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The Ambivalent Pregnancy May 28, 2011

Posted by FCM in gender roles, health, PIV, politics, radical concepts.
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i have written many times about “unwanted” pregnancy versus “wanted” ones, and in fact this is the way the issue is always framed when discussing pregnancy isnt it?  as if there is no in-between ground, where women are impregnated and carry the fetus to term, and “welcome” a “growing family” or whatever, but they dont necessarily actively desire the pregnancy, or another pregnancy.  but in actuality, the ambivalent pregnancy is very common, and women self-report this experience all the time, if you ask them.  “not trying but not protecting” is the way its been described to me, for example.

translation: we are having unprotected unmitigated PIV-centric sex, and i probably wouldnt have an abortion if i got knocked up.

but this is not the same thing as “wanting” to become pregnant is it?  and even if the woman would not classify herself as having incurred an unwanted pregnancy if she became impregnated this way, there are those who would say it was wanted, as if she had been wishing upon the stars and praying to god to bring her a desperately-wanted child.  but this isnt the case is it?  in fact, the “desperate longing” imagery we are faced with in pregnancy-related discourse probably only applies in a minority of situations, where a couple is experiencing fertility problems.  everyone else can become pregnant pretty easily cant they?  this is the default for all species, so far as i know: not to be sterile.

so while we have men and transwomen who cannot tell the fucking difference between a wanted pregnancy and an unwanted one because they dont care (women as “natural mothers” on the one hand, and oh how i wish i could have teh baybees!  those women are so privileged! on the other.  ie. all pregnancies are wanted, because men imagine that we want them, or they themselves desire “wanted pregnancies” which is extremely redundant, since women desire wanted-pregnancies too…desire being what makes them wanted.  DUH!) we also have a problem of framing the pregnancy-issue to specifically exclude the untold millions (billions?) of pregnancies occurring over time and place, where the woman would have been just as happy without becoming pregnant, but she was subjected to PIV-centric sexuality anyway and her number came up.  what about those women?

their pregnancies are just as dangerous as all pregnancies are…ambivalent, wanted and unwanted pregnancies can all kill you.  all pregnancies put women at serious risk for a number of complications, and women who desperately long for wanted babies are known to do crazy things, completely disregarding their own health and lives, and the wellbeing of their existing children too, to carry one (or one more) fetus to term.  but ambivalent pregnancies are “crazy” too, arent they?  to literally risk your life, for something you dont really care about, one way or the other, or about which you are conflicted or cannot decide?  who does that?

indeed, who does do that, and why, are questions that need asking.  its time to change the frame of pregnancy-related discourse to include the experience of the ambivalent mother.  this desperately-longing versus desperately-dreading trope is kinda all played out.*

*especially the desperately-longing part!

Comments

1. KatieS - May 28, 2011

This is brilliant, FCM! Absolutely! My first child was an “unplanned” pregnancy. We were engaged, but not married, so I got an “ambivalent marriage” with the unplanned pregnancy. I didn’t “feel” that the pregnancy was unwanted, though, more about that in a minute.

My second child was something my husband (ex) nagged and nagged me about. I was reluctant. Quite reluctant because back then men didn’t even change a diaper, much less “babysit.” HE could have a family. Oh, yes! Helped his career! (Yay for him, not!) Kept him out of the military during Vietnam (first child did that).

But I’ve always thought about this second as a “planned” pregnancy since I reluctantly agreed, and thus a wanted pregnancy. Until I read your post, I’d forgotten all this. Definitely an “ambivalent” pregnancy.

I was actually happy to be pregnant the first time, I mean like ecstatic. So, in that sense, it felt like a “wanted” pregnancy. It was totally the hormones making me happy, like the opposite of PMS. The second time the hormones made me sicker. I think this is just biology, being happy or feeling crummy is not the issue. At all. The take-home message is that hormones are powerful. No matter how I felt in my “feelings”, both pregnancies were ambivalent. How could they not be, living in patriarchy?

I do love both my children. A lot. But because I love them, it has been excruciating to raise them in patriarchy. How could it not be?

FCM - May 28, 2011

thanks katie. its such an extortion too, that once you have children and you “love them” that you cant really admit that they were ambivalent, or even that they might have been “unwanted” if that was the case? i find that this happens alot: once anyone starts talking about this, the mothers always, always say “i love my children” as if that means something…besides that they love them. and i am sure they do. so what? its like a preemptive censoring/silencing tactic, to assume that any criticism of motherhood or ambivalent pregnancies or unwanted pregnancy or mandatory PIV is an accusation that mothers dont love thier kids.

if anyone doesnt love thier kids, its fathers, anyway, and they demonstrate this daily by thier hateful behavior, and refusal to ACT in a loving way. love is a verb too, not just a fucking abstract feeling…which mothers know all too well.

2. yttik - May 29, 2011

Well done, FCM.

It’s taken me quite a while to realize that all pregnancies are deliberately caused by men. They are all premeditated. There really are no accidents. There is not a man on this planet, no matter how young or how stupid, that is not aware of what his penis does. This is simple biology, men are fertile 24/7 and putting a p in a v is what causes a pregnancy. Men may have a million excuses and try to rationalize this reality away, but it doesn’t change the facts, every pregnancy is a deliberate act, even if it’s on an unconscious level. If some part of you was not trying to cause a pregnancy, you wouldn’t have put the unprotected p in the v.

The same is simply not true for women. We don’t walk around with the responsibility of having a tool that causes a pregnancy in others. Instead we are forced to be in a constant state of self defense, even though we’re only fertile a few days a month. We don’t share the same biological responsibility as men, and because we live in a rape culture, and a culture that teaches us our only value as women is either as a sexual commodity or a mother, we don’t have full and authentic choice. I’d guesstimate that about 2/3 of pregnancies would not occur if women truly had real choice, knew what was involved, had the time and the awareness to ponder and plan whether or not they wanted to take it on. And if men had any respect for women’s bodies, there would be no need for birth control, no need for abortion, because they would take full responsibility for their biology and it’s impact on others. If I myself had a condition that caused something as minor as a root canal when I stuck my unprotected finger in somebody’s ear, I’d make sure I never did. It’s really not a radical idea, it’s basic human decency.

FCM - May 29, 2011

yes to everything you said here yttik, and furthermore, i wouldnt even make the distinction between “protected” and unprotected. no contraception is 100% effective, and if there was even the slightest chance of me transmitting something to someone that could KILL them by sticking my whatever in their whatever, i wouldnt do it. i dont think many women would: this was kind of a defining moment on the “intercourse series” as i recall, where i turned all the harms around and asked people to imagine if all the risk was on the men: would the women still do it? i wouldnt, and i dont think many women would. because we know what its like to actually love other people, without harming them, ever, and in fact our entire lives are often built on building other people up and making them more healthy, nursing them back to health when they take ill, and reducing harm.

3. SheilaG - May 29, 2011

A friend of mine said that she didn’t really want to have children ever, but then ended up raising a child. I was confused by this. And it caused endless hardship for the woman especially economic.
The husband was abusive as all hell, so vile that the girl, when she grew up, refused to have his last name as her last name. And things were so horrific that the mother only alludes to it all.
I’m always clear with het women that I don’t like children, and see no reason that women would choose to have the path to poverty. It takes them back a bit. I also make it clear my violent hatred of teenage boys, so those are out of my life as well. But the ambivalence is evident for more women than you could ever imagine. Being someone who thinks heterosexuality in women is a sign of insanity in patrirachy, the whole thing is a sad commentary on women’s servitude to PIV.

4. KatieS - May 29, 2011

I wanted to expand on the thought about why a woman who loved children would want to bring a child into a misogynist culture. This is the first time I ever had that thought. My heartbreak was about bringing children into a misogynist world. It is not a good decision. Women are always being sold this thing about loving children so they should have them.

If everyone was starving around you, would you bring a child into the world only to see it starve and die? Love? If someone was living in a war zone with no chance of getting out, but having to raise the child in a horrible place where there were missiles falling all around and everyone was terrorized, or someone was born into slavery sure that their child would become a slave. Love? Women do this all the time. If a person loved children, why would they do that? Many women have no choice since even in these conditions men continue to rape and impregnate. It is the men who hate children who do this.

If men loved children they could stand up and fight misogyny for their children. You know, to make the world safer and saner for their children. I don’t see this happening. Given this, I think that at some level all women are ambivalent. In patriarchy there is no such thing as a good home or a safe place.

I also think that women should not be assumed to somehow naturally like children when they do not, like you, Sheila. Why should a woman have to pretend? Why should other women feel offended if a woman doesn’t like children and doesn’t want to talk about other women’s children. Why assume that women have to be obsessed with children once they have them. It’s crazy, really. I don’t see men being hampered in their social relationships with other men who are fathers because they don’t like children. No, it is usually assumed that men don’t like having children around when they get together. So, it is never an issue.

5. FCM - May 29, 2011

whats striking to me at the moment is that if you take all unwanted and all ambivalent pregnancies and add them together, the picture drastically changes from what we normally envision, when we talk about it in terms of wanted vs unwanted. the numbers shift drastically to one side, where the VAST majority of pregnancies are VASTLY unfair to women, who are risking their lives and health for something that they either desperately dont want, or are ambivalent about. IN REALITY, its only the tiny minority of women who risk their lives in pregnancy for something they desperately want. everyone else appears to be playing russian roulette OR just flat-out being shot in the head, by men, due to PIV-centric sex.

6. KatieS - May 29, 2011

Yttik, your point about men deliberately causing pregnancies is so right on.

7. KatieS - May 29, 2011

FCM, my question then is, if someone wants something desperately, is this really a sound choice? Is that desperation in order to fill some unmet need? It sounds ridiculous in this culture to say that no women want children. However, I cannot see how it is a good choice given the patriarchy. It is not a good choice for any woman. So, I do believe that, every woman, at a deep level knows this. But there are so many confusing messages about PIV women don’t know this. They are, perhaps, confused by the foreground.

If we lived in a decent culture, I mean a really good, healthy, sane culture for women and children, I might be willing to take that risk and not have it be ambivalent. That would be a world without patriarchy and also without class, race, etc. divisions, one that was in some kind of balance with the natural world, etc. But the hard fact is that we don’t, so how could that ever be a loving or rational choice?

8. KatieS - May 29, 2011

I meant, “women don’t know this consciously” near the end of the first paragraph.

FCM - May 29, 2011

Katie, I agree that the desperation for children doesn’t occur in a vaccuum. Clearly not. But even if we accept that some women feel that way (as reality, completely separate of whether its authentic, because it can’t be) about their pregnancies, we aren’t talking about an even split between desperately wanted, and not-desperately wanted. Not-desperately wanted includes desperately unwanted, as well as ambivalent, and those are probably the majority, and the vast majority at that.

9. KatieS - May 29, 2011

Yes, I think it’s a great point, and an image I never had before. Seeing this vast majority certainly paints a different picture. Thanks for that.

10. 1rudegirl - May 29, 2011

FCM, the article you linked was amazing. But I balked at this:
‘The placenta, it turns out, wasn’t attached to any organs after all. It was attached to the outside of the uterus.’
The uterus IS an organ. FFS.

11. cherryblossomlife - May 29, 2011

yes, I’ve only realized fairly recently from reading these blogs that all pregnancies are deliberate (on the part of the men). They *know* what their dick inside a vagina does.

But they very often just “happen” to women don’t they. And this is an outrage. An OUTRAGE.

My children were planned and wanted (leaving all psychological analyses aside for a mo). I conceived easily, within the first month of trying… but looking back on my life I could just as easily have had an ambivalent pregnancy.

There is *zero* chance of that ever happening to me now because of the way I now choose to live as a radfem.

THe other thing that always hits me in the face every day is how difficult it is to raise children in a patriarchy. I look at my kids and wonder how mothers who gave birth ambivalently, or against their will, manage with the day to day. Your life as you know it slides out of view, your opportunities disappear, your body is never the same etc… To go through that without actively deciding to…must be very hard to say the least

12. cherryblossomlife - May 29, 2011

I suppose I mean to say that although my kids were 100% planned I still don’t find motherhood fulfilling or full of ecstasy… so how do women who *didn’t* actively try to conceive manage with the daily grind?

FCM - May 29, 2011

Omg rudegirl. Excellent catch, I didn’t even notice that! Sheesh.

FCM - May 29, 2011

cherry, i often think about the things you are talking about: how do women cope with thier lives and the reality of childrearing, when its something they either didnt want or didnt care about enough to consciously decide to do it? the answer, i guess, is that they cope the best they can. its a fucking miracle we arent finding abandonded children wandering in the streets, thousands of them, daily. women step up to the plate. and men never do, even for children they allegedly “wanted” or wanted-children that were born within a marriage that later failed. then, you see what men think of even wanted-children: children born within a relationship guarantee him access to the womans cunt. once that access is gone, the men no longer care about their own children. like magic, it is. it clearly doesnt mean the same to them, as it does to us.

13. SheilaG - May 29, 2011

I think you are all wondering why men abandon children, while women step up to care for them. The answer is not as mysterious as you may think.
The more I observe what it is men do in the world, the more I begin to believe that on the evolutionary scale they simply haven’t advanced much beyond the average male from the year 800 C.E., so you are assuming an advanced human development that simply hasn’t occured.

14. SheilaG - May 29, 2011

A group of people this violent, vile and rape promoting… a group that rapes its own children or molests the children of relatives, a group that willfully creates and uses weapons of mass destruction, and it pushing the very earth to death and extinction… that male entity really has used up its evolutionary value. Mary Daly believed men would eventually disappear from the earth, the way of the dinosaurs perhaps. Women need to really wake up and stop having children and PIV… and I just don’t see this kind of courage happening on a massive scale anywhere yet.

15. yttik - May 29, 2011

“Women need to really wake up and stop having children and PIV…”

Well they are and they have been, all over the world. When women are somewhat protected from sexual assault and have access to BC and also some economic choices, they naturally chose to have less or no children. A few decades ago there was this misogynistic bunch of zero population dudes that believed the government (men) needed to have more control over reproduction (women) because there were too many people on the planet and it was all women’s fault. They were all about regulating and punishing women, for a problem that they themselves had caused. We tried to tell them, just stop impregnating women, give women more options and control and the problem will be solved. Here it is two decades later, and indeed, birth rates nearly all over the world have declined dramatically. Italy was recently whining because they now have one of the lowest birth rates in the world as more and more women choose some economic freedom over the unpaid labor of raising children.

16. cherryblossomlife - May 30, 2011

Sheila here’s a video about Japan’s panick over the fact that Japanese women are refusing to have children, and have been for some time

And the women do *do* accidentally have children are so ambivalent (coupled with the fact that women’s standard of living falls even further with a child in tow) that the government has had to put “Baby Post Boxes” for babies at the local city halls for women who would otherwize abandon their babies in coin lockers (there was a spate of women abandoning babies in coin lockers during the end of the 90’s:

coin locker babies!http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213494001087

17. KatieS - May 30, 2011

yttik, now they are trying to limit birth control, not just abortion, because of the declines in population. For one thing, you can’t have as much “power” or “economic growth” without population growth. But then, who wants an economic growth that is destroying the planet? SheilaG, I think it is those unevolved humans, that’s who. That’s the patriarchal model of population growth. The story in the old testament traces it back pretty far with all the “begats” and then needing to move to “uninhabited” lands. Uninhabited=pushing indigenous peoples off their lands, some of whom might have had non-misogynist cultures.

All those “begats” I imagine were ambivalent, and not caused by the women, either.

18. Feminist at Sea - May 30, 2011

It’s the same thing with marriage. Less women want to get married, because they no longer need it for survival. Patriarchy responds: “Oh, dear! It will be a crisis!”

Also the Japanese aren’t having babies? I think they mean the women of Japan aren’t having babies. Since when do men get pregnant and give birth? I wonder if they even would if they could.

Also increasing immigration would be far easier than creating a new race of mechanical people.

19. Feuerwerferin - May 30, 2011

“Since when do men get pregnant and give birth? I wonder if they even would if they could.”

A German sociologist and psychologist said that men really do have envy of everything that a female body normaly can – even though this is a socially created phenomenon. Men build up their sense of superiority on the assumption that they can achieve everything that a female body can achieve AND be better at it than women. In many cultures the phenomenon of men stealing female features is the rise of patriarchy / the beginning of the oppression of women. But women are not allowed to have male features. This dynamic may be found to some extent in the West, too. “Men can do it all and better.” Androgynous men are than percieved as superiour to normal men – powerful as hell. They think that they are stronger then females via holocaust etc. For them desctruction is superior to giving bith. They have a perverted understanding of superiority. Even though women make life men can always annihilate it… So they “think”.
Some men would ergo want to get “pregnant” for the sake of it. There are even films about men who do. But I don’t think they will care for their poor children if they could have them because their socialisation would still be that of selfish dickwads – unless patriarchy is abolished. For them to be proud of themselves is … breath taking.

Also, thanks for this post FCM🙂

20. Undercover Punk - May 30, 2011

This post is AWESOME, FCM!!! Ambivalent pregnancy, indeed. Remember the pro-choice slogan “EVERY CHILD A WANTED CHILD”? My mother had that bumper sticker and that t-shirt. ANTI-choice assholes would approach her to support this sentiment without understanding what it meant. They did not comprehend the idea that allowing unwanted children to come into the world is an unspeakable crime.

how do women cope with thier lives and the reality of childrearing, when its something they either didnt want or didnt care about enough to consciously decide to do it? the answer, i guess, is that they cope the best they can. its a fucking miracle we arent finding abandonded children wandering in the streets, thousands of them, daily. women step up to the plate.

Women AMAZE me. Women’s grace and strength in managing all of the world’s children, throughout time, is something men refuse to understand. I consider it a testament to the redeeming qualities of “feminine-assigned” characteristics.

Further, MOST of the world’s population has been propagated through “spousal rape” and other forms of coerced and pleasureless-PIV. And by pleasureless, I mean as experienced by women, OF COURSE. What does this mean about our social structure? About the way we live? It’s disgusting.

I agree that impregnation is *always* a premeditated act. Everyone knows what happens and how babies are made. DUH. Men don’t CARE.

21. SheilaG - May 30, 2011

Thanks for the video link on Japan; it was fascinating! And it is a vision of what women do when they actually have a choice… well paid jobs, etc., and they choose not to get married. That about says it all.

22. KatieS - May 30, 2011

I’ve been looking at some of Malvina Reynold’s music from the album “Virgo Rising” from the 1970’s. “No Room” is one she wrote about women’s right to control their bodies. I thought you all might like it. Here’s the final verse:

“No room! No room! No room!
Holy is the foetus.
But babies once born are simply human,
And if they die in the streets of Calcutta,
No one will notice but their ma,
And ain’t that just like a woman.”

http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/MALVINA/mr121.htm

I agree, UP, it is so amazing that women have had such strength and grace in managing all the world’s children despite the fact that most pregnancies are coerced and pleasureless PIV.

FCM - May 30, 2011

thanks UP! and now i will quote you:

MOST of the world’s population has been propagated through “spousal rape” and other forms of coerced and pleasureless-PIV. And by pleasureless, I mean as experienced by women, OF COURSE. What does this mean about our social structure? About the way we live? It’s disgusting.

indeed. it *is* disgusting. when i was reading right wing women, it hit me for the first time that in THIS country, not so long ago, and at the SAME TIME, spousal rape was legal, but abortion wasnt. at the same time! that means that men WERE raping their wives WITH IMPUNITY, and the women HAD to carry the fetus to term (if they wanted to be lawful citizens, that is). i cant believe it never registered before, the way these things worked together, and how many children were indeed conceived this way, and women were raising often multiple children that were conceived this way. its horrifying!

23. Undercover Punk - May 31, 2011

YES, FCM. Compulsory spousal PIV compulsory child bearing was LEGAL until Roe in 1973 (America, obvi). In fact, spousal rape was not a recognized crime in the state of New York when I was born to my married parents in 1978. It’s fucking horrifying. Women are supposed to forget all of this context and recent history. We are in a New Age of Female Empowerment via sexual exhibitionism, donchya know?

24. cherryblossomlife - May 31, 2011

Oh in the UK men never raped their wives at all.
Not until *1992* when spousal rape was finally made illegal

w
t
f

25. Feuerwerferin - May 31, 2011

All the “hysteria” women suffered from was caused by rape, beating and unwanted pregnancies. Men committed those things (and still do) AND made fun of victims for being hyterical. History might be filled with traumatized women and those who repressed traumata. Men are beyond words…

26. SheilaG - May 31, 2011

Spousal rape, abortion not legal— all at the same time! Just the fact that women finally forced the male authorities to make spousal rape illegal in the first place, speaks to its utter commonality.

I’d never put these two legal statuses together UP, but they do indeed match like identical twins of evil. If the evil men do to women behind closed doors in “family” relationships ever gets fully exposed, the horror show would shock the world. I think we are getting to the male criminal toxic waste tipping point of late, and keep hoping that women are going to finally wake up. The amount of denial het women living with men must live in is scary beyond belief. They are willingly living in this hell, hiding what’s going on to themselves and the world.

27. SheilaG - May 31, 2011

P.S. It’s what makes talking to women married to men or living with men so painful. The horror! It’s what drives me absolutely nuts about het reality out of control worldwide, with no country free of it, or no country outlawing it.

28. yttik - May 31, 2011

In my state spousal rape was finally made illegal in 1980, but only for first and second degree rape which must involve a weapon or such physical harm that a victim believed death was likely. Third degree rape is still quite legal if you are married to the victim. Third degree rape involves a situation “where the victim did not consent to sexual intercourse with the perpetrator and such lack of consent was clearly expressed by the victim’s word or conduct.” So basically if you don’t use a deadly weapon or violently assault your wife, marital rape is still quite legal.

The other issue is the incredible lack of prosecutions. Something can be illegal, but it’s kind of pointless if nobody is ever charged. Actually it’s worse than that, I’ve seen women themselves charged with false reporting or charged with domestic violence when they did try to fight back against marital rape.

The Guardian actually did a fairly good job telling one woman’s story this year.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/nov/26/accused-husband-rape-jail

My point being, yeah, ambivalent pregnancies indeed. Gah.

FCM - June 1, 2011

sheila, just making sure you saw my latest about liverlips and his slutwalk:

http://radicalhub.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/steering-the-sluts/

29. SheilaG - June 1, 2011

Thanks FCM… I saw the article. We need good warnings about these people on the Internet. Short comment tonight… I have to go feed a liver sandwich to my dog…

30. maggie - June 1, 2011

Wow, this is a mindblowing post. Men hate women. Let’s get that straight. There are a few good men out there who get it, but they are the exception that proves the rule. The deflection men will argue (and funfems who love men, who are in cahoots with right wing women) is that in my writing this I’m a man hater. Not so.

Is there not a link betweeen the fact that abortion was introduced to the UK in 1968 but rape in marriage not until 1992? I think there is.

I mention right wing women, because that book by the glorious and wonderful Andrea is one of my all time favourites. You all rock!

31. Noanodyne - June 1, 2011

Great post — such an important distinction to make and so taboo to even bring this up, which makes it that much more important that we discuss it!!!

where the woman would have been just as happy without becoming pregnant, but she was subjected to PIV-centric sexuality anyway and her number came up. what about those women?

Society doesn’t want to think about those women, because if we do, we’re also going to have to think about all those ambivalent mothers. And that flies in the face of all those happy horseshit myths about the perfect mother and her perfect mother love. Society wants desperately to keep believing those myths because it needs all the onus to be on mothers to do all the child rearing (and how handy to have someone to blame, too!!!) and weaving some tale of magic is the cookie to get them to keep doing it (or at least believing that it makes any damn sense). Collectively, we don’t even like children. In a patriarchal society, children are a pain in the ass unless they can be bent and twisted to do the bidding of adults. If we loved children as we believe we do, their lives would be substantially different than they are.

A tiny percentage of humans are qualified to raise children and do so without causing lasting damage. The rest are roped into it because society demands it. “Ambivalent” seems too puny a word to describe the horror of that.

32. SheilaG - June 2, 2011

We have the mythology of the happy Mom, the mythology of the happy soldier buried with full military honors… we have all kinds of myths.

And we have a patriarchal machine that needs new canon fodder, new slaves, new sex toys, and so in order to con women into manufacturing these children, the PIV / happy mother machine has to be fully up and running. It’s why there is so much opposition to abortion on demand, so much push back on the religious wrong to prop up the “fake” motherhood ideal. Get the ambivalent women to talk themselves into liking it all, what a boon for patriarchy and PIV. PIV– stopping it among all right wing men would be a huge tactic that needs trotting out on a massive scale.

33. SheilaG - June 2, 2011

I’d say that given the times and the economy, no woman who is making less than $75,000 a year should even think of having kids, and even this is a risk because of lay offs etc. I know so many women who are having to sell homes, losing homes, using up their retirement savings… what is separating these women from the ones who are not in these situations is children… 1 kid changes everything… all are divorced, or were lucky to escape abusive men… and sadly, the kids are now on the verge of adulthood and having a terrible time even getting a first job, thus returning to the home, putting further economic stress on these women. I am just amazed that women keep on keep having kids given these harsh economic realities… the fantasy must continue I guess.

34. SheilaG - June 2, 2011

p.S. I know this is an excersize in complete futility, but I posted in battle over at Liver LLC.
I’m hoping that some of the women over there will really dig deeper and stop going along with the male liberal line. If only women had really listened to OTHER WOMEN who had complained about He-Man Governor’s groping of other women (16 came forward to try to warn us all), we could have made a strong statement that private bad behavior towards women IS political, and it will cost you a governor’s race. For what all of this is worth… a bit off topic sorry.

35. Noanodyne - June 2, 2011

“the PIV / happy mother machine”

That covers it right there, the patriarchy’s wettest of wet dreams.

FCM - June 2, 2011

I saw you over at hugos Sheila. I’m glad you are talking about “male-pleasing attention” that’s so hard for many women to hear. We don’t even know we are vying for men’s attention all the fucking time…I’ve only become.aware of this recently. Feeling “rejected” all the time by moody abusive men…I never registered this before. This feeling mustve been quite normal for me for the last 35 fucking years, for me not to have even noticed ay? Ugh. Unbelievable.

36. SheilaG - June 2, 2011

So we get every new generation, and it always is stuck in male please format. Slutwalk is about male pleasing, that’s the real agenda of these marches, that and young women are angry, want to organize, but are still addicted to the idea that men are part of this revolution. It gets very weird because all other revolutionary movements aren’t trying to please the oppressor, they are trying to overthrow the oppressor. It makes the women’s revolution the longest.

37. SheilaG - June 2, 2011

Yeah FCM, it’s very painful to realize that 35 years of dealing with moody rejecting men … to have the feelings be so “normal” that you don’t realize how outrageous the whole set up is!

Reminds me of being able to leave hetero space and be in lesbian space… the emotional support and acceptance was shocking at first, because I had never fully realized how horrifying being in het world was, how incredibly mean and rejecting everyone was. Now things are not nearly as bad as 1975, but those memories of horror don’t ever leave you. The one thing I could see clearly was the male pleasing of straight women, because I had no reason to want their attention at all. But straight women are always longing for it, bringing men into the mix, never realizing what this does socially to all women. Moody, silent, difficult to deal with, dead conversationalists… these are the men married to women I know personally. But they seem unaware of this; it’s very weird even today they don’t see.

38. maggie - June 2, 2011

“male pleasing attention” slutwalk, sexwork, porn ‘loving’, it’s endemic and so right Sheila. FCM uck to the ‘moody rejecting’ men. Been there done that and see it all around me. How did I let myself become so inured to it?

And they don’t see it. Those women who ‘want it’ all the time (no they don’t – they just go along with the flow and most don’t like it anyway).

39. SheilaG - June 2, 2011

The male pleasing system is so deeply engrained, and women are so accustomed to having to play hostess and social cheerful upbeat, to the deadbeat males. Most men appear withdrawn, socially incompetant and dull… I rarely if ever see husbands truly engaged in social settings they tag along with their wives too. I think this emotional neglect men use to keep women in line, a way of making women jump hoops to stay in the game.
Withdrawl of energy, moodiness and rejecting behavior is a quiet form of abuse and manipulation all to common among men. They must take notes and share tactics, it’s so consistent.

So perhaps these Slutwalk women ultimately just want male attention for “feminism” and are overjoyed any time a male shows interest in a supposed women’s issue. Only the men don’t stop the rape behavior, don’t admit to being rapists, and no matter how outrageous the behavior towards women they always manage to keep their jobs. And women marry them anyway, no matter what their reputations. It boggles…

40. Mary Sunshine - June 3, 2011

And a +100 again for Sheila. 🙂


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