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View Diary: Feminisms: One Is Too Many (Updated) (308 comments)

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  •  Very interesting (0+ / 0-)

    You paint a clear picture.  I was in the Navy and either we didn't run into that or my ex-wife was oblivious.  Believe me, the only service you would have caught her performing on the base would have been protesting the war in Viet Nam.

    You inspired me to look up the word.  The root is the latin "servicium," which means "slavery," so point well made.

    I need a new word I guess, but volunteer isn't it.  I'm thinking of a willingness to set one's personal desires aside in support of something outside oneself, whether being paid or not.  "Selflessness" maybe.

    Thanks for the taking the time.  I hope you're not mad at me.  I'm glad we ended up having a good discussion.

    If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

    by geomoo on Fri May 25, 2007 at 12:29:23 PM PDT

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    •  If you weren't an O (0+ / 0-)

      the pressure is less until you hit E7.  I simply refused to go to Wives Club meetings after I saw they were gonna be play dates for the kids, and that everything was oriented around kids, with NO interest in non-Mommy wives.

      "Selflessness" isn't an improvement.  Women have been EXPECTED to be selfless and give up everything for others. We're flatout tired of society's expectations.   It took along fight for women to realize they had a  RIGHT to ME time--men would go bowling while WIfe watched the kids, but the favor was seldom returned for a Girls' Night out. We have learned the hard way that our female friends tend to last if we make time for them--and often they are the ones who pick us up when Hubby trades us in. I frankly think selflessness is trait valued only in nuns or saints--and generally only in FEMALE ones.

      Basically when women didn't work,  society regarded their time as worth as much as they were paid: nothing.  All the volunteer work really doesn't count much when you apply for a job, and you get little respect for it. WOmen mostly know that ajob is a necessity to day.

      I'd suggest you talk about volunteering a few hours a month--many of us already do that--and preach selflessness to men, who never HAVE practiced it.  A lot of the men Iknow could use a dose of it.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 01:47:06 PM PDT

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      •  I was an officer alright (0+ / 0-)

        I graduated from the Naval Academy.  It was very strange when I became a conscientious objector.  That was a tough time in my life.  The vibe today is so similar to during Viet Nam, don't you think?

        As I said, we'll probably fight a lot.  I find your views of men way too stereotyped.  Selflessness among men is strongly represented by Jesus, Gandhi, many of my wonderful teaching colleagues, countless yogis, and on and on.  I really don't know how to respond to what seems like diffuse anger at men in general.  I know the social history is much as you describe it, but to me that in no way lessens the power of selflessness to lift the spirit of the individual and to contribute to the well-being of humanity.  I would call it throwing out the baby with the bathwater.  The problem lies not in the selflessness of women, but in the abuse of that selflessness.

        Just to be clear, you seriously misunderstand me if you think I'm just talking to women when I attempt to lift selflessness as a virtue.  If anything, my inherent sexism (of which I am not proud) causes me to picture men more than women when I think of this.

        I know it's completely up to you what you do.  I know that.  I'm asking permission to reflect to you a reaction I have to all this for your consideration.  It strikes me as identification with the aggressor for women to angrily insist on their right to be as selfish as men, rather than to celebrate and hone their strengths in this area as a model for their brothers to emulate.  I'm not defending the selfishness of men.  Far from it.  I'm asking that women help me in making it clear that selfless is more satisfying to the individual and more useful for society.  But you may disagree with me on this premise.  If so, we can agree to disagree.  This is a deeply spiritual matter to me, so it is difficult for me to hear selflessness discounted for any reason.

        If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

        by geomoo on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:08:10 PM PDT

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        •  Than your wife (0+ / 0-)

          had a spine of pure steel to ignore the pressures--even my best pal  Navy Wife who was O Wife, couldn't. I fit in badly with E wives whoa re young,  have at most an A.S., are politically conservative from small towns and fundy churches.  It was NOT fun.

          Selflessness is a nice idea--but women have to learn to be SELFISH first, honestly, tactually give themselves some value. You've never lived as a woman so your eally don't GET the pressures--just as I haven'tlived with the pressures on men to be dumbass jerks ( and that somany escape it and the pressure to shove women down amazes me; I LIKE men,  but not the  conservative  women-hating type).

          ANd I don't care for the way society treats women--and, like it orn not, men still hold the purse strigns and the pwoer,a nd there is still glass ceiling. NOT ot be angry over that-=-which isnot the same as being angry at men in gneneral, just the way the  oens iwth poer cling to it-- would be to be braindead.

          Look at your time in the military.  Granted, women weren't admitted to Annapolis back then.  But even now, it is the WIFE who makes the sacrifices for the husband's career, hardly ever the other way around. She may be as well-educated as her husband, or more so--I was--but she basically gives up a career and a pension  and a decent social security benefit for him. ANd if, as happens all too often, he ditches her mid-career (or when he retires--seen a lot of that--she is left starting over at 35 or 40 with no current refs and a resume of entry level jobs. THAT is reality for a lot of women.

          WOmenhave to learn tto take care of themselves FIRST, before they can sacrifice for others--or it can taint a marriage and kill love.  No one should be making all the sacrifices (I agreed to follow him, but where we went, what orders he took, was as much my choice as his--he turned down a  great set of orders because it meant living in TX and he knew how much I'd hate Waco, home of David Koresh and Baylor, fundy hell).   Marriage should be partnership, not one person giving it all.

          And in life--a touch of sacrifice,. sure. But I think you're askign too much.  When you work a job and ahve little time for your family because you put in 60 horu weeks--it's damend ard to find time and strength to keep the marriage going, let alone volunteer. We'll save that for when we cna afford it--and I can guarantee that I actual;ly have a car that runs. I'dd put in time at Planned Parenthood or a rape crisis center or run for school board.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:20:15 PM PDT

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          •  I hear you very well here (0+ / 0-)

            That makes a lot of sense.  I have no trouble with it.

            I think we are talking past one another a bit over different definitions of selflessness.  I'm afraid I have to go now, but I need to work up a clear definition of what I mean by that.  I'm not really talking about volunteering at all--more of an attitude in life in whatever one is doing.  And it is definitely NOT the same as lying down and getting walked on.  Thanks for the good response.

            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

            by geomoo on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:54:18 PM PDT

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        •  What I am trying to say (0+ / 0-)

          is that women need to learn how to say "No." We aren't taught it by our mothers--or at least my generation wasn't. We are raised to be concerned with other people's feelings--and studies show that as one of the few real differences even among babies--and we hate to hurt them. So we often find ourselves over-extended with time for everything but ourselves. It is  really, really hard to tell a friend you can't help them out.

          Classic example: When we lived in ME, we were SCA. I was battling the tail end of clinical depression, which still left me easily fatigues, along with the Mystery Virus that would send my temp skyrocketing to a 102 in ten minutes, or leave me shivering from the cold. I was prtty sick. But I had offered to handle the Cavalier Olympics (silly games) before dinner,a long with the Best Fop contest.  Someone else was supposed to make the prizes. They caved.  I ended up  calligraphing a scroll we had xeroxed on parchment (and it was a large scroll and took several days to design and write). I then hand-colored each scroll with a large gilded medieval capital, and made little ribbon and flower favors (very Cav) to go along, and a fleur-de-lys strewn sash with  matching touch of ribbons.  I spent three weeks on them because no one else would do them.

          The day before we cooked the lunch meal--chicken pieces--and provided bread and cheese as well.  

          Know what we got? NOTHING. Instead the woman running the event complained we hadn't put in nay time in the kitchen helping her prepare the dinner feast. Like we hadn't spent the night before baking chicken? Mind you, I DID help at check-in, but I was too exhausted to really do anything more.

          This has happened to me so many times. I stopped volunteering for that reason for anything large. I'll give an hour chopping veggies, but I refuse to be in charge any longer.

          I learned to say "NO"  effectively. I have a lot more fun. I give the time I am willing to give, and don't feel guilty about it.

          THAT is a hard lesson to learn for most women, who tend to put their family,their job, their causes ahead of themselves. We end up worn out and unhappy and resenting people we love beacuse it never occurs to them to say "Here, let me help." I've watched WAY too many men (NOT my husband who cooks as well or better than I do) watch football games Xmas Day while their wives slave in the kitchen. Sure, they might not be able to cook like Emeril--but anyone over age 10 can chop veggies and set a table. They sure as heck can help  carry the food out and  wash dishes. Most don't, hwoever.  WOmena re to blame, relaly--we never asked or demande their help, and it doesn't occur to them to give it.

          Selflessness starts at HOME. Give to your family first.. DO something nice for your wife (fathers are usually pretty good with the kids).  Cook dinner once a week (or oder it in).  DO the dishes. When she cooks.  According studies, women STILL do something like 65-70% of ALL the household chores and childcare (Dads tend to do the fun stuff like taking the kids to the park, not the chore stuff like shopping for clothes), even when adjusted for traditional male jobs like fixing broken appliances or mowing the lawn or other yard work. THAT is what I'd tell men.  

          Frankly, it is women's own damned fault. We raise them to expect someone to wash their clothes and fix their meals. If I'd had kids, my sons would have been a taught young how to sort laundry, put it in the washer, and turn it on., Ditto Dryer.  When I baked cookies, they'd have learned the recipe--and when they needed cookies for the class, I'd have supervised while they made them. They would have been expected to help with dinner- making a salad requires no expertise, nor does chopping veggies. As they got older, I'd have given them recipes, and they'd have been taught to prepare a full meal.NO MAN  (or WOMAN)should hit 18 or at max 21 without being able to prepare a basic meal--not Cordon Bleu, not Julia Child quality, but a basic simple meal (mind you the NIECE couldn't do this but her mother burns water).

          When I was in college, I saw girls doing their boyfriend's laundry.  No way, I swore, was that gonna be ME. In my first marriage, mny hsuband did laundry, but didn't know how to cook, so we split the jobs. And he was very good at asssistingby chopping veggies or getting bagels or donuts for Sat. morning breakfast. This husband does more cleaning because I can't vaccuum, and we split cooking duties. Whenhe's workign full time i'll take back laundry duties.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:48:14 PM PDT

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          •  Sorry, no time to read the whole thing now (0+ / 0-)

            I'll just say that I have heard this from so many women I respect, that I accept it completely as true:

            women need to learn how to say "No."

            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

            by geomoo on Sat May 26, 2007 at 02:56:12 PM PDT

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