Women’s commuting raises other issues

It was possibly meant as a holiday filler, more likely as another post to show us just how much women do and men don’t have to:

Commuting Stresses Women More Than Men‎ Medical News Today
Commuting is ‘more stressful for women than men’‎ The Guardian
Commuting is more stressful for women‎ Marie Claire.co.uk
Health Insurance and Protection MagazineTucone

It was full of observations such as:

‘We know that women, especially those with children, are more likely to add daily errands to their commute, such as food shopping and dropping off and picking up children from childcare,’ says Co-author and economist Prof Jennifer Roberts, from the University of Sheffield.

‘These time constraints and the reduced flexibility that comes with them make commuting stressful in a way that it wouldn’t be otherwise.’

Perhaps it didn’t occur to the papers and journals what they were actually leaving themselves open to – that this was a double-edged sword. Yes, it showed that women do far more during the day, trying to balance the essential things in homelife and in a working life but it was meant to end there. That’s it, we were meant to observe that and nod – yes, women really are so wonderful, which of course – they are.

What they might not have expected was someone saying that women shouldn’t be doing that commute at all and you know where this is leading. Either way, that report disappeared from all the online papers very quickly overnight and wasn’t to be seen prominently displayed either at the Mail or the Guardian.

In the Mail version of the story, one commenter questioned the stats in that totally unreasonable way many people reserve for anyone of the opposite point of view – absolute proof, signed in triplicate and laid at their feet – whereas for their own assertions, they demand far less rigorous “proof”.

Someone else commented that it was no big deal as this had been a known-known for so long and every woman knew how difficult this commute was.

Well yes – common sense, I should have thought.

So let’s follow this logic through

Feminists were forever telling us that “homemaking is a full time job”, a proper job, deserving recognition and respect. They’re far less vocal about that now because someone like me can latch onto that and use it for the purposes they did not intend.

Here’s one article about it and here’s another, saying:

Homemakers and housewives have a noble job.

Quite. And:

Any man who says homemaker’s job is a breeze didnt stop and see, when he is young, how much effort his mom was putting into making the house a home.

That’s right. It’s a full time job, the domestic economy and a woman deserves to have at least some time to herself during her frenetically busy week, which she can’t do if she has to commute to work in some other town or cross-city.

It’s too stressful.

Solutions

1. The most obvious one is staring us all in the face, is it not? We all know it but few are going to admit it. I’m going to put it though because someone has to state the bleedin’ obvious, in the spirit of the Emperor’s new clothes.

The question is how to get back to that sanity again. Children who used to come home by themselves were once called latchkey children and it was looked down upon. When did this stop? More importantly – why? I know many women who still feel a strong sense of motherhood, not because any man tells them to and they’re out there, working and having to stressfully commute .

These are the women this post is for.

There is another type of woman, called the “career” woman who, despite feeling that urge for family, simply can’t combine the two adequately. She ends up burnt out, living in what originally looked like a golden cage or kidding herself she’s coping and the hubby gets the short end of the stick – husbands are always the first to suffer wives’ stress.

Since time immemorial, girls have wanted to play with the big boys and beat them at their own game and so to suggest they now don’t now mix it with the men is fanciful – women are not going to give that up.

2. So it’s standing out a mile that women should simply not commute all that much. In my mother’s day, it involved part-time employment within reasonable range of home, the money was useful but now we’ve an insane situation.

Men too who must commute long distances are increasingly less demanded by HR [let’s not start on that abomination] and it’s expected they’ll live in the area or be able to get to work much more quickly – this is the big “relocation” horror in the employment field. And if he’s a father who happens to still be with the biological mother of his child, he damn well should be getting home at a reasonable time in the evening.

3. The ideal, in this modern age, is for the man to have work which pays more than NMW, that work tbeing within an hour’s travel and for women to have part-time local work and/or other activities or even better – to work from home.

How many can do that?

Why can’t they?

The system has changed – it’s become Harmanized. From the disconnection of the value of work to the value of housing and all other credit fuelled items, it’s an unsustainable situation which tends, inevitably, to debt, penury and slavery to the banks. Enough’s been written on that by many pundits.

I’ve stopped short here of chaining women to the kitchen sink because even a dinosaur like me recognizes that women can never completely go back to that, nor should they. Women need to be happy and career is fine as part of that … but not at the cost of the daily commute.

4. So who’s going to turn this round? Who’s going to demand that the unit value of work alter significantly and/or the unit value of purchasables/utilities fall well within normal household income? Which Prime Minister is going to concentrate, not on some stupid, artificial debt the IMF and other global leeches say the country has but on measures to make the average income cover all the daily, monthly and yearly expenses?

It’s so bleedin’ obvious that it needs to, in order for us to have a fair chance of earning our way to a roof over our heads, to provide food and clothing, not relying on welfare, not bringing up single mother households with itinerant males brought in to service her and not living under the constant threat of losing everything.

Where’s the Prime Minister who’ll begin by dispensing with the fictional, artificial debt, who’ll slash taxes, particularly VAT, actively put in place measures to encourage firms to start up in the UK and actively support them by placing curbs on what councils can do to wreck local businesses?

Where’s the man or woman who will go through every council in the UK and purge those who’ve voted for the upping of rentals and failing to provide adequate protection for the pounds taken?  I had a long chat yesterday with a husband and wife who are not the complaining kind but I am and I got it out of them what the local countil was actually doing to squeeze their business, providing so little in return.

Where’s the man or woman who’ll run the risk of assassination by the PTB by genuinely promoting family-friendly measures to make the UK the place de rigeur to invest in, a tax paradise which would have businesses flocking to open up and provide employment for all but the 4% or so unemployable?

Why should the UK not be such a paradise, leaving aside the PTB agenda for the moment?  Did someone mention the excrescence, the EU?

And in the context of this post’s theme – where is the man or woman PM who’ll end woman’s slavery to this vicious commuter-go-round which stresses them out so much?

6 comments for “Women’s commuting raises other issues

  1. Lord T
    August 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    ‘providing so little in return’

    What do they provide then? I would say ‘nothing’ in return from my experience.

    ‘where is the man or woman PM who’ll end woman’s slavery to this vicious commuter-go-round which stresses them out so much?’

    Why do you need a PM, more women make that choice than go out to stressful work. Attrition should fix that without any useless ‘guvmint jobsworth’ getting involved.

  2. Moggsy
    August 24, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Well. We commute to get to our jobs. Generally the longer the commute the more money a person earns.

    We need jobs because unless the husband is really, really, well paid even a fairly affluent household needs two incomes.

    In the UK the problem is worse in the South East, near to London. London drives up costs, especially house prices and rents.

    The wages are higher there also, so people live further out where they can afford and commute further in so they can earn enough to live where they live.

    Then there are the roads crammed with traffic, congestion charges, cattle class commuter trains and ever spiralling fares.. and that is before you even think about picking up some extra groceries or running other errands.

    Stress?

    • August 25, 2011 at 5:42 am

      “We need jobs because unless the husband is really, really, well paid even a fairly affluent household needs two incomes.”

      As Peter MacFarlane point s out below, this is a ‘chicken/egg’ situation, isn’t it?

  3. Peter MacFarlane
    August 24, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Unfortunately, the genie is out of the bottle.

    Once women started fulltime work as a regular thing, and banks started taking both salaries into consideration, house prices rose to the point where you now HAVE to have two salaries to buy one, unless one partner is a Local Authority boss or some other plutocratic parasite. And even then, they just buy an even more expensive house.

    This isn’t going to go away any time soon.

    • August 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      The whole point, Peter.

  4. August 25, 2011 at 5:41 am

    “… that report disappeared from all the online papers very quickly overnight and wasn’t to be seen prominently displayed either at the Mail or the Guardian.”

    Heh! 😈

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