Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk > Religion, Politics and World Events
Reload this Page >

Sweden "Flexi-hours and longer maternity leave: A trimph for feminism? Anything but!"

Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

Sweden "Flexi-hours and longer maternity leave: A trimph for feminism? Anything but!"

Old 11-28-07, 11:39 PM
  #1  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 16,024
Sweden "Flexi-hours and longer maternity leave: A trimph for feminism? Anything but!"

So we always hear all this stuff about how Sweden, with its vast array of labor laws and worker protection laws, allegedly offers all of these great opportunities to women, and the U.S., with its cold, free market, unregulated economy, allegedly doesn't.

Well, check out the bold part! (two short paragraphs about half way through the article)


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1879

Flexi-hours and longer maternity leave: A trimph for feminism? Anything but!

21st November 2007

By SUE REID

A part of a new frontier for the British welfare state, the Government wants to encourage more women to go to work while their children are looked after in council nurseries.

There will be nine months' maternity leave, more flexible working hours for parents and pressure put on businesses to allow mothers to take time off if they have a child under 17 who is taking exams or is ill.

These family-friendly policies were announced in the Queen's Speech this month and won approval of female MPs, many who whom cut their teeth in politics during the feminist heyday of the Seventies.

Harriet Harman, the Minister for Women and Equalities, has led the call for change.

She says: "Mothers often tear out their hair trying to balance earning a living with bringing up children and need more flexibility at work."

But the plans have met with disapproving noises from the Tory Party and businesses.

They warn that they will lead to a nanny state where children of working women will be herded into nurseries and that the family-friendly agenda will be so expensive many employers will be put off hiring women.

So where have Gordon Brown and his female entourage got their ideas for the shake-up in social policy that will change the way we live and bring up our families?

You only have to look at Sweden, where for 30 years successive Left-wing governments have enforced sexual equality by sending women to work while the state brings up their children.

Yet just as Britain moves towards this system, a backlash is under way in Sweden.

Women are beginning to question why they can't look after their own young children rather than being forced to let government nurseries do it for them.

No one sees the downside more clearly than Therese Murphy and her husband, Paul.

They are bringing up their four children in the picturesque Swedish city of Gothenberg.

The couple are due to have another baby before Christmas, a welcome addition for 39-year-old Therese to care for at their five-bedroom house near the waterfront.

The couple should have a perfect family life, but when the Murphys go out their neighbours look at them with curiosity.

If Therese takes her two youngest, Elise, nine, and William, five, to play in the park, it is nearly always empty.

For she and Paul, a medical salesman who was born in the U.S., are bucking the system.

Therese is a stay-at-home mother - one of a tiny number of women in Sweden who do not have a paid job.

She refuses to put her children in one of the state nurseries, where thousands of babies - many as young as 13 months - are left by their mothers each morning.

Europe's most generous welfare system (where subsidised childcare means parents pay £90 a month for childcare and get up to 80 per cent of their salary during 13 months maternity leave per child), is designed to get women into work and once there enforce their total equality with men.

But the truth is that this policy is beginning to fail. Many families have woken up to the fact that their feather-bedded system is putting traditional family life in peril.

The issue has become so controversial that the Swedish government is being forced to change its equality policies - following protests from women.

In a triumph for housewives, from next year in some areas, mothers will be offered a choice: continue using the state-run childcare facilities or take a cash equivalent to look after your children at home.

Dr Catherine Hakim, a researcher at the London School of Economics specialising in women's issues, says she is not surprised about the change of heart.

"No person, man or woman, can have it all.

"It is a fact of life. If you offer mothers special deals at work, the others don't like it. They feel they are left to carry the burden. This rebounds on women and they don't get the top jobs."

Indeed, you have only to study what is happening in Sweden to understand what the future may hold for Britain.

Despite years of pushing women into work, just 1.5 per cent are in top management posts.

Yet in the U.S., where there are fewer family-friendly policies than almost anywhere else in the world, more than 11 per cent of women hold down the best-paid jobs.


But that is not the only problem.

On average, Swedish women earn 20 per cent less than men, the same proportion as Britain.

Most have jobs in the public sector - often, ironically, working in the huge childcare system - while threequarters of men are hired by private firms where salaries are higher and careers more rewarding.

Equality of the sexes it is not.

As Patricia Morgan, an expert on family issues at the British independent think tank, Civitas, explains: "Sweden has made the most concerted attempt in history to bring about the demise of the traditional family and free women from their child-rearing role.

"The system was created, and is kept going, by powerful feminists in the government.

"But it is failing women. The fact is the majority of women want to manage their own children's care, while men go out and earn the money."

Sweden's Ombudsman for Equality has received thousands of complaints from women who say they have not been offered jobs or who lose them because they are pregnant.

A typical example is Maria Catoni, 30, an economics graduate who lives in southern Sweden with her husband, Daniel, and 14-month-old son, Hugo.

Earlier this year, she applied for a job as the financial controller of a firm, but was turned down. She believes she was discriminated against because she is the mother of a young child.

"The same thing has happened to my friends. They go for jobs they would be good at. But then they mention they have children. That is the end. Of course, it is illegal to discriminate, but it still goes on," she says.

But can you really blame employers? Absenteeism among women workers in Sweden is rife - especially among mothers of young children.

On a typical day, 20 per cent of women workers don't turn up. In the public sector, the figure is 33 per cent.

The backlash in Sweden against Government interference in family and work life is based on women's realisation that they are missing out on something very precious: the chance to raise their own sons and daughters.

For the past 30 years, generations of children have been parted from their mothers and brought up in state nurseries - with serious consequences.

Suicides are a rising problem among teenagers. Depression is widespread among girls.

The results in secondary schools, once the envy of the world, have dropped dismally low.

Official statistics show that the psychological well-being of young Swedes has deteriorated faster than in 11 other Western countries during the past two decades.

In 1970, the reading levels of tenyearold Swedes were the best in the world.

But today, they have slipped to 15th in global rankings.

Jonas Himmelstrand, an expert on special needs education, blames a social policy that separates babies from their mothers.

He says children who are brought up at home are calmer and easier to teach. Even as adults, those raised in nurseries have a more difficult time concentrating.

No wonder that Therese Murphy wants to return to the pre-Seventies days when women stayed at home to look after their children if they wished.

In other words, she is demanding the right to be mothers again.

"Polls show that 67 per cent of women want to stay at home - yet only a fraction of that number do so. How can a Government enforce so many to live their lives in a way they don't want?" she says.

Sweden's high taxes - ironically imposed to pay for the nurseries, maternity benefits and entire nanny state - mean that families struggle to survive on a single income.

On average, each person pays half their earnings to the state.

Of this vicious circle, Therese says: "The taxes increase the pressure on mothers to go out to work. Their extra wage is often the only way to pay the bills, run a home or buy their children extra clothes."

Therese's experience of state-run childcare makes her feel that the children themselves also suffer.

A trained nurse, she has helped out occasionally at nurseries. She says she has seen babies handed over by their weeping mothers at the doors at 7am before work.

Worse, she has seen toddlers screaming as their parents walk away.

"We were told to tell the mothers that their children stopped crying when they left.

"But the reality is that some didn't stop crying for nearly three weeks, when they gave up hope.

"For the child, a state nursery is nothing like home. The routine is fixed. These are not relaxed and fun places to spend your childhood.

"The nurseries have so many rules to keep the children safe.

They are often kept awake deliberately so they will sleep at night when their exhausted mother comes to collect them after work. It is like being in an institution."

Madeleine Lidman, 43, is another mother who is challenging the Swedish system.

She lives with her husband, Mikael, a sales manager, and her two daughters, Johanna, 11, and Josefina, nine, in Stockholm.

She gave up her job in computer marketing when she first gave birth and now works part-time from home. "My children are proud that I look after them. They are happy, confident and contented.

"They want to run to me after school and tell me what has happened during the day. We don't have as much money as if I worked, we have not bought our own home. But there are other things that are more important for children than money.

"The parents in Sweden know that something is wrong with this system. But it has been in place for 30 years and most of them have been brought up in state nurseries themselves.

"They console themselves that if everyone else is sending their children it must be all right."

What an irony that in Sweden, the crucible of sexual equality, generations of women deprived of the pleasure of sharing their children's early years at home are starting to rebel.

And if questions are at last being asked in this creator of the nanny state, surely it is time to ask them in Britain - before it is too late.
grundle is online now  
Old 11-29-07, 07:05 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: in da cloud
Posts: 26,196
you can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat
how can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?
al_bundy is offline  
Old 11-29-07, 12:34 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: in da cloud
Posts: 26,196
all in all you are just another brick in the wall
al_bundy is offline  
Old 11-29-07, 12:54 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk God
 
kvrdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 86,200
Women control the vaginas. Give them what they want.
kvrdave is offline  
Old 11-29-07, 01:17 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
wishbone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 20,584
"...the passageway all males pass through to begin life, and spend the rest of their adult lives trying to get back in it."
wishbone is offline  
Old 11-29-07, 02:04 PM
  #6  
bhk
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Right of Atilla The Hun
Posts: 19,749
It'll be fun to watch the rioting that happens when these socialists run out of other people's money.
bhk is offline  
Old 11-29-07, 03:06 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 3,236
My sister's former boss summed it up when he said "I never promote women because they just get pregnant and leave."

The sad truth is that the more benefits women have, the less likely some managers are to promote them. In the back of their minds they are thinking "Will I have to pay her for 9 months of maternity leave? How many children will she have?"

I'm not saying it is right. Just that it happens.
Pistol Pete is offline  
Old 11-29-07, 03:23 PM
  #8  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di SalÚ
Posts: 32,349
Originally Posted by grundle
Despite years of pushing women into work, just 1.5 per cent are in top management posts.

Yet in the U.S., where there are fewer family-friendly policies than almost anywhere else in the world, more than 11 per cent of women hold down the best-paid jobs.

But that is not the only problem.

On average, Swedish women earn 20 per cent less than men, the same proportion as Britain.
I wonder what their sources are.

In the manufacturing sector, Swedish women earn 91% of what men earn, compared to 75% in the UK. In Sweden, women account for 47% of the seats in the legislature, compared to 20% in the UK and 16% in the US. Only in % of managers and professionals does Sweden trail the US or the UK.

My data are from <a href = "http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/indwm/statistics.htm#Work">The United Nations Statistics Division</a>.
wendersfan is offline  
Old 11-29-07, 03:30 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 25,062
Originally Posted by wishbon3
"...the passageway all males pass through to begin life, and spend the rest of their adult lives trying to get back in it."
Ew.
Tracer Bullet is offline  
Old 11-29-07, 03:45 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Rosemount, MN
Posts: 30,314
Originally Posted by wendersfan
I wonder what their sources are.

In the manufacturing sector, Swedish women earn 91% of what men earn, compared to 75% in the UK. In Sweden, women account for 47% of the seats in the legislature, compared to 20% in the UK and 16% in the US. Only in % of managers and professionals does Sweden trail the US or the UK.

My data are from <a href = "http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/indwm/statistics.htm#Work">The United Nations Statistics Division</a>.
Look, you obviously don't get the point of the thread. Do not bring other facts into the discussion.
Draven is offline  
Old 11-29-07, 03:48 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,819
"The fact is the majority of women want to manage their own children's care, while men go out and earn the money."

The Bus is offline  
Old 11-29-07, 04:05 PM
  #12  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Nuova Repubblica di SalÚ
Posts: 32,349
Originally Posted by Draven
Look, you obviously don't get the point of the thread.
This thread would have to have a point for me to not get it.
wendersfan is offline  
Old 11-29-07, 04:35 PM
  #13  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 16,024
Originally Posted by wendersfan
This thread would have to have a point for me to not get it.

Yeah - it's too bad that the person who started this thread didn't explain the point of the thread in the first post!
grundle is online now  
Old 11-29-07, 04:36 PM
  #14  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 16,024
Originally Posted by wendersfan
I wonder what their sources are.

In the manufacturing sector, Swedish women earn 91% of what men earn, compared to 75% in the UK. In Sweden, women account for 47% of the seats in the legislature, compared to 20% in the UK and 16% in the US. Only in % of managers and professionals does Sweden trail the US or the UK.

My data are from <a href = "http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/indwm/statistics.htm#Work">The United Nations Statistics Division</a>.

Since women make up 51% of the voting age population in the U.S., I guess they prefer to have men in political office.
grundle is online now  
Old 11-29-07, 05:15 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Vibiana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Living in a van down by the river
Posts: 13,675
Originally Posted by grundle
In a triumph for housewives, from next year in some areas, mothers will be offered a choice: continue using the state-run childcare facilities or take a cash equivalent to look after your children at home.

Dr Catherine Hakim, a researcher at the London School of Economics specialising in women's issues, says she is not surprised about the change of heart.

"No person, man or woman, can have it all.

"It is a fact of life. If you offer mothers special deals at work, the others don't like it. They feel they are left to carry the burden. This rebounds on women and they don't get the top jobs."
You're damn right we "others" don't like it. If you want to have children, pay for it yourself. Some of us chose not to have children because we didn't want to have the financial burden. If I wanted to pay for children, they'd be mine, not somebody else's.

If you stay home with your kids, just make sure you married the right guy.
Vibiana is offline  
Old 11-29-07, 08:10 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Rosemount, MN
Posts: 30,314
Originally Posted by grundle
Since women make up 51% of the voting age population in the U.S., I guess they prefer to have men in political office.
Really? You think the way candidates are chosen to run for office in this country is completely gender-neutral?
Draven is offline  
Old 11-29-07, 08:19 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Words
Posts: 28,207
Originally Posted by grundle
Yet in the U.S., where there are fewer family-friendly policies than almost anywhere else in the world, more than 11 per cent of women hold down the best-paid jobs.[/b]
Hell yeah USA!!!

And they say we aren't 'progressive'!

-p
NotThatGuy is offline  
Old 11-30-07, 10:03 AM
  #18  
Political Exile
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 16,024
Originally Posted by Draven
Really? You think the way candidates are chosen to run for office in this country is completely gender-neutral?
That's a good question. I don't think anyone is trying to discriminate against women. But the results are certainly not gender neutral.
grundle is online now  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.