Mother/daughter divide


I love my mum, but she does have some strange ideas. I’m a young woman who’s been with her male partner for four years and wears women’s clothes, I’m hardly very ‘manly’ or anything else she’d consider disappointing. I’d love to read people’s comments here and possibly show them to her.

On holiday and staying with my mother in my hometown, we went out for a walk with my sister and stopped at a pub on the way home for a bite to eat.

Ordering drinks, I asked for a pint of the local real ale, and was told by my mum “You should have a half pint. No daughter of mine drinks from a pint glass.” I questioned this, and she told me “Ladies shouldn’t drink from pint glasses.” She bought me a half.

Asking for my sister’s opinion at the table, we found that not only did she agree, but compared it to the way that women “Just shouldn’t smoke.” My mother agreed.

When pointing out quietly that I found it strange that there were things I should and shouldn’t because I “don’t have a penis,” my mother looked around to see if anyone had heard me utter that word, and told me that I shouldn’t say things like that, because I was a woman.

Also, when my mother visited me in the city, we were sitting on a train and I sat with my legs slightly open. Not so that you could see up my skirt or anything, as I had a very long dress on, (a dress worn, in fact, to please her, as she likes me to wear dresses). She told me to close my legs, because I was a woman.

So I should have known I can’t drink pints, say ‘dirty’ words, sit without crossing my legs or smoke. Guess it’s MFIF.

Real-ale lover, London


29 Responses to “Mother/daughter divide”

  1. Geeky Sweetheart Says:

    Hahah I could have written this! I drink pints and often sit in an ‘unladylike’ way and say naughty words… I once used the C word in a local pub… the locals (mostly older men) were horrified 🙂

    I hear ya! I’m raising a metaphorical pint glass to you!


    • Sara Says:

      I use the C word on purpose because it offends so many women and I think to myself that they must have a real hateful relationship with their vaginas and then I feel bad for the vaginas.

      I think we should claim it, like black people have the n word, and make it our own because it’s so repressive

      • Kali Says:

        I completely agree.

        I’ve seen people argue that it’s sexist because it’s saying that being compared to a vagina is horrible – when they’re the ones who believe it’s more offensive than similar words. They’re the ones imbuing it with that meaning, particularly when it’s been said innocently.

        It’s not like words like ‘cunt’ or ‘twat’ have the same history as ‘bitch’ or the n-word.

  2. Brittany-Ann Says:

    If I could share my mother with you, I would. She’s rather mischievous, and taught me to do just the opposite when people tell me to do silly things like that. I’ve had people tell me to keep my legs together before, no matter what I was wearing. To please them, I’d slouch down, and open my legs wide open. It’s so much more comfortable then squeezing yourself into the tiniest space possible. We exist; that means we get to take up space, too.

    • Uly Says:

      Well, I’d rather guys shut their legs. If there’s space enough for six people to sit, but it’s ALL taken up with three folks spreading their legs wide (and guys? Your penis is NOT that big, it does NOT need a seat of its own), and I have to stand, then I can’t read my book.

      • Lisa Says:

        lol. It’s so funny to find someone else who’s thought pretty much the same thing as me. I completely agree, I don’t think ANY male’s penis is so big it needs a seat of it’s own. I have been tempted many of times to tape some guys knees together, just to prove to them that it is a possibility.

      • Ceiswyn Says:

      • Julian Says:

        I have a cunning cure for men who sit with their legs extravagantly wide open (like with their knees in my lap). Find an impressionable small child and let them know that some men HAVE to sit like that because they have a nasty willy infection. Small child will tell all its small child friends, and it only takes one instance of a small child on a tube or bus asking “MUMMY, IS THAT MAN SITTING LIKE THAT BECAUSE HE HAS A WILLY INFECTION?” to cure a whole busload / tubeload of men. 😉

      • Flutterby Says:

        Julian wins the internet!

    • branchmonster Says:

      I can only stand a man taking up an extra seat in order to spread his legs out if it is obvious that he is too tall for that seat, like on a bus with seats in front of him. Otherwise, squish over like you would expect me to do. Oh, and look sheepish about it, too. Women shouldn’t be the only ones to have that priviledge.

  3. yolanda Says:

    I think there’s certain aspects of grace in femininity that needn’t be tossed away just because they’re gender biased and things like sitting upright with your knees closed are on my list of valued old keepsakes. the business with the beer might even make sense if you’ve a slight frame as it could be much harder to hold your liquor if you drink larger quantities. Everybody just shouldn’t smoke… Lets face it, women acting butch are less attractive to the opposite sex in general just as men acting femme are less attractive to women in general.
    But ultimately, if being butch suits you, you’ll find a partner (and you have) that likes it, so when all is said and done, better to love you as you are.

    • CM Says:

      Oh Yolanda, that was a classic example of passive aggressive mansplaining. Yeah, even women can mansplain sexism!

      I find it downright rude that you call normal behaviour “butch” and “unattractive”, then going on to say “if being butch suits you” is ok. Classic double standard. Come on, we’re here to support not judge.

      By the way, women smoking, drinking, burping, farting, sitting, screwing, picking our nose etc etc is all normal. If guys can do it with no repurcussions on their “manhood” (indeed, they are celebrated for their manliness for such things), then women can do it too.

    • CM Says:

      BTW, you also use the terms butch and femme which are used by lesbians. Are you insinuating that being a lesbian is bad? Therefore, by passive aggressive use of these terms you are insinuating the writer is a lesbian, therefore bad?

      So yeah, nice to see some homophobia chucked into the mix there too. As in, it’s not.

    • Stephanie Says:


      I drink pints, am a CAMRA member & don’t necessarily sit with my knees locked together. I kickbox, lift weights and ride a motorcycle.

      I am not butch.

      I’m 4′ 11″ tall, have an hourglass shape and enjoy wearing feminine clothes to the office.

      Most of the problems I encounter are with people thinking I’m a delicate little thing, not with people thinking that because I like a pint & do a martial art I’m blokeish.

    • Charlotte Says:

      “Lets face it, women acting butch are less attractive to the opposite sex in general just as men acting femme are less attractive to women in general.”

      This is bullshit. Bullshit PLACED on society through years of gender dividing and stereotyping. Not everyone sees through your narrow window (but it’s not you, it’s you being brainwashed by said bullshit) of women only being allowed to act as meek and polite as possible, ‘femme’ as you say, and of men basically being able to do whatever the fuck they want in life, yes be loud, take up space, eat, have fun, live without percussions, LIVE. You call this ‘butch’, right?

      Guess what, women can and should live too. And by that I mean not through ‘valued old keepsakes’ which is the excuse given to these rigid and oppressing ‘feminine’ codes by which women are constantly told to follow, adhere to, whilst sitting up straight, with our knees together, silent.

      Fuck that shit.

    • A Different Sam Says:

      The tl;dr of yolanda’s comment is “Eh, stereotypes and double standards exist, so therefore there’s nothing wrong with them, because everything that exists is fine.”

      The tl;dr of my comment is that yolanda is a sexist moron.

    • Meg Says:

      Seriously, a woman can’t hold a pint of beer? You’re a fucking idiot.

    • Ka Says:

      Get off this website. NOW.

    • Ceiswyn Says:

      ‘Lets face it, women acting butch are less attractive to the opposite sex in general’

      …because the only thing a woman could /possibly/ want in life is to be attractive to the opposite sex in general, right? Because attractiveness is the only yardstick of worth, and the only desire a female could have is to get a nice male to hit her over the head and drag her into his cave? Oh dear gods.

      ‘the business with the beer might even make sense if you’ve a slight frame as it could be much harder to hold your liquor if you drink larger quantities.’

      But her mother’s not talking about ‘if you’ve a slight frame’. She’s talking about ‘if you’re a /woman/’. I’m living proof that not all women have slight frames.

      Also, one pint?! One measly pint?!

    • Elly Says:

      You do realise that with that logic Asians wouldn’t be able to hold their alcohol because they are usually much thinner and smaller than westerners, but it’s a proven scientific fact that any Chinese or Japanese person, male or female, could outdrink a westerner, i can’t remember why this is though, it’s something to do with their biological make-up but it just proves that size doesn’t matter when alcohol is involved,

    • Kali Says:

      You seem to assume that many of your own personal biases are shared by the general population.

  4. Mackrelmint Says:

    I can sympathize. My mother thinks that beer in general shouldn’t be drunk by women and certainly not directly from the bottle. I don’t think she’s ever encounterd a pint glass as she wouldn’t ever go to a pub. However, according to her, it’s fine for women to drink wine (from glasses). I guess alcoholic drinks from grapes=okay, but not from anything else.
    It IS infuriating to hear other women, especially one’s own mum and sister, support such ridiculous nonsense. And on that note, to another poster here, women don’t exist to be attractive to men. Many of us are able to find our identities quite apart from our attractiveness to others, male or female. Drinking from a pint glass, sitting in comfort with one’s knees apart and smoking aren’t male activities, nor butch behaviour. They’re HUMAN behaviour.

    • Meg Says:

      But ladies aren’t humans, they’re ladies! Act like a lady, mackrel! lady lady lady

      (Funny how nobody ever says ‘act like a lady’ when they want you to do something fun, interesting, or worthwhile. Oops.)

  5. red Says:

    My mother is EXACTLY the same. In fact, she takes it one step further… she tells me that as a woman I shouldn’t go to the pub. ever.

  6. Michelle Says:

    For me sitting with my knees together is a comfort issue…You have no idea how many times I have been sitting somewhere in a skirt, and being tired, let my knees fall open…only to have every man within a mile lean over to get a peek at my underwear. However, if I am wearing jeans (Or even in a skirt in my own home/a friend’s house) and get told to put my legs together, you can bet I am going to slouch down and open wide!

  7. J Says:

    I don’t smoke or drink, simply because I don’t like it. But I do curse, sit with my legs open sometimes, burp, pick my nose, scratch my crotch…all while wearing a dress. Though I won’t sit with my legs open if I’m wearing a short skirt/dress in public, because a lot of creeps think it’s okay to take a peek.

  8. Yersinia Says:

    Just a piece of trivia about sitting with your legs together: From the 17th up to well into the 19th century, a proper lady NEVER crossed her legs. When she sat at ease, she did so with her knees apart, and ankles crossed. This fell out of use altogether, as skirts grew shorter, which makes sense, but if you’re wearing pants or longer skirts, it’s actually quite comfortable. And totally lady-like! 😉

  9. Flutterby Says:

    I know this is a serious annoyance for you, OP, but I can’t help but giggle at the fact that she thinks a fully grown woman shouldn’t say the medical term for male genitals. Why, just yesterday, I was casually talking to a 12-year-old acquaintance of mine about how an acceptable plural of ‘vagina’ is ‘vaginae’, and how it sounded like a delicate French pastry. I guess the poor female child will have to survive growing up with the unladylike likes of me!

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