Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tony Abbott - No!

Who is the biggest threat to Australian fathers today? Unfortunately, the answer seems to be Tony Abbott, the supposedly "conservative" leader of the Liberal Party.

Men become necessary to family life, in part, through their role as providers. Men work hard to earn a living, which then allows women to raise their children in relative security and comfort. When a woman thinks of her husband as playing a useful role in the family, she treats him with more respect and will do more to keep him attached to family life.

So it ought to be the goal of a society to pay men a living wage with which to support their families. This can be done by setting minimum pay rates; by giving married men with children tax breaks; and by keeping the costs of living, such as housing, to a reasonable level.

But this is no longer the aim of Western societies. The aim instead has been to make women financially independent of men, with the state increasingly taking over the role of provider of financial security.

Tony Abbott is one of the worst offenders. He has proposed a paid maternity scheme which would give women 100% of their income for six months, paid for by a tax on business. Women could earn up to $150,000 for the six months maternity leave.

So it is the state which will end up supporting a woman to stay home to look after her young infant and not the husband. The husband will still be working hard, but will get far less kudos for his efforts.

And now we get wind of another Abbott scheme. He is talking about introducing a "family wage". No, this does not mean guaranteeing men a living wage. It seems to mean the state paying for women to be mothers:

TONY Abbott is working on a plan to provide a "family wage" to help meet the rising cost of living for families.

In an interview with the Herald Sun, Mr Abbott confirmed a family wage "is something that I think is really important".

It could be paid fortnightly to the primary carer for every child until they reach 16 years.

It is unlikely to be means-tested and could be an expensive hit on the Budget.

Options are still being discussed, but it may become the central plank of a "family support" election policy.

It will be especially aimed at single-income families and overcoming what Mr Abbott thinks is the problem with means tests leaving families worse-off if the main income-earner gets a pay rise.

So men are to go out to work, support the state with taxes, and those taxes are then to be used by the state to financially support their wives. The state gets to provide for women, leaving men with an even more precarious position within the modern family.

The scheme might be aimed initially at married women who stay home to raise their children. But inevitably it will be extended to all women. It will come to be thought natural for the state, rather than a husband, to support a woman to raise her children, whether that woman is working or not, and whether she is married or single.

What happens when men are not needed so much as providers? Won't women increasingly select men who aren't as reliable? Won't the male work ethic decline? Won't the rate of single motherhood increase? Won't taxes go up? Won't the cost of housing rise even more when a second wage is guaranteed by the state? Won't men look for an equivalent individualism for themselves? Won't it be even less necessary to maintain real wage rates for men?

Abbott is a statist. A welfare statist. The state is to provide the conditions - the welfare rights - through which the conditions of personal autonomy are met in an equal, universal way. No more of that messy situation in which individual men laboured with varying degrees of success to support their wives. No more trusting men or looking to men to succeed as husbands or fathers. There is to be no failure but no distinctive or necessary fatherhood either. Men are off the case. The state has stepped in to provide, to guarantee women their rights to motherhood.

Will men really not pick up on the change? That society no longer really trusts them to do the necessary work to support their families?


  1. It's amazing. How is it that the Liberals get any votes at all? If you want these policies you could just vote Labour.

    On top of the transfer payments and social engineering, with what I suppose in Tony Abbott's case would be unintended consequences, we have the classic left wing ploy of paying for things with "a tax on business".

    There is no such thing as a tax on business. ALL TAXES ARE TAXES ON PEOPLE. People own those businesses. The taxes might prevent a company from hiring - reducing employment. Your goods might cost more or research may be reduced meaning new goods and services will be delayed or never created at all.

    Big businesses will probably applaud this as it socialises the business costs of retaining valuable employees and will disproportionately affect smaller competitors.

    The problems mentioned in the post regarding the increasingly precarious position of men in the family will never even be considered.

    This is apparently from one of the most "conservative" politicians in the country.

    God help us.

  2. This isn't about a lack of trust in men.

    It's about wanting what men can provide without wanting men. Theft is ok, if you're stealing from a man.

    It's about ego, and being able to proclaim how independent you are while being on the dole.

    It's about assuming men will always provide and produce, no matter how badly you treat them.

    But mostly, it's about power and reducing men to slavery.

  3. Mark,

    You certainly paint a very powerful picture.

    Here's a couple of things. Firstly it will be a vote winner. That's because career women face a fairly difficult task managing children and work. If the role of Govt is to help out in difficult circumstances that certainly seems a crucial one because it goes straight to the future viability or our society (ok with a specific emphasis on career/working women).

    Additionally one of the consequences of the success of liberalism, is that people hate liberalism. They fear that there will be nobody but themselves to rely on and all they can expect from others is scorn and the cold shoulder. We're asking women (and men) to have children for our society. In such a situation it seems reasonable/acceptable to have social support and encouragement.

    On the issue of what this means for men I'm not sure. Do we really need to be the sole breadwinner? Historically women, especially working class women have always worked. Its only in more modern times that we've had the wide spread affluence to allow one partner "relief" from that.

    I don't mean to throw the cat in among the pigeons or be tendentious just for the sake of it. I've also really enjoyed your posts of late.


  4. It's increasingly obvious that in Australia, as in Britain, the most important task ahead of voters at the next election is to punish the pseudo-conservative party so badly, so pitilessly, that it will go out of business (as did the United Australia Party in the 1940s). Better honest tyranny of the Brown-Rudd type than pseudo-conservatism.

    To put it crudely, real Australian conservatives have for almost half a century allowed ourselves to be the Liberal Party's kept bitches. Every Liberal leader from Holt to Abbott smacks us around (whether it be Holt destroying the White Australia Policy or Howard stealing our guns), and yet instead of saying "Enough already" we behave like an old-fashioned battered wife making excuses for her husband's mayhem ("I got this bruise because I fell down the stairs").

  5. Vincent,

    I agree. What would we really gain by having an Abbott in power? The illusion of having "our man" in power? A man who occasionally throws in a reference to Burke, whilst serving the liberal political class by transforming society along liberal lines.

  6. Jesse,

    I'm interested that you as a younger conservative would take this line.

    I do agree that Abbott's policy will win votes, particularly among women.

    But ...

    a) the proposal is not really about helping career women combine career and family. It's about giving all women a "family wage" to stay home and care for their children.

    Which sounds nice, until you realise that it displaces a basic function that men play within the family. Men will still be expected to go out to work and pay taxes, but their efforts won't play as significant a role within the family. The state is taking over at least part of the role of provider - on the back of men's labours.

    There will be flow on consequences of such a measure. I doubt that they will be positive ones in the longer term. I doubt they will help "the future viability of our society".

    For instance, won't more women be tempted to go it alone as single mothers? After all, the state is saying that they have a right to a wage for their role as a mother. Won't some women be tempted to think, "Who needs a man?"

    Such changes can quickly get out of hand. In the UK, for instance, 25% of women are now single mothers. Over half of these women have never lived with a man.

    Just 20 years ago the proportion of single mothers was only 10%. So what might the situation be like in another 20 years? Will half of women be single mothers? What would that mean for society? For young men?

    From a report on the situation in the UK:

    "Researchers called for more efforts to encourage young men to take jobs so that more young mothers will choose living with a reliable breadwinner over a life on benefits.

    "Researcher Geoff Dench said: 'The existence of state benefits as a source of economic security seems to be encouraging young mothers not to bother with male resident partners'."

    There is a balance to be found here. Yes, it's right for the Government to help people out in difficult circumstances. But it has to be done intelligently and wisely, in ways which don't undermine the functioning of society.

    b) Men have always been providers and protectors. It's true that women have also contributed productively, but they have rarely been the main breadwinners.

    Think of the most primitive societies. Women may have gathered berries, but it was men who brought home the nutrient rich protein and who defended the tribe from attack.

    In agricultural societies, it was men who did the heavy labour, or who ranged far from home as traders or fishers.

    In early industrial societies, working class women did participate in cottage industries and in home service, but remember that women would have spent much of their adult lives either pregnant or with young children. In most families, the husband would have been the mainstay of the economic activity.

    Yes, in early industrial societies women and children were used extensively as labour in the factories. But this caused an outcry, because of the disruptive effects on working-class family life, leading to legislation limiting the use of such labour.

    Jesse, there are not many women who want to work full-time when they have small children. For most women, the maternal instincts kick in and they want to spend time as mothers with their young children.

    There are some very good reasons for us to encourage the desire of women to spend time with their young children.

    It not only dignifies our own efforts to provide for our families, it not only benefits the children, but it also greatly influences the nature of women.

    The traditional loving, nurturing and feminine wife and mother didn't spring out of nowhere. She was able to develop as a type of woman because men took over some of the burdens and stresses of paid work.

  7. Mark, I thoroughly agree with the general gist of what you are saying but have some troubling thoughts on the matter:

    1) How are traditional couples to survive when they are competing in the housing market, etc., with dual-income families? While I agree the ramifications are undesirable, I can see why the Liberals might adopt such a policy (and not just to win votes). It is not easy, especially as a Catholic who doesn't believe in limiting the number of children without grave reason, to make ends meet on a single income, and given that single mothers and working mothers on maternity leave are already paid to stay at home with their children it only seems fair that other women in single-income families should too. (I personally don't think single mothers or working mothers should get the amount of support they do, but there should be some consistency regardless.)

    2) While it is desirable for men to be the primary breadwinners and that they be trusted in the role as head of family, I can't help noting (rather reluctantly) that many men do not inspire such trust and are so unmanly that it could drive a woman to spinsterhood. I know it's a 'chicken and egg' problem, but the fact remains that a large number of men let women 'wear the trousers' and as long as they do so women will continue to act like men and dominate in the workforce. One could argue that the only way to turn this around is to provide financial incentives for women to stay at home so that men can predominate in the public sphere. (That said, I don't think this is what Abbott is trying to do - quite the opposite, I'd say, going by the ridiculous maternity leave provisions.)

    3) The only other thing I'd like to note is that while most women do have their maternal instinct kick in and prefer to stay at home with young children, it's often too late. They need to desire to stay at home before they even have children, not just as their maternity leave is coming to an end and there isn't much they can do about it. Also, many women "solve" the innumerable challenges of raising a small child by passing it onto others and going back to work. They can't cope, so they go back to what they know and let the childcare "experts" deal with it. Our entire way of life in modern society makes being a stay at home mother very daunting and not at all 'the norm', so something has to be done to get women to take on women's roles, not just for the first year or two of a child's life but for good. This doesn't mean never working, but it does mean that men should predominate in career paths and that most women's ambitions need to be modest and/or family-oriented. (There will always be single women who are the exception to this, of course.) Once again, I don't think Abbott is on the right track, but it does point to a fundamental problem.

  8. "To put it crudely, real Australian conservatives have for almost half a century allowed ourselves to be the Liberal Party's kept bitches."

    Which is why conservatives must form their own organisations, no-one can trust a political party for longer than a week.

  9. What think you of the DLP, Mark? It's small, obviously, but I'd be interested in what you think.

  10. Oh and yes, totally agree with your post.

    And "kept bitch" sounds about right.

  11. Old hat,

    1) Agreed. The cost of housing is so high in Australia that it will force many women out to paid work.

    We could argue for policies to stabilise the cost of housing, such as reduced immigration, restrictions on foreign investment, changes to negative gearing etc.

    And/or we could argue for a housing subsidy to be paid in the form of tax breaks to those living on a single income (or where the wife works part-time).

    But realistically what will happen is that those couples struggling to survive the costs of a high mortgage will welcome Abbott's idea of paying the wife to stay home. They will understandably appreciate the money regardless of the long-term costs to the masculine provider role.

    2) I expect it's true that men are becoming less reliable as providers. But as you note that's to be expected when they are not relied upon to perform that role.

    3) Complete agreement. It's unreasonable to expect that women are going to grow up with one set of expectations, live with that lifestyle for a decade or more, and then when a child arrives suddenly throw it all off and transition into a more maternal persona.

    What I think your thoughtful comment points to is that the further we go down the liberal path the more difficult it is to realise the traditional ideal in practice.

    I still think we should maintain the ideal as an ideal, whilst being understanding of, and not closed to, those who end up living differently.

  12. Louise,

    To be honest, I wasn't greatly aware of the DLP. I've just looked up their website. Their policies look pretty good, much better than anything on offer by the Libs or Labor.

    For instance, they want to introduce income splitting as a means of supporting single income earner families. And they oppose the buying up of housing stock by overseas investors as artificially inflating the cost of housing.

    I'd love them to stand a candidate in my area, either in the Senate or the House of Reps. It would give me someone to vote for.

  13. Louise,

    I've read a bit more about the DLP. They strike me as "conservative liberal" - but this still puts them ahead of the other parties which are much more radically liberal.

    They are opposed to globalisation, but don't appear to have a direct policy on immigration.

    My opinion remains that I would support them as a much better option than the major parties.

  14. Yes, that's pretty much my view of them, although I wonder if they are more "traditional" than "conservative liberal."

  15. Mark,

    I would agree that the family wage is potentially quite troubling. We've talked before about when society drops the ball on an issue, childrearing in this case, the state will step in more. Doing so has the potential to possibly substantially encourage single parent status, undermine people's responsibility, and has symbolic implications. I imagine though at the end of the day it would depend on what the amounts were like. If they were quite low I doubt many would voluntarily choose that lifestyle. However, the lower class on the other hand will sometimes prefer low state benefits to menial work. The notion of supporting people permanently though (up to age 16 for the child!) does seem utterly abhorrent.

    On the paternity leave matter, I'm not entirely sure what's wrong with it? It’s only for 6 months and I think would provide a helpful encouragement for people delaying child raising. If anyone has seen the movie "Idiocy", the "intelligent" couple endlessly waver about when or whether or not to have children. The "stupid" couple on the other hand just thoughtlessly do it and consequently have far more. We don't want to encourage self indulgence but couldn't this provision help families to have more babies?

    We are left with the ultimate question of what it means for society when the state steps in. On the other hand we do have a very real issue with childbirth which I think one way or the other does need to be addressed.

    I was interested in some of the economic measures to lower housing prices.


  16. Louise,

    Some of the rhetoric on the website sounds like the conservative liberalism of, say, the 1940s.

    But they clearly support the traditional family. They are clearly nationalists on many issues rather than internationalists (though I'd like to know their policy on immigration).

    So they come across as traditionalist, in practice, on many issues rather than liberal. I just don't think they have an explicitly traditionalist, anti-liberal political philosophy.

  17. It's my belief - I'm open to correction on this score - that the DLP policy on immigration is actually better than some of its past rhetoric might suggest. Bob Santamaria would go on and on publicly in the old days about the need to "populate or perish", but towards the end of his life he had perfectly sane attitudes towards the threat of Third World inundation. (He publicly defended Pauline Hanson's right to be heard, for instance.) Speaking to ordinary DLP supporters since Santamaria's death in 1998 has confirmed this impression.

    I suppose the crucial test will be whether the DLP can oppose, this time around (as it manifestly could not in its 1970s heyday), the gutless white-hating, Europe-hating drivel being peddled by most of the Australian Catholic episcopate. When Saint John Chrysostom said, "The floor of hell is paved with bishops' skulls", he clearly had Australia's post-Vatican-II diocesan time-servers in mind.

    (Cardinal Pell is a partial exception, being an Americanist ignorant of authentic Catholic teaching on church-state relations - and on much else - rather than actively destructive.)

  18. Jesse,

    The parental leave scheme has been tried out elsewhere for decades now.

    It's been taken furthest in Sweden. The fertility rate in Sweden is 1.67 births per woman. In Australia it is 1.97.

    That's not a surprise. When you read the documents put out in Europe justifying the schemes it is made very clear that the purpose is not to help out the family but to make women independent of men as a matter of "social justice" and "equality".

    Note too that the Swedes stand out for having a low rate of marriage, with only 40% of women marrying before becoming mothers, and for delaying motherhood, with 45% of Swedish women in the 35 to 39 age bracket still not having their desired number of children.

  19. Mark,

    I'd agree that that's how the policy is put out in Sweeden but it doesn't necessarily have to be the case here.

    You are right that merely pushing social programs isn't enough to make people have children.

  20. the purpose is not to help out the family but to make women independent of men

    It would be more correct to say "give women the illusion of being independent of men". That tax money didn't come from nowhere.

  21. I don't profess to be able to read Tony Abbott's mind but I strongly suspect he would completely agree that a Husband being able to take responsibility for maintaining the family's financial viability when mothers are staying home caring for young children is probably the most ideal situation you could have.

    However Tony Abbott needs to get himself elected and even if Tony Abbott were to proclaim the aim of the Liberal Party was to deliver the above he could not do so, he could not deliver, his proposals would be shot down by opponents and they would destroy his credibility.

    Let me say I don't like any Conservative leader declaring a tax on Big Business but at least it's transparent unlike ETS taxes , sure large Business groups will oppose it but they don't decide elections .

    Randian above correctly states
    "This isn't about a lack of trust in men.

    It's about wanting what men can provide without wanting men. Theft is ok, if you're stealing from a man."

    The above already exists, any women can get pregnant tomorrow and the single mother pension commences from when the baby takes it's first breath and any baby bonus is always paid to mother. When it comes to stealing from men, that's the job of the Family court so on top of the Single Mothers Pension you can also get the court to make the man pay "Previous Partner Income Top Up Payment" except I think they call it "Child Support" and so for all the attacks on Tony Abbott he only tops up their income for about 6 months, it's the "Single Mothers Pension" and "Child Support" that make Men redundant for the unprincipled, not maternity leave.

    There are in my opinion two politically possible legislative changes to protect the role of Men in marriage.

    Alter the Family Law act to prevent a unilateral divorce (Excellent Article: Barry Maley: "The Family on the Edge" I'm sorry can't find a link easily) i.e. a women or man can't just end a marriage by separation and if they cannot agree terms the, court will look at fault, like habitual drunkenness, desertion or infidelity.

    It would also be possible politically to withhold, but not withdraw from person whose "Families" are de-facto the benefits of the maternity leave scheme e.g. If you don't have a marriage certificate you must register and the waiting period is 12 months. With a waiting period over the gestation period those planning on children may simply decide to go for formal marriage

    Mark Richardson
    In response to
    "I agree. What would we really gain by having an Abbott in power? The illusion of having "our man" in power? A man who occasionally throws in a reference to Burke, whilst serving the liberal political class by transforming society along liberal lines."

    In response I would say, unless you are waiting for some sort of miracle where Conservative politics control both the upper and the lower house , I would say there is great deal to be gained in "having Abbott in power" it opens the chance to debate and even act on the sort of issues above, do you seriously think that any ALP Government would allow the concept of moral fault to be raised in "Family Law", well I'm betting Tony Abbott just might.

    Anyway even if all the above is wrong and accepting that someone will always win Government just watching Catherine Deveney, Adele Horin and David Marr go mad at seeing a Labor Government go down in a shorter term than even the Whitlam government is worth the price of admission alone.

    Disclaimer: As per the Family Court remarks above I have no personal axe to grind I have never been married and have no children.

  22. I think its a mistake to see Abbott as too liberal. You're never going to get a perfect candidate in a deomcracy you've got to do the best with what you've got in my opinion.

  23. Meerkat, I can't agree.

    First, Abbott is considering giving women a "state wage" up to the time a child turns 16. So it's not just for 6 months.

    Second, paid maternity schemes are designed to keep women permanently in the paid labour force. When the dual income family becomes the norm, then there is no expectation that men be paid a living wage.

    This is already happening to a degree. Governments have allowed male real wages to stagnate and costs of living such as housing to rise to the point that it becomes difficult to support a family on the husband's wage.

    So for this reason too paid maternity schemes are not just for six months. They are part of a social transformation. In the Scandinavian countries very few women now stay at home after a child turns two. The traditional family there is dead.

    So we'll either have a Scandinavian situation in which both men and women are expected to follow the same life pattern of full-time work combined with a number of months of paid parental leave or else we'll have women being paid a state wage as one component of a combined living wage.

    In either case, the position of men as providers will have been undermined.

    And this will have flow on effects. It means, for one thing, that men will bring less to a marriage. Even if your proposals made it more difficult for a woman to leave a marriage, there would be less to give men some kind of standing in the marriage.

    Yes, the aim should be to have more intact marriages. But the aim should also be to have more highly functional marriages. What men provide financially isn't everything, but it is a considerable something in giving men some standing in the relationship.

    I've seen the future in some of the marriages in my social circle. It sure isn't a pretty one for the men involved. They are allowed to participate on sufferance and have no recourse when their wives decide how the marriage will operate. The idea of the man having rights within the marriage is rejected with scorn.

    The men hang around, partly to stay connected to their children, but are depressed.

    But what are they to do? On what basis do they confront the situation and reassert their own position?

    There is nothing that says it has to be this way. If you let the average woman over the age of 30 stay home with her kids for a number of years it's unlikely that she'll want to go back to work full-time.

    This means that she needs her husband to provide for her and her children. This then gives the husband some standing in the relationship - it gives him a necessary, masculine place at the table.

    There is nothing to say that society couldn't operate this way. A small number of women might choose to work full-time, but ordinarily most won't want to do this.

    So why then pay them to stay home, when this is exactly the point in time that a husband is supposed to step in usefully to allow this option.

  24. Gentlemen and ladies,

    Did you watch the Tony Abbott special on the ABC's Four Corners that was aired just now?

    Any thoughts?

    I suspect the transcript would be up in the next 24 or so hours...

  25. The National Party Federal Council last year passed a resolution adopting income splitting as a policy. Often their platform is similar to the DLP and they have a number of MPs, and Cabinet spots when the Coalition wins government.

    Might be worth trying to get Barnaby to look into this area.

  26. Governments have allowed male real wages to stagnate and costs of living such as housing to rise

    Government didn't "allow" housing costs to rise, it deliberately caused them to rise through Smart Growth development policies.

  27. Randian said:

    "Government didn't "allow" housing costs to rise, it deliberately caused them to rise through Smart Growth development policies."

    Is this true?

    I'm all for policies that make housing cheaper and stop the hideous over investment in that area. I'm also for limiting immigration. I'm not infavour of colossal state subsidies or penalties designed to keep women at home. I don't think income splitting is that and is a totally sensible policy in a non sensible and punishing tax system.

    A lot of women work because they genuinely want to. Staying at home should be a realistic and doable choice but is there really evidence that most women don't want full time work? I'm not sure that there is across the board. You go to uni and there are women everywhere keen to enter the workforce. These are not brainwashed people. Maybe they don't know everything about life but they wouldn't be there if they weren't committed and work focused. Society should emphasise the importance of family more, but you cannot force these women to stay at home. Given that, policies that encourage childrearing whilst acknowleding the reality of working women seem to me to be sensible.

  28. A lot of women work because they genuinely want to. Staying at home should be a realistic and doable choice but is there really evidence that most women don't want full time work? I'm not sure that there is across the board. You go to uni and there are women everywhere keen to enter the workforce.

    Well, I certainly agree with you here Jesse. If you went to uni, I'm sure that you'd find most women enthusiastically careerist.

    And for the first ten years or so, most women probably do enjoy working. There are usually challenges to be met; you get a nice income which as a single person you can spend on restaurants, travel, food, clothes etc; you are working alongside other young people enjoying their company and friendship and so on.

    But what if you've met those challenges year after year? And you begin to reach the "slogging" point of your career, when it becomes a matter of endurance? And you feel that your real life, the one with spouse and children, hasn't yet started? And you begin to sense that working for a company doesn't really supply the larger life meaning you are looking for?

    A very large number of women start to re-evaluate in their early 30s. And if they marry and have children, and are supported by a husband to stay home for a reasonable period of time (a few years say), many don't want to go back to full-time work.

    I myself work in a politically correct, feminist profession. And yet there is not a single married woman over the age of 40 at my workplace who works full-time. Not even when the kids have left home.

    Research bears this out. According to the Pew Research Centre only 20% of American mothers with children aged under 18 want to work full-time. And of those women with children aged under 18 who do work full-time only 29% wish to be doing so.

  29. Is this true?

    Consider these articles:

  30. Mark,

    You make a strong point and some of it I've seen in life. Is some of this work dodging though? These women may not be that active with the kids they just don't want to work, retire early, take more holidays etc.

    I spent two minutes working in the public service. The daily conditions were fabulous and the pay good and STILL these asses wanted to knock off early.

  31. Jesse,

    I don't think it's dodging if a woman takes on the traditional feminine responsibilities at home.

    But I will say this. I wouldn't want my wife to work as hard as I do. I wouldn't want her to be exposed to the same physical and psychological stresses.

    The idea is that I use some of my masculine strength to create a relatively calm and protected space for her at home to raise our children in.

    The hard slog that I go through at work is worth it if I think that it's allowing my wife to develop her feminine personality and to care in a motherly way for our children at home.

    A final point. Men in their 20s are unlikely to be in the position I'm describing. They're likely to have partners who work full-time just as they do. So the kind of masculine protective instincts I'm describing won't come into play.

    But later on? I do think men ought to be ready in their expectations for things to change later on. Hopefully they'll also be ready in terms of their own career development to take on such a role as required.

  32. Mark said:

    "I don't think it's dodging if a woman takes on the traditional feminine responsibilities at home."

    Yes I realise that.

    "But later on? I do think men ought to be ready in their expectations for things to change later on. Hopefully they'll also be ready in terms of their own career development to take on such a role as required."

    I think that that's probably the case.

  33. re: what women want. I can state with a large degree of confidence, b/c the ABS (I think) did a study on it, that about 10% of women want to work full-time, about 10% want to be at home with their children full-time and the remainder wish to work part time.

    Given, too, that many part time jobs are not what men would wish to do anyway, there is probably a fair amount of paid emplyment part time that women could enjoy without really taking opportunities from men (husbands and fathers in particular).

    How many married men wish to be hairdressers for example?

    Do not forget, either, that women in the past often brought in additional income, where they belonged to the lower and middle classesw by sewing, laundering etc. the main difference between then and now is the economic system itself. However, there can be no doubt that husbands and fathers are meant to be the main breadwinner in the family and this ought to be encouraged as much as possible.