We might have a clue here

Take the issue of parental leave: Sweden is consistently ranked as one of the best countries in the world on this measure. After the birth of a child, both parents are eligible for a total of 240 days’ leave. I never gave this much thought until I returned to Scandinavia after living overseas for several years, and saw how all my female friends and colleagues who had started families were limiting their professional careers and slipping into gender roles reminiscent of past generations. Given that they had the freedom to choose, what explained the fact those traditional gender roles were so entrenched?

Perhaps actual attributes of gender had something to do with those traditional gender roles?

Only, you know, a thought. And anyone who thinks it’s not true – on average of course – hasn’t actually me many human beings.

14 comments on “We might have a clue here

  1. Freedom of choice is a pesky bump in the road towards the People’s Great Utopia and must be crushed if we are to bring about the promised land.

  2. This is a point that Jordan Peterson makes frequently. It’s true across cultures. The more equal a society becomes the more the sexes diverge in interests, behaviour and so on.

  3. @Philip Scott Thomas: Perhaps best shown by (I think) China where female employment has fallen as the market becomes more liberalised.

  4. The women had freedom to choose – and chose what they wanted not what someone else says they should choose.

    Feminists have never forgiven their sisters for wanting something different than the feminists.
    The whole point about choice is that people will choose.

  5. @Mal Reynolds

    Quite so regarding China.

    I think the reason Peterson so often references Sweden in particular is because it’s been their government policy for decades to flatten any differences in opportunity between the sexes. And what long-term studies have shown is that as Swedes have had increasing opportunity to follow whatever path they wish, the differences between the sexes have grown.

  6. I’m glad Jordan Peterson’s take on this gets mentioned. It’s why you tend to meet a lof of Russian, Kazakh, Iranian, and Turkish female engineers and not a whole lot of Swedish or Norwegian ones.

  7. Given that they had the freedom to choose, what explained the fact those traditional gender roles were so entrenched?

    In and of itself, this is one of 2019’s most glorious sentences.

    I had to check twice to make sure it hadn’t been written by Polly or Amanda.

  8. I’d say this represents progress. Madelaine at least recognised a real phenomenon even though it causes brain hurtee. Madelaine doesn’t want to resort to compulsion because it offends traditional scandi urdi gurdi principles. So far so good. But then she resorts to education to beat out the urdi gurdiness from them. Not quite there yet. Perhaps a chat with her Polish refugee parents will help.

  9. 240 days of parental leave?!?

    It seems there is a competition among companies/governments to see who can best emulate a sugar daddy. Where will it end? Perhaps when having a kid qualifies you for an immediate lifelong pension our societies will remember that there’s an underlying job that one is ostensibly being paid to do.

  10. One of the biggest difference between sexes is that men tend to be interested in things while women are interested in people.

    It’s a statistically significant difference, to a standard deviation. For a woman to be as interested in things as much as the average man she has to more interested in things than 85% of other women. Likewise for men being interested in people.

    Again, this is true across cultures.

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