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Issue 8/2006, May 11 2006 (No. 214)
German version
        
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Academics, leading industrialists and politicians agree that prosperity and survivability of welfare systems in Western industrialized nations will highly depend on women. How many of them (and their partners) will decide to start families? How many of them will feel up to working in their profession?
 
From the article 'It has to be compatible' by Sandra Kegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Mai 11 2006


One fine day in spring I waited for the bus. A young woman stood in front of me. She was reading a book. The title of the book was 'The woman's non-smoker book'. I was surprised that there were such spezialized books. I started talking to her. She showed me the cover. The complete title read as follows 'The woman's non-smoker book. How to get pretty, powerful and independent without cigarettes' . The woman told me that her boyfriend had given her the book. She said that he wanted to help her this way to become a non-smoker.
 
A few days later I saw a poster at a bus stop. The poster showed the shoulders, the chest and the belly of a woman. The woman sported the regalia of a prison officer. She held a bunch with long keys in her hand. She wore a broad belt with a truncheon and handcuffs. Around her chest there was a broad red sash with the large lettering 'Our powerful women'. The sash was tied that way that one could see the slovenly buttoned shirt and the base of the breasts. At the bottom of the poster there was the lettering 'The secret of their power - a great series' . Next to it was the logo of a great German popular newspaper.
 
During the next days I found two variants of the poster. The difference between the poster described above and its variants was that there was an other body in the sash in each case. One poster showed a businesswoman who wore a trouser suit and a pearl necklace. Her regalia was a laptop she held under her arm. The other poster showed a woman who held two babies in her arms. She wore a jeans, a sweater and a delicate silver necklace.
 
On none of the posters one could see legs. Though faces are the mirrors of the mental state they weren't shown on any of the posters. The focus of the posters was the regalia of social and professional roles (prison officer, businesswoman or mother).
 

The poster I found at a bus stop
 
Those roles are up to now in some cases (prison officer, businessman) a sphere of men. The power of the women was symbolized only by their regalia (keys, truncheon, handcuffs, laptop, babies). The posters weren't portraits of real powerful women. They only announced that the popular newspaper would have articles about powerful women.
 
A few days later I found a headline in a TV guide 'TV is getting more and more female' There was a subline as follows 'lady superintendent, lady doctor, lady lawyer - there haven't been so many powerful women on the air ever before'.
(My wife Christine helped me to translate the text. Thanks.)
(to be continued)

Slogans 18


Visit to a family in Phnom Penh. Please have a look at 'Daily life in Cambodia 2000 - 2001', entry October 21 2000 The link leads to the latest entry of the diary.

Comments?
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The next issue 'The Daily Groove'
Saturday, May 27 2006

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