Friday 19 October 2012

The Guardian's Yummy Mummy

I didn't see the offending Guardian article myself but am very grateful to Mumsnet for bringing it to my attention.

The blog posts it seems to have inspired seem to go off on a tangent away from the very essence of the topic, but then again so did Rowan Davies.  The article left me wanting.  It starts by setting the scene that a lovely family run tea shop closed down, blaming its closure on Primrose Hill's yummy mummy brigade, but then fails to address what they could have done, to have caused this.  For this reason I am much more impressed by the follow up article that has been posted in the last few hours by Clare Kathleen Bogen

Well because she actually speaks about the behaviour that might have irked the Tea Shop owner and his customers of old.  The behaviour that might have lead to his business's demise.  And she does it with first-hand front line knowledge and describes behaviour that I have PERSONALLY witnessed.

If you want to read the original Evening Standard article about the Tea Shop closure, you can do so here.  As you can see it was the cost of his lease renewal, rather than the yummy mummies that caused his closure, but apparently that in itself is driven by the change in demand, which is being driven by the "yummy mummy" customers, or so the article would have you believe.  Without speaking to the landlord who issued the lease, I have no idea...

Also, there was more to that original Guardian article.  Parts that don't seem to be being quoted.  Either because the readers weren't offended or because as is so often the case, people nowadays speed read or only read the headline and the opening paragraphs, and the conversation surrounding the issue rather than the article itself.  What offends ME, is that Rowan minds the term yummy mummy but does not mind the term MILF.  This is the paragraph that tells me that:
The very phrase "yummy mummy" leaks bile, marking mothers on their fuckability and almost always sneeringly deployed; it judges and dismisses women while expecting them to be grateful. Milf seems refreshingly direct in comparison.
This I find horrifying.  I have been called both, and would turn what she says above literally on its head.  Being called a Yummy Mummy is something a fellow MUM would normally call me, and it would only be on a day when all is well.  When I am looking good and feeling good.  That's yummy and I have no problem with that - well in fact I do, as it doesn't happen often enough, the reality being that I am FAR from yummy.

But what I do have a problem with is being called a MILF.  Yes, it is said also as a compliment, but not in the context of me being yummy, which would be said if I was also feeling YUMMY, but rather it is said in a predatory way, like "I would like to eat you".  Sorry but I am not meat, and I am most certainly not on the counter to be devoured.

So feminists, as you write your follow up posts to this Guardian article, really think about the subject.  I also find yummy mummy patronising, and I am as far from TWEE as it gets, but I know when I am feeling yummy, and when I am (rarely) feeling it, feel free to call it me!

But no, don't say I am a MILF.  One, I can't be arsed to "meat" that request and two, you might like to, but I don't want to.

I hope I have put another spin on the subject.

And with regards to mums who do coffee, we have become a coffee culture, so what's up with it?  Well for the answer to that, go back to the second Guardian article, and like I am telling the men, to think about how the term MILF might make us feel, Mums, also think about how the waitresses may
feel, otherwise you are treating those waitresses, as appallingly as you claim you would not like to be treated by men.

You know, if feminists are only concerned with how men view them, why can't they care how their fellow women view them, or are waitresses a lower species that don't deserve an opinion?

So next time you are giving it large in a coffee shop, don't just try and impress your posh tosh friends, maybe also give the hired hand a smile, and some courtesy.

Having been off work since July, I am out and about in London, often enough with child, friend, coffee, and buggy to feel totally within my rights to have a view on this subject.

Bye for now,
Liska xx


  1. Gosh. I am not sure where to start.

    First, I would say that I find the second Guardian article far from an impartial account. I am not sure how the author separates 'yummymummies' and 'regulars' and would venture the opinion that the customers she berates as being yummymummies are simply rude people. Anyone who works in a service based industry knows that there are lovely customers, and there are dreadful ones.

    I am not particularly keen on the term 'milf' either (although a bit unsure why you keep talking about meat) but I see Rowan's point about it being a direct comment, lacking in sneery and patronising tone. You say that Yummymummy is generally used by a friend to describe you in a nice way - but the aforementioned waitress is not using it in this way. Generally 'yummymummy' is used in a derogatory fashion, but with a light sheen of politeness hiding the nastiness.

    I admit to being confused about your point of feminists being concerned about how men view them, and saying that feminists should be nicer to other women. If that is the impression you are getting of feminism, then it is not feminism as I understand it.

    Feminism is being equal to men - politically, economically and socially, being respected, being able to express my opinion and having the freedom to decide on my own reproductive health.

    Of course feminists care about their fellow women. Which isn't to say that there are not self-proclaimed feminists who are rude and impolite people.

    It is good to hear a different viewpoint on this subject.

    1. ha ha you have confused me even further - easily done.

      But thank you for visiting AND commenting.

      I will admit to not knowing much about feminism, as it has always seemed too ardent for me.

      I am much more into, respect where it's due etc... also, in my personal experience, when "some" women strive to be treated as equal, they relinquish (ironically) some of their femininity in doing so, which I find particularly odd, given that the word feminine makes up the word feminism.

      I think in life we need two poles, negative and positive, and when a lady reaches more into one, in order to strike a balance, men have to also accordingly move, which is why as we see more career women we see an increase in SAHD.

      In life there always has to be a balance.

      I don't know it is such a complex subject I should probably just shut up.

      I just know that I am pro women but not a feminist. I am also sometimes yummy but NOT a yummy mummy. I guess there will always be grey areas.

      Which is why sometimes have to say things like "each to their own" and "live and let live" and sometimes "there but for the grace of God go I".

      Liska x

    2. Sorry :)

      There is no 'typical' feminist, much as the press suggests that feminists are angry, hairy-legged, dungaree-clad aggressive women. We are glamorous, rich, poor, angry, wise, aggressive, serene...

      There are libfems, radfems and other variations of feminists.

      You have a son. Do you want him to grow up respecting women, treating them well? Would you expect him to get into Uni on his own merit, not because he is male? Would you expect him to earn the same money as his female colleague who sits across the office and does the same job?

      Do you want to make the decision over contraception yourself, and if it comes down to it, whether to have a baby or not.

      If you have have said 'yes' to these questions, then - congratulations - you are a feminist!

      You don't have to be a ranty angry feminist. You can be a serene and happy feminist. You don't have to agree with every other feminist - we seldom do.


Drop me a line, and I will visit you right back - as soon as I get chance. Thanks for your comment.