A clue makes contact with a feminist

Though it doesn’t penetrate.

The queen feminist thinking twice about employing young women

But when the British MEP Godfrey Bloom blustered that “no self-respecting small businessman . . . would ever employ a lady of childbearing age,” I found myself in a dilemma. If Sarah became pregnant, I would be legally obliged to keep paying her for a full year after she’d given birth – which the business could ill afford. Now, on top of this, the government has announced that parents of children up to the age of 16 (as opposed to only up to six) will have the right to ask employers for flexible working arrangements.

Selfishly, I immediately thought of my own life. My pigs certainly aren’t going to thrive on flexi-feeding schemes. And neither is my business. Little wonder, then, that plenty of angry voices were last week demanding that women should get back to the kitchen.

How has it come to this? When I gave birth to my daughter Daisy, 25 years ago this summer, I was lucky enough to be able to spend the first 18 months of her life at home, working as a free-lance. But today, less than one in eight mothers stay at home and look after their children themselves. The rest juggle with unreliable (and often horribly expensive) childcare, race home from the office to collect the kids by 6pm and become anxious when they need to ask for time off to take them to the dentist.

For many, the financial demands of modern life have left them with no choice but to work, but there’s no doubt that many would at least prefer to work part-time during their children’s early years. And now, as if all that were not bad enough, we have small business leaders saying they no longer want to employ women anyway, because they can’t afford the expense involved if their female employees fulfil their natural destiny and have children.

How on earth, after 35 years of fighting for our rights to work and to be mothers, did we reach such a sorry state of affairs? Having children is, after all, the country’s most essential job – yet, from every direction, women are being slapped and punched by red tape and angry employers. Sometimes, it seems that the fem-inist culture – for which I’ve spent so much of my life fighting – is turning out to be not a dream come true but a nightmare in which women are both losing and suffering.

My stepdaughter recently told me about a mother of a boy in her son’s class who is so overworked that the child sometimes turns up to school in his pyjamas, with his day clothes crammed into a bag to which is attached a note saying: “Please help him get dressed – I don’t have the time.”…

Whichever way you look at it, it’s a hideous choice – and grossly unfair. Unless the government decides that child-rearing is a job as worthwhile as any other – and looks for more complex and subtle solutions to this problem – women will continue to be faced with agonising decisions.

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9 Responses to “A clue makes contact with a feminist”

  1. MarkyMark Says:

    FM,

    There are a couple if SIMPLE ideas that could be implemented to make things easier for women of childbearing age. One, cut taxes; they’re way too much! Two, raise the deduction a family can take for each child. Three, stop FORCING employers to hire women. Finally, repeal these family leave laws. Is it any WONDER that businesses don’t want to hire women?! As Warner Wolfe would say, ‘Come on!’ There you go-problem on its way to being solved.

    Or, if these chickies want to work so badly, they don’t have to have children now, do they? No one is FORCING women to pop out kids, are they? I don’t think so. No one told women that they CANNOT HAVE IT ALL-something men figure out quite early in life…

    MarkyMark

  2. MarkyMark Says:

    FM,

    There are a couple if SIMPLE ideas that could be implemented to make things easier for women of childbearing age. One, cut taxes; they’re way too much! Two, raise the deduction a family can take for each child. Three, stop FORCING employers to hire women. Finally, repeal these family leave laws. Is it any WONDER that businesses don’t want to hire women?! As Warner Wolfe would say, ‘Come on!’ There you go-problem on its way to being solved.

    Or, if these chickies want to work so badly, they don’t have to have children now, do they? No one is FORCING women to pop out kids, are they? I don’t think so. No one told women that they CANNOT HAVE IT ALL-something men figure out quite early in life…

    MarkyMark

  3. MarkyMark Says:

    FM,

    There are a couple if SIMPLE ideas that could be implemented to make things easier for women of childbearing age. One, cut taxes; they’re way too much! Two, raise the deduction a family can take for each child. Three, stop FORCING employers to hire women. Finally, repeal these family leave laws. Is it any WONDER that businesses don’t want to hire women?! As Warner Wolfe would say, ‘Come on!’ There you go-problem on its way to being solved.

    Or, if these chickies want to work so badly, they don’t have to have children now, do they? No one is FORCING women to pop out kids, are they? I don’t think so. No one told women that they CANNOT HAVE IT ALL-something men figure out quite early in life…

    MarkyMark

  4. mezzrowjr Says:

    Dear FM,

    I dunno if you would be interested in this but I’m a subscriber to a newsletter for the web site The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. They have produced a new dvd about the world wide declining birth rates called Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family.

    And here is an article on the dvd.

    I would have submitted this to Angry Harry but he seems to on hiatus. So I came here.

    Mezz Mezzrow Jr.

  5. mezzrowjr Says:

    Dear FM,

    I dunno if you would be interested in this but I’m a subscriber to a newsletter for the web site The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. They have produced a new dvd about the world wide declining birth rates called Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family.

    And here is an article on the dvd.

    I would have submitted this to Angry Harry but he seems to on hiatus. So I came here.

    Mezz Mezzrow Jr.

  6. mezzrowjr Says:

    Dear FM,

    I dunno if you would be interested in this but I’m a subscriber to a newsletter for the web site The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. They have produced a new dvd about the world wide declining birth rates called Demographic Winter: The Decline of the Human Family.

    And here is an article on the dvd.

    I would have submitted this to Angry Harry but he seems to on hiatus. So I came here.

    Mezz Mezzrow Jr.

  7. Carl Says:

    I mainly want art to see this, but you’d probably enjoy it too.

    What does art think of the PDF linked to from this post: http://counterfem.blogspot.com/2008/05/feminism-with-its-overcoat-wide-open.html

    It’s so fucking crazy I almost think it’s a hoax to libel feminism. If not, well, this is how you trick people into supporting 20th century style fascism.

  8. Carl Says:

    I mainly want art to see this, but you’d probably enjoy it too.

    What does art think of the PDF linked to from this post: http://counterfem.blogspot.com/2008/05/feminism-with-its-overcoat-wide-open.html

    It’s so fucking crazy I almost think it’s a hoax to libel feminism. If not, well, this is how you trick people into supporting 20th century style fascism.

  9. Carl Says:

    I mainly want art to see this, but you’d probably enjoy it too.

    What does art think of the PDF linked to from this post: http://counterfem.blogspot.com/2008/05/feminism-with-its-overcoat-wide-open.html

    It’s so fucking crazy I almost think it’s a hoax to libel feminism. If not, well, this is how you trick people into supporting 20th century style fascism.

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