When fertility becomes a state matter, women’s rights weaken, says French writer | Foreign countries

When fertility becomes a state matter womens rights weaken says

PARIS There are signs of the weakening of women’s rights in the air, French writer Lola Lafon says.

– We live in a time when women’s bodies and fertility become a matter of the state. It’s worrying.

The French are having fewer children than before, just like in other Western countries. It has caused political decision-makers to worry. Nations grow old.

In January, the French president Emmanuel Macron your line is that the next step is to launch the “population rearmament”. By that, he means an extensive program to combat infertility.

For example, women who turned 25 would receive a free gynecological examination, and men of the same age would receive a survey of their sperm composition. In this way, it would be communicated that as a parent, when fertility declines, it may be too late to acquire offspring.

Many experts who follow the situation of families have pointed out that infertility that comes after age is only part of the reason for the decrease in the number of children.

– Here, the pressure is directed at women. And what does this say about the attitude towards children? Are children commodities, the importance of which is measured this way, through the nation’s equipment, Lafon asks.

Lola Lafon, writer, musician and feminist

Lola Lafon was born in France, but grew up in Bulgaria and Romania.

Lafon’s novels have won several literary awards.

His most famous novel, The Little Communist Who Never Smiled, has also been translated into Finnish. It is based on a gymnast By Nadia Comănec to life.

Lafon has also released records and participates in the social debate in the media, e.g. with regular columns.

In Lafon’s opinion, it is no coincidence that the language used by politicians has become more belligerent recently. Even the corona pandemic was treated like an attack. When closing the borders of the countries, the politicians talked about the “frontline” and “the fight”.

– Words are politics, especially top politicians don’t use them randomly. At that level, words are weighted, Lafon emphasizes.

So Macron was not improvising when he spoke about the population’s re-armament.

What does war rhetoric tell?

Our society is becoming more conservative, says Lafon.

– We live in a world that leans towards the extreme right. Right-wing parties form alliances with the extreme right. So we don’t live in progressive times.

In Lafon’s opinion, war parables reveal the obsolescence of society. In politics, centrist and right-wing parties form alliances with the far-right in various western countries.

Also Macron’s policy be interpreted right-wing according to the far-right party The National Coalition has strengthened.

– A very reactionary and conservative ideology is on the rise almost everywhere in Western countries, and birth policy is part of it, says Lafon.

When making “birth policy”, politicians make it clear that a person owes something to the state. Women’s duty is now to make children.

– It is wrong if there are no children, or it is wrong if there is only one child.

In Lafon’s opinion, war rhetoric can also indicate that there is some kind of “passion for conflicts†among today’s politicians.

– Is it actually a war fantasy that spreads into the vocabulary, Lafon ponders.

Sexism is increasing

At the same time, the values ​​of young men and women are clearly different in different parts of the world, according to a new report.

Men are also more conservative than women in France. Women’s progressiveness has probably been influenced by the Me Too movement.

Young French men under the age of 35 perceive feminism as a threat more often than older men. 40 percent of all French men think it is normal for women to stop working after having children. The share has grown in recent years.

More than half of women aged 25-34 say that they have been in some kind of sexual intercourse against their will. Almost a quarter of men of the same age think that sometimes it is inevitable to be violent in order to be respected.

Already in 2022 the situation of sexism in France was “alarming†, estimates the council that monitors equality development. Last year there was no improvement, but the situation partially worsened.

Me Too brought publicity, but no concrete help

It is hoped that women will have more children, but with the current policy it will not be possible, says the person who leads the women’s network’s discussion groups in the center of Paris Marie Charvet. Decision makers talk about the wrong things.

Women’s situations have become more contradictory than before, Charvet describes. First, the Me Too movement opened the floodgates and made women in France also open their mouths about mistreatment.

– Women now dare to tell the authorities what they have been through. But when they go to the police station, they don’t get service because the police are not given more resources, says Charvet.

When women tell the authorities about their problems, there is a legal barrier.

In Marie Charvet’s opinion, the decision-makers’ focus on maternity workers is a problem as long as the social status of women is not improved first.

– How can people be carefree about raising children when economic uncertainty is increasing and our schools and other public services have deteriorated due to financial cuts, Charvet asks.

Although women are on average more highly educated than men, they earn less. However, this is what Macron’s birth policy tries to address.

Families would receive half a year of “maternity leave†, during which the pay would be better than during the current, longer parental leave. At the same time, parental support would cease. In this way, employees would be motivated to return to work faster than at present, so that their careers would suffer less.

Women still do the overwhelming majority of housework.

– And single mothers live in a really bad financial situation. So maybe before the decision makers ask us to “rearm France†they should give us the means to live honorably as women in our country, says Charvet.

– Besides, Macron doesn’t even have children himself, so that’s about it.