Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stuart Schneiderman: The Day of the Cougar.

14 Comments:

Blogger Cham said...

I understand that I am taking the quote out of context from the Scheiderman post but bear with me:

"And ask yourself where she ever got the idea that when she was a mother and a wife she was not herself. What ideology persuaded her that those roles were alien identities? And if they were alien identities, does that mean that she should feel no sense of accomplishment for having fulfilled them well? Can she now feel no pride in her children because being their mother forced her, against her will, not to be herself?"

You could sort of address slavery the same way. Hey, aren't the slaves fulfilled from working in the fields and growing lush delicious crops? Can a slave not feel pride and sense of accomplishment from a fluffy puff of cotton or sweet sugar cane grown by their hard sweat and labor 16 hours a day in the hot sun?

I'm not exactly likening motherhood to slavery but I'm just looking at the quote from another perspective. Maybe a little pottery might bring some joy and fulfillment above and beyond raising bright healthy children and one shouldn't begrudge a late-in-life pottery class to someone who wants to expand their horizons a bit.

Telling women to get back into the kitchen and be thankful for their current lot in life may not be the best way to change hearts and minds.

9:34 AM, August 19, 2010  
Blogger fred said...

The problem with this stuff is that there may simply be no truth to a huge growth of cougar movement:
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2011796,00.html
it is a fiction and men still prefer
young women.

10:22 AM, August 19, 2010  
Blogger David said...

Cham, the slavery analogy is pretty weird, even for a lover of analogies such as myself. Most people choose to become parents; few chose to become slaves. No one is threatened: "Have 2 kids and raise them or you will be brutally whipped."

Furthermore, parents have reasonable agency in how they spend time with their kids: what things get done in what order at what times, at a minimum. Slaves for the most part had no agency whatsoever.

A better analogy might be with a job which is very demanding and time-consuming, but permits a greater degree of decision-making and autonomy than the typical assembly line or call-center job.

11:27 AM, August 19, 2010  
Blogger JB said...

Wow, I think I must be living in a different universe or something.
"Motherhood" devalued? Tell that to the family courts -- the ones that consistently give children to the one with the Golden Uterus.
Tell that to the criminal courts -- the ones that make excuses for mothers who kill their own children, who consistently grant a "sentencing discount" to anyone with two X chromosomes.
Tell that to the SAHMs out there, who pretend that there is something special about spending all day decorating their kid's school locker (note to Mom: you're setting up your kid to get beaten up), while they routinely fail to explain why it takes them 9-10 hours in the day to do the same thing that working mothers do in about 1.5 hours every evening after a full day of work.
Sure, feminism was all about equality -- equal pay, equal opportunity, equal chance to be taken seriously for the contributions we make to the world. And for that, I proudly call myself a feminist. But it was never supposed to be about either exalting or denigrating motherhood. It was merely supposed to be about giving women a choice.
And oh by the way -- the way I recall it in 1972, it was supposed to be about giving MEN a choice as well.
So here we are, almost 40 years into our movement. It's been hi-jacked by the gender-feminists, hate-mongering, man-hating, misandry-promoting... and on top of all that, we have totally polarized women as well.
I'm a mother, yes. I've given birth, and I've successfully reared my children. I say "successfully" because my success criteria were to have my children become hard-working, producing, joyful, honest, self-sufficient adults -- and they did.
But being a mother is only one part of me (I equal parts scientist, engineer, leader, amateur pilot). I meet far too many women who define themselves totally and solely as "mother" -- and then they enmesh their identities with their kids' and do that "helicopter parent" thing. These are the ones who wake up in their 40's and "realize" they've "lost themselves". Um, no sister, you didn't "lose yourself", you "gave yourself away". Your choice.
One last thought: I didn't see my oldest child's first step. Her daycare worker did. I didn't hear my second child's first word. My best friend did. But I was there for a million other steps, and words, and tears, and triumphs. Why emphasize the "first" one? In parenting it's usually the "last" one -- the last word at 2 a.m. after your kid weathers his/her first heartbreak; the last step they take up to the podium to give the valedictorian speech -- that counts. Think about it.

2:01 PM, August 19, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

JB,

Nice tome, thanks for sharing. One of the elements of both SAHM-ism and careerism is a low-grade narcissism that whatever you chose to do is all of a sudden the most important work in the world. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; I have a feeling these people get emotionally boxed into a corner and stop asking what, given proper regard to their duties as a spouse and parent, is going to make them happy?

2:39 PM, August 19, 2010  
Blogger Novaseeker said...

Cougars are nothing new, but the word is new.

There have always been older woman/younger man sex-based relationships. Look at The Graduate, for example. Yes, men prefer younger women generally, but most of them will gladly sleep with a well-maintained older woman if sex is on offer. The vast majority of these relationships are sex-based, however -- not necessarily one night deals, but nevertheless very sexually-based relationships that lead to LTRs.

A very small number of significantly older woman/younger man LTRs exist -- including the prominent Moore/Kusher marriage. But the overall trend is not that there is a mushrooming of older women in their mid 40s having LTRs with 25 year old men. A handful, yes. A huge trend, no. But at the same time, there are certainly more sex-based relationships with that age gap and gender line-up, simply because women are free to do so sexually, and the younger men will take the sex if it's on offer. It's not rocket science, really, but it's also not something that is having a significant impact on relationship/LTR/marital formation. It probably does have an impact on marital dissolution, however, with more than one woman in her 40s opting out of her marriage to have casual sex with younger men and be "free".

4:47 PM, August 19, 2010  
Blogger Novaseeker said...

should read at the end of the first paragraph "that do not typically lead to LTRs".

4:48 PM, August 19, 2010  
Blogger fred said...

when it comes to promiscuity in general, the US hardly ranks at the top

http://bigthink.com/ideas/22840

5:23 PM, August 19, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

"... while they routinely fail to explain why it takes them 9-10 hours in the day to do the same thing that working mothers do in about 1.5 hours every evening after a full day of work."

----

They don't HAVE TO explain it. The manginas they are married to damn well better not even ask or turn an eye to it. Or she may leave him even faster than she will anyway when she meets another beta provider who has more money.

5:26 PM, August 19, 2010  
Blogger JG said...

And gee, more of "Stuart Schneiderman". Is there some kind of kickback deal here or what. Otherwise, I just don't see the draw.

5:28 PM, August 19, 2010  
Blogger BarryD said...

No one is threatened: "Have 2 kids and raise them or you will be brutally whipped."

Obviously, you haven't dealt with CPS. (Neither have I, personally, but I wasn't born yesterday, nor am I completely cut off from other human beings.)

9:04 PM, August 19, 2010  
Blogger David said...

BarryD...you think CPS requires people to have kids? Seizure of birth control pills and devices, audited requirement for minimum number of sexual encounters per week, etc?

9:18 PM, August 19, 2010  
Blogger globalman100 said...

Helen,
you might want to watch this one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dXIlneqnBc

8:26 PM, August 20, 2010  
Blogger br549 said...

I read the article and the comments. Wow. Whole new perspective here. I am going cougar hunting, and returning to the days of my youth, being - wham, bam, thank you ma'am, zipping up, and going home.

9:52 AM, August 21, 2010  

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