Thistles to Me: I Am an Anti-Feminist?

With the Jillian Michaels post behind me and things settling back to a boring ho-hum around here, I thought I’d share a link to a board forum where my piece on Michaels was shared.

Well, not shared so much as lifted in its entirety via cut and paste though I appreciated the link back to my blog. That was nice of whoever scraped me*.

The poster actually liked my article until the last line, which inspired her to physical violence which she admits probably made my point, but it was the first few commenters who pegged me for a Carol Brady**.

What they seized on was a throw away line I just put in to see if anyone would notice and they did, but they didn’t find it funny.

I should just give up on the humor thing.

Any time you stretch the lower half of your body to accommodate a small person and then squeeze it out of an opening that normally only just manages to accommodate a … tampon … for example, it’s going to change things.

Some of the women seemed to think that I was referencing vaginal intercourse and the fact that things can get a little loosey goosey in the old vagina after a natural birth. Natural birth being a relative term that in reality means pretty much anything in terms of the circumstances under which babies emerge from the womb.

Okay, so they caught me on that one. I was in fact referring to what it reads like I am referring to in a way too cute to be tolerated from a feminist anyway.

However, I did not mean to imply that I thought women should forgo child-bearing to keep their “love-holes” tight. There is a lot of muscle in the pelvic floor. Loose or tight is more a matter of a woman’s fitness level than the number of children she’s born. Kegels, ladies. And yoga. But not for your partner, for you. A weak pelvic floor means that all manner of internal organs are going to start sagging and dropping out your opening when the aging process – aided by gravity – kicks it into high gear.

Here’s my favorite comment and a fave of others too judging from how many of them cut/pasted it into their own replies (or it was their reply),

I don’t think I agree with a single thing this blogger is writing especially that pregnancy is a negative for a woman’s body.  Um, ever heard of aging?  Your body is going to change over time, period.  Aging serves no purpose but pregnancy brings a life into this world.

As for being “less tight” – are we really as women going to allow a man’s pleasure to determine whether we have a baby?  Is that feminism?  Men should just DEAL.  It’s not as if their stamina and ability to get it up doesn’t change over time…what’s their excuse?

To address the aging, I won’t. I don’t think the OP had any idea of how old I really am. This forum is at The Knot, which is a bridal site, but is in their Nest forum, young marrieds mostly. I imagine there are middle-aged brides there but the board read young to me.

Age is a given. Sag is a given. No one escapes.

Pregnancy is a choice. Um, in the West, it is primarily a choice. Hmmm, among the privileged it is a choice. Probably.

It’s a choice with a roulette element because going in, one has no idea how the hormones and gestating are going to affect one physically or emotionally. Some people simply don’t want to go there – male as well as female. It will change you. No shame, nor should there be, in declining, and points should be given for being honest about your doubts and reasons.

Here’s one that gave me a giggle or two:

XXXXX said it far better than I could.  I really disliked this article.  Perhaps that’s because I haven’t yet had and really want kids, and have just now gotten comfortable with my body, so I’d like to keep that.  But I think it is also the exaggeration of the difficulties of pregnancy and raising infants: yes, sleeplessness impedes workouts, but that impossible phase passes in a couple of months.  Law school sometimes impeded workouts, too, but I didn’t drop out just because finals would make me skip the gym.

And re: the “tightness” issue, I imagine we were all tightest in our teens and early twenties.  I’ll speak only for myself in saying that I don’t think that’s exactly the best sex ever.  Experience counts a lot more than a few millimeters in diameter.

Soo boo to this article!  Not slamming the op in that.  I love to read things I can disagree with.  🙂

I remember being childlessly naive. She brings it all back. Sigh.

We all think that we will have the easy pregnancy. Gain ten pounds and jog right up to the hospital door. Our baby will not be discolored, have a misshapen head or monkey hair. And she’ll sleep through the night in no time at all.

Sure. Taking care of a newborn is not equivalent in any way to going to law school. If you fall asleep over a textbook, you won’t suffocate it, and sleeplessness during finals is finite – a kid will be keeping you up nights for the rest of your life.

Life has its own ideas, just as babies do. When Dee was two weeks old her father was already losing his mind due to his yet to be diagnosed terminal illness. Needless to say, my fantasies about getting back into shape were just that. Good intentions sometimes play out and just as often, they come to nothing.

Like the non-hating on me – the “op” in her last sentence. Unexpected sweetness of spirit on the Internet should be applauded loudly whenever it is chanced upon.

Loved this one too:

As far as tightness, that doesn’t just go to a man’s pleasure.

Sing it, Sista!

I am an inconsistent warrior in the feminist trenches at best. That I will admit to, but I don’t think taking the Jillian haters to task or pointing out that the female gender is more divided than the male makes me  Phyllis Schlafly.

Let me leave you with a classic episode of Maude – a make believe woman who was more feminist than I am.

*That comes off as ungrateful, I know, but cut/pasting excerpts is okay while plastering someone else’s post on your space isn’t kosher. Even on message boards, it’s a dicey practice.

**Let’s face it, even with the pants suits and the shag hair cut, she was so not a bra-burner.

14 thoughts on “Thistles to Me: I Am an Anti-Feminist?

  1. We really are sisters, you know.
    You should see how popular I am at parties when I mention how many women I know of who have died during childbirth. NOT a popular topic today, science be damned. It’s bad enough that I suggest my labor was painful or that I THOUGHT I would die during delivery.
    That’s why the widows’ parties are the most fun. Or maybe, the only ones I get invited to any more. 🙂

    1. I don’t get invited to parties.

      True story: I was in the washroom with a woman I know and she was telling me about her continence issues.

      “I know all the pads. Can tell you the best brand for any occasion,” she said. “If only I could have more sex, it might help, but hard to do that with your husband deployed.”

      “Yeah,” I agreed. “Nothing like sex for practicing kegels.”

      Dead silence. And then,

      “Um, yeah.”

  2. I could have repeated the above medical comment. Amen. As for me? I’m only 30 and deal w/ one of the above already (even with kegels) so yes… childbirth is beautiful but can still cause physical draw backs… tightness isn’t just for sex. Its for personal health…

  3. also:
    * Cystocele: A herniation (or bulging) of the upper front vaginal wall where a part of bladder bulges into the vagina, which may lead to urinary frequency, urgency, retention, and incontinence.

    * Enterocele: The herniation of the upper rear vaginal wall where a small bowel portion bulges into the vagina. Standing leads to a pulling sensation and backache and is relieved when you lie down.

    * Rectocele: The herniation of the lower rear vaginal wall where the rectum bulges into the vagina. This makes bowel movements difficult to the point that you may need to push on the inside of your vagina to empty your bowel.

    (taken from

    and let’s not forget fistulas. Let’s never forget fistulas.

  4. A man’s pleasure has nothing to do with my reason’s for wanting a “tight vagina”. I don’t want to pee my pants or have my uterus slip out of my body for the rest of my life.

    Yes, dear message boarders who fail to see the importance of keeping it tight, that does happen. Your uterus can fall out of your body, your vagina kind of just turns inside out and everything just falls out. Repeatedly. It’s called procidentia and it’s the reason that I thank my lucky stars I have a nice tight vagina.

    Cut and paste to post that.

  5. Correct me if I’m wrong, but when you said that I thought you were just saying that childbirth is a big deal to the body and a legitimate consideration for Jillian Michaels to consider given her career and her body issues. Geez, it’s a leap to go to the sex thing!

    I LOL about effect on kids and law school on working out. I’ve done both! And it was way easier to work out in law school. A 30 minute run cleared my mind even during finals. You can leave your textbooks in the library and with kids is much harder, quite apart from having no energy left at the end of the day.

  6. reading the message board comments, and watching that clip from a long-forgotten episode of Maude, i am smacked in the head by the clear delineation of three distinct generations of “feminism”. brain is too addled on a sunday night to really work through it, but suspect there is some connection between the generational divides and fragmentation of women in our society.

    oh, and the comment by the young law student was just so cute… yep. i remember when i still believed i could have it all, and do it all, and be it all… with no consequence. (sigh)

  7. I am applauding you, Annie, as I sit here doing kegels. Life is funny…I sat with a group of 70-something women the other morning and the conversation veered toward how busy life is for young families and how the mothers wind up taking care of the house regardless of the fact that they work full-time now, too. Their feeling was that men were not geared, genetically, to care as much about keeping the house in order. The example I gave of my 28 year-old son who does the grocery shopping, most of the cooking, and a fair balance of the cleaning fell on deaf ears. I love to watch people as they validate what fits their paradigm with the stories they tell themselves.

  8. This is actually the sentence that caught my attention: “In the end, this is just another example of why women do not rule the world. We are too easily induced to turn on each other over nothing.”

    it’s hilarious how the ladies reaction on “THE KNOT” illustrates this perfectly. women desperately do not want to care what other’s think about them but even as the words,”i don’t care what you think,” issue from their mouths, it’s is blatantly apparent that most women truly desire to be seen as desirable, beautiful, and worthy. these wishes require that someone outside of themselves find it to be true ultimately. even if a woman has a strong self-esteem, and feels all these things rightfully about herself w/out the attentions of another, she will still want (someone out there) to express the same feelings about her.

    SO, when someone points out the probability that they will no longer be able to “compete” in the physically beautiful category as highly, after having children as well as she did pre-child, or that her “hooha” may not be as pleasureful to a man, they literally get spitting mad.

    looks aren’t everything and a child is well worth the sacrifice if you’re willing to make it. there are other qualities about a woman that will only increase as she ages and/or takes on the responsibility of bearing and raising another human being that will over shadow (not replace) the reduction in physical attractiveness/ tightness that is inevitable for every woman, both one who bears a child as well as one who does not.

  9. Nothing wrong with considering your partner’s pleasure, as long as your partner is also considering your pleasure. And that’s true even if your partner’s a man. I don’t see what’s so anti-feminist about that.

    But, yes, there are other considerations that have absolutely nothing to do with penises.

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