#NoNothingNovember

Kidstrangelove of Manosphere.com is doing something for the manosphere called #NoNothingNovember.  He began it for himself last year and wants to expand it to the whole sphere this year.  If you’re a blogger and you participate, he’s even offering a prize.  If you don’t blog and want to participate, you can do so here).  For a couple of weeks now, there is one big thing and a few smaller things I have been meaning to get around to improving and what a better way (not to mention more motivating way) to get around to them).  So, I am going to join in and also spread the word.  I encourage others to do so as well.  As I understand it, one of the reasons for doing this is to try to spread the word that a large part of the motivation of the manosphere is for self improvement and not just the mis-sah-jin-ey.

So here are my goals:

1. By far my biggest, most important and most difficult: Get off the internet for frivolity.  I’ll not be giving it up entirely.  It is too useful a tool and to be honest, after the first five days, this would be rather easy for me.  It is far harder for me to use the tool as intended but not waste time on it using it not as I intended to.  How will I measure this.?  I will allow myself to read a small handful of blogs.  Those blogs in which I still continue to learn from.  The big three, Vox Populi, John C. Wright, and Elspeth.  I will only be reading comments if I think they might add to any learning for me.  Also, the occasional stop in to the Red Pill Women reddit.  If I don’t see a post where I think I can help, I will shut my computer.  No lingering.  Otherwise, my internet use will be only for research purposes and blogging.

2.  For the past 3 months or so, I’ve been rather sick.  I found out a couple of weeks ago I have been suffering from migraines.  My diet has been awful.  I’ve been too nauseous to eat protein and fat and now that I am feeling better it’s time to get back to it.  My biggest challenge? I am one of those people who in the past let perfect be the enemy of good.  Find a balance.  I don’t need to go full board, balls to wall, all out.  I need to find a balance.  I need to not drive everyone around me crazy by following my diet to a T.  Balance is my goal and my main difficulty.

3. Organize my home.  I’m kind of a fly by the seat of my pants type of girl.  Things get done, but it’s not optimal.  I have been promising myself to fix that.  And it’s been flying out the window.  Time to change that.

4. Expand my reading.  I began reading Frederic Bastiat’s The Law again last night.  I didn’t finish it last time.  A horrible habit of mine.  I may have some posts in November that have to do with some religious or other questions that I have been struggling with simply because it would help me to work them out.  Or maybe posts about things that I have read.

These are my big four for now.  All of this starts on November 1st though I am posting this today  to get it into my head and to hopefully pass the idea to a few other before it begins.  I think it’s a great idea to spread around.  If any others decide to join in, please let me know!.

Subtle Defiance of Feminism

A hat tip to red pill women reddit for this as I don’t listen to pop music.  There is a good write up about it here.  I am ready for women to stop lying to themselves about what makes them joyful.

“Chandelier” by Sia

Party girls don’t get hurt
Can’t feel anything, when will I learn?
I push it down, push it down

I’m the one “for a good time call”
Phone’s blowin’ up, ringin’ my doorbell
I feel the love, feel the love

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink

Throw ‘em back ’til I lose count

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

But I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight

Sun is up, I’m a mess
Gotta get out now, gotta run from this
Here comes the shame, here comes the shame

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, drink

Throw ‘em back ’til I lose count

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

But I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down, won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight

On for tonight
‘Cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Oh, I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight
On for tonight
‘Cause I’m just holding on for tonight
‘Cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Oh, I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight
On for tonight

The Whole Duty of a Woman

I was watching Alton Brown’s Good Eats last week when in passing, it mentioned this book.  It was written in 1696.  The author is listed simply as Lady.  I am trying to read it, but in truth, it’s not an easy read.  In part because the lower cases “s” looks very much like a lower case “f”.  In one sections talking about the how God is Wise, I keep reading the word as wife.  It’s not conducive to understanding. Anyway, my plan is to put some of my favorited parts of the this book up here.  To begin with just the cover page (with different spellings attempted to be left intact):

The Whole Duty of a Woman

Or, an infallible

Guide to the Fair Sex

Containing, Rules, Direction, and Observations, for the Conduct and Behaviour through all Ages and Circumstances of Life, as Virgins, Wives, or Widows with Directions, how to obtain al Use and Fashionable accomplishments suitable to the SEX.  In which are comprised all Parts of GOOD HOUSEWIFERY, particularly RULES and RECEIPTS in every Kind of COOKERY.

1. Making all Sorts of Soops and Sauces

2. Dressing Flesh, Fish and Fowl; this last illustrated with Cuts, shewing how every Fowl, Wild or Tame, is to be trust for the Spit: Likewise all other King of Game.

3. Making above 40 different Sorts of Puddings.

4. The whole Art of Pastry in making Pies, Tarts, and Pasties

5. Receipts for all Manner of Pickling, Collaring, etc.

6. For Preserving, making Creams, Jellies, and all Manner of Confectionary.

7. Rules and Directions for fetting out Dinners, Suppers, and Grand Entertainments.

to which is added,

BILLS of FARW for every Month in the Year, curiously graven on Copper Plate, with the Forms of Tables and Dishes, and he Shapes of Pies, Tarts, and Pasties.  With Instructions for Marketing.

ALSO

RULES and RECEIPTS for making all the choicest Cordials for the closet: Brewing Beers, Ales, etc.  Making all Sorts of English Wines, Cyder, Mums, Mead, Metheglin, Vinegar, Verjuice, Catchup, etc. With some fine Perfumes, Pomatums, Cosmeticks and other Beautifiers.

I’ve tried to keep some of the formatting, but you really should look at this page for yourself.  I think this book is going to be fascinating.

If anybody knows what Mums (I’m thinking not the flower), Metheglin, Verjuice or Pomatums are, I would love to hear from you.

Reason 1,534 We Homeschool

Reported by National Review:

A Nebraska school district has instructed its teachers to stop referring to students by “gendered expressions” such as “boys and girls,” and use “gender inclusive” ones such as “purple penguins” instead.

. . . .

If teachers still find it “necessary” to mention that genders exist at all, the document states, they must list them as “boy, girl, both or neither.”

Furthermore, it instructs teachers to interfere and interrupt if they ever hear a student talking about gender in terms of “boys and girls” so the student can learn that this is wrong.

Read further and the Superintendent states, “We don’t get involved with politics,” and “We don’t get involved with gender preferences. We’re educating all kids . . . and we can’t be judgmental.”

We choose to raise Men and Women here, whom both know their value.

More excellent reading here.

Tolkien on Marriage and Women

Vox posted a part of this letter from JRR Tolkien to his son Michael.  I thought it so good I wanted to post it in it’s entirety.

From a letter to Michael Tolkien 6-8 March 1941

[On the subject of marriage and relations between the sexes.]

A man’s dealings with women can be purely physical (they cannot really, of course: but I mean he can refuse to take other things into account, to the great damage of his soul (and body) and theirs); or ‘friendly'; or he can be a ‘lover’ (engaging and blending all his affections and powers of mind and body in a complex emotion powerfully coloured and energized by ‘sex’). This is a fallen world. The dislocation of sex-instinct is one of the chief symptoms of the Fall. The world has been ‘going to the bad’ all down the ages. The various social forms shift, and each new mode has its special dangers: but the ‘hard spirit of concupiscence’ has walked down every street, and sat leering in every house, since Adam fell. We will leave aside the ‘immoral’ results. These you desire not to be dragged into. To renunciation you have no call. ‘Friendship’ then? In this fallen world the ‘friendship’ that should be possible between all human beings, is virtually impossible between man and woman. The devil is endlessly ingenious, and sex is his favourite subject. He is as good every bit at catching you through generous romantic or tender motives, as through baser or more animal ones. This ‘friendship’ has often been tried: one side or the other nearly always fails. Later in life when sex cools down, it may be possible. It may happen between saints. To ordinary folk it can only rarely occur: two minds that have really a primarily mental and spiritual affinity may by accident reside in a male and a female body, and yet may desire and achieve a ‘friendship’ quite independent of sex. But no one can count on it. The other partner will let him (or her) down, almost certainly, by ‘falling in love’. But a young man does not really (as a rule) want ‘friendship’, even if he says he does. There are plenty of young men (as a rule). He wants love:innocent, and yet irresponsible perhaps. Allas! Allas! that ever love was sinne! as Chaucer says. Then if he is a Christian and is aware that there is such a thing as sin, he wants to know what to do about it.

There is in our Western culture the romantic chivalric tradition still strong, though as a product of Christendom (yet by no means the same as Christian ethics) the times are inimical to it. It idealizes ‘love’ — and as far as it goes can be very good, since it takes in far more than physical pleasure, and enjoins if not purity, at least fidelity, and so self-denial, ‘service’, courtesy, honour, and courage. Its weakness is, of course, that it began as an artificial courtly game, a way of enjoying love for its own sake without reference to (and indeed contrary to) matrimony. Its centre was not God, but imaginary Deities, Love and the Lady. It still tends to make the Lady a kind of guiding star or divinity – of the old-fashioned ‘his divinity’ = the woman he loves – the object or reason of noble conduct. This is, of course, false and at best make-believe. The woman is another fallen human-being with a soul in peril. But combined and harmonized with religion (as long ago it was, producing much of that beautiful devotion to Our Lady that has been God’s way of refining so much our gross manly natures and emotions, and also of warming and colouring our hard, bitter, religion) it can be very noble. Then it produces what I suppose is still felt, among those who retain even vestigiary Christianity, to be the highest ideal of love between man and woman. Yet I still think it has dangers. It is not wholly true, and it is not perfectly ‘theocentric’. It takes, or at any rate has in the past taken, the young man’s eye off women as they are, as companions in shipwreck not guiding stars. (One result is for observation of the actual to make the young man turn cynical.) To forget their desires, needs and temptations. It inculcates exaggerated notions of ‘true love’, as a fire from without, a permanent exaltation, unrelated to age, childbearing, and plain life, and unrelated to will and purpose. (One result of that is to make young folk look for a ‘love’ that will keep them always nice and warm in a cold world, without any effort of theirs; and the incurably romantic go on looking even in the squalor of the divorce courts).

Women really have not much part in all this, though they may use the language of romantic love, since it is so entwined in all our idioms. The sexual impulse makes women (naturally when unspoiled more unselfish) very sympathetic and understanding, or specially desirous of being so (or seeming so), and very ready to enter into all the interests, as far as they can, from ties to religion, of the young man they are attracted to. No intent necessarily to deceive: sheer instinct: the servient, helpmeet instinct, generously warmed by desire and young blood. Under this impulse they can in fact often achieve very remarkable insight and understanding, even of things otherwise outside their natural range: for it is their gift to be receptive, stimulated, fertilized (in many other matters than the physical) by the male. Every teacher knows that. How quickly an intelligent woman can be taught, grasp his ideas, see his point – and how (with rare exceptions) they can go no further, when they leave his hand, or when they cease to take a personal interest inhim. But this is their natural avenue to love. Before the young woman knows where she is (and while the romantic young man, when he exists, is still sighing) she may actually ‘fall in love’. Which for her, an unspoiled natural young woman, means that she wants to become the mother of the young man’s children, even if that desire is by no means clear to her or explicit. And then things are going to happen: and they may be very painful and harmful, if things go wrong. Particularly if the young man only wanted a temporary guiding star and divinity (until he hitches his waggon to a brighter one), and was merely enjoying the flattery of sympathy nicely seasoned with a titillation of sex – all quite innocent, of course, and worlds away from ‘seduction’.

You may meet in life (as in literature1) women who are flighty, or even plain wanton — I don’t refer to mere flirtatiousness, the sparring practice for the real combat, but to women who are too silly to take even love seriously, or are actually so depraved as to enjoy ‘conquests’, or even enjoy the giving of pain – but these are abnormalities, even though false teaching, bad upbringing, and corrupt fashions may encourage them. Much though modern conditions have changed feminine circumstances, and the detail of what is considered propriety, they have not changed natural instinct. A man has a life-work, a career, (and male friends), all of which could (and do where he has any guts) survive the shipwreck of ‘love’. A young woman, even one ‘economically independent’, as they say now (it usually really means economic subservience to male commercial employers instead of to a father or a family), begins to think of the ‘bottom drawer’ and dream of a home, almost at once. If she really falls in love, the shipwreck may really end on the rocks. Anyway women are in general much less romantic and more practical. Don’t be misled by the fact that they are more ‘sentimental’ in words – freer with ‘darling’, and all that. They do not want a guiding star. They may idealize a plain young man into a hero; but they don’t really need any such glamour either to fall in love or to remain in it. If they have any delusion it is that they can ‘reform’ men. They will take a rotter open-eyed, and even when the delusion of reforming him fails, go on loving him. They are, of course, much more realistic about the sexual relation. Unless perverted by bad contemporary fashions they do not as a rule talk ‘bawdy'; not because they are purer than men (they are not) but because they don’t find it funny. I have known those who pretended to, but it is a pretence. It may be intriguing, interesting, absorbing (even a great deal too absorbing) to them: but it is just plumb natural, a serious, obvious interest; where is the joke?

They have, of course, still to be more careful in sexual relations, for all the contraceptives. Mistakes are damaging physically and socially (and matrimonially). But they are instinctively, when uncorrupt, monogamous. Men are not. …. No good pretending. Men just ain’t, not by their animal nature. Monogamy (although it has long been fundamental to our inherited ideas) is for us men a piece of ‘revealed’ ethic, according to faith and not to the flesh. Each of us could healthily beget, in our 30 odd years of full manhood, a few hundred children, and enjoy the process. Brigham Young (I believe) was a healthy and happy man. It is a fallen world, and there is no consonance between our bodies, minds, and souls.

However, the essence of a fallen world is that the best cannot be attained by free enjoyment, or by what is called ‘self-realization’ (usually a nice name for self-indulgence, wholly inimical to the realization of other selves); but by denial, by suffering. Faithfulness in Christian marriage entails that: great mortification. For a Christian man there is no escape. Marriage may help to sanctify & direct to its proper object his sexual desires; its grace may help him in the struggle; but the struggle remains. It will not satisfy him – as hunger may be kept off by regular meals. It will offer as many difficulties to the purity proper to that state, as it provides easements. No man, however truly he loved his betrothed and bride as a young man, has lived faithful to her as a wife in mind and body without deliberate conscious exercise of the will, without self-denial. Too few are told that — even those brought up ‘in the Church’. Those outside seem seldom to have heard it. When the glamour wears off, or merely works a bit thin, they think they have made a mistake, and that the real soul-mate is still to find. The real soul-mate too often proves to be the next sexually attractive person that comes along. Someone whom they might indeed very profitably have married, if only —. Hence divorce, to provide the ‘if only’. And of course they are as a rule quite right: they did make a mistake. Only a very wise man at the end of his life could make a sound judgement concerning whom, amongst the total possible chances, he ought most profitably to have married! Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might have found more suitable mates. But the ‘real soul-mate’ is the one you are actually married to. You really do very little choosing: life and circumstance do most of it (though if there is a God these must be His instruments, or His appearances). It is notorious that in fact happy marriages are more common where the ‘choosing’ by the young persons is even more limited, by parental or family authority, as long as there is a social ethic of plain unromantic responsibility and conjugal fidelity. But even in countries where the romantic tradition has so far affected social arrangements as to make people believe that the choosing of a mate is solely the concern of the young, only the rarest good fortune brings together the man and woman who are really as it were ‘destined’ for one another, and capable of a very great and splendid love. The idea still dazzles us, catches us by the throat: poems and stories in multitudes have been written on the theme, more, probably, than the total of such loves in real life (yet the greatest of these tales do not tell of the happy marriage of such great lovers, but of their tragic separation; as if even in this sphere the truly great and splendid in this fallen world is more nearly achieved by ‘failure’ and suffering). In such great inevitable love, often love at first sight, we catch a vision, I suppose, of marriage as it should have been in an unfallen world. In this fallen world we have as our only guides, prudence, wisdom (rare in youth, too late in age), a clean, heart, and fidelity of will.….

My own history is so exceptional, so wrong and imprudent in nearly every point that it makes it difficult to counsel prudence. Yet hard cases make bad law; and exceptional cases are not always good guides for others. For what it is worth here is some autobiography – mainly on this occasion directed towards the points of age, and finance.

I fell in love with your mother at the approximate age of 18. Quite genuinely, as has been shown – though of course defects of character and temperament have caused me often to fall below the ideal with which I started. Your mother was older than I, and not a Catholic. Altogether unfortunate, as viewed by a guardian. And it was in a sense very unfortunate; and in a way very bad for me. These things are absorbing and nervously exhausting. I was a clever boy in the throes of work for (a very necessary) Oxford scholarship. The combined tensions nearly produced a bad breakdown. I muffed my exams and though (as years afterwards my H[ead] M[aster] told me) I ought to have got a good scholarship, I only landed by the skin of my teeth an exhibition of £60 at Exeter: just enough with a school leaving scholarship] of the same amount to come up on (assisted by my dear old guardian). Of course there was a credit side, not so easily seen by the guardian. I was clever, but not industrious or single-minded; a large pan of my failure was due simply to not working (at least not at classics) not because I was in love, but because I was studying something else: Gothic and what not. Having the romantic upbringing I made a boy-and-girl affair serious, and made it the source of effort. Naturally rather a physical coward, I passed from a despised rabbit on a house second-team to school colours in two seasons. All that sort of thing. However, trouble arose: and I had to choose between disobeying and grieving (or deceiving) a guardian who had been a father to me, more than most real fathers, but without any obligation, and ‘dropping’ the love-affair until I was 21. I don’t regret my decision, though it was very hard on my lover. But that was not my fault. She was perfectly free and under no vow to me, and I should have had no just complaint (except according to the unreal romantic code) if she had got married to someone else. For very nearly three years I did not see or write to my lover. It was extremely hard, painful and bitter, especially at first. The effects were not wholly good: I fell back into folly and slackness and misspent a good deal of my first year at College. But I don’t think anything else would have justified marriage on the basis of a boy’s affair; and probably nothing else would have hardened the will enough to give such an affair (however genuine a case of true love) permanence. On the night of my 21st birthday I wrote again to your mother – Jan. 3, 1913. On Jan. 8th I went back to her, and became engaged, and informed an astonished family. I picked up my socks and did a spot of work (too late to save Hon. Mods. from disaster) – and then war broke out the next year, while I still had a year to go at college. In those days chaps joined up, or were scorned publicly. It was a nasty cleft to be in, especially for a young man with too much imagination and little physical courage. No degree: no money: fiancée. I endured the obloquy, and hints becoming outspoken from relatives, stayed up, and produced a First in Finals in 1915. Bolted into the army: July 1915. I found the situation intolerable and married on March 22, 1916. May found me crossing the Channel (I still have the verse I wrote on the occasion!) for the carnage of the Somme.

Think of your mother! Yet I do not now for a moment feel that she was doing more than she should have been asked to do – not that that detracts from the credit of it. I was a young fellow, with a moderate degree, and apt to write verse, a few dwindling pounds p. a. (£20 – 40), and no prospects, a Second Lieut. on 7/6 a day in the infantry where the chances of survival were against you heavily (as a subaltern). She married me in 1916 and John was born in 1917 (conceived and carried during the starvation-year of 1917 and the great U-Boat campaign) round about the battle of Cambrai, when the end of the war seemed as far-off as it does now. I sold out, and spent to pay the nursing-home, the last of my few South African shares, ‘my patrimony’.

Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament. …. There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth, and more than that: Death: by the divine paradox, that which ends life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste (or foretaste) of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man’s heart desires.

1  Literature has been (until the modern novel) mainly a masculine business, and in it there is a great deal about the ‘fair and false’. That is on the whole a slander. Women are humans and therefore capable of perfidy. But within the human family, as contrasted with men they are not generally or naturally the more perfidious. Very much the reverse. Except only that women are apt to break down if asked to ‘wait’ for a man, too long, and while youth (so precious and necessary to a would-be mother) is swiftly passing. They should, in fact, not be asked to wait.

Teaching a Wife about Submission

Tags

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FM writes,

Stingray– back in February, you wrote this in response to a Rollo blog post. I was wondering if you still felt this way about opening up the topic of submission with a wife. The general context was a man asking if he should “teach” is wife about submission. Any more comments you have on this topic would be welcome, as many men are trying to get this topic started with their wives–it is all very awkward! Thanks for your thoughts.

You write: “one way to start turning around a LTR is to educate wives about the necessity of primate females giving bananas and grooming the males. Make her see that she *has* to submit to making him sandwiches, and she *has* to submit to giving him back rubs (I believe I am direct quoting another commenter with the bold).
Unless she is extremely religious and was raised that way; NO. You are making the familiar mistake in assuming men and women think the same way. We decidedly do NOT.
If you try to explain this idea of having to submit to most women they will simply look at you with disgust and begin the shaming language, “Oppressor!” Submission is synonymous with doormat today.
You can’t explain it to her. You have to make her feel it; inspire it from her (over a period of time you might be able to explain it to some women after you’ve demonstrated the behavior). Telling a woman she has to submit to an inferior man is like telling a man he has to have sex with a 400 pound woman.”

Women tend to understand situations and even terms in how they make us feel.  This is why things like Dread game, submission and whatnot are usually so viscerally appalling to a lot of women.  They read the word dread and they feel it first, then infer the meaning through what they feel.  They are going to feel real and intense dread and then believe that this is what Rollo are any other writer is talking about inducing in his wife.  Wherein reality, this real dread that the women are feeling is usually only talked about being used by men in extreme circumstances.  Solipsism makes this differentiation difficult to suss out.

So, if you talk to your wife about submission, without first making her feel it in a positive manner, she is going to feel what she thinks of as submission first and then apply it to what you are saying.  As most women think of the word submission as a man wanting a doormat, a slave, and to oppress her, this is what she will feel you want her to become.  This is why I say you must make her feel it first.  If you are going to make her feel it in a positive way, you have to become the superior man (another one of those words that is going to make her feel badly.  Don’t use it).  Once this state is firmly in place, then you might be able to broach this subject with her.  A man knows his wife best and the decision of whether this is best and how to do it are yours.  For those women who might do well hearing from other women, I highly suggest the Red Pill Women subreddit.  For those religious women, I can’t recommend Elspeth highly enough, as well as the links from her commenters and her sidebar (and to humbly add, they may like it here as well). ((Edited to add: Personally, I do not recommend trying to openly teach about submission until she can feel what it is you mean by it, not what society has taught her to feel about it.))

For the men, keep learning.  Rollo did a podcast over this past weekend that I thought was tremendous for men to learn from.  It’s long and the interviewers were crass.  Don’t let this deter you.  Near the end he talks of becoming.  Of no longer having to Game your wife, because it is fully internalized.  It’s a matter of course.   And it’s not in some kind of oppressive way.  It is in this becoming whom he wants to be and has chosen to be that is the best place for him to be able to love and care for his family.  This is something I very much agree with.

You asked if I still believe this and I very much do.  I think a lot of men, even men who have learned or are learning the red pill, still fall into the very dangerous trap in thinking that men and women think the same.  Even though, they have read and on some level understand this is not true, the extent to how very differently we think and process information is still not understood.  When she feels it, only then will she be able to put some kind of words to it.  Understand, that she may not want to.  Also understand she may not need to.  Lead her to where the family needs to go.

**FM, my apologies for this coming late.

My Choice

I’ve been reading a lot lately from some comment forums that the whole point of feminism was to bring to women the gift of choice.  Their choice to work or not, vote, get an education, own property, etc.

The Education Gap since 1880’s. I’m not sure when women weren’t allowed to go to school in the West? (H/T)

A lot of women have been writing how their choice has been to be a mom, and that is why they are anti-feminist. One of the first comments on these threads is usually something along the lines of, well congratulations on your dream.  Feminists made it possible.

Women aren’t feeling like being a mom isn’t acceptable for nothing.

Every time I hear someone say that feminism is about validating every choice a woman makes I have to fight back vomit.

Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself? There’s no way those two things are the same. . . .

Having kids and getting married are considered life milestones. We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average. And here’s the thing, why on earth are we settling for average?

If women can do anything, why are we still content with applauding them for doing nothing? . . .

Now, I actually agree with her about the part that it’s not a huge accomplishment to have kids.  Most women can and it is what our bodies are made to do.

You will never have the time, energy, freedom or mobility to be exceptional if you have a husband and kids. . . .

 

It’s because women secretly like to talk about how hard managing a household is so they don’t have to explain their lack of real accomplishments . . .

 

Women will be equal with men when we stop demanding that it be considered equally important to do housework and real work. They are not equal. Doing laundry will never be as important as being a doctor or an engineer or building a business. This word play is holding us back.

Now, I’m not terribly interested in dissecting this article.  It’s pretty obvious.  Many feminist will come back and say, well this is just one women and most feminists just don’t feel this way.  This is not what real feminism is about!

But some very well known old school feminists felt the same way.

A parasite sucking out the living strength of another organism…the [housewife's] labor does not even tend toward the creation of anything durable…. [W]oman’s work within the home [is] not directly useful to society, produces nothing. [The housewife] is subordinate, secondary, parasitic. It is for their common welfare that the situation must be altered by prohibiting marriage as a ‘career’ for woman.” ~ Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, 1949.

No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.” – “Sex, Society, and the Female Dilemma,” Simone de Beauvoir Saturday Review, June 14, 1975.

 

[Housewives] are mindless and thing-hungry…not people. [Housework] is peculiarly suited to the capacities of feeble-minded girls. [It] arrests their development at an infantile level, short of personal identity with an inevitably weak core of self…. [Housewives] are in as much danger as the millions who walked to their own death in the concentration camps. [The] conditions which destroyed the human identity of so many prisoners were not the torture and brutality, but conditions similar to those which destroy the identity of the American housewife.” ~ Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 1963.

 

[Housewives] are dependent creatures who are still children…parasites.” ~ Gloria Steinem, “What It Would Be Like If Women Win,” Time, August 31, 1970

 

“Feminism was profoundly opposed to traditional conceptions of how families should be organized, [since] the very existence of full-time homemakers was incompatible with the women’s movement…. [I]f even 10 percent of American women remain full-time homemakers, this will reinforce traditional views of what women ought to do and encourage other women to become full-time homemakers at least while their children are very young…. If women disproportionately take time off from their careers to have children, or if they work less hard than men at their careers while their children are young, this will put them at a competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis men, particularly men whose wives do all the homemaking and child care…. This means that no matter how any individual feminist might feel about child care and housework, the movement as a whole had reasons to discourage full-time homemaking.” ~ Jane J. Mansbridge, Why We Lost the ERA, 1986.

 

“[The] housewife is a nobody, and [housework] is a dead-end job. It may actually have a deteriorating effect on her mind…rendering her incapable of prolonged concentration on any single task. [She] comes to seem dumb as well as dull. [B]eing a housewife makes women sick.” ~ Sociologist Jessie Bernard in The Future of Marriage, 1982.

There are more (and here. The first link does an excellent job of dissecting how feminism is not about choice).

Growing up, I always wanted to be a stay at home mom.  My mother was for several years and I wanted to give this to my kids as well.  I went to college because I was taught that I needed a degree to fall back on just in case my husband and I were to divorce. So, I did that and also came away with my MRS.  But, I always knew I wanted to stay home.  This desire has evolved as I’ve aged and it’s become a bit of a dream of mine to become that Matriarch one reads about.  The strong woman who helps to guide those around her, who loves tremendously but firmly, who isn’t afraid but is at the same time, soft.  Who’s children go to her for comfort and wisdom and who’s grandchildren run to her for hugs and cookies.  Now, I have a very long way to go in achieving this dream and it’s one I plan on spending a lifetime reaching for.

Do I work at this because I think it’s the hardest job in the world?  No, because it’s not.  Do I do it because I think there is some kind of glory in it?  No.  I do it because it’s mine.  I do it because it’s my dream and this is what I want. I want to give this to my kids, to my family, and to my husband.  I used to worry what other people thought about this at times (though I’ve been lucky in that no one has ever said anything to me), but no more.  This is my choice, my dream and I’m going to do it for me and mine.

**Does this mean I expect other woman to follow suit?  No.  My point here is that there are a lot of women who are afraid of this choice and who find themselves thinking there is something wrong with them for wanting it.  Being a wife and mother can be an incredibly noble pursuit if you work at it.  If it’s what you want, then make it yours.

Changes in the Wind?

Elspeth had a post up the other day that had two great picture in it:

I have seen evidence that more women might be waking up, or simply not caring what feminism is telling them.  Or, in this case, they listen but still show a yearning for what could be.

At first glance, Naomi and Stacie and Stephanie and Liz appear to be members of the species known as the “Hipster Mommy Blogger,” though perhaps a bit more cheerful and wholesome than most. They have bangs like Zooey Deschanel and closets full of cool vintage dresses. Their houses look like Anthropologie catalogs. Their kids look like Baby Gap models. Their husbands look like young graphic designers, all cute lumberjack shirts and square-framed glasses. They spend their days doing fun craft projects (vintage-y owl throw pillow! Recycled button earrings! Hand-stamped linen napkins!). They spend their weekends throwing big, whimsical dinner parties for their friends, all of whom have equally adorable kids and husbands . . .

Their lives are nothing like mine — I’m your standard-issue late-20-something childless overeducated atheist feminist — yet I’m completely obsessed with their blogs. On an average day, I’ll skim through a half-dozen Mormon blogs, looking at Polaroids of dogs in raincoats or kids in bow ties, reading gratitude lists, admiring sewing projects.

So why, exactly, are these blogs so fascinating to women like us — secular, childless women who may have never so much as baked a cupcake, let alone reupholstered our own ottomans with thrifted fabric and vintage grosgrain ribbon? It’s not as though we’re sniffing around the dark side of the faith, à la “Big Love.” And it’s not about religion. As someone married to a former Saint (my husband left the church as a teenager), I certainly have no illusions about what life as a Mormon would be like, and I’m sure it’s not for me, which makes my obsession with these blogs all the more startling.

Well, to use a word that makes me cringe, these blogs are weirdly “uplifting.” To read Mormon lifestyle blogs is to peer into a strange and fascinating world where the most fraught issues of modern living — marriage and child rearing — appear completely unproblematic. This seems practically subversive to someone like me, weaned on an endless media parade of fretful stories about “work-life balance” and soaring divorce rates and the perils of marrying too young/too old/too whatever. And don’t even get me started on the Mommy Blogs, which make parenthood seem like a vale of judgment and anxiety, full of words like “guilt” and “chaos” and “BPA-free” and “episiotomy.” Read enough of these, and you’ll be ready to remove your own ovaries with a butter knife.

“It seems that a lot of popular culture wants to portray marriage and motherhood as demeaning, restrictive or simple, but in the LDS church, motherhood is a very important job, and it’s treated with a lot of respect,” says Natalie Holbrook, the New York-based author of the popular blog Nat the Fat Rat. “Most of my readers are non-LDS women in their late 20s and early 30s, college educated, many earning secondary degrees on the postgraduate level, and a comment I often get is, ‘You are making me want kids, and I’ve never wanted kids!’”

Indeed, Mormon bloggers like Holbrook make marriage and motherhood seem, well, fun. Easy. Joyful. These women seem relaxed and untouched by cynicism. They throw elaborate astronaut-themed birthday parties for their kids and go on Sunday family drives to see the fall leaves change and get mani-pedis with their friends. They often have close, large extended families; moms and sisters are always dropping in to watch the kids or help out with cake decorating. Their lives seem adorable and old-fashioned and comforting.

Fun. Easy. Joyful.

While I have no illusions that marriage and motherhood are easy, these choices can be simple.  Life as a mother and wife can be incredibly rewarding and feminine.  It seems women might be waking up to this fact, that we don’t have to compete with men or with each other to find our own happiness and to make those around us happy as well.

Side Note:  The linked picture with the girls showing their wedding rings has these comments below it:

~ We All Have Goals- why is an engagement more worth than a college degree?

~ I completely agree. This picture is very disappointing and depicts the future generations of this country. Its a shame to see how much perceptions about success and whats important have changed.

Success should be in the eye of the person achieving it (H/T  Margery).  Why should an engagement and marriage be worth less and who is being hurt by those women’s choice to be married young?

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