Freitag, 19. Januar 2007

I blame feminism

Ich habe es schon in einem vorigen Posting erwähnt, dass der Eintritt der Frauen ins Berufsleben, die sozialen Gegensätze verschärft. Das ist unvermeidlich und ist auch kein Argument gegen Emanzipation. Wir können nicht 50% der Bevölkerung vom Erwerbsleben ausschließen, nur um mehr soziale Gerechtigkeit zu bekommen. Außerdem kann ein Volk nicht auf die Talente seiner Frauen verzichten, es wäre reine Verschwendung. Die zunehmende Berufstätigkeit von Frauen ist auch weniger ein Verdienst des Feminismus, sondern Folge unserer Lebensweise. Was früher der soziale Stand der Famlie war ist heute die Qualifikation. D.h. die Menschen binden sich innerhalb ihrer Bildungsschicht. Zwei Akademiker haben dann natürlich eine andere Potenz als zwei Hilfskräfte.

I blame feminism

David Cox January 5, 2007 06:18 PM

With wearying inevitability, the Cameronian Tories have decided to apply their reforming zeal to social mobility. In doing so, they are at least highlighting an enormous chink in New Labour's armour. It is surely remarkable that, after a decade of supposed onslaught on "social exclusion", the lower orders should be more firmly chained to their station in life than they were half a century ago. Yet, surveys show that this is the case. How come? By way of explanation, shadow home secretary David Davis proffers a predictable catalogue of governmental sins, ranging from the tax credit promotion trap to the regulatory burdens that now face would-be small businessmen. Even he, however, is unlikely to believe that any of these is the real culprit. Baby-boomer working-class winners like Davis are usually convinced that the current rigidity of class barriers is down to something that house-trained Tories are no longer allowed to mention. This is, of course, the destruction of the secondary education regime created by the 1944 Education Act. In the 1950s and 1960s, grammar schools provided a golden pathway from the slums to the summits. By the 1970s, they had enabled a carpenter's son and a grocer's daughter to become Conservative prime ministers; now, only old Etonians are in a position even to attempt such a feat. In a foolish fit of post-1960s sentimental egalitarianism, the nation plunged both the sheep and goats of its proletariat into the same morass of educational squalor. Even the brightest succumbed to the comprehensive system's ambition-destroying embrace, leaving the way clear for gilded youth (whose parents could buy them out of the system) to seize society's glittering prizes. So powerful is this narrative that you can find even firm socialists who reluctantly accept its truth. Sometimes, they are reduced to claiming they would rather see nobs bagging the wealth and power than the working class stripped of its brightest lights. Yet, is the whole thing really down to bog-standard schooling? Casual observation suggests that a far more potent force has been at work. Grammar schools used to attract fairly equal numbers of boys and girls, but, post-GCE, the genders' lives tended to diverge. The boys went on to strive for and often achieve commanding positions in business, government and the professions. Girls, however, had yet to prioritise their careers. However well they did at school, most of them put marriage and babies first, and they thus made far less of an impact on the workplace than they do today. Successful ex-grammar-school fathers expected their children to make their own way in the world, if they were up to it. If not, too bad. Their wives, often of humble origin and ambition themselves, were not too fussed either way. Those of their children who couldn't match their dad's performance in the 11+ left space in the system that enabled other working-class children to become first-generation success stories. It was women's onslaught on the top jobs, from the 1970s onward, that changed this picture utterly. It cleared the way for the successful to engage in "assortive mating", that is, selecting partners of comparable status. This seems to be a biological imperative, particularly in females, perhaps because they are programmed to maximise the economic security of their offspring. Dual high incomes have made the successful couples that have emerged from this process far more capable of buying privilege for their offspring than the rest of us - not just private education but other confidence-building and capacity-enhancing facilities such as travel. More to the point, they seem far more intent than their predecessors on exploiting their opportunities to advance their children's prospects. Today, successful mothers, far more than the successful fathers of yore, seem to be determined to ensure that their children achieve social status at least matching, and ideally exceeding, their own. The "tigress mum" who drives her children relentlessly, and steamrollers anyone who gets in their way, has done far more to cement the social order than Shirley Williams, the architect of comprehensive education, and the arch-villain of the piece in the eyes of unreconstructed Tories. The children of today's alpha couples are propelled so forcefully towards power and position by their parents that their counterparts in council flats have no hope of getting a look in. The government's attempts to help the latter have been effortlessly hijacked by the already privileged. Since access to higher education has been expanded, the proportion of people from the poorest fifth of families obtaining a degree has increased from 6% to 9%; but the graduation rate for the richest fifth has risen from 20% to 47%. Once their children have graduated, successful parents are able to use contacts among their own kind to secure them career openings or the work-experience posts that nowadays often offer the only way into sought-after jobs. As result, nepotism has come to be seen not just as inevitable but, in some quarters, as positively desirable. While their offspring are working their way up or fulfilling unpaid apprenticeships, eager parents provide them with cash injections and necessary accommodation in expensive city centres in flats they maintain as second homes. Even when youngsters weary of the pressure and threaten to downshift, their parents continue to push them onward. To some extent, this seems to be because the parents' own status has come to depend in part on the level of offspring achievement of which they can boast. Mindful of the undoubted benefits of parental succour, their progeny conform, succeed, mate (assortively), breed and repeat the cycle. This picture would remain unchanged by anything the Tories have in mind, unless Iain Duncan Smith's plans to reinforce the family are more ambitious than has so far been hinted. Nor is Gordon Brown likely to grasp this particular nettle, in spite of his professed interest in enhancing social mobility. Anyone else got any ideas?

Keine Kommentare: