer, I am always forcing Cynthia Heimel on people - she used to write for Playboy with the view that her writing there might have more of an impact than in other publications (although they eventually fired her because they thought she might be scaring the readers), but if you want a sassy broad's introduction to feminism, she's a pretty good start. Also good to read when you've broken up with someone and she reminds you that you're allowed to cry into a pillow, bore your friends by talking about what went wrong, and then be a functioning human being.

    tamaki makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    More generally, might be interesting to note that there are a handful of females in prison in NZ at the moment who have been convicted of sexual violation. A strong impetus behind creating the crimes of "sexual violation" and "unlawful sexual connection" was to recognise that "rape", defined as penetrative sex involving a penis and a vagina, meant that a whole lot of pretty shitty things were happening that people couldn't be charged with.

    Gender neutral child sex offense law came into affect in 2003. A twenty three year old women was charged under that new legislation after she was found "having sex" with a thirteen year old boy.

    Her lawyer told the court it was a first offence for Dravitski, and that there was no predatory behaviour and no breach of trust. Dravitski's mother was just relieved.

    There are allot of women, who live with the consequences of female perpetrated sexual abuse and incest. I'l argue that the psychological damage is no less, than had the perpetrator or victim been male. However, the lack of legal redress, or social acknowledgment of there trauma is tragic.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4341 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Back on topic (hah!): Julie Bindel has a day job -- and, I think, an important one: researching the sex industry.

    See column, Why men use prostitutes.

    And original research, to which she contributed.

    The research is based on structured interviews with 103 respondents to newspaper advertisements, and it's hard not to feel that the self-selection has had an impact (for nearly a third of the men, buying sex was their first sexual experience, which seems high). But the comments from subjects are pretty interesting, and occasionally alarming.

    Unfortunately, Bindel's agenda creeps in. This paragraph is illustrative:

    A number of men mentioned specifically that they travelled to the Netherlands or New Zealand because prostitution was legal in those countries. As Collins and Judge (2008, p 143) noted, “A migration of demand toward the more relaxed policing area can be expected” whether that “more relaxed area” is a particular neighbourhood in London or a particular country in the EU.

    Actually, New Zealand was well down the list of countries where respondents had bought sex. A whole two of more than a hundred men interviewed said they had paid for sex here. The "number" who claimed to have come here because of the law here can only have been one, or two.

    And then things get a bit crazy. The report favours the placement on a "sex offender register" of any man who pays for sex. It declares that "legalisation and prostitution tolerance zones," such as New Zealand "encouraged men to buy sex" on return to dear old Britain, but presents very little evidence for the claim.

    It's hard to avoid the conclusion that Bindel has something of a hangup with our prostitution laws. The irony is that Britain's increasingly severe laws around sex work seem to be producing more exploitation, not less.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Back on topic (hah!)

    What's the exclamation mark for?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4341 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    New Zealand is a long way to go for a shag. I hope those one or two men found it worth the journey.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    That was particularly dark reading. Looking at the study, Table 5 comparing UK Johns with USA Prostitutes. It would have made more sense to me to have polled both in the same context.

    I think trafficking must be a bigger issue in the UK due to the EU and so the isolation power imbalance etc a larger issue.

    That said, what would I know, in a recent trial child rape was done as a coersive technique to get her into prostitution.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Feck! PAS ate my comment. Excuse me while I retrieve what I can and recreate the rest.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Hi! Back from the internet-less Kangaroo Island, and I've caught up on a week's worth of thread. Some thoughts on various things people have been saying.

    Regarding infertility: Been there, done that, and it's bloody awful and sometimes I still cry about it, mostly if I happen to hear some particular songs. I'm one of the lucky ones - we have three beautiful girls, including twins. But it still hurts.

    Regarding twins: @Recordari - one egg or two egg twins for you? We've got one egg twins, which is not what you'd expect given fertility treatment where two egg twins are much more common.

    Regarding theory vs practice: The personal is political, neh? Part of what goes on with theory vs practice is considering the experience of this man here, and that man there, and the other chap over there, and thinking about the similarities between them, and drawing out the patterns and the common experiences. As soon as you do that, you're doing theory. More than that, the choice that men may now exercise, albeit with some difficulty some times, to be primary care givers, or even to be caregivers at all, in many ways came out of feminist theorising about the value of caring work.

    Regarding sex and gender: it's a fairly common idea that gender /= sex. Sex is the physical manifestation, and gender the social role, which may be expressed in many varying ways, and which may or may not coincide with the usual sex associated with that gender. Eg. male sex is usually associated with being a man (gender), but not always. If we think that gender is determined (wholly) by sex, then we have no way of understanding transsexual people. Sex = physical, gender = social, and for good reason, sex and gender are correlated, and often causally related, but not always. That's why is sensible, and informative, to think about gender in social terms (eg. the "provider" role that men are expected to fill, and the "carer" role that women are expected to fill). So I buy into Giovanni's contention that gender is to a large extent, socially constructed (based on physical vs social understanding of sex and gender).

    Regarding breast vs bottle feeding: Damn straight, it's possible to feel as though you are a failure if you can't go the woo way. I say this in relation to breastfeeding my elder daughter, but then not being able to breastfeed my younger daughters, and feeling absolutely rotten about it. And the reason I could not feed them was because I did not get the breastfeeding support I needed, in a hospital which claimed to be part of the Baby Friendly hospital initiative. So a head-nod to whoever it was up-thread who said that the critical issue was support to be able to breastfeed, not just rhetoric (I would use 'tautoko', but that feels just a little like cultural stealing to me, 'though that may be a bit damned precious).

    Regarding birth: I had three vaginal births, but all with epidurals, the second because my obstetrician, who was a midwife before she became a doctor, felt that things went wrong too quickly with twins, so she wanted to be ready to jump if necessary. This was a good thing - the girls were both posterior, which makes for a long and difficult second stage. (The baby comes out head first, but face up, which makes the pressure on the cervix and the angle through the birth canal all wrong, for want of a better way of putting it. But they come out facing the heavens, so they are "stargazers".) My elder daughter was posterior too, and after twenty-four hours in fruitless labour, and epidural was my friend. But we still had a ventouse (and having read your story, Ben, I'm having a quiet little 11-years later OMG-thought, and a thought or two for you and your family and your lad), and forceps, and it was a couple of years before we stopped worrying. So highly interventionist, but I was fine with that, because although I wanted to go as low-intervention as possible, and my midwives / obstetrician were fine with that, my overriding goal was babies safely born.

    Regarding names, for pregnant partners: I was not amused when my husband referred to me as the great white whale when I was at term with my twins.

    Regarding boys and men who are raped: As I have argued elsewhere, no means no, and not-saying-yes means no, and the only thing that means 'yes' is "Yes". Anything else is sex without consent, and that is rape. We need to have that understanding of rape, if we are to make sense of the claim that men can be raped too. Sex where a boy is involved, and by 'boy' I mean a child under the age of consent, is rape, because by law, a child under the age of consent simply can not consent to sex. He, or she, can't say yes. Perhaps if we start to take notions of consent seriously, we may make much better progress with respect to understanding and supporting boys who have been raped. Or perhaps if we work harder on understanding and supporting boys who are raped, we may make much more progress with respect to understanding notions of consent. And here I nod my head to Steven, who has done so much to alert me to these issues.

    Regarding rape as a feminist issue: I thought that the import of what Danielle said was that more women are raped, and that makes rape a feminist issue. Think of it this way. Yes, men are raped, and yes, women are raped. As it turns out, more women are raped than men. Why? Why is it that women are more likely to be raped than men? As soon as you ask that question, you are engaged in a gender analysis. And that is a good thing to do! We need to understand the differences, and the similarities, between the rape of women, and the rape of men. If we don't, we may not find the most effective ways to combat rape of women, and rape of men. I don't know the stats, but I'm willing to bet that more women are raped than men are raped, for reasons of physical power alone (NB - speculation). That immediately suggests one way in which the rape of men and the rape of women may differ significantly, and failing to understand the difference could be problematic. I think that rape is a feminist issue, just because the incidence of rape differs between men and women. But it is a feminist issue that does not concern only women. I don't think we should read "feminist issue" as meaning "women only", and I don't think Danielle meant it that way.

    Regarding prostitution: Fark!! I know very little about prostitution. For my (untutored) part, very roughly, if a woman freely consents to sex work, then you go for it, girl. Mutatis mutandis, for men. But free consent is absolutely critical. Otherwise, it's rape. With respect to the Bindel column that Russell linked to, what disturbed me was not so much the column (y'kno, wev, does this really add anything), as the comments, and the idea, expressed in some of the comments, that men are entitled to sex. WTF?!!! No one is entitled to sex. If you can persuade someone that zie would enjoy having sex with you, then that's great. But no matter how much you may want it, you are not entitled to sex at all. I find the attitude of entitlement very disturbing.

    Regarding March: @Danielle - thinking of you.

    As for Kangaroo Island. It was very pleasant, if internet-less. But I gave a very jaundiced response to the question about scenic beauty. No, I did not find it beautiful. It was just more burnt Australian hillocks. Where was the mountain, or at least decent range of hills, that ought to be at the centre of any island? We did see some lovely gum forests, and a beautiful cave, 'though it was not the match of the Takaka caves in Golden Bay. The beaches were nice enough, but give me the Coromandel, or the black sands of Taranaki any day.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    *Why is it that women are more likely to be raped than men? As soon as you ask that question, you are engaged in a gender analysis. And that is a good thing to do!*

    Good to see you back from kangaroo island, Deborah.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4341 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Regarding twins: @Recordari - one egg or two egg twins for you? We've got one egg twins, which is not what you'd expect given fertility treatment where two egg twins are much more common.

    Two. The first photo in the album was taken down the microscope. And while I certainly didn't call my wife a great white whale, I do have photographic evidence for when I need some leverage ;-)

    There is so much in your post that hopefully others will pick up on. I've been 'filling in' as primary care-giver for the past week, and while I know many men who have done this for extended periods, I'm crap at it. Things get done, but just not on any rational timetable, and piles of washing can sit forgotten in the machine until at 2pm I jump up and go 'shit, we're running out of drying time'. No doubt if it were a long term thing, things would improve. Well at least that's what I tell myself. better go make the coffee. That I've been doing for 18 years, so I'm nearly getting the hang of it.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Good to see you back from kangaroo island, Deborah.

    And with such an epic post!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Back on topic (hah!)

    What's the exclamation mark for?

    Perhaps expressing the futility of expecting us to do anything other than allow the random firing of neurons to lead us from subject to subject :P

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    So I buy into Giovanni's contention that gender is to a large extent, socially constructed (based on physical vs social understanding of sex and gender).

    Oh, for sure. I just objected to the idea that gender roles and realities are entirely a social construct when, to me anyway, they also seem strongly founded in biology.

    To take one example:

    I don't know the stats, but I'm willing to bet that more women are raped than men are raped, for reasons of physical power alone (NB - speculation). That immediately suggests one way in which the rape of men and the rape of women may differ significantly, and failing to understand the difference could be problematic.

    That's an example of something with a mass of social and political implications that 's based in a physical reality.

    And whatever we might say about gender roles, it seems, to me, that the fact that men can't have babies is a significant and influential biological reality.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22761 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And whatever we might say about gender roles, it seems, to me, that the fact that men can't have babies is a significant and influential biological reality.

    Gender is entirely socially constructed. If you say "largely", then I'm going to have to ask you, give me an example of an aspect of gender that is not socially constructed. And whatever you pick, you're going to run into some sort of trouble, because after all, as we all know, men (sex) can't have babies, but males (gender) can.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 16 17 18 19 20 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.