Emma Waverman writes about the chaos of modern family life in the kitchen and out of it. She has a weekly food column on CBC Radio One, Here & Now. She is the co-author of the family cookbook Whining and Dining: Mealtime Survival for Picky Eaters and Families Who Love Them and is hoping to one day finish her certification as a parenting coach. She lives with her three kids, ranging from tween to university student, and husband in Toronto. Emma has written for a variety of national lifestyle magazines and newspapers. When she's is not making typos, telling you what she thinks, and thinking about dinner, you can find her on Twitter at @emmawaverman and Instagram. You can contact Emma at embracingchaos@hotmail.ca.

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Is Motherhood Replacing Sexism?

I admit it, I have been asking myself this question quietly for a while: has motherhood replaced sexism as a way to keep women out of the workforce?

I'm just not sure of the answer.

But Elizabeth Badinter is. She is a famous philosopher and privileged academic from France whose new book, The Conflict: Does Modern Motherhood Undermine the Status of Women?, is making waves in the media on both sides of the Atlantic. (And is continuing our state of awe over French parenting.)

Her thesis is that the current obsession with "natural" motherhood including extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, disposable diapers and a closeness between mother and child has undermined the gains women have made in the workplace and is a new "tyranny" to women. Our desire to be Earth Mothers has in fact turned us back into '50s housewives, dependent on our husbands for money and our children for self-esteem.

Badinter is incendiary; she refers to breastfeeding as "female mammal instincts" and she is polemic, but are her points valid?

Some news sites have chosen to use Badinter's thesis to pit attachment parenting advocates against right-wingers or to revive the tired working mom vs stay-at-home mom "war", but I think that is missing the point.

I refuse to see motherhood as an either/or situation. But Badinter does have a point -- the unrelenting focus on perfection in motherhood, the heatlamp-type focus that we have on our children does eat up a lot of our emotional time.

But have we given up on feminism because we take motherhood too seriously? I haven't. But I am willing to ask the question. Not the way the media frames it and not the way Badinter frames it. I think it is a good idea to think about the expanded role of motherhood in many women's lives and what the costs have been, as well as the benefits.

Because breastfeeding does tie you down and taking a year off may set back your career and having a baby lie between you and your partner can hurt your sex life. But it is up to each individual woman to decide what those things are worth to her. (That said, it's a lot better to breastfeed and have a baby in Canada. In the U.S., women are often forced into making decisions they aren't ready for weeks after giving birth.)

Connected motherhood, whether it is full-time or co-exists with a full-time career is not an oxymoron. It's not feminism vs motherhood, just as Jessica Winter a writer from Time said on Twitter:

Motherhood vs. Feminism" is an NYT debate. Next up: "Fatherhood vs. Sports," "Childhood vs. School," "Coats vs. Shoes" and "Cats vs. Dogs.

Annie from PhDinParenting pointed out that fathers are completely missing from this discussion. Supportive and engaged fathers are an important part of this conversation because, as Annie writes:

If we do not talk more openly and frequently about the role that fathers can, should, and often want to play in parenting, then we will not see the societal shifts that are needed to migrate away from the conflict that women feel between their careers and their families.

I think the emphasis on perfection in parenting is ultimately hurting women and children (and the men too). But that isn't to say that I totally disagree with Badinter either. To me it's like the issue of canning and preserving.

As many of you know, I like to cook and I make many of my kids homemade snacks. And every year I think I should make my own jams and tomato sauce. But that would take hours, increase my stress, and create a whole mess and isn't really a good use of my time, when I can buy all those products on my street corner.

Then I start wondering if the whole preserving trend isn't some sexist campaign to keep women in the kitchen longer. And then I come to terms with the fact that I'm just not a radical housemaker but some people enjoy it. I still respect the canners and will gratefully accept their jars wrapped in twine.

I get that breastfeeding and the whole attachment thing isn't for Badinter (maybe because of her ties to Nestle?). But that doesn't mean just because I did it, I'm an unthinking Stepford wife that has forgotten my women's studies courses.

I would like to thank Badinter for bringing up this debate because it forces me to ask these questions of myself and motherhood in general which makes me a better mother. And reminds me not to even buy any preserving jars this year.

Sorry for the long post! What do you think? Does Badinter have a point? Have women given up too much to be "perfect" mothers?

Want more chaos? Last year, I listened to the Kindie music scene.

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Reader Comments (55)

When woman started working full time jobs and having careers equal to that of their husband's, the cost of living skyrocketed for everyone, even those families where the wife didn't want to go to work full time. Families used to do just fine living on a single income. A man with a mediocre job could pay the mortgage, own a car, take his family on vacation once a year, and pay all the bills. Today, a man with a mediocre job struggles to provide for his family of four unless the wife also has a full time job.

There's so many extra costs associated with having two incomes. You usually need to pay to have adequate daycare, you usually need to pay to have two vehicles, and if your partner become unemployed, or becomes sick or injured and cannot work for an extended period of time, the entire two income structure falls apart and suddenly there's not enough money to pay all the bills. A middle income family becomes a low income family overnight and usually huge debts amass because of this.
May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChelsea Ribbon
Women have an essential role to play, without which civilization would end.

Anyone who devalues women's essential role in society and reduces them to a generic "person" whose value comes only from their ability to serve an employer is attacking all women, and indeed, all mankind.

Elisabeth Badinter hates women. Not the things women do. She hates what they ARE. And she is vicious about it.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIan
Quote: ""natural" motherhood including... a closeness between mother and child has undermined the gains women have made in the workplace and is a new "tyranny" to women."

Quote: "I would like to thank Badinter for bringing up this debate because it forces me to ask these questions of myself and motherhood in general which makes me a better mother."

OH-MY-God you are brainwashed! If you can slap a feminist label on it then it must be good, eh? - no matter what the message is... It doesn't matter how anti-human it is... Holy Sh!t your brainwashing is irreversable!

Please tell me how migrating away from a "closeness between mother and child" can ever make you "a better mother"?

You are a tool of the Eugenicists. We are doomed.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClear and Focused
Chelsea, I think you brought up many valid points.

Also, each woman is different and to say ALL women should work or ALL women should stay home is false. If women had the choice, whould they still go out in the workforce or stay at home?In our economy many women have no choice to work (not as a career, but as a job), in other societies, women have no choice to stay home and take care of the many children. Both cases are burdensom to women because they don't give the women any choice.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJess
Hi Emma,

My name is Anneliese and I'm a Marketing Associate at Simon & Schuster Canada. We maintain a database of bloggers in every category imaginable and I would love to add your blog to our database.

We send our bloggers advance reading copies and finished copies of books that match their interests to review on their blogs.

If this is of interest to you, please email me at the email address below.

All best,Anneliese
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnneliese Grosfeld
Your post makes no sence. What you are saying then, is that a woman has no say over her own body. Is that what you are saying?

I quote you: "...in other societies, women have no choice to stay home and take care of the many children. Both cases are burdensom to women because they don't give the women any choice."

Umm, woman have a choice to have children, or to not have children. You have the choice to hang an "open" sign between your legs, or to keep them closed. Before the women's movement you had the chance to have both a family and then an education/career if you wanted it, or vice versa. Now you are forced into a job, wheather you have kids or not because one income doesn't cut it anymore. You got what you asked for, what are you crying about?

What is with the feeling of entitlement that women have these days... Oh, right, that came from feminism (ie: eugenics movement and Malthusianism)

Thanks feminism.

May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClear and Focused
Are you implying that the cost of living rose because women strated to work out of the house? Because if this is the link you are making, the causal relation between high cost of living and women on the workforce, I think you need to attend social history and economics classes. My God! I never thought I would hear again that old song of women being the cause of all bad things in this world.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSylvie
I have been a working mother ever since I had children and have only recently (thanks to my hubby's great opportunity at work) have had the chance to become a stay-at-home mom. We have four children and with some hard work and careful juggling, we managed our work schedules so that the kids were only in daycare two days per week and with either my husband or myself for the other five days - this was with both of us working full time! I don't think that it is a choice between being a mom or having a career, because trust me, some days being a full time mom is more work than I ever did in a 40+ hour work week! But I would not trade it for the world! Nothing can replace the feeling of spending the day with my little ones, planning fun activities, spending time with them and then still having time left in the evening to spend with my husband. After three years of my husband and I working opposite shifts and never having a day off together, this is wonderful. I don't mind if some people think that it has set women back to the fifties and that I am dependent on my husband now. To us, it is a great arrangement and works for all six of us and that is all that matters.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermom of four darlings
We see celebrities with "baby bumps" as opposed to being pregnant and we are making it a fashion statement rather than seeing it as bringing a new life into the world. Most people know that celebrities/movie stars having a big arsenal of help vis a vis nannies, personal assistants,etc. that make the " mommy" role glamorous and exciting. However, the average mom is faced with staying up most of the night, trying to take care of the baby and juggling the bills, the meals, the diapers,etc. that make the reality of the job not as likeable. I am not pooh poohing(pardon the pun) that motherhood has its rewards, but, it still is a down and dirty job for us who really have to take care of kids.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteredorst6@hotmail.com
Actually, I think you are naive, Silvie. In fact, I know you are.

Chelsea Ribbon is exactly correct.

Read Elizabeth Warren's book "The Two Income Trap".

You know Elizabeth Warren, don't you? A famous feminist lawyer who used to work for the President of the U.S.A. She literally wrote the book on this subject.

If reading is a chore for you than you can watch a lecture by her on this very subject. It's on youtube. Search: the coming collapse of the middle class


Also, if you think that they actually teach anything true about social history or economics in any classes, be it in high-school or university, then you really are delusional and don't truly understand the meaning of a socialist education in a "social democratic" country like we have.

My God! We are doomed because you are mesmerized by propaganda.

May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClear and Focused
then dont have kids. Enough Said. Stop bitching, and self-hating.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClear and Focused
As a woman and a mother I am very proud to be able to have the choice to stay in the home or go out into the workforce. Women never had the choice to do that 60-70 years ago. I think that's what makes women these days more comfortable with staying home and raising the kids. It's cost effective indeed, but the fact that the woman HAS the choice to do this without feeling trapped by sexism is what makes staying home more rewarding!
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCrys Mc
After 30 years I got out of the service I went to university it was a most interesting experience. In psychology the professor pulled a neat little experiment on the class on the overhead projector he put up a playboy centerfold and of course the reaction from all the young males in the class was as expected. Once they settled down he then asked the class how he could get a similar reaction from the females. He put up a male pinup there was a reaction no were near the male reaction but some. He stated not quite the same. About a month later he put up a picture of a baby and the female reaction was more than the male reaction to the playboy picture. Just an observation.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn C.
See? This is what happens when this debate rears its ugly head - its all about what is "right" for women, and what blame can be placed on them. And you must all be American, right?!

The most important thing is choice - do women want to breastfeed, stay home, preserve, run bare breasted through the streets (I can, legally, in my province) or not. THATS what the feminist movement is about. IT IS A CHOICE to stay home and raise children, or to work outside the home - but as with every choice, there are consequences, and depending on your priorities, you have to consider those consequences. Stay at homes may have to accept a lower standard of living, and work outside of homes may have to accept reduced time with their children. It really is as simple as that. And then each one learns to cope and adapt and form the lifestyle that gives her as much satisfaction as she can find.

I think the emotional bond between a mother and child is far more important than whether the child was breastfed, or ate preserved fruit. I think a happy mother is a better mother, so a woman has to follow her happiness and do what she feels sustains her. Just respect the CHOICE.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCross2bear
I think there is too much pressure on moms from all directions. Pressure to breastfeed, pressure to make sure our kids have everything they need and more(even when they don't actually need it), pressure to work, pressure to have their kids in extracurricular activities, pressure to have a clean home and cook healthy food. All of this combined places more stress on moms than any one person should need to carry.The reality is breastfeeding is for some people, who don't mind making whatever sacrifices for them. Breastfeeding is not for other women (for physical, emotional, or lifestyle reasons). Staying at home with your children is also for some people and not for others. Some moms want to stay at home and do really well in that situation. Other mom's cannot stay at home (because they can't or because they choose not to because they feel they can be better moms that way). And that is okay.We are all entitled to make our own choices and do what we feel is best for ourselves and our children. What we need to do is stop judging each other and do what is best for our situation, and stop trying to be perfect because all that will achieve is make us as mothers miserable and and create a generation of children who feel the need to be perfect as well. Whether you breastfeed or not, work or not, or whatever you do, your kids will be okay as long as they know you love them and are doing your best, and your best is not perfection.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNot perfect
I believe if a woman wants to stay at home and tend to her family that we should not bash her for "giving into sexism". In the same respect, if a woman wants to have a full time job and be a working mother, by all means go for it! People should be more worried on how woman are forced to live a certain way through society rather than what she CHOOSES and ENJOYS doing.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbby
Wow. Clear and Focused is plain ol' rude. She (he?) obviously doesn't appreciate that everyone has the right to an opinion. You don't need to tear people down, swear and name call simply because you disagree.Individuals with true grace and conviction can get their point across without condescending remarks.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
Not when it comes to feminism - aka: anti-humanism, or sub-humanism.

It is time this charade ended.

Women should be happy that they are the fairer sex. They shouldn't be misled by feminists into being self-haters and minions. What does that accomplish?

It accomplishes a destruction of the family unit - the last line of defence against a socialist government.

To bad you only notice the cover story... your opinion means little when it is based on ignorance.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterClear and Focused
Clear and Focused - There are many cultures where women have no say over their own bodies. Many countries where "feminisim" hasn't yet touched, where men and religion make the rules, where birth control is considered a sin, and women are not allowed to "keep their legs closed" if the husband declares it time for sex.

Jess - As far as people saying one income doesn't cut it in our ecomomy. You're right one income doesn't if you allow the media to dictate your wants and needs. My husband has a barely over minimum wage full time job and I have a good paying part time job. I have the education for a good paying full time job, but I made the decision to spend part of my time at home being a wife, mommy, housekeeper, cook, grocery shopper, etc....yes we have had to make sacrifices, but it was a choice we made. I'm happy feeling that I've spent enough time with my daughter and taken care of my home (please don't hang me feminists..this is a choice I made, I enjoy being a home maker). This was more imporatant to me than having 2 newer model cars, a bigger house, brand name clothes, etc. We make do and are quite happy on what most single income families make.

So here in Canada we do have a choice over number of kids, hours of work, etc...we just have to decide what is important to us, and we should be thankful for that choice and remember that there still are cultures/countries where that choice is not available.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley
Wow, "clear and focused" is clearly focused on being a rude self-righteous retard. Not sure what you have been smoking but you are so uninformed. Good luck having a career before the women's movement b*tch. The choices you speak of don't even happen today. Women do not make as much as men and ar forced into enslavement because of it. I work in a completely male-dominated world. Not sure what world you live in. Oh yeah, an angry, self-righteous, polyanna world.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJody
I didn't say I agreed or disagreed with the above story. I just wanted to convery my thought that if you want people to value your opinion maybe you should consider a different delivery method.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
All I can say about this is that we live in CANADA. This is a country where woman have a right to make their own decisions. Nobody should pressure a woman to be a stay at home mom or vice versa. It's a woman's choice. Personally, I would never be a stay at home mom. As much as I would love my children to death, I am a human being and I would go crazy if I stayed home all day. I need to work and make myself useful in other ways other then being a housewife. But that's just me. I'm sure a lot of woman will think otherwise. But that is the beauty of our country.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina
I don't see why others have any right to an opinion on how a woman chooses to live her life, as long as she's not hurting anyone. It is possible to be a successful career woman and mother. It is also possible to not work outside the home and be a fulfilled, intelligent and yes, successful woman and mother. Everyone needs to just butt out of each other's homes and focus a little more on achieving their own fulfillment and happiness. Having said that, I do tend to agree with Chelsea that as a simple economic effect of having two income families, the socio-economic structure of our society did change when women entered the workforce en masse. Yeah, we are now sorting out how that impacts on society and individual lives but we'll get there. Worse things have happened. Ultimately, male or female should be able to work at a career inside or outside the home without fear of reprisal or criticism from others. We are human and therefore, a constant work in progress.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Being on the opposite side of the situation - having an ex wife who is using breastfeeding as a tool to prevent me from being with my children, i think this article is, to put it lightly, full of BS. When our first child was born and in the first year, i was a 100% participating parent. I changed the same amount of diapers, fed my son, cleaned, cooked and took part in everything that she did, but i could not breastfeed. At 6 months, my son was completely weaned off and i was feeding him just as much as her. BUT, she refused to allow me any parental leave because she enjoyed being home and having time off work.

Second child - separated during pregnancy - long story and no, i'm not a jerk. She's claimed in court that mat leave has stopped her career - however it was HER choice to take parental leave. I was 100% willing to take it all or part of it.

Mat leave is only 17 weeks in Ontario. The remainder is Parenting leave. It is the mother's choice to take the remainder and not allow the father to spend the quality time with children at home, that PARENTAL leave is there for. It is a choice. Father's these days are sharing in the responsabilities just as much as the mother's.

I am personally experiencing the femenist movement's role at undermining the essential bond between the father and child. Men aren't holding back women from anything. It is their choice.

Warren Farrell, a man who was apart of the femenist movement in the 70's, stepped down from the whole situation when he was shocked to see the pendulum swing in the complete opposite direction. Women wanted equal rights, but didn't stop until men had none.

DaddyOfTwo(Father of two young boys, who loves them more than anything and is a 100% participating parent)
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaddyOfTwo
it's not "giving up" anything if that's what you want to do. i think people over-think everything and need to just be content with what they are doing and what they want. i stay at home with my kids because i like it, if i didn't like it i would go back to school or get a job that i like. i'm not giving up anything.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCandice Huckle
Motherhood is a beautiful thing. Yes it's hard but doesnt everything that is good take work? Also its part of the beauty of being a woman, bringing a child into the world and taking care of it. It is unfortunate that in many places woman are still treated as possesions unable to choose or live for themselves. Our society isn't perfect either though. What is so terrible about being a mother? Why isnt it a recognized job? and I believe it should be. My own mother put a lot of work into my siblings and my childhood and I respect her for it.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHonour your mother
Not only am I NOT a feminist, I do believe that feminism has set us back further than we were prior to the movement. I do also agree with you that "some" women have the feeling of entitlement" these days. But not all women. But please allow those to post their opinions without your arrogant responses. You come across as hateful of women. But again that's my opinion. The movement for me is at the far end of the spectrum, but your at the other end! You can have opinions without cutting others down and insulting and making them feel less than. You're not a nice guy????
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ
I truly believe that there is a strong majority of women that are fading simply by being wives and mothers. Maybe they are still working, maybe they are well-educated, maybe a million other amazing things. But I bet that they have sacrificed something important to maintain that mother role. Maybe they cut an unknown potential from their lives, simply by being distracted by social expectations.

I wonder how distracted wives and mothers are by their families? I wonder if compromise is even to both partners in marriages? If it were, I think we'd be seeing a lot more women who were successful outside the home, who were pioneers in all fields of academia and technology, who were incredible musicians, artists, and other dare-to-dream professions. I wonder if they would aspire to their life goals. What if they weren't constantly dragged down by the guilt that comes with mothering and the pressures to compromise themselves in a relationship?

Those were my thoughts on the issue....refreshing to read this blog post about the subject. As though it might be an actual trend and not just my own paranoid suspicion.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteraka_erica
None of you have the right to prescribe to anyone else how to live their lives. Women should not be punished whether they choose to work, have kids, or any combination in between and I am willing to go to bat for any person who finds themselves in this situation.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNell
Hi, DaddyOfTwo

Mommy of 3 here. "Women wanted equal rights, but didn't stop until men had none." Truer words were never said! So, you're single? LOL
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ
Ummm before the women'e movement which began back in the early 20th century women HAD NO CHOICE inw hat they did with their lives and couldnt vote etc. I'm not sure what exactly you meant by before the woman's movement we had a choice..really are you aure about that considering all the sexisim in hiring practices that STILL EXIST to an extent these days? It was commonplace in the mid 20th century for the husband to work and the woman to stay at home very few women were actually working full time jobs.

Thanks to the progress of feminisim we are now able to do both and be independent, and be on an EQUAL scale with our male counter parts. Such was not the case before.

No one is "forced" into a job there are lots and lots of lazt people who suck the welfare system, dry or who are content living a simple lifestyle on one income. Most women,hwoever are smart and want a high standard of living for themselves and their families hence the reason they go to work. And how dare you blame feminisim for the fact that one income cant cut it these days...blame the failing economy, and the devaluation of the US dollar but dont blame feminisim LOL you are so pathetically misinformed.

Yes thank you feminisim for evening out the playing field.

What is with the feeling of entitlement that men have had since the beginning of time? Men like you who are so against feminisim are just insecure and weak willed and feel threatened and emasculate by a stong female presence. Mysoginy at its best. Carry on...I feel sorry for the women you are with/ end up with...absoultely pathetic.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNostradamascus
It becasue fo feminisim that you have the right to vote, and can work in fields you wouldnt have been able to work in before. Its because of feminism that a man cant rule your life and beat the shit out of you the way they were allowed to back in the day (look up The Rule of Thumb) its because of feminisim that you can be whoever you want and not adhere to old fashioned stereotypes. Any women who is against the feminist movement and thinks it set us back has clearly been brainwashed by the patriarchs in her life and is displaying a certain level of hatred towards herself and her own sex.

Please explain how we would have been better off without feminisim?

And what's wrong with feeling entitled? Who is to say a woman shouldnt feel entitled? Just because she is a female who possess a vagina? Men feel entitled all the time and if they can we sure as hell can too! Women with you attitude are sickening especially in this day and age. You need to teleport back to the 19oo's where you belong.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNostradamacus
While I completely agree with you and Chelsea, I'm sure you could have found a less confrontational way to make your point to Sylvie. In regards to the point made, though I agree, I think one must exercise caution when trying to establish a cause effect relationship. While there is definitely a correlation between the event of two income families and an increase in the cost of living (and many other societal ills for that matter) there might be something else at play; an underlying cause that merits our attention more than the singularity of working mothers. To make my point, there is little use in treating an upset stomach caused by an ulcer with Pepto Bismol.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
Wow. Amazed that this kind of conversation is actually taking place. Those of you who slam feminism clearly do not have an understanding of what it is, and you would probably be the first to complain if women's rights were violated.There are different types of feminists, but I believe that most of us only want women to have rights and choices. We should be able to stay at home and raise our children or we should be able to work without anyone slamming the woman for the choices she makes.We are not just sex objects for men to use as they will, we are people with minds who have a right to decide what is right for ourselves.Becky, you are right on. Being rude and ignorant is most unladylike.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTK
Tell me, what does allowing men to rule our lives accomplish?

Anyone against femal indpendence is a woman hating mysoginist who want to keep woman under the thumb of man.

All the propaganda you adhere to is just symptomatic of your male ego thinking that women should be at home barefoot and pregnantbecause for the first time in history men like you see that you are losing your iron grip on us and that frightens you since you are too weak to deal with the strength of a modern woman.

I'll tell what really destructs the family unit...stupid people marrying for the wrong reasons, people who dont know how to control their money and end up in debt, young couples having children before they are ready and breaking up.

A woman doesnt need to stay at home all day. If she chooses to fine but she doesnt have to. It doesnt make her a better mother or a better role model. and it wont guranrtee that her family will stay together.

You're just another mysoginist pig who wants to keep women down. You're probably some righ winged Christian Fundamentalist with the way you talk since those religious institutions preach hatred and oppression of females.

Feminisim IS NOT about self hate or hating all men or rejecting your feminity. Its about being able to embrace your womanhood and still be able to be seen as more than a cook, cleaner and baby factory. Its about acknowledging that women are dynamic, intelligent, individuals who can accomplish ANYTHING while still holding down a household. All these radical feminists are just practicing misandry which is counter productive. I dont hate all men I just hate the attitudes of individual men like yourself who have no respect for women and see us as the WEAKER sex when all men like you are are weak macho men who need to constantly display their manhood or they feel emasculated. A real man strong in his man hood respects and appreciated strong women.

I also want to laugh at all the women on here so afraid to tell you to go piss in the wind. I'm not afraid of men like you I'll spit on a man that thinks he is better than me or is entitled just because he has a penis.

May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNostradamacus
In response to the original question that asks if trying to perfect mothers has replaced sexism I totally disagree. People who want to be good at their job go to university or take training seminars. People who want to be good parents read up on it and try to do their best. (Considering that it is our children who will take over the world don't we want to do a good job?) Of course we can't be perfect - that is an unrealistic expectation that would cause an insane amount of stress - but we should always strive to be BETTER at whatever we do, whether it be a stay-at-home mom, or a work-away-from-home mom. Will trying to be a better mom keep some women from furthering their careers - most likely. But thanks to the modern age that choice is completely up to them. So lets stop worrying about motherhood vs. feminism and just accept that women in our country CAN and DO make their own choices based on THEIR desires and NOT the pressure of society. To say otherwise is to say that "feminism" and equal rights have done nothing at all - which would be ridiculous.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKat
I'd like you all to take the time to read the interview with the author of this book.

SHe isnt against women or motherhood she just thinks that a woman shouldnt be defined as just a mother and lose her indentity as an individual.

She also advocates women to keep working and being finacaially indpenedant that way , in case something go es wrong with hubby you can leave right away and not feel stuck in a bad situation because you have no money.

Please read the article there is nothing inherently wrong with what she is saying.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNostradamascus
well said ashley!i havent made exactly the same choices as you, but i completely see your point and think you are right.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterM&M
How is Jess saying that women have no control over their bodies? I guess you like to read into things a bit too much. I have similar thoughts on this. I have children by choice, but have no choice but to work and spend nearly all of my earnings on child care as there is no way I can stay home and pay a mortgage, if I didn't have that little maybe 20% extra to pay it. Not that I have that state of mind that I deserve to stay home and others should pay my way, but unless my husband could earn at least $80k a year I have no choice but to work and see all of that money dwindle away on pay day. What this has to do with my body yet again you've lost me. What this says is that earnings/support available and the cost of living means that if we would prefer to stay home and raise or own children to school age we haven't got a choice. I suppose you make 6 figures.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmber
ahahahaha! "a destruction of the family unit - the last line of defence against a socialist government."

oh i get it.. you're a fear monger.

so families like mine who were healthy and happy, where both my parents worked, and then both played with us at home, did our homework with us, took family vacations with us, saw us graduate from university.. all while mom worked... my sister and I have good jobs, nice homes, we're productive contributors to society, both engaged (our fiance's moms worked just like ours did, and their families were just as well rounded and whole, we're saving for nice houses and for future children, we're very close with our parents still, we have family dinners together/outings on weekends with them. and yes... we're NDP supporters.

.. you think my mom working full time destroyed our family unit and made us world destroying socialists?? LOL! i dont think you really even know what socialism means TODAY. you probably still cling to the image of socialism or communism from pre 1960!

i dont know what type of upbringing you had, but mine included one where women could do whatever they wanted. it was their choice. my mother did it all and did it well. a woman could work, be a mommy, a loving wife, and a member of a community. any combination of those things and more. and it was ok to fight against sexism and prejudice against the "role of women". the men i grew up with were MEN. and they supported their women, just as they supported them.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterM&M
What's wrong with feeling entitled? Everything! Or nothing if you're a Narcissist. Just because you're a woman you feel you're owed?I do agree with the first 3 or 4 sentences in your reply to me. It's not because of feminism that I am how I am and wanted to be. Not at all! It's because of the values that my Mother raised me with and her mother with her. Brainwashed? NO. Hatred towards myself? Not at all. Towards my own sex? Not all...

These are my reason why I think feminism is destroying women: My opinion. Therefore no need for nasty reply like this one "Women with you attitude are sickening especially in this day and age. You need to teleport back to the 19oo's where you belong". But it is a typical reply from women like you.....

Today’s woman thinks she deserves the fruits of life just because she’s a woman, that since her gender was “oppressed” for so long it’s time to receive reparations through generous societal benefits and advantages in education at the expense of men who weren’t even alive during the supposed period of inequality. The result is a woman who is viciously entitled when it comes to receiving good grades, jobs, or relationships. When she fails at gaining these three, she does not blame herself, but both men and her feminine condition.

Feminism has taught women to “speak your mind,” a euphemism for “bitch about everything.” They can let nothing rest that they even mildly disagree with, and rather start World War III about some insignificant matter than simply biting their tongue and changing the topic. Speaking your mind is fine...bitching about everything just because you're a woman...is not!

The feminist message has been co-opted by companies that aim to sell women more crap. Of course corporations love “equality” and having women in the workforce, because they can move more products and increase their profits. Modern day feminists like Naomi Wolf and Jessica Valenti, who try so hard to empower women, get their income from media and publishing companies that are part of global corporations which also put out a never ending shit stream of dubious dieting and exercise books. The main form of empowerment for women today is for them to spend their disposable income on the goods of multinational firms. Woman are free to spend their disposable income on whatever they want. I would rather not waste what little I have on garbage that promotes feminism and hatred towards men.

Feminism has given women more money while taking away their biological need to have a family. Because a woman finds it naturally difficult to marry a man of lower means than herself, she simply remains single until death, with nothing but her cats to keep her company when she takes her last breath. Pushing for equality has created a generation of impoverished men who make unsuitable husbands. Women are making more cash, men have more limited work options, and marriage is on the decline, threatening the very fabric of society. Great job, feminism.

The majority of men have been brainwashed by the feminist message, making them the most pussified specimen the world has ever seen. The contrast this creates with the minority of alpha men remaining results in a perverse Pareto law where small amounts of men are sexually monopolizing a majority of the women. What will end up happening is that beta males will completely withdraw from the marriage market and into a world of interactive porn and video games.

And what about chivalry? Not for woman to today eh? They're much too independent to allow a man to open a door, pay for meal, etc...

Only when females feel secure enough not to play the feminism card at the drop of a hat will they be fully competent and on a par with men, and much more likely to earn respect and be acknowledged.

So, all that to say next time if you lock horns with a man, please give him a hug after the dispute. After all, deep down, he's really treating you like an equal.

Smile and have a great day!

May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ
I would like like to offer up a theory as to why/how feminism has damaged or destroyed western society. Prior to 50's to 70's depending on the country in question, having one parent(the woman) look after the children and home caused there to be a higher birth rate in said countries. Having a higher birth rate and one less person to fill up jobs in said country would mean that the unemployment rate would be lower and economic growth would continue to expand at a more steady rate over time to in response to the larger amount of people born in said countries to work the less skilled jobs that do not require university level training.

My point being in that nowadays for women to feel that they mean something in the world(from a lack of self esteem brought on by feminism) the majority generally get a 4 year bachelor degree in subjects in which there is little demand in the actual working sector, such as a "liberal" arts degree just to have a piece a paper that says they went to a university. I should point out that men do this as well but would not need to in such droves as they are if women did not take up other jobs, or classes in the universities.

People(mostly women) will wonder why men do not look after the children while the women go to work. The answer is simple, women should stay home as the caregiver since they get pregneant and cannot work in most jobs for a period of time before and after giving birth. Men can. Therefore the economy would not suffer from the vast absentness of skilled/trained women in the workplace while giving birth.

I could go on and on but frankly Ive lost interest cause you just cant argue with those who are psychologically predispositioned towards not listening to the merits of any given arguement regardless of whether they are right or wrong and refuse to believe that any way other than their way is right or wrong.

Feminism is not wrong in small doses. I fully agree that any man that beats his wife/girlfriend should be punished in some way deemed appropriate by any given society. Or that women should be allowed to vote. It is when women with any sort of forum newpaper, website column, tv show etc. spout their drivel of how women are somehow more important than men. That only leads me to believe that feminism overall was just a bad idea.

To all Feminists,

Sexism is a 2-way street...
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAaron
You sound like you are reading straight from a propaganda pamphlet on empowering women.

You state that "A woman doesnt need to stay at home all day. If she chooses to fine but she doesnt have to."

And then go on to say"Its about being able to embrace your womanhood and still be able to be seen as more than a cook, cleaner and baby factory."

Leading any sane person to believe that any woman that does not conform to your ideas as being less than a "real" woman. Even though Im sure you hoped that the previous quote would placate any woman who would like to be a mom and look after their children. Im sure you have spouted these narrowminded views to many, many people before irregardless of whether they wanted to hear it or even cared about it.

You sound like a fascist and I feel sorry for any man or woman who you happen to wrap around your little finger or for that matter anyone who doesnt share your fascist views, but as circumstance dictate are forced to share the same space with you on any regular basis.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAaron
You're awesome Jess I come from a family where my mother, Aunt and Grandmother had families university degrees and pilots licenses and were always treated as equals as it should be. I'm a guy and it was my mother who taught me how to use a chainsaw. To say that one sex is better than another is absolutely insane because it takes a man and a woman to make a child. So all you sexist males out there should shut it cuz you wouldn't even exist without your mother. Let's all just get along, Take Care.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIvan
Ummm okay, not really sure what this woman is on, but I want some...Either parent has a choice to stay with their child for the first year, as per the canadian government, and who choses to do so (man or woman) is irrelevant. More often than not it is the woman due to the maternal bond, because, well, they carry them for 9 months! It is nature. But to say that society is shifting to how it was in the 20th century is utter asinity.I could be 100 miles away and my ex could call the cops for physical abuse. There is no investigation, just me thrown into jail. Which, believe it or not happened to my friend 1 month ago. Is that fair? Is it fair that I pay my ex all this child support, pay for my child's clothes, all extra curriculars, etc, and can not claim 1 penny on taxes? No, it sure isnt. I've been trying to get OSAP for 8 years, but due to me not being able to claim child support and all other dependant specific expenses, they say my income is too high and am rejected. She tries once, and is accepted. Effin BS! I drive a POS car, and she goes to spas once a month spending hundreds of dollars. She remarried, and legally changed my child's last name without my consent, and there aint a thing I can do unless I take her to court. I cant afford to take a woman on a date, how can I pay a freakin lawyer? Is there really a wonder there are dead-beat dads when women have absolute power? A man cheats on a woman, and he pays dearly, a woman cheats on a man, and the man pays dearly.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDuke Leto
And try walking in a man's shoes for awhile...
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDuke Leto
I think everyone realizes you give some things up to become a mother. Whether we like to admit it or not, how can we do it all? And if we do do it all, there's a lot of guilt over either work or mothering that gets the short end of the stick. For myself, I'm a perfectionist and want to do everything the best of my ability. I quickly found out that working full time and being a Mom wasn't going to work for me. Sooo, I reinvented my career which is now completely from home and work for myself. I work when it suits me and be a mom the rest of the time.Do I think motherhood has set women back? No, I think there are a lot more choices out there now, and there are a lot of moms that embrace the choice to do more on our own terms. For me, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have started my own business if I wasn't a mom. I would be in a stuffy office somewhere working long days and planning my next vacation. Now, if the sun is shining my work waits and we go out and play. And I still get to plan our next vacation!!
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDi
Well said! I totally agree
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDi
My dh says (and yes, i am completely aware of the irony of me taking HIS words) that "you can do anything you want; just not everything." He applies it to farming organically (his vocation, though he has another full time job); I apply it to many of the things I do. And it is true. We (men AND women) ought not to be afraid of making choices, and Motherhood is NOT about giving up on feminism. I'd say the opposite, in fact. It certainly has not - as Aaron suggests, "damaged or destroyed western society." I have a liberal arts degree and with my husband, WE support our family and encourage them to be who they are, regardless of sex.

Also, I used to preserve. But rarely have the time. Bye bye, Jars! (Sometimes DH does it. His schedule in the fall is much better than mine).
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDenise Nielsen
I personally think that some people get way too heated up over this stuff. Nobody is to blame, feminists or "chauvanistic" men. The Women's Movement was defintitely helpful because it did give us the right to vote and gave us the assistance needed to work towards equality. However, wouldn't that mean that women have the right to choose if they want to work or stay at home with their family? Women today are made to feel a little bit less for wanting to be a stay-at-home mom because the women's movement made it possible for us to work. The key word there is possible, not necessary. If I choose to stay at home, that's my choice, not some feminists or my husbands or anybody else's. If I choose to work, again that's my choice. Equality is about treating everybody equal, not blaming one sex for something or feeling entitled to everything because a long time ago your sex didn't get everything.Wake up people, treat everybody the same, and let people make their own damn choices. Stop trying to parent according to what's popular and just be a good parent. Love your children, teach them values and morals, and help them grow up into compassionate, caring adults. Who cares how you swaddle your kid or whether you burp them the same way, breast-feed or bottle-feed, or even what kind of music you have them listen to. Be a loving, attentive parent with firm values and good morals, and you really can't go wrong.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterColette

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