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WTF IS ‘HAVING IT ALL’ ANYWAY?

I don’t know what makes me want to block my ears and yell ‘la la la’ more: being told that I can’t ‘have it all’, or being told what ‘it all’ actually is.

According to the bazillion breathless articles written over the last six months, I can’t be happy unless I manage to be the perfect wife, perfect mother and perfect CEO all at once.

_i-want-it-allIt’s as if the 1950s housewife has met the 80s corporate super bitch and if we can’t manage to be both at once, we’ll never ride off into the sunset driving a Corvette and smelling like cookie dough.

What fresh, groupthink hell is this?

Of all the middle-class, privileged, Western existential crises, this one irritates me the most. The ‘Oh god, why can’t I have it all?’ lamentation isn’t a worldwide, or even widespread, phenomenon. And it beggars belief why feminists are taking it seriously.

I’ll wager that most working mothers don’t relate even one iota to the highly successful women who are now either bowing out of their 100 hour a week jobs, or regretting that they never had children. These highly successful, highly prominent women don’t represent ordinary people. They are not the face of a disturbing trend, they are an exception to the rule. (And let’s not mention all of the mothers who have remained in highly paid, highly successful careers–that would undermine the hysteria, wouldn’t it?)

While endless columns are being written about how all of us are doomed to be miserable for the rest of our lives, most of us are wondering what the hell these journalists are talking about.

I don’t think the mum hiding out in a domestic violence shelter gives a flying crap about yet another female CEO complaining that she couldn’t work 17 million hours a week plus bake bread for her three teenage children every morning. I think she’s probably wondering why she can’t get the legal system to effectively protect her from her violent husband.

And I don’t think there are too many working class women out there, pulling a night shift before driving their kids to school, who are even slightly concerned about some rich woman lamenting that she should have married a man she considers her intellectual equal.

Give. Me. A. Break.

life-goals

This isn’t productive feminism. I’m not even sure it is feminism at all. It seems to me it’s a lot more like a few wealthy people having a mid-life crisis. For some women, ‘having it all’ would simply be a night to themselves, or having enough money to buy their kids a new school uniform, or having a roof over their heads. Trying to juggle global travel with your child’s polo competition is not a feminist crisis. Everyday, ordinary women still not earning the same as men and suffering disproportionately from violence is a feminist crisis.

Half of the problem seems to be stemming from what a perfect life looks like. It’s not enough to be a mum, have a partner and have a job. It’s about having a blemish-free and highly successful life in absolutely every regard. The women claiming that they can’t have it all are so fantastically beyond the normal world that it’s hard to believe they live on the same planet.

If these women are now second guessing their past decisions, then I genuinely feel compassion for them. But their personal experience (did I leave kids too late? did I marry the right man? did I put too much focus on my career?) isn’t really a feminist issue. There are men who are also wondering the same things and there are men who have also left top tier jobs to spend more time with their families.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be looking at this as a woman’s problem. Perhaps it’s more a Western problem where we are increasingly demanding excessive wealth through excessive work, plus a utopian fantasy of parenthood that is completely unobtainable.

There are plenty of women and men who are quite content with their lives just as they are. Some are in relationships, some are not. Some have kids, some don’t. Some are working parents, some are not. Since when did we decide there was a checklist to a perfect life and women weren’t making the cut?

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Which leads me to the part that really drives me bonkers: what the hell does ‘having it all’ look like anyway?

Here’s a newsflash:

Not all women want children

Not all women want a life partner

Not all women want high falutin’ careers.

Not all women consider that being freakishly successful at everything in the entire world at the same time is ‘having it all’. Some women might even think that sounds bloody exhausting and somewhat pointless.

Having it all can be anything you want it to be. It doesn’t have to include the holy trinity of husband, child and career. It’s a profoundly limiting vision of what a ‘successful woman’ should look like and is simply replacing one stereotype with another.

When the feminist debate is hijacked by issues that concern only 1% of the female population (if that), you’ve really got to wonder where the relevance lies.

Surely more column inches spent on our blasé attitude toward domestic violence, women’s opportunities to work in general (not CEO positions) and education would be more worthwhile.

 

 

MORE ARTICLES BY CORINNE GRANT

How to Burst a Blood Vessel

Balance Schmalance

Corinne’s Secret Diet … Blergh

When Tribes Go to War

 

*Corinne Grant is a stand-up comedian, MC, presenter, writer and broadcaster and has performed both nationally and internationally. In addition to her years on Rove Live and The Glasshouse, she has appeared on everything from Spicks and Specks to Dancing With The Stars to Good News Week. She has co-hosted successful national radio shows, performed countless solo live shows and appeared everywhere from the Sydney Opera House to the Kalgoorlie Arts Centre. Corinne’s first book, Lessons In Letting Go: Confessions of a Hoarder (Allen and Unwin) was released in September 2010 and went into reprint just months after its release. You can follow her on Twitter @corinne_grant.

 

 

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107 Comments

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Jan Dobson

    OK, now this is just getting scary. Someone who makes sense every time she puts fingertip to keyboard? Forget having children, let’s just clone people like Corinne Grant and put them everywhere, especially near people in power

    • Reply April 3, 2013

      Rosie

      Jan Dobson – wise words and well said. Of course, it is Media in all its forms that have promoted the image of “having it all”. Women need to think very carefully.

    • Reply April 3, 2013

      GoddessMel

      Agreed :)

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Lisa

    Amen sister!

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Cate

    I am so bloody glad that someone with a public voice thinks how I think. (which should be mildly scary for you going forward, Corinne, but I digress). I have been moaning for years that everybody’s “all” is different. An 89 year old woman in Bali died this week, and I suspect her “all” was achieved when someone found her living in a chook shed last year, waiting to die of starvation because she could no longer work for food, and moved her, fed her, and kept her comfortable for the last 10 months of her life. I have a relative whose “all” would be to have a normal healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby after two heartbreaking losses; her career means jackshit to her right now.
    I could go on, but my “all” right now involves a hot shower.
    You have nailed it again Corinne. Ya moll ;)

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Heather

    Thanks Corinne, once again. I always look forward to your column.
    Seriously,what really scares me is the greed in ‘having it all’.. In a world of rapidly diminishing resources, these attitudes are not bloody sustainable.
    Wake up world.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    jennifer

    I have MY all & no one else will ever be satisfied with this because they are not me. In my 20’s I wanted it “all”. I was a single mum, worked 2 jobs because I felt like I had too & was doing my undergrad degree. Then one day my 10 year old daughter; who lives with an anxiety disorder because of bullying, told me that she didn’t know what else to do but die! Talk about a reality check! Here I was with the most amazing daughter & all I cared about was my job!! I quit one job & scaled back the other to casual hours. I went to therapy & got over my need to worry about what other think about me, I now have a relationship with an amazing man who gets my need to stay at home with my children. I am pregnant with baby number 2 & will never have to put anything before my children This would drive another woman insane but for me it is having it all! I don’t want anything else at this moment in my life. Having it all is when you can look at yourself in the mirror & not look behind you for someone else. I don’t have the perfect life but we have our perfect, right now.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Penster

    Of course men (who’ve got a better chance anyway) and women can have it “all” but here’s the thing – your kids pay the price for this allness. The “all” is pretty temporary stuff, so is childhood.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Rebe

    Sigh……so true. I have a friend who is turning herself inside out trying to have it all. She can’t enjoy ANY of it and all she feels is constant guilt and failure. She is miserable.
    It’s terrible to watch, but she’s determined to be perfect. As far as the holy trinity goes, Meatloaf says it best…two outta three ain’t bad.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Hooli

    Brilliantly said Corinne!
    Without wanting to sound like a conspiracy theorist, MSM outlets don’t want women or men to be happy with their lot if their lot means reduced consumption. The cashed up populace needs to be kept anxious and striving for more, for different, for whatever they don’t have.
    Sadly for the general populace and for those in need, there is no way of glamourising or commodifying women’s safety and most basic level of financial security (in first, second or third worlds). There is only glamour in highlighting sexual assault against women when Angelina Jolie speaks out against it.
    When the success of the economic system depends on the dissatisfaction of consumers we will continue to be told we aren’t good enough.
    Here’s hoping for an economic system that measures common good and wellbeing rather than output of unnecessary products and services.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Sandy

    Jesus jennifer, I cannot imagine the terror that struck your heart that day. xxx

    You’re right as per usual Corinne. Having it all is a crock of shit. For the average woman I think the bullshit phrase ‘having it all’ actually means Doing It All. Not helpful.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Cstar

    Gosh you write the truth as I know it Corinne.
    I have no desire to be exhausted by working towards ‘doing it all’
    I get exhausted being around these sort of people, there always comes a breaking point, big or little, its an unnatural state

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Rachel Kleinman

    So right. “Having it all” is a soundbyte, a catchphrase, a 140 characters or less commentary, that when you dig down doesn’t mean much or have great relevance to the complexity and diversity of women’s lives.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Maureen P.

    Can you imagine ‘having it all’? (Whatever that means!)
    What would we do with it? Where on earth would we put it and what would come next??

    • Reply April 3, 2013

      Rosie

      Maureen P: Excellent comment!

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    carole/m

    Corinne !!! Corinne !!! Corinne !!!

    There you go again ,,,,,,,,

    Hit. The. Nail. Right. On. The. Head.

    Brilliant !!!

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    alison hallworth

    Little happy dance for Corinne and the bleeding freakin’ obvious. You go girl.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Kris

    Have been wondering for a while what this “all” thing is. Corinne, you make the most sense. Next PM?

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Miranda

    I absolutely agree that you can’t “have it all”. The men we aspired to copy in the 70s did have careers, life partners and children – they just didn’t have time with their families or for anything else much except work.
    Also absolutely agree women coping with domestic violence, struggling to combine a low paid menial job with bringing up kids will have little sympathy for the existential angst of the CEO.
    But women in those sorts of positions juggling career, life partner and children, have helped create a better world for all of us – just think Nicola Roxon. She might not represent ordinary people but has had a huge impact on their lives.
    When they leave the public sphere it is a huge loss to the community – so I think these women also deserve our respect and sympathy.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Lisa K

    I feel the issues for women now lie in having the ability to make choices for the life we want, not to be judged for those choices (and other women seem to be the most judgemental at times), and to be able to be safe and taken seriously. The law in particular still treats women like second class citizens, just try being taken seriously as a battered wife, this I see is the new challenge. Also to have those “nurturing professions” like nursing taken as seriously as law, politics, business etc and for us nurses to be paid and valued as we should!!

    • Reply April 15, 2013

      Grumpy

      I’m sorry but the article and many of the responses come from an entitled point of view. As Nicola implied…its still about the sisterhood, but not quite up to her standards.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Airdre

    I have become a fan of ‘good enough’. i am giving up the relentless unforgiving self scrutiny and absurd role models fostered in the media and have decided I’m good enough. That’ll do. I’m not even gong to justify it. I’m good enough. The end.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Kathryn

    Here’s a news flash Corinne: Some of us DO want children, a life partner and a career (not just a job). Why is “having it all” never a phrase used to describe men? If men would take an equal share in raising the kids and household tasks, and if corporations would actually promote women we’d be a lot further towards our feminist ideals.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Kathryn

    And by the way, we don’t need column inches dedicated to women’s education – women in Australia are graduating in greater numbers with higher degrees than men, and have been doing so since 1985! We just need a chance to be offered the promotions so we can equally share in all levels of business – not just the low level to mid-management ones. The real issue is not about being perfect – it’s about gender bias in the workplace. And when will women stop criticising one another?

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Karen

    People seem to worry so much about living up to the perceived expectations of others. What matters is working out what is right for you and then setting out to attain that in a way that means you can look at yourself in the mirror each morning.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Linda Jaivin

    Thank you, Corinne, for the best piece I’ve ever seen on this subject. I agree with every line. Bravo.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Christine Gates

    Women are incredibly diverse and in Australia we are blessed to have so many choices (maybe too many). I work in Vietnam where young women are expected to marry by 25 and be ‘educated’ & ‘disciplined’ by husbands and give up their birth family, live with in laws & do paid work & do all the house – well defined family & culture expectations. Many would love the richness in choices we have as women in Australia. I chose not to have management job, to be more available to my children and have great family holidays and do community volunteer work. I have no regrets about those decisions and that is the key. Each of us have so many amazing opportunities in Australia – ‘having it all’ is not what it is about. Having what works best for you is what it is about. And respecting other people’s choices is an important community value to show each other and our next generation.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Anne Holleley

    Thank you for this insight into the ALL. Can I add that another want /need is the perfect size 8 body. Preoccupation with food, size, eating, dieting is doing our collective heads in.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Corinne Grant

    Hi Kathryn, I think you might have misunderstood my article. I wasn’t saying that women shouldn’t aim for a career instead of a job. I was talking about the women who are profiled in the ‘can women have it all’ articles who have careers at the very top end of the spectrum and use their very unique circumstances as a catch-all to describe the situation for all women. I also never said that there are no women that want a career, family and partner. (I was explaining that this is not the only ideal and it is limiting to describe that situation alone as ‘having it all’.) I addressed the issue of equal opportunity to work in the final paragraph. The education part was, (as I was trying to explain in the article in general), not about middle class women getting access to university, but all women, irrespective of their class. Access to education for the poor (and especially poor women and single mothers) is still an issue. Education for women is also a massive issue worldwide, not just in Australia. Education is not just about going to university, either. That, I would venture, is another middle class assumption. These are the points I was trying to make. Middle class, tertiary educated women do not represent all women. And extremely rich women at the upper echelons of society do not represent very many women at all. I absolutely think we need column inches dedicated to education and access to it for ALL women. It is still a far easier thing to attain if you come from a middle class family than if you come from a disadvantaged family. Equal opportunity has to start at the bottom. It can’t just be about what middle class women want. If I am going to be accused of ‘criticising women’ for saying that a disproportionate focus on the needs of the upper classes doesn’t fit with my feminist ideals, then I’m more than willing to live with that. If we can’t question feminism and critique it, then it really does become the groupthink disaster I mentioned in the fourth paragraph.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Edumak8

    Keep working from within the media industry and refuse to cover stories etc that perpetuate and expound these points of view. (Don’t run with Murdoch/Rhinehart restrictions.) Over 44% of Aussies are in contract work, and it is expected to increase. THIS is scary too. Many will be women who want fulltime employment.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    The Huntress

    Too damn right!

    Having it all is about what YOU want. Not what society dictates. I know what I want, am doing my damn best to get to there and don’t particularly care what others think.

    I’ve been a battered woman in a shelter. I’ve had “the holy trinity” (hahaha, love that term). I have what I wanted most in my twenties, which was a safe roof over my head. Now, in my thirties, I want to have a successful relationship with my husband, I want to teach my son how to be independant and I want to continue my education. All of this is the prep work to doing the things I REALLY want to do, which will likely be in my forties. Have the career I want, volunteer for Medicins Sans Frontiere and continue my education.

    Is this what all women want? Hell no. Is this what people think is best for me? Hell no, again (why will people not stop pessuring me to have more children that I REALLY DON’T WANT!) Am I happy with my plan? Yes siree, I’m pretty excited that in 10 years time I’m going to have freedom, education, hopefully a fulfilling role and maybe have some financial security. That’s my all and I intend to work for it.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    miranda

    Corinne – It’s not either or. Feminists don’t have to be a one trick pony. I’m with Kathryn. We should be concerned about gender bias wherever it occurs – on the factory floor or in the boardroom, Vietnam or Vaucluse.

    • Reply April 3, 2013

      Corinne Grant

      That’s what I was saying. The unequal focus on one particular cohort and assuming that it represents all women is what the whole article was about. Perhaps re-read the article? I was arguing that there is more than one type of woman in the world and more than one way to define a happy life.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Al

    Miranda, not sure what the “either/or” was that you read in this piece. You’re right that gender bias needs to be challenged wherever it occurs, but I thought the point here is that these three “scales of achievement” (children, partner, career) are assumed to be the only ones that matter, when they’re really just a few of the available elements in a satisfying life.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Gracie123

    Not all women want a career.

    Not all women want a job.

    Raising a family can be fulltime job.

    I, for one, never wanted a “career”. I wanted to, and did, work as a professional, in a profession that I loved, enjoyed, was challenging, and I was good at.
    In my many decades now, I have known women whose aspiration was to be a ” homemaker” for their husband and family, and to be a mother. They didn’t think about how much money they would need and have to have it before they had a baby. They often sacrificed “stuff” for their choice of lifestyle. 2 of the best parents I ever saw in my years as a teacher were quite poor, and had 6 children. They were magnificent. The mother was a full time mother. This was her job. When I was a fulltime mother, I worked longer hours than I ever did while working. Looking back, my 1st child looked normal as a baby, but we found out much later there were special needs there, and if I had gone back to work, that child’s life would have been emotionally damaged. Not elaborating for their privacy.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    miranda

    Either/or = women with demanding, professional careers/poor women in working class jobs or unemployed that Corinne is championing (which I agree they deserve and need).

    And yes, lots more to life…

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Graciew123

    Excellent article Corinne. For me, having it all is being happy with my life, whatever it is at the time. Life throws you roadblocks sometimes, that you don’t expect. Big ones. Not in your control. I’ve had 3. Life is what it is. I think the idea of being able to plan the birth, plan the perfect career , are all wierd ideas and often greedy western ideas. There is an art to being happy and content with your life , and it doesn’t involve any sort of “having it all”. It’s about how you handle what is the “all” of your life, whatever that may be.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Veuve

    Brilliant Corinne! Keep writing great stuff like this.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Melinda Hughes

    Spot on! As a working ( part time) grandma, I feel articles that promote this mythical super mum just hijack the agenda. Most women are not after that picture, we just want a little less stress, a bit more equality, a damn large lot of respect. A safe world for our children is not a big ask, a change for the better in male thinking would also help.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Nel Matheson

    Thank you Corinne for a wonderful article. Very thought-provoking and full of commonsense.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Tracey

    Couldn’t agree more Corinne. Well said!

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Zellan

    The way I see it, I have it all, but never all at the same time… Youth was for beauty, age was for wisdom in all sorts of ways, and time is for saving for retirement when I will just do what I bloody want on whatever money I have left with whatever health I have left (that’s when I WILL have it all at once, ’cause I will then know all that I was going to be given in life)!

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Susie

    Corinne you are goddess. Please keep writing. From someone who hasn’t chosen a “normal” path it is hard not to drown in the media drivel about what “we” are striving for. On a bad day you start to question yourself. Now back on track. Thanks for making my day.

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Lee-Anne

    Thanks, Corinne. Yes, the notion that women are some sort of homogenised mass with the same wants and aspirations is more than a little ludicrous. It makes me wonder whether things have changed much since Mr Bingley rode his carriage into Netherfield and made Mrs Bennet all excited…

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    John

    I would like to comment and have much to say, but I will not waste my time typing out a contribution until I know that a differing opinion from a man will not be censored, as is the case at Mamamia, Dailylife, etc. So this is a test comment. Are only “you go girl” comments allowed? Or do you invite discourse?

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    miranda

    Hi Corinne – I have re-read the story and yes, yes, yes, I do agree we need to hear more about the lives of ordinary women – maybe then governments would find it harder to do things like cut payments to single mothers.

    But you’re so dismissive of the problems of highly successful women! I think that’s unfair. The conflict between work and home life IS a real feminist issue in all walks of life. The polo match is easy to laugh at but when it’s a matter of the global work trip vs taking your kid (or elderly parent) to a medical appointment or being there for them while they do the HSC it’s a bit more serious. Women often do hesitate whereas most blokes don’t think twice – and if they do, go anyway. Women in all sorts of jobs face the same kind of dilemma.
    V thought provoking – thanks!

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    Debbie

    Great story Corinne. Maybe the holy trinity needs to be Happy, Healthy and Hired (at whatever level suits the individual).

    • Reply April 3, 2013

      Carmen Neutral

      Since I tick all of the alternative boxes (no kids, no partner, no job (but 1 dog) – at aged 50! – I’ll have to go with the Happy, Healthy & Hired option. Yes, I will be really happy when I finally get hired again, and can afford to get a rat catcher in, the fence mended, pay my rego, and the rest. You can follow my story in my (not a mummy blogger) blog – 50shadesofunemployment.blogspot.com.au

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    jo-Anne

    I am really impressed with all the comments! I’m so happy that all you ladies above can pierce deception with your beautiful, individual clarity. hallelujah! And for the ones that want it all? This life is about freedom of choice…. but ask yourself….Who’s ideal “choice” is superimposed on you?

  • Reply April 3, 2013

    J

    I think a couple of the people writing some of the comments are getting confused with what the writer is saying. She’s not saying you CAN’T have it all. She’s saying that your “all” is whatever you want it to be. Some women just want to stay home and have kids, some women just want a career…some women will want the holy trinity. What she’s saying is that we all don’t necessarily want (nor should we) the same thing and we don’t have to want those 3 things to be happy.

  • Reply April 4, 2013

    helen b

    Thankyou Corinne! Well said!

    And thankyou J who said it all for me! ♥

  • Reply April 4, 2013

    John

    Well it seems my first post was not censored (thank you). Let’s see how this one goes. Women simply already “have it all” in comparison to men, and I find the majority of comments here offensive. Always the victims, needing someone to blame for your life not being what you would like it to be. Put simply, a woman’s perspective of equality is to pick out all the good bits, with no regard for the bad. It’s not rocket science. For example, in the US 9 out of 10 homeless are men. If that statistic applied to women would you be outraged? Also check the victim of assault rate, the child custody rate, the incarceration rate. It goes on and on. 97% of combat deaths are men, 95% of workplace deaths are men, 8 out of 10 suicides are men. If these statistics were women’s, I as a humanist would be tearing my hair out. Why aren’t you? Only talk of equal pay, boardroom seats, etc. You step over dead men for these things. And I find it disgusting. If you think you have it bad now, wait until true equality takes shape. You will lose the privileges and protections that you enjoy on a daily basis. True equality means for women, more women sleeping on the street, losing their children, etc, etc. And god forbid the suicide rate starts to level out, because that means more women killing themselves. The feminist is simply an ignorant hypocrite, nothing more. Dressed in fur and diamonds she will stomp her feet and tell us her diamonds aren’t big enough. I suggest that women start to educate themselves. Do some research. Your daughters will be the ones that suffer for it all. The latest Pell research shows a dramatic increase in women wanting to marry, and a dramatic decrease in men wanting to marry. This is what happens. Men tire of the relentless kicking and hate, and they walk away. Instead of looking for things you want to find to reinforce your ignorance, maybe start to look for things you don’t want to find. I know you don’t like to hear it from men, so look for it from other women who wake up and see it. Your daughters will be crying themselves to sleep. Believe it.

  • Reply April 4, 2013

    sue Bell

    Damn it John, I’ve been a feminist all my life but have never owned a diamond or fur, neither do I ever stamp my feet, arthritis would make them hurt too much. Feminist belief is that all people are different but equal. I think that if you really read the above comments they are not about boardroom seats but about finding satisfaction and meaning in the smaller things in life. As for your belief that we on Hoopla do not want to hear from men, again I say read the posts and you will find many of them are from men and many are from people whose gender is unspecified from their online identification. Women hold up half the sky but own a fraction of the land, get a fraction of the access to education, health services and work. Many Hooplarians in their own private lives agitate for and provide assistance to women overseas and at home. I suggest you do some reading and really learn what being a feminist means. Women bought about change for themselves, men should do the same, then we might have a far more loving and healthy society.

  • Reply April 4, 2013

    helen b

    Couldn’t have said it better sue Bell.

    John, you sound ‘mad as hell’ and clearly need some creative outlet to contribute to changing the world. As Sue implied, men need men to lead them out of the woods…and the anger.

    I really feel it would be ideal for you to set up a website for men where they can express, feel safe, vent and get some discussion going between them. This is what many women started doing in the 70’s.

    I have urged male friends, acquaintances, brothers to do just that…start taking some action on behalf of men and channel all the anger into some positive, creative energies.

    Damning others for their beliefs is just destructive. We are all entitled to express, but not attack others in ways which are diminishing. Surely we want a world where we support and encourage each other to grow, develop and expand our knowledge. Surely we want a world where people are heard and supported rather than dumped on.

    Divisiveness is counter productive to ourselves, our relationships and to society. Finding the common vision and bond is the key,

    Think about that website…you sound as though you have something to offer other men.

    • Reply April 4, 2013

      John

      @Helen. Thanks for the response. I think i have addressed a lot of what you say in my reply to Sue. There is even a repeated paragraph for you. Oops. I cut and pasted because it was in the wrong place and forgot to cut. Sorry bout that. By “mad” I am hoping you mean angry. I am a little to be honest, but not crazy with anger. Just fed up with seeing so many men suffering, and still the relentless kicking that I see coming from women, with not many offers of help. Only persistent hate.

      There are many websites for what they call MRA’s (Mens Rights Activists and apparently membership grows at a fast rate, as they wake to issues. Why should men do it? Just like women, why only women? Why can’t you call yourselves humanists and stand up for both? Tell me, if I called myself a “manist”, would you say I stood for equality? And that is what I think of the word feminist. It has nothing to do with equality.

      “Damning others for their beliefs is just destructive. We are all entitled to express, but not attack others in ways which are diminishing.” I agree. And I can only urge that you take that to your fellow feminists.

      “..you sound as though you have something to offer other men”. Thank you. But I also have a lot to offer women. As I have mentioned, I stand up for both. Why don’t women? Generalising again of course, but generally true. Not you personally. I don’t know you.

  • Reply April 4, 2013

    John

    Ooh, I have responses. Thank you, and I will address all that do respond. Firstly, I am aware that this gets off topic to Corrinne’s article. I hope she doesn’t mind it. Please understand my frustrations of continually being censored, as most men are with differing opinions. My last post is not an example of usual attempts. They are way milder, but always censored.

    @Sue. The diamonds/fur was an analogy. The hoopla that you don’t want to hear from men might not apply to you personally, but it is generally true. I find from feminists always the same, run, hide, censor, delete, block. That is not wanting to hear from men.

    As to this, “Women hold up half the sky but own a fraction of the land, get a fraction of the access to education, health services and work”. Firstly, ownership of land etc. I talk only of western women. I am equally outraged at acid throwing, beatings etc, that happen overseas and stand up against it. But the ownership of land, equal job placements, quotas etc, I am not concerned with simply because a woman will not find a man to support and have a family, as a man would find a woman to support and have a family. My grandfather and father both worked all their lives to support women. I myself have dated women that were unemployed for example. Who cares? Love is love, yes? But not a woman. A woman’s money is her money. For a woman to find an unemployed man, for example, and support him would be unthinkable, yes? And until that is equal, I cannot support women’s quotas, land ownership etc.

    “I suggest you do some reading and really learn what being a feminist means”. I have been doing this for 20 years and am well aware.

    As to education, I suggest watching Christina Hoff Sommers, ‘The war on boys’. Did you know that in the US girls have 65% – 70% of the graduate degrees, and many of these colleges have Women’s Centres. That to me is disgraceful. As to health services, government funding for prostate cancer is 60% less than that for breast cancer despite diagnosis rates being identical.

    “I suggest you do some reading and really learn what being a feminist means”. I have been doing this for 20 years and am fully aware.

    “Women bought about change for themselves, men should do the same”. And this is what you think about this? I note no comment, as usual, about the shocking statistics I have been mentioning. Why? You want men to fight for these things? Do you think this is the way to, “have a far more loving and healthy society”. I disagree. That is the difference between a humanist and a feminist. We fight for all. You fight for one.

  • Reply April 4, 2013

    Georgia

    …as far as mens’ health statistics, it’d be a good start if they’d just go to the Dr; women can’t do that for them

  • Reply April 4, 2013

    sue Bell

    Actually I worked and supported my bloke through uni and studied part time so we could graduate together, then I moved states for his jobs. And after losing two children I stayed at home with our children and he recognised that every day I was teaching our children; dancing, counting, singing, music, climbing, balancing, listening, exploring etc., All the skills they need for life. So as a feminist I can only see the good side of this, we shared our lives, both working, both studying and our skills to help each other and to raise our children. This is the bases of feminism, it allows each person to seek out their
    path through life, to take control of their bodies and their lives while taking an equal role in the family, it expects respect for each. Generalising just makes people angry and not listen to you, I don’t know who the feminists are that you know, but all the ones I know have tried hard to nurture families and men and the earth and they agree that they have control over their own bodies not some right to lifers and churchmen and politicians.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    John

    @Georgia. Yes, you make a good point. I am one for sure that must be dragged there kicking and screaming. I could have a severed limb and would prefer to seal it myself with my blowtorch rather than go to a doctor. You can’t do that for them. But it needs attention and funding nonetheless.

    @Sue. I hear you. Each personal experience would be different. I don’t understand why these things you mention are done under the banner of feminism. These are the things that happen in a family. I am not sure if you mean bases or basis of feminism. Anyway, it can be difficult because, similar to asking a Christian what Christianity means to them, or their definition of it, you will get differing answers. I make the point that whatever issues face girls and women, pale in significance to those facing boys and men. Money and status over suffering and death. You don’t address the points I make as I try to with yours. They go largely ignored. Would you be angry if 9 out of 10 of the homeless were women? Would you not find this statistic alone completely abhorrent? I am sorry that generalising angers you, but that is all that can be done here. I don’t talk of any specifics but generally speaking. These issues do, and will, have huge societal consequences. For example, we hear about quotas in Defence and the like. But with less than 20% of teachers being male, where are the calls for quotas here? A much more critical situation needing attention, but not a peep. Boys need male role models in their lives. Single mothers with boys especially. Did you know, 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centres come from fatherless homes, 85% of all children that exhibit behavioural disorders come from fatherless homes, 71% of high school dropouts, 63% of youth suicides, 90% of homeless children come from fatherless homes. Do you see that when feminists call for quotas in Defence and the like, over quotas in our schools, is again, completely disgraceful. An article for you, ‘Eliminating feminist teacher bias erases boys falling grades’. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/eliminating-feminist-teacher-bias-erases-boys-falling-grades-study-finds/
    Feminism has no regard for priorites. Only women. And the impact will be massive, and regretted, in the extreme.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    miranda

    John – Feminists have sons, fathers and brothers so their problems are very close to home. Feminism isn’t just about women’s rights but gender equality.
    As you’ve pointed out, sexist attitudes and institutions disadvantage men and boys too.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    John

    Thanks Miranda. You bring up two points that are often in my thoughts with gender issues. These are your sons, brothers, and fathers, so how can you possibly support feminism? And wouldn’t “true equalty” be one of the most devastating things that has ever happened to women?

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    Rhoda

    John, it seems you are mistaking feminism as being about putting women first and men second. That is not the case. Feminism is about both sexes experiencing their lives as equals.

    It is obvious that patriachy hurts both men and women because we share life together and are experiencing the traditional roles that are expected of us in a patriachy. We are actually fighting for human rights as working women, as mothers, as wives and as individuals seeking our own fulfilment.

    Feminism has been updated. Once it was just about women because we had no vote, no financial protection or access to education. Our sights are now set on a broader agenda that includes men because their lives intersect ours and what improves a woman’s life will improves men’s lives also.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    John

    @Rhoda. “John, it seems you are mistaking feminism as being about putting women first and men second. That is not the case”. I disagree. It is absolutely the case. The examples I have given show exactly that. It puts women first and men second. I could cite example after example.

    “Feminism is about both sexes experiencing their lives as equals”. No. Feminists only want to pick out the good bits. If you want to experience life as equals to men, you would suffer horribly.

    “We are actually fighting for human rights as working women, as mothers, as wives and as individuals seeking our own fulfilment”. Then this is a humanism. Why not call yourselves humanists?

    “Our sights are now set on a broader agenda that includes men..” I haven’t seen an example of this. Can you give one?

    “..what improves a woman’s life will improves men’s lives also.” Again can you give an example?

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    Rhoda

    @John

    Okay let’s take equal pay. Means women will bring extra income into the household How does that not benefit the men who are their partners in life? Working women shouldering as much of the burden of earning the family income as their partners. Doesn’t that remove some of the burden that rests on men who were once expected to be the sole breadwinner.

    And sharing the responsibilties of maintaining a household and looking after children. Doesn’t that make both men and women parental equals?

    As far as the lack of male teachers. Isn’t that an outcome of stereotyping men or women into specific roles? Why men couldn’t be nurses and women engineers? And it’s hardly a feminist plot if men aren’t attracted to teaching. Men are in the leadership positions and run the education departments. We need more males teachers certainly but we also need more women in administrative positions.

    As for there being more homeless men then women I suspect there will be more than a few reasons for that. I don’t think we can blame feminism for the lack of shelter and support for the poverty stricken or mentally ill. How would that work?

    It’s all about not confining each other to specific roles. To make society work for both men and women. We’ve a long way to go.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    John

    @Rhoda. Firstly, I wasn’t disagreeing with you that to improve women’s lives, also improves mens lives. Just as to improve mens lives, would also improve womens lives. For example, less men dying at the workplace, means women don’t lose their husbands, and less mens suicides, means mothers get to keep their sons, etc. I was interested in the example that you would give. Do you think the majority of women would want to shoulder as much of the burden of earning the family income as their partners? I see more and more women cursing feminism because this is where it pushes them, rather than being with their children.

    My point with the male teacher example was to highlight priorities. As mentioned we hear about quotas for this and that, but which would you say is absolutely critical for society? I gave statistics to show the result of boys having no male role models. They are mind blowing! And the attention given it is nowhere near what it needs to be. Defence quotas given more focus. Disgraceful and irresponsible. Give incentives, whatever. But it should be the priority by far. Single mothers especially should take note of it. And I would say should be pushing for it like nothing else. Did you read the article, ‘Eliminating feminist teacher bias erases boys falling grades’?

    As to the example of the homeless. Again priorities. I can tell you, if this statistic applied to women, it would be all over our televisions and action taken. But these are men, so no problems.

    And yes, a long way to go to even out these shocking statistics. Homeless 50/50, child custody 50/50, combat deaths 50/50, workplace deaths 50/50. Maybe then we will also see suicides 50/50.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    sue Bell

    Thank you Rhoda well said.John, stop whinging, stop blaming women, do something yourself, it is not up to women to change things for you it is up to you. I have been involved with Women’s health centres, rape crises counselling, setting up a rape crises centre (first person counselled was a young male), working with women’s shelters and spending ten years helping women get the right medical information they needed and was a volunteer at W.I.R.E.
    Women have had to fight for everything they needed such as the right to superannuation, the right to work after marriage, the right to equal pay, the right to stay in the family home with the children when victims of domestic violence, the right to walk the streets in safety etc., etc.m etc. the list is endless and so is the struggle.
    Now instead of complaining, if you feel so strongly that men have it bad then get off your backside and do something about it. Why come on a forum where many of the women (if you read other posts on other articles) have had to struggle to overcome the results of being abused, raped, discriminated against and put down, and then complain and want the women to change things for you. Grow a backbone and do something about it yourself.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    John

    @Sue. I see. Do something yourselves is the common response from feminists. I think dispicable. Thank you to the site for not censoring, as is the usual. Thanks to the posters for the discourse, and to Corrinne. Take care.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    miranda

    Rhoda and Sue Bell have pretty much laid it all out for you John – not much I’d want to add.
    Except that feminism means I CHOOSE how I live my life – rather than you or any other man telling me what’s good for me or not.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    Diana

    First of all, please do not accuse me of being a man or I will post my birthing story as punishment.

    I like this article, but not because I think it is accurate. I like it because it’s bold, given our times. The sad part is that it’s not bold enough. On top of that, it includes fictional narrative that, despite her disdain for feminist babble, Corinne has not managed to identify as fiction. Despite the heavily disproportionate funding, women are not the primary victims of violence. Any statistics that claim to prove this are manipulated. Women are not the primary victims of rape. Any statistics to prove this have been manipulated. Women are not less violent than men. The Rwanda genocide investigations have shown that women equally participated in both orchestrating and carrying out the massacres. Where women were directly overseeing the massacre there was more violent mutilation of the victims. All women agree with the saying “Behind every great man is a great woman” and all the architects of the supposed Patriarchy have been married.

    I love how this article outlined the narcissism of feminism’s spokespeople. That’s what it is. If you find yourself lamenting a lack of fulfilment and/or happiness stop and honour history and all the men who have slaved and died so you had the luxury to even think about it. Women are master manipulators. They have taken control over our language to the point of mutilation. They have historically manipulated men into dying to protect them. They have manipulated the laws to increase their advantage so they don’t have to make any sacrifices for their protection by men. They’ve duped men into believing their protection of women was abusive.

    Now we women get the luxury of fighting about what “having it all” is while men are still dying earlier and in larger numbers. And women have the nerve to tell men to go fight their own battles. That’s all they’ve done is fight battles. But they’ve fought them for women. All they ask for in return is respect and all the MRM gets is slanderous insults in response.

    Real equality will not just demand equal rights as you perceive a “right” but equal punishment for equal crime. There’s a good starting place. Demand that women stop being treated as children and start serving the same jail time. I look forward to your campaign slogans.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    Diana

    Part 1
    First of all, please do not accuse me of being a man or I will post my birthing story as punishment.

    I like this article but not because I think it is accurate. I like it because it’s bold, given our times. The sad part is that it’s not bold enough. On top of that, it includes fictional narrative that, despite her disdain for feminist babble, Corinne has not managed to identify as fiction. Despite the heavily disproportionate funding, women are not the primary victims of violence. Any statistics that claim to prove this are manipulated. Women are not the primary victims of rape. Any statistics to prove this have been manipulated. Women are not less violent than men. The Rwanda genocide investigations have shown that women equally participated in both orchestrating and carrying out the massacres. Where women were directly overseeing the massacre there was more violent mutilation of the victims. All women agree with the saying “Behind every great man is a great woman” and all the architects of the supposed Patriarchy have been married.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    Diana

    Part 2 (sorry if this is double posted but the first reply didn’t appear)
    I love how this article outlined the narcissism of feminism’s spokespeople. That’s what it is. If you find yourself lamenting a lack of fulfilment and/or happiness stop and honour history and all the men who have slaved and died so you had the luxury to even think about it. Women are master manipulators. They have taken control over our language to the point of mutilation. They have historically manipulated men into dying to protect them. They have manipulated the laws to increase their advantage so they don’t have to make any sacrifices for their protection by men. They’ve duped men into believing their protection of women was abusive.

    Now we women get the luxury of fighting about what “having it all” is while men are still dying earlier and in larger numbers. And women have the nerve to tell men to go fight their own battles. That’s all they’ve done is fight battles. But they’ve fought them for women. All they ask for in return is respect and all the MRM gets is slanderous insults in response.

    Real equality will not just demand equal rights as you perceive a “right” but equal punishment for equal crime. There’s a good starting place. Demand that women stop being treated as children and start serving the same jail time. I look forward to your campaign slogans.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    Diana

    My previous replies haven’t posted so I try, try again.

    First of all, please do not accuse me of being a man or I will post my birthing story as punishment.

    I like this article but not because I think it is accurate. I like it because it’s bold, given our times. The sad part is that it’s not bold enough. On top of that, it includes fictional narrative that, despite her disdain for feminist babble, Corinne has not managed to identify as fiction. Despite the heavily disproportionate funding, women are not the primary victims of violence. Any statistics that claim to prove this are manipulated. Women are not the primary victims of rape. Any statistics to prove this have been manipulated. Women are not less violent than men. The Rwanda genocide investigations have shown that women equally participated in both orchestrating and carrying out the massacres. Where women were directly overseeing the massacre there was more violent mutilation of the victims. All women agree with the saying “Behind every great man is a great woman” and all the architects of the supposed Patriarchy have been married.

    I love how this article outlined the narcissism of feminism’s spokespeople. That’s what it is. If you find yourself lamenting a lack of fulfilment and/or happiness stop and honour history and all the men who have slaved and died so you had the luxury to even think about it. Women are master manipulators. They have taken control over our language to the point of mutilation. They have historically manipulated men into dying to protect them. They have manipulated the laws to increase their advantage so they don’t have to make any sacrifices for their protection by men. They’ve duped men into believing their protection of women was abusive.

    Now we women get the luxury of fighting about what “having it all” is while men are still dying earlier and in larger numbers. And women have the nerve to tell men to go fight their own battles. That’s all they’ve done is fight battles. But they’ve fought them for women. All they ask for in return is respect and all the MRM gets is slanderous insults in response.

    Real equality will not just demand equal rights as you perceive a “right” but equal punishment for equal crime. There’s a good starting place. Demand that women stop being treated as children and start serving the same jail time. I look forward to your campaign slogans.

    • Reply April 5, 2013

      Wendy Harmer

      Diana, please understand that here at The Hoopla comments are moderated, so may not appear instantly. We do our best to keep up, but sometimes comments may take a while to appear – this also happens on MSM sites too. Thanks.

      • Reply April 5, 2013

        Diana

        A note about the moderation in the reply box area would help avoid such problems. As much as you all will be annoyed at reading it four times, I spent four hours trying to post it. G’Day

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    Diana

    First of all, please do not accuse me of being a man or I will post my birthing story as punishment.

    I like this article but not because I think it is accurate. I like it because it’s bold, given our times. The sad part is that it’s not bold enough. On top of that, it includes fictional narrative that, despite her disdain for feminist babble, Corinne has not managed to identify as fiction. Despite the heavily disproportionate funding, women are not the primary victims of violence. Any statistics that claim to prove this are manipulated. Women are not the primary victims of rape. Any statistics to prove this have been manipulated. Women are not less violent than men. The Rwanda genocide investigations have shown that women equally participated in both orchestrating and carrying out the massacres. Where women were directly overseeing the massacre there was more violent mutilation of the victims. All women agree with the saying “Behind every great man is a great woman” and all the architects of the supposed Patriarchy have been married.

    I love how this article outlined the narcissism of feminism’s spokespeople. That’s what it is. If you find yourself lamenting a lack of fulfilment and/or happiness stop and honour history and all the men who have slaved and died so you had the luxury to even think about it. Women are master manipulators. They have taken control over our language to the point of mutilation. They have historically manipulated men into dying to protect them. They have manipulated the laws to increase their advantage so they don’t have to make any sacrifices for their protection by men. They’ve duped men into believing their protection of women was abusive.

    Now we women get the luxury of fighting about what “having it all” is while men are still dying earlier and in larger numbers. And women have the nerve to tell men to go fight their own battles. That’s all they’ve done is fight battles. But they’ve fought them for women. All they ask for in return is respect, and all men’s advocates get is slanderous insults in response.

    Real equality will not just demand equal rights as you perceive a “right” but equal punishment for equal crime. There’s a good starting place. Demand that women stop being treated as children and start serving the same jail time. I look forward to your campaign slogans.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    Rhoda

    John, I’m curious. Where is this focus on Defence Force quotas. I’m not seeing it. I think it’s probably a good idea though. Can imagine what goes on if there are only the odd few women in a company of men.

    There might be more homeless men but why blame women. We can throw statistics around all day. What about the statistics showing more women live in poverty than men.

    You also seem very upset about boys not having male role models but I don’t get that it has anything to do with feminism. It takes two to tango. Marriages get messed up. To stay in a messed up marriage or leave? Once women would have stayed for the sake of the children but how was that ever fair? If you mean the single mums who never marry but get pregnant over and over. Well exactly how many of them are there doing this. It is so significant? And what is the male role in all of this? Don’t they have a part to play? The woman is left carrying the bag and it’s all her fault? Well no it isn’t. And why is she in this position in the first place.

    Feminism will change the world and make it better for all of us. Just watch.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    helen b

    @ Diana
    Words of a Judy Small song written in response to the 1991 massacre in Montreal:

    Montreal, December ’89
    (Judy Small)
    It was a cold December afternoon, the line stretched round the block
    And some of them were weeping and some were still in shock
    Seven thousand came that day to pay their last respects
    To fourteen women slaughtered for no reason but their sex
    And the cameras and the mikes were there to record the grief and fear
    Of the ordinary people who worked and studied here
    And a woman in her fifties in a gentle quiet tone
    Summed up her sisters’ outrage at the murder of their own

    She said, I wonder why, as I try to make sense of this
    Why is it always men who resort to the gun, the sword and the fist
    Why does gunman sound so familiar while gunwoman doesn’t quite ring true
    What is it about men that makes them do the things they do

    And the man behind her in the line, he started getting steamed
    He said, It wasn’t because he was a man, this guy was crazy, mad, obscene
    Yes he was crazy, the woman replied, But women go crazy too
    And I’ve never heard of a woman shooting fourteen men, have you
    And all those other times came flooding back to me again
    A hundred news reports of men killing family, strangers, friends
    And yes I can remember one or two where a woman’s hand held the gun
    But exceptions only prove the rule and the questions still remain

    And don’t you wonder why, as you try to make sense of this
    Why is it always men who resort to the gun, the sword and the fist
    Why does gunman sound so familiar while gunwoman doesn’t quite ring true
    What is it about men that makes them do the things they do

    And I know there are men of conscience who aren’t like that at all
    Who would never raise a hand in anger and who reject the macho role
    And if you were to ask them about the violence that men do
    I know they’d say they hate male violence too

    And so we wonder why, as we try to make sense of this
    Why is it always men who resort to the gun, the sword and the fist
    Why does gunman sound so familiar while gunwoman doesn’t quite ring true
    What is it about men that makes them do the things they do

    You can get all the story, brief discussion of male violence of this nature at:
    http://www.mysongbook.de/msb/songs/m/montreal.html

    [1991:] In December 1989 there was probably the worst or one of the worst incidents of mass murder ever to take place, at the University of Montreal where a young man roamed through the buildings, calling out, ‘Bring me the women! I want the women!’ In each room he separated the men from the women, and he shot the women. In the end fourteen young women were dead, and he had killed himself.

    And that Diana, is just for starters. Plenty more stories of male violence in ‘the naked city’.

    With a name like Diana, I would have thought you’d be a supporter of your own sex. That doesn’t mean supporting your own sex is attacking the opposite sex. We live in the 21st century now. Times have changed, are changing and will continue to change.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    Diana

    And what has the 21st century brought? Better investigative journalism that describes a different kind of song. Rwanda women are described singing songs of praise as the men massacred the women that they brought and rounded up for them. Research showing that women brought refreshments to the Nazis while they slaughtered Jews.

    So you sang me a song and told me what my name is supposed to mean. How pathetic.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    Diana

    Here’s a song for you, since you like them so much.
    I Don’t Like Mondays by the Boomtown Rats
    that’s the reason Brenda Ann Spencer gave for shooting up her school back in 1979.

    enjoy

    Sweet 16 ain’t that peachy keen
    Now that ain’t so neat to admit defeat
    They can see no reasons
    ‘Cuz there are no reasons
    What reasons do you need?
    Oh Oh oh whoa whoa

    Tell me why
    I don’t like Mondays
    Tell me why
    I don’t like Mondays
    Tell me why
    I don’t like Mondays
    I wanna shoo-oo-oo-woo-woo-oot
    The whole day down, down, down, shoot it all down

    And all the playing’s stopped in the playground now
    She wants to play with the toys a while
    And school’s out early and soon we’ll be learning
    And the lesson today is how to die

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    helen b

    Diana, I can see why you quote stories of violent women and the women who support violence in our world. You will not understand until you soften your heart.

    Take care of yourself with all that anger. It has to go somewhere. Hopefully, without harming too many others.

    Freedom and equity on all levels of being is the only way forward in this world. I really do believe it’s all about love and compassion. But maybe that’s pathetic to you. In lingo you might understand ‘suck it up baby’. :)

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    Rhoda

    Thank you Helen.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    helen b

    To you too Rhoda for all that reasoning you went through with John. I just wasn’t prepared to take that on. Another hardened case! The anger out there is palpable!

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    John

    Well it seems there have been developments. I do not tick that notify box, so I was not aware of these posts. Firstly, I was not aware that this site was for abused women, or I would not have come here. If I have hurt anyone I apologise. I have not personally attacked anyone here, not like I have been.

    @Rhoda. Your post to me starting, “John I’m curious..”, is simply so absurd I cannot even respond to it.

    I wish you all well. I will not come back.

  • Reply April 5, 2013

    anicasunny

    Do some men get their periods or what!
    And some women just hate women too, personality types: that’s all.

    I thought Corines’ article was spot on.

    The thing is it’s hard enough for some people to pay their bills and get by week to week.

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    Amanda

    Well John, I hope you do come back, we can only learn and improve each others lot in this life by communicating and exchanging views, perhaps a humanist site where all are welcome is needed rather than a gender specific site. I acknowledge your concerns about the issues facing men, they are serious problems for our society, and I do care immensely that men are homeless and facing issues of violence and suicide. These are complex problems and a caring society should do its best to address them. That does not mean however that here are not still significant problems facing women. Diamonds and fur analogies come from a place of anger and trivialize women’s concerns, as does much of the MSM debate, as I believe Corinne was highlighting. We need to get to a place of real conversation and respect where issues can be placed on the table and treated as equally important. I would ask though whether you think it is currently possible to achieve this with men still holding most of the decision making power in our society in government, the law etc? Women have had to group together to achieve the right to the vote, equal pay and education precisely because the laws needed changing. I too supported my partner through university, and then he supported me by the way. I was able to do this because I was able to work and was financially independent, something earlier women had to fight to achieve, but which now benefitted my partner. I hope you can see that we are all in this together and need to support each other to achieve our potential and lead happy and fulfilled lives

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    John

    Thank you Amanda. I was going to keep an eye on posts, I just wasn’t going to contribute anymore. But now I will. I agree with everything you say. The diamonds/fur analogy is aimed at feminists, not at women. I stand by it, as this is how I feel. I can elaborate on that for you later.

    “I would ask though whether you think it is currently possible to achieve this with men still holding most of the decision making power in our society in government, the law etc?”.

    And I would say to that, that I would join in and support that, but how can I when I see womens attitude to mens problems? For example, “..stop whinging, stop blaming women, do something yourself, it is not up to women to change things for you it is up to you”. Will this be the same contribution from women when they share power? Swap the word women for men, and it reads, “stop whinging, stop blaming men, do something yourself, it is not up to men to change things for you it is up to you”. Do you see this?

    “I hope you can see that we are all in this together and need to support each other to achieve our potential and lead happy and fulfilled lives “.

    This is my message, and it is me that hopes you can see it. It seems yes, so I absolutely welcome further discourse so we can all be heard.

    I go fishing now with my niece and nephew for the afternoon, and will look forward to continuing the discussion later.

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    Kath

    But John, that is what earlier feminists did – got together and did something themselves, and made changes! (They were of course supported by a number of wonderful men, but were wildly opposed by many more less wonderful men). Unfortunately men don’t seem to take a similar approach. And when they do, such as Tim Mathieson (not sure of correct spelling, apologies) tries to promote health issues for men, he is derided by many men!

    I would also query some of the stats you have used, eg men are NOT 9 out of 10 homeless in the USA, I have no idea where you got that from. They do make up a large percentage of individual homeless (70%), while women who are homeless tend to have their children with them as well. Also in the USA race is a factor in homelessness, with African- Americans being highly over-represented. As are veterans (who are mostly male).

    There are a variety of issues and I would suggest that to try and be simplistic about this and turn it into a men vs women thing is unwise.

    I have worked with the homeless here in Australia, and trust me there are plenty of homeless women! Again, they tend to be less publicly visible as they often have children with them.

    And I am equally outraged for all those who are homeless, whether they be male, female, young or old.

    I agree with you that there are serious issues facing men. I would suggest though that many of the causes for those issues are due in great part TO men. Men of power who start and continue wars. Men in power who don’t believe women are capable of fighting in wars and ban them from so doing.

    Men who use power and physical force/violence as a first option. Violence against men is horrendous, but virtually all of that violence is perpetuated by other men!

    I do not deny that women can be violent, but the frequency is so minor in comparison to men that it is pretty rich to place the blame for violence against men on feminists!!

    How do you propose that women stop men from being violent towards each other?

    John, I am a proud feminist. I am also a lesbian. But, far from hating men, I support all good men to have the best and safest lives that they can. I further support their rights to choose what that means for them individually, and to work towards achieving it.

    In what way is someone like myself creating problems for men?

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    Kath

    Diana, I won’t respond to most of your post, you are entitled to your opinions. But I must respond to your extraordinary claim that women are not the primary victims of rape. I cannot even begin to imagine why you would say this.

    Yes, men have been subjected to rape (again, by other men), but really, in what universe do you live in to claim that the rape of men is more prevalent than against women????

    Of all the bizarre statements I have read, this rates very high on the list.

    I do not mean to insult you personally, but I am seriously kerflummoxed. And I should imagine that many of the contributors to this site, who have experienced rape first hand, would be deeply offended. I cannot speak for them of course, but I myself am offended by your statement.

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    Rhoda

    John, you mentioned defence force quotas three times that I counted. That’s an indication it’s on your mind. I responded.

    I suspect you are worried more about lack of male role models and that’s fair and understandable. Have no quarrel with that. It’s true. Boys do lack male role models. So where are they? Males don’t want to be teachers they want to be administrators. Or that’s what the statistics tell us. Women, feminists, can’t keep men out of schools if they want to be there. It’s a low status and poorly paid, considering what teachers put up with these days.

    And your beef with the single mother. Well many are out on their ear and have few options. They could go back to their partners and suffer whatever is dished out but maybe the partners don’t want them back anyway. Their stories would not be pretty and as a woman I can picture their position. I can’t judge them to be any worse than their partners though. Their story has a male in it. Male, female, parents. Both responsible. There’s a saying – if you love someone then set them free.

  • Reply April 6, 2013

    John

    @Kath @Rhoda. Some good points and thanks. I will address them all in detail. I don’t think I will be able to tonight, after having a big day, and a few beers with friends.

    Can I say, I will read articles etc that you post, and I hope that you will do likewise. For tonight, I would like to leave you with this one, and elaborate more on it tomorrow, after also replying to any comments. I hope too that others might join the discussion.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-02/report-identifies-lack-of-support-for-homeless-fathers/4238240

  • Reply April 7, 2013

    John

    @Kath. I will try to address some of your points and answer your questions.

    “They were of course supported by a number of wonderful men”. So where are the “wonderful women” supporting men’s issues? I don’t see many at all.

    “Unfortunately men don’t seem to take a similar approach”. They do other things. They don’t go to the doctor. They don’t care, just suffer. But they start to wake and as I mentioned, I have read recently numbers grow. It shouldn’t be necessary to me. Men vs women.

    Stats I will get back to you with. I will need to find the source, no problem.

    “.turn it into a men vs women thing is unwise”. That’s my point. That’s what feminism does. Eg, I don’t call myself a “manist”.

    Homelessness? See recent article. Men have serious issues here that need attention. Read it please.

    “Men in power who don’t believe women are capable of fighting in wars and ban them from so doing”. .I personally don’t believe in women in combat for a number of reaons. I can elaborate later. It has nothing to do with capability. But that’s neither here nor there.

    “How do you propose that women stop men from being violent towards each other?”.

    A good question. Firstly, the “bad boy” thing. What sort of message do you think that this sends to men? Not a good one in my opinion. Do you want them to be good or bad? Which is it? I see young men struggle with this. You want chicks? You gotta be bad. Women perhaps could stop this. When you hear it from another woman publicly, maybe tap her on the shoulder and tell her, that can send a wrong message to men etc.

    Or king hitting. These guys are the guys with issues. They work out all day, hitting a bag, looking at themselves in the mirror etc. Then they hit the streets to impress the girls. Fighting, assaults, king hits. I have seen before, girlfriends egging guys on at the side of a fight. Hit him, hit him. A man died recently from being king hit at Kings Cross yes? A serious issue. They don’t come for you. A man can die by walking around, similar to the poor ABC girl. More police? Funding? More severe penalties? Again an issue that comes down to priorities. What can women do to help stop it? Feminism has priorities wrong! Maybe send emails, some support, like I do when I hear about women being assaulted.

    Rapes in prison of men. What can women do? Again priorities. These are “people” that are routinely raped in Government institutions. Would you be happy to have that for women? Funding. Separate rooms, whatever. Stop it at any cost. It is not acceptable, yes? What can women do? Feminism and priorities!

    “I support all good men to have the best and safest lives that they can”. Appreciated. But are you really? Maybe yes. Just asking. Don’t get me wrong.

    “In what way is someone like myself creating problems for men?”.

    Good question. Basically answered, you support feminism. I could give an analogy of a political party, for discussion sake. I support this political party, but I like these people, and help them. You create problems by supporting that particular ideology. An ideology that hurts “those people”.

  • Reply April 7, 2013

    brigs

    this is one of those articles i want to print out and staple to people’s faces because it’s so right and more people need to start thinking like this.

  • Reply April 7, 2013

    Amanda

    So John, could I suggest you head over to Avaaz and start a petition to get the government to target a reduction in rapes in prison as an example. It is easy to do, anyone can set up a petition. I too think it is abhorrent and I will gladly support it, as I am sure will many women.Male homelessness? needs the same access to resources as women, no argument from me. Male access to healthcare? Yes, agree, but up to men to use it. As for macho, bad boy behavior, hate it and have never encouraged it, been attracted to, or gone out with anyone like this, but do you really think this is the sole cause of men on men violence? Men need to own up to some level of responsibility as well and deal with it, and I would support them all the way. I have a psychologist friend ( now retired) who for years worked as a volunteer with violent male offenders in prison. It’s not as if women are not doing anything, perhaps we just don’t shout it from the rooftops. In fact there are many women on this site who work in the social support professions. These are not well paid positions and are largely held by women. It would certainly be good to see more men in these roles, as well as in teaching. No one is stopping them from working in these areas. You seem to have a real problem with feminism, and compared it to a political party. To continue the analogy then, Like any political party it is a very broad church, and has at its extremes, some tennets I don’t agree with either, but as I mentioned earlier, it would be hard for any women to disagree with equal pay for equal work, the vote and equal opportunity. I don’t see that this means we should be anti male or oblivious to the suffering of men. I prefer to call my self a humanist, but I am not going to deny the basic rights feminism has achieved., which have been in societies interest. Likewise I support men to achieve their full potential.

  • Reply April 7, 2013

    John

    @Rhoda. Firstly, you aske re defence quotas. “John, I’m curious. Where is this focus on Defence Force quotas”. You type defence force quotas into Google, and you press enter.

    “I suspect you are worried more about lack of male role models and that’s fair and understandable”. Yes. See the statistics re children re fatherless homes. They seem to not be as shocking to some as to me.

    Male teachers? Just like anything else, Eg, the realisation that we need more female police to help deal with female crime. A call for them. They are needed. And in this case absolutely critical, yes? Let’s see it all over our televisions. See article where feminism bias actually effects boys grades at school, and when eliminated, boys grades go up. For God’s sake, these are your boys, not mine! Even when studies show that this ifeminist deology damages your boys at school, still denial. It amazes me.

    “And your beef with the single mother.” Show me where I have a beef with single mothers.

    • Reply April 7, 2013

      ro.watson

      While some may seek and even have it all for a while~ others are dealing with the hog’s breath of limited opportunities and limiting status…

  • Reply April 7, 2013

    John

    @Amanda. Yes, a petition for it is a good idea. And this is what I do. Women start petitions for women and men start petitions for men. I think it all promotes though the men vs women, which I will elaborate on.

    “..but do you really think this is the sole cause of men on men violence? Where have I said that? I named one, of what would be many contributing factors to it. The question was this, “How do you propose that women stop men from being violent towards each other?”.

    “You seem to have a real problem with feminism”. Yes, absolutely I do. And many, many others do to. I can only urge you to seek out their words, and at the very least, listen to their words.

    “..it would be hard for any women to disagree with equal pay for equal work, the vote and equal opportunity”. And also hard for any rational thinking man. It is about priorities.

    “I prefer to call my self a humanist, but I am not going to deny the basic rights feminism has achieved, which have been in societies interest”. Bravo. And neither would I deny the basic rights feminism has achieved. But understand, that your daughters will not be looking up to you as you do with your mother’s, and what they achieved in the 60’s, 70’s, etc. They will be cursing you and feminism for what feminism in the 2010’s is doing to them.

  • Reply April 7, 2013

    John

    Can I say also, I realise only recently of perhaps a misunderstanding when I talk of more male teachers, and it’s importance. This is not because I have concerns for men here. Not at all. It is because I have concerns for society generally. I couldn’t care less about equal representation.

    And let me explain the issues more simply like this. Let’s say there is a 12 year old girl crying in the corner of a school playground. The female teacher might ask herself, is it her first period? Is it a problem with a boy? I have no idea because I am a male and I guess here. I have never been a 12 year old girl. So let’s now say, there’s a 12 year old boy crying in the corner of the school playground. Does he have his first period? Is it a problem with a girl? The female teacher would have equally no idea. She has never been a 12 year old boy. A male teacher is more likely to see a problem, and to be able to address it.

    Let me expand further. When I see something like a school shooting, like everyone else I ask myself how? How does a child go around shooting other children? And so I pay attention, because apart from being troubling, I want to know why. So my ears prick up when I find this shooter’s school has 100% female teachers. Is it possible that a male teacher might have more chance of being able to indentify a troubled young man? Hmm. All things I give thought to.

    And give this thought also. As an 8 year old girl, let’s say you are brought up by your dad, and do dad things, and see dad’s friends, and when you go to school only males. Do you think that might effect you in anyway as a girl? Do you think that could even perhaps change your direction in life? Any impact at all do you think?

  • […] (assuming they want gender at all) but what would (or could) this gender equality look like? This article by Corinne Grant raises some interesting points on the issue, as she points out that those […]

  • Reply April 8, 2013

    Karen

    Amen.

  • Reply April 8, 2013

    Nicola

    Thanks for trivializing the issues of middle class mothers Corinne! So much for the sisterhood…

  • Reply April 10, 2013

    Melly

    Just found this site, first article I read. Love it, will definitely be hanging around

  • Reply April 12, 2013

    Diana

    First off, I’ve not responded because I haven’t bothered checking back since last I wrote. None of you have said anything unpredictable.

    Like I said at the beginning, this article is a good start but doesn’t go near deep enough.

  • Reply April 15, 2013

    Rhoda

    Deep enough Diana? So tell us about this deep stuff we don’t know about.

    John, at the risk of being a nag – if a child weeps in the playground we comfort. Male female. Doesn’t matter. If it did then mothers and fathers both would have to stay home and do equal nurture. Ha – now why hasn’t that happened. Women haven’t been telling men how to live and run the world. Other way round.

  • Reply April 15, 2013

    Kath

    John, sorry for the delay in responding. I’ve been thinking abut what seems to worry you, and I’m still not entirely sure. I first thought it might be because feminism has challenged some gender roles, leading to your comments about things like hanging around with dad and his friends only would impact on a girls life as a girl, etc.

    Then you talked about whether a female teacher could recognise a boys issues coz she had never been a boy.

    John, I think you are looking at things in a very strange way. I work in community with lots of disadvantaged people who experience issues and problems that I never have. But I can still effectively help them. I don’t need to have ‘been there, done that’ to do so.

    To be honest, I think that past gender roles have been very damaging for both women and men. I won’t go into the women’s side because to a large extent feminism has highlighted and tried to address some of that.

    What I think the problem is, is that the damage of those roles to men hasn’t been as fully identified and there has been limited efforts to address that. And I am wondering if that is the essence of your concerns?

    Men are equally entitled to challenge societal expectations and roles, although they often don’t seem too keen on doing so. ‘Caring’ professions are as open to men as they are to women and they are welcome (including welcome to the lousy salaries guys!) but it seems they are less interested. Is that because they can’t escape their own self notions of what a ‘man’ should do?

    You say that women encourage men to be ‘bad boys’, leading to increased violence. Well, I don’t personally know anyone who finds a violent and ‘tough’ guy appealing, although I assume there are some. But I suspect it’s just a stereotype that some buy into.

    I don’t have the answers John, but like others I am only too happy to support men if they want to address some of these issues.

    But there are so many good causes and only so much time, that I prioritise a bit, and put my main efforts into areas that I view as people being subjected to abuses of power – which are often feminist issues (equal pay, equal opportunity, and equal respect) and GLBT issues. Oh, and animals. And sometimes even children!!

    I have supported many men’s causes and work with many disadvantaged men – gay, homeless, affected by drugs and mental health, men with disabilities. But I admit I don’t initiate men’s causes because I don’t really know what they want, and they are often hostile to the idea that there is even a problem, let alone that they could do with some support.

    In the end I just support men as best I can, including doing my best to ensure that all people I am involved with, whether at work, home or socially, treat each other with respect. And I try particularly hard to get that message through to kids, of both genders.

  • Reply April 15, 2013

    Kath

    Diana, I would still be interested in a response regarding why you claim that women are not the primary victims of rape??

  • […] how women can’t have it all anymore, to my personal favorite article on The Hoopla called “WTF is Having It All Anyway?” everyone is weighing in on this 3rd wave feminist topic. Now that women have been given the ability […]

  • […] Image: The Hoopla […]

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