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Women's Liberation Gaining Ground (April 22, 1977)

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Meanwhile a new consciousness is becoming widespread. Women of marriage age are undermining “child production.” The German population is not being threatened by a kink due to the pill. More likely, a creeping Lysistrata movement is becoming manifest.

Young women find that “the world has become hostile to mothers and children,” and their arguments range from the patriarchal man to nuclear power plants. They see the panic of politicians over the decline in birthrates as nothing more than “national vanity.” “They should be happy,” announce non-mothers of childbearing age, “unemployment, overcrowded university lecture halls, job cutbacks in the interest of rationalization, costly social policies, insufficient daycare, no positions for teachers – why all the fuss?”

Thirty-two percent of men recently polled by the women’s magazine Brigitte thought little of equal rights and found good reasons for their view, such as: “Men don’t want women with backs like lumberjacks and paws like construction workers,” or “women are too emotional to hold top positions,” and “as soon as they become mothers, I prefer to see women devote themselves entirely to their children.” The men were almost 100% united in one tendency: Regretful head-shaking, but only one half of humanity can hold the reins. The logical consequence of that: The other half wants to prove the opposite in order to be given its due.

Marriage counseling centers in the Federal Republic are increasingly experiencing that conflicts that break up a marriage emerge from the wishes and desires of women for independence. Even young mothers with small children are grabbing their kids under their arms and are determined to try to make it on their own. Seventy-two percent of divorces are filed not by the men, but by their “better halves.” The hard struggle to survive that the single mothers face proves how serious they are. In view of this development one is tempted to claim that the number of male bachelors is growing only because the women are tired of providing unpaid services in the household.

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