February 22, 2010

Is the Tide beginning to turn? (Mark)

A recent article in the Daily Mail quoted research from the annual British Social Attitudes Survey, which shows that women in 2010 want a husband who’ll be the main breadwinner.

There’s a striking change in values in the decade since New Labour came to power: The number of mothers with children under 4 who that family life would suffer if women worked full-time fell in the years before Mr Blair came to power, dropping from 43% in 1990 to 21% in 1998. However by 2002 it was rising and in 2006 has doared to 37%.

The pressure for women to have careers and be Mum’s came from 2 sources: feminism and the general national cultural programming of the need to build wealth in order to consume.

Feminism has had a wonderful effect on society and rightly brought wome equal status with men. The problem is that men and women are build differently and want different things and so, whilst an overall equality is definitely desirable, exactly how and where that equality is achieved, should be different.

Unfortunately, with our national fixation of needing as much money as possible to buy all the “necessary” fashions and toys, what seems to have actually happened, is that women have been told to desire what men have: the big career and pay packet. The trouble is at the same time, they have to be the best Mum’s, the best mate, the carer for aging parents and goodness knows how many other roles.

Scarily, this need to beat the boys at their own game, seems to play out in the teenage years. I live in a quiet little market town and at closing time, it’s not the boys falling over and vomiting on the pavement: it’s the girls! The girls have been trying to keep up with the boys on the drinking front and there’s an interesting role reversal as the boys, pick the girls up off the floor and take them home.

So, there’s hope for us all yet. We do seem to be realising that this headlong rush for wealth, causes us all sorts of other problems…and doesn’t make us happy.

People aren’t stupid; it just takes us time to realise that we’ve taken the wrong path.

A couple of other crucial social trends that have grown massively over the last 3 years are people owning allotments and going on camping holidays. Both of these movements are in the hundreds of thoudands and represent a shift in values towards nature, nurturing and health and a turning of the back on the madcap materialism of the past decade.

Perhaps the tide is turning and we are starting to bring a better balance…and therefore, happiness back into our lives.

Filed under Blog by