Having A Vagina Does Not Automatically Make Your Demand Feminist

There was a time once when you couldn’t criticize anything George W. Bush, or is criminal comrades did, for fear of being accused of being “unpatriotic.” See, the Republicans have been terrifyingly successful at branding themselves as “patriotic” even as they lied to the American public, started pointless wars, and stomped all over the Constitution. What they were doing was not at all patriotic, but they declared it so.

As a feminist, it bothers me quite a deal when people mischaracterize feminism. Anti-feminist do this quite a deal, blaming everything they can on feminism no matter how absurd. But what is worse, I think, is when people who call themselves feminist attempt to misappropriate feminism for their own agenda. Feminism means gender equality. It does NOT mean that women (or mothers, specifically) deserve special privilege. Some people who advocate for such a thing do so under the guise of feminism, apparently not knowing or caring about what that term actually means.

I could list off countless examples of this, but what is really getting to me lately is the way self-proclaimed feminists have reacted to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s support of work policies that do NOT treat mothers as special beings. Mayer herself does not call herself a feminist, even though she very likely actually is by definition. It’s just as well, since people who do call themselves feminists but actually are natalism-worshippers out for special treatment now accuse her of being un-feminist.

Here’s the thing, moms don’t deserve paid leave, flexible hours, or work-from-home privileges any more than anyone else. They just don’t. They may WANT those things and find it advantageous to have those things, but that doesn’t mean that they are owed such special treatment. I might find it advantageous to be given 1 million dollars for nothing, but that doesn’t mean that I actually deserve it or that anyone is un-feminist to anyone who does give it to me. Bring your kids to work? Unless it’s a daycare, NO! Be responsible and get a sitter!

Maternity leave? Save your vacation time and save your money, just like anyone else who takes time off. Nine months is plenty of time to prepare and plan. If you can’t do that, you probably shouldn’t be reproducing anyway.

Flexible hours? Work from home? Yeah, everyone (except the employers who would likely suffer from the decline in productivity,) would like that, but it’s not always practical and no one deserves it more than anyone else, not by virtue of being a woman or a mother.

“But it’s haaard to be a mom and work!” No kidding. It would also be hard to hold a regular job while also running a farm or doing anything else that consumes a lot of time. PLAN ACCORDINGLY AND BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR CHOICES, LIKE REAL ADULTS!

Contrary to popular belief, employers are not babysitters for grown-ups. You have to be responsible for your own “work-life balance.” The business is paying you to WORK, not to have a personal life. Set your own goals and priorities and be aware that they are not always fully compatible and CHOOSE RESPONSIBLY!

Special treatment for moms just for being moms is NOT feminist. In fact, fear of lost money and productivity by catering to every absurd fake-feminist, natalism-worshipping demand HURTS WOMEN. Employers sometimes find themselves reluctant to hire women of reproductive age for fear they’ll turn entitle-mommy and completely screw them over. I seem to recall this very risk being one of the arguments against the feminist push to normalize women being allowed in the workplace. I really wish interviewers were allowed to ask about a female applicant’s reproductive plans, but they don’t seem to have that legal ability.

So thanks, fake-feminist natalism-worshippers. Your attempts to garner special treatment for certain women for their lifestyle choices is creating a huge step backwards for gender-equality, real feminism.

Posted on 2013/03/13, in Feminism, Parenting Fails and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 182 Comments.

  1. In a vacuum, I would agree with everything you have said, however there is something I find inherently problematic, and that is that women are more likely to be defined by whether or not she has children, and are therefore disproportionately effected by things like the “work/life balance.” What are the odds that the average man’s career suffers at the result of becoming a parent? I don’t specifically know the number, but I, a woman who is not Catholic, have a better chance of being the next pope. Granted, there are things parents could do in their lives to divide the responsibilities so that mothers don’t have these problems, and maybe they are making their employers compensate for significant others who won’t take equal responsibility in child-raising, but I do think we need to acknowledge the fact that women are more likely to be harmed by employers having no sympathy for parents, which may in turn keep women out of the workforce. Realistically, I think the larger issue is that there aren’t equal expectations for both parents and that women are defined by whether or not they have children in ways that men are not. Again, I think if parents take on equal child-related responsibilities, mothers are more likely not feel the strain of a work-life balance quite as much. Yeah, that falls into the realm of personal responsibility, but society needs to change as well.

    That said, anyone who says that mothers should be privileged over other women in the feminist movement are essentialist, anti-feminist, and self-absorbed. I also think that people outside the feminist movement do a good job pitting mothers and childfree women who identify as feminist against each other, and I think that needs to end.

    • Julie Was Here

      I can’t say I care much for people who trip because they’ve tied their own shoes together. What in saying is, the problem is entirely self-imposed.

      • Amen! The average woman is denial to the impact that having children will impose on their lives and we can talk about equality all day, everyday but the truth remains that it is the Female who have and decides whether or not to have children. Speak to men who haven’t had all of their testosterone replaced with political correctness and they confess that even if they could they wouldn’t put themselves through child birth and can only tolerate children even their own for short periods at time. So if having children is the “best and hardest” job in the world…then damn it plan for it accordingly as you would any other career. Women who decide to have children made their beds now lie And stop pretending that your wants and needs centered on your brood is a representation of what all women want.

  2. Well written, awesome blog Julie.

  3. Patience V

    The only thing I would say is that the biggest problem is for women who are being actively denied choice; denied BC, denied abortions, denied sterilization, denied the right not to have kids and then denied assistance with their kids. Other than that, I agree with what you’ve said entirely.

    Basically, in an ideal world where reproduction really is 100% a woman’s choice, not forced on her by her socioeconomic status or her government’s restrictive laws of access, then I agree. But as long as there are (and there are) women who are forced to have kids for any reason, I think those women deserve help and compassion. But those women are NOT most mothers in the US.

    • Julie Was Here

      That I agree with. However, in this case I think the fight should be for birth control and abortion.

  4. This is only valid if you believe that childbearing and nurturing is something marginal which a bunch of marginal people insist on doing for their own peculiar reasons which the rest of us fail to grasp.

    If you consider women fully human, given that we are the ones who have children (whether we actually have them or not) then childbirth and nurture must not be considered a bizarre, marginal activity, but something HUMAN BEINGS do and the ones who actually do it, must not be disadvantaged or impoverished because of it.

    Men arranged society so that half of the human race were excluded from decision-making processes about how that society was to be run. It seems to me that you’ve taken on a male misogynist perspective on parenting – fathers can theoretically become fathers without taking one day off work, but mothers can’t do that. You are buying into the male narrative of childcare as being something marginal that those inferior people do and so the rest of shouldn’t have to accommodate it or think about it and our social and economic institutions can be arranged as if it doesn’t happen. There is absolutely nothing feminist about that, in fact, it’s anti-feminist.

    • Julie Was Here

      Bullshit. Vagina or not, OWN YOUR CHOICES!

      Your argument only works if women are inferior beings lacking the brain power needed to make responsible choices, a deficiency which, for some reason, everyone else must make up for. No.

      • Your standpoint reveals that you accept a man-made world, one which excluded half the human race from decision-making in the building of social and economic institutions and mores.
        Feminists don’t accept that view of the world. It implies that there is nothing wrong with patriarchal structures and customs and all women have to do is slot into structures made by and for men, rather than knocking down those structures and mores and re-making them to fit the needs of all human beings instead of only those of able-bodied white men and those who identify with them so strongly that they don’t even challenge the legitimacy of the world they have built and condemn those women who can’t neatly slot into them as inferior. You have the right to have that view if you like, but feminism it ain’t.

        • Julie Was Here

          So women being treated as intelligent adult beings responsible for their own choices and treated equally is somehow patriarchal?

          You are exactly the kind of “worship me for I have a cooter” faux-feminist that this post was written for.

          Tell me more about how feminism doesn’t mean equality in treatment and in respect, but is about giving women (actually, only certain women, those who follow the life-script and disempower themselves voluntarily) special, undeserved treatment and exemption from adult responsibly.

          • Using childish insults doesn’t enhance your argument, it just looks defensive and as if you’re not interested in exploring your beliefs. Accepting patriarchal structures as legitimate and then insulting feminists who ask you to question them is fine, but please stop labouring under the delusion that it’s feminist. It just isn’t.
            As to your request to discuss more with you about women “voluntarily disempowering themselves”, I’m happy to do that later if you’re genuinely interested in a discussion about this, but I’m on my phone at the mo which makes it a bit difficult to type what I want to and I get the feeling that we might talk past each other. This is your blog and I respect your right to post what you want, I’m just slightly mystified as to why ideas which to me sound outright mysogynist, are being presented as feminist, which is the only reason I posted. Suffice it to say for now that if you see nothing wrong with a society which automatically disempowers mothers (but not fathers) for re-producing, I’m not sure we’ll have much common ground for productive discussion.

            • Julie Was Here

              I don’t think you understand what feminism is. It does NOT mean female (or mother) superiority.

              • TBH Julie, I really don’t think you understand what feminism is, either, so we both think the other doesn’t understand feminism.

                You come across as finding man-made society into which women have to try and slot the best they can, as OK. That’s not a feminist stance. Feminism has always been about changing society, not accepting it the way men made it.

                You come across as thinking that women don’t have the right to function AS MOTHERS in society, as well as as workers, friends, lovers, etc. You come across as accepting that society is designed to disadvantage mothers and that wanting to level the playing field, is unfair to all the non-mothers out there. That too, is not a feminist stance. Bearing and nurturing the next generation of human beings, is the one thing that women do that men don’t; demanding that they be punished with economic stricture for that, is not a feminist stance, it’s a misogynist one.

                Earlier on you said this:

                “Tell me more about how feminism doesn’t mean equality in treatment and in respect, but is about giving women (actually, only certain women, those who follow the life-script and disempower themselves voluntarily) special, undeserved treatment and exemption from adult responsibly.”

                Feminism has never been just about equality in a man-made world. It’s ALWAYS been about re-designing the world so that both halves of humanity can function equally well in it. I don’t want equality with men so that I can compete on the playing field they’ve marked out. I want to dig up the playing field, re-seed it and mark it out so that men, women and children can ALL function properly in whatever society they happen to find themselves in.

                You haven’t really engaged with any of my arguments have you? You just keep repeating that feminism doesn’t mean female or mother superiority, but I’ve not argued that once, so I don’t understand why you are rejecting arguments I’ve not made. I keep talking about the fact that I believe we need to re-design society so that both halves of humanity can function properly in it and then you keep coming back with the idea that feminism isn’t about mother-superiority, which I’ve not argued. On the contrary, I believe that liberation for women means that whether they have children or not, they should be able to function in a world that is designed as much for them, with or without children, as it is for the males in their lives. You OTOH seem to accept that it’s OK for women to have to try and function in society where the institutions and customs were established at a time when women were not even considered fully human, let alone equal to men, rather than adjusting the customs and institutions. The idea that having children for women is disempowering AND THAT’S OK and we shouldn’t try to change that, is so misogynist that I’m not really sure where to start tbh – I feel really sad that you’ve internalised such a misogynist viewpoint.

                Fair enough, your choice.

              • Julie Was Here

                Do you ever get tired of blaming men for the poor choices of women?

              • Julie you said “Do you ever get tired of blaming men for the poor choices of women?”

                Are you saying that having a child is a “poor choice”?

                If it is, is it a poor choice for a woman to make or also a poor choice for a man to make?

                If it’s a poor choice for a woman to make to have a child, what sort of society do you think that is?

                Are you ever going to engage with the substance of my arguments? Are you interested in examining societal structures? Or are you just going to keep banging the drum about how man-made society is perfectly reasonable and women and children not slotting neatly in, is just the result of their “poor choices”?

                By the way, if you think my argument is about blaming men for choices women make, I think you probably haven’t really understood my argument – it’s more complex than that.

              • Julie Was Here

                If you have a problem with having a baby conflicting with your work, yes, you’ve made a poor choice in one or the other. The fault is in you, not “patriarchy.”

    • Bullshit. Women don’t make their own husbands help them with childcare. It’s their own fault if they have to “do it all.” If they chose a partner who didn’t think of them as a free maid, that wouldn’t be the case.

      Most decent jobs have medical leave. Take it. If you don’t have a decent job, why are you reproducing?

      YOU are the one assuming women can’t think. Your whole argument is based on the idea that women are too stupid to make good decisions, so the rest of us have to pick up the slack when they fail to plan and they can’t handle their own chosen responsibilities.

      Myself and the OP are assuming women are smart enough, and thus they should own their own decisions.

      Lots of women manage to do it without being a total drain on everyone they work with. Actually, my dad did as well — as a single parent. These women have no excuse.

    • Bullshit. Women don’t make their own husbands help them with childcare. It’s their own fault if they have to “do it all.” If they chose a partner who didn’t think of them as a free maid, that wouldn’t be the case.

      Most decent jobs have medical leave. Take it. If you don’t have a decent job, why are you reproducing?

      YOU are the one assuming women can’t think. Your whole argument is based on the idea that women are too stupid to make good decisions, so the rest of us have to pick up the slack when they fail to plan and they can’t handle their own chosen responsibilities.

      Myself and the OP are assuming women are smart enough, and thus they should own their own decisions.

      Lots of women manage to do it without being a total drain on everyone they work with. Actually, my dad did as well — as a single parent. These women have no excuse.

  5. PromQueenWithin

    Julie, you seem very anti-mother. Why?

    • Julie Was Here

      I’m only anti-mother-worship. I have this crazy idea that women don’t become goddesses above responsibility just because they’ve bred.

      • PromQueenWithin

        I don’t think women become goddesses above responsibility because they’ve bred. But I don’t equate parental rights with elevation to deity! Your position suggests that childbearing and child rearing are something that individuals do for their own personal amusement – a bit like skydiving, say – and in practice means that most women (who don’t have rich husbands or trust funds) will be excluded from societal contribution, whether economic or intellectual, by having children when men aren’t. I don’t think that’s particularly feminist.

        In fact, let’s think about another example for a moment. If someone had a car accident and needed to be off work for several months to recover, would you allow them this? Or say “tough, you chose to drive, you accept the consequences of your accident.” Do you ever drive, Julie?

        • Julie Was Here

          Do people chose to have serious car accidents on your planet?

          And if breeding excludes one from anyone, that person has excluded themselves. Exemption from responsibility is not a parental right.

          And yeah, people DO breed for their amusement.

          • People breed for amusement and government aide. Teenage girls in this country receive large amounts of government assistance. Growing up I was aware that you do not have a child before you are married. There was even a time when it was in fashion to hide the pregnancy and give the baby to another family that had the means to support the child. (Adoption!!) America needs to get back to these ideals. Instead of giving out money to 17 yr old mom’s that think it’s cute to have a baby so they can be like “teen-Mom”, perhaps the government should send out a nice check to the couples that were Married and over the age of 25 when they had their children. As an incentive the government should send out a “thanks for not sponging off the system check” to the Childfree. Let the single teen mothers sink or swim. Maybe we would have less white trash breeding machines in this country.

    • Feminism is about choices, equality and responsibility. Feminism never said that a woman can have it all. It gave a woman choices. With equality comes responsibility. So, own your choices. You have a kid, you take care of it. you arrange for daycare. You don’t expect others to accomodate your choices. Take responsibility for your decisions in life and act accordingly.

    • Women who believe that having a child makes them some sort of superbeing and this choice is somehow EVERYBODY’s responsibilty, special perks and privileges should be granted to them evokes contempt and disrespect from those who put in the time and work but don’t have the “but I’m a mommy” cop out. Those people who chose to have children and acknowledge that their children are their responsibilty, they raise provide for their children without the need for applause since its what they signed up for are PARENTS. I detest their polar opposite the breeder! And the biggest offenders the bastard breeders a/k/a the single mom. Who has never been married and willing to have children by men whose only commitment to them is squeezing out a load of swimmers BUT damn it if she doesn’t believe she should be commended and compensated for bastardizing her children afterall she’s got it soooo hard raising kids on her own. PUHLEEZE

  6. The Turnip

    Why not substitute ‘parent’ for ‘mother’ in your post and hten see how it sounds? Maybe parental leave would be a better and accepting that actually, we need women to have babies if we are to have a future.
    It’s not mother worship to accept that women need time to recover from pregnancy and labour and/or CS for example.
    You sounds like you think that women (but not men) should either work or have children not a very feminist stance surely. I’m also not sure how you think mothers can carry over holiday etc….many countries still have low amounts of paid holiday and costs of living for many are so high they can barely afford to live, let alone save.

    • Julie Was Here

      It’s hardly my fault that men can’t get pregnant. As for the women that do, they make their own bed.

      As for recovery, what’s wrong with just using saved vacation time or sick days? You know, like everyone else.

      • PromQueenWithin

        You sound rather reactionary and unpleasant. Slightly unhinged to be frank. I’ll leave you to continue your misogyny in private. Bye :)

        • Julie Was Here

          You’re a whiner who thinks being a woman makes you special, and that equality is misogyny for not recognizing your superiority. Get over yourself and grow up.

      • The Turnip

        Because it can take months to recover and show me a country where they give you months of paid holiday? Plus you can’t predict exactly when you will give birth unless everyone goes down the route of elective c/s – that major abdominal surgery that can take a long time to recover from without complications.
        ‘It’s hardly my fault that men can’t get pregnant. As for the women that do, they make their own bed.’ – or silly me, there I was thinking that it took two humans to create a baby.
        The point is men can have a family and carry on working without any problems. The ones being penalised are women because pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and childcare aren’t quite as simple as you seem to believe. Just out of curiousity, those women who go back to work almost immediately but also want to breastfeed; are you also against them getting time to pump?

        • Julie Was Here

          You’re right, having a baby causes women problems for work. Smart women take this into account and USE GOOD JUDGMENT. People reap the consequences of the choices that they make, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t. It’s not punishment, it’s cause and effect. If I decided I wanted to start a goddamn farm, it’s going to have repercussions for my day job. Welcome to reality, where rational adults account for such things.

          • My husband and I both work day jobs AND have a farm. There are no repercussions for my day job. It’s good to know that I fall into your “rational adults” category because I have 3 of my own children and a step-child I raise with no consequences.Thank you for that! I never have to re-arrange my schedule for them or take time off. I read all of your blogs and your comments to people and have yet to figure out why you are always belligerent with your answers. Why have a blog with the option to reply if you don’t want to here what other people have to say?

            • Julie Was Here

              I was under the impression that allowing comments IS allowing people a say. But just as I can be taken to task for my words, so can they.

    • “we need women to have babies if we are to have a future.”
      We certainly DON’T have a future if “modern day” parenting continues on it’s irresponsible path! This current generation has produced some of the most USELESS people the world has ever seen. This is largely thanks to “Gentle Disciplining”,Anti vaccination, welfare/WIC and parent’s not taking responsibility for their kid’s behavior. Add to that the “dumbing down” of the education system. Yes! The future is definitely bleak indeed!

      • John, next time please request an invitation a least before you get in my head, snatch MY thoughts and post them as your own ok? :-) * I have been working in Social services and government funded programs for 20 years….the stories I can tell!*

        • Goddiva:
          So, you deal with the entitlement first hand and up close everyday. It must be gut wrenching. You have my sympathy and my admiration.

        • Goddiva- : )Someday tell us your stories. I want to hear them!!
          Or would it make us really more angry?

      • LOL. I love it when non-parents tell parents how they’re doing it wrong. They’re always so much better parents than those of us who are actually doing it.

    • Some places do have parental leave, and as an equality thing among parents sure it sounds better. But to those of us who have chosen not to have kids and have no intention to have kids, this is time off that isn’t available to us, so if mothers and fathers both get it then that’s actually even more unequal because it excludes those who don’t have kids.

      What would sound better would be “leave”. Everyone who works for the company gets an amount of paid and unpaid leave authorized based on their time of service to the company, NOT based on whether or not they have or intend to have children. If people choose to use this leave for having and bonding with a baby, great, they can do that. The childfree can use it for another purpose. The only people who would cry that that arrangement isn’t fair are people who have a sense of entitlement that they should be handed something above and beyond their counterparts because they chose to have children.

      Personally I would love to see the system change such that everyone got an equal amount of discretionary leave. Until that happens, I just remind myself that parents might get extra time off work, but I get extra time in every day for myself.

  7. The Turnip

    ‘Smart women take this into account and USE GOOD JUDGMENT’ What does that even mean?
    As for you ridiculous farm analogy – yes it would however it would have less of a repercussion if you went into it with your partner and s/he took on some of the workload too. An equal partnership….like when you have children and mum and dad sort it out to work around botht heir jobs and society values women and motherhood (not raises it to a deity level just VALUES it and the next generation).
    You haven’t answered the Q about pumping either – human milk for human babies saves the tax payer a lot of money so should mothers get time to pump at work?

    • The Turnip

      http://letterbyafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2008/07/maternity-leave.html
      ‘Children are born to individuals, but they do not belong to them. They are part of society, just like you and me. They are entitled to care from birth and somebody has to have that responsibility. Why are we happy for babies to go to state nurseries (paid for by our taxes), but not to be brought up by their own mothers (or fathers), at a time in their life where they need specialist one to one care? ‘
      ‘Not employing women because you don’t want to pay maternity leave is incredibly short-sighted. It fails to recognise that an investment in children is an investment in your future employees and in your future customers’

      • Julie Was Here

        Investing in children is their parent’s responsibility. If they aren’t prepared to do that, they aren’t fit to breed for they are a burden, not a benefit to society.

    • Julie Was Here

      Saves taxpayers money? There’s a serious flaw in your thinking if you think the taxpayers should be on the hook at all.

    • no. Human bodily fluids do not belong anywhere except in a toilet at work. The problem is that the ‘pumpers’ insist on special rooms to spray their fluids in. Therefore, they can go and ‘pump’ elsewhere – the car for example, or the toilet where other humans leak their bodily fluids in a sanitary fashion.

  8. I am interested in your idea of using accrued leave when a woman has a baby. In my country as a rough average annual leave is appros 5 weeks. You are allowed to carry some of that forward to the next year if you don’t use it, up to a week is the max I have heard.
    This means that a woman has a maximum of 6 weeks to take in a year, assuming she has no other holidays.
    Most women cannot work up until they go into labour, indeed some go off weeks before (pre-eclampsia, disability, that sort of thing) and many need quite a while to recover eg after a CS you have to take it very easy for 6 weeks (major surgery). You also have a rate of peri-natal / post natal depression which can cause real problems with a woman’s ability to function and then there is breast feeding to think of (stated by WHO etc as most desirable feeding method).

    So your plan is that a woman saves all her holiday and has 5 weeks off work. In a good scenario she may only stop a week before she gives birth, thus will be expected back at work when the baby is 4 weeks old.

    Very very very few women are going to be able to do that. So they will have to resign their jobs / be sacked. Or go back to work before it is medically advisable (as they cannot afford not to) and end up very very ill indeed. I am not sure where the advantages are in that.

    i suppose it would help if holiday allowance could be transferred from the father – so she could have up to 10 weeks. This would obviously involved her partner taking no holiday either. Is that a good idea? How can people plan though to carry holiday if they don’t know whether there will be a pregnancy or not (it doesn’t always just happen). This idea means that women with a partner will be more likely to retain their job than women without a partner (through separation, bereavement etc) – is that a reasonable outcome?

    I suppose the only women who won’t have to worry will be those who are independently wealthy or those with wealthy partners. Would preventing all women from having children apart from the independently wealthy and those with wealthy partners benefit society? It’s something to think about.

    I think that maybe you have not thought your ideas through fully, and would be interested to hear your further thoughts.

    • Julie Was Here

      I only get one week paid a year. And unlike breeding, which has months worth of advance notice and is VOLUNTARY, I have unexpected emergencies crops up. Guess what? Being an ADULT, I PLAN. And I take unpaid days in emergencies. And I accept that these must be few and short else my employer is RIGHT to replace me.

      Welcome to the real world, where you’re paid for WORK and employers aren’t your babysitter.

  9. LucyLooper

    Wow. Who do you think is going to be working as your doctor or nurse when you’re old if women have no time, money or support to have babies.

    • Julie Was Here

      I tell you what, it won’t be the people on vacations to drop loaves.

      • “I tell you what, it won’t be the people on vacations to drop loaves.”

        What does that phrase actually mean please?

        Is your philosophical standpoint that women should never have babies, ever?

        Should men also never get any woman pregnant ever?

        • Julie Was Here

          Breed if you want (actually, I’d rather people didn’t. Overpopulation and all. But that’s really besides the point.) But don’t expect special treatment for it.

          • You mean don’t expect to be treated as women for it, don’t you?

            Because of course, men breed and they don’t get special treatment for it.

            You seem to be complaining about the fact that women are women and when they breed, they do things that only women do and the default human, man, doesn’t do.

            And you honestly think you’re a feminist?

            You clearly just haven’t done the reading. :D

            • Julie Was Here

              Men don’t get pregnant. If they did, I’d have the exact same thing to say.

              What’s your problem with acting like a responsible adult? Why is that idea so offense?

              • You are implying that getting pregnant and having children, is the act of an irresponsible adult.

                You do understand that this is absolutely unvarnished misogyny, don’t you?

                If men got pregnant, you wouldn’t have these views because our society would be completely different and you wouldn’t have internalised this misogyny.

              • Julie Was Here

                Yes, breeding is irresponsible, objectively, when one considers the problems of the world. But as that isn’t the topic of this post or the rationale behind it, it doesn’t matter.

                Breeding when you are not prepared for the career repercussions, which are easily predictable, IS irresponsible.

                I am absolutely amazed that you think women actually being expected to act like responsible adults and make good choices is misogyny. Feminism doesn’t mean that women are special, for the billionth time.

              • Your implication is that if you are a woman (but not a man) then reproducing is an irresponsible act.

                You do understand that that is a notion steeped in misogyny, don’t you?

                You’re obviously not familiar with this concept: http://www.bubblews.com/news/106628-equality-and-justice-are-different-terms

              • Julie Was Here

                If men demanded the same things as breeder women, if have the same things to say about them.

              • Why don’t breeder men demand the same things as breeder women?

                Because um, they are men.

                You reserve ALL your bile for women being women and you’re quite happy with men being men.

                Because you’ve internalised misogynist values.

                Oh dear.

              • Julie Was Here

                Actually, my “bile” is reserved for women who think that they are special just for being women, and therefore should get to make poor choices burdening everyone else with the consequences.

              • And also Julie, you wouldn’t be saying this if men had babies because you wouldn’t have internalised misogyny in this form, because it wouldn’t exist.

                I find it astonishing that YOU are content that having babies damages a woman’s career, but doesn’t damage that of a man. And you think that’s feminist? Wow. You SO need to do the reading.

                Sorry, it’s late here now so I’m off to bed, it was enjoyable getting an insight into the self-hating misogyny some women take on board to justify their life choices.

                Here’s a newsflash: Mothers don’t care if you breed or not. Feminist mothers will fight for your right not to and not to be disadvantaged by society for not doing so. If you were a feminist, you’d be fighting for the rights of ALL women, not just those who choose not to breed.

                Good night.

            • Oooh so having a kid ‘makes’ you a woman? Really? A 5 year old with a period can have a child guess she is a woman too huh? I swear it fascinates me how grown women are stuck on fairytales. Read a real damn book about pregnancy and child birth so you can stop acting as if the world must pause to accommodate your choice and after effects of breeding! And yes I am one of those women who can’t stand the majority of the female population because their vaginas are on their foreheads. Their lives revolve around men, breeding, and their offspring they can’t hold a conversation unless it’s either the chore of having sex w/ the spouse or not understanding why Tom is no longer attracted to her, how another kid is the remedy for saving the marriage and sharing stories about their crumb snatchers that only other breeders give a good god damn about.

              • You obviously have really profoundly upsetting issues. I suggest counselling and wish you well.

              • I didn’t think that post implied that having a child “makes you a woman”.

                Seems like you’re projecting your own insecurities here.

      • LucyLooper

        You don’t make sense. I don’t see much much critical thinking here at all. Think I’ll leave it there.

  10. So you want to be able to take unpaid time off sick when you are ill, but feel that women who are pregnant should not be able to do that? For a lot of women, being pregnant is the first time they will encounter ongoing health problems. It seems short-sighted to exclude talented women from the workplace because they, for example, suffer pre-eclampsia requiring rest or hospitalisation.

    Your “feminist” idea is that, basically, women get sacked from their jobs when they become too pregnant to work, too ill to work, or go into labour. That was the situation my great-aunt faced, in post-victorian britain. I don’t understand why you feel it is a feminist move to return to those values.

    A couple of questions:

    1. Do you feel that people should be sacked from their jobs if they take more than a day or two off, no matter what the reason?

    2. Do you believe that men don’t want to have children?

    • Julie Was Here

      Unpaid sick time is fine… For a reasonable amount of time (people don’t generally choose to be sick, as is the case with breeding.) My problem is with a special category of vacation. I think you should re-read what I wrote.

      And yeah, it makes perfect sense to fire people who don’t do their damned jobs.

  11. Patience V

    Not all pregnancy is voluntary. A woman may have a BC failure, and may for religious or personal reasons feel that termination is not the right choice for her. Not all pregnancies and births are planned for. This happened to a friend of mine last year. It was all wrong timing, it wasn’t a planned for baby, but because of personal and religious preferences between her and her partner they had a baby. She has not at all taken an “entitlement” position, but I can’t help but feel an employer should have be generous with her under those circumstances. Life isn’t a perfect thing that can always be planned out 100% and it seems an employer willing to be gracious about these sorts of things is a better kind of employer to have than one who is a stickler.

    • Julie Was Here

      It doesn’t matter why someone chose my to terminate, they still chose and are still accountable for that choice and the consequences that result.

      And if your problem I with contraceptive access, support THAT.

      Either way, it’s not the employer’s problem.

    • Any pregnancy that is not voluntary can be remedied with an abortion. Problem solved.

      • Pregnancy is 100% voluntary. You might not have chosen to get knocked up, but keeping it is a CHOICE. Bed. Made. Lie.

  12. But you said women choose to be pregnant, and therefore deserve no care, or time off. I did read it.

    • Julie Was Here

      Save your own time. You know, like everyone else does when they want time off. You’re not special.

  13. Do you honestly believe that men don’t want to have babies? That is the bit that is puzzling me. You talk as if women are selfishly breeding out of their own desire all by themselves. It may come as a shock to you to learn that many men like children, they want families, they are keen on babies, they enjoy having children. In many parts of the world it is pretty imperative to have descendants, sadly often the sex of the descendants is proscribed and the provision of descendants is controlled to the max which obviously is not good for women/girls.

    My question to you. If all women and girls did what you want – and were able to – refuse sex, not get impregnated. not become pregnant. Do you think that would be good for society??

    How would men feel about now having any chidren?

    • Julie Was Here

      It doesn’t matter if men want babies. I don’t see how you think it even matters. They aren’t the ones making that choice.

      And did you seriously just ask me if not being raped is a good thing, as if it shouldn’t be? Because if not, you should re-read your posts more carefully.

    • Throughout history men have wanted children for ego: a SON to inherit a title/wealth, to carry the family name, run the family business and prove their dicks work. Oh and when they feel they are loosing control impregnating a woman is a good form of entrapmentunless she’s one of those pesky women who goes against script and terminate. The world is full of women who had children for men on his request that she now has to beg for child support and/or is a stranger to his child. Fair or not the majority of the burden of child rearing to this day primarily falls on women. So if you are a woman breeding due to male requests then secure his ass to meet your child care needs and recuperating process. Or better yet quit so another woman can fill the position without being a financial burden to the company and your co-worker won’t
      have to pick up your slack.

  14. Brilliant blog. Thanks to women who want to have it ALL, we’ve been set back decades. Women in their 20s to their early 40s are a liability because of the multitudes of entitlements. No one has to have a child. But if you do, manage your own life and priorities.

    • Julie Was Here

      Finally, some sanity. I was beginning to lament what a rare commodity it was in today’s natalism-worshipping society.

    • The Turnip

      Men ‘have it all’…families, work etc. Very oftent hey only manage it becayse there is a women stuck int he background having to do all the shit work.

  15. Good post, as always. You always leave us a lot to think about, even those of us who already agree with you.

    This is an interesting situation. If I understand correctly, feminism was designed to remove women from the pedestal that men had put them upon for centuries. It allowed them to be treated as equals with men, walk beside men instead of behind them, earn equal pay for equal work, and make their own life choices. Now, simply because they reproduce — something that even sponges do, so it’s nothing special — they want to be put back on those pedestals, and given special treatment? They want extra privileges solely because they opted to use their sexual difference for a lifestyle choice? They want to return to being segregated because of a biological difference? That is social regression at its worst. That is all outside the issue of the unfairness of the rest of the workforce suffering to support someone’s lifestyle choice. I certainly wouldn’t expect my coworkers to shoulder my undone work if I went to a comic book convention.

    • Julie Was Here

      Yes! And worst of all, they prove everyone who opposed women being allows into the workplace on the grounds that mothers would present a burden RIGHT! They hurt all women, even those responsible enough to make good choices and own them.

      • Of course! Because this small group is demanding all this privilege, all those back in the 1960s, 70s, and early 80s will have appeared to have been right when they said “Women in the workplace will just cause problems. They will get pregnant and disrupt everything with unreasonable requests.” YIKES!

        • It’s not a demand for privilege.

          It’s a demand for an evening of the playing field.

          Men designed the workplace for people who were able-bodied and had no caring responsibilities.

          So people who didn’t fit that template, couldn’t function very well within it.

          Women demanded that the workplace was re-designed to fit all human beings, not just some of them.

          Unreasonable, huh.

          • Julie Was Here

            The work place is designed for WORK. If you have trouble in it, that means YOU are at fault.

            • Agreed work is work its not play its not meant to be fair its not meant to be fun. You can excel at what you do for work and it is possible for you to enjoy work but that is not always the case.

            • It was designed for work by and for whom Julie?

              Yes, that’s right, by white able-bodied men.

              You’re so strongly identified with them, that you can’t bear to ask yourself WHY anyone who doesn’t fit into that niche, might have a problem with the workplace as it is currently constructed.

              And the problem isn’t with the workers, it’s with the workplace.

              Do you get furious with disabled co-workers who might need to have special chairs, special screens, days off for hospital appointments etc.? Or is it just those horrible WOMEN who do inexplicable things like give birth to the next generation of workers who are going to fix your car, wipe your arse and pay your pensions, who earn your ire?

              No point arguing this with you is there? You’re too emotionally invested with the status quo and hating mothers, to have the courage to examine your opinions.

              • Julie Was Here

                People who have actual disabilities (being female is NOT a disability, women are every bit as capable of doing the same work as men and should be held to the same standards) aren’t hired into or kept at jobs they can not or will not perform.

      • You’re blaming women who have children for the sexism that ALL women are subjected to in the workplace, instead of the men who run the joint?

        You’re not interested in examining WHY the workplace has been designed so that 40% of people on earth can’t function in it?

        Hahahahahhahaha

        Much easier to hate other women than examine your own internalised misogyny, eh, Julie.

        Bless.

        • Julie Was Here

          I’m not. I’m blaming self-entitled moms who make for shitty employees for making hiring women a practical liability, this hurting the chances of even responsible, hard-working women to get hired.

          ALL the sexism? No. Giving female workers a bad name? Yes.

          • Ah diddums.

            You’re doing what the man wants but the kind master man isn’t recognising that you’re not like those other women, because you’ve got the same sort of genitalia, he treats you just like them?

            Aw, poor ickle babee-waybee.

            There you are trying to be just like him and he still sees you as the untermensch. And it’s all because of what those other untermenschen are doing letting down the sistas by daring to use their reproductive organs to er, reproduce, nothing to do with the man’s attitude to women and the way society was constructed to marginalise the half of humanity which has the power to produce children.

            You are partly funny and partly tragic. Viciously lashing out at women while kowtowing submissively to men and taking on all their assumptions about the world. Oh my.

            • Julie Was Here

              You’re such a pathetic worm. Do you blame men for all of your deficiencies? Do you ever grow up and take responsibility for yourself?

              I wouldn’t hire you. People like you are the reason prudent employers hesitate to hire women. You give us all a bad name.

    • LucyLooper

      Nathan: “If I understand correctly…”

      You do NOT understand correctly. Feminism (equality) has nothing to do with pedestals and priviledges. NOTHING. It is about equality. About being treated equally, but not the same. Women do not reproduce on their own; men AND women reproduce. It’s just that women carry and breastfeed the babies so need allowances for this; not because they are special/on a pedestal/deities, but because that is civilisation. That’s what it takes for women to retain equality whilst having children.

      However, the tone of your post suggests you are pretty hostile and narrow minded so I do expect this to go over your head but you might find opening your mind a little (not too muh or your brain might fall out) refreshing.

      I really am out now. It’s bloody depressing to know there are people who genuinely feel like this.

      • “treated equally, but not the same”? Are you fucking joking?? Take your rehashed version of “separate, but equal” and stuff it.

        Reproduction is a freakin’ hobby. It is not necessary. Humanity will end anyway, and no one who reproduces makes the decision to do so for the good of humanity, however much breeders delude themselves after the fact. At this stage, if they did want to be parents “for the good of humanity”, they’d adopt, and failing to do that (or if not qualified to), they wouldn’t reproduce at all, currently.

        Do you realise that being productive at work is what feeds you? Generating an income is not an option, it’s a necessity. If you want to live, that’s your first worry. But it doesn’t appear to be. Why is that? Why the entitlement that you’re demanding concessions with? Why are you trying to live your life in a system that you’re evidently not fit for, wanting what you want, and that doesn’t suit you?

        If you want things that your standard job isn’t compatible with, it’s up to you to find a way to restructure your life so that it does work for you. It’s not up to everybody else. It’s up to YOU. Not by screaming the loudest, not by whining for special rights like a 3-year-old throwing a tantrum, but by proactively building your life in a way that suits you AND doesn’t detract from others in the process. That last part is important, reread it.

        And yet here you are railing against straw.

    • You clearly don’t understand feminism Nathan.

      It was never about slotting women in to a man-made world as best they could.

      It was about re-designing the world to fit both halves of humanity.

      Can’t be arsed to elucidate further, if you want to know more do the reading.

  16. So it doesn’t matter if men want babies.
    Um.

    They do though, lots of them.

    As a species, humans have a desire to procreate, on the whole. This is why we are not extinct. Men and women both, have sex drives, are fertile.

    Your plan is that… what? exactly?

    Who is allowed to have a baby? Men? Which ones? Women? Which ones?

    Interested :)

  17. Nathan honey

    You understand that pregnancy and childbirth are the most relatively dangerous things a person can do, whichever part of the world they are in, presumably?

    You understand that there are physical problems, mental health problems, auto-immune problems, and all the rest?

    Women and girls worldwide are not comparable to sponges. It makes me sad and a bit worried that you think they are.

    That’s up to you though I guess. Just remember the next time you talk to a female in real life though, “This entity is not a sponge! It has higher brain function! And a nervous system! And can do shit like Talking!!!!” and, you know, be polite.

    Kisses x

    • “Honey”? “Kisses”? Well, aren’t you adorable thinking that your cutesy widdle diminutives would make big bad Nathan compwetewy change his meanie-poopy-face mind and run away crying! So big and tough and superior, aren’t you! :D :D :D

  18. Julie from ca

    People who want to have children should plan adequately, saving money, vacation time. It is irresponsible to expect society to foot the bill and take up the slack. Some years ago, I had brain cancer, my husband’s employer was kind enough to let him stay with me two weeks. He had to pay back those hours later by working overtime. If the individuals procreating are willing to take unpaid time off, then I have no complaint. Fairness and equality does not mean some get special treatment above others.

    • Regarding maternity leave, all employers are required to allow up to 12 weeks a year time off for medical leave under FMLA, so a new mother taking 6-8 weeks off after the birth of her child is not getting anything special just because she gets to take the leave. Anyone with any serious medical condition (male or female, parent or child-free) is entitled to the exact same leave, so I have to disagree that maternity leave is special treatment. Now, if you mean strictly paid maternity leave, then you may have a point, although one could argue that is an employer’s choice, just like any other perk of the job, and your issue should then be more with the employer than with the women who take advantage of one of the perks of employment.

  19. I enjoyed reading this blog post very much! Some working parents can be so entitled and complain how they’re “so tired after staying up all night with a brat. Get over it, you chose breed so suck it up!

    One thing I don’t understand, is why you spend so much time arguing with these idiots…

  20. justsaying

    Put on your big girl panties and work around the CHOICE you made, you whiny moms. And by the way, mommies – any job you can do in your pajamas is NOT the hardest job in the world. (This includes parenting)

  21. Women were sold a crock of shit that we can have it ALL. Breed like a farm animal, nurture the litter, keep it sexy and interesting for the hubby all while being a successful force to be reckoned with CEO. THEN reality pisses on that fantasy. Truth is as long as we have female breeders that think they can have it all they will always fuck it up for the rest of us. Once they start playing the Mommy card “I deserve a pass because I’ve got kids” they amount to the biggest obstacle standing in the way of female advancement. These women loathe to face that once they have children they are no longer on an equal playing field unless she’s one of those women who loves her job/career more than the ankle biters. I never understood how people who choose to forego birth control or makes an ‘oops’ into a “miracle” that didn’t consult me makes having a kid I would have terminated my damn problem?!

    • You need to question why a woman who has kids is seen as less committed but a man who has kids is seen as more committed.

      But that might mean examining society and the men in your life.

      Too frightening for self-hating women.

      • Julie Was Here

        I love myself. My employers have all loves me to. I actually do my job without making absurd demands… Unlike some people.

      • Because women with children ARE, on average, much less committed to their jobs than men with children. It’s not about perception.

        The mothers who came here really need to ask themselves why they’re less committed to their jobs than their male co-parents (as has been pointed out repeatedly, they tend to exist). The answer is that their male co-parents just expect women to do the grunt work and won’t lift a finger in the home and in childrearing. All the while you mothers are talking about women supposedly hating other women and themselves. Is self-examination THAT hard??

        Well, that was easy. Next?

        • Stating a sexist stereotype, does not make it true.

          You know nothing about the mothers here, but it’s very telling that you feel able to assert that they’re less committed to their jobs than their male co-parents without knowing anything about them.

          Some of them may not have male co-parents, they may have female ones,some of them don’t have co-parents at all. Some may have male co-parents who are stay at home fathers leaving them to be the main wage earner.

          But don’t let me disturb your stereotype.

          Bored of this now, it was funny at first but now it’s just dull. I’ll leave you to your lovely childless lives, try and enjoy them a bit more, eh.

  22. justsaying

    And by the way, moms, if you don’t like how civilized Western life is treating your wombs, feel free to move to the nearest mud hut village in Africa where there’s free childcare and all the dirt you can eat.

  23. Oogie Boogie

    So in a nutshell, for anyone who may get offended by this blog…

    She isn’t saying women who want to get pregnant are horrible creatures.

    She’s saying that choosing to start a family does not entitled you to any privileges over someone without children.

    There is a lot of emotion and anger boiling over and I think it’s coming from a misunderstanding.

    In short, unless you’re the virgin Mary and became pregnant through no action of your own, be proud, be a good mother, but don’t develop a misguided sense of entitlement from the pregnancy.

    • You’ve misunderstood the arguments against her position.

      No-one cares whether Julie hates mothers or not.

      People came on here because she put forward arguments which are bog-standard misogyny and she called them “feminist”.

      No real feminist is going to let that pass without challenging it, sorry.

      • Julie Was Here

        It’s the pro-natalist entitlement complex that is NOT feminist in any way, as I wrote to point out.

  24. I’d like to comment on this part of Victoria’s post(above) because it sums up how I think most working moms feel and I disagree:

    Says Victoria:
    “…Granted, there are things parents could do in their lives to divide the responsibilities so that mothers don’t have these problems, and maybe they are making their employers compensate for significant others who won’t take equal responsibility in child-raising, but I do think we need to acknowledge the fact that women are more likely to be harmed by employers having no sympathy for parents, which may in turn keep women out of the workforce. Realistically, I think the larger issue is that there aren’t equal expectations for both parents and that women are defined by whether or not they have children in ways that men are not. Again, I think if parents take on equal child-related responsibilities, mothers are more likely not feel the strain of a work-life balance quite as much. Yeah, that falls into the realm of personal responsibility, but society needs to change as well…”

    My Thoughts On That:
    Whether fathers take on equal responsibilities for childcare, women with kids expecting special concessions at work because they are moms, men VS women in the age old problem of childcare responsibilities, and societal changes being needed so moms don’t feel the strain of work-life balance issues, is NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY of the employer NOR is it the problem of co-workers to pick up the slack of moms so they can better enjoy their lifestyle choices, period. It is NO surprise (or secret) mothers do the majority of the kid related cunt work from pregnancy to feeding, cleaning up after, taking kids to and from soccer practice, etc…..and women knowingly enter the mom zone when they CHOOSE to have kids. Therefore, child related issues are their problem and theirs alone.

    While I will agree it is unfair, that is a PERSONAL problem between the father and the mother and of NO CONCERN to employers, clients-customers, or co-workers. Although they are in the minority, there are plenty of couples with kids who manage to create a shared family responsibility structure where neither one’s job suffers any ill consequences. Instead of blaming society and expecting employers to grant moms special privileges not afforded to everyone else across the board, perhaps women need to choose the fathers of their children a little better. Like any OTHER lifestyle choice, moms need to take personal responsibility for their choices and understand they are NOT doing society any favors by having kids. NO ONE is paying for anyone else’s social security or retirement anymore except the individual, NO ONE will be taking care of us in our old age anymore unless it’s a paid medical professional, and the human race is in NO DANGER of becoming extinct.

    Therefore, with all the antiquated excuses to have babies, like it’s a pay it forward social service to humanity, having become null and void, to go on and reproduce is for no other reason than a woman’s lifestyle CHOICE. Don’t start spouting off about how some women are forced to have kids and go WAY off the path of this topic because it is about women in the workforce that is allowing all these special privileges which, as we all know, does NOT apply to women in areas that are forcing childbirth and children upon them. In The United States and most other developed countries, with all types of birth control being readily available and affordable, if a woman has kids it is ABSOLUTELY her choice and SHE needs to deal with it, NOT “the village”.

  25. Firstly. The idea proposed in the article means that the vast vast majority of women will have to choose between having a baby, and being in paid employment. This was the situation that middle class women were in, just after the victorian era(in this country anyway). Why do people want a move back to that idea, and how can it possibly be feminist. If the idea is that women stop having babies altogether, well I agree that the human race is pretty much a disaster. If you want the end of the human race then simply come out and say that – and don’t blame it all on women. Men also have the ability not to procreate if they choose – you need to target everyone.

    Second. I find the remarks about “Africa” bizarre. Africa is a continent, made up of many different countries, with different politics, social structures, cultures, religions and so on. There are cities in “Africa”, believe it or not. The idea that “Africa” is a homogenous place where everyone lives in mud huts is ludicrous. Zenophobic. Maybe racist. Certainly insulting. Think before you write. Maybe some reading would help. Educate yourself.

  26. “…but what is really getting to me lately is the way self-proclaimed feminists have reacted to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s support of work policies that do NOT treat mothers as special beings.”
    For me the problem starts with how some self-identified feminists have framed Mayer’s decision. The new policy that’s set to start is an across the board ban for telecommuting. This is something that will affect many types of Yahoo employees, not just mothers who are parenting minor children. Instead of the decision being the starting point for a (possibly fruitful) discussion about the “work at home” concept and how it affects businesses the topic has been hijacked by some short-sighted feMOOnists and used to further grind the axe they have with Melissa . This is the same woman who only took 2 weeks of maternity leave after she had her kid and prefers to work with a “genderblind” leadership style. There was much lowing in some feMOOnist circles about how Madame CEO’s choices are a bad example. She was already on some people’s shit list and it really seems to me that they were just waiting to use anything as an excuse to further their grudge against her. I don’t believe that her decisions are beyond reproach but at the same time I question how some people are critiquing her decisions and why.

    “Flexible hours? Work from home? Yeah, everyone (except the employers who would likely suffer from the decline in productivity,) would like that, but it’s not always practical and no one deserves it more than anyone else, not by virtue of being a woman or a mother.”
    I completely agree. The apparent decline in productivity is what guided Melissa’s decision. Yahoo has a system for monitoring employee work – how often they log in, how long they use the system, what people are doing, etc. When Melissa looked at the data and saw that many people who were “working” from home weren’t doing much work at all she decided that things had to change for the sake of the company. It’s a logical decision and I don’t blame her for it. Really, how much is Yahoo supposed to suffer for the sake of underperformers?

    “You have to be responsible for your own ‘work-life balance.’ The business is paying you to WORK, not to have a personal life. Set your own goals and priorities and be aware that they are not always fully compatible and CHOOSE RESPONSIBLY!”
    This is what it really comes down to, imo. Since some feMOONists have decided to frame Melissa’s decision solely in reference to themselves I have to remind them that most cases a woman’s boss(es) had no say in her choice to reproduce and with whom she reproduces (and in cases where there is some input…well, I think telecommuting would be the least of these women’s problems). Since workplace had no say in this personal choice then workplace isn’t responsible for how parents accommodate this personal obligation that they created for themselves. “Work-life balance” doesn’t mean that it’s up to your workplace to balance out the rest of your life for you.

  27. Nice essay, Julie. And the commentary is making me laugh. I laughed out loud when one of the Moo hags told you that you “need to read the literature.” Literature written by people who don’t live in the real world or have real jobs, I would imagine, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

    One of the Moo-Hags above wrote this, and it also made me laugh:

    “Here’s a newsflash: Mothers don’t care if you breed or not. Feminist mothers will fight for your right not to and not to be disadvantaged by society for not doing so. If you were a feminist, you’d be fighting for the rights of ALL women, not just those who choose not to breed.”

    How, exactly will they FIGHT FOR THE RIGHTS OF THE NON-CHILDED WOMEN? My experience is they will fight for a “flexible workplace” for moms and dads so that I may have the “pleasure” of doing their work when they take off to be with their kids. I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing I’m helping to raise those future Cancer Curers.

    I work in the United States for a large corporation where one is legally entitled, at least in theory, to 6 months of unpaid leave to take care of a family member or for one’s own illness. I write “in theory” because in our natalist society, this benefit has been hijacked by the Moos for themselves. When my own mother was ill with advanced cancer, I had to go to the Union to get this benefit for myself. I had a note from my mother’s oncologist and all the required paperwork. Up the chain and even HR told me this benefit was “typically used by parents.” (If you are going to be natalist about it, you could observe that my mom is a parent, but fuck old parents with grown children. These screaming Moos only care about themselves and their loaves.) I was always a stellar performer, the one who stayed late for all the crises. It taught me a valuable lesson, mainly fuck these stupid corporations–many of them are run by people who kowtow to the loudest, screaming contingents of people, regardless of whether they are right. (And in case you didn’t notice, the loudest contingent is often Moos. Corporations placate them so they’ll shut up, but that is a strategy that leads to mediocracy.)

    During that time, a co-worker’s wife lost a pregnancy that was six weeks along. She barely missed her period. We didn’t have telework at the time, and my boss allowed him to work from home for two weeks with pay, no questions asked, zero paperwork required. It still burns me to this day, but not to worry. I got my supervisor back a couple of years later when he screwed up something major. I was there to point it out and I got him demoted.

    Anwyay, the point is these Moos say all the buzwords about advancement for ALL women, but they are hard-pressed to come up with any concrete examples because they don’t have any for the woman without children. (Other than the joy of making sacrifices for the common good, etc.)

    I’m all for flexible workplaces and work-life balance, but the problem is that Moos hijack these benefits for themselves and scream if anyone without children dares to use them.

    • gubmintworker

      You are exactly right, blondie: “Feminist” mothers whose concern is making workplaces more reproduction friendly absolutely do not give two fucks about the childfree. The only mothers who have given a crap about me and my wants and needs have been my own mother, a few other of my mother’s family members, and a couple of friends. I’ve been working now for 22 years. My first jobs had shifts that employers allowed employees to switch. I got burned a few times agreeing to work a mother’s shift, because she just HAD to be off that day and time, but when I asked for a return favor, the mother NEVER would work my shift. I have had mothers verbalize that all the childfree should be the ones working the holidays or the days off around the holidays, because they deserve that time due to having offspring. I’ve had mothers get pissy because I had vacation leave approved in a time they were “planning” to take. I’ve been the subject of gossip because I didn’t participate in gift grubby, Mommy and Progeny worship parties called baby showers, that the bosses pretty much expected everyone to be thrilled to participate in. My cat would be more likely to fight for me to get extra benefits at work than would a mother.

  28. Julie from ca

    I decided early in my employed life to get sterilized (22). I used 2 vacation days. But would have taken unpaid time off. It was my choice and does not affect others at all. I’ll never need maternity leave or pumping room and time. My life is not empty without children.

    • And yet you spend so much energy fulminating against women who have taken a different path from you. Why not just enjoy your liberated life and stop worrying about all those misguided women who do things differently from you and keep the human race going in the process?

  29. I see that people want to go on and on about “feminism”, but what wave of feminism are you talking about? I subscribe to what the ORIGINAL feminists wanted – they wanted women to get out of the kitchen, work, travel and find their identity and independence beyond “wife and mother”. I’m sorry, but any argument that being a mother is feminist and empowering or that negotiating the work/life balance is somehow feminist and empowering is just blatantly wrong. There is nothing inherently feminist about breeding because even in 2013, women are still responsible for 80% of the household work and child care. And I’m sorry, but WOMEN are allowing it to happen. Women are still attracted to and marrying jerks, they are still hoping that men will change after the wedding and they are still living in some romance novel fantasy world. This was EXACTLY what our “founding mothers” rallied so hard against. If you want to have children, go ahead. If you want to be a SAHM, be my guest. But please, don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back about how “empowered” you are. You’re a slave to cunt work just like women in the 1950s.

  30. Not very bad in fact wells, and at least you admit there are radicals and they ruined most of feminism. Although; I hate to say this you feminist have more political power than you care to admit. Obama is a feminist and he is murdering more people with drone strikes than Bush and hell at least Bush visited the troops on the front lines.

    • Julie Was Here

      No.

      I’m not with you on this one.

      • Obama declaring himself a male feminist is not that hard to prove he wore a tshirt saying this what a feminist looks like and even pedals the wage gap myth as a fact. The reality of women making less money is that many times they have babies and dedicate themselves more towards kids than work.

  31. I believe in equal pay for equal WORK. As in, if you take 6 weeks out of a year to breed, nope sorry, you don’t deserve to make as much as someone who SHOWS UP every day for work. If I show up and do my work without taking a 6 week vacation, I should be making more than you! I’m doing more work!

  32. Well at you admit where feminism has fucked up, although I have to say, the your pseudo feminists have plenty of government power. VAWA and Obama are proof positive. You want to see some pseudo feminist whiners go look at many of the women in the USMC. I had this one that was using her rank on grunts to get out of her base detail because of cramps. Although I feel you did leave out the fact some feminists have some very crazy and sick concepts of how to fix men as if men are the one’s fucking up society. I don’t see single dads asking for all the perks single moms are demanding in the name of feminism.

    • Julie Was Here

      No… That’s not feminism.

      See, that’s my problem. People like to pretend that feminism is something other than it is, be that subverting it to their own ends, or blaming it in ways that don’t even make any sense.

      • So me blaming feminists for say VAWA and SCUM that makes no sense? VAWA needs massive rewrites to be gender neutral. Not mention how is hold feminists that actually show up to a public forum on Battered men and start screaming threats holding feminists unjustly responsible? They call themselves feminists and do things in the name of feminism so that is feminism or its the faults of radicals that have subverted the movement. As for the bitchie feminist marine she had the feminist symbol tattooed on her back. I guess I was wrong about you.

  33. gubmintworker

    Wanting liberal maternity leave policies, on-site day care, and flex time because of childed status is pronatalist, not feminist. I wish mothers who label themselves feminists, and whose sole concern is making the workplace more friendly for mothers (but no one else) would just start calling themselves pronatalists. That is much more accurate and honest.

    It seems like a lot of people who replied negatively to this blog piece completely missed the point. Julie simply said mothers do not deserve special treatment, and to think they do is not feminist. Not sure why so many repliers are getting on completely irrelevant tangents.

    Here’s the problem: You live in the United States of America. Private business owners are concerned, for the most part, about profit and nothing else. Taxpayers are concerned about their money being wasted paying for government agency employers. As Julie pointed out, pronatalists might want to have a huge benefit package for the sole reason they reproduced, but guess what, someone has to pay for that. These wanted benefits don’t come along for free. From what I understand, there are some companies with a family friendly stance. Go work for those companies if you want to reproduce, still work but focus your main energy on your children. Start a day care and be a small business owner. Or, I dunno, move to some country that so many pronatalists claim are so much better than the United States in terms of being parent friendly.

    I work for a government office. The big players within the structure try way too hard to be politically correct. Therefore, since I suppose it’s one of the current whinging points, it’s super friendly toward the reproducing female. The “shared sick leave” policy just recently changed so that other workers can donate sick time to someone out on maternity leave. I’ve only been there 4 years and 11 months. In that time, two women have been on both maternity leave, and leave because both also had a miscarriage, and they frequently take off for childcare. A third woman has older kids with autism and she takes off at least once a week for them. A fourth woman takes care of her niece’s kid, and has to be off frequently. That was and is a hardship on the operations. One of the recently breeding women wanted (not a doctor said she needed it) twelve weeks of leave. She only had 80 hours of sick time saved up when she went to deliver, plus some vacation time. At least half of her leave was on donated hours. This particular woman has only worked at that office 6 months longer than me. In being employed basically 5 years 5 months, her total leave time has been about 6 months. Kind of absurd if you ask me: Six months off in only working there at total of sixty-five months. I don’t know how much of her work I wound up getting stuck doing during her absences. Do non-parents get rewarded for being more reliable? No, it’s the government.

    Speaking of breeding, this has bred resentment in those of us who are never going to get maternity leave because we are not having children. The way I have handled it is over the last year, I’ve made sure to use at least one sick day a month. Before I worked at my current employer, I rarely used sick leave. Now I use it if I have a headache, if I sprained a muscle the night before, or if I need a mental health day. I felt guilty about it for awhile, but now I don’t. Others of my coworkers are out of the office frequently. It is never fully staffed. So here’s this office where the taxpayers are putting out funds for people to be off all the time. It does run pretty well regardless, but it’s very stressful to always be picking up someone’s “slack”. I will be fully vested in April, so within the next six months I am planning on quitting, (for many reasons, not just the mom friendly policy). A new staff member will have to be trained. More money on the taxpayer. The reason for my personal story is to give an example as to how a Mom Friendly policy might actually harm a workplace. It is unfair and unwise to give favor to mothers unless the company puts that out there pre-hire. I’d love to work somewhere where no one had or was planning on having children. Bet it would run a whole lot frickkin’ better than my current place.

  34. I’m not in the US and had to google VAWA – it seems it is an act which hopes to address violence against women.
    Can anyone explain why this act is seen as a bad thing by some posters on this blog? I am not familiar with the arguments and WIKI does not contain the reasons that it is disliked.

  35. These smug Mommies kill me. They choose to marry some dickhead who can’t even boil water, and then they want to rant and rave how it’s so haarrrddddd to work and raise a family! Really? No fucking kidding. If you’ve gone through your dating life looking for an alpha male and then you land one, don’t expect marriage and babies to change him. Accept your role in life as a slave to your alpha male and your children. Hopefully if you have daughters, you’ll raise them to think that chick flicks aren’t representative of real life.

  36. “So women being treated as intelligent adult beings responsible for their own choices and treated equally is somehow patriarchal?”

    Julie, you nailed it! Don’t think about it too much, and don’t you pay these lowing moos no-never-mind. I got the same thing when I decided to go back to school for science. “You are accepting the patriarchy! You hate yourself! Science is the male construction of reality…” and blah, blah, blah. *eyeroll*

    These are probably the same cows who were on each other’s case in the 1990s, accusing each other of “not being feminist” because of 1) having male children (i.e. “birthing the oppresser”), or 2) not being a lesbian (because “women are more giving, etc.”), or 3) not practicing Wicca the “correct” way. Thank the science of birth control that I am childfree and did not birth either an oppressor or an oppressette, and could avoid most of the Stalinist purges about who was and was not a “real” feminist back when they were all into crystals, claiming to be reincarnated Native Americans, and shit like that. Now, they’re into babies, and Jesus.

    Equality for women was never a very popular idea among women; the suffragettes got many a door slammed in their faces, so don’t be surprised that women have turned away from equality when they are on the verge of attaining it. It was the Constitutional logic of the suffragettes, rather than an overwhelming majority of female support, that got the 19th Amendment passed, so feel proud, very proud, that you (and I) are among the elite or whatever we get labeled as belonging to.

    The fact is, nature arranged it so that the overwhelming burden of bearing children is on the woman, and many, many women died in childbirth before the advent of “patriarchal” western medicine. I don’t care how many woman assert the Naturalistic Fallacy, this is inherently unfair, the world is overpopulated, and the solution is birth control. Don’t tell me about “continuing the species” moms – you’re doing it for your own personal reasons, most of which would not even be possible without women like Julie.

    The CEO of Yahoo checked the VPN rolls and saw that people were not doing their jobs. End of story. Mothers do not have the right to cheat a company. Period.

  37. Big eyeroll to the commenter who pointed out that the WHO recommends breastfeeding for 2 years. It never occurs to these idiots that pro-breastfeeding propoganda is a means for the patriarchy to keep women chained to their babies. And then they have the nerve to use that as a reason they seek to disadvantage an entire subset of women (the childfree and childless). Ming bogglingly stupid.

  38. justsaying

    Mothers ruin work environments, plain and simple. They leave early, show up late, take off for every little illness, real or imagined. If dads behaved like this I’d be on their ass too, but they don’t, just the useless single moms and most married cows too.

  39. justsaying

    And if Africa is so modernized, why is most of it ruled by warlords and China is over there busily stripping it’s natural resources?

  40. If you want a large house, you save for the down payment. If you want to take a nice, long vacation, you save for it and plan around your vacation time. Having a child is a lifestyle choice. Don’t worry about the future because you will not be here. It may be scary to think about but it is NOT up to you to solve all the worlds problems before you die. Each generation handles their own problems, usually better than the previous. There is no chance in the population dying out as much as people love to have sex. Consider that the world started without man, it could also be destined to end that way. In a nutshell, plan for your own lifestyle choices.

  41. Maiya LaMar

    I realize I’m a bit late to this party, but I have some questions. I enjoy your blog, and your well thought out arguments, but I have to ask, why so much anger towards women who have made a different reproductive choice than you have? I understand not wanting to “worship” mothers, but does that leave you no other choice than to call them names and suggest that all working mothers who take maternity leave are irresponsible and have made bad choices?

    It appears you live in the US from your comments on VAWA and Obama. Dd you know that there is no such thing as “maternity leave?” There is FMLA, which covers any serious medical condition. So if you choose to drink too much and need a kidney transplant, or if you choose to ignore symptoms of something wrong for years and need major surgery, or if you choose to breed, you can take unpaid time off. The federal law does not provide paid time. What is unfair about that? Everyone can use the time regardless of breeding choice, so why does this give unfair entitlements to people who decide to breed? If your company offers paid time off outside of PTO, that is a personal choice that they weren’t forced to make and reflects the company’s values. In that case, it’s something you should take up with your employer rather than be angry with employees who avail themselves of a benefit offered by their employer.

    Again, I wonder about your attitude towards breeders. I would never disrespect your reproductive choices by calling you names (I know you didn’t say it, but moo hags? Seriously?) or insulting your decision. I support your choice not to have children (and not in that, you’re a shitty person so you shouldn’t be trusted with children sort of way). Why can’t you respect my reproductive choices? I don’t want you to worship me, I don’t care about your approval, but I question why so many childfree people appear to be angry towards those with children. Is it a reaction to the discrimination you face or something more? I a genuinely curious and I hope that this sparks a conversation because I would like to hear your views.

    • Julie Was Here

      Well, you are destroying the planet, but that’s besides the point.

      Here, I’ve actually expressed no hatred or anger towards anyone except those who balk their responsibilities and still expect to be rewarded for it. Only to someone who is accustomed to being worshiped for their choices sees this as hatred, so thanks for proving my point. (By the way, have you noticed that the closest thing you have to an argument that I am angry and hateful is something you know I didn’t even say?)

      Uh, yeah, there is maternity leave. And I keep seeing people demanding more. Probably the most outlandish demand that I’ve seen is for a full year off work – fully paid. All the while, they pretend that their demand for special treatment is feminist, rather than merely pro-natalist. That’s insane.

      People who breed have several months to plan and prepare, or prevent the need for maternity leave altogether. It’s not comparable to actual health or family emergencies, and it’s frankly disgusting that you would even try to make the comparison. Seriously, shame on you.

  42. What do you call maternity leave? Are you talking about the leave afforded to all people with a serious medical condition? That is FMLA, and it’s how everyone I’ve ever heard of takes time off work to have a child. It’s also how people who have other medical issues take time off of work so they can heal, and in both cases its unpaid. If there is something else that you know of, ask your employer about it. You will find that 1) it’s FMLA, or 2) it’s something your employer voluntarily provides to employees. If it’s FMLA, everyone gets it. If its not, that was your employer’s choice. Oh I guess there’s another option: you live in a different country that provides paid maternity leave, because the US doesn’t.

    I’m sorry that you feel my comparison was disgusting, but of course that’s a personal feeling you have every right to. It is phrases like that which led me to see anger in your posts about people with children. You feel the need to call people names and insult them for having children because they’re destroying the planet? Do you do this to everyone who has a hand in planetary destruction or just breeders? Again, I wonder why your making one choice makes you so dismissive of those who have made the other choice?. Do you show feel the need to do this to affirm your own choice? Because I really don’t think you need to, and you’re clearly too intelligent to really think this, either. You’ve made the right choice for you and I would gladly stand up for your right to do so. What about my choice deprives me of the same?

    Just as I wouldn’t be angry at you for taking leave to deal with a medical condition you could have prevented, it seems odd to me that you are so upset that other people leave work to have babies. Isn’t it enough to have made your own choice? What do you care what others do?

    • Julie Was Here

      I’m talking about maternity leave, which actually is a thing in the US. In most states, the law does not require that this time be paid, but that’s what faux feminist pro-natalists push for. Maybe you should re-read the post. You are aware that individual states impose their own laws, some of which actually do require that parents get paid for work they don’t even do, aren’t you?

      Purposely getting knocked up and skipping work is not the same as having a serious medical condition that you didn’t voluntarily choose. Stop pretending they’re the same thing. It’s insulting to people who actually want to work but can not for reasons beyond their control. This is not a situation that applies to people who want special vacations just to breed. IT’S NOT THE SAME!

      I didn’t call anyone names or insult anyone. You’re getting upset because your choice isn’t being treated as though it makes you special – that’s what’s bothering you. And now you’re projecting as if I’m the one with the problem. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. You can’t lie to me about me and expect me to play along as it fits the narrative you are so desperate to create.

  43. Yes, I’m aware that three states provide for paid family leave, but because of the US Constitution it isn’t for mothers only but for all new parents. I’m guessing that you must live in one of those three states. If you don’t like your state policy, you have 47 states to choose from that don’t mandate that employers pay their employees when they take FMLA. That’s even assuming that they qualify.

    Personally, I don’t look at whether a person chose to have a medical condition (or other disadvantage) when I ask whether they should be able to take time off for them to get better. Rather than comparing medical situations that one has control over vs. those that one doesn’t have control over, I just look to the seriousness of the condition.

    Maybe you should re-read my post, because I failed to see where I said or implied that anyone’s choice was more special than anyone else’s. In fact, that’s exactly my point. I don’t have to make my choice any more significant than yours, because it’s not. Nor do I know what lie I told you about you. I realize that when all you have is a hammer, all you see are nails. I’ve been told by my childfree friends (I have a few) that they face a lot of judgment and prejudice from idiot breeders who try to make them feel bad about their choice not to procreate. However, that doesn’t mean that you are surrounded by nails. In this case, I don’t think that my choices are better or more special than mine. I’m simply saying, to be right you don’t have to prove the other guy wrong. And that’s what it looks like you’re doing.

    • Julie Was Here

      Are you being intentionally dense? It just boggles my mind that anyone can miss the point so consistently and so badly. The point is that the demand for special treatment (and it IS special treatment) for people who breed is NOT feminist, despite the claims of the irresponsible and entitled. This is true no matter what state I live in. Would it really just kill you to pay attention for one minute before running your mouth (or keyboard) with irrelevant shit?

      Birth is entirely avoidable. It is NOT the same as needing time off for a medical condition, it’s taking time off for a personal whim. Stop comparing the two. It makes you look crazy. Expecting that the two completely different situations should be held to the same level IS expecting that your choice should be special, comparable to people with actual problems.

  44. I’ve deliberately avoided throwing insults at you, but now I must ask if you are being dense. I’ve read through a lot of your posts and I see that you are capable of forming well thought out, logical arguments to support your positions. I ask you, what is special about taking unpaid time off of work? I get that you think paid time off is special treatment. Since very few women have access to that, what is special about taking time off to address a medical issue?

    There are plenty of medical conditions that are caused by a person’s lifestyle choices. Are you against unpaid time off for them, too, or only childbirth?

    Honestly, I’ve asked you several questions and you have avoided answering every one of them. I don’t know why that is. As I said, I read your posts and your ability to form logical arguments is a reason I reached out to ask you these questions, not some desire to get you to see the error of your ways (which I don’t think are erroneous, actually). Of course, that’s your choice, but I find it odd that you consistently avoid my direct questions in favor of classifying my statements as disgusting, crazy, irrelevant shit, and accusing me of calling you a liar (yet refusing to provide a single example of a statement I made to that effect)…and then ask me if I’m being intentionally dense. You seem very defensive and I have to tell you, that I don’t get.

    • Julie Was Here

      You make me want to slam my head into a wall. Did you even read the fucking post?! Paid time off, and, more specifically, the demand for it is what I’m talking about. PAY ATTENTION!

      Deliberately choosing to shit babies is not comparable to necessary medical treatment for any condition. How many fucking times do I have to say this before you get it through your head?! Your argument fails! You lose.

      Ah, there’s that common troll tactic, ignoring answers and pretending relevant questions are not addressed. Do you enjoy making shit up? Does it make you feel better?

      Run along. The adults are talking.

      • Women are fanfuckingtastic!

        God (whom I’m sure your liberal ass doesn’t believe in) designed women’s bodies to carry and give birth to children. So instead of being some butch, independent, mysogynistic dumb ass woman who is just bitter because she doesn’t want kids and pushing YOUR beliefs of the rest of women, mind your own business. If you chose to not have kids, that’s your decision. But for the remaining 90 some odd percent of women who do, they should get the treatment they deserve. Being a mother is hands down the most difficult job in the world. It’s a job that only a fellow mother will ever understand, men never will and neither will an ignorant woman who chooses not to have kids and be critical of the ones who do. You talk about gender equality, blah blah blah, how about actually standing up for your own gender then. Don’t criticize and put down women, it’s obvious you have no respect for your own gender, especially when you refer to women “shitting out a baby”. Really? It’s quite obvious from your post that you’re completely moronic, but I thought it was learned in 6th grade that babies don’t come from your asshole. Maybe that’s where you came from though. Have that chat wih your Mom after you lick her box you ignorant dumb fucking cunt who is setting women back even more.

        • Julie Was Here

          I’m amused that you called me “liberal” like it’s some kind of insult. All you really did is label me as someone who is sane.

          If you believe that your one true Santa exists and also carry the extremely misogynistic belief that and it designed women’s bodies to breed, then ask yourself why your imaginary friend did such a shitty job. If women’s bodies are designed to breed, why is birthing so incredibly dangerous? As humans evolved and began to walk upright, our pelvises got narrower, and at the same time our increased intelligence caused heads to grow larger. The only solution was to have infants be born less developed. A bipedal “design” was favored over reproductive ability. Pregnancy and birth related complications used to be the leading cause of death among reproductive age women before modern medicine compensated for your god’s incompetence. 1,000 women still die of such complications EVERY DAY worldwide. Then consider how many pregnancies result in stillbirth or miscarriage. Hell, something like 40% of fertilized embryos fail to even implant. Then consider the fact that infertility isn’t even remotely rare. Get the picture yet? If we pretend that your god is real and is the designer for this purpose, then you have to conclude that he really sucks at his job. (Makes sense that he would be, seeing as how he never bothered to show up for work.)

          The only treatment mothers deserve is equal treatment, equal to both men and women regardless of whether they breed or not. You’re NOT special. Motherhood is not a job in any sense, nor is it anywhere remotely close the hardest (try serving in the military.) If you want to pat yourself on the back for failing to use a condom, you can take it somewhere else because here you won’t get the mindless breeder worship you’re so obviously accustomed to.

          New flash, feminism does NOT mean giving women (let alone a group of women based on their lifestyle choices) special treatment. If you want to shit a baby (which is obviously an expression, you fucking loser) continue to infect the world with your spawn, overpopulate the planet more, continue to drain the planet’s resources more, continue to leave children who already exist and need homes to languish so your narcissistic ass can have a replicant, continue to contribute to the destruction of the planet, then you have to accept that you will be called out for it (I’m sure not going to tip-toe around the truth for the sake of your disproportionally swollen ego.) You also have to accept that breeding will require lifestyle changes FROM YOU, not the rest of the world, and dealing with the consequences of your choice to breed is YOUR OWN problem. It’s called being an adult. You might grow up and try it some time you hilariously stupid clown troll.

          Go sniff a diaper while the baby-daddy finds a younger, saner fuck-buddy who didn’t ruin her cooter by treating it like a clown-car.

        • Since you’re not liberal, shouldn’t you be for women staying out of the workforce while doing The Most Important Job In The World(TM)?

          • Touche’. I couldn’t agree more: Leave the money earning, financial independence and success climbing for the liberated wenches. The damsels in distress can continue to use their vaginas and wombs to rely on a man for their livelihood

  45. Wow, you’re right. The reaction that you just had is clearly very adult. At least for a 22 year old, I suppose.

    Not only have I not “made an argument” (perhaps a dictionary or even a philosophy class could help teach you the definition of the word “argument”, but here’s a free glimpse: a question wouldn’t qualify), it appears that you don’t want to answer the question about unpaid leave that I have asked several times. I’ll take your avoidance to mean that you don’t have a problem with that. Thank you for letting me know that, although I wish you had done so directly. Having read your article, I was curious whether you extended the beliefs that you expressed to unpaid time off. I guess now I have that answer.

    I am still interested in your reasons for believing that childbirth/pregnancy are different than another medical condition that is caused by a lifestyle choice, but for some reason you’ve chosen to exclaim your frustration with my inability to grasp the difference. I’ve asked you to explain, because it appears you’re right, I don’t see the difference. That’s ok, if you’d rather yell and pout that you’re right and I’m just too dumb to grasp it, fine. I’d rather you explain the reasons for your position like a grown up (actually even my teenager would have had a more intelligent response than that), but you are free to do what you choose.

    As for trolling, potato, potah-to, I guess. What I saw as asking another intelligent adult about their beliefs, you seem to see as trolling. Again, that’s ok. As you get older, you may find that your belief system is not challenged by other, opposing belief systems; that diversity of thought and experience are really positive influences in the world, and you may not be as challenged by that as you seem to be now. If you ever reach that place, let me know as I am genuinely interested in some of your opinions.

  46. sundance101

    Off the subject Question? Does anyone know where there is a Child-Free Dating website? I have no problem if someone has children but all of the men my age (32) are married or want to have babies and start their own families. I just want to adopt one- at like age 40. Anyone have any suggestions and yes I’ve already tried online dating regular sites and everyone always wants kids. Thanks

  47. Ever watch 19 Kids and Counting? Indeed they’re ‘shitting babies’ at an alarming rate!

  48. While I understand the philosophy behind your argument, there are significant logistics that you seem to be underestimating. Sadly, yours is an “it sounds good in theory” argument, but one with little practical weight as a result.

    Child rearing in it’s earliest stages is significantly more complex (and expensive) than you seem to understand. Maternity leave is not about deifying mothers. (Though I do agree with you that just because you can reproduce doesn’t make you a goddess, nor is birth a “miracle”- it’s biology, folks.) Maternity leave IS about equality. Women used to have to leave the workforce (or never enter it) BECAUSE they reproduce. Maternity leave is about recognizing that women should be allowed to continue to work, even if they also choose to have children.

    However, in the first three months, the mother is often not medically cleared to do a lot of things, neither parent is sleeping much at all, and there are crucial bonding and developmental things happening between the parents- especially the mother- and her newborn. So while “save up your vacation days” sounds like a reasonable argument, I know very few jobs, other than education, who get six weeks to three months of vacation time that could even BE saved up! Plus, even in the case of education, you can’t necessarily plan out when your maternity leave will fall- you can try to time out your reproductive cycle, but biology trumps plans and it happens when it happens. Demanding that women sacrifice their personal health and the well being of their child, while also arguing they should not be paid, during crucial developmental stages of their infant is not the least bit feminist. Check out the statistics in countries like Norway- they give a full year’s paid leave to the mother and 10 weeks of paid leave to fathers because they recognize that the beginning stages of child rearing is both demanding and also a crucial formative time.

    I understand that single people don’t also get the same amount of leave. But believe me, maternity leave is not a vacation. It’s exhausting, around the clock work. Likewise, feminism or no, it’s just a fact that there are institutional inequities between singles and marrieds, from tax breaks to maternity leave, etc. It’s just the way of the world. From the dawn of history, marriage has been an economic institution, and procreating is how we propagate the species/ our society.

    • Julie Was Here

      Then she shouldn’t breed. You have to own the consequences of your choices, instead of making poor choices and expecting the world to deal with them for you.

    • Julie Was Here

      It may not have occurred to you that breeding is a choice.

      • It has in fact occurred to me. No need to be rude. That being said, as I stated above, while it is a choice, it’s not necessarily one that can be controlled, timing wise.

        What you seem to be saying is that a) having children is by default a poor choice (which we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on) and b) that should a woman choose to have children, she should automatically have to put her body and the well being of her child’s development at risk or leave work? (and also, per your logic, if she “saves up all of her vacation days” for a leave during the time she has given birth, what happens in the event of unforeseen emergency or other complication that invariably comes up and requires a day- or half day- to take care of? Is the woman just damned to being fired because she has children? What kind of feminism is that, exactly?)

        • Julie Was Here

          When someone breeds absolutely can be controlled. If she isn’t prepared do deal the consequences of breeding without needing other people to bear her burden in her behalf, then not only was breeding a poor choice at the time, she is an unfit mother for being so irresponsible. I wonder about your idea of feminism in which you imagine that women are incapable of responsible planning or dealing with the consequences of their choices and should be sheltered by society from ever having to do so. Why do you think so little of women?

          • Much as I consistently appreciate your defensive tone followed by oddly accusatory statements out of left field, I don’t in fact “think so little” of women. I’m simply realistic about the complexity of child bearing, child rearing & work & think enough of women to know that most absolutely can juggle both … after an appropriate recovery time from a major medical event (& the subsequent other complications of new parenthood immediately following).

            And if you had actually read what I wrote, I didn’t say you can’t plan out the timing of your pregnancy- responsible women absolutely do- BUT as I also said, you can’t necessarily control when it happens because biology trumps planning (& to say otherwise is naive at best). Take two of my friends, both happily married with jobs- one who organized & made all the necessary plans, but a year later into the trying process, she’s not pregnant yet. Then the other, who was on birth control & wanted a family down the line, but it happened earlier than planned. So no, actually, you can not “absolutely control” when someone breeds. Even adoption & medical technologies are reliant upon variables that make true control difficult, if not impossible.

            • Julie Was Here

              Biology certainly does NOT trump planning. It ALWAYS comes down to choices. An as it is, not aka choices are equal and they sure as hell are not free of consequences. The consequences of choosing to breed are entirely the woman’s own burden to bear, not anyone else’s. if she needs time off, she should have the responsibility to save vacation time and money.
              No one ever breeds earlier than planned, they choose to breed and don’t bother to plan.

              • gowenphotography

                Yes, I see your point that ultimately, there is always a choice insofar as the choice of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy is an option. However that option is also fraught with multiple layers of complexity as well, from the emotional aftermath to the cost of the procedure, etc.

                For the record, I’m childless and self employed, so I’m purely interested in this discussion from the perspective of intellectual discourse given we are coming from different logical perspectives. Neither my standpoint (nor yours) has any pragmatic bearing on my life and situation! I’m the only one who will have to deal with my maternity leave should I decide to have children.

                To answer your earlier question about what my idea of feminism that thinks women need protection and can’t make responsible choices: I believe women are entirely capable of making responsible choices and, if they had to, would take their leave, etc. However, I think that feminism is ultimately ABOUT choice, and choice shouldn’t have to mean one or the other. Given the historical context of motherhood within a workforce context, I do think women should have protection from potential wrongful termination and should be empowered to do both, work and have a family. Again, as I stated in my original response- I DON’T believe birth is a miracle, nor that being a mother makes you some goddess. It’s biology. That being said, I also don’t personally appreciate the breed of feminism that seems to antagonize any woman that chooses any part of a traditional gender role either. So that’s where I’m coming from with regard to that.

              • Julie Was Here

                It doesn’t matter why anyone makes the choice they make, they are still responsible for having made that choice and the consequences of it. There is no excuse.

                It’s up to each woman whether she can handle a job and breeding. But it’s up to her to handle it. If a business has to pay for her choice, give her special privilege for her choice, then she is NOT handling both her job and motherhood.

                If women want to work – then then should WORK! That’s what they get paid to do. Women should NOT be paid for not working. It is NOT feminist to act like women are biologically handicapped and unable to make responsible choice and therefore must be babied by their employers. NO! Fuck no.

        • Tell you what, I’d go along with all of it: maternity leave*, breastfeeding spaces, time off, flexible schedules, etc., without complaining if I didn’t have to hear mothers whine about how they don’t make as much or advance as far as their childless female counterparts. Women without kids who have devoted more time and energy to their jobs deserve to be rewarded for it.

          *As for paid maternity leave, why not set up an insurance program that people could pay into to cover that when they need it? It would work like long/short term disability and could be used for other types of personal leave as well. I’m not for employers having to cover maternity leave because they didn’t hire you to have a kid and all money that goes to employee benefit programs is money that comes directly out of salaries (according to labor economists). I’m already subsidizing parents enough. You’re welcome.

  49. I’m late to the conversation-but I just had to say that I completely agree with you Julie. I worked at a hotel once where we had a meeting about work schedules for the holidays. This mother insisted that since she had children she should automatically get all the holidays off-and that we people who didn’t have children should have to work all of the holidays. At another restaurant job one waitress would sneak of, call her babysitter and then say that she had to leave because one of her kids was sick, funny that it only happened on slow nights. Just sick of people using the mother card to get away with shit.

  50. EqualityKate

    Do the world a favor and never have kids Julie. Takes two to tango. Women are victims of nature for being the only ones able to have kids, so basically you are victim blaming. Wow how “feminist” of you. Can’t wait for you to drop dead in loneliness and spare us from your stupidity.

    • Julie Was Here

      It’s not feminist to pretend women are victims of nature. Women have brains and there is simply no excuse not to use them to make good decisions. You are solely responsible for the choices that you make. Don’t blame the world or expect the world for feel sorry for you or bear your burden for you if you lack the responsibility to make smart choices.

      • I just love these women who think telling you not to be a mother is the WORST INSULT EVER. This may come as a shock to you, EqualityKate, but there are women who have no interest in being mothers and don’t consider motherhood to be the utmost fulfilling thing in a woman’s existence.

        “Can’t wait for you to drop dead in loneliness” Do your kids know you had them so they could keep you company? How selfish and shitty of you.

        • Julie Was Here

          I know, right?

          You know what’s really funny is being told not to breed in the very same comment that claims women are victims of nature. Which is it? Ate we able to control our reproduction or not?

          Lol that stupid cow really didn’t think it through.

        • Julie Was Here

          Do the world a favor an never have kids. Yeah, you damned childfree lady. Never mar your body with horrific stretch marks. Never stretch and tear your vagina until it is nothing more than a windsock. Never add unnecessary complication to your relationships. Never throw away your dreams that are incompatible with breeding. Never have your house look like a disaster area. Never ruin your finances. Never have some ungrateful brat slam doors and tell you he hates you. Yes, do the world a favor and never ruin your life.

          Yeah. Take that.

    • Julie Was Here

      See, it’s un-feminist idiots like you pretending to be feminist that set all women back with your irresponsibility and irrational sense of entitlement, which was of course the very thing this blog post was about. Thanks for being a shining example of the problem.

  51. So, let me get this straight… believing women are biologically inferior, handicapped walking incubators whose only merit/value are their reproductive capacities is feminist. Believing that none of this is true and that mothers aren’t special snowflakes is misogynistic. Makes perfect sense. Also, if all women want to shit babies, why should women who shit babies be considered special snowflakes? You immature pieces of dog shit are a perfect example of why mothers can never be feminists. And an even more perfect example that breeding doesn’t make one mature, reasonable, sane or responsible.
    The term ‘feminist’ refers to something incredibly specific and can’t be stretched to mean whatever you want it to mean. There are very strict requirements to fit the description. Slapping the term on yourself without fitting said requirements and using it as a badge of honor is called appropriation.

  52. I think all too often nowadays, at the hand of modernity, people believe something much crueler than necessary about ourselves and our species as we survive. I agree that feminism means gender equality, but a pro-human view within that is still possible. You conclude that child-tending adults are less deserving of assistance, which in my opinion shows your low standard of family and home life, or at the least, your value of it. Perhaps I’m wrong to over judge. In my opinion, it would be a continuation of the long standing struggle to improve workers rights for folk to have fair access to anything others have and for neutral gender qualifications to recieve workers benefits like paid child time off. What you suggest sounds more like succumbing to this world as a prison, and for us all to suffer in it together fairly. I would be interested to understand other points you can make for feminism that don’t include a poorer quality of life across the board.

    • Your quality of life is entirely up to you, and is your own responsibility, not your employer’s. So make responsible choices. Your home life if your own problem.

  1. Pingback: Having A Vagina Does Not Automatically Make Your Demand Feminist | The Casual Natural Southern Feminist

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