Monday, February 06, 2006

Hypocrites and Feminazis

"“So if you want to be a happy housewife, stop gossiping about your girls, open yourself up to new friendships, be nice, make new girlfriends, keep them in your life, and please don'’t be a bitch....I wish we could all stop the whining, the complaining, the cliques, the bitterness. I wish we could be great girlfriends. I wish we could all realize how lucky each one of us is and that we all have much to bring to the table. We'’re all the same. We'’re moms. We want the best for our children. We all want a safe, clean world for them to grow up in."” (Darla Shine, p. 32, Happy Housewives).


Compare this to the new homepage on www.darlashine.com:

Become a Member!
You need to be a SAHM
If you are one, you know what that means
Click Darla's apron to login or register
Is this exclusionary? YOU BETCHA!
This site is for Happy Housewives
All Feminazi's Stay Out!


Betty Friedan would have had something pithy and succinct to say about this. Maybe something about those that don't know their history are doomed to repeat it? And are all feminists automatically feminazis, or do I have to do something special and um....exclusionary to become one?

In case you want to read some of my earlier posts on gender roles and feminism: Matters of Style and Presentation, On "The Stay-At-Home Mystique", Happy Housewives and the Cult of Domesticity in the 21st Century, Petticoat Philosophy and Government and Mothers and Fathers in America are the most relevant ones. Take a peek at the comments, some of them are quite enlightening.

19 comments:

Sandy said...

And was I right about "Happy Rich Republican Housewives" or what? Because I don't know anyone except the most rightwing Rush-Limbaugh lovin' Republicans that use the word "feminazi".

Dana said...

Sandy -
First, I have a hard time understanding why you have taken such an issue with Darla's book - From the start of the book, she indicates that the book is for SAHM's and those who want to be - If you are so against her, why are you so interested in what is going on at the website? Come on, admit it, you are a closet supporter :-)

Lisa said...

If you have kids, I'm concerned about them. If you don't have kids, then where are your comments coming from? Not from experience that's for sure. The author is right on about her points in this book...have you even read it? If you DID read it (which I highly doubt) how could one consider being a stay-at-home-Mom anything less than completely selfless and an incredible blessing to the children and their future spouses. God Bless us housewives...we are proud. Please...can you help me to understand what we're doing that is so wrong? Cause it feels soOOO right!

Michelle said...

I do not see anything wrong with what Darla wrote in her book and what is on her site. Her comments are not hypocritical at all. She is very clear that the book & the site is for SAHM's. Darla wants to create a positive place on the web and does not want people on their whose only goal is to bring women down. Isn't it better to state upfront what kind of views are going to be expressed to give someone the opportunity to decide if it is for them or not? And no, all feminists are not feminazis, there is a big difference.

Sandy said...

I do have children and I have been a stay-at-home mother for nine years. I did read Darla Shine's book (see the review linked: Happy Housewives and the Cult of Domesticity in the 21st Century), and I found it distasteful in many ways, which I think I pretty clearly pointed out there.

I am proud of being a sahm, but I found HH anything BUT empowering. And frankly, I'm concerned about anyone who uses the word "feminazi" and is proud of themselves. But thanks for your concern about my children.

Now maybe all of you should do a little more reading to see WHY so many of your fellow mothers (including many, many SAH moms) find Happy Housewives so appalling. Really, you can be proud of what you do without the "extra" stuff Darla advocates: trashing feminism and working mothers, 19th c. gender roles, putting men on the periphery of family life, and looking good and having sex with your husband just so you can get the material things you want. Or didn't YOU read the book apart from the "motherhood is important" chapter?

divy said...

Is there something wrong with being a SAHM and a feminist? Is there some unspoken rule that I cannot be supportive of my friends who work? Or even respect that it is their choice?

It's not her support of SAHMs that is the issue, IMO. It is the utter lack of support for anyone who choses not to be.

I think Darla left out a very important caveat in this comment:

"I wish we could all stop the whining, the complaining, the cliques, the bitterness. I wish we could be great girlfriends. I wish we could all realize how lucky each one of us is and that we all have much to bring to the table. We'’re all the same. We'’re moms. We want the best for our children. We all want a safe, clean world for them to grow up in."


...Unless of course you decide to work for a living. That makes you a lesser species of Mom than the rest of us.

Exclusionary indeed.

Chamho said...

Divy raises an interesting point. Everyone respects their own demographic, it's no challenge to say you support SAHM when you personally stay at home. The problem comes when you demand respect from those you give none to.

Maximus said...

Quick, someone get Lisa a flag and picture of Jesus before she implodes!

Anonymous said...

The eagle flies at midnight. Have some cheese and crackers ready for him.

Anonymous said...

If Darla were truly secure about her book, stood behind its ideas, and had the self-confidence about being a SAHM that she claims to have, why would she send her minions to one mother's blog?

Why do Darla's supporters try to crush any critique, analysis, or dissent? Are you the blogging equivalent of the House police, eager to arrest Cindy Sheehan for wearing a shirt that simply had a fact on it?

Why not engage in substantive discussion, rather than attacking Sandy? All this does is turn me and other SAHMs off from buying Darla's book. The "Feminazi" link alone accomplished some of that: the Darla Stepford Wives are accomplishing the rest.

Anonymous said...

And how can you defend a book that has THIS in it?

“Last year one of my best friends wanted a new dining room set, but her husband was not opening his wallet. I told her to go home, pay some attention to him, act interested in him, initiate some romance, do some nasty deeds that only married couples should do, and guess what? Two weeks later she had the furniture – and a new diamond ring to boot.” (p. 57)

So Darla thinks that whoring oneself out to one's husband is--what? An appropriate role model for our daughters?

And those of you who support this--do you agree with the above?

Dana said...

I would be more than happy to discuss any topic - the problem is that you never bring up anything specific to argue on... You are just picking on stupid points that you fail to even realize a smidge of humor on... I mean please! Sandy in particular has made Darla a site in her crosshairs, for what? I don't get it... We are all mothers, we all have husbands, we all have sex - why not find the humor in it all? Don't you enjoy sex? Don't you enjoy looking nice? Have you ever looked at someone in a car who lets their child ride without being buckled up and called them a name? Geez ladies, lighten up!!!

Anonymous said...

I find humor in a lot of aspects of my life as a wife and mother. I do, however;NOT see any humore in being told to give sexual favors in return for material objects. Even if it's from my own husband. Mature adult women would discuss the furniture and decide for or against the furniture WITH her husband. Not suck him off to get it.

Camo said...

There is a term used for someone who trades sexual acts for material goods.

PROSTITUTE.

You can call yourself whatever you want, but I am not a whore.

Anonymous said...

Isn't she actually a WAHM because she whores herself in the home in order to have her needs met?

Adele said...

You can be a feminist and a SAHM and no, all feminists are not feminazis. Most SAHMs have very similar values as one another and have mostly rejected the feminists view that you NEED to have a career along with motherhood to be a modern, fulfilled, intelligent woman and that is absolutely not true! It's entirely possible to believe in women's advancements and causes and equality, without having to prove yourself in the workforce if you're not feeling good about how your children and home are turning out. I know a mom who is a full-time phsician who wants more than anything to be home more with her 2 babies but she is the primary breadwinner. She always acts in awe of me which I am flabbergasted about. But I think she gets it: Once you become a mother, the career can't even come close to comparing. When I talk to her, we talk about what we're making for dinner, how to stay in shape, what our kids are into: you'd think she WAS a SAHM (gasp!) We can support each other, and believe in women's issues, and still be home with our kids and not have our brains turn to mush. And we can take a stand on SAHMotherhood, just like the feminists have for their cause.

Camo said...

When did stay-at-home moms become a threatened species? America loves their SAHM's and it could even be said we coddle them.

Why is there suddenly a need for a push against a feminist movement that is stagnant? Why are you blog-stalkers suddenly inraged by the talking points in Darla's book when there has never been a serious movement away from staying at home? Blame feminists for wanting equal treatment of women in the workplace, but feminism has never truly taken women from the home and it never will.

I'm all for picking your cause, but a cause that faces no opposition is not really a cause, now is it?

Sandy said...

Most SAHMs have very similar values as one another In some things, yes, but I think we're all seeing that in other matters (how we divide up our housework with a spouse, how much hands on parenting we expect from them, our attitudes towards work outside the home, our views about feminism and politics in general) you can see that SAHMs are very, very different.

(Most SAHMs)...have mostly rejected the feminists view that you NEED to have a career along with motherhood to be a modern, fulfilled, intelligent woman
Very few feminists (Linda Hirshman excepted, and look at the furious blog response to her article, both among SAHMs and feminists of all kinds) take this view. It's as ridiculous as saying that all feminists hate men, or want other women to have abortions. Even in the most radical period of the 60's, few feminists advocated more than that women should have the *choice* to be more than a housewife. Or that being a housewife should be different than it was traditionally idealized.

(that you NEED to have a career along with motherhood to be a modern, fulfilled, intelligent woman)...and that is absolutely not true! I wholeheartedly agree with you here. In fact, I daresay staying home allows a lot room for fulfillment and intelligence than many, many jobs. I've certainly found it better in many ways. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a lot of room for improvement for the lot of SAH moms.

tomama said...

Wow and double wow. Make that a triple wow. I can't believe the new site.