Man who needs feeding

January 12, 2011 by

After years of having only crappy minimum wage jobs with no benefits, I finally found an ok job in a major insurance company. For now, it’s an entry-level position in the call center, and my schedule is 1pm to 8:30pm, Monday to Friday.

When I announced it to my mother-in-law, instead of the expected congratulations for finding a job that will finally take me over the poverty line, she said, in shock: “But HOW will my son eat DINNER?” hum… let’s see… he will open the fridge, take out the food, cook it, eat it, rinse his plate, and put it in the dishwasher. But I guess this is no good, after all, my place is at home to cook for my husband all day, even though he has an entry-level job himself, we have no children, and the cost of living in our city is exorbitant. #MFIF

Sophie LB

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Making up for lost insults

January 12, 2011 by

Years ago during my first year at university, I was having trouble writing a paper for a politics class and I went to the (highly respected) professor’s office to ask for some guidance.

He spent less than 5 minutes addressing my questions and then dismissed me by saying, “I really don’t think you need to worry about this so much. Someone as good looking as you will do just fine.”

I was too flustered to respond, muttered “thank you” and walked out.

It’s been 8 years and I’m happy to say that I’ve channeled my anger into creating an arsenal of responses for all subsequent events of this nature. I’ve never passed up an opportunity to use them. How many other women did he demean like that? Oh wait, I’m sorry. It’s #MFIF

Just a useless female student, USA

No wife at home

January 12, 2011 by

I’m a management consultant- and I do know that means long hours, lots of travel and often thankless work. However, about 6 months ago I refused to do a trip that would have meant I was at home for 4 hours in 6 weeks, which I was told about at short notice. I was called into the partner’s office and told off- I was disappointing the client etc. I said I didn’t think the request was reasonable, explained that I had basic admin I needed to do- I needed to leave money out for the cleaner, pay bills and check post, do some washing etc and that I thought my proposal (going home over two weekends) was better given the demands on my time. His face fell- and he said ‘I suppose you don’t have a wife to help you out, do you’- before he told me I needed to arrange my personal life to ensure it didn’t interfere with my work.

There is so much wrong with this I don’t know where to start- from the ‘anytime, anywhere’ business model, via the assumptions about wives and their roles, to the disadvantage anyone without a stay at home partner is forced to surmount. And when did doing washing become my personal life?!

Rachel

One rule for the girls, another for the boys

January 12, 2011 by

I’ve recently begun hanging out with my boyfriend’s friends (all guys), and I’ve decided that’s been a mistake. Despite thinking for the past few weeks we were getting along great, I realised how wrong I was.

A few nights ago one of the guys had a going away party. My boyfriend and I had been there for a few hours, I’d had a little to drink and was enjoying myself but wanted to talk to my boyfriend about some things on my mind. I took him upstairs and we were followed by jeers and catcalls. I didn’t care and we went into the bathroom to talk. About three minutes later the door was being banged on by some of his friends. I invited them to come in, as we weren’t doing anything suss, but clearly that wouldn’t have been funny so they didn’t.

Spurred on by the playful/reckless behaviour I adopt when I drink, I thought it would be a great joke to go down and play to their suspicions. I went down first, and was greeted by an expectant silence. I smirked and high-fived the guy who had been banging on the door. You know, cause that’s what you do? Or is it just guys? Oh, only guys are allowed to do that and girls aren’t? Right.

I’d never been slut-shamed, and had no idea it could happen when it involves someone I’ve been with for nearly two years and come from people I considered friends, but clearly I didn’t get the memo. I was immediately met with disgust and shit like “Oh man, don’t touch her, you don’t know where it’s been!”

Humiliated and speechless by this reaction, I went outside to get away from them. Moments later, my boyfriend came down the stairs.

Guess what he was met with? Fucking applause.

Thankfully, he’s a wonderful person who took me home soon after when he realised what had happened and how angry and upset I was. I shouldn’t be so surprised and pissed off that everyone else did that though, right? After all, it’s #MFIF


C, Australia

Confession

January 12, 2011 by

I told my boyfriend’s parents that I was a feminist.

Me: …Yes, I’m a feminist.

My boyfriend’s mother: Oh dear, I’m not too sure about that stuff. I do love a good apron you know.

My boyfriend’s father: I know you do darling.

MFIF or… My fault I’m a feminist.

Ella, Iceland

Name change game

December 12, 2010 by

I recently went to the county courthouse to get a marriage license with my fiance. After filling it out, I asked about changing my name because my fiance and I are choosing our own, new name — we don’t want the names of either of our fathers. I had read online that for women, there is a place on a marriage license to change your name, but there is no such place for men. So we figured that I would change my name easily by writing in my new name, while my fiance would have to go through the longer process of a name change.

However, there was no place to change my name and when I asked the clerk she said that “when you marry [the woman’s] name automatically changes to [the man’s].” If you want to keep your own name, you just never file Social Security changes or inform anyone of the (apparently automatic) name change.

I was so shocked and outraged to hear this. Why is it still assumed that women want to automatically take the names of their partners? Why can’t my male partner take my name automatically by filing our marriage certificate with Social Security? I am so grateful to be marrying a strongly feminist individual who never assumed that I would take his name; there was never a discussion of having only me change my name. We talked about both hyphenating our names, him taking my name, and each of us keeping our names before deciding that we wanted to choose our own name.

The government, of course, hardly holds the same radical ideas about equality between people of differing reproductive abilities! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that marriage, as the government sees it at least, is still an absurdly patriarchal and sexist institution, but I guess it’s MFIF.

Keeping her name, Southern Ohio

Let the woman speak

December 12, 2010 by

I noticed recently several stories in the press criticising John Bercow (the Speaker of the House of Commons) for ‘allowing’ his wife Sally Bercow to speak her mind in public. Annoyed me intensely. His fault she’s female, eh?

Links and more details.

#MFIF
Tom, UK

“Work”: a narrative

December 12, 2010 by

As I was getting out of bed this morning, I thought of an elderly heterosexual couple I know. He was diagnosed with cancer awhile back, and it’s sad to say but at that time I think I saw relief in her eyes. It took me by surprise, and I tried to understand… here they are a loving couple in their 80s and she is not completely devastated that her partner may be terminally ill? Maybe her relief was simply knowing now what was causing his exhaustion and other symptoms, but maybe it was something else.

Over the next few months I saw the toll his illness took…on her. She never looked so worn out as those times I would see her in the early stages of treatment. Perhaps her weariness came from accepting his illness and grieving his eventual loss, but I have come to believe something more. I believe that while his illness meant just that for him, it meant a whole lot of extra “work” for her. He has been retired for nearly two decades, but she is still the one cooking meals, doing laundry and cleaning house. If he “helps”, or did in the past, his illness is certainly restricting that contribution. Before he was ill he played a lot of golf, took long walks and spent some time visiting with friends. Now he hardly does any of those things. Now his illness is not potentially terminal, but chronic and manageable. Now she never gets a break.

I think I’ve come to understand a little bit of the relief I saw in her eyes, relief which has long since faded and is replaced by just plain tired. I think she was looking forward to a time when she could go out to eat if she wanted to, but can’t because he doesn’t like or trust meals that are not “home-cooked”. She was looking forward to a time when she could get out of bed and not “have to” make it if she so felt. She was looking forward to a time when she could do whatever she wanted to do, because there was none other dependent on her labor. I wonder if she’s happy, being able to keep working at serving him. I guess it doesn’t matter much, because after all… it’s #HFSF.

Fem Phil Corvallis

Female pleasure = terrifying

December 12, 2010 by

According to this article, a product that is supposed to help women who have sexual difficulties is having trouble receiving advertising. Apparently, most people in the media find “men to be intimidated by the thought of women’s sexuality as independent of a man’s involvement.”

I guess that it’s fine for men to get help in bed, but not so much us women. Must be that its OFWF.

M Ryan

Babe-y-sitter

December 12, 2010 by

I teach English as a foreign language to 30 students in their late teens. Their level is beginner to preintermediate. In the exam, there was a vocabulary question like this:

Choose the right option: “My neighbours are looking for a reliable / good-looking babysitter”.

20 out of 30 picked good-looking. Discussing the exam in class, it turned out that most of them understood the sentence well. It just made more sense to look for an attractive babysitter, and also to assume that this worker was a woman.

A couple of boys wanted to discuss that those two assumptions (the importance of good looks and that carers are female) weren’t sexist. #MFIF

A teacher


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