New millennium, new feminism

Janne Matlary states that a new feminism has arisen in the last decades, a feminism different from the sixties’ version of total opposition, sexual liberation and an attitude of aggressiveness against the male-dominated world. It is possible to conciliate career and family, and it must be, because our children are our future, according to this Norwegian political scientist. The role of women must change if we are to make alterations in the behaviour of our children. “I know several cases of women who remain single just because they want to progress in their careers. When they are 55 years old, they are totally alone and they realise, too late, that life is not only work. They feel the need for a family life”, states Janne Matlary. It should be remembered that the birth-rate in the EU is falling drastically, and that this is a political issue which will affect the future. “The time is right for a study into the working conditions linked to a low demographic growth-rate.” According to this political scientist, women should become more politically active. “The political leaders are men. They do not feel this question as a personal issue. When people are ministers they become distanced from normal life. They (the European male politicians) probably all have maids and a wife to take care of the running of the house”. It is a fact that while European States demand equal performance from women, nothing is done to attenuate the extra pressures exerted during pregnancy, during, at and after childbirth. A study into the declining birth rate in Europe (East and West) and the conditions of working women must be undertaken. The question of the changing social reality is directly related to the alteration in the statute of the woman in modern societies. If it is a norm that two salaries are needed for a family to pay its expenses, it is therefore a fact that if children are naturally to follow the marital act, either the family takes additional steps to care for these children (the woman suspending work) or the State should provide services which facilitate the economic well-being of the family and the child. Janne Matlary affirms that the great mistake of the feminist movements of the Seventies was that they did not pay enough attention to the family and to maternity. The housewife of yesteryear cannot cease to exist. On the other hand, fewer and fewer families these days have the possibility to sustain two adults and children with one salary. The question becomes more complicated when children are introduced into the equation. What should be a natural process, and a happy one, becomes distorted and dramatic in our modern societies. The birth of a child becomes a drama, a destabilising element in the modern family, rather than a fruit of love. If this is the norm, then something is wrong.


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