Can feminism survive the collapse of the welfare state/Nhs(9 Posts)
I don't mean to be goady but to my mind and in the minds of many people on this site we are seeing the collapse of the collapse of the welfare state and the NHS.
People are living longer than was ever expected when the welfare state and NHS were set up and they are being asked to do ever more. Old people should I think stay in their own homes where their comfortable for as long as possible however that's best done having a family structure around to support them. Most caring for elders is done by female family members however more and more women are working full time either through necessity or choice. If an elderly person has no children, or their children live a long distance way or are constantly working then there dependent on an overworked underpaid usually female care worker coming round for an hour if that basically making sure their clean and not dead.
If their not able to stay in their own home and have no family to take them in then their going to have to go into a care home and be looked after by strangers again an overworked underpaid usually female care worker.
My gran lived to nearly a 100 in her own home with family support (mostly mum) I'd like to thing my parents (mum probably) will be able to do the same with family support (probably me). I and DH both work full time with my retired parents providing child care. I would like to think that I will look after my parents when their old however their in their 70's now and I'll most probably have to work until I retire. DH and I both work relatively anti social hours, shift work.
Now like most decent people I would be happy to pay more taxes to look after the elderly decently in their old age. Carers should have the same training respect and wages as for example nurses. Being carer shouldn't be something the job centre make you do so you get of the dole. However how do you pay for that, by working longer and harder. If your working longer and harder to care for your elderly parents who is looking after your children, an overworked underpaid usually female nursery worker. Now child care should have the same training respect and wages as for example nurses. Working in a nursery shouldn't be something the job centre make you do so you get of the dole. How the hell do we pay for that though.
I think we would all agree that caring for the elderly and children is best done within a family setting, provided you have a decent caring family. Now someone will say we'll men should do more and of course they should however most men of working age are like most women working full time in order to keep a roof over their and their families heads. Should we have one bread winner working full time being paid more so that the other partner stays at home looking after their children and elderly relatives however that's what we had pre feminism. Now the stay at home partner doesn't have to be female but lets face it probably will be.
Much of what I said above regarding child and elder care is predicated on people living in nuclear or extended families but millions of people don't. Their either single, childless or single parents.
I realize I've just described the paradox of modern feminism and society in general. The solution is probably a radical overhaul of society but even if we in Britain do that and try and become sort of socialist utopia is the rest of the world going to follow suit or would we just become a cold wet Cuba. Even Cuba's a paradise.
Anyway as you can probably guess I don't have any answers but I'd welcome hearing your ideas and thoughts. I don't really have anything further to contribute.
Thank you for reading my ramble,
Cuba's not a paradise I meant to say.
My mother told me that her granny said to her when she got married that society was going to fall apart because of women working once they were married and that house prices would also go up as a result.
My mum said she wrote it off as an old fashioned and sexist view. She now feels that perhaps her granny had a point.
It's not as if you could have refused women rights in order to prevent this from happening though. Neither can it be framed as somehow the fault of women.
The Scandinavian countries are often held up as good examples. Does anyone know if they manage healthcare and elderly care better than the UK?
I agree that we would be better as a society where our child and elderly care wasn't outsourced to a minimum wage paid woman.
I don't agree that it necessarily follows that means one male wage earner, one female at home. It could mean two part time earners sharing care. It could mean families sharing care more equitably. It could mean more dads at home.
I don't think we can go back to the mum at home being the preferred model, society has moved on too much. We do need a proper conversation about all the possible options and how to incentivise them however.
By families i mean extended families. Or friends sharing care.
We absolutely have come to far as women to go back, and I for one will be at the very back of the line for volunteering to give up my hard fought for professional qualification and senior professional role to go back to the domestic drudgery of being a ‘housewife’ (or farmer’s wife in my case, which is even worse!)
However, we have created a society as a result where mortgages can often only be afforded on two wages, and where there are no longer close family / community networks.
Until more men start seeing part time working or SAH life as a genuine option, and it becomes the norm for one parent of either sex to stay at home then ‘big society’ is fucked as it relies on women primarily doing their womanly caring thing and not being the main breadwinners.
Interestingly I have a small number of lesbian parents in my social circles and they have, without fail, set fantastic examples of how parenting/work life balance/shared parental leave/sharing the mental load etc CAN be achieved fairly. I know that won’t be the case all the time but certainly from the outside they seem to have the most equitable relationships out of the couples I know.
Women have gone so far, but there is still a very very long way to go.
I think the NHS is screwed with or without women, but certainly a large part of the problem is that the state is increasingly having to pick up the slack that previously would have been met by families —women—
In the USA I believe there are laws in some states that children are financially responsible for their parent’s care in old age. I wonder if we will see something similar here ever.
Why do we have to face it that women will do all the shitwork? When will men ever step up? Do they get a free pass for eternity?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.