On Being “Driven”
November 18, 2010
A friend calls my attention to an interesting article about women, work, and culture in the Netherlands. It suggests that in feminist and post-feminist America, women tend to feel unrelenting pressure to succeed on the same terms as men in the workplace, while also trying to find time for such traditionally feminine activities as caring for their children. Because women are given no more hours in the day than men are, they cannot find the time to do everything, and are unhappier than American women of generations past.
Meanwhile, this writer observes, women in the Netherlands (famously a very “progressive” or leftist nation in other ways) tend to work part time at most, and they couldn’t care less about the male-female “pay gap” or whether their sex can claim its share of top executives. She says Dutch women seem a lot happier.
The world and leftism being what they are, the United Nations launched a “comprehensive” investigation of whether the Dutch were doing something to keep women down. The authors of that study
assumed that part-time work was less desirable but ultimately confirmed that Dutch women don’t want to spend more time at work. The NIS News Bulletin interpreted the results of the study as: “Attempts to get more women working full-time are doomed to failure because nobody has a desire for this. Both the women themselves and their partners and employers are satisfied with the Dutch part-time culture for women.”
Where was this article I found so interesting? In National Review, perhaps, or some other organ of racist sexist homophobic troglodyte throwback reactionary conservative thought? Well, no, it was in Slate. If you’re not familiar enough with it that you immediately think “liberal” or “leftist” when I mention Slate, suffice it to note that this writer, just within this article, alludes to the state of abortion in the Netherlands today with the words “enviable reproductive rights”. Don’t worry, she’s not a conservative. Now let her thoughts be food for thought.