Thursday, January 21, 2010

Germany's Raven Mothers

From the New York Times:
Manuela Maier was branded a bad mother. A Rabenmutter, or raven mother, after the black bird that pushes chicks out of the nest. She was ostracized by other mothers, berated by neighbors and family, and screamed at in a local store.

Her crime? Signing up her 9-year-old son when the local primary school first offered lunch and afternoon classes last autumn — and returning to work.

Ten years into the 21st century, most schools in Germany still end at lunchtime, a tradition that dates back nearly 250 years. That has powerfully sustained the housewife/mother image of German lore and was long credited with producing well-bred, well-read burghers.

Modern Germany may be run by a woman — Chancellor Angela Merkel, routinely called the world’s most powerful female politician — but it seems no coincidence that she is childless.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ms. M., if I may, I'd like to add the following, which was the headline for the NYT article quoted here: "In Germany, a Tradition Falls, and Women Rise". I believe this is much more representative of the thrust of the whole article, which suggests that the old attitudes in Germany are undergoing rapid change.


Nate Levin