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My name is Franca and I am a feminist

dig for victory dress

Ok, so, Fashionable Academics issued a call for people (who identify as feminist) to send in a picture of themselves and a short paragraph on what being a feminist means to them. You can still enter, it’s going til the 18th! I knew I was going to have issues with the short pragraph thing, so I knew I had to do a full post about it, because once I get started you will not be able to stop me for a long time! Also I do have a seemingly quite different conception of what feminism is about from most people, so I want to explain properly.

But I’ll try to start with a short paragraph! So:

For me, being a feminist is about trying to create a world where people are not constrained by gender roles. Where things, behaviours and emotions are no longer socially coded as masculine and feminine, or as for men and for women. Where anyone has access to the full range of behaviours and social positions without being labelled unmanly or unfeminine. As such, I see feminism now to be as much about men as about women, as much about men’s rights to express emotions freely and care for their newborn children, as about the rights of women to lead corporations and to be recognised for their brains not their bodies. In my mind, the ultimate outcome would be a society where ‘male’ and ‘female’ are purely descriptiors of physical differences along the lines of ‘short’ or ‘tall’, and not the determinants of power relations.

Phew! So:

Just to clarify, I am very grateful for the achievements of the feminists who have gone before me who have focused on improving the situation for women, fighting for equal pay and employments legislation etc. NAnd neither do I want to criticise in any way people who are working on improving the situation of women now, or who are engaged in the promotion of women. I do appreciate that the pay gap continues to exist, and that in certain countries and industries, huge problems remain and that focusing on women’s rights is a sensible approach in those situations.

But for the situation where I am in personally, as an educated, middle class person living in the UK right now, I feel we have reached a stage where the obvious overt sexism of the past is, if not overcome, at least hugely diminished. I don’t feel my career has been hindered by being woman and neither am I lacking in female role models at work. It may not be 50% yet, but there are a lot of female senior civil servants (that’s the ones with the 6 figure salaries upwards) around me. The pin striped old men going rah rah rah are still around in pockets, but they are retiring away and will soon be gone. Things are changing in many ways.

But that doesn’t mean that we can forget about feminism or that sexism is gone, just different and more subtle. What I see every single day, from practically everyone, all the time, is this ‘men are from mars, women are from venus’ bullshit. You know, women are scared of spiders/wonderful communicators/can’t drive or read a map/have emotional intelligence/are into pretty clothes, men are better at logic/can’t be trusted to be monogamous/are interested in cars/need to eat meat/are better at driving decisions forward. And all this is meant to be ‘natural’ as if being socialised into ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ behaviours was an inalterable fact of life.

Sometimes this boxing up of genders into certain behaviours and interests is done by feminists, in the interest of re-valuing the feminine. Like: ‘Women make better bosses, because they are more understanding and gentle and inspire loyalty in their staff, whereas men are go getting and shouty and drive their staff to mental breakdowns’. I appreciate the desire to emphasise the value of alternative leadership styles, I really do, but why can this not be done in a more direct way? Why women vs. men? Because at the moment all it does is reinforce in people’s mind the connection between female/caring and male/authoritative, as if it was natural. It is not. Yes, statistically speaking, women are more caring but that is because they/we are brought up to be. Feminine skills are only feminine skills because we label them so and we don’t teach them to boys.

One of the common misconceptions about feminism is that patriarchy is good for men and that therefore feminism is only for women and men should fight it or at least ignore it. I say, patriarchy is bad for everyone, for women AND men! How much richer a life everyone would have if they didn’t need to box themselves into half a life!

Maybe if men could find ways of being emotional there wouldn’t be such a stigma to mental illness among men, and male suicide rates wouldn’t be so high. Maybe if we were serious about involving men in childcare properly, maybe neither parent would have to choose between a career and children, and neither parent would feel like they don’t really know their kids. Maybe boys would grow up with caring male role models. Maybe then boys’ communication skills would be better and maybe then they wouldn’t underperform girls at school so much. And so on and so forth. So, overcoming gender divides is in the interest of men as well as women!

I don’t mean to imply by this that men’s proplems are any more important than women’s or that feminists should re-focus their activism on men’s issues. I take it as a given that social constructions of what it means to be female are limiting to women, and that they must be challenged. All I’m saying is that constructions of what men are like and what women are like aren’t really separable (if that’s a word?). It’s part of the same issue. If we try to widen what is socially acceptable for women to do/be, but we don’t widen what being a man is about, we’re always going to come up against a wall, because woman will still be synonymous with ‘the oposite of man’ or ‘non-man’.

I just find it absolutely baffling how common traditional ideas of what men should do and be like still are. As much, if not more so than ideas of what women should be like. Among feminists too. I remember a few years ago I was speaking to someone, she told me she was a feminist and then two minutes later said that she didn’t like the idea of men knitting and that although she didn’t like guys to have beards, she would want anyone she went out with to have the ability to grow a beard easily. Because men aren’t real men unless they’re hairy! HOW is this acceptable, from a feminist? I didn’t say anything at the time, just bitched about it afterwards, but I would now.

Because that’s the thing about social constructions, they are kept alive by repetition, particularly unconsidered repetition. If you hear something often enough, you tend to stop thinking about it and just accept it as truth. So now when I hear somebody make a categorical statement about what men are like and what women are like, even if it is positive about women, if possible I will challenge them in a quiet way and ask them to think about it. And often it will really open people’s eyes! It takes hardly any time, but I think if enough people do it, we have a chance of overcoming or at least broadening gender constructions.

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Does that make sense? I know this is a personal style blog and I have not mentioned fashion once! I just thought it was good to get my position written down so that when I talk about feminism in relation to fashion, you’ll know where I’m coming from.

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And speaking of fashion and feminism, I’ve been speaking to Bella of Citizen Rosebud, Mrs. Bossa and Courtney of Those Graces about starting a discussion between bloggers about the issue, and doing a sort of coordinated blogging event at some point in March, to coincide with Women’s History Month. It’s early stages yet, but if you would like to be involved, leave a comment email me, and I’ll get in touch! I’ll be providing more info as soon as we have organised outselves properly, hopefully soonest!

If you made it to here, thank you for still being here! I appreciate it! Normal pretty picture posts will resume tomorrow.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Clare B 7 February 2011, 12:55 pm

    Great post Franca, if I can get myself organised before the 18th (and take a photo of me!) I'm going to join in. I agree with much of your view on feminism – to me it is also very much about allowing both men and women the freedom to choose, rather than just fighting for equal pay, rights etc etc.

  • Danielle O'B 7 February 2011, 1:08 pm

    This is a great post! I agree with everything that you're saying and think that it's inspiring. we would be so much more free if we were all able to be, do, become whoever it is that we want or need to without socially constructed boundaries.

  • oranges_and_apples 7 February 2011, 1:18 pm

    Thank you! I fair poured my little heart out there. I do worry about having gone slightly overboard with the social construction thing, it's difficult to know how much stuff makes sense to non social scientists.

    And yes, i agree that choice is important. not every woman wants to be a high flier (i don't think i ever will), and neither does every man. I just worry when emphasising individual choice though that we slightly lose sight of how constrained our choices really are and where the choices people do have come from. I don't think being a stay at home dad is really a viable choice for fathers today. I mean, technically it can be done, but employers are not as accepting of career breaks and part time working as they are of women, so it would be a massive commitment and most men won't even consider it! And government doesn't want men to do that either, or they would be getting more than a measly 2 weeks paternity leave! I guess what i'm saying is that what i care about is everyone having a wide a range of choices as possible.

    Am thinking a lot about having kids just now, and how we'll bring the up, hence all the childcare examples!

  • MrsBossa 7 February 2011, 1:20 pm

    Oh, thank god! I'm glad someone else has had enough of the 'biological determinism bulls***. As you say, it's understandable that feminists took that route, but now it's used to pigeonhole people based on gender, and used as an excuse for everything from the use of prostitutes to the ability to pay your bills on time. Deborah Cameron has written some excellent pieces on how the difference within a gender group is more distinctive that difference between gender groups. As you say, for those of us in a more 'privileged' position the issues have become more subtle and more complex, but the patriarchal system hurts us all.

    Thanks for waking me up on this dull Monday, Franca! There have been some encouraging responses to the project so far…

  • Rad 7 February 2011, 1:23 pm

    Great explanation (and outfit). Actually, I've been thinking about this as I teach a young population that is mostly working class and sometimes low income. With some exceptions, our young women are doing so well in the education system. By the senior level, I have 20 women and 5 men in the class, as young men are far more likely to drop out. Women dominate law school, medical schools, and graduate schools, but we still see a lot of inequalities at the mid career and top career levels. Something happens (at least in the US) between their ambition at school and outcomes in their careers.
    Likewise, I see so many young men that horribly constrained by "masculine" gender roles, feeling the need to prove themselves in a way that detriments them. But there is self awareness. I once had a group of male student (the senior level class again) try to "outcompete" each other as to which one was more in touch with their feminine side: "I cried when Bambi's mom died," "I'm a momma's boy so I always vote for female candidates" or "I wear a lot of pink."

  • poet 7 February 2011, 1:23 pm

    Great statement! I need to write up one of my own but it would be very similar to yours… I agree that sexism continues to exist in subtlety, and that it would be as good to do away with the "real man" cliché as it was to do away with the traditional female cliché… It's difficult to overcome, though, as long as the concept is still around in cultural common knowledge. Putting people in boxes is something I continue to struggle with, though I am completely against it myself!

  • Roisin 7 February 2011, 1:33 pm

    Fab outfit, Franca, and a brilliant post as well. Really well said. I am a feminist, and proud to be so and I totally agree with you that equality benefits men as well as women – patriarchy isn't good for anyone, for a variety of reasons. I think in some ways we're at a bit of a false dawn – lots of young women are being told and taught that feminism is about being humourless and bashing men, or that it's about having the freedom to choose to be a pole dancer or to have cosmetic surgery. It's been polarised. For me, at least, feminism is as much about understanding what frames the choices we make as it is about having freedom to make these choices. Childcare is a huge part of this, even though I don't have children myself. I'd love to take part in some sort of feminist blog event, so count me in 🙂

  • Aly W 7 February 2011, 1:37 pm

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for this post! Gah! I consider myself a feminist, too– I haven't taken any classes about it or anything, but I've taken sociology a few times and gender socialization and stratification is always a topic that interests me. You're completely right, we ARE taught to behave a certain way; I was just talking about that very thing with one of my guy friends the other day. It's always strange when somebody seems to contradict stereotypical "male" and "female" characteristics (we were discussing it in relation to sports, how women typically don't like sports like football and such). I don't think I'll join the contest (I'm terrible at being concise!), but I'm blogging every day this month so I'm thinking I could dedicate a post to this 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Vix 7 February 2011, 2:08 pm

    What a great read, Franca. It's disappointing that being a feminist has become a dirty word. Things have moved on slightly since I was a young employee quizzed by male interviewers about whether I was planning a family, if I had a boyfriend and even having my sexuality brought into question but in my neck of the woods I've done temping jobs in factories where the male to female pay scale is hugely different and that a woman has never been made a supervisor. We should all be assessed on our own merit. x

  • Susanna 7 February 2011, 2:11 pm

    Great post! Agree with everything you say 🙂

  • La Historiadora de Moda 7 February 2011, 2:22 pm

    Yay! Franca, thank you so much for not only agreeing to submit to our call for pictures but for also writing up such a full and rich post on the topic. I am also weary of biological determinism ala post-modern Aristotle. I kill my own spiders and dig guys who knit. I really, really hope that feminism can shed its negative connotations for so many.

    And I love that dress!

  • MrsBossa 7 February 2011, 3:04 pm

    Hurrah. I'll be submitting my entry tout de suite!

  • Melissa 7 February 2011, 6:43 pm

    Very well said. I'm glad you're entering.

    And…I have to tell you that I love this dress on you! 🙂

  • The Waves 7 February 2011, 7:46 pm

    Hear, hear! This was just what I needed to read today! My husband and I discuss gender roles frequently, because we are both "odd" in our town: I am labeled as a stay-at-home wife, even though I am actually working on a novel, but you know how it goes: people are more interested in whether I am pregnant, because that is what women do. My husband is too kind, too polite and soft-spoken, and guys in his class don't speak to him either a) because they think he is gay, or b) because he doesn't know much about electric circuits. Gender roles suck ass. But you said it much better. Seriously though, thanks for this post. You are awesome.

  • Sadie 7 February 2011, 9:05 pm

    I agree with everything you've said here – it drives me mad when people say 'feminism is about women taking over' and 'I'm not a feminist, I'm an equalist', because feminism is about making sure everyone has the same opportunities and no-one is held back from doing whatever they want because of their gender (just like anti-racist campaigns aren't about putting black people ahead of white people, and LGBT campaigns aren't anti-straight…). And I'm delighted to see people standing up and declaring themselves to be feminists.

    I think I may have to participate in this myself!

  • Bummble 7 February 2011, 9:08 pm

    Hear, hear!
    What a terrific post – I couldn't agree more!

    In a way, the culture here (Netherlands) seems less feminist than it did a decade or so ago; all the pink princessy stuff for girls, the men-are-from-Mars crap, etc.
    It gives me the willies!

  • Alexandra Thérèse 7 February 2011, 9:18 pm

    Completely agree with you Franca, and well done for writing such a long, meaningful post! Also it's great to read about social issues such as feminism on your blog. I agree about feminism being as much about both men and women doing jobs which have before been thought of as gender-specific. Another good point you made was about men being feminists too – one of my very good friends is a guy and he is as much of a feminist as I am! Of course the biggest issue recently was the two male football commentators who were reprimanded after making derogatory comments about a a lines-woman – I hope that people will now see that they can't keep getting away with comments such as these and passing them off as jokes when they are actually very degrading. Please put me down on the email list for the feminism blogging event (alexandratherese@ymail.com) – am really interested in taking part! Oh and I love you dress too by the way – very summery and tea-partyish!

    Alexandra Thérèse xx

    http://www.alexandratherese.com

  • MrsBossa 7 February 2011, 9:22 pm

    Well, try 'The Myth of Mars and Venus' for a start (ignore the naff cover though!)

  • chelsiebells 8 February 2011, 1:20 am

    Well put, well put.

    As a biologist, I'm uncomfortable with a lot of the arguments for and against the idea of biological determinism that get paraded out in gender discussions. I have seen too much evidence of key biological differences between the sexes (sexes, not genders. As Mrs. Bossa pointed out, Deborah Cameron's exploration of differences within a gender vs between genders is based on gender, not sex.) to ignore the role that biology plays in our behaviors. However, that role is an influential one, not a determining one. I strongly believe it is just as foolish to claim no differences between the sexes as it is to claim fast and prescribed differences.

    Put me down as very interested in continuing this discussion!

  • Katie 8 February 2011, 1:22 am

    Hmm, that was Katie posting, not Chelsie (even though Disqus put up her photo).

  • Terri 8 February 2011, 3:20 am

    Franca–I think I would like to be involved in the March project. Beautiful look today. I was thinking about Fashionable Academics upcoming post just last night and it is George Tiller, an abortion doctor who was murdered in church for his practice, who came repeatedly to mind. He was known for his motto, "Trust Women."

  • Courtney 8 February 2011, 4:15 am

    "overcoming gender divides is in the interest of men as well as women!"

    I couldn't agree more.

  • northwest is best 8 February 2011, 9:08 am

    Great post, Franca! I'm happy to describe myself as a feminist, even in the least polite of company. I'd love to be involved with your March project.

  • Roisin 8 February 2011, 10:13 am

    Cosmetic surgery is a tricky issue – I picked on it to mention because while I wouldn't want to deny anyone the freedom to choose to do it if they wanted to, I think not enough attention is paid to what is informing the decisions of the women who opt to have their bodies carved up in the quest of beauty. Actually, no, that's wrong – in the quest to look ACCEPTABLE. What makes us feel that we have to resort to surgery to look acceptable to others, and how is this different from something that is a cultural taboo in the west such as genital mutilation? There's no question in my mind that this stems from a patriarchal society which, as we discussed, is harmful to both men and women.
    I'm really looking forward to getting involved, and thanks again for such an interesting discussion.

  • Veshoevius 8 February 2011, 3:37 pm

    Fab post! So many excellent points raised. Look forward to the March discussion group.
    "the ultimate outcome would be a society where 'male' and 'female' are purely descriptiors of physical differences along the lines of 'short' or 'tall', and not the determinants of power relations."
    I totally agree! And you raise an excellent point about men needing to be given the chance to be something other than their male stereotypes that women still project onto them in order for equality to come to full fruition.

  • Jeanofalltrades 8 February 2011, 7:12 pm

    Smart AND stylish! Kudos 🙂 I loved the post. Don't shy away from sharing your thoughts. Maybe your personal style is "sharing your ideas". Just because you didn't mention "fashion" doesn't mean you didn't handle the topic without panache. It's wonderful to get a dialogue going. I'd love to be part of anything you organize for Women's History Month. I'll also post to Fashionable Academics. Great stuff!

  • Emily, Resplendent Tranquility 8 February 2011, 9:21 pm

    Great post, Franca. I wish more people challenged the idea of gender roles. It really can be infuriating having conversations with people sometimes. The encounter you exampled brought to mind a recent episode I had with a co-worker. I was pushing a cart and the wheels got stuck on the tiled floor or veered off in a different direction – something like that – and an older (female) co-worker yelled out ''woman driver!'' Excuse me? How about the wheels are caked in dust, thus hindering efficient movement. And please tell me why you just openly belittled not only me, but yourself and your entire gender in a public work place? I was so irritated, but didn't say anything. Looking back, while still annoyed, it's become more of a lesson for me to not shy away from speaking up for myself and how I feel about things. So, thank you for sharing your thoughts. You raised some terrific points and one can only hope we progress ever-forward.

  • Misfit Sarah 9 February 2011, 1:16 pm

    What a wonderfully well considered and eloquent explanation of your feminism – thanks Franca! I stopped defending myself and politics a long time ago – when I starting copping flak not just from men, but from WOMEN, for calling myself (and them) feminist. Now I just have a tshirt that says 'If you're not a feminist, fuck off'. It's straight to the point – but really, life's too short to be subtle!

    Thank you for writing this and creating this forum for women all over the world to have these conversations. You rock.

    Sarah xxx

  • Misfit Sarah 9 February 2011, 1:17 pm

    And i LOVE your frock. LOVE.

    Sarah xxx

  • Katie 9 February 2011, 9:09 pm

    Wow you have such an interesting, inspiring, creative blog! I could go on and on. First, I love your header! The pictures are incredible! Thank you so much for the comment on my blog! I'm so glad I found yours!
    -Katie

  • Elly 15 February 2011, 9:45 pm

    Terrific post, Franca. I've been thinking about how my personal style and feminism intersect, especially as a female student/researcher in a male-dominated technical field, and this was just the push I needed to actually write down some of my thoughts and try to make them more concrete on my blog. I do agree with you that a large part of "male" and "female" behaviors are socially coded. I think it's also important to recognize the biological differences between men and women…but I think the more important thing is that those gender/sex differences, whether socially constructed or biologically constructed, not be a reflection on someone's capabilities. For example, it's important for me to think whether I'm wearing lipgloss because "I want to" or because of my social training that says I as a woman ought to wear lip color and look pretty. But it's even more important to me that my lipgloss or lack thereof should not make any statements about my computer programming ability. I'd really like to be part of the March discussion group, if that'd be all right!

  • Cat McLaughlin 16 February 2011, 11:48 am

    A very interesting post indeed, some really valid points about male *and* female rights. I am currently studying computing (web & interactive media design/development) , and as the only female in my class, it's really interesting to see how gender roles can be re-addressed and re-thought in this and many other traditionally male-led industries.

  • Kenny 19 February 2011, 5:50 am

    I wandered over on a link from a link, and wanted to say that I absolutely adore what you are saying! I do not think that I could better say why Feminism is important to me personally than everything you say here. I identify as male, but as a shy, poorly driving, male doing his best to be caring, I find little that resonates with me in the idea of masculinity. I do think that there are systems of power in play, even in the US but certainly in the world, that serve to oppress women specifically, so I think that overt sexism is something that must still be addressed, but the gender/sex difference is the one that hits closest to home.

    In regards to the biological determinism topic discussed in the comments, it seems that if a behavior is biologically determined, it need not necessarily be sex linked. Thus biological background could account for a larger proportion of our mannerisms, and still only present 10% of the explanation of sex linked behavior. Just like the "races," someone mentioned that there is a larger difference in behavior within the sexes than there is between them.

    Good luck with the Feminist fashion discussion! I hope to keep an eye toward it even though I am somewhat fashion-blind. And once again, a wonderful sentiment!

  • Casee Marie 21 February 2011, 11:31 pm

    Just found your blog and this particular post via Beautifully Invisible's Link Love series; I really appreciate your take on feminism and what it means to you, especially your entry paragraph (and your photo, by the way, so charming!). It's great to see feminism approached on a wider scale than just that of strictly male vs. female, sexism, etc. The word itself seems to have gotten twisted into a singular stereotype (at least in how it's depicted, very often in the media and in general here in the States) of outspoken women burning their bras and initiating a sort of hostile takeover, and while that method had its place in different points in history it's nice to be reminded of how feminism has evolved to suit the society of the present. Your insights have definitely served as a stepping stone in my own little journey of personal discovery; thanks for that!

  • Francesca Olivo 27 June 2011, 9:26 pm

    I just discovered your blog today and happened upon this post by chance. I think this is probably the most intelligent, well balanced and reasonable thing I have ever read on femminism. I seriously admire how you put down in words an extremely complicated topic in a way that emphasises some very important points. I consider myself a femminist too, only in a different way from the general idea of what a femminist should be like. I too believe femminism should not be about necessarily putting women before men, but about loosening up on the whole gender-role thing, which is harmful for men and women alike. I come from Italy, and even though I certainly cannot complain about our condition compared to what it used to be I still see or hear things that bother me. According to national statistics women still do about 70% of the housework, chores etc. (in 2009, two years ago, but I doubt this changed much since then). And this is mainly because it is still a generally accepted thing that a woman does more at home than a man. It's just something that's taken for granted. It's normal. That's the way it's always been. I think things are slowly changing but I believe it's still going to take a lot of time.
    On the other hand, it bothers me when politicians brag about how many women are in their party, as if the ladies were some sort of trophy to prove how modern, forward-thinking and open to women the party is. I believe it should be about capacity, not gender. I believe men and women should have equal possibilities as far as a having a career in politics is concerned (this should be the case in any kind of career, I'm just referring to my example here) but I don't believe that a certain amount of places should be specifically reserved for women, it just sounds wrong to me.
    I will continue reading your blog as it intrigues me quite a bit (fashion, knitting, intelligent posts on femminism, yes please),
    a fellow knitter,
    Francesca

  • oranges_and_apples 10 October 2011, 7:25 am

    absolutely agreed! thanks!

  • oranges_and_apples 10 October 2011, 7:25 am

    I think there is definitely something about career and bringing up children.
    It's maybe not so much that women can't reach the very top, but that so many
    choose ultimately not to try because they realise they would never see their
    family. Which is why it is so important to involve men properly in childcare
    and also make careers more family friendly – for everyone, not just women. I
    think the reason i have so many female senior people at my work is because
    there is a geniune attempt to allow people to have a workable work life
    balance through part time, flexi work etc, that i don't see in the private
    sector.

    that's great that there is male self awareness, i've yet to experience that
    in real life! maybe things are changing for men too!

  • oranges_and_apples 10 October 2011, 7:25 am

    You're right, it is hard. being aware of it is a first step!

  • oranges_and_apples 10 October 2011, 7:25 am

    you know, that is such a good point about the cosmetic surgery. it's
    something that i've always struggled with. I am pretty much opposed to
    cosmetic surgery and the ludicrous standards of beauty it creates, but it is
    undeniable that it makes people feel better, for a while at least, so I
    would feel weird telling anyone they shouldn't choose it if that's what they
    want. It's just that for every person choosing it, makes it a little harder
    for the next one coming along to resist. And then we're back with
    constrained choices…

    We're just finalising things now, i'll send you an email about it.

  • oranges_and_apples 10 October 2011, 7:25 am

    Thank you! I've never explicitly studied it either, but I'm a human
    geographer and it's difficult to avoid really! There was a course in my
    undergrad called gender, sexuality and the city, aka sex and the city. i
    never had time to take it though, sadly. it's such a fascinating topic!

    it's not a contest, just a thing to make yourself known really, so do
    consider it!

  • oranges_and_apples 10 October 2011, 7:25 am

    I know it's not been that long ago that this kind of thing was commonplac.
    maternity leave is a relatively new thing, and people used to have to resign
    to have kids! it is a lot better, definitely!

  • oranges_and_apples 10 October 2011, 7:25 am

    Thank you, it means a lot! That sucks that people label you in your town!
    The electric circuits thing made me laugh!

    re stay at home wife. I think there is something really interesting about
    the idea of the homemaker in the US. It would be so unusual as to be
    virtually unthinkable for a childless middle class woman to stay at home
    while her husband works, through choice and for long periods. Even once
    people have kids, complete stay at homeness is rare among low and middle
    level priofessionals like myself. its definitely a class thing here, not
    working is for the rich and the very poor. Yet it seems to be fairly
    commonplace in the US for women (never men though!) to do so. Its
    fascinating to me how cultures can be so diferent!

  • oranges_and_apples 10 October 2011, 7:25 am

    That was horrible about the footbll commentators. It appears they ACTUALLY
    believe that the offside rule is beyond women's comprehension. David
    Mitchell wrote a great piece about this:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/30/david-mitchell-andy-gray-sexism
    I'll get in touch soon!

  • oranges_and_apples 10 October 2011, 7:25 am

    yeah!

  • oranges_and_apples 10 October 2011, 7:25 am

    thank you! I'll keep you updated.

  • oranges_and_apples 10 October 2011, 7:25 am

    Thank you!

  • oranges_and_apples 10 October 2011, 7:25 am

    You know, I'm so glad someone raised the women drivers thing. I am a bad
    driver (I haven't driven for 6 years, and never really got into the habit of
    it before then, living in the city centre and not owning a car). But I am
    not a bad driver because I am a woman! I am a bad driver because I never got
    the chance to practice getting good at it, and I don't like cars.