Tag Archives: women

Repost: Dina Honour skewers Matt Walsh’s comments about The Women’s March

Pretty much everything Matt Walsh writes makes me want to puke, and I’m a (somewhat lapsed) Christian! This is the best post I’ve seen addressing his nonsense regarding the Women’s March.

Dear Matt Walsh and others, Hear me loud, and hear me clear. When a woman, a group of women, several million women say “My experience as a woman is this” you don’t get to say with any merit “No, it’s not.” It really is that simple. You are not a woman. You have never lived […]

via Dear Matt Walsh, Your Opinion On the Women’s March is Worthless — Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

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“It’s Not Socially Acceptable to Find Motherhood Difficult.”

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Today I was listening to an episode of the (excellent) podcast For Crying Out Loud.  It’s hosted by Lynette Carolla and Stephanie Wilder-Taylor and the topics are mostly related to raising their kids. Since they are both Mom’s with twins they have earned their stripes and spent time in the trenches.  The show also delves into many issues women face outside of motherhood, but without a whiff of pretension or taking themselves too seriously.  Add in a quick run down and critique of the week’s reality TV line-up and you have a typical episode.

The episode I was listening to (with guest host Kay Morgan) took an interesting turn about how so many stay at home Moms they know are drinking fairly heavily or using pills:

Stephanie:  No, you don’t understand this is what’s going on. Every Mom I know drinks a lot.

Kay Hanley:  Or pills. Pills are so insidious. It’s like f*cking Valley of the Dolls out there.  I mean…I know so many people….Xanex and Xanax and Xanex and Percocet and Viocodin….

It was at this point when Stephanie chimed in with a point that had immediate resonance.

Stephanie:  Do you know why? It’s because it’s not socially acceptable to find motherhood difficult.

 

Stephanie then continued on sharing examples of her own experiences:

Stephanie:  I know this for a fact because whenever I talk about something on TV the nasty internet comments are like, “Well if motherhood is so boring, then you shouldn’t have kids.” Or “being a Mother is the biggest blessing in the world and you should enjoy every second.”   All that stuff…It doesn’t mean I don’t absolutely love my kids and don’t love being a mother.  But it doesn’t take away the fact that it’s incredibly stressful.  A big transformation…

Kay Morgan:  It’s stiltifying.  It’s exasperating.  IT’S LONELY….

The show drifted to another topic but I found what Stephanie said so insightful.  It seems that no matter how women raise their kids they get criticism for not doing it right.

 

  • If a women chooses to work and can afford to be a stay at home Mother on her partner’s income she’s criticized for not being with her children.

 

  • If a women works, not by choice but because her income is essential, she is criticized for having children that she couldn’t afford.

 

  • If a women is a stay at home Mom she is criticized or treated condescendingly for having an “easy” life and not being tough enough or smart enough to make it in the working world

 

It is so difficult to be a Mother and I think it is essential that women are kind for each other about their choices.  In today’s society there’s no easy answer and you will get criticized no matter what you do.

We have to stop the madness.  The idea of thousands of women feeling isolated and drinking alone in quiet desperation is so sad to me.   Today’s society is more isolating and there is typically less support systems to readily share the load.

If you can at all afford it, don’t feel guilty about getting a babysitter to give you a few hours to yourself.  It’s worth every penny and it will be better for you and your family.  Children are a blessing.  But don’t believe the lie that every moment will be blissful, or even tolerable.

And it’s okay to admit it.

 

 

Follow Lynette on Twitter @LynetteCarolla and Stefanie @SWilderTaylor

Stephanie Wilder-Taylor has a blog and is the author of a child care book

And follow the show @ACEMoms or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/acemoms

 

You can find Linddykal on Twitter @Lindseykal28

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Feminism and Orphan Black

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Straight up? If you are a science fiction fan and aren’t watching the new BBC America show, you’re missing out.  It is not only one of the freshest and well-crafted sci-fi shows I’ve seen in years, it is also surprisingly one of the most feminist.

(Minor spoilers ahead)  For the uninitiated, the pilot starts out with Sarah, (played by the ridiculously talented Tatiana Maslany.)  Sarah is a pretty but hardened petty criminal waiting for a late night subway train.  She witnesses a suicide, and is shocked and confused to find that the dead girl is her doppelganger.

Being the anti-hero opportunist that she is, Sarah’s first instinct is to try to take this affluent, dead look-alike’s identity in order to drain her bank account.  Through a series of twists and turns Sarah realizes that she is in fact a clone, made for reasons not given yet.  There are in fact a dozen or so of “her”, some friends, some foes, all made of the same genetic material.

The show has just debuted its second season, and more pratfalls and twists await.  Although I watch the show for the cleverness of the plots and the well crafted acting, it also employs some interesting feminist aspects that adds to my enjoyment.

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1.)   The Privilege Aspect –  Orphan Black  raises several thought provoking undertones about the aspects of sociology.  All the clones are beautiful, intelligent, and have impulsive tendencies.  But how they were raised morphs all of them into distinctly different personalities that raises questions about classism and internalized self respect.

There’s Allison, the tightly wound frustrated housewife.  Beth, the straight laced detective that solves crimes and upholds the law.  Cosima, the brilliant scientist grad student.  Last, there’s poor damaged Helena, so abused she is unable to function normally in society.

Theoretically they all have the brain power to obtain a PhD like Cosima, but she is the only one encouraged to take the academic route.  Sarah for instance uses her smarts as a low level grifter and scam artist.  As a woman raised in the foster system, she did not really have the temperament toward authority nor the opportunity to foster the traditional education route.

2.)Representation of GLBT Characters – Orphan Black has gay characters that don’t feel perfunctory or tokens.  There’s Felix, Sarah’s brother from foster care.  Felix is not only openly gay but he is a sometimes sex worker.  Sarah does not shame him or views him as less than for what he does for a living.  This is only one aspect of him as a young man and doesn’t define his role on the show.  Sarah and Felix alternate between love and frustration, a familiar dynamic to any sibling.  Felix is often funny, (and downright hysterical when paired with Soccer-Mom Allison) but his sexuality is never the butt of the joke.

 Cosima, the grad-school hipster clone mentioned above, is a lesbian.  This is never shown on screen to be a source of shame or pride, it’s just who she is.  Cosima’s lesbianism is never fetishized or unnecessarily focused upon as the main aspect of her character.  In short, she’s seen as a human being first, as most straight characters have been since TV began.

3.)    Female dominated cast. – Orphan Black passes the Bechdel test with flying colors.  The women are constantly interacting, at odds with, and supporting one another.  They rarely talk about their romantic relationships, there’s much more important things to do!  In fact, this show is almost a reversal on the Bechdel test.  Paul, Sarah’s love interest, is defined by Sarah.  Most of his conversations, actions, and motivations are based around his relationship.  It’s a flip on the standard formula and interesting to watch.

 4.)Bodily autonomy – I saved the most important for last.  The most striking symbolic theme for Sarah is an attempted control and ownership of her body by outside forces more powerful than she is.   She beats on ceaselessly against these forces, a boat against the current.  Spurred on by the soul deep belief that this is my body and it belongs to me.  You can’t get much more feminist than that.

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