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Author Topic: Women's Magazines
gladiator
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Icon 8 posted September 19, 2005 21:27      Profile for gladiator     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Women, this question is mainly for you. Several weeks ago I was at work and several women co-workers were reading Cosmopolitan between calls. The workplace is a call center so there are slow days when people just talk or read. Anyway getting back to the point. Anyone looking at my birthdate in my profile can see I'm in my thirties; a little older than some on this site and younger than others. Well anyway one of my female co-workers asked some questions of me about a quiz that was in Cosmo. Now I'm no prude, but really how many of you women out there really read Cosmo, Glamour, etc. and base their lives on the articles in these magazines. I picked up a Cosmo the other day in the gym and it really seems no better than guys magazines like Maxim, FHM, etc. in that the only goal in life is pleasing your gf/bf or what the latest sex technique is. What is this saying about our society? Look, I like looking at beautiful women as the next guy and appreciate heterosexual women that have a true appreciation of men without all the man bashing sometimes prevalent in some parts of our society.But it really disturbs me if people are taking all of this so called "advice" in magazines seriously as to dating in the "real world." Speaking of Real World and other "reality shows" and sitcoms, where's the talk of sexual responsibility and taking into account what it really means to learn about having a responsible sex life i.e peoples values, emotions etc. What is the youth doing today with all this crappy misinformation. Please only respond to this thread if you are wanting to discuss the topic maturely. Save the humor for the jokes forum.

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Gladiator:(noun)Celebrity and entertainer for the Roman masses.... without the paparazzi

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csk

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Icon 1 posted September 19, 2005 22:03      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by gladiator:
Women, this question is mainly for you.

Ah well, you'll have to cope with me replying instead.

quote:
Several weeks ago I was at work and several women co-workers were reading Cosmopolitan between calls. The workplace is a call center so there are slow days when people just talk or read. Anyway getting back to the point. Anyone looking at my birthdate in my profile can see I'm in my thirties; a little older than some on this site and younger than others. Well anyway one of my female co-workers asked some questions of me about a quiz that was in Cosmo. Now I'm no prude, but really how many of you women out there really read Cosmo, Glamour, etc. and base their lives on the articles in these magazines. I picked up a Cosmo the other day in the gym and it really seems no better than guys magazines like Maxim, FHM, etc. in that the only goal in life is pleasing your gf/bf or what the latest sex technique is. What is this saying about our society?
Umm, and what is wrong with pleasing your gf/bf, or exchanging sex techniques? I'd be critical of the magazines, but not for that particular reason, more for the unhealthy body image issues they help perpetuate, or for the useless gossip about the latest celebrity de jour, for example.

quote:
Look, I like looking at beautiful women as the next guy and appreciate heterosexual women that have a true appreciation of men without all the man bashing sometimes prevalent in some parts of our society.
Except that no women are really as beautiful as in those magazines since they've already been airbrushed/Photoshopped to perfection before appearing in them. But that's another story...

quote:
But it really disturbs me if people are taking all of this so called "advice" in magazines seriously as to dating in the "real world."
No doubt the advice actually works for some people and situations. And doesn't for others. Much like any advice, really...

quote:
Speaking of Real World and other "reality shows" and sitcoms, where's the talk of sexual responsibility and taking into account what it really means to learn about having a responsible sex life i.e peoples values, emotions etc.
Now, depends what you define as sexual responsibility. Personally I'd define it as:
1. Taking precautions to minimise the risk of spreading an STD, or causing an unwanted pregnancy
2. Ensuring where possible that you aren't taking advantage of the other party, and that they won't regret it later
3. Not only caring about your own satisfaction, but mutual satisfaction for your partner as well.

Some people will have futher values to add to that (must be in a serious relationship/must be married/whatever), but that's an individual value judgement, IMO. And I guess YMMV with no 3, especially in a long term relationship.

quote:
What is the youth doing today with all this crappy misinformation.
I've yet to see you demonstrate why this is "crappy misinformation". Not a flame, but I'm trying to work out your position.

quote:
Please only respond to this thread if you are wanting to discuss the topic maturely. Save the humor for the jokes forum.
Umm, this place tends to bring the humour into just about every thread. In fact it's part of the charm of the place. I know I wouldn't like to see that change.

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6 weeks to go!

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted September 19, 2005 22:24      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've flipped through a couple issues of Cosmopolitan, and I agree that upwards of 90% of the stuff in there is crap. Some of it is quite entertaining crap however. [Wink] I don't know anyone who takes the advice in those magazines really seriously, but the people who own the magazines aren't out there to make a difference in people's lives anyway. They are trying to sell magazines and make money. So if "50 blowjob techniques you must know" will sell more magazines than "50 ways to make peace with your body and love yourself" then that's the one they'll print.

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"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
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supaboy
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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 05:10      Profile for supaboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
So if "50 blowjob techniques you must know" will sell more magazines than "50 ways to make peace with your body and love yourself" then that's the one they'll print.

They'll sell twice as many if they tighten up the second topic a bit and put both "50 blowjob techniques you must know" and "50 ways to love yourself" in the same issue. [Big Grin]

quote:
Originally posted by csk:
Umm, this place tends to bring the humour into just about every thread. In fact it's part of the charm of the place. I know I wouldn't like to see that change.

Happy to oblige. [Wink]
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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 09:45      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I'll try to give a serious answer to the underlying question.

No, I don't read those magazines - unless there are some around and that's the only thing I haven't read available. I'd rather read an old Time than a current Cosmopolitan. That being said, I've been through a couple of those and I can tell you this:

1 - You won't find many people here at Geek Culture who read them/take them seriously. Why? because they are for people with self-image problem. People who think they need to renew their wardrobe every season to be relevant. People who give up substance for appearance. Pretty much anti-geek, if you ask me.

2 - Knowing the target audience, do you still wonder why there are so many sex techniques? How are those girls/women supposed to keep their boyfriends interested if they have no personnality of their own? (OK, I'm a bit harsh here, but you know what I mean.)

3 - About the tests... I can't tell you much. I've done one of them recently (I mean in the last six month), about "what kind of boyfriend do you deserve" or something along thatline. Although I did it just for the nonsense of it all (I swear! [Big Grin] ), there was actually once piece of valuable information at the very end of the interpretation part. It went along: "What about getting a nice guy? Then you should hide this magazine and never mention doing this test." (Oops! [Eek!] [Embarrassed] [Wink] )

All that to say: no matter the era or civilisation, there will always be people ready to shell money - sometimes load of it - to try making things better than they are without much effort on their parts. Predictions, get rich quick, loose weight fast, and such schemes are right there with the magazines in order to lure feeble minds into giving up money. So thinking too hard about what they mean is giving them more importance than they deserve.

(Now jokingly: if you don't understand the interest of such magazines, it means you're too smart to read them! [Big Grin] )

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Eppur, si muove!

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fs

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 10:43      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Personally I've always found Cosmo and it's ilk to be just so much garbage. I don't read them. I don't actually care about the newest fad diet, I figure my lovers can tell me what they like in bed, and I really don't care about the personal lives of celebrities.

It's all personal preference, of course. The same people that make reality TV, talk shows, and romance novels popular are the demographic these magazines aim at. I used to be vehemently opposed to them, and just seeing the line up of Cosmo, Mademoiselle, and the rest at the supermarket checkout counter would send me into a vehement and vitriolic rant. But if people want to rot their brains with that crap, there's nothing I can do about it.

On the other hand, I do sometimes wonder if we might be going backward, with "women's" magazines that seem to focus mostly on how to catch and keep a man, how the celebrities clean their houses, etc. I do wonder what these women are reading.

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gladiator
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Icon 3 posted September 20, 2005 11:36      Profile for gladiator     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
csk, truly thanks for the comments. It was great to see the musings of a guy replying to the topic I started. I know the slogan "sex sells" is self obvious. I guess since being relatively new to the website and forum I was hoping to validate in some ways that so called geek girls for the most part do not read these magazines and take them seriously. Obviously, by the female responses so far, validation proved correct. Maybe it was late at night and the brain was not engaged with some of my thoughts to make it a worthwhile subject to even bring up.Geek girls,to you I salute you!

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 12:24      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"My mother's always told me you can't be the best career woman and the best mother at the same time," Ms. Liu said matter-of-factly. "You always have to choose one over the other."

I agree. Considering that more than half of the families in the US are single-parent families, and most of them headed by women, it's extremely difficult for women to be stay-at-home moms and keep providing for their families. (That's where feminism screwed us over--relieving men of their responsibility to family and society, but that's another rant.) As the child of a stay-at-home mom in a two-parent family, then a working mom in a single-parent family, I've definitely seen first-hand the emotional, social, relational, and physical effects of the dual career/mom parent.

In the case of my family, those effects haven't been positive ones. I have more happy memories from my childhood when Mom was at home with us kids than when she went back to work. See, Mom was a nurse in our hospital until I was born, then she went back to work 12 years later after Dad left. During those years she took sewing into her home (she's an AMAZING seamstress) and had time for all sorts of fun times with us. She taught me how to cook by the time I was nine, volunteered as a room mother for my classes (and my siblings') at school. Mom was a lot more relaxed and in better health when she didn't have to go to work every day.

When Dad left, Mom got a job in a doctor's office. Thankfully she only has to work four days a week and still qualifies for full-time benefits. However, Mom's health is deteriorating because of the stress of her job and the stress of taking care of the house and her children. She does most of her own maintenance work and doesn't have as much time to spend with us as she used to. As a result, her relationship with us has suffered. By the time I was 12, I was the full-time baby sitter for my siblings during the summers. During the school year, my youngest brother went to daycare. Thankfully the woman who took him in didn't charge much (and to her credit she was a wonderful woman!), but that added expense made things even more stressful for Mom.

In a perfect world, and what I wish would happen in my own life, is this: I'd work until I had children, then stay at home with them while my husband continued to work. I'd do freelance writing and editing projects whenever possible. When my children would be old enough to go to school, I'd either find a good homeschool group and homeschool my children, or I'd find a good private school and send my children there. While they're at school, I'd go to work, but I'd come home in time to be there when they came home.

Would I have an amazing career? Probably not, but that's not my goal in life. I'd take the amazing family hands-down any day. Someone else could make my career great, but I'm the only mother my children would have.

I know this probably sounds old-fashioned to many, if not most, of you, but I'm definitely an old-fashioned girl in many aspects (as you all know!). When it comes to families, however, you gotta make some hard choices: which do you want more? Children or career? Whichever you choose, you'll have to make sacrifices. The thing with choosing a career over children is that when your biological clock runs out, it's over for you (unless you adopt). By that point, though, you're not as young as you used to be--better suited for a boardroom, not a nursery. So have your children early, then make your career. You can have both, just not concurrently.

(I hope this was clear. My brain's a bit fuzzy today.)

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Change the way you SEE, not the way you LOOK!

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 12:41      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've taken the same approach with women's magazines as I have with bathroom scales and just banished them from my existence. I'm much happier when I'm not bombarded by my inadequacies. I'll always be five to ten pounds heavier than I want to be and I will never be the classic beauty with the perfect skin (something which became so wildly unobtainable after a climbing accidnet a couple years ago I actaully feel kinda liberated...I fell off a cliff and walked away; what's your excuse? [Razz] ). That said, this thread made me curious so I took a peek at teh Cosmo website and after one minute felt so many brain cells die a horrible screaming death that I signed off.

I think a huge extent of this is the whole marketing-celebrity feedback loop. We see thes beautiful faces all over the place, we watch these wild lifestyles on TV and in movies, both as fictions and as reality shows (aka, someone's life edited into a fiction), and people who for whatever reasonfeel like they've got something lacking start thinking that if they could look like that or have a social life like that then whatever they're missing would be found and they'd live happily ever after. If I lose ten pounds, if I re-style my hair, if I buy this, if I do this in bed, yadda yadda yadda. And then Cosmo comes along to show us how.

But that's not what I hated the most about the Cosmo site. It was all the crappola telling me what's good, like I can't figure that out for myself, or, more importantly, like I really care what's fashionable. When everybody wears the same damn thing it ain't fashion, it's boring.

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skylar
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Icon 13 posted September 20, 2005 13:07      Profile for skylar     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My housemate and I buy Cosmo from time to time, because we find it hilarious. The awful, awful advice, and ridiculous, obviously-made-up "She Confesses!" pages make it worth the asking price alone [Wink] . It is very disturbing, though, to think that some women could actually base the way they live their lives on what they find in Cosmo. Usually, my attitude is that, if people want to genuinely believe in this tripe, then best of luck to them. However, this month's issue of Cosmo (UK) has an article in it that is so appalling that it actually made me gasp at the audacity of them. The article was titled, '10 Reasons to Flirt with Unsuitable Men'. Here are a few excerpts:

5. It puts a green-eyed rocked underneath the very suitable man on the other side of the room and propels him your way.

7. Date karma: you chat up someone ever-so-slightly less gorgeous than yourself, therefore the next time Mr. He's-So-Fit-I-Want-To-Faint walks by, he's compelled to stop and speak to you.

8. Paying attention to men who are fugly makes you look deep and will intrigue worthy men. Handsome ones, preferably.


May I say... urgh. It infuriates me that they are packaging this tripe as practical advice for women. Most of it is rubbish about empowering yourself or pleasing your man or whatever... vague nonsense, yes, but not actively harmful. This stuff, meanwhile, is designed to create vapid, shallow, conniving women who treat men who could possibly be wonderful blokes like dirt, just because they are 'fugly'. Grrr.

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fs

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 13:28      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Rhonnie:

I don't understand why it is that men can have a successful career and a family, but women can't.

It seems to me ridiculous that we are still parroting the idea that women should drop out of their lives to raise a family. And women are succumbing to it and saying "can't" instead of working to make the system better. For instance, more parental leave, better access to less expensive childcare, and a shift in attitude so that people believe that fathers are just as important as mothers are all changes that would make it possible to do both.

I found that whole article to be eerily reminiscent of The Feminine Mystique, honestly.

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 13:41      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Rhonnie:

I don't understand why it is that men can have a successful career and a family, but women can't.

{beware of incoming massive generalisation [Wink] }

The men with a successful career and a family are often relying on a large number of hours of unpaid support from their partners. When a woman wants a successful careeer and a family, society expects her to do it all herself.

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 13:44      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
I've taken the same approach with women's magazines as I have with bathroom scales and just banished them from my existence. I'm much happier when I'm not bombarded by my inadequacies. I'll always be five to ten pounds heavier than I want to be

/me checks the Xanthine pic in the photo gallery?
Overweight? [Confused]

Right, that's it Xanthine, I've listened to too many slim women whine about being overweight, consider yourself spanked!

quote:
Originally posted by FireSnake:
It seems to me ridiculous that we are still parroting the idea that women should drop out of their lives to raise a family. And women are succumbing to it and saying "can't" instead of working to make the system better.

Actually, most of the working mothers with young kids I know would prefer to be spending more time with their kids.
Most of the working dads too.

Sadly, financial reality intervenes.

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 14:05      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As far as the working parent/stay at home parent thing goes, I think what really makes the difference is parenting style, not how much time you are at home. When my mother stayed home with us we knew we were cared for and loved and that feeling stayed even after she went to work because she was emotionally present and made efforts to connect with us when she was there. When my father was staying at home we barely got his physical presence. He spent most of his time in his music room in the garage, was frequently gone, and didn't interact with us much beyond asking if our homework was done or our room was clean. My brother and I never wondered if Mom loved us or was proud of us. We still have relationship problems with Dad.

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 14:16      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
PB has hit the nail on the head... it's not so bad if you know that a parent isn't around much because they are doing what needs to be done to look after you. It's the parents who are there but don't get involved that cause the problems.

On a lighter note - I have read Cosmo from time to time over the years and it has produced one excellent piece of advice which has stayed with me to this day - "never eat anything that is bigger than your head" Wise words, I feel. [Big Grin]

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 14:42      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
But what about watermelon, Grummash? Especially for those of you with little heads?

/me knows there has to be a picture of that on teh intarweb.

In all seriousness, though, FireSnake,
quote:
I don't understand why it is that men can have a successful career and a family, but women can't.
I didn't say women couldn't have both a successful career and a family. I said that they couldn't happen at the same time. Children need their parents. If both parents are working 40+ hours a week, especially during the formulative years, kids miss out on so much stuff not learned in daycare. Remember our discussion with Taco re: NCLB? One of the points we agreed upon was the necessity of reinforcement at home of things taught and/or expected at school. If no parent is at home to provide that, the child loses.

As far as which parent stays at home, typically it's the mother because of the nurturing aspect intrinsic to mothering. Granted, if a father can stay home with his children and his wife wants to work, then I'm all for it. However, you'll find a lot more social support for stay-at-home mothers than for stay-at-home fathers. Plus, at least for the first year of a child's life, both mom and baby will be physically happier that she stayed at home. (E.g., the need to pump breast milk until the body stops producing it, and the baby needing to be held by its mother or else failure-to-thrive results)

quote:
It seems to me ridiculous that we are still parroting the idea that women should drop out of their lives to raise a family.
Who ever said that women are dropping out of their lives? If they'd prefer the career without children, then to have children and resent them is a poor choice. Actually, most women who stay home find a plethora of things to do. They have more time to pursue interests that they never had time for while punching the clock. And with other stay-at-home moms in their communities, attending mom's groups definitely enlarges their social circle. (And those groups wind up creating playgroups and building a foundation for their children's social interactions for the rest of their lives.)


quote:
And women are succumbing to it and saying "can't" instead of working to make the system better.
It's a much harder decision in today's society to choose to be a stay-at-home mom than it is to stay in the work force. Those women are saying "I can have children and have a career." They're being wise about the timing. Kids need their parents at home for what, five years until they're in school? So if you have three children two years apart, you're at home for what, ten years? That leaves at least thirty years for a career. Definitely do-able.

quote:
For instance, more parental leave, better access to less expensive childcare, and a shift in attitude so that people believe that fathers are just as important as mothers are all changes that would make it possible to do both.

You hit the nail on the head with the part about the fathers. You'd have fewer working women in America if fathers wouldn't leave their families. With men taking responsibility for their families, women wouldn't have to work a first or second job to make up for what they don't get in child support. With a steady income, children would eat better-- families would have more money to buy healthy food and parents would have time and energy to cook nutritious meals instead of hitting the nearest fast food chain or nuking a prepared meal in the microwave.

Now that I've worked up a full head of steam, I don't know how to conclude this. Besides, I'm at work and I need to concentrate on my career while I don't have children yet. [Razz]

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 15:17      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
As far as which parent stays at home, typically it's the mother because of the nurturing aspect intrinsic to mothering. Granted, if a father can stay home with his children and his wife wants to work, then I'm all for it. However, you'll find a lot more social support for stay-at-home mothers than for stay-at-home fathers.

There is absolutely nothing intrisic to being a mother that makes you a better nurterer than a father. Men can and do nurture just as well as, and often better than, women. The only thing they can't do is breastfeed. The one factor that makes a difference is in the last sentence there. Women have more social support for that. Fortunately the attitude is changing (albeit slowly) and men are being allowed to have more nurturing roles.

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 15:38      Profile for Serenak     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Never eat anything bigger than your head" is a cartoon and also the title of a collection of cartoons by B. Kliban (a sort of more cerebral version of Far Side cartoonist G. Larson).

His other collections include "Whack your Porcupine" and "Tiny footprints" (which is the only one I actually own)

Go google or to see "Bigger than you head" check Cartoon

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 15:59      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
From an article about mothering and telecommuting—

quote:
A Blast from the Past
Nancy Pearcey, executive editor of Chuck Colson’s BreakPoint radio program and a telecommuting mother herself, says telecommuting is helping parents “return to a more humane style of work” — a pattern of work reminiscent of how parents in generations past integrated work and family.

Think back to the colonial era. As Pearcey notes in “Rediscovering Parenthood in the Information Age,” “It was a rugged life, yet one conducive to strong family bonds. With rare exceptions (e.g., sailors, soldiers) men worked in the home and its outbuildings or the surrounding fields. Husband and wife worked together in a common economic enterprise [and] trained their children in the diverse skills needed for survival in a pre-industrial society” (from The Family in America).

But thanks to the Industrial Revolution, this cooperative lifestyle began to disintegrate. Productive work began to be carried on outside the home, which led to “an inherent tension ... between the two fundamental tasks of making a living and raising children. The 19th century solution, Pearcey writes, “was to split these tasks between the sexes: Fathers began going out to work in factories and offices” while mothers stayed at home to raise the children.

“By the close of the 19th century, Pearcey writes, “most of the traditional female occupations — such as weaving, baking and brewing — had been removed from the home and transferred to the factory.” Women at home were reduced from active producers to passive consumers, leading to a loss of a sense of self-worth.

The response of early feminists (like the feminists of today) was to urge women to join their husbands in finding work outside the home. “The opposite alternative, of course,” Pearcey writes, “is to bring work back into the home” — to return to the pattern families commonly followed for thousands of years.

That’s exactly what modern parents are choosing to do. A recent study (by Find/SVP) found that in 1990, some four million people worked from home. Today, according to the Washington Times, that number has skyrocketed to an estimated 40 million, and is growing by about 20 percent a year. Fifty-three percent of these telecommuters are women, many of them mothers.

Do these folks long for the collegiality, the bustle and excitement of a real office? Don’t make them laugh. A survey conducted for Telecommute America revealed that these modem moms and dads are “extremely happy with their jobs.” So happy, according to another survey, that they say “nothing would make me give it up.” Except, possibly, a doubling of their salaries.

Further in that same article:

quote:
How Children Change Feminists
Danielle Crittenden, editor of The Women’s Quarterly, echoed this theme a few months ago during her testimony before the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. As Crittenden put it, “The fact is, when children come along, someone has to accommodate them. A woman who has carried the baby around for nine months inside of her finds it natural to do so — and often impossible not to.” In poll after poll, she adds, “women express the desire to do so.”

Most feminists vehemently disagree with this thinking — at least, until they have children of their own. A recent convert is Iris Krasnow, who gave up a top-flight career as a journalist (she’s interviewed everyone from Yoko Ono to Billy Graham) to take care of her four little boys.

“Motherhood,” Krasnow recently told Washingtonian magazine, “is about deciding not to fight that ancient and biological yank on the womb, that natural order of your soul that says you should be there.” And she added somewhat defensively — after all, she was being interviewed by a fellow feminist — “If we don’t want to work 80 hours a week in some office and get our family life eaten up, why should we feel as though we’re selling out feminism? I’m a committed feminist, and there’s nothing more powerful to me than refusing to abandon motherhood.”

Krasnow now writes books and teaches part-time, in between picking scrambled egg out of the carpet and rocking her boys to sleep.

Krasnow is a delightful exception among feminists. That innate yearning to put children ahead of career is alien to feminist leaders, most of whom are — (need I really say it?) childless. As Crittenden explains, when conflicts arise between career and children, “feminist wisdom has been that the child should always be the first obligation a woman drops, even if it’s the one most precious to her. She must never let drop any of the ones to do with her work.”

In “Feminism is Not the Story of My Life,” historian Elizabeth Fox-Genovese says that while feminists insist that they respect any lifestyle choice a woman chooses, “it’s difficult to find much feminist support for women who decide that their commitment to family must take precedence over their commitment to work.” In fact, Fox-Genovese notes, feminists as a group tend to ignore the importance of children in the lives of most women. They don’t understand that bearing and rearing children “might well be the most important and rewarding thing that most women ... do in their lives.”

This anti-mothering message is likely heard on your college campus, where feminist professors bombard students and policy-makers alike with the nonsense that yes, children are perfectly happy spending 10 hours a day in paid care while their mothers pursue their careers. Cheaper and better daycare, feminists assert, is the answer to the childcare dilemma.

Rubbish. To again quote Danielle Crittenden: “Does it make sense for society to attempt to re-invent itself so that [mothers] can more conveniently and inexpensively delegate the care of [their] babies to strangers? It may,” she says, “seem breathtakingly radical to phrase the question this way; to assert that the solution to the work/home dilemma involves imagining ways to help mothers of young children stay home.”

The Entire Article

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Posts: 3849 | From: Lancaster, PA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
csk

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 17:28      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
There is absolutely nothing intrisic to being a mother that makes you a better nurterer than a father. Men can and do nurture just as well as, and often better than, women. The only thing they can't do is breastfeed. The one factor that makes a difference is in the last sentence there. Women have more social support for that. Fortunately the attitude is changing (albeit slowly) and men are being allowed to have more nurturing roles.

I both agree and disagree with you on this, Peebs. On one hand, the potential is there for men and women to be equally good nurturers. However, at least in the early stages of motherhood, women have a certain chemical advantage (can't remember more than that in detail). And I've seen that in cases even where the father has been an excellent nurturer.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 17:48      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The chemical you're lookin' for is Oxytocin. Men have it too, but not in quantities as large as women have it. Or rather, they don't have the same triggers as women do.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 19:09      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
This anti-mothering message is likely heard on your college campus, where feminist professors bombard students and policy-makers alike with the nonsense that yes, children are perfectly happy spending 10 hours a day in paid care while their mothers pursue their careers. Cheaper and better daycare, feminists assert, is the answer to the childcare dilemma.

Rubbish. To again quote Danielle Crittenden: “Does it make sense for society to attempt to re-invent itself so that [mothers] can more conveniently and inexpensively delegate the care of [their] babies to strangers?

While I agree with much of the rest of the article, I've got to take issue with this bit.

For a start, both of my kids went to day-care, and they enjoyed it immensely. They made lots of friends, developed valuable social skills, played a wide variety of games, and generally got a much broader range of experiences than they would have stuck at home with mum or dad all day. It's not very good for the parental ego to hear the kids complain that they're not going to kinder because it's the weekend, but it does help relieve any feelings of guilt the parent might have had.

Secondly, we're talking about individual choice here. While I believe many mothers would prefer to stay at home with their young kids, others will prefer (or be forced by circumstances) to return to their careers as soon as practical. We shouldn't be playing favourites by supporting one group and neglecting (or stigmatising as "anti-mothering") the other.

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 19:55      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
...got a much broader range of experiences than they would have stuck at home with mum or dad all day
I think this discussion comes down to perception—what do we perceive happens at home vs. daycare, what fulfills us, what fulfills our responsibility to society, what being an at-home mom means, etc. In my situation and in the families of people I've met both in Lancaster and in State College, stay-at-home moms actually enhanced the lives of their children. The parents involved their children with volunteerism, took more fieldtrips, spent more time with grandparents, and had greater cultural awareness than their peers in daycare. It's been proven in the classroom that most students do better 1-on-1 than when they're just a name in a sea of 20+ faces. Through homeschooling, or self-provided childcare, the children of stay-at-home moms get the attention many of their peers don't.

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fs

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 19:58      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm going to play devil's advocate, here for a bit.

It's all great for feminists to say "it's my choice to stay home and have babies."

But, when the women who will best be in a position to shape public policy and make contributions to science and research are saying "I'm just going to work until it's time to have babies," are we going backwards? Are we going to find that the doors or institutions like Princeton (mentioned in the above article) end up closing to women because they are basically wasting the education they receive? (Do you really need an Ivy League education to wipe bottoms and teach toddlers to tie their shoelaces?)

While it's reasonable to believe that someone can accomplish something in a 30 year career, how is that possible in a highly changing and evolving field? By the time you have done your 10 years on the job and then dropped out completely for another 5-10 to have a family, your skills are going to be at best obsolete in most scientific and technical fields. When you are looking to go back to work, your competition is going to consist of excited, energetic workers half your age with sharp, fresh skills who aren't going to be calling in every other week with a home-based strep throat epidemic, taking off early for little league and school plays, and getting emergency calls from the school. If I were an employer, I know what I'd be opting for...

Instead of going out into the world and trying to make a positive change in family policies like more family leave and more affordable day care, implementing family-friendly policies in companies they run, or starting their own family friendly companies, the women who are probably most able to effect those changes are going to drop out to have babies by the time they are 30. The United States, for all that it claims to value family, doesn't really, compared to some other countries. Most of the major drive to get women equal footing in the workforce has only been within the past 50 years. It has been a good start, but to say "it didn't work" and turn around and go back to the kitchen certainly isn't a solution. If suffragettes had given up after 50 years, women still wouldn't be able to vote.

In addition, universities look to their graduates for their reputation. If Princeton, Harvard, and other universities are finding that the majority of the women that graduate never go on to do them proud, instead choosing to "contribute" by reproduction, what is their motivation to continue to provide good quality educations to female students? Is it so far fetched to think that these institutions, armed with statistics showing that the majority of female graduates go on to do exactly nothing of importance to society besides breed, could successfully reduce the number of women they accept to virtually none without it being seen as discriminatory?

I'm also more than a little disgusted by the idea that men should be expected to go out, spend 60-80 hours a week working to provide for an entire family, and then have to figure out how to make time to be a part of his family. While it may be nice for a mother to be home bonding with her children, 5-10 years of 80 hour work weeks, making a father miss out on being a part of his children's formative years seems downright selfish to me, especially when a perfectly able spouse sits at home "taking care of the children."

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fs

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Icon 1 posted September 20, 2005 20:11      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Actually, most of the working mothers with young kids I know would prefer to be spending more time with their kids.
Most of the working dads too.

Sadly, financial reality intervenes.

In all seriousness, I'm in favor of at least a year's paid family leave, to be split between both parents. And high quality, affordable daycare, and flexible, part-time work schedules for parents...

I don't know how it works anywhere but the U.S. We need some serious adjustment here, though. You would think with all these politicians that claim that family is so important to them...

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