Friday 15 November 2013

Man I Feel Like a Woman

After this week, I need to write this post.

I have seen every belief I hold dear about women, challenged, and it's been women doing the challenging!

Luckily there have been the odd tongue in cheek post here and there to lighten the load:
  • The Blogfest Kerfuffle goes some way to explaining why we've all been doing what we've been doing - the video is well worth a watch!
  • If you read Blogfest a Retrospective, you'll see I am now in the zone of the 2nd quote at the top!
Apparently it's not a good thing if we have an opinion "as a mother!" - I'll let you read that and make your own mind up on that one!

Well as a Mother I will say the following...

... My life as a mother is very different to what went before.  Yes, I had ovaries and a womb, before I became a mother, but you know, you don't become a driver till you take the car for a test drive! 

N.B. don't be predictable and start telling me about all of the other types of mothers there are, like you did with my "boobs from the balcony" comment about "nurturing" which I have sadly learned you all refer to as "caring" :-(

... Our [audience] perspective on being a "Mummy" is not more, nor is it less, relevant than that held by the panel.  However, given that there was only one self-professed "Mummy Blogger" on the panel, our perspective on the question being posed, may well have been more relevant, hence us finding our vocal voice, when our Twitter voice was switched off.  It was kind of inevitable, as the video(s) clearly show.  Alison, I have witnessed, has been accused on Twitter of saying things on panel, that appeased the fractious crowd (I am paraphrasing) but she didn't do so to win a ratings war.  She didn't say anything different on stage, to the things I have always heard [read] her say online (and not just on her blog).  She was authentic to her position, as I know her.  

What's clear on the video also, is that the emotions of the crowd were running in harmony given that everyone laughed at a tweet at the same time, even though you would think that only a certain % would be looking at the screen.  Which is evidenced by one of the panel turning to look at the screen to assess what's going on.  Perhaps the set-up of the whole session needed to be like BBC Question Time, where the audience would have a voice from start to finish, with a Chair that would pose each question to that panel member best placed to answer it. I personally found the session dis-empowering as has been a lot of what I have read since.

... we were told that Feminism "does not want you to [...] swim in a warm soup of self-regard", yet all week I have been getting the impression that the panel would have been in a very warm soup of self-regard, had the session gone well (I won't say "to plan" as the plan was always that warfare would ensue).  Mumsnet is well known for its strong opinions as a forum, and why should its conferences be any different.  Two years in a row, with a conference that led to 85% ranty follow-up blog posts is forming a pattern I'd say.

... as a Mother I would much rather read empowering birth stories that strengten our position as a woman in books like Spiritual Midwifery than some of the belittling things I have read this week.

... Yes, personally, I do believe that Goddesses and Priestesses walked this earth before we had a Patriarchal society, hence I have been trying to hold my own on the comments here:
The Myth of the Empowered Woman in History.  Firstly, I would say, the secret is in the word "history", i.e. HIS STORY.  Of course man has probably burned a lot of the books, and evidence of strong women of the past, but luckily, there are some still alive and well today: 5 Societies Run by Women and What we Can Learn from Them  (now I must state I did not spend long looking for that link, so there may be even better ones to be found).  The lady who wrote that blog post (the former link not the latter) has been incredibly patient and courteous with me and my commenting, BUT, in a week when I have felt very dis-empowered as a woman and as a mother, the ONLY thing that has kept me going has been thinking of my ancient Sisterhood.  Sad to think that even they have come under challenge this week.  Sorry girls (if you're listening from some distant plane or other dimension)!

... The article that panel member Sarah Ditum penned for the New StatesMAN was one of the things that rattled my cage the most this week due to the caption on the photo ("The cult of self-abnegating motherhood is ultimately one that gives more prestige to the mother than benefit to the child. "), and the paragraph:
"They are a sort of fiction – particularly if the blog is a commercial concern, because anyone who works on the internet can tell you that you spend much more time worrying about stats and chasing PRs than you do exchanging tender moments with your subject matter".
Obviously I can only speak on my behalf, but the ONLY thing that suffers when I spend time on commercial stuff on my blog is the housework, NOT tender moments, and hey girls, husband darling picks up the slack - thought you'd like that no?!?!?!?!?

... also that very same New StatesMAN article accuses an audience member of being rude (I don't think she was) and calls her a "full-stop mother".  I very much hope that the author Sarah Ditum has since realised that the person in question is (1) a fellow Blogfest Speaker and (2) VERY much has not "disavow[ed] all involvement with the economic, social, intellectual and political world beyond her children!" (I'll give you a little clue: #TeamHonk).

... it's been a week, where I have been accused of attacking someone, in the comments on this blog post: Feminism Choice and Mummy Bloggers - "attack' is a word my Mum often uses, if someone speaks badly to her, so you would think I would realise that they did not mean physically, (especially given that the recipient of the so called attack was on stage, and I was on a balcony at the back) BUT it just didn't sit very well below other comments that were listing rape statistics.  That kind of made the word "attack" stick in my throat, and made me feel very defensive for being accused of it!

... All in all it's been a week where I think we as women have a long way to go and I think we need to do a lot of housework homework before we'll ever get there!  Starting with a bit of soul searching.  It makes me sad that the spiritual has been lacking from the session, and all of the posts I have seen, but 2013 is the year where the Divine Feminine is going to bite everyone on the bum, so I think I can leave this post here as "she" will take care of that herself, in whatever shape or form!

I have just found a couple of posts that are simply superb and well worth a read.  They have both been written powerfully and with perspective (and a whole heap of hindsight):

Power and Perspective; and
Recipe: Feminist Jam


My attendance at #Blogfest 2013 was sponsored by:
The English Mattress Company

Compare and contrast these below 2 images and tell me where the contradiction lies (profile Vs tweet)!!!
I only hope it is a hoax account and not for real - if it is for real, I really am going to say that Feminism is an F word from now on!

Edit: 23:27 15/11/13
From what I know of "energy" having taught Kundalini Yoga for 6 years, we have an intention, and a projection.  I, like a lot of other ladies, did not go into that session looking for a fight, but I wonder what the "intent" was of some of the panel, and I wonder what vibes and thoughts they were "projecting".  Because if it was to make some cheap shots at Mummy Bloggers, then it is no wonder things erupted the way that they did!

Edit: 11:17 Saturday 16/11/13
I just discovered this awesome post: Feminism at Blogfest and it has caused me for the umpteenth time to revisit my balcony comments from Saturday 9th November.  I have dared to leave a comment to try and explain, but sadly, due to the fact I am useless at explaining myself, it probably raises more questions than answers them :-( I am used to spending time with like-minded people, so I have never had to explain myself as much as I have had to do this week


  1. Just ignore the radfems, they hate everyone who doesn't agree with them. It's more of a religion than anything - a comfort blanket for a certain type of bitter woman who can blame any of life's disappointments on the patriarchy. Like all cults its explains everything and if you try to argue then you'll be dismissed as a funfem, or a handmaiden, or you're mansplaining, or you've internalized your oppression, been gaslighted, or numerous other weasel words.

    Being accused of being rude to them is pretty much par for the course (but they're allowed to be as rude as they like to you because they're oppressed by you - if you're a man obviously, but if you're a woman because as you disagree with them you're a woman supporting the patriarchy and so acting as proxy for male privilege - or some such self-justifying nonsense).

    A good diagnostic is to find out what the person you're talking to thinks of transgender people. If they're basically intolerant (and usually it's an obsession bordering on hatred - google Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) then you are not talking to someone you'd really want to associate with.

    It's also worth checking any links they post against the O2 mobile internet filter at You'll be amazed how many articles they link to are classified by O2 as hate speech.


    1. Thank you for your comment - I am learning a lot this week and not all of it good. I got to 40 without knowing any of this stuff, but sadly did not make it to 41. Clearly I led a sheltered life and didn't encounter any feminists. I know there are some great ones, just like there's some great cakes, but just like cake, it can all be a bit much and make you sick.
      Liska x

    2. Well it's easy to miss them, they're a very small, authoritarian and unrepresentative bunch well outside the mainstream of feminism (and I identify as a feminist btw) who've managed to p*** off virtually every other group outside their magic circle. Usually you can ignore them because they sit in their own little ghetto and seethe to themselves, but occasionally they get some attention (like this blogfest thing) and end up damaging the name of feminism in general and the cause of those of us who want an equal and fair society for both women and men.

    3. and now, because they DID the rattling, rather than GET rattled, they all sound rather serene and composed, so now the crowd has swung once again, to cheering them on for their eloquence and composure, even though I KNOW for a fact they went into that session with an agenda. I don't know if you saw my original post-fest ranty post, which I think is now being waved like a flag to say "look at that crazy woman over there who hates us". < Those are my words not anyone's but you get my drift.
      I am NOT a hatey type person and I hate that this week has made me look like one, hence the picture I chose for this post (a statue I photographed that lives on my matelpiece).
      Now I know what Politicians go through when one week they are hated and the next week applauded. It's not the way I want to live my life - I know what I stand for, and don't want to stand against anyone.
      The latest post from them, is claiming some of us want to Trademark Mummy Blogging.... Wow, so we had two camps, which became 3 when I heard of Maternal Feminists and now they're trying to make it 4? Gets more and more divisive by the day!

    4. They tend to be quite good at that. They're sort of the Militant Tendency of Feminism, more concerned with their own ideological purity than actually making the lives of real women better. And they've had a lot more experience arguing their corner than someone who casually stumbles into them so are pretty good at twisting things: there's a whole argument cluster about the patriarchy which is internally consistent with an answer to everything - just like creationism, marxism, fascism or any other extreme ism. It's really not worth getting bothered about though as they're so seriously loopy they're never going to get wide acceptance. Like you I stumbled into it myself a while back so I kind of watch it with some casual curiosity.


    5. But Hiri, I was actually at Blogfest, at the session. I was the person who shouted about boobs from the balcony because the session made me feel so cut of from my femininity and was so disassociated from the act of mothering, they even call it "caring" instead, so that it really can be 50:50 with a man. Next time Aaron wants his Mum at 3 a.m. because he's got a temperature, I'll say sorry Aaron I have done my share of the "caring" this week.....#not.
      So yes, having paid £95 to attend blogfest there was no stumbling into all of this but I have certainly been stumbling around ever since LOL


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