Friday, August 24, 2012

Having it all? More like doing it all, say frazzled British mothers struggling to juggle career and children

If you’re a woman under 50, chances are you grew up being told you could 'have it all'.  In reality, however, you’re more likely to be doing it all.  Most mothers are struggling to juggle their careers and their families, leaving them stressed out at work and frazzled at home, a survey found.

On top of all that, many said they fretted about making sure they looked good.

They say their lives are tougher than their own mothers’ were 30 years ago, because they were allowed to stay at home and raise their children without the pressure to work.

Of those who worked, almost half said they felt guilty that their career had stopped them from spending enough quality time with their offspring.  This was compounded by the fact that a quarter of working women said they were their household’s main breadwinner.

More than 5,000 mothers aged 20 to 70 were questioned on their work-life balance.  Many of those surveyed called themselves the ‘doing it all, not having it all’ generation.  While 54 per cent said it was important for them to have a good job, 73 per cent admitted feeling under pressure to keep their homes clean and tidy.

Seven out of ten said they still did all the cooking and cleaning, and eight of ten did the washing and ironing too.

Nearly three quarters believed they were responsible for making the household run smoothly, with 77 per cent saying they were left to manage the household finances.

More than 82 per cent said they were responsible for sending birthday cards and keeping in touch with relatives, while a third said they also took charge of the family’s health and cared for elderly relatives.

With all that to cope with, 83 per cent said having more help from their husband or partner would make their lives easier and almost a quarter (22 per cent) resented their other half’s lack of support.

They also said they fretted about their image, with 68 per cent saying they were expected to keep in shape and wear fashionable clothes.

Those who worked said they worried about devoting enough time to their children, with half saying they felt anxious that they were not getting it right and one in three saying they felt under pressure to be a perfect mother.

The survey, commissioned by Asda, also asked participants  to rate how optimistic they felt about four areas on a scale of five to minus five: the outlook for the UK economy; their household finances; quality of life and local community.  These ratings were added together for a total ‘optimism score.’

Most didn’t feel there was much to look forward to. The average score was minus 16, down eight since a similar survey was carried out in February.

Eight out of ten women were also pessimistic about their own daughters’ futures, with 87 per cent predicting women’s lives will only get worse.

Judith McKenna, of Asda, said: ‘There is an overall downward trend in mums’ optimism, driven by a downward trend in optimism in their household finances and their family’s quality of life.

‘Our research shows the average mum is no longer constrained by old-fashioned male or female stereotypes – either within the home or outside it.  ‘But with these increased responsibilities comes increased pressure – the expectation that mums can “have it all” weighs heavy, and mums don’t see those pressures easing off for future generations.’

‘Mums are calling for a fairer future,’ she added. ‘They’d like to share domestic duties and fulfil their own career ambitions. They’d like employers to be more flexible.’

June O’Sullivan, of the London Early Years Foundation, said: ‘It would help if mums were allowed to feel less guilty about using childcare to support them to work.  ‘We know that the better qualified the mother, the better chances of children doing well at school and in the future.  ‘We also know that it is not the amount of time mothers spend with their children that makes the difference it is what they do with the time they have.’


Mayor Bloomberg Hates Bloggers

This morning I was at a Chicago Economic Club breakfast. The two panelists were Mayor Bloomberg from NYC, and Obama’s former chief of staff, Bill Daley. It was moderated by Andrea Mitchell. That’s about as middle of the road as we get in Chicago!

But the panel degenerated into the current political campaign and the statements made were telling. Especially some of the things said by Mayor Bloomberg. It reflected his deep distrust of the individual to make their own decisions. Given his recent policies, that point has been put into practice.

Bloomberg said that money in politics was corrupting the system. Not because of donations to individual politicians, but because of all the SuperPACs on each side of the aisle. He advocated for full disclosure of donations. I agree with him. Every dime anyone, or any company or organization gives ought to be searchable in an online data base.

However, Bloomberg said he though social media was terrible for politics. He said all the bloggers, all the tweeters and Facebookers were ruining politics worse than the money. He said it was much better when there was an editor at a newspaper, or an editor on a television news desk that filtered stories and “fact checked” them before they were run. On that point he and I disagree.

Bloggers and tweeters are the new media that brings transparency and truth to the political process. Would the Anthony Weiner story been broken twenty years ago? How about Jack Abramhoff? Politicians lie today and they are instantly accountable. For example, the left currently says Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan guts funding for everyone. The truth is that it doesn’t affect anyone over 55, and changes the way people get their medical insurance. Ryan’s plan bets that private industry can provide medical coverage cheaper than the government. It’s a good bet. Bloggers got that information out there.

The centralized planning that Bloomberg advocates goes against the grain of a market economy. There is wisdom in crowds. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets allow crowds to interact and come up with solutions. The more centralized the government is, the more it consolidates power. Eventually, it becomes so overbearing free people cease to be free. Individual rights and social justice go away, and the populace is left with a giant government to pay for.

This crucial point is the crux of the debate we are having today. Can government decide better for you and your family or are you the better arbiter of what’s good for you and what’s not? Should you have the freedom to choose, or should you be trapped in a government program that won’t let you out-but has exceptions for people that can get them?

Of course, we all know that it takes political clout to get those exemptions. That’s why it’s called crony capitalism. Bloomberg believes in centralization and crony capitalism. He came out in favor of it today. The solutions to our problems are letting individuals choose for themselves. We need a big gulp of freshwater economics.


An Open Letter to Mark Potok, Spokesman for the SPLC

By  Michael Brown

Because your organization has not responded to my previous attempts to interact and because the SPLC is coming under increasing public scrutiny, I am writing this open letter with the hope that you will respond. You should be familiar with my name, since I am on your list of “30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right” and since I was profiled in the Spring 2012 Intelligence Report (more on that shortly).

My desire in writing to you is not to be contentious, nor is it to embarrass you. Rather, it is to pursue peace, to expose falsehood, to confront hateful misinformation, and to call on you and the SPLC to do what is right.

To be sure, I am hardly the only one questioning the credibility of the SPLC today. You have, no doubt, read the editorial in the Washington Post by columnist Dana Millbank, who stated, “I disagree with the Family Research Council’s views on gays and lesbians. But it’s absurd to put the group, as the law center does, in the same category as Aryan Nations, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Stormfront and the Westboro Baptist Church.” And Millbank is just one of an increasing number of Americans from diverse backgrounds who are pointing out the absurdity of your recent “hate group” listings.

Do you realize, Mr. Potok, that by placing mainstream, conservative Christian ministries like the American Family Association and the FRC side by side with legitimate hate groups that you call your whole work into question? Do you realize that millions of Americans, hearing about the SPLC for the first time in the wake of the FRC shooting, will now question the veracity of all your listings, thereby empowering genuine, dangerous hate groups?

You placed my name, along with that of a number of other conservative Christian leaders, on your list of “30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right.” This list included men like Malik Zulu Shabazz, leader of the New Black Panther Party. One of their recent radio shows featured this audio clip: “We give them [i.e., whites] 24 hours in South Africa to get out of town by sundown. I say, if they don’t get out of town, we kill the men, we kill the women, we kill the children, we kill the babies, we kill the blind, we kill the cripple, we kill the crazy, we kill the fa**ots, we kill the lesbians, I say god da**it we kill them all.”

Contrast those words with my statement in May 2006, addressing the gay and lesbian community of Charlotte: “We recognize that we have sometimes failed to reach out to you with grace and compassion, that we have often been insensitive to your struggles, that we have driven some of you away rather than drawn you in, that we have added to your sense of rejection. For these failings of ours, we ask you to forgive us. By God’s grace, we intend to be models of His love.

“We understand, of course, that in your eyes, our biblical convictions constitute hate, and it is hurtful to us that you feel that way. The fact is that we really do love you – more than you realize or understand – and because we love you, we will continue to speak the truth, convinced that it is the truth that sets us free. Love does what is right, even when it is scorned and mocked and ridiculed.”

Does this constitute hate in your book? Is this comparable to the language of the KKK? Neo-Nazis? New Black Panther Party? Yet it is in this spirit that we have carried out our work for the last 8 years, all to find a place one of your lists.

The SPLC actually acknowledges in the “30 New Activists” article that, “Unlike many other voices on the religious right, Brown generally has avoided the kind of slashing rhetoric that often devolves into rank defamation. His work is heavily footnoted and avoids the blanket pronouncements that have gotten others in trouble.” Yet I am listed side by side with Shabbaz, whom the SPLC cites as saying, “Kill every god**mn Zionist in Israel! God**mn little babies, god**mn old ladies! Blow up Zionist supermarkets!” Surely listing me (and other Christian leaders) alongside of him discredits the SPLC, not me (and the other Christian leaders).

You define a hate group as one which knowingly disseminates false information and demonizing propaganda about other people and groups, yet I have noted where the SPLC is guilty of this very thing . (You will claim that you never do so knowingly; certainly, the Christian groups you are attacking would say the very same thing about themselves.)

Mr. Potok, does it trouble you that your Intelligence Report focusing on NARTH (the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) was so riddled with errors that anyone in possession of a program to the conference would recognize that the report was utterly unreliable, not to mention patently biased? What hope does the average reader have of accurately separating fact from fiction in reports like this?


Therapy dog owner roughed up by police at anti-Israel rally

 A Jewish man says he's contemplating legal action, claiming to have been arrested for bringing his dog to an Islamic group's anti-Israel demonstration on Saturday. But police say he actually was arrested for fighting.

Allan Einstoss, 47, was handcuffed and detained by police during a controversial Al-Quds Day rally at Queen's Park.

Al-Quds Day is a yearly international event created in 1979 by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini to mark the end of Ramadan and to call for the destruction of Israel and the creation a Palestinian state.

Several other groups, including the hard-line Jewish Defence League, also attended the rally to counter the Al-Quds message, which they say spreads anti-Semitism.

Einstoss, who has no group affiliation but went to oppose the Al-Quds' doctrine, said he'd spent over an hour "mingling" among members of the crowd with Cupcake, his 165-pound English mastiff.

Cupcake, a trained therapy dog that will begin visiting patients at a local hospital this fall, was on a leash during the rally, and wore an Israeli flag around its neck.

Some devout Muslims consider dogs to be unclean and make efforts to avoid them.

Einstoss said after two young Muslim women asked about Cupcake, he was told by a male Al-Quds demonstrator he was "not allowed to go near our women" with the dog.

Einstoss said that after exclaiming his right to go where he pleased, he walked away with Cupcake, but was "punched in the chest" by another demonstrator.

Einstoss shoved back, and within seconds was grabbed by several officers, he said.

He claimed that while in custody, one officer called him "insensitive" for attending an Islamic rally with a dog.

Einstoss said his assailant wasn't even questioned by police.

The officer allegedly threatened Einstoss with charges of incitement to riot and assault. After around 30 minutes, Einstoss was let go after agreeing to leave Queen's Park.

Toronto police spokesman Victor Kwong said that while officers at the rally first noticed Einstoss because of his "large" dog, his arrest was because of the subsequent scuffle.

"Officers took notice of (Einstoss) because they did see an extremely large dog with an Israeli flag around its neck," Kwong said.

He added that Einstoss was the only person arrested at the rally and refused to discuss specifics about the incident.

If he pursues legal action, Einstoss said he'll seek a public inquiry into his arrest instead of money.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCHAUSTRALIAN POLITICSDISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL  and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine).   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site  here.


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