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This might be your mother's feminism

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Mums + books [May. 2nd, 2008|10:43 am]
This might be your mother's feminism


My only knowledge of Zoe Williams comes from my f-list screaming about her, but here I am going to scream on my own (after being pointed in that direction by cigogne):


They're calling it "mumming down" - a website called Netmums surveyed 6,000 people, and 51.4% said they'd started reading "less taxing" books since they had had a baby. Of course, this is the most outrageous slur on all our intellects, and I wouldn't even dignify it with a mention, were it not for the fact that it is 100% true.

Number 1, I'd guess that many people when faced with a fundamental lifestyle change would read books more suitable termed 'brain candy' or otherwise not terribly taxing. Ask anyone who's moving to another country, in the nitty-gritty part of a divorce, recovering from surgery, or writing up a PhD whether they feel like tackling Dostoevsky today. Heck, when I was writing up I was ripping through the Chalet School books as if there were no tomorrow, and no one accused MY intellect of dribbling out my ears, though allegedly if the PhD had been waking me up every four hours demanding my breast then that would have been the case.

Number 2, note how she treats that statistic as a monolithic thing, without bothering to question whether a one-year follow-up survey would change any of the answers. No, baby = dumb books. And I want to know how that question was originally phrased. AND I want to talk to that other 48.6% and find out if they actually ARE reading Dostoevsky.

Here's the survey on Netmums:


Can anyone figure out how she got that 51.4% statistic out of those numbers?

[User Picture]From: wisemanharris
2008-05-02 10:03 am (UTC)
Yeah, no shit, Sherlock! I'd like to see anyone read "intellectually taxing books" whilst getting up 4 times every night and trying to remember/learn all of the new skills that come with a baby. I'm sure Margaret Thatcher didn't read a lot of intellectually taxing books when she was Prime Minister either, perhaps she was too busy running the damn country. What point are they trying to make exactly??

I reckon the other 48% were reading chick lit in the first place...
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[User Picture]From: dramasequalzero
2008-05-02 11:38 am (UTC)
Zoe Williams is a living example of "mumming down" (ugh! who came up with that phrase?) I used to quite like her column - she wrote angrily and funnily on feminist topics. Then she got pregnant and started writing drivel.
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[User Picture]From: cangetmad
2008-05-02 12:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, I do fucking hate columns that do that knowing "ahahaha the stereotypes are true" thing. My mothering problems with books are a) having to read them in 10-second bursts and b) not being able to read in bed because the baby is either asleep in the room or climbing on me.

The physical, emotional and organisational circumstances of motherhood do make long, concentrated periods of reading hard, in general, so choosing books that suit short, interrupted reading sessions makes sense.

Of course, her interpretation of the stats is shit. But, ahahahaha, everyone knows women can't do maths.
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[User Picture]From: leedy
2008-05-02 12:31 pm (UTC)
*follows pisica over here*

*applauds you*
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[User Picture]From: pisica
2008-05-02 12:34 pm (UTC)
Aw, but you left your ALL CAPS RANTINESS back at cigogne's place.

Edited at 2008-05-02 12:42 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: bosssio
2008-05-02 05:27 pm (UTC)
ah, more evidence that it isn't *women* are thick, just *mothers*. Good we got that clarified...


actually I went through a classics kick with my first, when I spent days on the sofa with a baby nursing and got tired of crap TV. Go me.
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[User Picture]From: ailbhe
2008-05-02 10:52 pm (UTC)
Can anyone figure out how she got that 51.4% statistic

The number in her arse was irritating her piles, so she pulled it out?
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