Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Feminist as crazy old man

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  • B Jones,

    @BenWilson and Deborah and Danielle - yep, it's a huge job and it means men need to really think about what they mean as giving women an equal chance. It's more than just formal legal rights. If we organise our society in such a way that some people earn money through paid employment, which takes up so much time that other people have to do the unpaid work of raising children and other forms of caring, then we need to make sure that the divisions of labour that fall out of that don't result in inequality. Formal legal equality has so far resulted in a lingering pay gap between men and women, and the answer to that needs to be more sophisticated than "that's just because women like to do the low paying jobs, or like to balance work and family life."

    I get so frustrated when I hear women taking on the feminist movement for failing to deliver on its promise that women could have both a career and family. For one thing, I'm not sure it ever promised that, and if it did, it didn't just leave it up to women to seek out this nirvana on their own. Feminists called for society to change, not just individuals. The reasons it's difficult to have both a maximised career and a close family life for women is because someone's got to do the family's unpaid work, and while women have flooded into the paid workforce, men haven't flooded into the gap in the careforce. You can't leave the system as it is, and blame women for either failing to grasp the opportunity to be equal to men, or blame them for the social consequences of their desertion of roles that were previously considered not worth paying for.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    while women have flooded into the paid workforce, men haven't flooded into the gap in the careforce

    Nicely put

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    your arguments aren't provocative, or interesting, they're boring reactionary crap that we've heard before.

    i apologise if you've heard it all before, being that you're so educated and enlightened and pro active and all. i guess i can only wish i was as provocatively exciting and interesting as most of you.

    Okay, but that's a huge job, ranging from rethinking gender roles with respect to childcare, to eliminating the type of discriminiation that sees women paid less than men with equal qualifications and experience, to valuing caring work more

    maybe on a societal level but on the personal front it aint that huge.

    my lady has taken on fulltime well paid employment in a property management business owned by and completely staffed by women while i'm now doing the stay at home fulltime childcare, cooking thing for 7 kids.

    sure it took a little bit of adjustment like about 3 weeks or so to settle into routines and such but we're all functioning pretty well now.

    except i do spend more time on line than i probably should and as a consequence say more shit than is neccessary, so for that i apologise :)

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    maybe on a societal level but on the personal front it aint that huge.

    There are plenty of examples of family arrangements like pollywog's. They're not the majority though, because when men on average get paid more than women on average, it costs the family less on average to lose a woman's wage when there's care work to be done. And women tend to get paid less on average because they either anticipate taking time out of the paid workforce or have in fact done so. It's a self-reinforcing cycle.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    invoking the lords name in vain...not so much

    Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    say more shit than is neccessary

    It's the quality rather than the quantity, believe me. And I'd lose the disingenuous passive-aggressive bollocks too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    while women have flooded into the paid workforce, men haven't flooded into the gap in the careforce

    Would that be the none paid care-force, or the lowly paid? ether-way, does a man of low financial means hold a lot of attraction to the average women?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Not if the average woman isn't getting paid a family wage herself.

    Unpaid work or low-paid work, it's still female-dominated.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    steven c - speaking of the 4 males (2 family, 2 friends) who basically arnt paid for being house husbands/ caregivers, and knowing of the ferocious love their wives have for them - I'd say Yes!

    Tho' -average women? That beast - like The Average Man - I've never quite believed in...

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

  • Russell Brown,

    maybe on a societal level but on the personal front it aint that huge.

    my lady has taken on fulltime well paid employment in a property management business owned by and completely staffed by women while i'm now doing the stay at home fulltime childcare, cooking thing for 7 kids.

    sure it took a little bit of adjustment like about 3 weeks or so to settle into routines and such but we're all functioning pretty well now.

    except i do spend more time on line than i probably should and as a consequence say more shit than is neccessary, so for that i apologise :)

    Sigh ... after spending two days in what seemed to be an attempt to bait all the white urban liberals (or whatever), now you contribute something real and drawn from your experience, something that people can work with.

    The irony being that I've already suspended your account (you won't be able to log back in). When three different threads were turning into you vs the world I didn't have much choice. Not to mention that you were crapping on other people who read and post here. I did ask you to chill for a bit, until I had to enforce it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Tho' -average women? That beast - like The Average Man - I've never quite believed in...

    Well don't believe in middle earth ether.

    I did a bit of a whip thru one of the singles wanting partners web sights (findsomeone.co.nz) I had to sign up to view:)

    So, I answered my own question. It depends largely on the age demographic.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Yep.

    And, I dont.

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

  • B Jones,

    I wonder if you did a survey of high earning women, you'd find a different pattern in the earnings of their spouses than women earning the average female wage. Theoretically, having lots of dosh means you can choose a partner without worrying about their ability to provide - it would be interesting to see if that played out in fact.

    Dating websites wouldn't be the best sample.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Dating websites wouldn't be the best sample.

    But very popular, nonetheless. I recall an internet use audit being done at a certain magazine company -- and the two big sinks for time and bandwidth were Trade Me and nzdating.co.nz.

    There's been plenty written about the former, but I can't recall anything definitive on the latter. It would be interesting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Dating websites wouldn't be the best sample.

    Not a series research project I know, However, I did discover that in my own age bracket, advertising myself as a house husband would likely turn heads. I'm talking well educated, financially secure and dear I say pretty intelligent and good to look at as well. Time just might be a changing, gradually.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    It would be a large sample, certainly. But better to survey what people actually do in relationships, than what they say they want. I mean, how important are long walks on the beach really :-)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Quite. I suspect all would claim they want someone who's caring, sensitive and with a great sense of humour. Rather than, say, a hottie with a bulging wallet.

    Does anyone research actual behaviour (other than condom companies with their understandably skewed and narrow scope)?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I have a three-part BBC documentary called Lefties, about the radical left in Britain in the late 70s and early 80s. (Available on request to anyone who desperately needs it.)

    The first episode covers the squatting movement, but it's the other two, on radical feminism, and the failed left-wing paper, The News on Sunday, that provide most of the "what were they thinking?!" moments.

    The union committee with veto power at the News rejected perhaps the most brilliant pitch for a working-class paper in the history of newspapers: "The News on Sunday -- no tits but lots of balls". (Also, they hired John Pilger as editor-in-chief, losing sight of the fact that whatever his virtues, Pilger is not a people person. He comes across poorly in the documentary, to put it mildly.)

    And in the 'Angry Wimmin' episode, there's a moment that just makes me gasp: where it's related that some of the radical feminist communes extended invitations for other women to join them -- on the condition that they abandon their male children.

    Really, really wrong. And yet I'm wary of demanding contrition from feminist women for it. I think that's one thing they're very capable of sorting out for themselves, as Deborah notes.

    (I should note that the rad fems themselves had largely aged well. I like old dykes.)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    There must already be a census data set, come to think of it. Women's income as a proportion of total household income, broken down into groups of very high, high, medium and low women's income. It'd be interesting to see if things changed for women outside the old breadwinner/homemaker model.

    My comments today have been enabled by my partner, who is doing the bulk of the baby-work since I've buggered my back and am fit only for intellectual pursuits. I'm bloody certain women value fatherly traits in their partners, in addition to being able to bring home the bacon old school style, but it doesn't have the same stereotype value. Does "loves kids" come up in dating sites for guys as much as good income?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    And in the 'Angry Wimmin' episode, there's a moment that just makes me gasp: where it's related that some of the radical feminist communes extended invitations for other women to join them -- on the condition that they abandon their male children.

    There was a NatRad doco not so long ago - Spectrum I think, about a man who grew up with a Radical Feminist mother in Wellington. He was banned from some of the RadFem meeting places because he was male, despite the fact that he was about five years-old.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    One of my friends - an esteemed radical publisher, lesbian (I do intend that order) and all-round intellectual - left one *very* radical lesbian group because she had sons - and they werent acceptable to the people involved.

    That stance is just being anti-HUMAN.

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

  • Deborah,

    That stance is just being anti-HUMAN.

    Yes. There's radical, and then there's hate.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'm sure they had their reasons but it tends to suggest a more emotional than structural motivation, banning boys as well as men. Even in the background, boys can behave in ways that resemble men, but they're hardly liikely to wield oppressive power or anything.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Those boys were sub-teens - and 1 of them a baby. The whole matter shrieked "Eww! XY! Eradicate!'

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

  • Jackie Clark,

    Of course their motivations were emotional, Sacha. There's nothing logical about any of this - gender politics is highly personal and emotional. Any politics is, really.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

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