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This post is from the German blog Genderama. The text and the quotes have been roughly translated into English.
1. Welt (“The World“) reports on the new Shell Youth Study, which says that today’s youth are more traditional in their ideas about work and parenting than “politics sometimes want them to be”.
For the first time, Kantar, a survey institute involved in the study, asked the young people how they would divide their working time with their partner if they were 30 years old and looked after a two-year-old child. The scientists had expected a majority for equal working time models.
Instead, however, 54 percent of the adolescents spoke in favour of a “male provider model” in which the father contributes the lion’s share to the household income with 30 to 40 hours of work per week and the mother only earns a little in 20 hours a week. (…) Equal models, in which both work full-time or both work equally reduced times, are only favoured by a about a third.
“Equal rights” is now obviously the number one weasel phrase in the gender debate. Actually, the term properly means that women and men have the same rights. In the feminist camp, however, this term is increasingly used as a synonym for “equality”. (For example, in a phrase like “more men than women in the Bundestag [
German federal parliament] – still a long way to equal rights.”) And now it is synonymous with “equal roles in a partnership”. Why? Because “equal rights” is such a positive term – something we all want – it is also adopted for things that obviously not everyone wants.
“It is very surprising for us and also an amazing development, that so many young people are on the way to a re-traditionalisation,” said a distraught Family Minister Franziska Giffey (SPD)[
Social Democratic Party of Germany] at the presentation of the study. Finally, they try to create with their policies, compatibility and framework conditions for a partnership educational perception. (…) A mantra that has also come from Giffey’s predecessors. If women continue to rely on their husbands, the message goes, we will never do away with the abolition of the pay gap between men and women.
Perhaps the SPD is also so unsuccessful because their MPs now lack the antennas for what a large part of the population wants?
Study Director Albert does not want to hide the fact that he assumed that equal rights and partnership with regard to the distribution of work in the family are already more pronounced, as he says in an interview with this newspaper. “But I would not speak of a re-traditionalisation, as the Family Minister does, but rather an indication that traditional family forms are definitely not yet extinct. It may not always be politically desirable, but you must not deny them the social legitimacy. “
It is worth noting how different the willingness of mothers to practice nearly a full-time job is in Germany:
In the east [
of Germany], more than half of girls and young women, including toddlers, can imagine a work week of 30 hours or more, compared with only 26 percent in the west.
Similarly, it is noteworthy that mothers want to push the fathers of their children far more into the provider role than these fathers would wish for themselves – once again, it is not men who cling to the “behaviouralist” in the partnership-based distribution of roles, whom feminists like to attribute to them the women:
In fact, many of the young men in the Shell study also favored slightly reduced working hours when a small child was in the house. Only 41 percent want to work 40 hours, 37 percent find a scope of 30 hours appropriate. Interestingly enough, it’s not enough for young women: 51 percent of them want their child’s dad to be stuck with 40-hour workweeks.
So, if a women’s minister wants the gender gap to close, she would actually have to appeal to women to make her partner less active in gainful employment. I do not expect that to happen.