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Jan 20 2007

Parents of today: sex up those babies!

offensive_babywear.jpg
What the moron’s baby is wearing this season. Originally uploaded by Jenny at Bombadee’s Garden.

Think your infant girl might not be exuding quite enough sex-appeal? No problem. Afraid she might somehow manage to fly in the face of convention and grow up unencumbered with the cold, crippling despair of self-hatred? Got ya covered.

I Blame the Patriarchy’s Senior Sexbot Babywear Analyst, Jenny at Bombadee’s Garden, gamely braved the stench of deep-fried polyester and the mournful vibes of the dashed dreams of Chinese sweatshop slaves yesterday to snap photos of a couple of infant wunzies at Target (a “wunzy,” I discovered late in life, is a pastel-colored infant garment made primarily out of snaps designed specifically to make novice babysitting spinster aunts cry).

The Target wunzies — or as Target quaintly euphemizes, “message bodysuits” — in accordance with the rule of law governing cheap crap from China, are visited with a plague of slogans. The slogans are intended to be humorous. However, like any slogan appearing in a cheapcrap department store catering to the brainwashed throng’s voracious appetite for the vulgar, they fail to distinguish themselves as prominent examples of comedic endeavor. One of them asks “Does this diaper make my butt look big?” The other reads “Worth the wait.”

Here we will pause a moment, while you struggle to comprehend the dizzying forces of cultural toxicity that compel a woman to swaddle a helpless infant in a gloomy, jizz-encrusted joke; to contemplate the utter impossibility that the same garments were ever intended for use on male babies; and to allow a little time for your subsequent fit of melancholy to subside. May I suggest

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

lite musical interlude?

Where the wunzies fail as jokes, they succeed as instruments of barbarism. Unless your head is up your big diapered butt, you are not likely to require much in the way of evidence that most American parents view children not as sentient beings, but as insensate blobs to be oppressed at their own egocentric discretion and ‘molded’ according to their own ill-considered whims. Were such evidence to become necessary, the repellent habit of turning babies into pink billboards shilling for pornaliciosity would certainly meet the requirements. I’m gonna go ahead and call this child abuse.

It once sparked a smidge of controversy when I, a tiresome Dawkinsite of the first water, lemmingesquely seconded his suggestion that imbuing kids with godbag nonsense and calling it “truth” — i.e. giving kids a “religious upbringing” — is a form of child abuse, so before you lambaste me for effecting a comparison between cozy cotton jersey T-shirts and physical beatings, let me clarify my position.

It should be counted among the many black marks against me that the patriarchally-imposed oppression of children, as a corollary to women’s oppression, is not a topic I’ve often touched on here at the blog. Fortunately, a recent re-reading of Firestone’s The Dialectic of Sex has reminded me of a forgotten concept central to feminist revolutionary theory: we can never be liberated ourselves while our kids remain oppressed. ‘Childhood’ is every bit a patriarchal construct, as much as is the bafflingly unreviled ‘femininity’. The two, in fact, are one and the same. Here is Firestone on the integration of children into a post-patriarchal society:

Fulfilled: the concept of childhood has been abolished, children having full political, economic, and sexual rights, their educational/work activities no different from those of adults. During the few years of their infancy we have replaced the psychologically destructive genetic “parenthood” of one or two arbitrary adults with a diffusion of the responsibility for the physical welfare over a larger number of people. The child would still form intimate love relationships, but instead of developing close ties with a decreed ‘mother’ and ‘father’, the child might now form those ties with people of his own choosing, of whatever age or sex. Thus all adult-child relationships will have been mutually chosen – equal, intimate relationships free of material dependencies. Correspondingly, though children would be fewer, they would not be monopolized, but would mingle freely throughout the society to the benefit of all, thus satisfying that legitimate curiosity about the young with is often called the reproductive ‘instinct’.

In this sterling, sun-kissed world, putting a “Does this diaper make my butt look big” shirt on a baby would exhibit all the tasteful élan of so costuming a Terry Schiavo.

Vulgarity is the soul of patriarchy. Patriarchy begins at home.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Incidentally, at the instigation of our own B. Dagger Lee, interested parties, if any, will be doing a sort of group reading of the aforementioned seminal treatise, as well as of Firestone’s only other published work, a collection of short stories in the shape of what 18th century novelists liked to call “a slender volume,” entitled Airless Spaces. Discussion of same will commence here at the blog on or about March 1st. No pressure, though. If it turns out that nobody has bothered to read the books, I’ll just make fun of BDSM instead.

138 comments

  1. thebewilderness

    Blech, I farfeled up the sum.

  2. magickitty

    I like pithy sayings on baby shirts (the above examples clearly don’t count) and when my son was born I spent a fair bit of time cruising “hip” babywear sites. There were a few that made me furious; “My daddy can beat up your daddy,” “Pimp,” and the endless extreeeeeeeeme sports crap. Yuck.

  3. George Smiley

    I thought fattening them up was the point. The flesh is so much more tender that way, especially if you brine them first.

  4. Ann

    The “butt” shirt is appalling. The second, “worth the wait,” could be just a misunderstanding. Babies take nine months to get here. For some women, it can be a difficult nine months. But then they get here, and it was worth it.

    Thank you for that interlude.

  5. uccellina

    Ann – I hope you’re right. Any word on whether “worth the wait” comes in blue?

  6. Twisty

    Even if you’re willing to give the ‘message bodysuit’ company the benefit of the doubt, there is still the problem of the diminished dignity of the kid, which dignity is in this case traded for cheap jokey cornball sentiment any way you slice it. It is second nature in our culture to view kids as subhuman, such that even George Smiley, he of the rapist-torture-isn’t-funny school of thought, thinks it’s OK to joke about killing them for food.

  7. Chris

    I took “worth the wait” to mean the wait for the kid to get here, too. I suppose it is equivocal, though.

    I read The Dialectic of Sex about 2 1/2 years ago, and had completely forgotten Firestone’s vision of post-patriarchal child raising. And I’d forgotten it with good reason. While it certainly highlights his points about child raising, it’s also unrealistic in any cultural context.

  8. Twisty

    The pervasive notion that any reality other than the the reality of a society founded on male dominance is “unrealistic” is the main reason revolution never gets any legs.

    Shulamith Firestone, by the way, is not a dude, and I regret that your recollection of her book omits one of her central arguments: that, until the industrial revolution created the nuclear family, many aspects of the “cultural context” described in the quoted paragraph actually did exist more or less globally. Kids, for example, were not sentimentalized. Neither were they isolated in tiny family units or segretated in jail-like schools.

  9. PhysioProf

    I have just finished Firestone’s book, and am looking forward to the discussion thread.

    Her social, psychological, and cultural analysis really rang true. I especialy appreciated her discussion of childhood, and her conclusion that the best thing adults can do for children is ensure that their physical needs are satisfied and then otherwise leave them be to explore the world as they see fit.

    One important question for me, is whether one can conclude that feminist revolution as she conceived it is still possible today, now that it appears likely that the technological optimism she based revolution on was misplaced.

  10. Chris

    -his… painfully ironic, I know.

    Anyway, I had started to write something about Dawkins, and then stopped, and now I can’t resist starting again. I suspect that, ultimately, your reasons for treating religious education/indoctrination as child abuse, and Dawkins, ultimately diverge quite dramatically. Dawkins, whatever props he may give to feminism, has no desire to stop indoctrinating children. He just wants to replace religion with scientism. And anyone who thinks that science, and its driving force, technology, are lesser tools of domination than religion is deluding him or herself.

  11. Megan

    This is related in my mind to the Oprahs of the world wanting to provide underprivileged little girls with beauty salons.

    a) “I didn’t feel accepted as a baby and didn’t feel desirable as a teen.”
    b) “I want my daughter to have what I didn’t.”
    c) “I confuse accepting someone with forcing them to conform with objectificating standards in order to MAKE them be acceptable. If only someone had made me be acceptable when I was a baby, then I too could feel desirable.”

  12. Rainbow Girl

    Just when I thought babies could not be made any more obnoxious…this is living proof that children should neither be seen, nor heard. Why must dumb people breed?

    I have to say though, if I ever have a baby I would likely clothe it in the “stop talking to me like I’m a fucking idiot” t-shirt. But, that’s a far cry from the Playboy for Babies fashions.

  13. Twisty

    Chris, science is merely inquiry. Technology is not inherently partriarchal, but of course may be mistaken as such since it is so rarely implemented in the cause of liberation. Hell, a pencil is technology.

    Neither have I read anything in Dawkins to suggest that he supports indoctrinating children with anything.

  14. Twisty

    Physioprof, why do you say that Firestone’s “technological optimism was misplaced”? I ask because it has seemed to me that the only thing preventing technology from befriending the oppressed is politics.

  15. Pinko Punko

    I saw some equally bad ones that splashed various “cute” sayings about “boys are gross” and “I hate my sister.” People will view kids as toys, to be played with, to be toyed with, to be used as leverage in some crazy relationship, to be resented, to be controlled. It is soul crushing, really.

    Marketers know that reinforcing stereotypes (or creating them) makes their jobs easier, but since marketers are competing with other marketers, the one-upspersonship leads us down the garden path to hell.

  16. Jen H

    The most horrifying thing in this genere is the MILF onesie. An infant, wearing a creeper designating mom as a fuckable unit. Great. Who on earth would put that on their child?

    http://tinyurl.com/2fldtx

  17. scr

    Well Jeebus wept! Just when I think I have seen the pinnacle of tastlessness something comes along to trump it! Naturally IBtP.

  18. PhysioProf

    I agree that technology is not intrinsically either oppressive or liberating. What I meant is that her optimism about advances in reproductive and cyberbnetics technologies per se seem very pollyannish at this point.

    We will not be growing babies outside the female womb in the foreseeable future, and almost certainly never, nor will robotics technologies ever be eliminating human labor as a foundation of society. It is understandable–given when she wrote the book–that she would consider these things possible.

    So my question is whether feminist revolution as Firestone envisions it will be possible in a society that still is based on human labor and the gestation of human babies by women?

  19. scratchy888

    Well I do think that anything at all is probably better than contemporary systems of education wherein parental possession of their darlings (and consequent interference in the teaching process) causes the stupid idiots which surround us today.

  20. Twisty

    PhysioProf, I guess what I mean is, what is the basis for your statement that human embryos must forever and always be gestated in adult female humans? It’s been my observation that when enough people want a thang bad enough, they figure out a way to get it. Not that I’m super in-the-know, biology-wise, but I haven’t seen any non-sociopolitical developments in the scant 30 years since the book was first published that absolutely preclude the eventual implementation of the theories. I mean, I just read somewhere about a Melbourne biologist who has grown a fully-functional mouse breast in a petrie dish from a single stem cell.

    Of course, my sense of Firestone’s revolution as outlined is that it will be hundreds, if not thousands of years in the making. Plenty of time to figure out how to clone a free-standing human uterus. It has to be possible, because without it, women will always be prisoners of biology.

  21. Sasha

    I can’t deal with the sexualization of infants and the subsequent shock of societal beings amazed when some folks find them to be sexual beings and act on their (vile) impulses.

    Instead I’ll just say how much I will look forward to any and all discussion of two of the finest volumes, slim or not, in my library.

  22. PhysioProf

    “PhysioProf, I guess what I mean is, what is the basis for your statement that human embryos must forever and always be gestated in adult female humans?”

    As a working biological scientist, every day I bang up against the staggering complexity of even the simplest biological system. The intuitions I have developed over several decades of this daily experience suggest to me that viable human babies will never be gestated anywhere other than in female human beings. I also believe strongly that the sorts of experiments that would be required to even begin to explore the possibility of ex utero gestation would be grotesquely immoral.

    “It has to be possible, because without it, women will always be prisoners of biology.”

    Well, this is what I am wondering about. Is there a possible vision of radical feminist revolution that could occur even if male and female biological roles relating to reproduction are inescapable?

    BTW, I think just for fun you should try posing some long division problems in your anti-spam doohicky.

  23. PhysioProf

    “I mean, I just read somewhere about a Melbourne biologist who has grown a fully-functional mouse breast in a petrie dish from a single stem cell.”

    I am not specifically aware of this study, but these kinds of studies are always grossly oversold in the popular media. A “fully-functional mouse breast” would have to be capable of nourishing a mouse pup with milk. To put it mildly, I am skeptical that whatever breast tissue was grown in a petri dish from a stem cell was capable of producing milk that could nourish a mouse pup.

    I have colleagues who work at the cutting edge of tissue engineering, and that cutting edge is still a substantial way from growing functional organs in vitro, with the exception of sheets of skin. The thing about biology is that because it evolved over billions of years, pretty much every aspect of it is a totally crufty Rube-Goldbergian kludgefest involving vast numbers of distinct interlocking components, all of which are necessary for the functional outcome. These are not the sorts of systems that human beings are good at wrapping their minds around, let alone duplicating, or even controlling.

    I’m not saying none of this is possible. I just think that if it does happen, it will be so far in the future that it does not provide the basis for plausible improvement of anyone’s life who is alive right now. Whether that is the standard for revolutionary feminism is, of course, a separate question.

  24. Chris

    Twisty, technology is what the current cultural ideology wants it to be, and in a patriarchal/modern capitalist culture, it’s going to be a tool of domination.

    What Dawkins advocates is substituting “science and reason” for religious education. And by science and reason, he means a specific methodology (modeled, as best I can tell, on modern physics). This may not seem like indoctrination at first, but again, within the dominant culture, it will quickly become such. This is inevitable if it takes the place of religion in culture (that is, it becomes the dominant paradigm for explaining not only natural phenomena, but social and personal meaning).

  25. Twisty

    Since it is unfavorable to an immediate revolution, I am sorry to hear your professional opinion, PhysioProf, although it of course comes as no surprise. You are undoubtedly correct, alas.

    Which is one reason for my prediction that H. sapiens will extinct itself before it can figure out how to do anything more remarkable than copulate, eat, look at porn on the internet, and die.

    I wish I could remember the names of the mouse people. Their work had some tie-in to cancer research. Perhaps it was a hoax, like that South Korean stem cell scam in Science last year.

  26. Hawise

    There is a reason that we kept my son in all white onsies that first year. 1. He didn’t care. 2. The messes and stains are the same on a pale, unlettered garment and a fancified one. 3. If I won’t wear them, why should I impose them on him. He now has shirts with slogans but they are carefully monitored by his parents. Some of the available shirts are beyond vulgar and even those that aren’t have messages that I cringe at. If he cannot tell me what they mean to him in two sentences then I will not buy them for him. It seems a simple enough answer to obnoxious marketing.

  27. roamaround

    “anyone who thinks that science, and its driving force, technology, are lesser tools of domination than religion is deluding him or herself”

    Twisty, you got to this first and best, but I just have to add “What??!” Call me deluded, but science and technology don’t tell you how to act to prevent getting stoned to death and burning for all eternity. They are informative not prescriptive whereas religion is all about submission to (male) authority. Men have turned scientific ideas into ideologies (like Eugenics), but science itself can’t dominate anything. The history of religious domination on the other hand (if it hasn’t been chopped off), speaks for itself.

    I’m looking forward to the Firestone chat. As a warden (teacher) in a jail-like public school, I see the patriarchal conditioning of children daily. Don’t even get me started on the escalating militarization of urban schools! Since I’m talking to Texas, must note that football and its cheerleading corollary is just as bad, though. If you think those wunzies are appalling, try going to a homecoming “spirit” assembly with a decolonized mind…

  28. Ms Kate

    Hawise, I’m with you here. I ended up having two boys, but I didn’t want gendered clothing because it is wasteful when kids wear things only a few months at most anyways. The message ones? Bleh. They had tie-died stuff and stuff with sailboats and sunflowers and such, but no writing. Why pay extra when you can get a multipack of wunzies for the same money?

    Now my sons are 11 and 9, and both gag on almost all boy culture shirts. They go through the ones at Target and actively attack the messages on most of them. One likes masculine-cut shirts (polo shirts and such), but gags on sports. My older one loved pink and flowers when he was younger and now begs for thrift store trips so he can buy random things that are not gender coded. He even bought a pillow at IKEA on clearance that had a t-shirt on it with a “male” symbol. This clashes with his feminine looks (long eyelashes and long hair and big lips), but clarifies the situation to those who need their minds stretched. He has also been indulged in a Green Day shirt and a shirt that reads “It’s my brother’s fault” in modest times-roman script.

  29. PhysioProf

    “Which is one reason for my prediction that H. sapiens will extinct itself before it can figure out how to do anything more remarkable than copulate, eat, look at porn on the internet, and die.”

    The overwhelming majority of all biological species that have ever existed on the earth have become extinct. I am not aware of any compelling reason for thinking us to be an exception.

    I do, however, think human beings have done, and will continue to do, some remarkable things, both remarkably good and remarkably bad.

  30. Ginger Mayerson

    Twisty’s idea about gestation in artificial wombs isn’t so far out in orbit. There was an article in the Observer in 2002 about it and another in Pop Sci in 2005. I’ll put links, but the spam catcher will probably eat them. If you put “artificial womb” in Google, these articles are the first two links (or were for me).

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,648024,00.html
    http://www.popsci.com/popsci/futurebody/dc8d9371b1d75010vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html

    Next stop: Logan’s Run.

    I did a PubMed search on this as well and mostly came up with lawyers and medical ethicists worrying about gestation in artificial wombs. Ah well. I’m more interested in neural regeneration myself.

  31. Ginger Mayerson

    Twisty’s idea about gestation in artificial wombs isn’t so far out in orbit. There was an article in the Observer in 2002 about it and another in Pop Sci in 2005. I’ll put links, but the spam catcher will probably eat them. If you put “artificial womb” in Google, these articles are the first two links (or were for me).

    Next stop: Logan’s Run.

    I did a PubMed search on this as well and mostly came up with lawyers and medical ethicists worrying about gestation in artificial wombs. Ah well. I’m more interested in neural regeneration myself.

  32. emjaybee

    Pardon my over-pickiness, but it’s “onesie”–but ONLY if it’s Gerber-brand, so it’s “Gerber Onesie ™”. Meaning “all in one garment.” Officially everything else is a “bodysuit.”

    Yes I DO handle copyright issues in my editing. Oh the joys of enforcing corporate language rights!

    Much like Kleenex and Xerox, Gerber is getting their copyright violated in everyday speech millions of times a day. I can’t decide if this is good/appropriation (we violate their wishes) or bad/subjugation (they have been allowed to define a fragment of language.)

  33. Violet Socks

    Chris, did you actually read Firestone and think she was a he, or was that a typo?

    By the way, the non-dudeliness of Shulie is of great personal interest to me, since according to Chris Clarke (in the throes of a flu-induced delirium), I am the living embodiment of Shulamith Firestone, Aretha Franklin, and Laura Ingalls Wilder all rolled into one. I think this means that I belt out radfem ideology to a bluesy backbeat while sewing calico dresses and putting up preserves.

  34. Bean

    [quote=twisty] until the industrial revolution created the nuclear family, many aspects of the “cultural context” described in the quoted paragraph actually did exist more or less globally. Kids, for example, were not sentimentalized. Neither were they isolated in tiny family units or segretated in jail-like schools.[/quote]

    This varied widely from culture to culture. In the more hunter/gatherer societies (such as that inhabited the Americas pre-Columbus) there was heavy reliance on extended family to also raise the kids, however even than there was usually a special parent/child relationship. The same goes doubly for most old world societies, especially those in agriculture, where the children were usually used as unpaid laborers. While children weren’t trapped in “jail like schools” they were usually illiterate and dirt poor, unless they were the lucky few in the wealthy class. The patriarchy and family are not industrial revolution inventions, rather what changed was the extent to which the extended family had an effect. This can easily be observed in America. Many families are barely in touch with their own siblings and those siblings kids, second and third cousins are people you may see at a funeral once. This is much less so in more recent immigrant families where second, third and even more distant relatives are close as siblings.

    also don’t forget if you want to go back to pre-industrail societies, you give up the advancements so made.

  35. jami

    that sicko onesie seems a very appropriate introduction to ms. firestone’s work.

    i’ve wanted to get a better read on firestone than blurbs in compendia, but i’d like to suggest a two-hour screening of the movie adaptation of margaret atwood’s “a handmaid’s tale” to see one permutation of firestone’s family dynamic in action (you could read the book, but it would take longer).

    also, in societies that offered poor children the “option” of working 80 hours in a factory or learning to read feminist treatises, those children have historically ended up in the sweatshop. girls more than boys.

    my perception of firestone’s vision is bleak indeed. perhaps the discussion, come march, will offer up some ways forward that history and margaret atwood haven’t predicted. my mind is somewhat open.

  36. Pinko Punko

    The religion=science canard is such an unbelievable false equivalence I don’t know where to begin.

    An interesting reflection however- there does exist the cult of “technology” that is pushed by uber-free market libertarian a-holes that are really corporatist toadies. Like Glenn Reynolds and other chumps at Tech Central Station, or on the Exxon-Mobil payroll. In their oeuvre, they utilize the comforting blanket of “technology” as the magical solution to the problems they themselves would deny causing using their previous incarnations of cutting-edge technology. Hence the giganto-corporation feel-good PR-commercial.

  37. jnthnu

    If you haven’t by now, read Marge Piercy’s Firestone-inspired ‘Woman on the Edge of Time’. Absolutely wonderful and brilliant and sad all in one, and along with ‘He, She, and It’, permanently cured me of any lingering geekly William Gibsonitis. (Which is not to say that Gibson is crap, just not the be-all end-all.)

    Suggestion directed largely at all of you blamers in general – if you, Twisty, aren’t hip to Piercy by now, why, I’ll eat an oversized handbag.

    As for the original topic, though I have no trouble believing that the SUV-swerving self-serving consumer meat of America has any problem pornifying their infant daughters (hey, why wait for puberty, they’ll already probably have been molested by one of their adult male so-misnamed caregivers by then anyway), I still find this a new low.

    And no, I didn’t think for a second that the “worth waiting for” slogan referred to the period of human gestation. Not in light of the other shit, oops, shirt – and not in light of the increasingly pornified, female-hating society we live in. Call me a pessimist, I’d be thrilled to be proven wrong. Even though I’m sadly pretty damn sure I’m not.

    Incidentally, technology is not a direct product of science, there’s this thing called a human conscience that seems to frequently fail to be engaged in the process. So yeah, we might be doomed, but that’s not the part that sucks so much. What sucks so much is that we have choices and we as a species repeatedly collectively fail to choose life over death. Religion, in my view, is an unabashed choice of death and hatred over life, and in that role it invariably squashes choice. Science is neither – it is merely the knowledge of the workings of the universe, as best as we can understand them, and it does not require a narrow view as religion does. Science is that which exists whether we do or not. Technology and Religion as we know them, will both die along with our species. As will all of this $_expletive $_expletive porn we’ve created.

    Well, see, there’s some good in everything.

    Lookin’ on the bright side as always…

  38. LouisaMayAlcott

    Hey, jnthnu,

    The only part of male culture that I’ve ever really enjoyed is Monty Python. “Life of Brian” in particular.

  39. RGM

    That’s just plain nasty, that shirt. The ones that I really cringe over are the Playboy for infants stuff, though. There’s no way the kid can comprehend what it means, and for a parent to willingly put their baby in something like that demonstrates that “kids as accessories” mentality that has been referenced a number of times in this thread.

    There was an editorial in the local paper the other day complaining about “eight year olds dressed as skanks.” Well, the reason they’re “dressed as skanks” is because their parents have not one shred of common sense when it comes to buying their kids’ clothes. When you’re 8, you don’t have an income of your own so it’s up to mom & dad to buy your stuff for you. If parents were to exercise some grey matter, kids would not be sexualized while their age is still in the single digits. It never ceases to amaze me how little responsibility parents take these days when it comes to upbringing. Of course that’s really just a microchosm for a society that, in general, doesn’t like to assume responsibility for its actions. Between the demographic decline and a lack of imagination, we are certainly putting the wheels in motion for the decline of humanity.

  40. Twisty

    I grasp your gist, RGM, but I would argue that the reason any 8 year old child is perceived as a “skank” is not that she or her parents have poor taste in fashion, but because our culture nurtures a view of all females as existing exclusively on a fuckbot continuum, and because adult people who should know better persist in viewing certain types of clothing as announcements reading “the wearer of this outfit is public property and may be violated by all comers.” An 8 year old girl — or anybody else, for that matter — should be able to saunter down the street unmolested wearing nothing but a thong if that’s what she wants.

    In other words, the “grey matter” that needs exercising belongs to anyone who views female humans as the sex class.

  41. PhysioProf

    Is it ok to raise additional issues about Firestone’s book in this thread, or should we just wait until the official thread begins in March?

  42. RGM

    Twisty, fair point. It really does begin and end with the patriarchy, for whom the blame ultimately rests for creating and creating demand for dressing up 8-year olds and now infants too as sexbots-in-training.

    One of the sad things about the article in question that I read is that it was written by a female, who also went to some length to deride Christina Aguilera’s “Dirrty” video. Hello, 2003. It was a pretty classic case of internalized misogyny, imo, as it said nothing about the folks who were behind the video, ie. the male director and the execs that came up with the idea for her “image makeover.”

  43. Emma Goldman

    I respectfully ask my fellow Firestone-discussers to wait until March. I’ve been insanely busy since BDL got this thing going and have not even managed to get my hands on the books yet. Maybe we can distract ourselves with figuring out how to do an online discussion thingy? (If all of the rest of you have read the stuff and are prepared and so on, don’t let me hold you back.)

  44. PhysioProf

    “I respectfully ask my fellow Firestone-discussers to wait until March.”

    Cool with me.

  45. Cass

    And I would, respectfully, ask the same.

  46. yankee transplant

    These “body suits” make me want to PUKE. IBtP for my nausea.

  47. Steph

    My mother bought my 3-year-old son a teeshirt for christmas that says, I kid you not, “Lock up your daughters”. I am using it for a kitchen sponge.

  48. FemiMom

    I am trying to figure out how to get some hate mail to the company that makes the MILF onesie. Any ideas?

  49. PhysioProf

    Google searching on the two words other than “designs” in the name of the Cafepress storefront selling the onesie leads to a page of Fictitious Business Name Statements from the State of California. That page contains possibly relevant information.

  50. OhWell

    1950′s: Cook and stay at home for your man.

    1960′s: Go braless for your man

    1970′s: Free love. What more could a man want?

    1980′s: Get a degree and make money for your man.

    1990′s: Be a porn star for your man.

    00″s: Sex up the whole family for your man.

  51. Bean

    Here is one thing that typically bugs me on this blog about a lot of the posters(including you twisty!). You usually have valid points concerning the evils of this overwhelming patriarchy, but what you conceive as an alternative is distant and probably well nigh impossible to reach. How do you over throw what amounts to the sub conscious beliefs by most of the world? There isn’t a capital of the patriarchy you can burn down and everyone will scream “we’re free!!” and then he world will be a happy place and twisty will have to go back to critiquing restaurants.

    And before the criticism comes-I know this isn’t a blog advocating a change, its just a pet peeve in general of mine to have people point out something’s flaws and then just leave it at that, though I might add its a lot of fun and gives you a great sense of moral superiority.

    As for what could be done to change this, perhaps rather then going after the big ole evil patriarchy, you could aim at smaller targets.

  52. OhWell

    “….perhaps rather then going after the big ole evil patriarchy, you could aim at smaller targets.”

    DANG! How could you leave US hanging like that?

  53. Grandma Blue

    Twisty,
    the word is “onesie”, not wunzie. It means that the outfit is one piece.

  54. Jezebella

    Bean, did you really just say, in so many words: “Aim low”? Really?

    I just love it when people show up with unsolicited advice about how to make feminism more palatable to the masses. It’s so very, very helpful.

  55. al

    I can’t deal with the sexualization of infants and the subsequent shock of societal beings amazed when some folks find them to be sexual beings and act on their (vile) impulses.

    I would suggest that if a man molests a child, it is *his* fault and that he is the one who deserves blame, not the clothing or the mother.

    After all: Would any of us say that if a woman was raped, that it’s not surprising given what she was wearing? It’s the same with kids. Children don’t ‘provoke’ child abuse just by wearing certain outfits.

    An 8 year old girl — or anybody else, for that matter — should be able to saunter down the street unmolested wearing nothing but a thong if that’s what she wants.

    Exactly, Twisty.

  56. June

    I’m sorry, but what is an milf?

    The other onesies are repulsive.

  57. julybirthday

    I have to plead a little guilty to the urge for “baby as my personal billboard,” but then I see those kids at anti-choice rallies holding up signs about not killing babies, and I immediately change my mind about it. The worst we’ve done is a onesie that said “future jedi master” that was, of course, light blue. The next one will wear it, too, no matter the sex.

  58. Bean

    Bean, did you really just say, in so many words: “Aim low”? Really?

    I just love it when people show up with unsolicited advice about how to make feminism more palatable to the masses. It’s so very, very helpful.
    ————————-

    since I can’t figure out the quotes here i’m just gonna use ——- to mark someone elses words and mine…

    I said more then just Aim low, that was the main point of the my last bit, my main piece was personal frustration at what seemed to be just a pointless outlet for people against some vague entity they blamed most of life’s Ills on. I don’t disagree there’s a “patriarchy” however the patriarchy is not some visible and attackable organization. My last point was to avoid being a hypocrite that is to complain and point out the flaws in something without providing some alternative. You I don’t expect my advice to be followed, but I figured I didn’t want to be a hypocrite
    ——————–
    DANG! How could you leave US hanging like that?
    ———————

    well obviuosly there are too many targets to list, and I’m sure jez and twisty can think of plenty of guilty parties (baby clothes makers comes to mind)

    to the person who wanted to know what a MILF is

    Milf stands for “Mom I’d like to (engage in sex with)”

  59. roamaround

    “My last point was to avoid being a hypocrite that is to complain and point out the flaws in something without providing some alternative.”

    Is that the new definition of hypocrite? I liked my urban high school kids’ interpretation better. When I explained the word as meaning people who tell you how to act but then do the opposite themselves, they said, “You mean like the people in church?”

    This “providing some alternative” requirement sounds suspiciously corporate to me, like, “Don’t go to the boss with a problem unless you’re prepared to fix it.” Or people who say we can’t blame Bush for the war since it’s already started and the only question is what to do now. Huh? The American “no whining” mentality is usually just an excuse to be ignorant and complacent.

    Determining what’s wrong (or what went wrong) can be a great achievement, and it helps to understand the problem even if there is no quick fix.

  60. Bitey

    Bean, this site is about consciousness-raising, and naming the problems that result from “the sub conscious beliefs [of] most of the world.” When the beliefs are unconscious–taken as “natural”–they are hard to articulate and, as you note, nearly impossible to fight. But talking about them, sharing observations, helps identify concrete targets. I can tell you that visiting this site has improved my fighting vocabulary, and turned my generalized, amorphous outrage into a pointy, pointy weapon. You are right to observe that endless discussion can achieve little, but I like to think of this site as a haven and a staging area. The name of this site says it all. Blaming is the first step in holding the patriarchy accountable. And by holding it accountable, I mean SMASHING it!

  61. octogalore

    Adding my $.02 to the reading group timing — March sounds great. I’m about halfway thru Dialectic and haven’t yet started Airless Spaces.

    I’m finding it very eye opening, so far, as it pertains to the seeds of feminism, radical and otherwise, and how the various philosophers didn’t start from the right framework. Curious to see where it goes in the second half. I will be curious to see how others respond to what seems like very odd notions as to children, including re incest, however. Also, I’m not sure some sentimentalizing of and devotion to children is harmful. But, I’ve probably said too much for only being halfway done and also I’m in violation of our agreement to wait until 3/1…

    Looking forward!

  62. Bean

    Is that the new definition of hypocrite? I liked my urban high school kids’ interpretation better. When I explained the word as meaning people who tell you how to act but then do the opposite themselves, they said, “You mean like the people in church?”
    ———————

    That sounds more like an example then a definition. Also not all people in church are hypocrites. As for your point, I had said I disliked people doing something and advised them to do something else (ie not just talk about the problem) without offering them an alternative, to do so would by hypocritical.
    ————————
    This “providing some alternative” requirement sounds suspiciously corporate to me, like, “Don’t go to the boss with a problem unless you’re prepared to fix it.” Or people who say we can’t blame Bush for the war since it’s already started and the only question is what to do now. Huh? The American “no whining” mentality is usually just an excuse to be ignorant and complacent.

    Determining what’s wrong (or what went wrong) can be a great achievement, and it helps to understand the problem even if there is no quick fix.
    ————————-

    While pointing out the problem is obviously helpful, if “the problem” is some vague element of most of the populaces mind than your best to get something better to aim at, regardless of how “corporate” it sounds. if your always aiming at “the patriarchy” then good luck and enjoy a life where you will see nil accomplished towards your goal.

    ——————————
    Bean, this site is about consciousness-raising, and naming the problems that result from “the sub conscious beliefs [of] most of the world.” When the beliefs are unconscious–taken as “natural”–they are hard to articulate and, as you note, nearly impossible to fight. But talking about them, sharing observations, helps identify concrete targets. I can tell you that visiting this site has improved my fighting vocabulary, and turned my generalized, amorphous outrage into a pointy, pointy weapon. You are right to observe that endless discussion can achieve little, but I like to think of this site as a haven and a staging area. The name of this site says it all. Blaming is the first step in holding the patriarchy accountable. And by holding it accountable, I mean SMASHING it!
    —————————–

    if this site was popular then you may have a point. after all if say Dailykos, or LGF or Instapundit had on their main page this stuff then it would most definitely be fine to not give alternatives, the mere saying of it would be enough. However this is not the case. As near as I can tell few non-feminist readers come here and even fewer engage in discussion. so the few possible converts probably walk away thinking “wow feminists are psycho” while the already converted sit in an echo chamber which merely reinforces their beliefs (which I suppose is a decent accomplishment, but twisty is a pretty good writer so I expect better), rather then helping them figure out how to actually enact change that might possibly cause less blaming.

  63. thebewilderness

    Bean,
    You are one of many who come here to chastize us for failure to live up to your expectations.
    You make the assumption that we do nothing but “sit in an echo chamber”. Had you investigated the threads of this blog you would have found that we do a great deal more than that.
    Do you generally step up to people you don’t know from Adams house cat and start telling them they are doing whatever it is they are doing, wrong. I would bet money you only do it to women and children.

    Twisty,
    Please pardon me for feeding the troll.

  64. Ron Sullivan

    So, Bean, what have you done to change what you’re complaining about?

    Oh.

    Ever notice how this particular variety of concern-trolling smells so similar to the run-of-the-mill tripe (to mash a metaphor) about Role
    Models(tm)? Is is just a dash of mercaptans they have in common, or it it perhaps something more?

  65. Bean

    You are one of many who come here to chastize us for failure to live up to your expectations.
    You make the assumption that we do nothing but “sit in an echo chamber”. Had you investigated the threads of this blog you would have found that we do a great deal more than that.
    Do you generally step up to people you don’t know from Adams house cat and start telling them they are doing whatever it is they are doing, wrong. I would bet money you only do it to women and children.

    Twisty,
    Please pardon me for feeding the troll.
    ——————————————–

    1) I am sure you do much more then just sit here, and actually I am a long time lurker. it always bothered me that the most anyone talked of doing was “making more pointed arguments” and often enough someone would talk about correcting some or another persons thoughts only to not do it for whatever reason. this frustrated me

    2) No I have the bad habit of correcting people when I feel they are truly on the wrong course to do something, regardless of sex or age, though I am generally different in my approach towards kids

    3) as for “one of the many” I rarely see dissenting viewpoints here, hell half of the posts in the opening of most threads are “twisty you rock!” the rest of the thread is some sort of petty squabble over this and that in twisty’s article.
    ————
    So, Bean, what have you done to change what you’re complaining about?

    Oh.
    ————-

    well I posted on here-and since this is what I am complaining about at the moment I seem to be doing an awful lot. On matters that actually, well, matter I am a member of political organizations with whom I agree with, give money to worthy groups (both political campaigns and helping the poor/needy variety), etc. I confess there are people who do more, but not all of us are posses’ superpowers

  66. scratchy888

    http://www.engrish.com/detail.php?imagename=fuck-it-all.jpg&category=Adult Engrish&date=2006-11-13

  67. Emma Goldman

    I also know a couple of people who read here pretty regularly, even though they don’t feel comfortable wading into the commentariat fray. there’s a lot to be said for reading and thinking before saying something, or for saying something in a different venue.

  68. scratchy888

    http://home.iprimus.com.au/scratchy888/fuck-it-all.jpg

    the counterpoint

  69. Emma Goldman

    I had another comment, but the spamulator lied to me, so I’m gonna wait and see if it shows up before trying to repost it.

  70. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    You’re right about the onesies with all those bewildering snaps existing to make spinster aunts cry.

    Me, I just don’t like clothes with writing on ‘em. It’s a personal preference.

    Since infant wear spends so much of its time being beshitted, vomited upon and outgrown, I think it should mostly be functional and not ornamental. But that’s how I feel about clothing for grown people too. I mean, not the beshitted and puked on part.

    Thanks for withholding book comments until the rest of us can catch up.

  71. jfr

    Coming out of lurkdom to say, in reply to the suggestion that if you aren’t offering a solution to a problem you shouldn’t speak about the problem, that naming the problem is doing something about the problem. When you are talking about the patriarchy, a systematic set of assumptions that underlie our cultural world, the problem must be named and named and named and named and named and named, generation after generation after generation, precisely because the patriarchy is not a buildng that can be torn down with a couple passes of the bulldozer, but a world view that is often hidden but everpresent. Bringing the effects of patriarchal thinking out into the open in as many of its manifestations as possible, from slogans on onesies to rape to high heel shoes is an ongoing process and not a see it and then fix it kind of issue. It needs to be seen over and over again in as many of its manifestations as possible even by us long-term believers who can still have that aha feeling when yet another instance is pointed out, one perhaps we had not thought of in that way before. Naming is a vital part of the solution.

  72. justtesting

    this site is about consciousness-raising, and naming the problems that result from “the sub conscious beliefs [of] most of the world.” When the beliefs are unconscious–taken as “natural”–they are hard to articulate and, as you note, nearly impossible to fight. But talking about them, sharing observations, helps identify concrete targets. I can tell you that visiting this site has improved my fighting vocabulary, and turned my generalized, amorphous outrage into a pointy, pointy weapon. You are right to observe that endless discussion can achieve little, but I like to think of this site as a haven and a staging area.

    Yes, ditto.

    PS I bet Bean fancy’s themself as a libertarian

    PPS 1 and 1 is 10

  73. lymie

    Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) ???

    Abbreviation of Moro Islamic Liberation Front, an organization in the Philippines seeking to establish an Islamic state on the island of Mindanao.

  74. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    No. MILF is “mother I’d love to f*ck”. Isn’t that sweet.

  75. hedonistic

    That bodysuit just put me off my feed.

  76. jezebella

    Ah, Bean, it’s the “pointless outlet” argument now, is it?

    Usually when a bunch of women are conversing, and someone else says “all this talk is pointless,” it usually means “stop your whining, suck it up, and cook me some dinner already.” Fuck that.

    So I’m not changing the world with every breath I take, every word I type. Or maybe I am? Can discourse change the world? Maybe. Every revolution begins with talking.

    Discourse here is not pointless. It is heartening to me to find other women as outraged by the daily insults of patriarchy as I am. That alone makes this outlet valuable. I suppose you think you are here to raise the level of discourse, and help us poor deluded feminists spread the word to the readers of USA Today.

    Read the FAQ: this is not a venue for novice blamers. I come here for like-minded company, where I can speak freely without freaking anybody out. In this small conservative town I live in, in a very red state, I have to temper my words and measure my rhetoric in order to be heard. Having an “outlet” is by no means pointless. Otherwise there wouldn’t be millions of bloggers.

    In conclusion: discourse is beneficial. If you don’t like the discourse here, that’s your problem, not mine.

  77. SusanM

    Here we will pause a moment, while you struggle to comprehend the dizzying forces of cultural toxicity that compel a woman to swaddle a helpless infant in a gloomy, jizz-encrusted joke

    Those parents are just getting their daughters ready for High Definition TV:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/22/business/media/22porn.html?_r=1&ref=business&oref=slogin

  78. Jess2

    At 8 1/2 months pregnant, I’m living to regret telling anyone the results of the ultrasound, which in addition to confirming that all the vital organs were in place, also included the information that our baby would come with a penis. Since then, I’ve wanted to f’ing scream every single time someone reacts to this news with “Well, good, now we know what color to buy.”

    Now that I’ve gone down into that peculiar pit of consumeristic despair known in the vernacular as “shopping for baby gear”* I find myself becoming an increasingly more militant and radical feminist by the day. The gross slogan t-shirts are merely the visible tip of the reproductive iceberg formed from and within the icy waters of patriarchy. I get that I am unavoidably immersed in the sea of patriarchy in which we all swim– hence, I have so far delighted in my own personal experience of gestating the aforementioned penis bearing creature and have felt some (pardon the explicative) somewhat spiritual and whole-heartedly schmaltzy stirrings (of the vaguely new-agey, crunchy-granola, wise-woman variety) no doubt due to the 100 fold increase in hormones bathing my brain. But the flip side of my hormone induced glee at, for instance, feeling my baby move is the equally strong desire to cause great pain to the people who waste no time in putting my as yet unborn child into the straight-jacket known as masculinity (the patriarchy perpetuating counterpart to femininity) before he even emerges from my ever enlagening womb. Indeed, it fills me with the great desire to buy pink onesies for my penis-appended off-spring… perhaps with the slogan “Daddy’s Boy” printed on them? But not wanting to make my child the billboard for either patriarchy or my bug-eyed raging against the same, I think we’ll just stick with non-gendered clothing and use all the blue onesies with trucks on them to swab out the cat box.

    *To the uninitiated, the baby gear industry is a ginormous racket administered by the megatheocorporatocracy that seeks to suck brain-addled breeders like myself into believing they need a shit-load of plastic crapola, all in the most heinous pastel shades. Baby gear exhibiting any elements of linear, non-romantic/non-patriarchal/Euro design or employing the use of primary colors (as opposed to pastels) is anywhere from 2 to 20 times as expensive… hence the excruciating aspect of baby gear shopping to any breeder who still has three semi-tasteful brain cells left to rub together. IBtP.

  79. PhysioProf

    Practices like patriarchy, neo-conservatism, racism, religion, etc. have power precisely because their underlying assumptions remain for the most part unexamined. And those who adhere to and benefit from these practices have a vested interest in keeping it that way.

    Therefore, bringing those assumptions to the fore is far from pointless bitching . It is an absolutely necessary component of any program for ending these practices. Furthermore, if a strong majority of people become aware of those assumptions, then the practices themselves are likely to simply languish into desuetude.

    As I understand it, that is the rationale for blaming the patriarchy, as practiced here.

  80. SusanM

    Plenty of time to figure out how to clone a free-standing human uterus. It has to be possible, because without it, women will always be prisoners of biology.

    I had a discussion about this possibility with a biologist relative of mine, and he advised me not to be so gung-ho on this idea– at least as long as the patriarchy rules.

    Apparently, when girl babies are born, they already have all the eggs they’ll ever have; no maturation is necessary. (This is not true for males, who continually create new sperm throughout their lives.) So, should the males in charge decide they don’t need living baby incubators, they could just harvest the eggs and kill the girl babies. In fact, relatively few girl babies would provide all the eggs they’d ever need and, after a while, they would be able just to grow boys.

    Life would be so sweeeeeet!

  81. PhysioProf

    What good would a patriarchy be without plenty of women around to exploit?

  82. FemiMom

    I posted a complaint on the Cafe Press site, asking if a MILF t-shirt for a baby was an incest reference. I also had the “treat” of viewing some of their other shirts – “I drink until I pass out” and something about “titties & beer.”
    Face it: These atrocities are for sale because someone will buy them. Some people should not breed.

  83. Mandos

    In fact, relatively few girl babies would provide all the eggs they’d ever need and, after a while, they would be able just to grow boys.

    Except that they’d at minimum want to create females for sex, enough at least to divide among the males. FWIW, I don’t think women are going extinct even with artificial womb technology controlled by patriarchy.

    In any case, I suspect that by the time such technology comes into existence, it would be “a little bit of column A, a little bit of column B”. There’d be some women with money to clone themselves, etc.

  84. hedonistic

    Bean, for what it’s worth, this patriarchy blaming website may not have changed the System, but HAS changed my life. For instance, here is where I learn words such as “asshat,” “buttmunch,” “empowerful,” and “megacorporatheocracy.” Now I have a powerful and colorful vocabulary with which I may identify and deal with such entities, thus becoming Intolerant and Shrill. I put up with much less shit than I used to, and my life is better because of it.

  85. Sylvanite

    Oh, I’m sure they’d find a class of males to exploit and play the “better than” game with. Like those perennial favorites in the exploitation racket – folks with recent African ancestry. Or perhaps they’ll be able to create an entire class of beings with genetic engineering techniques or robotics who not only exist to be exploited, but, Shmoo-like, actually enjoy the exploitation. Or is the inducement of misery part of the whole point?

  86. julski

    emjaybee pointed out the “Onesie” trademark, so I’ll revert to the wunzie spelling . . .

    As a childfree spinsterish aunt visiting younguns over the holidays, I encountered the dreaded crotch-snaps every damn day, and finally questioned the mother as to why use them at all–does anyone really care if the baby’s shirt is tucked in?

    She replied most emphatically that it keeps the diaper on. Apparently without being snapped into a wunzie, baby-niece wriggles out of the diaper and leaves trails of body secretions in her wake.

    I suppose that’s a good reason. She didn’t sport any verses upon her wunzie during our visit, but I do know she has one that says, “my daddy is a geek”.

  87. octogalore

    Revolution definitely begins at home. But it’s also up to the individual what aspects of ones own femininity are “crippling,” methinks.

    Re Dialectic, Amazon has used paperbacks online, BTW. Very interesting read. I do hope I’m not the only one cringing at the mention of breaking the incest taboo, and, less shockingly, not doting on or providing toys to kids, however. A childless 25-year-old, however ingenious, is not to my mind qualified to make such pronouncements.

  88. octogalore

    oops — I put the above in the wrong place. It was supposed to be in the most recent thread. Sorry!

  89. Mandos

    Oh, I’m sure they’d find a class of males to exploit and play the “better than” game with.

    Sure they can, but unless they’re gay it’s probably less fun. AI is insufficiently advanced to create convincing fembots, in any case, and I suspect you’ll see artificial wombs created before convincing fembots.

  90. Bean

    Bean, for what it’s worth, this patriarchy blaming website may not have changed the System, but HAS changed my life. For instance, here is where I learn words such as “asshat,” “buttmunch,” “empowerful,” and “megacorporatheocracy.” Now I have a powerful and colorful vocabulary with which I may identify and deal with such entities, thus becoming Intolerant and Shrill. I put up with much less shit than I used to, and my life is better because of it.
    ———————————————

    so the blogger developed a few combined phrases wow ground breaking.

    ——————-
    Practices like patriarchy, neo-conservatism, racism, religion, etc. have power precisely because their underlying assumptions remain for the most part unexamined. And those who adhere to and benefit from these practices have a vested interest in keeping it that way.

    Therefore, bringing those assumptions to the fore is far from pointless bitching . It is an absolutely necessary component of any program for ending these practices. Furthermore, if a strong majority of people become aware of those assumptions, then the practices themselves are likely to simply languish into desuetude.

    As I understand it, that is the rationale for blaming the patriarchy, as practiced here.
    ———————————

    I am not saying what is being discussed here should stop, just that its useless in its present form, its not reaching a broad group, nor is it converting, nor is it orchestrating action. i am not saying it should stop, just that you’d be better off doing more then just this.

    ——————–
    Ah, Bean, it’s the “pointless outlet” argument now, is it?

    Usually when a bunch of women are conversing, and someone else says “all this talk is pointless,” it usually means “stop your whining, suck it up, and cook me some dinner already.” Fuck that.
    —————————

    No, it doesn’t mean that. Pointing out your lack of action isn’t saying stop, its saying stop stopping. I am sure all the discussions on obscure feminist literature are really hurting the patriarchy, but my point is your just talking, not doing anything.

    ————————————-
    So I’m not changing the world with every breath I take, every word I type. Or maybe I am? Can discourse change the world? Maybe. Every revolution begins with talking.

    Discourse here is not pointless. It is heartening to me to find other women as outraged by the daily insults of patriarchy as I am. That alone makes this outlet valuable. I suppose you think you are here to raise the level of discourse, and help us poor deluded feminists spread the word to the readers of USA Today.

    Read the FAQ: this is not a venue for novice blamers. I come here for like-minded company, where I can speak freely without freaking anybody out. In this small conservative town I live in, in a very red state, I have to temper my words and measure my rhetoric in order to be heard. Having an “outlet” is by no means pointless. Otherwise there wouldn’t be millions of bloggers.

    In conclusion: discourse is beneficial. If you don’t like the discourse here, that’s your problem, not mine.
    ———————-

    if you cared to read what I wrote it had nothing to do with you stopping talking, my point is just sitting around and complaining does you no good. Perhaps organizing with other like minded blogs to complain to the company producing this trash to stop (hell you could probably get some right wingers involved in this too. I don’t see many bible lovers putting their kids in this.

  91. Jezebella

    Bean, somebody else already said this, but apparently it needs to be said again: most everybody here is doing more than talking. We each act on our principles in our own ways, and I am under no obligation to offer up my activist credentials to you or anyone else, so don’t ask. I won’t answer.

    You are assuming that every woman on this forum is sitting on her ass 24/7 blaming & complaining, which is a completely erroneous assumption. That would be like me assuming that you sit on your ass 24/7 posting on this blog and doing nothing constructive with your life.

  92. Bean

    ————————
    Bean, somebody else already said this, but apparently it needs to be said again: most everybody here is doing more than talking. We each act on our principles in our own ways, and I am under no obligation to offer up my activist credentials to you or anyone else, so don’t ask. I won’t answer.

    ———————–

    I don’t care of your personal credintials-you could be the presidnet of NOW or Planned Parenthood or whatever group you like, it doesn’t matter-so I wouldn’t ask, I am not criticizng you personally, but rather the group as a whole

    ———————————-
    You are assuming that every woman on this forum is sitting on her ass 24/7 blaming & complaining, which is a completely erroneous assumption. That would be like me assuming that you sit on your ass 24/7 posting on this blog and doing nothing constructive with your life.
    ——————————

    no, if that were the case there would be a lot more comments. I am under the assumption most of you live normal lives doing whatever it is you do. perhaps some of your are activists, perhaps some are not. my point is that rather thatn just talking it wouldn’t hurt to be a bit active as a group. I don’t know why this is taken so offensivly…

  93. Mags

    Maybe when these babies grow up, they can work as baristas here

    Curious to get your take on this.

  94. thebewilderness

    Bean,
    You have stated that what we are doing here isn’t doing any good. Upthread a commenter said that what we are doing here has done her a great deal of good. You dismissed her and continued to state that we are not doing any good.
    Several commenters have explained that we do other things other places and other ways. You don’t hear what is being said to you.
    We do not organize here. We do it elsewhere.
    ———-
    Bean said: I am under the assumption most of you live normal lives doing whatever it is you do. perhaps some of your are activists, perhaps some are not. my point is that rather thatn just talking it wouldn’t hurt to be a bit active as a group. I don’t know why this is taken so offensivly…
    ———–
    Offense is taken because you will not listen to what you have been told over and over.
    This is where we come to blame the patriarchy for not being listened to. This is where we come to blame the patriarchy for creating conditions in our lives where people like you simply cannot take no for an answer.

  95. SusanM

    Bean: sitting around and complaining does you no good

    Science says you’re wrong:

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/98015744/ABSTRACT

  96. Bean

    You have stated that what we are doing here isn’t doing any good. Upthread a commenter said that what we are doing here has done her a great deal of good. You dismissed her and continued to state that we are not doing any good.
    Several commenters have explained that we do other things other places and other ways. You don’t hear what is being said to you.
    We do not organize here. We do it elsewhere.
    ———————

    the poster was, i assume, Joking. who can honestly say that adding totally unoriginal words to their vocab was the great thing someone did for them.

    ———————
    Offense is taken because you will not listen to what you have been told over and over.
    This is where we come to blame the patriarchy for not being listened to. This is where we come to blame the patriarchy for creating conditions in our lives where people like you simply cannot take no for an answer.
    ——————-

    right, I get your point that this is where you come to complain. however complainings all well and good..for a time.. but at some point you need to do something. I’m sorry poitning out your flaws is so offensive…but its what make us all better.

  97. Hawise

    Bean- adding words to our vocabulary allows us to express ourselves better. We have a whole industry devoted to the task so that children can tell us what they need and parents can stop guessing. We develop new means to let people who cannot speak use words by touching, typing, breathing into a straw- just so that they may express themselves and let us into their lives. So getting access to new words that help us express ourselves IS a great thing.

    On a personal note, I remember summers on the family homestead, we would visit to help with the harvest. Everyone who could drive a vehicles was gone after breakfast and the women who were responsible for all the non-harvest tasks would gather in the kitchen while waiting for the mail. (My aunt was the local postmistress after taking over the job from my grandmother.) With the morning chores done and lunch started, the women, old and very young, would bitch and complain about any topic until the mail truck arrived and the next rush of chores began.

    Bean, if you can always leave the kitchen.

  98. Twisty

    Jesus christ, Bean, we get it. Shut up already, you boring twit.

  99. hedonistic

    Bean, I wasn’t joking: Words are magic. Phrases are spells. Reality itself is shaped by our language.

    This probably just went right over your head.

  100. Twisty

    Incidentally, the quotation mark key is the one right next to the return button. The shift key is the one right below the return button. Using them will not make your tiresome iterations any less trite, but at least they will be legible.

    Now off with you to change the tires of the poor and read poetry to the sick.

  101. bean

    “Bean- adding words to our vocabulary allows us to express ourselves better. We have a whole industry devoted to the task so that children can tell us what they need and parents can stop guessing. We develop new means to let people who cannot speak use words by touching, typing, breathing into a straw- just so that they may express themselves and let us into their lives. So getting access to new words that help us express ourselves IS a great thing.”

    forgive me but “asshat” and “megacorptheocracy” aren’t new words, but combing a bunch. some words might be magical, (actually hedno said that but you get the idea)

    “On a personal note, I remember summers on the family homestead, we would visit to help with the harvest. Everyone who could drive a vehicles was gone after breakfast and the women who were responsible for all the non-harvest tasks would gather in the kitchen while waiting for the mail. (My aunt was the local postmistress after taking over the job from my grandmother.) With the morning chores done and lunch started, the women, old and very young, would bitch and complain about any topic until the mail truck arrived and the next rush of chores began.

    Bean, if you can always leave the kitchen.”

    and the point of that story was?

    “Jesus christ, Bean, we get it. Shut up already, you boring twit.

    ahh the famous twisty wit :-p

  102. jezebella

    Bean is here to “point out our flaws,” is he? Well, at least he’s finally outed himself as here simply to be a pain in the ass, here to tell us what is wrong with us, as if there aren’t enough men in the world who already feel entitled to tell women how we can improve ourselves.

    For this sense of entitlement, endemic to the majority of the male populace, I Blame the Patriarchy.

  103. Ugly in Pink

    Long time lurker first time commenter: This site helped the HELL out of me. I could put name to the various amorphous things that bothered and depressed me, that everyone else seemed to think was normal and acceptable. Here, I found confirmation that, yes, sexism IS insanely pervasive in our daily lives, i’m not just paranoid or imagining it, and i’m not wrong for hating it. It’s given a tremendous boost to my mental health and most importantly helped me hate myself less.

    So fuck off, bean.

  104. Hawise

    Bean- one. new word to me may be old word to someone else, experience varies among mere mortals, magic or no.

    tow. I assumed you were male and experience from childhood has shown me that males generally do very poorly in morning bitch sessions, they find more satisfaction from driving around in circles in a field.

  105. hedonistic

    Excuse me while I pull some Ron Sullivan out of my back pocket:

    “One thing an old broad like me has seen many many many times already is some huffulacious oh-so-sincere dude walking in to a group of women almost at random and telling them

    a/ what they should be doing in their free time;
    b/ how to do it right;
    c/ how to be feminists;
    d/ why he has their best interests at heart, really;
    e/ why he’s qualified to give them orders;
    f/ that they’re intolerant, which is self-evidently a Bad Thing;
    g/ that they’re preaching to the choir (and the biggest surprise is that they’re preaching);
    h/ that some of his best fucks are women;
    i/ how to be better feminists;
    j/ that they’re not serious enough;
    k/ that his wife thinks he’s the greatest;
    l/ what God thinks;
    m/ why whatever he’s doing this month is more important then feminism;
    n/ that feminism is boo-zhwah, and that’s self-evidently a Bad Thing;
    o/ that they’re shrill — wow, I almost forgot shrill;
    p/ that they can’t pee standing up;
    q/ that they should be ashamed of themselves;
    r/ that they just don’t welcome open and vigorous debate;
    s/ that he needs a beer (this is followed by an expectant silence);
    t/ that they’re taking everything he said wrong;
    u/ that they’re unreasonable;
    v/ that they’re ~touchy~;
    w/ that they’ve never said anything about oppression of women in (choose sauce: Iraq, Afghanistan, China, sub-Saharan Africa, the southeastern USA, the ghet-to, Brazil, Antarctica)
    x/ that they should apologize to him because his parents had him circumcised;
    y/ that he Is Too A Feminist (which evidently means something);
    z/ how they should transcend feminism and embrace humanism.

    Pick any two menu items and get the third half-price; pick any three and get the fourth free. With five you get a can of wine. And if you’re the guy in question, you get a free hot cup of Shut the Fuck Up.”

    (Ron Sullivan, I WUV YOU. MWAH).

  106. Bean

    “Long time lurker first time commenter: This site helped the HELL out of me. I could put name to the various amorphous things that bothered and depressed me, that everyone else seemed to think was normal and acceptable. Here, I found confirmation that, yes, sexism IS insanely pervasive in our daily lives, i’m not just paranoid or imagining it, and i’m not wrong for hating it. It’s given a tremendous boost to my mental health and most importantly helped me hate myself less.

    So fuck off, bean”

    fuck off because….I say you should be more pro-active? I am really failing to see what my great offense was. I never said the blaming needs to stop, but rather that it should be accompanied by more.

    Bean- one. new word to me may be old word to someone else, experience varies among mere mortals, magic or no.

    tow. I assumed you were male and experience from childhood has shown me that males generally do very poorly in morning bitch sessions, they find more satisfaction from driving around in circles in a field.”

    uh huh-well regradless even if they were “new” they aren’t praticularly helpful

    so your making gender stereotypes which indicate men would rather be active (harvesting the crops) then sitting around complaining? um I guess, but is it really a compliment to yourself to say that?

  107. magickitty

    Bean, Bean, good for your heart, the more you listen to him, the more you realise that patriarchy is alive and well and living in Twisty’s comment section because he can’t bear to have a woman have the last word so he keeps going ON and ON and not listening.

    Bean, write your own damned letter to Walmart and stop faffing around here.

    Besides, what makes you think many of us already haven’t done the same? Just because we’re not trumpeting it from the rooftops doesn’t mean we’re not activating and shit.

    (Psst ladies, don’t tell him about the Sekrit Letter Campaign that we arranged elsewhere.)

  108. Ron Sullivan

    Hedonistic, I’m feelin’ the love. WooHOO! Also, mmMMmmmmm.

    Twisty, I know that nft bt f sftwr can be made to work. Maybe your other fan PZ has an idea or three? Or maybe CCC, who I suspect has some time to kill. I can’t think of a more deserving um opportunity.

  109. Bean

    “Bean, Bean, good for your heart, the more you listen to him, the more you realise that patriarchy is alive and well and living in Twisty’s comment section because he can’t bear to have a woman have the last word so he keeps going ON and ON and not listening.

    Bean, write your own damned letter to Walmart and stop faffing around here.

    Besides, what makes you think many of us already haven’t done the same? Just because we’re not trumpeting it from the rooftops doesn’t mean we’re not activating and shit.

    (Psst ladies, don’t tell him about the Sekrit Letter Campaign that we arranged elsewhere.)”

    1) where are you getting my gender from?

    2) some of you may well have written a letter, but letter writing campaigns work better in groups…its nothing to do with “trumpeting it from the roof tops” its simple “heres the adress let em know how you feel”.

  110. thebewilderness

    Bean said: “fuck off because….I say you should be more pro-active? I am really failing to see what my great offense was. I never said the blaming needs to stop, but rather that it should be accompanied by more.”
    No Bean. Fuck off because you know nothing about anything any of us do, and yet you seem to think you have the right to consistently, persistently, claim that we should be doing what you think we should be doing rather than what we think we should be doing. You are very tiresome Bean. Your advice has been rejected repeatedly, yet you repeat it endlessly. Are you unwell?

  111. kate

    Bean:

    How old are you? What sex are you? You in school? You intend to go to college?

    Are you angry? Do you suffer from Asberger’s Syndrome or some variant thereof?

    Are you angry at people around you that seem to be enjoying the won’erful life of oppression and do nothing about it? Are you angry that you haven’t been invited to hang out with the activist people?

    Well, get away from here and get yourself fixed. See a therapist, go to a protest, join a group and take some action. Read this blog and read some feminist literature. Go to college and learn about how revolutions begin and how tyrannies form.

    Go, you have much to do and you are wasting your time here.

  112. jezebella

    I miss the disemvoweler.

    I wish I was a techie wizard so I could figure out how to make it go.

    Hedonistic, thanks for bringing back that post of Ron’s, because it’s genius.

  113. Bean

    It’s amazing how strongly people react to percieved criticism. Oh well good luck fighting the patriarchy, I’m back to lurking.

  114. the baboon

    I will have to get the book, but having just ejected a new human bean into the fresh air myself, I wonder just who is in charge of keeping the little bugger fed and clean for the first bit of its life, when this is a 24 hour job? The rush of horomones, the fact that you grew it yourself, the swelling boobs – these marks of biological connection all help you get up every hour, then every two hours, then every 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours (thank god) to keep said bugger alive and not crying. It’s a big, perhaps insurmountably big, pain in the butt unless you have a real connection to the bugger. Not necessarily biological, of course, but some mark of possession. Possessions that are completely common pool resources don’t get taken care of so well – i.e., the tragedy of the commons.

    Moreover, I say it is too bad that the biology of babymaking and birthing are viewed as part of the patriarchy. Doesn’t the desire to rid ourselves of the reproductive power actually suggest moving into the image of the other, here? I could appreciate a move to parthenogenesis (a la Herland) much more than a call to reject the uterus. The uterus is an amazing organ. The uterus is the only thing that has made me even remotely consider the possibility that maybe there is in fact some magical mystery beast up there somewhere – there is a part of my body that made another person. This is a fact that makes no sense to me, even having lived through it.

  115. SusanM

    baboon:

    I could appreciate a move to parthenogenesis (a la Herland) much more than a call to reject the uterus.

    It could happen:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16784022/

  116. redwards

    Even if we’ve already read the books, can we stil make fun of BDSM?

  117. Mandos

    Of course, the Komodo dragon’s parthenogenesis yields only males.

    A WATM moment: isn’t developing parthenogenesis (that produces only females) sort of like developing The Virus?

  118. LouisaMayAlcott

    Parthenogenisis in mammals produces only females.

  119. Mandos

    I know. I thought I alluded to that, but perhaps not clearly enough.

  120. the baboon

    A WATM moment: isn’t developing parthenogenesis (that produces only females) sort of like developing The Virus?

    They could get their own uteruses. Plastic ones. Given the advantage they currently enjoy in getting NIH grants, etc., this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

  121. Mandos

    They could get their own uteruses. Plastic ones. Given the advantage they currently enjoy in getting NIH grants, etc., this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

    Wasn’t that the original plan though, that you thought should be replaced by parthenogenesis, given that artificial wombs signify a rejection of the uterus? Or am I misunderstanding you?

  122. the baboon

    Oh no – I don’t think that replicating the function is a bad thing, I just question renouncing in vivo childbearing. (Kind of funny, of course, to spend bandwidth supporting something that is unlikely to come up for a vote anytime soon…)

    The bigger issue I had wanted to tap is why childbearing must be seen as the add-on, removable function rather than as a default attribute of the human mechanism. Why cast the capacity for reproduction as a weakness, when it is characteristic of women and, in biological terms, is a massive strength? The fact that this strength can be captured and turned on its head as a kind of submission to patriarchal culture is not the fault of reproductive capacity — rather, one of the main goals of patriarchy is to veil the true power of reproductive capacity from women themselves. Reproduction is not the enemy – our compromised understanding of reproduction can be.

  123. Mandos

    The bigger issue I had wanted to tap is why childbearing must be seen as the add-on, removable function rather than as a default attribute of the human mechanism. Why cast the capacity for reproduction as a weakness, when it is characteristic of women and, in biological terms, is a massive strength?

    This is like saying, “The Arabs sit on so much oil, why aren’t they ruling the world rather than being ruled by Western puppet governments?”

    They that have resources become a juicy target, to put it bluntly. If childbearing is such a great resource, it’s terribly easy to make it into a curse on those who are actually living with it.

  124. Twisty

    Re: the glorious mystery of the uterus: I had mine out last year and I’m here to tell you that God doesn’t live in it, or anywhere near it. I sort of miss my ovaries, because they kept me from having hot flashes every ten minutes, but that fucking uterus? Its only purpose was to torture me every 28 days. Good riddance.

  125. J

    Bean Wrote: “I am not saying what is being discussed here should stop, just that its useless in its present form, its not reaching a broad group, nor is it converting, nor is it orchestrating action. i am not saying it should stop, just that you’d be better off doing more then just this.”

    Power is capillary in nature. It exists in the micro=niches that constitute the activity of our daily lives. This is why, in general, this blog is about *particular cases* of patriarchy. I haven’t read much criticism of ideological state apparatuses, and that’s because that sort of criticism is the easiest to co-opt.

    Like power, resistence is or must be capillary. It must not aspire to be systematic, except in its proliferation as a diverse assemblage of resistive acts. True resistence and revolution is not a single movement that comes and then is gone when the war is over. That’s a patriarchical, and I would argue capitalist, though ultimately ideological way of looking at resistence. Resistence is illusory if it takes its cue from the powers that be.

    This blog, I think, performs the function of a capillary resistence, and not because it performs it for anyone else. This blog is Twisty resisting, and not much more. You and I reading it is part of, and helpful towards, but not unto itself this kind of resistence. What it can and should be for us is an example, but not necesarily a model, of what resistence to the patriarchy is like.

    That, and it’s damn good writing, is why I read it anyway.

  126. Ron Sullivan

    Mandos: They that have resources become a juicy target, to put it bluntly. If childbearing is such a great resource, it’s terribly easy to make it into a curse on those who are actually living with it.

    If you ever come to Berkeley, I’ll buy you dinner for that.

    J: Power is capillary in nature.

    You too. And a beer. Oh, my, that’s one of that ideas that are fun to chew on.

  127. J

    Ron wrote: “You too. And a beer. Oh, my, that’s one of that ideas that are fun to chew on.”

    Word. If I get into UC Davis in this next year, you can bet that I’ll make frequent trips into the Bay-area.”

  128. jfr

    My resistance is more arterial than capillary and tends to gush out into the yawning chasms of our cultural ignorance after overflowing the micro-niches of my life. But that’s just me.

  129. Naz

    Wunzies / onesies. Potayto potahto. We call them ‘growers’ here in ZA. I guess coz that’s what babies wear during that rapid growth phase. :P

    Lately I’ve been covetting the hand sewn flea market onesies that say “Made in Africa”. (Get it? Heh-heh-heh)

    Anyway. I totally agree with you Twisty.

    I often shop at Woolies (very similar to the UK’s Marks & Spencers) for stuff for my niece and nephews. Its the one-stop place for middle to upper middle class peeps to get their kiddie gear. And what always bugs me is that the little t-shirts that say “Troublemaker” and “It wasn’t me” or “Impending tantrum” can only be found in the boys section. Its not quite the same pseudo-sexualizing that happens for little girls but its the same thing, of trying to mould little boys into aggressive, rebellious little maniacs. Condoning anti-social behaviour in boys. But heaven forbid your little girl be a “Troublemaker”. Oh no, she needs to be a “Heartbreaker”.

    Meanwhile, across the aisle all the little girls clothes are designed exclusively in shades of purple, pink and yellow. Oh, and lets not forget the g-string underwear and bras for eight year olds. (Yes, Woolies – you know I mean you!) Last time I looked, eight year old girls didn’t have breasts.

  130. Ron Sullivan

    J — We make frequent trips to Davis, especially in winter, mostly chasing birds but also visiting friends and/or the arboretum. It’s a great town for beer. Not half bad for food either. Gets hot in summer, but I understand that’s true of many places.

  131. Mandos

    Who knows? If things go right, I might visit Berkeley in May. We’ll see.

  132. TrespassersW

    There are all sorts of stupid slogans out there. Here are some offenders:
    “Boys are strong. Bury them deep.” I don’t advocate violence against anybody.
    “I love to shop.” (on pink)
    “Saw it, wanted it, threw a tantrum, got it.” (on pink)
    “Do I look like I’m bothered?” and various other versions giving out some kind of attitude.
    “I didn’t ask to be a princess but if the crown fits..”
    But my perennial dislike is camouflage in the boys’ clothing sections. Personally I think dressing a kid like a trained killer is deeply disturbing. It’s also noteworthy how how you can get pastels for baby boys up to age two or so but then they are forced into dark colours as if that’s when a parent ought to start training them out of anything associated with that inferior business of femininity. Meanwhile, it’s nigh-on impossible to buy anything plain for a girl: everything is covered in frills and flowers. If you go to the boy’s section to buy her something that’s not pink or lilac, you can get navy, red, bile green, mud and khaki but it will have stereotypical trucks, submarines, cars and dogs plastered all over it. Boys get dogs, girls get cats, by the way.
    Gender stereotyping starts appallingly early and manufacturers know they can rake in twice as much money by forcing the distinction.

    On a related point, the “worth the wait” slogan seems to me to refer to nothing more sinister than that pregnancy can be a long, tiring, anxious nine months.

  133. Lara

    “But my perennial dislike is camouflage in the boys’ clothing sections. Personally I think dressing a kid like a trained killer is deeply disturbing.”

    Word, TrespassersW, word.

    There is also an epidemic here of pink camouflage prints.

    And I’d like to know where you’re finding the relatively innocuous trucks and animals prints; the non-military preschooler boys’ clothes here seem to focus on motorcycle, graffiti and skull-and-crossbones prints. If they don’t have slogans like “Here Comes Trouble” or “Heartbreaker” on them.

  134. TrespassersW

    Hi Lara. Pink camouflage print? So now the girls can all ape trained killers too? In their own fluffy way of course. Great!

    I live in the UK so that’s where I’m getting the trucks and dogs. But we have plenty of graffiti too. The patriarchy is clearly terrified of letting little boys wear anything other than stereotypically masculine stuff.

    In my limited personal experience, I find the cheaper the store the more hideous the clothing and the more obvious the camouflage/candyfloss divide. If you look at horrifically overpriced designer stuff you get a slightly less stereotypical range and your boy is allowed paler colours until an older age. A lot of it is French. I went to France recently and the kiddie clothes section of this supermarket had better range of colours that blended across the genders. Still a divide but not as bad as in the UK. Back in my own country, I could not believe how long it took me to find plain white socks recently so I could pass them from girl to boy later on. Clearly the patriarchy deems plain white socks too serious for a girl and too wimpish for a boy.

    Is it just me or has this pink/blue divide got worse? Looking back at photos of my youth, I see brown corduroy flares, paisley, tartan and stripy viscose jumpers that that would make your hair stand on end, literally and figuratively, but we all seemed to be in technicolour hell together, boys and girls alike. Not so any more.

  135. Joanna

    Hey,
    I like your blog in general… but I think you’re overreacting a bit on this one. The baby can’t read yet, and it’s not like this shirt is going to have an impact on her self esteem… so come on – it’s just a joke. In fact, it’s almost a positive mockery of what girls do to themselves – “does this make my butt look big” sounds so ridiculous coming from a diapered baby that its sort of a satire of the extent to which girls actually DO worry about their bodies. I’m not saying I’ll run out and buy this for my baby (though that’s for other reasons) but just remember – there are a lot of sexist people out there, but nonetheless not everything relating to girls/body image/sexuality IS sexist.

  136. Mar Iguana

    “…not everything relating to girls/body image/sexuality IS sexist.” Joanna

    What isn’t?

  137. Twisty

    One dumb onesie on an illiterate baby is not a problem, I agree. But I urge you to examine the larger cultural framework that makes this slogan, as you say, a “joke.” The negative message of the feminine body-image mandate superimposed on a baby is just repulsive.

  138. Delishka

    the baboon, I appreciate your comments on the validity of in vivo birth, the reproductive power that women hold, and the biological imperative that drives beings, females especially in our own species, but in the end all beings, to further the reproduction of their own kind to the possible detriment of their personal interests.

    As for baby clothes, I am currently expecting. This week, finally, the gender of my baby was revealed. Practically the instant we knew it was a girl, I was out shopping with my mother. I already had a (very) small supply of yellow and white bodysuits. We didn’t go crazy, but I went ahead and got the violet wunsies I’d been lusting after, and the little green with pink flowers and the ruffly butt.

    In every store I did my pre-buying informative shop, the selection of clothes in infants that was aimed towards little girls exclusively was larger than the section aimed towards boys…and the supposedly gender neutral colors were also leaning towards the cutesy feminine side. There were more pink bibs and socks and what have you to choose from, than there was of any other two colors combined.

    Indoctrinating little girls into a fashion aquisition state of mind seems to start at size 3-6 month.

    Of course, as I just admitted, my mother and I were already perpetrating that feminine stereotype by shopping while the men sat and had donuts…Also, in an earlier pregnancy, when I was carrying a son, I bought very little in the way of clothing, and only one item in any color other than yellow, green or white, and that one because my husband picked out the blue with tools and ‘daddy’s litle helper’. When I was having a boy, I was preoccupied with trying to keep everything ‘gender neutral’ but as soon as there was a girl on the way, the rules changed to anything goes.

    Dunno what that says about me.

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