Learning Feminism

July 24, 2009

My mother’s daughter

Filed under: Uncategorized — Joce Claire @ 4:06 am

My mother, whom I love and who is awesome in many ways, knows I’ve been reading a lot of feminist theory. She took some old books a male sociology professor colleague was getting rid of, and gave me the ones she decided were somehow related to feminism.

These are the books by mom thought her feminist daughter might enjoy:

A Group Called Women: Sisterhood and Symbolism in the Feminist Movement by Joan Cassell

Ok, probably not going to read it, footnotes show more than half the authors cited are male, but yes, feminist book, success.

You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation by Deborah Tannen, Ph.D.

See, women like to talk about feelings, and men don’t. It’s almost like we’re from different planets or something! Someone should write a book about that.

Callgirl by Jeanette Angell 

Some kind of semi-autographical and super sexxxy story of a woman’s fabulous and sexxxy adventures in prostitution. I’m getting liberated just thinking about it!

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7 Comments »

  1. Made a huge mistake buying a book. The title looked so wonderful (cannot remember it exactly something like Woman Its ok to take care of you) but when I brought it home I noticed it was written by a man. Upon further investigation the chapters were all blaming and shaming… Don’t judge a book by it’s cover indeed, pay attention to the details and always read some of it!

    Comment by aladydivine — September 13, 2009 @ 4:58 am | Reply

  2. my mom is clueless about it too…but shes interested in it, in the sense that she loves me, and she wants to know “what ive been up to.” which means, she wants me to explain it all to her over dinner, and she will interrupt me alot and tell me what i am saying doesnt jive with her experience.

    no shit, mom. i started telling her to look it up herself. that was even before the “internets” when feminists and critical race theorists etc started saying the same thing to all manner of trolls, concern trolls, detractors, and baby-fems.

    shes also the one that bought “men are from mars, women are from venus” and said if she had “known all that” before, she might still be married to my dad. thank god for small favors, right? ugh. thanks for the read.

    Comment by factcheckme — September 14, 2009 @ 7:52 pm | Reply

    • Ha, thanks for the comment. The weird part is, my mom shouldn’t be ignorant of feminism, as she worked at Planned Parenthood in the ’70s and has always identified as a feminist.

      Comment by Joce Claire — September 14, 2009 @ 8:03 pm | Reply

      • yeah that is weird. i wonder why she thinks of herself as a feminist? i know there are those who believe that there are as many “kinds” of feminism as there are women who self-identify as feminists. but i disagree. there has to be some sort of cohesive movement, and i think the goal has to be to advance all women as a group. this mars/venus stuff certainly does not help acheive that goal (case in point: keeping women married to assholes they would be better off divorcing). among the many, many antifeminist sentiments in those books.

        Comment by factcheckme — September 14, 2009 @ 8:22 pm | Reply

        • She’s a feminist because she’s pro-choice and thinks women should be able to go to college and be doctors or whatever? I don’t know, she’s kind of apolitically liberal. And her relationship with my dad is definitely a patriarchal one — she worked 4 jobs to put him through grad school, built her life around his career and his needs and raising his children and cooking for him and cleaning up after him, and he doesn’t like her to spend money and refers to everything as “my money” and “my house” and seems to think his success is 100% because of his own hard work.

          I am actually working on a blog post about relating to heterosexual women. Because my mom comes to me and complains about my dad, and I point out things that aren’t fair to her, and she feels better, but what good does it really do? She’s not going to leave him, she’s not going to join some revolutionary movement, and while I certainly want her to feel listened to and respected and all, that’s not going to liberate women.

          Comment by Joce Claire — September 14, 2009 @ 8:42 pm

  3. She…built her life around his career and his needs and raising his children and cooking for him and cleaning up after him, and he doesn’t like her to spend money and refers to everything as “my money” and “my house” and seems to think his success is 100% because of his own hard work.

    This reminds me SO much of my mother’s relationship with my father- just substitute graduate school with my father’s mental health problems and their various negative repercussions on our lives and you’ve got it in one. A few days ago he went into a rage about nothing, smashing furnitures and crockery, and referred to his salary as his money. It just makes me so mad. I’ve kind of grown up having to co-parent my younger brother and support my mother and that shit just doesn’t fly with me. My mother has a wage-paying “unskilled” job (she’s a housemaid) and my father has a middle-class public service job…but my father’s working day ends the moment he walks in the door. My mother’s life is consumed with unpaid labour that never ends and yet she’s economically dependent on my father- in part because she stopped work to care for his children, so even if she wanted to leave she feels like she can’t. I look forward to reading your blog post, Joce Claire, because I need some fresh ideas about relating to her, too.

    Comment by redmegaera — September 18, 2009 @ 12:25 am | Reply

    • I am still working on it, just need to take down some good quotes from the “Heterosexuality: A Feminism & Psychology Reader” book I bought. The best parts of the book are actually the essays written by lesbian women. In the meantime I have a new post (finally!) I’m putting up in a minute.

      Comment by Joce Claire — September 18, 2009 @ 5:48 am | Reply


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