Archive for the ‘society’ Category
Once again, Iceland tops the happiness charts. And how does it do it? Simple: freedom and equality. In Iceland, its perfectly ok for a woman to have kids, and have a life of her own. Which means, its also perfectly ok for a man to have a family life. Its perfectly ok for parents to trust their kids to full time childcare from infancy. Hey, its their kids – they must know what they’re doing. And its perfectly ok for people to split up if the spark has gone, and still retain their partnership as parents.
‘Equality is really a determinate for happiness,’ says de Bruin. She believes in the freedom of personal choices, ‘In the Netherlands, we are free to choose our own life. We are free to choose our religion, our own sexual orientation, and who we marry’ and she concludes, ‘All these freedoms make us happy.’
Let me tell you a secret. This is not about feminism. It’s not women’s freedom I’m concerned about, its my own. Equality goes both ways, and so do choice and freedom. If a woman can choose to have a career, a man can choose not to. Or they can choose to both have careers, AND have kids. Happy kids.
I once had a friend, she was a 17 yr old single mum. She could have married the dad, but she chose not too. She also chose to lead a normal, healthy, adventurous 17 yr old life. I asked her if she thought that was good for her kid. She said: the worst thing for child is a frustrated parent. I learnt my first lesson in parenting that day.
Oh, about Iceland? there’s an extra bonus. The economy goes zoooom. Makes sense, when you think of it. If you release another 50% of your cognitive and enterprenoural capacity, something’s gotta come back to you.
By the way, I had a good laugh watching the Guardian struggle with his own prejudices. Precious ‘ol British left. We can have fun with the Vikings, but at the end of the day, mums and babies belong at home.
Here’s another great story from Ethan Zukerman on how political activists are using technology to balance the advantage of the organized state. I think that’s what Clay Shirky means by here comes everybody.
… All this is useful context in considering the project that activist organization Sokwanele announced today: a Googlemaps mashup of election-rigging incidents. Each icon on the map corresponds to a media report of an incident that controvenes SADC standards for a free and fair election. Clicking on an icon will take you to the issue of Sokwanele’
Cory Doctorow and Alice Taylor are, as Clive calls it, out of beta. A big Mazel Tov, and a second one for having it their way. Personally, I think home birth is a bad idea, and I have some private experience to back that, but I’m not here to discuss my private choices or theirs. I’m really happy for them. Every child is a miracle. Childbirth is the most amazing experience in the human repertoire, and we should never take it for granted when it all goes well. My kids are my dearest treasure, and the one thing in my life I am unreservedly proud of. I wish them the same.
One thing pissed me off though, among the many blessings and congradulations, I find FoetusNail who contributes:
So here’s my message to you, FoetusNail: Who the fling are you to tell someone else where they belong? Please detach your backward sexism and puritan family values from any suggestion of “green”, “hip” or otherwise forward thinking ethics.
Mommies belong where they choose to be and how they choose to live.
Daddies belong where they choose to be and how they choose to live.
Babies belong where their parents decide is best for them.
I’ve bloody had it with western family-fundamentalism, where a mum is considered inadequate if she thinks she’s entitled for a life of her own, and a dad is considered a looser if he prefers to spend time with his kids and not with business associates at the local. No wonder women in the UK take off 70% of depression related sick days and at least a fifth are taken by women aged between 35 and 44. What kind of society thinks that an adult person can be content changing nappies and planning the next sponsored pony ride at school coffee morning for 10 years of her life?
You know, in most “primitive” societies, it is perfectly normal for a woman to leave her 3 months old baby with an older relative, or with a decent child care service, and get back to her job. Maybe its time for the west to take a humble lesson in equality and social inclusion.