FYI, emails I wrote in response to an article in this weekend’s Herald. I might add that the most common form of mumtrepeneurship continues to involve using children to have one’s lifestyle funded.
Dear Associate Professor Mueller
In a NZ Herald article (There’s no place like Mum’s biz, by Susan Edmunds, dated 22/04/12) you are quoted as stating “while most men seek self-employment as a result of trauma, such as losing their jobs, women tend to look at it as a better way to get a work/life balance”. Did this claim arise from research or was it based on your impressions? Can you direct me to any research underlying your claim?
In my experience men generally make decisions about employment based primarily on the needs of their families, and men who move into self-employment are always motivated by a wish to improve work/life balance even when such decisions arise after redundancy etc.
The article went on to quote you as stating “”Even a husband can be a ‘child’ sometimes in terms of neediness. Family considerations in general drive self-employment for women.”
What motivated you to contribute to the spread of such demeaning views of men and fathers? Were you hoping to gain favour with female seniors in your place of employment? Or perhaps you have simply been captured by the feminist ideology and anti-male hate speech that has been rife at the University of Waikato.
I don’t believe there is any good basis for creating an impression that women think more about families in their employment decisions than do men. Men work hard to provide for their families, sacrificing their own needs in the most dangerous, dirty, uncomfortable, body-wrecking, injurious and fatal jobs required to maintain the infrastructure of our privileged lifestyle. Year after year men contribute almost 100% of workplace deaths and the vast majority of workplace serious injuries. All the examples given in Ms Edmunds’ article involved mothers pursuing self-employment roles that were physically comfortable and safe, motivated by personal desires to enjoy more time with their children, seeing their children reach developmental milestones etc. All credit to them but there was no need to denigrate fathers. Most fathers miss out on such joys as they take responsibility for primary financial provision.
Dear Ms Edmunds
Your pro-femaleist article “There’s no place like Mum’s biz” (NZ Herald, 22/04/12) was a disgraceful display of sexism in the following ways:
1. You made no mention of the supportive role of the women’s husbands whose willingess to keep working outside the home meant missing out on the enjoyment of spending time with children, being there when they reach milestones etc, in order to maintain financial provision allowing their partners the luxury of getting employers off their backs and setting up their own boutique businesses. The jobs men tend to do do in providing such support are the most dangerous, dirty, uncomfortable, body-wrecking, injurious and fatal jobs required to maintain the infrastructure for our privileged lifestyle. Yet you failed to acknowledge that the self-employed roles pursued by women tend to be safe and comfortable activities. Even after separation mothers are assisted in setting up self-employment through the funding of their lifestyles by child tax either paid directly or to fund a generous DPB system.
2. You included denigrating comments about men (made by Assoc Prof Mueller), claims of ‘glass ceilings’ and employment discrimination against women. Yet the specific examples you provided of employment discrimination involved female firms either blatantly or sneakily maintaining sexist hiring practices favouring women. Your implicit support for such sexism was duplicitous.