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Red Pill women now recommending the Stepford Wives as role models

You will be assimilated
You will be assimilated

So one of the inhabitants of the Red Pill Women subreddit — devoted not to pickup artistry but to cultivating a regressive kind of femininity —  has found an unusual source for inspiration. She’s been reading a novel from the early 1970s that contrasts a brash young woman influenced by the “women’s libbers” of the day with a group of more traditionally minded wives living in a certain (fictional) suburb.

At one point in the novel, the main character — the aforementioned brash young woman — asks one of the new traditionalists if she is happy, having given up her own feminist activism to become a stay-at-home wife whose life revolves entirely around her husband’s needs.

Kit looked at her, and nodded. “Yes, I’m happy,” she said. “I feel I’m living a very full life. Herb’s work is important, and he couldn’t do it nearly as well if not for me. We’re a unit, and between us we’re raising a family, and doing optical research, and running a clean comfortable household, and doing community work.”
After quoting this passage, the Red Pill Woman subreddit regular who calls herself jade_cat offers her take on it:
Kit supports her husband by taking care of the house, and makes his life easier. Meanwhile, he works to provide for the family. This concept of complementarity, balance and teamwork seems completely lost in this day and age. Household duties are seen as being chores which must be split 50/50, and a more individualistic approach to fulfillment is considered the norm today. It is expected that both partners in a relationship have both their own career and must be career-driven, and “taking care of the household to make the husband’s life easier” is considered as a complete lack of ambition and a waste of talent/intelligence instead of being a way of fulfillment.

I agree with Kit’s vision (obviously), and even though it probably wasn’t the author’s goal at all, Kit’s response to Joanna helps me put words on how I feel about relationship dynamics.

There’s just one problem here. The novel jade_cat is reading, as you have surely realized, is The Stepford Wives, and Kit [SPOILER ALERT] is not a housewife at all, but a robot who has been designed to replace Kit, a flesh-and-blood woman murdered by a sinister cabal of Stepford husbands — with her husband’s cooperation.

Jade_cat is well aware of this; she just feels more sympathy for the murdering husbands than for the murdered wives. As she explains the plot of the 1972 novel (and the original 1975 movie version), Kit and the other Stepford wives

are in fact robots that have been created to replace the sloppy, nagging wives of the men of Stepford.

Because obviously, a pretty housewife who never complains and who isn’t a feminist is too good to be true, so she must be a robot ! 😉

Another Red Pill woman, SouthernPetite, weighs in with her thoughts on the main character of the film — that is, the flesh-and-blood woman who uncovers the secret wife-murdering, robot-making cabal.

The main character was a psycho. She not only did not work, but she also didn’t really take care of the house or kids, and pitched a fit when her H got angry when she would opt to hang out with her friend and get high.

As I recall the film, she was unhappy she’d been plopped down in Stepford amongst all these weird women. Her husband didn’t like her hanging out with her new friend Bobbie, because Bobbie, like her, was a newcomer to the town, a bit of a feminist herself, and, oh yeah, STILL A HUMAN BEING.

She also started freaking out, and eventually stabbed her friend, because some of the women started conforming more. While it was a bit odd, she had literally only been there…maybe a few weeks at most, so she didn’t really know those people, but apparently thought it was ok to become super paranoid, suspect a wild conspiracy right out the gate, and start stabbing people. While is turns out that she was correct, she was far from a rational person.

Uh, she stabbed her friend because by this point in the movie, her friend is not actually her friend any more but a robot made to replace her murdered friend.

Here’s the scene where it happens, by the way:

SouthernPetite continues:

Tbh, this portrayal is so bizarre, I would almost think it’s a critique on the paranoia and selfishness of feminists, but I don’t think that was the intent.

No, no it wasn’t.

Reading (or watching) The Stepford Wives and rooting for the husbands and their robot wives is a bit like reading 1984 and rooting for Big Brother.

H/T — r/TheBluePill

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Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

The 2004 film version is much more accurate regarding how the world really works. The alpha female is the one who is actually turning the other women into robots and the men all obey her. Red pill women are the alpha females who run civilization and control the men whom feminists believe are running the world as the patriarchy. The Beatles song “Nowhere Man” is about how feminists and corporate elites are trying to overthrow the traditional ruling class of alpha females and how good men need to stand up and defend red pill women.

Better than the last one. I give it a 5/10, but it’s still lacking.
comment image

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago
mrex
mrex
5 years ago

@Thomas:

“The 2004 film version is much more accurate regarding how the world really works.”

I have a confession; I actually love the 04 version. And yeah, the movie is an accurate metaphor for reality. For those who haven’t seen the movie, the rest is not spoiler free.

A. You’re right; red pill alpha women absolutely conspire with men to fuck over lesser women. (LOL internalized misogyny).

B. The movie is also accurate in that it shows how men (class) WON’T listen and accept the intelligence of even the red-pill alpha women. (The alpha woman in the movie, a brilliant scientist, had to go to incredible lengths (use her murdered, robot husband) to get her message out to other men.)

C. The men in the movie were obviously willing participants to the conspiracy. The husbands tricked their wives into going into the lab with them, because they believed that having a cyborg wife would be of benefit to *them*, with zero concern with how being turned into a cyborg would impact their wives. They acted in pure self-interest with no regard for their wives, so yup, this is absolutely in line with the reality of red pill men.

D. At the end the alpha red-pill woman killed herself by making out with her dysfunctioning robot. Everyone woke up from their dream, and the men were faced with the reality of imperfect wives that needed help grocery shopping. The horror.

And that’s how how reality will go. Jade_cat, and other red pill women will talk a good game for their own benefit, but reality has a way of slapping the face of men who ignore it. Someday red pill men will wake up, and realize that women are human beings and will never be the robots that they want them to be. They’ll realize that everything the red pill says about what makes a “good” relationship is a lie held up by a house of cards. Wahhh wahhh. And then they’ll either face reality, grow up, and form equal relationships, or they’ll become MGTOW and spare women the blight of dealing with an asshole that wants a robot instead of a relationship.

“The Beatles song “Nowhere Man” is about how feminists and corporate elites are trying to overthrow the traditional ruling class of alpha females and how good men need to stand up and defend red pill women.”

Well the lyrics were written by John Lennon, so I guess this makes Yoko Ono the ultimate red pill woman? 9_9

Here are the lyrics to the song for anyone who’s curious.

Beatles – Nowhere Man Lyrics

He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere man, The world is at your command

He’s as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see
Nowhere man, can you see me at all
Nowhere man don’t worry
Take your time, don’t hurry
Leave it all till somebody else
Lends you a hand
Ah, la, la, la, la

Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere man, The world is at your command
Ah, la, la, la, la

He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

RosaDeLava
RosaDeLava
5 years ago

If we have an opinion- which is seldom

No way that site is not a joke.

tesformes
5 years ago

Why is Richard Dawkins such an islamophobic piece of shit?
http://gawker.com/priorities-confused-1731919698

Nik
Nik
5 years ago

“Because obviously, a pretty housewife who never complains and who isn’t a feminist is too good to be true, so she must be a robot !”

Yes, that is exactly how it is.

If you’ve never tried to be that housewife it may be difficult to understand, but it is impossible for a real live human being to fill that role without being at least somewhat damaged or deranged.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

(How many other people think Mola’s garbage is fucking offensive and, behind the SJ language, sexist as all hell? I know I’m really touchy about motherhood stuff to the point of losing any ability I might have to read the room, so I should ask for the overall consensus before continuing.)

Zeb Berryman
Zeb Berryman
5 years ago

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs: I also think that it’s rather offensive and condescending.

Fabe
Fabe
5 years ago

The 2004 film version is much more accurate regarding how the world really works. The alpha female is the one who is actually turning the other women into robots and the men all obey her. Red pill women are the alpha females who run civilization and control the men whom feminists believe are running the world as the patriarchy. The Beatles song “Nowhere Man” is about how feminists and corporate elites are trying to overthrow the traditional ruling class of alpha females and how good men need to stand up and defend red pill women

Oh look, our joke troll is back. hows its going man?

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
5 years ago

I think women can choose to do whatever they want. If they want to be stay at home wives who cook, clean and take care of kids/share half of that to husbands that’s great if they want to have careers and don’t want to get married or have kids then that’s great too.

The problem I have are women (people in general) who go “women who are stay at home wives are trapped and need to be free!” Or “women who stay at home are only just leeching off of men!” And “women who don’t marry/have kids/want to cook, etc are man-haters! And not real women!” Or “Good for you! Girl power!” comment image
Just leave me and all women and girls alone and let us live our own lives.

epitome of incomprehensibility

SFHC – Hm… I think it was unfair of them to label you a “choice feminist” – it seems strawmannish. If they were just generally critiquing an idea of feminism that only focuses on individual choice, I’d say they have a good point, but the labelling I didn’t like. Sorry if I wasn’t clearer about that before.

epitome of incomprehensibility

*unfair because that wasn’t what you were arguing anyway, moreover

epitome of incomprehensibility

Also, Thomas Hobbes, I’m curious about your interpretation of the Beatles song “Yesterday.” Would you enlighten us as to its true meaning and how it relates to redpill rhetoric?

Robert
Robert
5 years ago

This has been a very stimulating discussion for me. I am currently a stay-at-home dad. My husband is a small business owner. I took medical retirement from my civil service career back in 2008. Looking back, I realize that Alice B. Toklas was my role model for adulthood – meet and marry a genius, then dedicate myself to nurturing their genius to fruition. While my working life was intrinsically worthwhile (providing services to disabled veterans), my father had taught me that real life is what happens when you’re not at work. After twenty four years of working, staying at home – cooking, cleaning, taking care of things so my husband can focus on building his business – feels good. I would never tell anyone else that this is what he or she should be doing, but it works for me.

One thing of which I’m very aware – we weren’t *expected* to adopt children, and I wasn’t *expected* to stay home and take care of them. In fact, the first time I took time off from work to attend a parent/teacher conference, my supervisor informed me very seriously that that was a luxury I should not expect. I informed her that I would be taking as much time as I saw fit, and if she had a problem with that she could take it up with the union. She somehow had the conviction that my spouse must be equivalent to a “wife”, rather than an equal partner (with a corporate career, earning twice what I did). As she was married herself, I thought this was remarkably retrograde of her – from the OP, it appears she was not unique in this respect.

RosaDeLava
RosaDeLava
5 years ago

@Lily Louise
Hello! And welcome – I think I’m one of the reasons you decided to comment, so I figured I really should say hi.
Let me see if I can express myself more clearly:

I would not call a woman whose dream is being a housewife ambitious. I would call a woman whose dream is to create a show like Martha Stewart Living ambitious.
I would not call a woman whose dream is being a bank clerk ambitious. I would call a woman whose dream is being a CEO ambitious.
I would not call a woman whose dream is being a gym teacher ambitious. I would call a woman whose dream is to participate in the Olympics ambitious.

I don’t think roles assigned as feminine are lesser or necessarily show a lack of ambition just by virtue of being assigned as feminine.
As an exemple – I love taking care of children. I would be nurturing and motherly and play with kids for hours, and not think any lesser of myself for it – but I really wouldn’t consider that as being ambitious.

If you believe that being a housewife is something that can have a big scope, I personally can’t see it, but if you can clarify, I’m all ears.

Tracy
Tracy
5 years ago

@mola

I’m doing my best to avoid being a dick, however I’m not good at that, and if I fail, as I often do, it’s on me. It’s probably best that I withdraw from the discussion after this. I’ll try to explain myself with a carefully minimized amount of assholery, then I’m out.

“I’m going to say my piece, then not bother to engage with or even be around for any responses or discussion afterwards” is kind of an ‘avoid being a dick’ fail in itself.

Tracy
Tracy
5 years ago

The thing with the word ‘ambitious’ is that it’s seen as being this grand, huge thing – if you’re ambitious, you’re a shoot-for-the-stars go-getter! You want to be bigger and better! You’re doing it right! And the implication (accurate or not) is that those who are not ambitious (as we tend to define it) are somehow slackers or lesser… or at least mediocre and not really that important, as they don’t have much impact on the world at large.

Accurate or not, we tend to use ‘ambitious’ in this way as opposed to the definition, ‘having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed.’ I suppose this is because of how we tend to view and define ‘success’, at least in North American culture, and we associate it with grand scopes, wealth, power etc.

I’d say someone who raised well-loved, awesome kids has had a greater positive impact on the world than Martha Stewart has had with her show… but yes, we’d call Stewart ambitious, and regard her more for it because IMO our values in that respect are more than slightly fucked up.

katz
katz
5 years ago

I find the whole argument about “choice feminism” to be really frustrating. The whole thing strikes me as a false dichotomy. I mean, take this:

I don’t buy the bullshit about “empowered” women making “choices” in a suddenly existing non-patriarchal vacuum.

Who in the universe has ever said that choices exist in a non-patriarchal vacuum? And what feminist in the universe (actual feminist, not people like CHS) has ever said, or acted like, feminism was completely about individual choice and not about dismantling patriarchal structures? No one here, I can confidently say.

So I’m trying to figure out what Mola and the anti-“choice feminism” camp believe that’s different from what all feminists believe, and all I’m coming up with is “some lifestyles are better than others.” If we’re dividing into one camp that believes some people’s life choices are inherently superior and one camp that doesn’t, put me in the non-judgmental camp and label me whatever you like.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

katz | September 20, 2015 at 10:58 pm
I find the whole argument about “choice feminism” to be really frustrating. The whole thing strikes me as a false dichotomy. I mean, take this:

I don’t buy the bullshit about “empowered” women making “choices” in a suddenly existing non-patriarchal vacuum.

Who in the universe has ever said that choices exist in a non-patriarchal vacuum? And what feminist in the universe (actual feminist, not people like CHS) has ever said, or acted like, feminism was completely about individual choice and not about dismantling patriarchal structures? No one here, I can confidently say.

So I’m trying to figure out what Mola and the anti-“choice feminism” camp believe that’s different from what all feminists believe, and all I’m coming up with is “some lifestyles are better than others.” If we’re dividing into one camp that believes some people’s life choices are inherently superior and one camp that doesn’t, put me in the non-judgmental camp and label me whatever you like.

I can see how some of my comments might have come off that way. I was discussing personal choices in my bits.

But you’re right Katz: It isn’t just about personal choice, but dismantling the patriarchal structures that make some choices more worth shame to society as a whole, and trying to say that some choices are better than others and if you choose something that’s traditionally female then you’re not good enough or “not ambitious” is way off the mark. There are different ways to succeed, and saying that stay-at-home moms can’t be “ambitious” is just outright silly.

No one here was saying that these choices exist in a vacuum, no one here was saying that choice is the MOST IMPORTANT thing, because choices are effected by said patriarchal structures.

You guys can stick me right in the non-judgmental camp as well. I don’t care what people choose to do with their lives, as long as it’s not hurting themselves or other people, they should be allowed to make the choices that suit them best, and that doesn’t mean that they’re better or worse than anyone else for making those choices.

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

@SFHC

“(How many other people think Mola’s garbage is fucking offensive and, behind the SJ language, sexist as all hell? I know I’m really touchy about motherhood stuff to the point of losing any ability I might have to read the room, so I should ask for the overall consensus before continuing.)”

I’ve been a SAHM, I think Mola was sometimes wrong, but never sexist. Maybe it’s a conflict between different “brands” of feminism?

I really dislike “choice” feminism as well, and in particular I’m sick of people calling staying at home with kids a “choice”. I feel that calling it a “choice” sugar-coats the issues that are behind many women’s “choice” to stay home. I’m not saying that stay at home mom’s are oppressed, or lazy, or that they hang out at home and contribute nothing to society, but I don’t think that it’s exactly a free choice either.

Mostly, her idea that feminism can’t change the association between “status” with “has money” is dead wrong. If feminists can get women the vote and start to break down oppression, we can bring honor to the poor. After all, the poor are mostly women.

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

@katz

” we’re dividing into one camp that believes some people’s life choices are inherently superior and one camp that doesn’t, put me in the non-judgmental camp and label me whatever you like.”

Sounds judgemental. 😉

Well, I think that we can all agree that people, themselves, should always be supported, no matter the choices they make, as long as they don’t hurt other people. Even if the choices they make hurt themselves, I think people should have the right to do as they please with themselves.

Problem with pretending that all lifestyles are equally valid is that it tends to shut down any discussion that analyzes the real costs of a particular choice. “Superior” is a problematic word, as it’s extremely subjective, however, you certainly can say that the costs of one lifestyle are different than the costs of another. 🙂

katz
katz
5 years ago

I really dislike “choice” feminism as well, and in particular I’m sick of people calling staying at home with kids a “choice”. I feel that calling it a “choice” sugar-coats the issues that are behind many women’s “choice” to stay home. I’m not saying that stay at home mom’s are oppressed, or lazy, or that they hang out at home and contribute nothing to society, but I don’t think that it’s exactly a free choice either.

No, absolutely, there are huge social pressures on women and girls in certain directions, and there’s a degree to which presenting “you can do this countercultural thing, or you can do this extremely socially acceptable thing” as if they were equivalent options is unhelpful because the latter is constantly being put forward as an option. And I’ve known a lot of female friends who graduated from college and swore up and down they weren’t just going to quit their jobs and stay home when they had kids, but somehow fell into that role anyway.

However:

a) No choice is a free choice, because every choice carries social baggage. So if you’re going to say you can’t use the word “choice” to describe being a SAHM, you shouldn’t use the word “choice” to describe almost anything. (And if there is someone who says she decided to stay home with her kids and it was her own choice, saying it wasn’t a choice feels a tad gaslighty.)

b) At the end of the day, when women make choices, you can either support them in whatever choices they make, or you can try to control the choices they make by casting some of them as “better” or “worse.”

Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
5 years ago

“Yesterday is a post-Miltonic buldongsroman which rebukes the Catholic Church for its corpulent reformationalism at the end of the Second Vatican Council. It’s lyrics about believing in yesterday, and not being half the man he used to be, enlighten us as to the debauched state of western civilization since the Protestant Reformation. Paul McCartney became a spy for the Vatican in 1958, and sought, as much as possible, to influence the direction of popular music on a traditionalist direction. He actually tried to block the relase of The Stepford Wives novel but was unsuccessful.

Lady Mondegreen
Lady Mondegreen
5 years ago

Button, the claim if yours that I responded to was this:

the Stepford Wives doesn’t leave any room for people like jade_cat to exist.

Now you’re claiming that Stepford’s housewives were the villains of the story!?

You must be an MRA. Nobody else argues so incoherently.

Lady Mondegreen
Lady Mondegreen
5 years ago

Re “choice feminism”–

Feminism analyzes and criticizes and makes judgments about society. That’s–a large part of what it does.

Feminism is also about supporting women.

Unless you want a simplistic narrative where anything a woman does is good and unproblematic because a woman did it, there’s going to be some tension between those two different strands of feminism. So be it.

Here’s how I see “choice feminism”: It tries to stifle analysis, critique, and judgment in favor of making everyone (everyone female, that is!) feel happy. It’s phony empowerment. I’m no Marxist, but it does seem to me to be a very consumer-culture-driven phenomenon.

Look, it’s OK for us to argue about the meaning and effects of things like wearing a hijab or being a housewife or modelling for Playboy. It’s healthy for us to discuss those things and argue about them and disagree.

Sometimes in the course of those discussions and arguments some of our own choices may be criticized. THAT’S OK.

(That doesn’t mean anyone should be thrown out of the club [so to speak] for being an imperfect feminist. I loathe purity tests.)

katz
katz
5 years ago

Can someone please provide a definition of what “choice feminism” actually is?

Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
5 years ago

Choice feminism is yet another itterration of the pointless babbling of the post-sexualrevolution zeitgeist.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

katz:
Can someone please provide a definition of what “choice feminism” actually is?

Thomas Hobbes:
Choice feminism is yet another itterration of the pointless babbling of the post-sexualrevolution zeitgeist.

My colleagues around me all looked at me to see why I laughed.

Have you ever had one of those days when you feel that the pseudorandom text generator can actually understand you and is genuinely trying to take part in the conversation?

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

(That’s not intended as a joke against you, katz. I like and respect you. I just found Thomas Hobbes’s irrelevant random-text to be very amusing coming immediately after your question.)

mrex
mrex
5 years ago

@katz

“The term “choice feminism” is sometimes used as shorthand for the attitude that women should be able to make any choice they want, and that doing so is automatically feminist.

[…]

Choice feminism is sometimes criticised for failing to take into account the complex social pressures in place when people make choices. Choices are not made in a vacuum, and some choices women make are closely aligned with anti-feminist ideas in the larger world. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be hard to differentiate criticism of an individual woman’s choice from criticism of the wider social context of her choice.

[…]

Although it is wrong to say that any choice a woman makes is automatically feminist, it’s also wrong to say that women who choose the easy option in our kyriarchal society are necessarily anti-feminist. Women generally need to weigh the difficulty of the choices they make against other considerations like existing relationships, their ability to support themselves and/or their families, their mental health, etc. So it is perhaps better to say that feminists can and do make a wide range of choices, and can still be feminists despite that, than that all choices are equally feminist in and of themselves.”

-Geek Feminism Wiki

Or there’s this view which I’ve heard several times;

“The obvious threats to feminism today are the same as they have always been, the main ones being the existence of patriarchy and the backlash from that system when it hits out against any challenges to its continuation. However, there are more insidious and less obvious threats. Thesedangers hide in plain sight, and come partly in the form of a version of feminism known as “choice feminism”.

This term is used to refer to a common phenomenon, whereby the language of liberation, taken from feminist political theory, is turned on its head and used against women. Choice feminism can be found particularly in media representations of what feminism is and what women’s empowerment might look like. There is an attempt, unfortunately fairly successful, to reduce feminism to simply being the right for women to make choices. Not choices about whether to stand for parliament, or instigate pay transparency in the office or lead an unemployed worker’s union, or form a women-only consciousness-raising group in their town; far from it.

Instead, there are choices about what amount of makeup to wear, whether to go “natural” or try mascara that makes your eyelashes look like false eyelashes, or what diet drink to buy, or whether or not to make the first move with a man – or other such modern and edgy decisions of the sort which face the feisty, sassy, pull-no-punches liberated woman of today. Excuse me while I am sick”.

Unfortunately, I’m not so sure that “choice feminism” is super well defined, and I think that sometimes ends up being a “I know it when I see it” kind if thing. Usually, it refers to Libertarian Feminism, which is basically Libertarianism’s and Feminism’s love child. And like all Glibertarianism, it has it strong points, but those strong points often get drowned out by all the self-absorbed, privilege denying, shit.

” And I’ve known a lot of female friends who graduated from college and swore up and down they weren’t just going to quit their jobs and stay home when they had kids, but somehow fell into that role anyway.

No, they didn’t “somehow fall” into that role, they made the best decision they could make with what was available to them.

For all I know, your friends could be privileged enough to afford a good daycare, and have family help, and their kids could tolerate formula or they could pump at work, and etc. In that case, their choice to stay home was relatively free. Many people are not so lucky.

This is much of my problem with calling SAHM a “choice”. For example, in many parts of the US daycare costs MORE for 2 kids than many lower middle class women make, so the women doesn’t even break even. Who the hell can afford to pay over their pay check to work? Or even the majority their check? A catch-22 is not a choice, but calling it such gives us the opportunity to ignore the systematic problems behind it. It is faux-empowerment; an opportunity to hold victims of the system responsible for the fallout.

“No choice is a free choice, because every choice carries social baggage. So if you’re going to say you can’t use the word “choice” to describe being a SAHM, you shouldn’t use the word “choice” to describe almost anything”

Right, no choice is a free choice, which is why we should always critique the reasons behind our choices. I’m saying that SAHM isn’t a choice because it’s much more than social pressure driving the decision to stay at home or not.

“(And if there is someone who says she decided to stay home with her kids and it was her own choice, saying it wasn’t a choice feels a tad gaslighty.)”

Asking women to examine the reasons behind their actions is neither manipulative nor telling them their feelings. I’m saying that the view of SAHM as being a “choice” by default is wrong. I’m not saying that it is literally impossible to make a free choice to be a SAHM.

‘b) At the end of the day, when women make choices, you can either support them in whatever choices they make, or you can try to control the choices they make by casting some of them as “better” or “worse.” ‘

A) Heh. Except you seem to imply in several posts that being non judgemental is “better”, and being judgemental is “worse”. And regardless whether you were, that’s OK, because now we’re having this discussion. We’re exchanging ideas, refining our opinions. Isn’t it a beautiful thing? 🙂

But you have a fair point. Ideas of the “better thing to do” can be used to control, but they can also be used to uplift and teach. It’s empowering to learn from other people’s mistakes. Who wants to constantly reinvent the wheel?

In the end of the day, opinions on the “better” thing to do are just words. They have no real power to force someone’s hand on their own. Unless someone backs them up with coercion or force, they will always be just words.

mockingbird
5 years ago

The following is seriously tl;dr, but I ended up writing more than I’d initially meant to.

re: SAHMs and choice-feminism:

I’m currently a stay-at-home-Mom by “choice”.

I’ve also been a soldier, a student of various stripes multiple times; a “military spouse” (during which time I was also a stay-at-home-parent, but it’s infinitely more difficult to work with children with the spouse in the US military given frequent moves to often otherwise economically depressed areas paired with erratic but nearly constant absence of the other parent for training and deployment – it’s more of a default in that particular population); a single Mom (with my ex multiple states away or out of country) working full-time while finishing a BA part-time who qualified for public assistance…and then very suddenly didn’t (and let me tell you – the abrupt cut off of benefits between being in dire poverty and just-out-of-dire-poverty can make your head spin); a newly-married Mom who, while working full-time and going to school part-time, was the sugar-Momma to her intensely supportive, feminist husband while he finished a Masters; and Mom scrambling with full-time work, a long commute, and the seeming-omnipotence schools seem to expect from parents while her husband had a travel-intensive job.

I “chose” – and those quotes are intentional – to be a stay-at-home-Mom again when we decided to have a third child. The cost of childcare with one infant and before/after care for two school-aged children would have eaten up most of my actually pretty decent salary (well above the median in the US – according to a quick Google search, it eclipsed the salaries of about 70% of the US). Professional costs (auto wear-and-tear, gas, nicer clothing, etc) would eat up a bit more. My job was also one that didn’t allow for much of a flex schedule or work-from-home opportunities (in part because of budgetary concerns on their end). And only six weeks with our new baby…putting her in childcare for long stretches (8.5 hours + about a 45 minute – an hour commute each way) when she was barely out of her “fourth trimester”…giving her just enough time to really learn to nurse, to sleep, to snuggle…

Then given that my husband traveled quite a bit (at the time) – which meant that our children’s days would begin by being dropped off 630 or 7am and end at between 530 and 600pm in daycare, when I could drop them off and pick them up – and that, even when in town, most US companies place draconian work-life balance expectations on men (fun fact: he got 2 days off after our daughter was born, 1 week of local work, and then had to catch a flight) – both logic and familial-self-interest would dictate that I, being the lower earner, be the one to take time off for a child’s illness or pressing appointment.

We weighed what was in front of us and made the “choice” for me to stay home.

If I had chosen to stay in the workforce but bear the brunt of childhood absences, I may have crippled my in-situ earning power, but my husband would have been able to conform to the expectations placed upon him by his employer and so would likely still have garnered the (demonstrated) dual-benefit of being seen as a family man and being a dedicated member of the team.

If I had chosen to stay in the work force but shared the balance of necessary days off with my husband, my reputation may have been spared a ding (or not – can you believe that ball-buster?), but my husband’s chances for advancement may have been seriously compromised.

As it is, most of my professional contacts have withered – my fault, really, but I also didn’t particularly like them – and getting back to work will likely be a pretty big push. Meanwhile, my husband’s income has about doubled in three years, in no small part because his high-travel job was also a relatively high-prestige job, and the reputation that he build there as “tireless” and “focused” helped him a foot in the door for something else.
And I’m incredibly proud of him.
I love him and he’s worked both intelligently and diligently.
And he says that he’s incredibly proud of and thankful for me, that I’ve enabled for our children’s young lives to have a bit more constancy and that I’ve borne the brunt of the often thankless, un-directly-compensated work that goes into ensuring a busy household doesn’t spin apart.

The choices that made sense for our family, including the ones that I didn’t make but considered, made sense given our milieu. Acting outside of the dictates of society, for anyone, is tiring. It begins to feel, at best, like banging your head into a wall. At worst, it feels like tilting at windmills.

Would we have made different choices given a different culture?
Most likely.
But we all operate from within the matrices around us.

Feminism and feminists should recognize this even while seeking to critique and build anew.
The good fight should be fought, but it’s not for everyone at all times.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants

The problem isn’t that the choices are wrong, it’s that so few choices exist, and that women’s choices are always seen as making a political/sexual statement. Whichever way you choose, you’ll get branded a prude/whore/traitor/unambitious/unfeminine/etc. by the other side. It’s a tightrope that few women can navigate successfully.

If you’ve never tried to be that housewife it may be difficult to understand, but it is impossible for a real live human being to fill that role without being at least somewhat damaged or deranged.

Agreed. Robots are a form of dread game. They send the message to women “you are interchangeable and replaceable, and you will never be as perfect as this robot.” It’s unfortunate that Red Pill Women have swallowed the bait and are trying to live up to that impossible standard.

Oddly enough, Red Pill Women don’t seem to think very highly of Red Pill Men. Maybe it’s because Red Pill Men want all the benefits of a traditional marriage without having to hold up their end of the bargain. The whole idea of marriage and providing for a family is anathema to them. They spend their days devising ways to weasel out of having to support a family and rationalizing why they should never lift a finger to help out with raising of said children beyond emotionally abusing them to gratify their egos (while whining about how unfair it is not to get custody). In return they expect total, slavish obedience and dependence. Then they wonder why women aren’t throwing themselves at them to start a family.

Falconer
5 years ago

“Yesterday is a post-Miltonic buldongsroman which rebukes the Catholic Church for its corpulent reformationalism at the end of the Second Vatican Council. It’s lyrics about believing in yesterday, and not being half the man he used to be, enlighten us as to the debauched state of western civilization since the Protestant Reformation. Paul McCartney became a spy for the Vatican in 1958, and sought, as much as possible, to influence the direction of popular music on a traditionalist direction. He actually tried to block the relase of The Stepford Wives novel but was unsuccessful.

… He takes requests!

Ooh, ooh, ooh!! *raises and waves hand excitedly* Do “Free Bird!” “Smoke on the Water!” Alien! The Shining!

Falconer
5 years ago

They send the message to women “you are interchangeable and replaceable, and you will never be as perfect as this robot.”

I dunno, that Bobbie robot doesn’t look very durable. All it took was a stab in the hip and its cybernetics were on the fritz? That looks like poor design, to me.

Newt
Newt
5 years ago

No way that site is not a joke.

Have a look at the FAQ – the Poe indicator is down at the bottom 🙂

TheLulzWatch
TheLulzWatch
5 years ago

http://www.wearysloth.com/Gallery/ActorsD/83120-29725.jpg

BTW, I found Jade_cat´s facebook photo.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants:

Oddly enough, Red Pill Women don’t seem to think very highly of Red Pill Men.

Who does, though? Even Red Pill men don’t seem to think very highly of Red Pill men.

Button
Button
5 years ago

Now you’re claiming that Stepford’s housewives were the villains of the story!?

You must be an MRA. Nobody else argues so incoherently.

Or a person posting late at night, jeez.

I didn’t mean to suggest that the robots in Stepford were the actual villains – rather that they’re pawns of the true villains, and thus part of the villain “faction,” espousing the villains’ views. I shortened this to “villain” because, as previously mentioned, posting late at night.

“headcanon?” yikes. That isn’t how literary interpretation works. Disagreeing with an explicit or implicit thesis in a novel is not the same as rewriting it in one’s own mind. Nor is it the same as missing the point.

And yet, rewriting the novel in your own mind is pretty great, and a fun way to help yourself get through a work that is ideologically anathema to you. It’s also a fairly common way (on the internet) of talking about books that are irredeemably stupid or irreconcilable with your own worldview. cf Slacktivist, Heathen Critique, Das Mervin.

It is perfectly acceptable to disagree with prevailing interpretations of a novel and it is also acceptable to disagree with a novel’s main point. However, support from the novel itself must be provided to back up the point.

That’s just not true. In formal literary criticism, sure, but this is hosted on reddit ferchrissakes. This kind of disagreement with the author about what happened or should have happened in their books is very common in fan communities, of which Reddit hosts several.

Canon is invented by the author and carries the author’s worldview. Sure, if you want to talk about what is actually present in the novel, you need to support your interpretation. But if you want to talk about what should have been present in the novel, what would have been a better or more realistic (in your own worldview) way for the novel to have progressed, you need no such support. You can just fork it off and enjoy your fan interpretation.

The poster isn’t saying “This is what’s in the book.” The poster says “I think this would have been a better way to go.” Maybe I just spent too much time in fan fiction communities as a teen, but I don’t see that as a problem.

In this case, the poster wants to offer an interpretation of the novel that is not supported by the novel, but by her own external ideology. The character is not “paranoid” because she notices odd things happening and people acting funny. When she investigate further, she finds that there are, indeed, odd doings transpiring.

Interpreting the main character as paranoid would be similar to asserting Sam Spade is paranoid because he investigates a number of crimes. In both cases, good reason and motivation are established for their inquiry.

It would be similar to asserting that Sam Spade is paranoid because he investigates a number of crimes that don’t make sense to the person doing the asserting. And that happens all the time. Have some “Fox Mulder is paranoid and delusional” fan theory (CN: ablism): http://www.cracked.com/video_19524_why-fox-mulder-might-actually-be-crazy-person.html

Buttercup Q. Skullpants

@EJ – No, no, all the Red Pill men are super-swole multimillionaire STEM geniuses who radiate MALE HONOR. If you read their field reports, they win at every single thing they do, from ordering coffee to cheating on their wives. It’s the rest of us that are total losers, with our “feelings” and our “relationships”.

Snuffy
Snuffy
5 years ago

@Rosa, re:ambition

If you believe that being a housewife is something that can have a big scope, I personally can’t see it, but if you can clarify, I’m all ears.

Where did you pull this definition of ambition? I know no one likes quoting dictionaries, but I think it’s warranted here.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=ambition+definition&oq=ambi&aqs=chrome.0.0j69i57j0l4.1672j0j4&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8#q=unambitious

a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.

desire and determination to achieve success.

You don’t think raising a family is an achievement? Or running a household? You don’t think it requires hard work or determination? You wouldn’t consider doing your best as a parent to be a success? How about you stop shitting all over other people’s hard work? When you say that someone’s goal is unambitious you are implying that their dream isn’t “big” enough and is unworthy of recognition that it doesn’t count as an achievement like it’s “no big deal”.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Button:
Jackie and I had the same discussion a few weeks ago, with her representing the views of fan communities and the belief in canon, and me representing the formal literary theory position and the belief in death of the author. The conclusion I drew from that discussion was that her position (that is, that authorial authority is paramount) is useful for ongoing works; but once a work has been concluded then nobody, especially not the author, has any particular authority over it.

Jackie may have drawn a different view from it. I’m fine with this. I’m a literary postmodernist, after all.

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants:
I believe it was Shaenon on this blog who said that she believes everything people tell her about themselves on the internet, because you meet more millionaire lawyer philanthropists that way.

In my opinion? I have met STEM geniuses. I have also met Dunning-Kruger-effect poster boys. I’m not saying most red pill people are closer to the second than the first, but it’s a working hypothesis.

Snuffy
Snuffy
5 years ago

To add on, I think it’s hilarious your definition of “ambition” (i.e. needs to have a “big scope”) you would say that by and large men are more ambitious, white people are more ambitious, rich people are more ambitious etc. Those are the people who can afford to dream big and aim for positions with “big scope”. Maybe some people dream smaller because they know what is realistic for them the achieve. Unlike you I won’t insult people by saying that they are unambitious because they goal doesn’t necessarily meet my standards.

mildlymagnificent
mildlymagnificent
5 years ago

mockingbird

I’ve never heard of women having their teeth pulled pre-marriage to save on dental expenses.

Certainly Australia and many parts of Britain.

Tooth decay was very common and, by the age of 21, it was usual to have all teeth extracted to save dental bills in later life. Some parents had all their daughter’s teeth removed before marriage to save expense for the couple in the future.

http://www.jeron.je/anglia/learn/sec/history/welfare/page02.htm

This practice lasted an embarrassingly long time, and not just in Glasgow–it happened everywhere (although I think the matrimonial dentures were a Glasgow tradition). In the 1960s, my grandmother got a cavity on a tooth that was visible when she smiled and talked. My grandfather told her that they couldn’t afford for her to get a crown, so she could either have it pulled and have a visibly missing tooth OR she could have all her teeth pulled and get some dentures. She got the dentures. She was in her mid-to-late twenties.

http://bizarrevictoria.livejournal.com/95923.html

I remember it being pointed out as a reason why women seemed to age much faster among my grandmother’s friends and some of mum’s friends as well. Having all your teeth out so early in life meant that the musculature of the lower half of the face began to collapse around the shrinking bone mass of the jaw into “old lady” shape much sooner than it should have. (My husband’s gone to bed, so I can’t ask. I have a vague suspicion his mother had all her teeth out before she married, but I’m not sure. Maybe it was her mother.)

ReallyFriendly
ReallyFriendly
5 years ago

@mockingbird

Thank you for sharing your story to help add context to the ongoing discussion about choices.

@mrex

Thank you for taking the time and patience to go into details to explain the definition of ‘choice feminism’ and the criticism against it

I personally still find the entire definition of ‘choice feminism’ to still be a little vague, but mrex covers the obvious flawed ‘choices’ with her quoted examples.

It is no coincidence that a lot of modern advertising has co-opted the word ’empowerment’ for their adverts – pretending to ’empower’ women today while actually pushing them along lines endorsed by the patriarchal society. One thing to worth noting is that even if women are encouraged along by the system, they typically also have their own personal reasons for it that we should not ignore – that may have almost nothing to do with the pressures of society. I think that is one of the reasons why when some feminists question the choices of women as being largely driven by society, they may ignore the personal context these decisions are being made in.

There in also lies the catch. It is true that our society is pressuring the genders to act in specific ways – but how do you work out if certain people are being largely driven by their environment or more through personal agency? Is it possible that their personal agency has already been heavily influenced by society (and therefore not as autonomous as they may think)? How aware are they of such influences, and do the choices still remain the same given such knowledge? If they remain the same, are they the correct ones?

There is good reason to be critical of ‘choice feminism’ as it has been used as a defense for the status quo (now and historically) – it is used to justify the wage gap, it has been used to argue that women want to be domesticated, used to reinforce gender sterotyping, etc.

However, there is also the inherent problem that criticism against ‘choice feminism’ sometimes sounds like an attack on a woman’s personal liberty in her choices. And to be honest, sometimes the criticism does go too far and does blame the woman for her choices (such instance are super rare). This is a line that still has not been marked clearly in the sand and easily leads to disagreements among feminists (as shown by the ongoing discussion).

To be clear, I don’t believe that feminists that criticize ‘choice feminism’ are wanting to police the choices of women in general at all, but sometimes the way they state the criticism can sound like it (read the comment section of this post to see what I am getting at). They instead want to highlight the disparity of the social influences that push people’s choices down certain paths (mockingbird brought up the example of the woman sacrificing her career as it is not expected of men) that is not fair and should be equalized.

This issue of dealing with ‘choices’ is something I believe have to be dealt with over generations as it is not as simple as educating the public and then large sweeping changes happening with minimal impact. This will be a significant switch in perceptions, in social structures, and in many governmental policies that will take a long time. I do think we should remain aware of it as this is one of the ways the patriarchy has maintained its dominance all the way till now, by saying that ‘women want it this way too’.

Thank you for reading this long post 8p. Just my two cents.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

I do think that the quote Mrex posted sums it up well. I’ve seen people try to dismiss criticisms of problematic industries like porn or cosmetic surgery, or problematic beauty standards as shaming. It’s annoying. Stating that for example, cosmetic surgery can be harmful because it can maim and kill, the industry feeds off insecurities of women, and there’s a reason women are the majority of the customers is not the same as saying you’re a traitor to all women if you get a nose job.

That said, discussion of these issues should be limited mostly to the industries and norms. It would be nice to be able to buck patriarchal norms, but not everyone is in a position to do so all the time.

reymohammed
reymohammed
5 years ago

That’s exactly what it’s like. Maybe these Red Pill women are already robots.

Chiomara
Chiomara
5 years ago

In Brazil ripping off your teeth at young age was somewhat common in the 50s. Both my grandmother and her sister did it when in their 20s,and they had perfectly healthy teeth. It was a sign of hygiene.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants

@EJ

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants:
I believe it was Shaenon on this blog who said that she believes everything people tell her about themselves on the internet, because you meet more millionaire lawyer philanthropists that way.

In my opinion? I have met STEM geniuses. I have also met Dunning-Kruger-effect poster boys. I’m not saying most red pill people are closer to the second than the first, but it’s a working hypothesis.

It is quite remarkable how so many STEM geniuses, business tycoons, and med school students have all managed to congregate together on the redpill sub. It’s like a mini Bohemian Grove.

It’s also amazing how they manage to find hours of free time to spend posting 4,000 word manifestos on lifting and how terrible women are. I was always under the impression that becoming a doctor/job creator/inventor/John Galt clone was rather time-consuming.

You’d think, too, that medical school would entail at least a passing familiarity with biology, empathy, and women’s anatomy, and entrepeneurship would require a nodding acquaintance with basic economic concepts and business practices (not to mention basic people skills).

And you might think that, within a cult hate group philosophy where bragging, competition, and alphaness are lavishly rewarded, there might be just the tiniest incentive to lie exaggerate cover the lily with liquid gold. But maybe that’s just the blue pill talking.

Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
5 years ago

“Free Bird” is an Augustinian paradox which bespeaks the soul liberation undergurding one’s reception into the Catholic Church after baptism. It also represents the glorious feeling of power that red pill women have when they reject feminism and go alpha, pledging to criticize feminism at ever turn.

Thiazin red
Thiazin red
5 years ago

@ RosaDeLava

In the Stepford Wives movie they do address the issue of children subtly,

******Spoilers**************

When Joanna is in the HQ of the men’s club at the end, we see that the men have been making voice tapes of the children as well. All the wives had voice tapes made before they were murdered, so the implication is the men are preparing to murder and replace all their children as well.