Comments from December 2006

From Karen Querna RN, BSN, IBCLC

Re: The New Breastfeeding Taboo:

“Before two days were over, both my nipples were cracked and bleeding.”

When I read stories like yours I just cringe. As an IBCLC I feel it is a shame that you did not get the help and advocacy you needed. Working with mothers for almost 30 years, it is my experiance that most mothers cry’s for help are not listened to. Who on earth would think that telling a mum with cracked and bleeding nipples that pumping was improper…. I would like them to feel the pain you were in. You did not defect to bottle feeding. Unfortunately you and many other women today do not get the help they deserve. How wise your baby was on that 7th day, she knew that things were not right also. When a mother is having dificulty my “rules” are very simple first- feed the baby in any way that keeps the family happy, keep the milk flowing ie-continue to express breastmilk during the difficult time, everything is fixable if I can keep the family happy and the baby gaining weight.

The other issue here though is not breastfeeding but how labour is mananaged these days, most women come out feeling like they have been hit by a truck. Well I wish you luck, and hope you continue to enjoy your family. Best Regards,

From Melissa

In response to The New Breastfeeding Taboo:

Thank you Cathryn for articulating something I have thought about myself. I had difficulty breastfeeding from day one and ended up putting my son on formula. No one I knew admitted to using formula for their babies, but, it was in the supermarkets so I knew someone else must have been. I felt shame and guilt every time I had to explain to people why I wasn’t breastfeeding. There are support groups in my city (Melbourne, AUS) for breastfeeding mothers, but, not for women who bottlefeed. I think we need some support too!

From Cecilia

The New Breastfeeding Taboo, what a wonderful article. I tried breastfeeding/expressing but gave it up. My boyfriend feeds our little daughter on his days off, and we took in turns when he was on parental leave for the first four weeks. Breast might be best for babies, but formula isn’t that far behind and I think it is wonderful that my little girl gets bond with her father (aswell as me) during feeds. We take in turns to do the nightfeeds so our relationship is much better than it would be if I was constantly shattered from getting up every night to breastfeed.

From zak jane keir

The New Breastfeeding Taboo: Great article! I was determined to breastfeed as well – only, having had hypertension that needed heavy drugs, I just didn’t have enough milk. Luckily I had a reasonably nice midwife in the hospital who said, when my son was crying, that giving him a bottle didn’t mean I couldn’t try again with breastfeeding, so neither of us went through the horror of him starving and me struggling and panicking). So for the first month or so, he had formula plus the occasional suck on my tits (tried expressing, there was still nothing there despite fenugreek, fennel tea, positive thinking, etc). As with practically every other aspect of motherhood, we all do the best we can and our kids generally thrive on it no matter what.

From Isabel

The New Breastfeeding Taboo: Hooray for the breastfeeding article! I had to express milk for the first 3 weeks for my (in hospital and premature) son. After that he was just hungry all the time. I gave up at 2 months after delayed postnatal depression and an awful health visitor who told me that I wasn’t allowed to give up until after I’d been ‘counselled’ by a breastfeeding specialist. I went furtively to the pharmacy straight afterwards feeling like a criminal. My baby slept 6 blissful hours the first time he had a bottle and 7 months on is thriving. I’m frankly angry at the level of guilt we get over ‘breast is best’.

From JustAGirl

Re: The Food of Love?: Why do guys insist on paying for dinner? Your article is great but misses one key thing: the thought that if they buy you things, you’ll (feel obligated to) have sex with them in return, as a “pay-back”.

From Kirk Narey

Re: The Food of Love?:

“…the bill is somehow an insult to their masculinity? Could it be that the idea of financially independent women is deeply terrifying in a male-dominated society?”

Men are NOT afraid of financially independent women and they are not secretly controlling food supplies. Men are in the position of either volunteering to pay and “controlling the food supply” or splitting the bill and seeming tight. Why does the typical feminist never think about a man’s perspective when writing such brazen articles?

From andy

Re: The Food of Love? your theory is such a joke, only had to read the first paragraph and your lies and stupid therioes made my blood boil! Speak some sense for once. You feminists only bring evil to the world! You try to get rid of a mans status! A man should be the head of a household who pays for his wife as he likes to buy her things and spoil her! Love reading your rubbish articles,

Re: Men in Feminism: Hi there, couldnt be bothered to read your article as i feel that feminism is a load of rubbish. It does not help all people, all it does is degrade men and empower women. Women should not have high role jobs as whos gonna take the role on when women have children? Men should have high role jobs, as they will not have to have 6 months maternity leave! Thats another point, women should be made to have more than a year off so they can bring the child up instead of a creche doing it for them, speak soon, look forward to hearing from you, andy xx

From Anthony Kaye

Re: The Food of Love?. Hi, i found the article in question, over analytical. I myself will offer to pay for the girl i go to dine with, her meal. This is in no way to decide when and what she eats. Why should it be constrewed that way? If i offer to pick up the bill, it’s purely done as a gesture of good will, and to be nice to the girl in question. The alterior motives you talk about, don’t cross the mind of a large percentage of men. We are simply being nice, just as you are when you give a compliment.

This is especially if the girl is someone in which you like. Believe me, when girls have bought me drinks in the past, and on the odd occasion, my meal. I was very touched, and took it as a lovely gesture and compliment.

The only motive i could think of that the offer was made to me, was to be nice to me, to gain affection possibly. Because thats what people do, they do nice things for each other, if they want to get closer. Why do you have to go into such detail about reasons, that just don’t exist (except in the very few. theres always some people)

Re: Gifts for Her: After reading your article on the his and her gifts, i found your ramblings to be very one tracked minded.

You talk about gifts for him and her. Did you ever stop to think that a little bit of stereotyping has to happen in retail. Why do you have to take everything so badly, it’s almost as if you are looking for things to get angry about. Did you think that maybe, gifts aimed at a certain gender, might be aimed there for a reason? Do you not think that more men want tools than women, and more women want beautifying products than men?

OFCOURSE not all women want these things, and of course men don’t all want these things, but surely you have to accept at least some level of generalisation has to happen, simply for things to function.

If a lady would like a beard trimmer as a present from her partner, then why can’t she just ask for one. Whats the problem with the way its ordered in a bloody catalogue. If you don’t want it, then don’t ask for it, it’s not like your being forced to accept all these girly gifts.

I noticed the bit about your friend, who tidies up for her husband. This really made me laugh “he is a grown man, is he not capable of looking after himself?” Of course he is capable of looking after himself, but if his lady is willing to tidy up after him, then whats the problem. She WANTS to. Why would you want to stop your friend doing something she wants to do, just because you think it’s sexist and derogatory? I have no doubt in my mind, he would tidy up for himself if his wife wasn’t willing to do it, so whats the problem?

It’s like say embarking on a trip to the local shops. Someone offers you a lift, you can walk there, or accept the lift. Surely you are capable of getting yourself there, but if someone is willing to give you a lift, then you will take it. As somebody is doing you a favor. YES, you can get there yourself, but if you don’t have to, then why bother?

I do agree with women who are forced into these roles, being very wrong, and not acceptable in the slightest. But surely if the lady wants to and doesn’t mind, then wheres the issue. Just because you think she falls into the “house wife stereotype” you find it appauling.

Did you ever think that some ladys WANT to be a house wife? Why should you look down on them, simply because they want to be a home maker? Why should you judge them, on what they do, purely because you think it’s sexist, when infact, it isn’t at all.

At the end of the day, you are going to have to accept that some women, WANT to take a more traditional route in life, and they shouldn’t be belittled by somebody like yourself, who thinks it’s below them.

From Mark Headey

Emma Hadfield [Gifts For Her] is right to be irritated at the sexism of childrens toys, and adults presents, as well. However, her age and childless state did make me recall a comment made by my own niece only a couple of weeks ago.

When out in the village with her two children, an older girl and a still very young boy, she stated that there was definitely a difference between the sexes. Note, she didn’t say, as I would have preferred, there was a difference between her two children, but a generalised comment about all boys and all girls. The boy will play with things he can animate; such as cars, bricks etc, whereas the girl shows no interest in these things at all.

I could have regailed my niece with the research in which young mothers were given a 6 month “Jack” or “Jill” (in reality, the same baby) and told to look after them. Jack was encouraged to move and play with toy tools whereas Jill was comforted and quietened and given baby dolls.

Perhaps, even at the relatively young age my niece’s son is, the die has already been cast. However, try telling a parent that.

From Fiona Barham

Re: ‘Dreaming of a Pink Christmas’, Ros Ball, Dec 2006. My three year old niece this year asked Santa – and she was very specific about this – for Bob the Builder toys and a hard hat. Meanwhile, my 7 year old godson continues to emulate his mother with a miniature iron and ironing board every Sunday in front of the soap omnibuses. I have a firm feeling that although the marketing folks may be resolutely sticking to their prescribed ideas of gender, our children aren’t. I think that’s all that really matters in the long run.

From shelley

Re: Contraception and Control: Teenage Rights: i have to say that i fully agree with this article. the idea of giving teenagers a c card, as well as the morning after pill if needed, is an excellent one. if more schools joined this school and realised that teenagers will have sex whether people agree or disagree with them i think we wouldnt have as many teenage pregnancies as we do. it is just a case of trying to prevent rather than have to take further measures.

From Rich Pitoniak

Re: X-Men: The Last Stand: i agree Ratner Penn Kinberg and Fox destroyed x-men, x-men 3 made no damn sense to me at all i hated it very much.

From amanda hughes

Re: He’s Just Not That Into You: I have just been on a date with a guy and at the end of it he dropped me off at home and asked me to all him – giving me his number. I rang him from the car and said – there you have my number now too, you can call me as well. things got a little heated on our date and I texted him to say I was normally a good girl wink wink. He texted me back saying I was wonderful xx. So far so good. I did feel bad about letting things go a little too far and everything i have ever read / heard regarding “le the man do the chasing” flooded into my head and I waited for his call the next day. nothing happened. I panicked and felt like I should have waited until (I think) the third date on which I am allowed to brush my hand against his accidentally or other such rubbish. We have a xmas works do coming up and I bit the bullet and invited him. He sounded really pleased to “finally” hear from me and is coming.

I loved your article, it really made me laugh. I am not a woman trapped in the dark age and dammit I would rather know if you’re not that into me than sit around crocheting waiting for you not to call. And I totally agree, if a guy has a problem with you calling him then it’s not goin to be too long before he’s expecting his socks washed and his dinner on the table. Ok, a bit harsh but I believe in equal opportunity and if I want to call a man then I will and men need to get used to that because all us poor girls feel the same way. Your disclaimer at the end was also most amusing!

From Joanne

Thanks for the ‘War Of Words‘ article, the use of the word ‘slut’ has been bothering me for a long time. My friends all know that I don’t mind swearing at all, but that ‘slag’, ‘slut’, ‘slapper’ etc always make me angry. I feel it implies that the more people a woman sleeps with, the less she is worth, which seems to me such a mediaeval concept. The word is also so divisive to women – and how can we ever make any progress if we are all jealous and resentful towards each other? Reclaiming ‘slut’ is a good start, and while we’re at it can we get rid of that rediculous term ‘man-whore’?

From Athene

Re: Women Are Not in Fashion: I found this article so comforting, I thought I was alone in reading Vogue and simultaneously longing for the clothes and feeling depressed about the scary tinyness of everyone in there. However, it must be remembered that most of the time it is no the men forcing these two stereotypes on us, but other women. It makes you question the nature of female solidarity, sometimes it seems more like female sadism.

From lindsey

Article comment on Women Are Not in Fashion: Hi, I would just like to say a few things about this article and make some

general comments on what I think of fashion. I firstly have to say that it made some points that I agree with i.e. that the looks you talk about stick thin or sex object are a way of undermining women, but I really think that any look no matter what it is would do the same thing if it is portrayed as a fashion as we are all different and have the right to have our own look and keep it for as many seasons as we want..

I myself do not choose to follow fashion or read fashion magazines because I think that fashion takes away the right to individuality and prevents women from getting together a wardrobe of things they like. It was not long ago that everyone was wearing pink and now it appears to have gone out of fashion. I have only ever had one pink thing in the last 5 years and it is a t-shirt with a pink maze on the front. I did not wear it much when it was in but I intend to now! I often think about where all these pink items are and how much money was spent on them for most of them to be just wasted fashion is probably bad for the environment aswell.

I really think that fashion should be completely got rid of and that lots of different things should be made allowing people to choose things that suit there life style. I do lots of walking and like been active all year round, so I wear things that are practical for being outdoors, but I also get too hot easy so wear a jacket with a t-shirt under most of the winter (im a student at present) I could be classed as a tomboy in some ways as I do not place restrictions on myself. I never wear heels as these would not be practical for my lifestyle and think that most of the fashions aimed at women limit there ability to be active.

I also think things like makeup, fancy hair styles make women less likely to walk somewhere or to exercise in any other way. it takes me 1 hour or more to walk to uni and people I know tell me that they do not even have time to eat in a morning by the time that they have got ready i.e. make up, hair. I think that the main reason why many women get over weight or go on extreme diets is because society has a problem with them being active but at the same time wants them to be thin. I also want to comment on how I view thinness. I think there are two types of thinness there is the starved thinness which leads to weakness, slowing of the metabolism and feeling cold all the time, nutritional deficiencies, and there is the leanness that results from exercising, having a fast metabolism, moving about and I think that this type of thinness is an healthy none oppressed type and I think it is this type of metabolic thinness it a more free ideal then the starved ideal because movement is a way of expressing ones self.

I am not saying that there is anything wrong with been bigger but many of the people I know who are overweight have problems like high blood pressure, joint pain and are restricted in the things they can do, I think that the reason why some women overeat is the same as what causes some women to go on extreme diets it is restriction in society. when I have gone to one particular gym near me I have noticed every time that when females of all age ranges between 16-40 have asked the instructor for a program HE has always focused on giving them

exercises that tone the lower body and made the assumption that weight loss and toned thighs is what they are there for. I just made a point of telling him that I exercise for cardiovascular fitness, and for my brain also the metabolic boost means full fat cheese, pizza, crisps, topped with normal cholesterol levels, reduced chance of type 2 diabetes! . Maybe not all gyms are like this but many probably are.

the point I am trying to make here is that everything a woman tries to do someone somewhere has to in some way restrict how she does it even if she sticks to here so called natural role of

motherhood she still gets the blame for everything that goes wrong. I am not saying that all males are responsible for all these things I am saying that society as a whole and capitalism is. I think but many probably don’t agree that we are living in too settled times at the present, I do not mean peaceful times! By settled I mean there are not very many political young people who are willing to stand up and point out inequalities. I can remember when I was growing up in the 90’s there was a lot more talk of feminism, liberation and changing things amongst women. Now all I hear is weight, fashon, boobs and handbags. I also see many occasions where women are oppressive to each other and push ideas of beauty on each other, things like blonds are stupid (oh and why are fair haired women ‘blondes’ while faired haired men are men with

blonde hair, and why does a dark haired man never get called a brunette?), she’s thin I bet she does not eat, she looks like a man, slag, plain, bad mother and selfish to women who choose not to have children….. The list goes on are regularly said by women about or sometimes to other women.

it appears to me that there is a growing antifeminist culture developing in the uk that does not hold the same views that were present in the past (motherhood as a womens only role) but instead has (women as primary consumer for the fashion industry, dieting industry, cosmetic industry and also as mother, worker, homemaker I would also like to add sex object to my list but I still thing there is a taboo in this society about women enjoying sex.

From Fiona Green

Re: “don’t cha wish pop was more empowering?” I too am confused about the new embracing of Burlesque. I guess I’ve see a few Lesbian nights and some other cabaret forms but this “performative sexuality” (seen in music clips and burlesque shows) as I’ve heard it referred to by other writers seems such a long way away from good role models, good sex, contentment and communication between the sexes. Thanks for your article.

From Katie Marie

Don’t Cha Wish Pop Was More Empowering? Not only is music about message, in order to get out there you have to appeal to an audience, wether it be through fashion and dance moves aswell as lyrical and music content in the video. Music is art, as is fashion and as is dance. I wholey support artists such as Beyonce who not only have a strong message for the females, but also as a lady who isn’t ashamed to express her sexuality through fashion as well as lyrics. We musn’t forget that maybe she faces a geographical factor in that her country might be so hot that she wants to wearhotpants in order not to sweat. I congratulate Miss Knowles, she is an assett to the female gender.

From Jenny

Collette’s Paper Dolls (Kerrang) article struck a chord (no pun intended). I used to play drums in a couple of bands, gender wasn’t an issue. I sang in one band, gender was a huge issue. As was sex. I also gave up on Kerrang years ago. I was one of the first acolytes with issue 1 and bought it religiously for several years. But tis true, tis very sexist. Like just about every other magazine on newsagents shelves, including all the so-called women’s ones. I still listen to “sexist” rock metal (except the likes of Cannibal Corpse who just go too far). Rob Zombie and Cradle of Filth, but also Motörhead, Purple and Sabbath from my days as proper headbanger in the seventies. I’m also into Rage Against the Machine in a BIG way. Metal Hammer magazine I have found to be marginally better, but rock and metal is too far gone down the “chicks are cool” road to be rescued now I fear. Take in any rock night at your local club to see what I mean, and a lot of the women/girls seem to like the labels to,

which is even more disconcerting. The UK needs a Kathleen Hanna to make it big, really big. Oh by the way, my girlfriend likes Vixen, I however will stick with Rockbitch.

From leanne

In response to the Kerrang! article, I am the lead guitarist in an all girl metal band, and completely agree with the comments made by everyone in response to the kerrang post. However I think we are overlooking a few vital things here, and believe me it pains me to say it but there is a definate lack of very talented female metal musicians out there to actual write an article about. The most recent ‘extreme’ artists that have come to light are still playing very simple songs, masked by synths with a woman warbling over the top of it all. Yes women are good at singing, what really takes some balls is getting onstage and playing something complex, hard hitting and giving some vocals that kick ass, not that you’d let your grandmother listen to!

The problem here is that I think women collectively get too comfortable in simplicity and dont have the passion and drive to push theirselves in music. I of course do not speak on behalf of everyone, there are currently 5 members in my band, and we all push ourselves to the musical limit on a weekly basis. I also feel that we are allowing women to become the victim here when a lot of the time the frontwomen of modern metal bands and such allow theirselves to be portrayed for thier beauty rather than what they can do, maybe Tarrie B doesnt have a recent interview because she told them where to stick it? I certainly would and I definately know our bassist would too :)

I think what is missing here is a serious role model that brings inspiration and new ideas to the metal/rock scene rather than women fronting bands that, taking away thierselves, would leave something drab and unlistenable. so instead of saying lets see more women in metal/rock, I say lets see more women with inspiration, drive and some kick ass music that challenges the current scene, not just whether we can play.

From Richard

In response to the article Feminists Are Sexist: Yes I can see the flawed perspective of calling feminist sexist. Anytime someone is more interested in the demeaning of another group by way of slander, any plausible point of contention becomes moot. It is lost in the incouragable childish nature of the act itself. Yet this must extend to both sides of the fence. Yes, men are raised to react a certain way emotionally and psychologically to stimuli, as are women. It is the bane of modern society. I also agree that it may seem haughty that a man should expect a feminist to work to aid him in his own struggles.

What I would like to point out though, is that by not aiding, feminist are only furthering the propegation of the “patriarchal” stereotype. Men exist in a void in the modern world. It is a

place where the expressions of their fathers is considered an unfathomable disgrace, because of its biggoted nature. Yet to react in a more emotionally constructive way, harbors the possibilities of psychological distress to them, due to the social discourse which highlights the very dynamic that causes this issue. Young men today are being held accountable for the actions of their fathers, but have not been given the supportive structure to facilitate the changes that society is asking of them. We can not be both the strong silent type, yet also the emotionally in touch individual. The notions are in direct conflict. The act of feminist working towards goals that help women is in no way to be looked down on. Yet, to express the idea that it is not wrong for them to be only concerned with the issues of women is a corruption of the very ideas which make the movement strong.

How can feminisms goal, to rid the world of the stereotypical mode which causes the plight of women, men, races and sexual orientations, be achieved by only working to better the lives of women. I feel that until we close the gap between men and women and quite looking at our differences, we can not become a unified force that will change the societal norms. That means thinking in terms of people. It means thinking in terms of not only how does this better the lives of women, but also help men to understand, be educated and yes be supported. In all the years feminism has existed it has never attained its ultimate goal, why? Because the truth behind

the mater is, until men are part of the solution, part of the consideration and the lone view of Women only is put aside, then it can not be attained. We can change things faster supporting each other than we ever could by working apart. I know that some things were said in aggravation or anger, but until those feelings are dealt with in a more equal arena than to blame and point fingers, you can not simply imply that your right and the emailers are wrong. Thank you for your time.

From Graham

When I was 15 I was sent to work down a coal mine…(actually I was 15 & 3 months)….I was sent to the coal face almost immediately (although I was offered a place at uni but my mum & dad could’nt afford the daily bus fares)…After 10 years on the coal face I worked like a trojan to get into polite society…Ended up being a guest lecturer in all the unies….Met more intelligent men down the pit than I EVER met in the unis..Not more educated..but more intelligent by far!!!!

I’m suffering for my unrequested start in life but I fought like fck to give my wife & kids a good life. There were no women in the coal mine….They really did’nt want to be imancipated under the circumstances.

Go out on to you’re street & find something that a woman created or concieved, or invented.

Was my misery for nothing else but to be mocked by a bunch of disgrunteled dykes.

Go up in the space shuttle & look down on the earth….What difference did any woman make????

Take you’re time…….None….Absolutely none!!!!

I agree that deserving women should be equal & even superior if they do it on merit. In a society that favours the weak I understand why you have the ardacity to talk about equality but you really must start ‘trying’ & stop complaining.

From Mike the Prick

Re: Taboo For Who? Cunt – It’s such a neat word and your comments are perfect. In most peoples minds it’s the evilest of all words. Big diferance between calling someone a fucking prick or a fucking cunt. The first is sort of angry, and the next is you hate the person. Like our prime minister for example. That w/b cunt. But our mayor is only a prick. I love the English language (It’s the only subject I passed in schooll) And I like your site.

From megan

Re: Why It’s Time for the Battle of the Sexes to End: really helped with my sociology coursework – great article with a tint of humour, thanks

From vicky macgregor

hi. just been checking out your site after the recent events happening in my town (ipswich). the newspapers, police, etc are telling women here not to go out alone after dark; so the old (ha!) curfew is back in place with a vengeance in this town. how i wish we were instead given the message that women should be out en masse as you say ‘reclaiming the night!’. well, thanks for the thoughts and i shall carry on reading up all the info i’ve just found here. cheers and good wishes all.

From Lyn Price

Re: Declaration of Independence.

Good on you Abby for writing such an brilliant article. Having now been on my own for 5 years, I am often perceived as some saddo who must be so lonely I am about to throw myself under the next train coming into my home town. Why oh why do others see you in this light? I think personally a lot of them are actually envious of the status I enjoy. I have had people say to me, but you must want to meet someone and settle down, poor you, errr no actually I do not!

And what the hell is settling down? What I have to stop suddenly enjoying myself, stop having a mind, become answerable to a man, who will no doubt tell me what to do, when to do it and in what order. Okay that is probably a bit outlandish, because I am not a man hater. On the contrary, in fact I do truly enjoy the company of a man, however I enjoy his company when I choose to. I have many friends from all walks of life and both genders, so I am never lonely. But hey I do like to be alone, how weird is that then!

I have long since given up explaining myself to others, who “pity” me. I am a well grounded, self appreciating woman, who travels, revels in life itself, works damned hard and plays even harder sometimes.

Having gone through two marriages, both debilitating, I now refuse to listen to anyone who believes that I am a failure. No I am not, I have emerged from them and learnt from them.

You fall into one of two categories here, you are either so damaged bitter and twisted that you are not prepared to trust another man as long as you live, or you just don’t cut the mustard and should do more to attract the opposite sex.

Well for someone who has personally been on approximately 100 dates in the last five years, I can honestly say I am a very happy woman walking in my shoes. How many partnered woman can say the same???

From Melanie

Re: Lament for Sisterhood. I totally agree with you over what you have said. When a lady of 62 years had a baby there was an out cry by some so called feminists who think it is men playing with women’s bodies. Men are always playing with women’s bodies, if they hadn’t half the female population would not have reached 50, as a hundred years ago the average life expectancy of a woman was 49. Some religious people are against women having children after the menopause and yet in the bible Mary’s cousin Elizabeth was old and barren when she had John, “Then Abraham fell upon his face and laughed, and said in his heart, shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah that is ninety years old bear?” Bible ,Genesis 17:17 and Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son, Bible ,Genesis, 21:2. So we also have religious hypocrits which makes me really angry.

When a dirty old man like Des’O’ Connnor has a baby at 72, he gets a slap on his back and he is congradulated. A so called feminist journalist writing in the ‘Guardian’ felt it was ok because he had a much younger wife, so basically these people think that because a man can naturally have children late, that it is ok to be a dirty old man and father beyond credibility, but not ok for a woman because it is not natural, which is very strange as we are living in a very un-natural world, so basically women have to chose between career or motherhood, and spend their youth having children and then end up having a long lonely old age.

Yes, women are more judgemental of other women. I think if all women complained about the menopause then scientist would have been able to stop it by now, and women would be able to enjoy late motherhood without stigma and can concentrate on their career and settle down and have children at a much later age. I want to quot what phyilida Brown said in the New Scientist 1993: “Removing the pressure to become a mother before middle age is potentially as revolutionary a step for women as the right to vote or equal pay”. and she is so right, but it is women who often stop progression for other women. Yes as you were talking about in your article, the childbearing years which is a word I really don’t like because I think we should be able to have children as long as men can. WE can have children years before we need to, at say 12 years old, up until 52 on average but after 45 women tend to have a lot of problems concieving. Our physically body hasn’t kept up with all the other changes in our society. It is a shame that women are not united in the same way that men are, as you said there are fathers rights groups and there is the gay lobby , but there is no such lobby for women to be able to have children at a later age. The strangest thing of all, it is often men who are more supportive towards women’s rights than women.

Women play the games that men set, for an example there is a Miss world, but no Master world for us women. What is funny it does say in the bible ” Like a pig with a gold ring in its snout is a beautiful women who shows no discretion, Proverbs 11:22, so religious people can stop Miss and I would love to help them there.

From Joanna

In last month’s comments, “Trent” said:

“leave mags like zoo alone they are showing what a WORKING person on a site should read”

Oh well thanks for enlightning me. I always thought builders were useless lumps so you’ve just confirmed what I suspected all along.

“so you are all lez and fat, also you have never had a man in your pathetic so called life”

That’s funny. I wasn’t aware you kept tabs on the millions of people who enjoy this site. Must keep you occupied. And are these the same lesbians you lust over in your magazines? Funny that.

“feminism is a load of shit i have seen better in my loo, stop slaggin’ off good looking, fine and just damn right sexy women like lucy pinder u fuckin’ ulgy slags”

Well golly gosh, never in my life had I heard such an eloquent and persuasive argument.

Next time you fancy leaving abusive messages on intelligent, thought-provoking sites such as this, perhaps you’d prefer using your single brain cell to drool over your porn collection instead as quite frankly, you’re one sad person.

From Alicia

Thanks for this site! I found it recently and have spent a few very interesting and stimulating hours reading through it. Good to know there are still other women who don’t qualify their identification as feminists.

From joe

The incredables review…


Feminists are lame hey maybe you could go find womens opression under a rock as well.

From Sonia Smith

Re: Fairy Tales Are Grimm: While I agree that fairy tales are generally sexist, place too much emphasis on Prince Charming and beauty etc, I disagree with the idea that they are also dangerous because they foster a belief in the irrational – in magic and non-existent beings. Perhaps we should take note of Terry Pratchett’s thoughts on this matter – that by learning to believe in the small things, such as the Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas, we are paving the way for children to believe in the big things, such as justice, something that we in the women’s movement strive for every day.

From Anja Hoffmann

This is about the article Fairy Tales Are Grimm by Dina Jose. I’ve read your article and started thinking about the fairy tales I read as a child afterwards. But I think that especially about “magic solving all problems” in fairy tales, you’re quite wrong – as far as I can remember it was usually the magic that created the problems (curses and so on) and hard work, courage and perseverance solving them.

I’ll post my thoughts about it after New Year (as I’ve got a “no negative things between Christmas and New Year”-policy at the moment), so if you want to check it out, you’ll find it at around January 3rd.

Sorry if my English is a bit faulty or strange sometimes, but I’m German.

From Helena

Just a quick message to say that I am getting the feeling that women’s studies/women’s history and feminism is being further marginalised because, having moved the Silver Moon women’s bookshop into Foyles, Foyles have now closed it down completely!

From Andrew Aparon

Why Men Suck: And the Women Who Have To: This article is silly? Its full of the usual feminist/liberal claptrap of inequality,exploitation etc. Whose is being exploited here? The man who parts

with his hard earn cash or the girl who hops from one guy to another collecting their cash?

It’s called trade. She advertises, she set her price and there is an exchange. How is different from the diamond rings, dinners, houses and cars men buy for their girlfriends etc?

From tommy

Why Men Suck: And the Women Who Have To: Has it ever occurred to you that your negative, castrating, critical attitude toward Men, in general, is a complete turn-off? The real reason you are upset is because you believe you are more entitled then Cambodian Women, because you assume that being a white woman puts you into the stature of Queen Bee. When a man chooses a more sexually desirable woman you can’t handle it. Get over yourself

From Julie, Canada

A comment about Victoria Dutchman-Smith’ s article: Are you married? If not, why not?

Thank you very much for your article. I searched the Internet so much to find something like that, some words that describe what I feel inside. Unfortunatly, I am in a relationship with a traditional men who believes that marriage is a strong life-long commitment, even if I try to explain that such commitment exist OUTSIDE marriage. I am a very liberal French-Canadian and I grew up in a very liberal environment (none of my three brothers are married, but likely they are really happy with their long time partners and children). I wish my choices and the way I want to live my life, away from this patriarcal institution, was more accepted in our societies.

From Paul Brown

I agree with Jess McCabe (and Joan Smith) that we should follow the Swedish model and make the buying of sex a crime, and regard the girls and women working in the sex industry as victims of crime. I also believe that we should regard all trafficked girls and women as victims of rape.

A few months ago i had a letter in The Independent advocating the use of ‘mini-brothels’ as an interim solution and as an alternative to ‘managed zones’. This is because I felt that mini-brothels could act as a temporary place of realtive safety where the women would be accessible to nurses, social workers, drug workers etc, and where they are housed rather than living in hostels.

However, I have shifted my opinion during the coverage of the Suffolk murders and now realise that managed brothels would simply act as a stepping stone towards acceptance of buying sex and ultimately towards legalisation.

What I now very strongly feel is that there must be a move towards making the buying of sex an imprisonable offence, and that we have to publish the names and addresses of offenders in the press. I would also advocate an educational aspect to any punishment, in which men would learn about the levels of trauma and abuse suffered by women in the sex industry, the abusive backgrounds most have come from, and the fact that the majority have some form of post-traumatic stress disorder comparable to victims of torture. The same can be said for girls and women used in the porn industry, another issue that has to be addressed as it slowly becomes more socially accecptable.