The Berlin Spectator
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The Berlin Perspective: ‘Happy Women’s Day. Could You Iron My Shirt?’

Fellow men, ahead of International Women’s Day there is an important question: How emancipated are we? I would say there is room for improvement. In other words: We suck big time.

International Women’s Day is coming up and we, the world’s men, are not prepared. In some ways we will never be emancipated, because we are not giving birth and mama is far more important during the first year of a baby’s life. Is a statement of this kind already macho? It probably is in Berlin.

Female Chancellor vs. Dual Leaderships

Let’s escape into politics: Some parties in Germany, especially the ones on the left side of the aisle, look very emancipated indeed. All three of them, the Greens, ‘The Left’ and the Social Democrats (SPD), have dual leaderships, meaning they are being run by a woman and a man each.

Especially the SPD does not have to hide in this regard. Gender equality is its middle name. On the other hand, how about a female head of government? Angela Merkel, a member of the conservative CDU, has been Chancellor since 2005. If this does not qualify, what does? Merkel’s attempt to make sure she has a female successor failed though.

Bundestag is Sorry Sight

In the case of the Greens, there might even be over-emancipation. They have an internal rule about discussions during party events. Here, women and men need to alternate. Wonderful. But, in cases in which only men want to continue contributing to the discussion, the women alone decide whether they will give them the permission to do so. Do we need the scissors approach in some areas, in order to get to actual equality? No clue.

When it comes to gender equality, the Berlin Bundestag is a sorry sight. Only one third of all MPs are women. “Well, women should become candidates then”, one could say. Sure. But what if many of them do not have the opportunity because we, the men, are not emancipated enough to give it to them?

Waging War Overseas

By the way: Are women less aggressive than we are, for instance as heads of government? Probably, but not all of them. Maggie Thatcher is an interesting example because she had to be emancipated to get there, in a party which was known for strengths other than emancipation. She prevailed in a world of men and she got there in more difficult times than these, in this regard. Besides, she did fight the Falklands war, didn’t she?

All in all, men have done such terrible things in history, women can only be better. That is because there simply is no worse, when you look at Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot, but also because women definitely tend to be more just and they seem to have a lot more empathy. Don’t worry, fellow men, many of us are good. But not like them.

Parking Trucks in Reverse

Backing up into parking spaces may be our strength, guys. Because they gave us little cars and wooden blocks to play with early on, meaning we know how to park trucks even before we learn how to chew on little pieces of bread. But how important is parking trucks in reverse compared to all the things women do better?

Let’s try to improve, guys. Little by little. Let women rule. Let’s vote for them and support their struggle for equal pay. The latter aspect is among those that sill need to be tackled in the emancipation process in Germany and similar countries. Also the share of women on the executive floors of companies is only 25 percent.

Taking Out the Trash

Let’s ask ourselves how we can improve. We should check our progress on a regular basis. Oh sure, I’m so emancipated because I wrote a handful of articles about International Women’s Day, Germany’s tampon tax which was finally thrown overboard, and similar subjects. And I take out the trash once in a while. Again, there is room for improvement. A lot, apparently.

By the way: Once we return from the International Women’s Day event, could you iron my shirt? Happy Women’s Day.

Related article: Berlin: The Emancipated City and its New Holiday