Tag Archives: Parenting

Rebecca

As a 31 year old woman, I just tried to tell my Dad about some of the reproductive problems I have been experiencing over the last year. After finally seeing a specialist I thought it was time to share the problem, as after months of pain and years of issues it is looking like Endometriosis. He didn’t even turn down the TV to hear it or look at me, let alone offer sympathy. He simply asked, and have you been diagnosed? And was immediately dismissive when I explained the risk of making the condition worse that comes with keyhole surgery required to do this. And when I explained that the only offer of treatment is the birth control pill he again dismissively said ‘lots of women take that and they are fine.’ Women need to start speaking out about issues and side effects of the pill, as we desperately need to find other ways of treating Endometriosis. I would argue that we are still discouraged from openly discussing our reproductive health and subjects periods are still so stigmatised to the point that Fathers can’t even comfort their daughters. If we don’t speak about how unfair it still is that birth control is seen as a female responsibility or how awful the symptoms of the pill really are then society will not change. There will continue to be Dad’s who mansplain the pill to their 31 year old daughters, opinions based on no evidence in particular. It brought back a really vivid memory of a Saturday when I was about fourteen when he decided to have a go at me for staying home all day, I was having my period and I didn’t feel like leaving the house because it was so painful and heavy. He really became aggressive so I just told him that I had my period and to lay off, he went silent, no sympathy, no apology, because that would be him admitting he had done something wrong. I have been repairing the damage caused by his sexist attitude my entire life and can only really now recognise it defend myself when it occurs. Men with daughters need to try harder, no matter what age they are. Medicine needs to recognise that the pill is not a suitable long term treatment for a chronic illness. Endometriosis is as common as diabetes and because it actually makes women infertile, this is an issue society is facing as a whole, not just a ‘women’s problem’.

Nina

My 7 yo daughter asking her dad : – I don’t understand why my little sister says she loves me but when I try to kiss her when she sits in the couch she pushes me away. To which he replays: – ‘she’s a girl, what did you expect!’ :-/ I of course told him off and explained to our daughter that kissing someone out of the blue when they don’t see you coming or expect a kiss ( aka without some kind of consent given either through words or through facial expressions ), can be weird and scary for that persom even if it was meant well.

Violet

I don’t know if this is appropriate here…? Khm, I’m a teen, I live in Europe, and my parents are divorced. I live with my mom and older sister. They make really sexist comments on men all the time, stupid thing like “that’s not very manly”, or “he sounds gay”, which, wow, I didn’t know that voices had sexualities. And this whole “manliness” thing? Yes, please, don’t let them have their own personality and preferances, because that’s totally fair. Mom has been forcing gender roles and crap like that down our throat since we were little, and in the past two years my sister has started thinking like that too. This isn’t about women, but hey, sexism goes both ways, right? Another thing that really bugs me is how pretty/popular girls at my school are treated. There are 6 girls in my class, and me and my friend are “the outcast” or whatever. The point is, she keeps talking trash about them, like they’re the mean girls out of a teen drama or something, while I doubt that she would be close enough with any of them to actually know who they are outside of some stupid stereotypes.

Alison

I wasn’t really bothered about sexism until I had my son. When I returned to work 3 days a week I was genuinely surprised and confused to find myself overlooked and excluded from projects and meetings I would ordinarily have been involved in. When I realised what was going on, I started looking around for other jobs, only to find that there were no part-time professional jobs out there in the job market. I could have applied for a full time position and perhaps negotiated a 4 day week but I really wanted 3 days so I could be there for my son. I have since gone self employed which has worked really well for me but all the mums at school have the same problem and have either given up their career, are stuck in the company they worked for pre-children with no pay rises or promotions since, or are doing other, more flexible work, which is poorly paid. This situation is also sexist against men. Most of the dads I speak to don’t want to be the pressure of being the sole breadwinner and want to be more involved in parenting but don’t have the option to go part-time or choose not to because they know it will impact negatively on their career. This is a ridiculous waste of resource, is a barrier to good parenting and is blatantly sexist! It takes a man and a woman to have a child, it is not just the responsibility of women to raise the next generation and it really pisses me off when female single parents get a bad rap – are we missing the rather blatant fact the father is nowhere to be seen. Contraception is not just the responsibilty of women!

Kitty

Came across an article in the Western Morning News that made me bridle slightly: “Sophie [Rhys-Jones] at mum-baby music group. The Countess of Wessex kicked off her shoes & knelt on the floor when she visited a mother & baby group- & could not resist holding one little girl. Sophie had joined Colombia’s First Lady Maria Clemencia Rodriguez de Santos on a tour of a West London nursery school, founded by Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave, & a nearby children’s centre that provides a range of services from midwifery & health visitors to play sessions. In Cathnor Park Children’s Centre- run by Michelle Barrett, executive head teacher of Vanessa Nursery School- the countess & Mrs Rodriguez de Santos joined mothers & their babies who were aged up to 10 months. The babies were lying on their bellies for the interactive music sessions, with their mothers sat beside them, when the leader got the group to sing a song. Sophie, who has 2 children with the Earl of Wessex, picked up one baby called Maggie & bounced her on her knee after chatting to her mother. She had taken off her stiletto heels & knelt down in her grey dress by Suzannah. Ms Rodriguez de Santos was with her husband, Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, on his historic 3-day trip to the UK, the first state visit by a leader of the South American nation. The nursery school in Shepherd’s Bush was established in 1973 by the Vanessa Redgrave Educational Trust & is run by a local authority.” The first issue: why go into detail about what Sophie is wearing? How is the fact that she’s wearing a grey dress by Suzannah & stiletto heels relevant to this news story, & to the fact that she visited a mother & baby group? We never get given the details of what male members of the Royal family are wearing when they go on royal visits (& the president’s clothes aren’t described in the article either). The second issue: The fact that the group in question is a MOTHER & baby group. What about fathers in the West London area who want to engage with other parents & take an active part in child-rearing (or are stay-at-home dads)? It strikes me- from posts I’ve read on here, & from what I’ve seen in public & in the media- that anything to do with children is geared towards mothers, & seems to wilfully exclude fathers. Mother & baby groups are a case in point.

Engineer fear

Yesterday I overhead a mother saying the she hoped her 3 month old daughter wouldn’t develop an interest in tractors or engineering as she didn’t want her to grow up to be a “butch lesbian”. She wanted her to do something feminine like being a teacher. It’s 2016 folks!

Anon

My soon to be ex husband says that he provides me with free childcare, and does me a favour when he’s looking after our children. On a rare occasion when I worked extra hours in the evening (with several weeks’ notice and having organised childcare), he said I was “failing to fulfil my obligations to look after the children”

Elle

Having individual interviews at work about changes in terms and conditions and got told by the hr manager that the extra days leave will be really helpful to me as a mother. I asked the guy who had his interview before me if he got told the extra leave would be useful as a parent. He didn’t.

Deepa

My 18 month old nephew loves the color pink. Whenever they take him shopping, his first choice is always something pink. His parents would never buy it for him! kicking and screaming he’d keep trying to get to the pink item that he liked, but he’d be told that pink is for girls and boys are not supposed to have pink stuff. Some clothes, i may understand, are gender specific – like skirts. But he could be asking for something completely gender neutral or gender agnostic, like a pencil or a chair or a coloring book. If its pink, he’s not getting it. Sexism drilled into am impressionable child’s mind, so early in life…