Comments on: Missing persons alert! History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:41:03 +0000 hourly 1 By: Invisible Man Sun, 10 Mar 2013 03:24:00 +0000 Historiann;

Do you seriously believe, white feminists have ever been the only ones “on the hook”? Even though they benefit from both affirmative action more
than any other group, and are the secondary beneficiaries of white privilege, from the halls of congress, to corporate America, to higher education.

Which is why I say, oppressed people of color, just as we put pressure on white males,
also need to put pressure on white women who call themselves feminist to be “on the hook”. Not just because of the above privileges they receive because of their color, but also given that you are the closest to “them” and you bare their children, which I say creates a social burden to act, sort of like the women in the greek drama Lysistrata.

I’m assuming that you are not fooled by the clever tactical installation of this President as any thing but a “darker face” on the continuation of white American male privilege globally at a time when darker nations are waking up, even with the sad passing of Hugo Chavez.

Finally, when you say “Where are the daddies?” I’m assuming you mean the white males of the women who penned this article and are described in it.

It’s my position that “these white-daddies are hiding behind the general term of “MEN” to escape direct blame (as white men) for their direct culpability in continuing to perpetuate these problems, not to mention Predatory and Disaster Capitalism. Now might I beg a question of you?

What does it mean, at a time when white men are now a minority in America ( with far too much power), yet white women feminist, continue to make general declarative statements about “men”, when in fact, they should be addressing white men/white male culture, specifically? Is this rooted in white supremacy, that dictates the necessity for self preservation? In this case by specifically blocking unwanted attention and scrutiny from white American men as a specific group, which would be threatening to white privilege that benefits white women and white men alike?

Again and as always, very erudite conversations in this cyber lounge.


By: Historiann Fri, 01 Mar 2013 19:46:23 +0000 Women’s labor is only valuable when it’s uncompensated, right? Ugh.

By: Linden Fri, 01 Mar 2013 18:06:09 +0000 Thanks, Historiann. While there are valid critiques to be made about unaddressed white privilege in feminism, I’ve been giving the side-eye to those arguments lately because they don’t seem to be used as anything but a derailing technique. Yes, educated white women have more societal privilege compared to women as a group and women of color as a group. But their issues are still issues, and if more women get to advance to those positions, as we hope and expect that they will, those issues will be waiting for them as well unless they are dealt with. Meanwhile, the elephant in the room is daddy privilege.

I was surprised by the number of men I went to law school with who proudly proclaimed their intent to marry someone who would stay at home with the kids, and who I’m sure went on to do just that. This was in 2000, not 1970. One of these guys, who was a real asshat all around, said that his mother had stayed at home with him, and look how well he turned out, so he expected the same for his kids in order for them to be successful. Meanwhile, I, the offspring of a working single mother, was sitting next to him in family law trying not to punch him.

By: Historiann Thu, 28 Feb 2013 19:34:42 +0000 This is a crazy teaching day for me, so I only have a minute. However, I think both of the last two comments deserve a reply. I am sorry not to have responded sooner.

I think IM raises some worthy points about feminism. Is white feminism invested in the status quo overmuch especially with respect to class and race issues? He is right in that a lot of the feminist issues that get major media coverage tend to be those that affect for the most part bourgeois white women, especially very privileged white women. (I would argue that that’s at least in some part due to the media coverage of white bourgeois feminism and feminists as opposed to the other kinds of feminisms and feminists in the world, and that that’s not in fact feminism’s bias but rather media bias.) But I also think that he is right to ask white feminists to interrogate their position w/r/t the status quo. As historians, we know that some white women have benefited from patriarchy, and that even more have explicitly defended white privilege and social injustice when they perceived that it worked for them.

At the same time I am also sympathetic to the point that nicoleandmaggie raises: why is it feminists (or white feminists) who are the only ones on the hook to fix all social injustices? I for one would never look to any COO or CEO to fix social injustices–that’s not their bag–but if we’re going to expect this of Mayer and Sandberg, why not expect it of corporate leaders like Richard Branson, Sergei Brinn, and Peter Theil too? (And whomever runs Apple now, and the Whole Foods guy?) Instead, these are people who tend to become advocates for conservatarian if not outright conservative ideals and values, and while some criticize their politics, no one says “you can’t advocate X until you deal with Y problem” to them.

Again, I would never look to any corporate leader to provide leadership in social justice issues. That doesn’t mean, however, that they’re not worth listening to if they have some ideas about social justice, understanding that they speak from a very rarified perch and that they are very unlikely to be social revolutionaries interested in wholesale change.

By: nicoleandmaggie Thu, 28 Feb 2013 15:12:54 +0000 Why don’t white men in positions of power have to assume leadership against the patriarchy? Why is it only white women? Why is it only the oppressed that need to fight for the rights of the more oppressed, when people are more likely to listen to the non-oppressed white guys anyway?

Where are the daddies in complaints about privilege?

By: Invisible Man Thu, 28 Feb 2013 01:47:00 +0000 Historiann

My point is not so much about marriage, but when discussions between
privilege white women about their challenges of breaking corporate barriers and how their loving husband are duplicitous in their hindrance,( not how they oppress) gets a neutral and non critical platform as part of feminist discourse at a time when Corporations are becoming increasing predatory against poor and working class women, children, people of color, etc. This just seems part of a drifting of white feminist away from the humanist/justice core of feminism, towards tacit support for white supremacy

the women you are “featuring” are not talking about assuming a “Spook Who Sat By the Door” role, they are Corporate strivers and part of the problem. In my humble opinion, the article above belongs in some pro capitalist women’s business magazine, or Time Magazine, News Week, Fortune,Wall Street Journal,etc. unless there is a discussion about, what does it mean when a white women wants to assume leadership inside a white power structure that oppresses, every body else.



By: Feminist Avatar Thu, 28 Feb 2013 00:12:44 +0000 On the where’s the daddy’s issue – we don’t have any children, but my husband gave up his full-time, permanent job to follow me to another country and a temporary contract. He was then unemployed for 5 months before getting a 0.5 gig, and finally over a year later getting a full-time, permanent job in the same industry as he left. He is much more transportable than me though, so it does help. I guess this makes it feel easier to justify ‘following’ me, but ultimately it’s also because he wants me to succeed as much as I do.

And my brother is currently taking 4 months paternity leave to be with his new baby. This was at least partly financially motivated. His partner earns more in 3 days at her professional and degree-necessary occupation, than he does in a week in his current no-skill, minimum wage job. She took the first five months of maternity leave (where you get paid at a higher rate in the UK) and swapped to him when she got put down to the lower rate parental leave wage bracket. By the time she was due to go back, she was desperate to get out of the house though, so this wasn’t just about money. He got some (illegal) stick from management about taking leave, but the financial excuse shut them up (as they weren’t about to pay him more). Of course, this is in the UK where we have pay for maternity/paternity leave and where we now can swap it between partners part of the way through (this bit is new).

So, I guess my point is some of us do find these men. I do wonder whether it helps that we came from a working-class/lower middle class background and did well, because two working parents is the norm for many people of my background- due to financial necessity. Moreover, as heavy industry dried up in my area, and were replaced by female-dominated service industries (many of which required qualifications), many women earned more than their partners and were more qualified. This definitely did cause problems in the past, but I think for a younger generation (like mine) who witnessed their parents living like this, it made the idea of higher earning, more qualified women seem more normal and so less threatening.

By: Historiann Wed, 27 Feb 2013 21:28:50 +0000 Invisible Man–thanks for commenting. I agree with you that Sandberg’s advice is mostly for a privileged few. I don’t think it’s racial as much as it is a class-based privilege (although it’s not like race and class aren’t intertewined, as you note.) She’s talking about how women like her can follow in her footsteps–women with college degrees, etc. I would note, too, that although many feminists (like me) are talking about her, I don’t think she would say this is “advice for feminists.” I believe she would say that she’s offering advice for people who may want to emulate her in some way.

I don’t think Sandberg thinks that married heterosexuality is a necessary component of that kind of corporate/business world success. That’s part of her world, and she writes from the perspective that for most straight, white women, husbands and children are more often hinderances than help.

Throughout American history, what white women have found oppressive (or at least a hindrance)–marriage and licit motherhood–were unattainable dreams for most black women. This is something that more white feminists should think about.

By: Invisible Man Wed, 27 Feb 2013 20:56:44 +0000 “And, hey: wasn’t this thread supposed to be about the missing daddies? Only Thefrogprincess has addressed the Man Question at all! So. . . where are they?”


Around the way, where I stay the missing daddies are imprisoned, dead or heading that way, partially because of Corporate America.

The deep thing is that white women “feminist” always jump up and down when they get silenced from the conversation, and rightfully so. Yet they do it all the time to people of color especially the poor ones. I was taught when dealing in a culture of violence against women that the first rule is every thing goes on the table and there are no sacred cows.

Sheryl Sandberg’s and Marissa Mayer’s advice is actually for white women who want to put a preverbal dress on the continuation of white supremacy.

or as bell hooks said

“It is obvious that many women have appropriated feminism to serve their own ends, especially those white women who have been at the forefront of the movement; but rather than resigning myself to this appropriation I choose to re-appropriate the term “feminism,” to focus on the fact that to be “feminist” in any authentic sense of the term is to want for ALL PEOPLE, female and male, liberation from sexist role patterns, Domination, and Oppression.”
― bell hooks, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism

By: wini Wed, 27 Feb 2013 16:46:30 +0000 The coverage of Mayer and Yahoo! has been driving me mad. How would this be covered if she was father (if at all)? Since I started paying attention to her (during her time at Google) I have thought that she’s really, really tone deaf to her privilege. And even while I/we might critique a man for the same privilege wielding, I can’t imagine seeing it in the press like this.

Also, she has a nursery in her own office, so that must mean there is free, excellent daycare on the Yahoo! campus, right? right?

But, yes, where are the Daddies? I have waded a bit too far into the muck of comment sections, and I’ve been (not at all, really) surprised by how many people don’t mention it at all. Or, the common “my wife works at home so we don’t have to pay for day care.” Um, if you are caring for your child you are not working? How is that not obvious to people? Back to my experience of working in the academy, stay at home spouses are pretty rare in my department, especially going forward. However, when my husband was on the market for a job in the sciences, he never met a professor with a kid who didn’t have a stay at home spouse. Happily, this was true of female faculty as well, but it was notable either way. We do have female friends from graduate school that are dual-career science academics with 2+ kids, but the mothers in those relationships are superstars. Of course, scientist assistant professor male superstars we know have… no kids and usually no partner yet.

Back to the Yahoo! outrage, I suspect one issue is failing to pull apart at least 3 separated but related ideas: 1. flexible schedules (where you take care of the kids queue at home and then work during nap/when mommy gets home from her job 2. working from home flexibility (where you can go into the office as needed), and 3. working remotely. I have a lot more to say, but busy busy.