The Vagenda

Advice My Mother Gave Me

This teacup of flowers is the kind of naff shit my mum hates
One of the best gifts my mum gave me, apart from life and her vinyl record collection, is that of advice. I am not about to return that gift with some shitty gingham checked, cupcake baking, fifties throwback manual recommended by Waterstones. I can safely say that my mother doesn’t give a fuck about any of the stuff that society says she should, like shoes or matching furniture. Thank God.
So, in honour of Mothers’ Day, I’d like to list ten of the best bits of info she has ever given me, as a way of saying thank you for the hours of agonising labour she underwent in order to bring me into the world (at 9lbs 10 oz, I was a FAT BABY) Thanks, mum. You are so cool, and I will never live up to you.
1.)  That just because you’re a girl, it doesn’t mean that people can treat you badly. THAT is why feminism exists.
2.)  That it’s OK to sleep around at college, provided you are safe and happy. But that doesn’t mean that one-night stands can’t be soulless. P.S. That was pre-AIDS, nowadays you should always use a condom.
3.)  That if you hate your job so much that it makes you feel dizzy when you walk into the office, you should just quit.
4.)  That learning to be assertive, rather than aggressive or passive, will get you far in life. Don’t stand for any bullshit.
5.)  That if a man grabs you, kick and punch and scream your head off. Attract as much attention to yourself as possible (this saved my life.)
6.)  That you should never, ever work in advertising. She lasted two days at Saatchi & Saatchi before being sacked. I managed one at VCCP. She has never been prouder.
7.)  That feminism is about CHOICE. And that if you choose to stay at home to look after your kids and paint, rather than take some mindless capitalist drone job, then that’s OK. As long as you’re happy.
8.)  That material things are of little importance, and that you can get by on a surprisingly little amount if you have to. Also that charity shops are excellent sources of eccentric clothing.
9.)  That music should be played often, and at optimum volume.
10.)  That you should never, EVER fuck a Conservative. 

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5 thoughts on “Advice My Mother Gave Me

  1. My mum gives a fuck about matching shoes (and shoes in general). Not because she is a vapid, consumerist btich, bt because having suffered with her big, flat feet and lack of shoes that catered to them, she loves buying shoes that fit and feel comfy and look good.
    My mum gives a fuck about cooking. Not to impress man and society with her kitchen goddess skills, but because she enjoys it, and likes to eat.
    I love reading The Vagenda because I consider myself to be a feminist, and I found this blog to be accurate and funny. But this time, I feel a bit insulted because this post implies that enjoying certain things is wrong because “society tells us to enjoy them”. Maybe I missed the point of the post, but it reminds me of when a couple of guys I argued with told me to “go back to my cupcakes” because they knew I enjoyed baking. The fact that I chose to spend some of my time in the kitchen doesn’t make me less of a feminist and doesn’t mean that I am a fifties throwback. If anything, this reinforces the stereotype of a mindless house slave drone, when it couldn’t be further from truth.
    I didn’t put myself across as succinctly as I would have liked, but I hope you guys understand where I am coming from

  2. Dear TulipFields,

    Don’t be insulted. If we got insulted by what we read on the internet, we wouldn’t have time to write this awesome blog. It’s just one mum’s view, in a world full of millions of mums, yeah? We love mums, hence this post. Just because your mum likes shoes and baking and some of our mum’s don’t, doesn’t mean one or the other is better. Less of the MOMPETITION please.



  3. But to me you are not just another Internet thing- to say that I like your blog very much would be a big understatement, which is why I wanted to explain how I feel about this post. I agree that your blog is awesome and deserves high praise
    And there is no mompetition involved- my mum is the best to me, as yours is to you
    Lots of love,
    Tulip Fields

  4. I also found the opening paragraph of this post mildly insulting, as it is not the mum’s POV, but the authors, that cooking and shoe-loving mums are boring. ‘Thank God.’
    Love the post, what a great Mother’s Day gift! but I think you missed the point of TulipField’s complaint; it’s no ‘Mompetition’ just a (justified) observation on a post with a bit of a superiority complex.
    Keep up the good work, fight the good fight, and thanks to all our mother’s who pointed us down the feminist path!