Love, CWA-style

Thanks to World o’ Crap for directing me to this poignant piece from Concerned Women for America. Here’s the premise: Janice is pissed because she realizes that she’s been mopping with a foam mop for 20 years when, really, she prefers a string mop. So she yells and screams in the kitchen about her deep desire for a string mop. And then…

I opened the door and there stood a delivery boy from the local florist –– holding a brand new string mop with a dozen beautiful red roses artistically arranged up and down the handle!

I stepped back, stunned! Then, I burst into laughter, reached for the bouquet and read the card.

A warm glow welled up inside of me. Gil, Sr. had not dismissed my “insight” as irrelevant after all!

How much did he understand?

The card in his handwriting stated simply, “I don’t care what mop you use, as long as it is our floor you’re mopping! Love, Gil.”

With tears streaming down my face, I saw clearly in that gesture Gil’s love and unconditional acceptance of me.

Aww… thanks, Gil! As WOC says, “Now wasn’t that nice? He lets her use any kind of mop she wants, as long as she mops their floor, instead of, say, letting it stay dirty until he takes his turn at it.”


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77 comments for “Love, CWA-style

  1. June 28, 2005 at 7:15 am

    Reminds me of that old British expression: “First you sink in his arms, then you’ve got your arms in his sink.” Why am I not surprised that the CWA and I have completely different notions of romance!

  2. June 28, 2005 at 8:58 am

    I think that’s possibly the most distressing thing I’ve read all day. Is that meant to be romantic because I think I would have had the overwheliming urge to insterst said mop and thorny roses into an apporopraite orifice. surely people have more interesting things to get het up about!!

    rx

  3. June 28, 2005 at 9:00 am

    I know I’m gonna get reamed for this, but I don’t think this is (necessarily) a bad example at all or that (out of the context of the CWA) it should draw fire as a husband saying “just keep my house clean woman” (it’s the sort of thing I would think sappily sweet, appreciate and then followed up by handing the mop back to him “here ya go, break it in – we want this place to look decent for the maid service I’m sure you booked as part of this pressie”)

    This being said, what is really says to me is that CWA is fostering an image of a dolt of a woman who is so incapable of her own thought that she spent 20 years mopping with a foam mop instead of replacing it with a string one despite knowing she had a preference.

  4. June 28, 2005 at 9:56 am

    Oh. My. God. He had a mop delivered with roses tied to the handle and she cried out of gratitude???

    I can’t decide if I’m stunned by the sexism, or the obviousness of the symbolism.

  5. Sharon
    June 28, 2005 at 9:58 am

    Oh. My. God. There are no words…

    I’d cut my husband’s dick off, run it through the blender and force him to drink it if he ever gave me a mop.

    Of course, if I turned into an hysterical lunatic like that woman, he’d probably get me the professional help I needed.

    Besides, if this woman’s husband really loved her, he’d have called Merry Maids, not given her a mop…duh.

  6. June 28, 2005 at 10:09 am

    BitchPhD: LOL

    I’d kill him for wasting the money on the delivery instead of bringing the dopey mop home with him and then showing me that he knows how to use it as well.

  7. June 28, 2005 at 10:23 am

    I know that the story is in many ways degrading, but isn’t it possible that Gil wasn’t emphasising the “mopping” so much as the “our floor” part? Don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that Gil is exiling his wife to domestic servitude just because he gifts her with a mop.

  8. June 28, 2005 at 10:26 am

    I’m personally wondering what her husband was thinking sending the mop with a delivery boy from the florist’s … I mean, we all know what delivery boys are for in regards to homemakers … we have all seen Desperate Housewives (well, actually I haven’t, but I figure I’m not far off the mark given the promos).

    Of course, on the other hand, it is a delivery boy from the FLORIST’S, and we all know the kind of men that would want to work at a florist’s … *wink*

    But personally, THIS is what we are supposed to enjoy as women according to the CWA?! I mean, COME ON!! Personally I get my enjoyment in life from, oh I don’t know, getting a 4 million dollar grant, speaking a conference, graduating, etc. Even if I were to be a homemaker, I’d personally be rooting for my child to be succeeding in his/her education, sports, arts and culture and getting involved in such myself. I mean, getting a (non-electrically powered I have to add) home appliance from my wife (because the husband thing SO ain’t happening in my world) isn’t really high up on my list.

    The romantic thoughtful thing would be to come home to find she had cleaned the kitchen herself, like I did last time for her, standing there with a rose and … well, you run with your own narrative here :)

  9. June 28, 2005 at 10:31 am

    I’m not sure what I’m supposed to think of this comment thread, as a typical slovenly married guy who nonetheless does all the mopping (string, not foam) and once worked at a florist.

  10. jam
    June 28, 2005 at 10:41 am

    or that (out of the context of the CWA) it should draw fire as a husband saying “just keep my house clean woman”

    it really sounds that way to me – what else is “as long as it is our floor you’re mopping” supposed to mean? sure, there’s the vague implication of intimate equity in the use of “our” to refer to the floor (i mean, if you’re really looking… reallly realllly looking… like with a microscope) – but it rings in my ears thusly: “stop bitching & just get the job done” – who gives a good crapola if it’s delivered by a smiling messenger with a red bow?

    & check out the early years with Mr. SuaveyRomance – “often wrong but seldom in doubt” – yeesh… sounds like a delightful chap. maybe a bucket of dirty mop water over the head would do him right?

    i found the whole episode truly bewildering… when i wasn’t feeling nauseated, that is.

  11. June 28, 2005 at 11:23 am

    Why did that make my skin crawl? Because I seem to think I was caught in the 1930s.

  12. June 28, 2005 at 12:16 pm

    Oh come now.

    In the early years of marriage (when Gil admits he was “often wrong, but seldom in doubt), he insists (sort of) that his wife use a sponge mop instead of a string mop so that she doesn’t have to stick her hands in dirty water. We aren’t told why she does the mopping as opposed to Gil, but there’s no reason to assume that it’s because Gil is a domineering patriarch. Perhaps he has other chores. Perhaps both husband and wife are perfectly happy in their traditional gender roles (domestically): my parents are the same way. Regardless, I take it as fact that neither party is seriously perturbed by the narrator being responsible for the mopping.

    What we gather from the article, then, is that Gil, upon finding out that his wife’s preferences lay beyond his original recommendation, sent her preferred style of mop (and flowers) along with the sentiment that mop variety was unimportant compared to their relationship. When Gil says “I don’t care what mop you use, as long as it is our floor you’re mopping!” we can probably assume that the actual mopping of the floor is a non-issue (she’s been doing it twenty years and makes no overtures of dissatisfaction), and therefore the crux of the phrase is (as I said before) “our.”

    Believe me, I’m as much of a feminist as the rest of them, but I think many of you are making too big a deal out of Gil’s rough prose.

  13. June 28, 2005 at 12:53 pm

    I tend to think that in couples where each person is an equal, no one is in any doubt that they can choose whichever frickin’ type of mop they please to clean the floor with.

  14. BBQ_ribs
    June 28, 2005 at 1:35 pm

    Hi, longtime lurker here, just wanted to say I had a momentary shock when I saw the headline, thinking that CWA referred to the union I used to belong to, the Communications Workers of America! I was about to go into full rant mode just before I noticed that it was the _other_ CWA. Gosh, now I know how the World Wildlife Federation must have felt before they made the “wrasslers” change their name.

  15. June 28, 2005 at 2:22 pm

    I prefer string mops too.

  16. June 28, 2005 at 2:25 pm

    And I also agree with heliologue.

  17. pragmatic_realist
    June 28, 2005 at 2:53 pm

    You can get a mop, several kinds of them, for less than ten dollars at the supermarket. What has prevented this person from having picked out whaterver kind of mop she wanted years ago? Is she not allowed to go to the store? Can she only buy what the husband permits?

    This is a very wierd story. Did he also buy her a wringer bucket? Otherwise she would have to twist the mop with her hands to wring it out.

  18. jam
    June 28, 2005 at 3:35 pm

    come now, Heliologue… do you really mean to be so patronizing as to assert that if some of us don’t get the warm fuzzies reading that piece of tripe that we’re all somehow reacting in an inappropriate manner?

    fuck Gil & his “rough prose” – he sounds like a jerk & she sounds like an idiot…. just one sad icky spectacle all around. the fact that it was meant to convey something all chickenysoup-for-the-soul just makes it that much worse.

  19. June 28, 2005 at 4:13 pm

    A mop as a romantic gift? How lame. What’s worse is that the woman loved it! I agree with Jam. He’s a jerk and she’s an idiot. But what else can we expect dealing with the American Taliban front-group Concerned Women for America.

  20. June 28, 2005 at 4:50 pm

    Mop? You’re supposed to mop your kitchen floor? When did this happen? Why don’t these women tell me what I’m supposed to be doing!?!
    I never knew that real women agonized over mops.

  21. June 28, 2005 at 5:13 pm

    It’s worth it to read the entire story that’s linked here. There is no doubt from the context that Gil does not mop floors and that he insisted Janice mop floors the way Gil decided floors should be mopped. In the process, Gil destroyed Janice’s sense of accomplishment in her housekeeping abilities.

    It took Janice 20 years to realize she was mad about it. It was one of those “click” moments that Ms. magazine used to talk about.

    This could have led to an interesting discussion about respect between couples and respect for those who work as homemakers. This could have led to some interesting discussions amongst family members about communication techniques and respect for individual preferences. This could have been a discussion about giving a woman credit for her housekeeping abilities and respecting her choices in how she does it.

    Instead, Janice allows herself to become a joke and trivializes her own feelings. She allows Gil to continue in his habit of not communicating with her. Gil avoids the discussion, avoids taking responsibility for his role in the conflict, and tries to bribe his way out of the situation. And Janice considers that not only cute, but a sign of respect and appreciation for her point of view.

    Since Gil has not actually expressed any respect or appreciation, Jance just infers this from the gift itself. A lot of us are capable of reading the gift as a huge slap in the face to Janice.

    That click Janice may have heard when she recognized her own anger was followed by another click as her mind shut down yet again. I hope it doesn’t take 20 years for her to realize that.

  22. June 28, 2005 at 5:18 pm

    I’ve always been jealous of men who get to have mommy/slave wives. Must be nice.

  23. June 28, 2005 at 5:29 pm

    The only thing that would have made the story better was if she to have greatful sex on the kitchen floor.

  24. piny
    June 28, 2005 at 6:04 pm

    Yeah, because then she could mop it again!

  25. June 28, 2005 at 9:12 pm

    i don’t think i’d be allowed back in the house… really that is some 1950’s crap that is hard to believe!

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  28. June 28, 2005 at 9:54 pm

    Helio, he meant it that way, but the implication that he’s A Big Man because he lets her do the housework that he won’t do the way she likes is about the most sexist thing I’ve read all damn day.

  29. June 28, 2005 at 9:55 pm

    And Judge, I agonize over what mop to use. Of course, I agonize over everything, so that’s not particularly relevant.

  30. June 28, 2005 at 11:30 pm

    Ick. What a sickening story. CWA has always disgusted me, but noe it really disgusts me.

    And I don’t need a mop – I have a dog.

  31. Carrie
    June 29, 2005 at 7:16 am

    *Sigh* This story, if you read it correctly, is not about the friggin’ mop, or housework, or 1950’s role-playing. It’s about a moment of clarity, realizing that all along we’ve allowed others to define our existence, and taking a stand to define ourselves; and THEN having our loved ones support us in that definition.

    You could very easily replace the “mop” with a career, a religious belief system, a neighborhood, an aquaintance; the list could go on.

  32. June 29, 2005 at 9:40 am

    come now, Heliologue… do you really mean to be so patronizing as to assert that if some of us don’t get the warm fuzzies reading that piece of tripe that we’re all somehow reacting in an inappropriate manner?

    Not at all. I agree insofar as it’s a smarmy piece, and both Gil and Janice are mouthbreathing twits. But many of you were so quick to jump in with outcries of sexism and the like. I don’t think it’s anything so nefarious, simply dumb, antiquated people in dumb, antiquated (but apparently comfortable enough) gender roles. Gil, in the context of said relationship, isn’t being a bad guy; he’s merely perpetuating his stupidity.

  33. June 29, 2005 at 10:50 am

    Am I correct in assuming that CWA espouses the “Surrendered Wife” view of marriage, where the wife does what the husband wants even if what the husband wants flies in the face of all reason?

  34. June 29, 2005 at 10:51 am

    …and, I should add, when it would be much easier for all concerned if the wife and husband just communicated and did what made the most sense?

  35. June 29, 2005 at 12:30 pm

    Yes Amanda Marcotte that was probably poor wording to use. I agonize over lots of things too. Usually spelling.
    But do you have a nervous breakdown when you realize your using the wrong mop?

  36. June 29, 2005 at 12:36 pm

    If he really loved her…he’d buy her a lifetime supply of “Merry Maids” and a weekend at a spa.

    But then she doesn’t exactly seem the type to appreciate such gifts.

    Yeah it’s sexist and stupid. He should be mopping the floor himself. She should be cutting off his dick and feeding it to him with fava beans and a nice chianti.

    She’s obviously enabling him.

    They’re a match made in Leave It To Beaverdom.

    As far as I’m concerned..if they’re happy and they make it work, more power to them. I’d have kicked his ass to the curb long ago…but then that’s why I’m not married to such a slouch.

    But if it works for them…

  37. June 29, 2005 at 1:47 pm

    I am capable of having a nervous breakdown over such a decision, but only because I’m neurotic, not because I’m reacting to 20 years of having my will broken and my decisions constantly overriden by someone who doesn’t have to live with them.

  38. MrTeacup
    June 29, 2005 at 3:23 pm

    Isn’t feminism supposed to be about equality, not about being prissy and demanding and threatening your way out of doing your fair share of housework? As bad as being treated as a servant is, believing that you should be treated like a princess at all times is not a viable alternative.

    Comments like these perpetuate sexist stereotypes and are ultimately used against you by people who take pleasure in representing all feminists as selfish, irrational femi-nazis to undermine the central message of equality. If feminism espouses taking violent revenge against men, even as a joke, we have no cause to wonder why reasonable women continue to distance themselves from the movement.

  39. piny
    June 29, 2005 at 3:35 pm

    Yes, let’s all keep in mind that sarcasm is misandry.

    She was indeed being treated like a servant, hon–I see no mention of her husband ever cleaning their floor, let alone doing it half the time. What fair share? His fair share?

    And, “Well, do it yourself, then,” is the proper response to snarky asshat comments about your way of doing the chores you perform for the benefit of the abovementioned snarky asshat commenter.

  40. zuzu
    June 29, 2005 at 3:48 pm

    You can get a mop, several kinds of them, for less than ten dollars at the supermarket. What has prevented this person from having picked out whaterver kind of mop she wanted years ago?

    More to the point, if the whole issue was her hands touching dirty water, why didn’t he buy her a pair of rubber gloves 20 years ago?

  41. June 29, 2005 at 4:03 pm

    If feminism espouses taking violent revenge against men, even as a joke, we have no cause to wonder why reasonable women continue to distance themselves from the movement.

    Why? Are reasonable women incapable of understanding jokes? Well, at least they will have their choice of mops as they cower in their kitchens avoiding the women’s movement.

    MrTeacup, if you read the entire article, you will find that Gil was not treating Janice equally — in fact he made her feel miserable by ignoring her contributions and dismissing her opinion.

    Personally, I believe anyone (man, woman or child) who contributes to the housework should be given respect and credit for their efforts. Gil is incapable of providing either.

    Housework pretty much sucks, imho, and I appreciate when anyone in my family pulls their weight and pitches in.

  42. June 29, 2005 at 4:09 pm

    Isn’t feminism supposed to be about equality, not about being prissy and demanding and threatening your way out of doing your fair share of housework? As bad as being treated as a servant is, believing that you should be treated like a princess at all times is not a viable alternative.

    That fact that you think women’s “fair share” of the mopping is to do all of it, which is what the woman in this story does, demonstrates to me that your grasp on the concept of equality is shaky at best. I suppose then I shouldn’t be surprised that the more ambigious concept of a joke is well beyond your capacities.

  43. MrTeacup
    June 29, 2005 at 4:14 pm

    I see no mention of her husband ever cleaning their floor…

    I’m talking about the comments about dicks in blenders if the commenter was ever faced with having to do with housework. Particularly odious is the idea that real love means your husband hires servants and sends you to the spa. Those kinds of Cinderella scenarios seem completely antithetical to the spirit of feminism, and I know they may be meant as a joke, but my concern is that this is a public forum. People from the other side could come over and use these comments to reinforce feminazi stereotypes, and turn off people who could be allies. I thought it was important to voice opposition to extremist and reactionary positions.

  44. piny
    June 29, 2005 at 4:23 pm

    I look forward to seeing your complaints on MRA sites, then.

  45. June 29, 2005 at 5:39 pm

    I actually thought feminism was supposed to be all about dick jokes. Not really, but it is all about women, preferably smart strong ones who can put a joke together. Though I am not a woman (I do fancy myself a cultural lesbian), I’m pretty sure that women watching what they say and type for fear of being labled a feminazi is definitely not what feminism is about. Any woman scared away from “the movement” by dick humor is just looking for an excuse and should be pelted with vibrators.

    It’s not the ideal, but after decades of cumdumpster jokes, a little dick humor is a healthy step on the way to nirvana never-neverland.

  46. MrTeacup
    June 29, 2005 at 6:37 pm

    Regardless of the cumdumpster jokes, I fail to see the health benefits of going down to that level. They have the home field advantage, centuries of practice and far greater numbers. But that’s just me. To some, equality means that its ok for anyone to be a dick, regardless of gender, in which case, don’t let me stop you, but to claim that people who are turned off by it are just looking for excuses is like saying that conscientious objectors are just cowards. Its a cheap shot that’s get you off easy by making baseless claims about your opponent’s motives to avoid confronting the substance of the argument.

  47. June 29, 2005 at 7:21 pm

    I am seeing a correlation here:

    Gil had a problem with the methods Janice uses in cleaning a kitchen floor. He wants to determine how somebody else behaves.

    MrTeaCup has a problem with the language commenters use on this thread. He wants to determine how somebody else behaves.

    Here’s the thing: I do not grant you the right to speak for “reasonable women” or people who use the term “feminazi”. I believe they can speak for themselves.

    I also deny you the right to define what feminism is or isn’t. I don’t have that right, either. The definition is fluid and has changed significantly over time.

    However, I am interested in your personal opinion about the article we are discussing. Did you consider Gil and Janice to be a good example of an equal partnership? Did you find the article humorous?

  48. June 29, 2005 at 7:25 pm

    Particularly odious is the idea that real love means your husband hires servants and sends you to the spa. Those kinds of Cinderella scenarios seem completely antithetical to the spirit of feminism, and I know they may be meant as a joke, but my concern is that this is a public forum.

    Personally, I feel love means slapping the bitch on her ass and telling her to scrub the fucking floor with a toothbrush if the sponge mop isn’t good enough for her sorry ass.

  49. June 29, 2005 at 9:53 pm

    And then having sex on the clean floor so she can clean it again.

  50. June 30, 2005 at 12:14 am

    Ryan: Feminism is about dick and fart jokes. We’re actively trying to dispel the myth that women don’t stink.

  51. June 30, 2005 at 1:34 am

    That’s why the most effective feminists are gardeners.

  52. June 30, 2005 at 8:21 am

    Especially garderners like me who insist on going out to muck around in the compost pile when it’s 95 out and 70% humidity. Texas feminists–batshit crazy, but effective.

  53. June 30, 2005 at 11:40 am

    Ryan: Feminism is about dick and fart jokes. We’re actively trying to dispel the myth that women don’t stink.

    That must be why all the Wellesley Women in my life feel so comfortable with public flatulence.

  54. June 30, 2005 at 12:19 pm

    And don’t forget belching. We store them in our breasts.

  55. MrTeacup
    June 30, 2005 at 3:17 pm

    MrTeaCup has a problem with the language commenters use on this thread. He wants to determine how somebody else behaves.

    Your facile simile is not as effective as you may think. If determining how other people behave is universally wrong, there would be no civil rights movement at all, and this blog post itself singles out Gil and Janice for ridicule, attempting to modify their consensual behavior by encouraging social disapproval. Nearly every comment on this blog follows suit.

    I also deny you the right to define what feminism is… The definition is fluid…

    Everyone who discusses feminism has an operating definition in their minds when they talk about it. I’ve never claimed that my definition is authoritative, but like everyone else, I rely on the likelihood that my definition is substantially the same as other people’s to make my point. If that is not the case, then my comments don’t apply. On the other hand, goading people into semantic arguments about how feminism is defined is a clever rhetorical trick to avoid confronting the substance of their argument. And I’m not that interested in helping people with their intellectual dishonesty.

    My opinion on the article is already known. I concur with what seems to be the consensus view, but I stop short of dicks in blenders because more and more people who may agree with the principles of feminism are distancing themselves from the label, and I believe that this is a problem.

    I think that everyone is affected by misogyny and sexism, but not just in the indirect, everyone-has-a-mother sense. Sexism is a point of view that suggests a heuristic with respect to gender relations, in particular, that things that are feminine are subordinate to things that are masculine. This is a model of relations between gendered things that I believe to false. One effect of this heuristic is a material disadvantage that women have had to endure, and some see feminism as a means to dismantle these disadvantages, and that men have no role to play, other than modifying their behavior. There’s some value to this argument, but my belief is that sexism plays a much wider role than just how women are treated. For example, how gay people are treated, or the expectation that men supress their ‘feminine’ qualities. I can only speculate on the breadth of the effects, but I believe that certain viewpoints breed, and create other seemingly unrelated viewpoints. A good example of this is mercantilism. On the surface, it seems like a dry, but fairly innocuous theory of economics, but when put in practice, it encourages racism, colonialism and exploitation. There are some who advance an alternative heuristic of gender, where the masculine is subordinate to the feminine, and while I respect everyone’s right to hold whatever heuristic they like, I don’t believe it can replace the traditional viewpoint or help those concerned with the material disadvantages of sexism. I don’t believe that any heuristic that purports or implies an inherent hierarchy between types of people is viable.

  56. June 30, 2005 at 3:58 pm

    Thank you for your response, MrTeacup. I wasn’t attempting to trick you rhetorically, I was trying to figure out what you thought about the article. I did not see your opinion expressed on this topic so your statement “My opinion on the article is already known.” does not apply to me. I’ll assume you have logical reason why you think I should have known your opinion, but I did not.

    If determining how other people behave is universally wrong, there would be no civil rights movement at all, and this blog post itself singles out Gil and Janice for ridicule, attempting to modify their consensual behavior by encouraging social disapproval.

    I have to strongly disagree with you on this statement. I’d guess that is why your arguments fall flat to me.

    I don’t have any problem with people engaging in activities that are disapproved of by society. I engage in many such activities myself. I also defend other citizens rights to behave in ways that are disapproved of socially and disapproved of by me personally.

    But I also defend the rights of those who disapprove of my behavior to express that disapproval openly and in any language they choose. They can gang up in crowds and shout at me. They can tell dick jokes and cumdumpster jokes (I haven’t a clue what that means, btw) about me all they want.

    But most of all, I never see expressing disapproval of somebody else’s behavior as attempting to modify their consensual behavior. The idea is absurd to me and a huge leap on your part.

    I don’t expect, nor do I hope, dream or anticipate in any way that my opinion about Gil and Janice will have an effect on them at all. Rather, commenting on their experience is a way of communicating to other people what my own opinion is and how I would choose to act in the same situation.

    Gil and Janice are not harmed and the movement is not harmed by my words in any way. If the movement were really that fragile, we’d be in big trouble.

    I understand the need to reach out to people who are potential allies, but I don’t feel I can do that effectively by censoring my speech and my opinions or anyone else’s for that matter. It would seem dishonest to me.

    Sorry for the long posts. I am a wordy chica.

  57. June 30, 2005 at 4:26 pm

    On the other hand, goading people into semantic arguments about how feminism is defined is a clever rhetorical trick to avoid confronting the substance of their argument. And I’m not that interested in helping people with their intellectual dishonesty.

    Flashing your big intellectual dick with your pompous academic language isn’t going to intimidate us all into submission is kind, but it does obfuscate your weak argument. You’re simply an uptight moral scold trying to tell people how to behave. Big words don’t make wrong any less wrong. There was no dishonesty – just wit and humor.

  58. June 30, 2005 at 4:27 pm

    “Consensual behavior” is an odd way to describe a woman’s story of mopping the floor for 20+ years with a mop that wasn’t the one she wanted but was pushed on her by her husband’s privilege.

  59. June 30, 2005 at 4:28 pm

    daminit. pls excuse my typo, and gratuitous use of classist vocabulary

  60. June 30, 2005 at 5:26 pm

    I stop short of dicks in blenders because more and more people who may agree with the principles of feminism are distancing themselves from the label, and I believe that this is a problem.

    Maybe it’s just me, but in my experience it’s not just feminist women who make jokes about dismembering men. Not even mostly.

  61. MrTeacup
    June 30, 2005 at 7:37 pm

    Ravenmn:

    MrTeaCup has a problem with the language commenters use on this thread. He wants to determine how somebody else behaves.

    That seems to contradict your latest comment:

    I never see expressing disapproval of somebody else’s behavior as attempting to modify their consensual behavior.

    I expressed disapproval, you accuse me of wanting to determine how other people behave, but then you say that you don’t believe expressing disapproval means that. I agree with the last statement though. Convincing someone to change their behavior by using arguments and reason is respectful of their ability to weigh the facts and make the best decision, and I believe I have done that.

    I understand the need to reach out to people who are potential allies, but I don’t feel I can do that effectively by censoring my speech and my opinions or anyone else’s for that matter. It would seem dishonest to me.

    I can accept this. At least we can agree that its important to be effective. I’ll defer to your opinion, which I assume to better informed. Thanks for your comments.

    Ryan:

    Flashing your big intellectual dick with your pompous academic language isn’t going to intimidate us…it does obfuscate your weak argument.

    When accusations are made about my motives, I defend myself as effectively as I know how. Don’t whine to me that I’m not playing fair because my words are too big when other people have taken the time to understand my point. If my argument is as weak as you say it is, you will have no trouble pointing it out to me, and I’ve already asked for that twice.

    Amanda:

    “Consensual behavior” is an odd way to describe a woman’s story of mopping the floor for 20+ years with a mop that wasn’t the one she wanted but was pushed on her by her husband’s privilege.

    Nonetheless, when a woman willingly plays a submissive role and allows her husband to have that kind of control over her, it’s consensual. Some women even aspire to being treated in that way, and voluntarily start organizations dedicated to encouraging that kind of lifestyle. Its hard to say that they are being forced.

  62. michelle b.
    June 30, 2005 at 7:46 pm

    Funny how trolls try to scold women into playing ‘nice’ so that misogynists (‘anti-feminists’) won’t dislike them. Funny, because misogynists hate women no matter what we do or don’t do. We’ve been trying for centuries not to p*ss them off, and they still keep killing, hurting, and berating us for not knowing our place. Damn lot of good trying not to ‘offend’ misogynists does. Seems to make things worse, in fact. We’re the best at trying to appease, it’s what being feminine is all about, and it’s never, ever enough. The reason’s simple: misogynists hate women for No Good Reason. We tried the play-nice thing for a few thousand years (patriarchy hasn’t actually been around very long in the course of human history) and that didn’t work (rather, misogynists proclaimed our hard-worked-at docility was ‘natural’), so we came up with feminism which is about talking about the problem, loudly and openly. The other way sure as hell wasn’t working.

    Who needs allies who have to be coddled? Sounds suspiciously like the existing patriarchal system.

  63. June 30, 2005 at 11:04 pm

    I expressed disapproval, you accuse me of wanting to determine how other people behave…

    The fact that expressing disapproval and proscribing behavior are two different things has escaped you.

    You said:

    Comments like these perpetuate sexist stereotypes and are ultimately used against you by people who take pleasure in representing all feminists as selfish, irrational femi-nazis to undermine the central message of equality.

    That is NOT simply the expression of your personal disapproval. It is you choosing to blame a commenter for a deliberate misperception that might be coming from some hypothetical sexist asshole.

    Consider me in league with Michelle:

    We’ve been trying for centuries not to p*ss them off, and they still keep killing, hurting, and berating us for not knowing our place. Damn lot of good trying not to ‘offend’ misogynists does.

  64. July 1, 2005 at 9:18 am

    And this, my friends, is the kind of article that associates reasonable conservative women with buffoons.

    Seriously, what was the point of CWA publishing this, honestly? To perpetuate the stereotype that homemakers have oppressive husbands who dictate everything right down to how the housework is done?

    I’m not the world’s biggest fan of this organization to begin with, due to their apparent stance that having proper values means being a Christian. As someone who is conservative and traditional but not much of a Christian, that’s not going to spark my interest in their organization.

  65. July 1, 2005 at 10:47 am

    I love how anti-feminists cling to the idea of legal consent to excuse away any and all sexism. Because there’s no law against a man dictating every little detail of her life to his wife, so long as she is technically free to leave, that means that she “consented”. And therefore we need not talk about an entire social structure that teaches women that our choices are to be submissive and or be lonely and poverty-stricken because we wouldn’t consent to having our right to consent taken from us.

  66. July 1, 2005 at 12:45 pm

    Don’t whine to me that I’m not playing fair because my words are too big when other people have taken the time to understand my point. If my argument is as weak as you say it is, you will have no trouble pointing it out to me

    I wasn’t whining or saying you were playing fair, I was telling you off and calling you on your arrogance. You’re trying to come here and tell Feminism how to form its message and what not to say, and you’re guilty of the primary criticism of academia – exclusionary language. It’s easy and lazy to regurgitate intellectual masturbation, but difficult to express complex and new ideas in accessible language. It also helps spread leftist ideas to a wider population than people with advanced degrees.

    Your argument has been rejected by myself and others – quite well by Ravenmn. Perhaps your arrogance is keeping you from respecting and thus hearing these criticisms.

  67. piny
    July 1, 2005 at 12:51 pm

    I love how anti-feminists cling to the idea of legal consent to excuse away any and all sexism. Because there’s no law against a man dictating every little detail of her life to his wife, so long as she is technically free to leave, that means that she “consented”. And therefore we need not talk about an entire social structure that teaches women that our choices are to be submissive and or be lonely and poverty-stricken because we wouldn’t consent to having our right to consent taken from us.

    What Amanda said.

    The whole article is an unconsidered defense of the false dilemma between, “having a husband who supports your minor housekeeping decisions,” and, “having a husband who micromanages your housework.” There was no mention of any responsibility or potential responsibility for chores on his part. The writer never raised the question of whether his mop dicta were controlling or demeaning. And it took two decades for her to remember that what her husband wanted wasn’t the same thing as what she wanted. Do you really think that for her, insisting on equal housework responsibility would be a neutral choice?

    You came here insisting that we wouldn’t gain any points for equality by making puerile jokes within earshot of the powerful. That doesn’t really suggest much real freedom, does it? Polite requests, rather than blunt demands?

  68. MrTeacup
    July 1, 2005 at 2:08 pm

    You said: Comments like these perpetuate sexist stereotypes… That is NOT simply the expression of your personal disapproval. It is you choosing to blame a commenter for a deliberate misperception that might be coming from some hypothetical sexist asshole.

    But no-one seems to dispute that what I said is true. I personally disapprove of allowing it to happen, but clearly few people agree with me. We agree that the right-wing media has successfully redefined feminism so that it favors their agenda. Is this a problem? Most here say no. Assuming that this opinion is representative of the larger population, it seems likely that Feminism as a dominant ideology will continue to be marginalized. The counter-argument is that trying to avoid being dismissed as feminazis is tantamount to censorship and will erode the existing base of support, so I guess that means its inevitable. But I’m sure the issues that concern feminists will continue to be championed, just without a strong connection to the historical foundation.

  69. piny
    July 1, 2005 at 3:01 pm

    Of course we agree that it’s a problem. We dispute your insistence that we’re to blame, or that being nicer or less inclined to Bobbit humor would make conservatives less inclined to lie about or disparage feminism. Margaret Sanger was no potty-mouth, and look at the ways they describe her. It’s not the swearing that’s the problem. It’s the feminism. If no feminist ever let fall from her lips anything even remotely disparaging to men, we would still be accused of hating men and wanting to injure, harass, and disempower them. To an anti-feminist, reduction in male privilege on any level is the same as all of the above.

    And considering the casual way you repeat abusive terms like “feminazi,” it’s not unreasonable to wonder if you have a sexist double standard with regards to responsibility and language.

  70. MrTeacup
    July 1, 2005 at 3:53 pm

    You can’t stop anti-feminists from saying outrageous things, but you can stop their labels from sticking. They’re winning the propaganda war, and those who shrug their shoulders when something could be done about it bear some responsibility, although I’m starting to agree that its too late. There’s an epidemic of complacency in nearly every progressive cause. Activists who cling to strategies that have long been rendered ineffective by the right-wing onslaught, and silence voices that encourage critical self-examination and new ways of thinking.

  71. July 1, 2005 at 4:15 pm

    They aren’t winning the propaganda wars. They managed to make “feminist” a bad word, but they haven’t managed to get the majority of people to hate women and resent our rights yet.

  72. July 1, 2005 at 4:24 pm

    They’re winning the propaganda war…

    Oh now that’s just plain silly. Look around you at all the people who support feminism and defend women’s rights every single day. There is progress being made and it affects my life profoundly every single day. There is inspiration everywhere if you choose to see it.

    There’s an epidemic of complacency in nearly every progressive cause.

    If you look for complacency, you will find it. And if you look for militancy you will find it. We haven’t won the battle but we haven’t lost it, either.

    In my almost fifty years on this planet, my life has improved tremendously through the struggle of other people: feminists, union organizers, civil rights activists, etc.

    CSA was formed by a conservative woman because she was afraid of how powerful the women’s movement had become. They are the ones who are on the defensive.

    Look at the article we’re discussing and imagine you were alive 30 years ago. Would a housewife be allowed to complain? Would her concerns be taken seriously? Would she be allowed to write and publish an article at all?

  73. July 1, 2005 at 4:29 pm

    Perhaps what we should do is don miniskirts and lipstick and ask, “Pretty, pretty please, Misogynist with the oh-so-manly-manliness, won’t you just stop with the woman-hating, for little-ol’ women like us?”

    Mr Teacup seems to be saying that a drop of honey always works better than a bucket full of a gall (as in “women have the gall to demand equality instead of asking for it?!?”).

    Comes eerily close to the notion of “keep sweet“, doesn’t it?

    If I start to get a little harsh, Colin will say, “Come on, Darling, be sweet to me.” And I do have to be reminded! But he never lets me get away with sharp words. He always pulls me up to be gentle and sweet.

    How do you sweeten your marriage? With words – sweet words, soft words, encouraging words, cheerful words, positive words, helpful words, supportive words, kind words, wise words, forgiving words, loving words, pleasant words and life-giving words. You can’t miss having a successful marriage if you put this secret into practice!

    Um. Dick. Blender. Served on a silver tray, with two spoonfuls of sugar. Gotta keep sweet, now.

  74. July 1, 2005 at 4:55 pm

    Um. Dick. Blender. Served on a silver tray, with two spoonfuls of sugar. Gotta keep sweet, now.

    No need to waste a perfectly good blender. A pound of cane syrup and an anthill in the sun will work just fine.

  75. July 1, 2005 at 10:08 pm

    Perhaps what we should do is don miniskirts and lipstick and ask, “Pretty, pretty please, Misogynist with the oh-so-manly-manliness, won’t you just stop with the woman-hating, for little-ol’ women like us?”

    Nah, they just up the ante and say that request sounds better is you make it with a cock in your mouth.

  76. jam
    July 2, 2005 at 9:20 am

    perhaps we all need to be more polite & proper, like the suffragettes

  77. July 3, 2005 at 12:16 am

    Where the suffragettes polite and proper? Hmm…Oh, ya that was the police officers that were beating and dragging them into the jails;-)

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