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荷兰女人为什么幸福?

所属:情感空间 作者:Liz Jones 阅读:16750 次 评论:3 条 [我要评论]  [+我要收藏]

小编摘要:荷兰似乎是被女权主义遗忘的土地:荷兰女性做梦也不会想要朝九晚五的上班,她们每天花三小时喝咖啡,而且完全由老公负责付钱——是否她们已经发现了幸福的秘密??

The land that feminism forgot: They wouldn't dream of working full-time, spend three hours a day drinking coffee and their men pay for everything - have Dutch women found the secret to happiness?

荷兰


Have you wondered what life would be like if feminism had never happened? If we were all housewives? If we were not required to live on our wits and our adrenaline, and were able to take up a hobby? If men were happy to step up to the mark and look after us?


Am I talking about travelling back in time to see what life was like in the Fifties? No, it is much simpler than that. I am catching a flight to Amsterdam.


A recent report reveals that fewer than ten per cent of Dutch women work full-time, and they face one of the highest wage gaps in Europe. But the surprise is it’s not just mums with young families who work only two or three days a week, or older women who care for elderly relatives: it is child-free women in their 20s and 30s, too.


And, it seems, it makes them incredibly happy. A new book, Dutch Women Don’t Get Depressed, explains that the reason they don’t is because the majority work part-time. They earn less and have less. Many live off their partner. But they don’t care. They want to relax, read a book, see their friends.


Studies show that Dutch women don’t want to spend more time at work: they refuse extended hours at their jobs, even if they don’t have children. And they are horrified by British women’s lack of free time.


I have travelled to Holland to find out why women here don’t want equality, professional fulfilment, independence and autonomy and power and?.?.?. lovely things!


Are they not bored, and worried about having no identity? Where is their ambition?


I meet Maaike Voorhoeve, 30, and we compare notes. I tell her I work 75 hours a week, haven’t had a day off since Christmas, and that to me my job is my identity. When I was features editor on a daily paper, I had lunch away from my desk once in five years.


Consequently, I have very few friends, and I’m exhausted. I’ve only seen my mum once this year, and my new boyfriend complains that even out for a romantic dinner, I’m always sending emails. I might have nice things, but I don’t have time to enjoy them.


Maaike tells me about her life. I am soon jealous. She is studying for her Phd in law, has a boyfriend, but no children. I ask how many hours a week she works. ‘Well,’ she says. ‘I am very sensitive to stress, and as soon as I start feeling tense I come to this cafe.’


How many hours a day does she spend here, drinking coffee and talking? ‘Oh, three hours a day. I like to do some form of sport, too. I run three times a week.’


Another woman in the cafe interrupts. She tells me she is 32, childless, and works four hours a week. ‘Dutch women meet friends for lunch, we visit family, we exercise, we work on who we are.


‘We sometimes feel sorry for the men who are stuck in the office all day, but not that often.’ What does she do all day? ‘I garden!’


'We sometimes feel sorry for the men who are stuck in the office all day, but not that often'


I’m aghast. These women are obviously intelligent. But, they see enjoying life as more important than having a career. Can we learn something from them?


The Dutch divorce rate is, after all, one of the lowest in Europe, but are couples forced to put up with each other, given the woman’s greater financial dependence?


Yes, of course in Holland there are many women who work full-time, at low-paid, unfulfilling jobs: immigrant workers in the catering trade, for example. It is the middle-class Dutch woman who has chosen to turn her back,on the corporate world.


Even Dutch high-fliers don’t see a career as the most important thing in their life. A female newspaper editor was quoted in the Press recently as saying: ‘We look at the world of management — and it is a man’s world — and we think: “Oh, I could do that if I wanted. But I’d rather enjoy my life.”?’


I speak to yet another graduate: Margje van Haeften, 35, teaches children with behavioural problems three days a week. She lives with her boyfriend, who works full-time.


‘I was struggling, working five days. I would do the same thing every day, I was tired, and I had no energy for my social life. I knew I didn’t want to feel like that for my whole life.


‘But then I studied life coaching, and became more self-confident, and decided to cut down my hours. I was nervous telling my boss at first, but he told me not to worry.’


I ask how this affects the dynamic between her and her boyfriend. ‘I do more housework than he does, but I don’t feel I have to always make dinner for him. I have more time for him.’


But does he respect you? Isn’t this set-up a little old-fashioned? ‘No, it’s more modern. Our relationship is better. I take photos, I go to the gym. We can manage financially. I’m much happier.’


Tranquility: In Amsterdam, many women are free to enjoy walks and cycles around the city instead of working full-time


The main difference I can find between Dutch women and their British counterparts is that they are much less concerned with material things.


Debby Nobel, the 34-year-old deputy editor of Dutch Grazia, does work five days a week, but tells me that: ‘Dutch women would rather live in a small house, and only eat out occasionally, than work all the time.


‘All my friends say they want to work to live, not live to work. There is no credit card culture here. But men do tend to pay for stuff, and they don’t seem to mind. That is they way they were brought up.’


I ask if she resents the part-timers. ‘On a Friday afternoon, this building is deserted,’ she says. ‘If you are a mum, fine, but if you are a normal girl, why? Not a lot of Dutch women like to be called feminists. They won’t work longer hours. They leave university, and go into a part-time job. They say it’s about self-development, they want to write a book…’


'Being a mum is more important to me than a job. There is not a culture of nannies here'


I sympathise. I wouldn’t dream of employing someone whose sole ambition was to sit in a cafe for three hours a day. But Yvonne van Nielen, a 34-year-old with a young son, who works four days a week as a designer on Grazia, disagrees. She believes part-timers work more intensively than full-timers.


‘We pack the work of five days into four. But, yes, being a mum is more important to me than a job. There is not a culture of nannies here.’


I get a cab to the suburbs to meet Lisa Zwaaneveldt, a young mum. Her apartment is immaculate: all polished floors, mid-20th-century furniture, toys stored neatly. It’s all so different from the homes of my super busy friends who are mums.


I once went back for dinner with a female TV newsreader, and when we got to her £3?million home I looked at her hallway, strewn with detritus, and said: ‘Oh my god, you’ve been burgled!’ ‘Nah,’ she said, throwing her coat on a pile. ‘This is normal.’


Lisa is 33, and has an 18-month-old son, Dave. Her husband works full-time as a chef. When I ask what she does for a living, she replies: ‘Full-time housewife,’ without a hint of an apology. ‘I used to work as a PA, and the men expected their wives to stay home,’ she says. ‘There is pressure to be a good wife, to be a good cook, to keep the home nice.’


Would she call herself a feminist? ‘No.’ Do she feel vulnerable? ‘I used to earn a lot of money, so I know I could again. I am training to be a beauty therapist, so I will work one day, just not full-time.’


I’m starting to wonder how men in the Netherlands feel. It turns out they don’t go Dutch at all: they tend to pay for everything.


But then I meet a young man heading home at Schipol train station, arms full of tulips. ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Does she work full-time?’ ‘Are you kidding? No, it is my job to worship her, to make her happy and fulfilled.’


Maybe the Dutch women have got the right idea, after all

 


荷兰似乎是被女权主义遗忘的土地:荷兰女性做梦也不会想要朝九晚五的上班,她们每天花三小时喝咖啡,而且完全由老公负责付钱——是否她们已经发现了幸福的秘密??


你是否曾想过,如果女权主义从未出现过,生活会是什么样子的?是否我们都还是家庭妇女呢?是否没人会要求我们靠自己的智慧和激情生活?是否我们不可能发展自己的兴趣爱好?是否男人们会很高兴能站出来接手一切并且照顾我们?


我说的是做个时间旅行回到上个世纪50年代去看看那时的生活吗?不,比那简单多了,我只是搭个飞机去阿姆斯特丹看了看。


最近的一个报告揭示,只有少于百分之十的荷兰妇女是上全天班的,而且她们面对的工资差别是欧洲最高的。


但令人惊奇的是,不仅那些有小孩的母亲每周只工作两到三天,也不是那些有老人要照顾的上了年纪的女性才这样:那些没有孩子的年轻女人,二三十岁的,也这样。


而且,看起来这样的生活让她们特别幸福。最近的一本新书《荷兰女性不抑郁》,解释了她们不受抑郁困扰是因为大多数女人都只上兼职的班。她们赚钱少点,财产少点,许多人依靠老公或男友生活,但她们不觉得有什么不好。她们想要的是放松,读读书,会会朋友。


有研究显示荷兰女性不想花更多时间在工作上:她们拒绝延长工作时间,即便没孩子的也这样。而对英国女性的那种缺少自由时间的生活,她们听听都感到恐怖。


我曾去过荷兰旅行,为的是发现她们为什么不想要平等、职业成就、独立、自主和权力等等,这一切可爱的事情?!


她们不会无聊吗?不会担心失去自我定位吗?她们的抱负哪里去了呢?


我遇见了玛艾克,30岁,我们交换了意见。我告诉她我每周工作75小时(平均一天将近11个小时,GOD!——译者),从圣诞节起就没有一天是放假的,还有,我的工作对我来说就是我的身份定位。当我作一家日报的特写编辑时,五年中只有一天午餐不是在办公桌上吃的。


这种生活自然使我没几个朋友,而且还感到特别疲倦。今年我只见过我妈妈一面,而我的新男朋友抱怨我就连出去吃个浪漫晚餐都总在发电子邮件。也许我有美好的东西可以享受,但我没有时间去享受它们。


玛艾克则给我讲了她的生活,我听着听着就嫉妒了。她正在读法律博士学位,有一个男友,但没有孩子。我问她一周工作几天,她说“嗯。。我对压力很敏感,只要一感到紧绷了,我就来这个咖啡厅坐坐。”


那一周她花多少时间在这里,喝着咖啡聊聊天呢?“哦,一天三小时。我也喜欢做点运动,我每周有三天跑跑步。”


另一个咖啡厅里的女人插言进来,她告诉我她32岁,没有孩子,一周工作4小时。“荷兰妇女会和朋友一起吃饭,去别人家串门,锻炼身体,我们用心做我们自己。


“我们有时候为那些男人感到抱歉,他们成天卡在办公室里出不来,不过也不是太操心这事。” 那么她整天做的是什么?“我做园艺!”


“我们有时候为那些男人感到抱歉,他们成天卡在办公室里,不过也不是太操心这事。”


我真吃惊。这些女人明显很有知识教养,但在她们看来享受生活比拥有自己的职业更重要。我们能从她们身上学到什么吗?


无论如何,荷兰的离婚率却是欧洲最低的之一。但女性的财政独立性这么低,夫妇情侣们不会是在互相包容吧?


是的,荷兰当然有很多女性全天上班,工资低,又体现不出价值,比如餐饮行业中的移民工人。那些选择对企业界说不的是荷兰中产阶级女性。


即便是荷兰女性中比较有抱负的类型也不把事业看作人生中最重要的事。最近媒体中引用了一位女性新闻编辑的话:“我们看到企业的世界是男人的世界,我们想:‘哦,如果我愿意我也能干这个。但我宁愿享受自己的生活。”


我还和另一位拥有学位的女性交谈过:玛吉,35岁,她的工作是每周三天给有行为问题的孩子上课。她和男朋友一起生活,男朋友是全职工作者。


“我过去活的很挣扎,每周工作5天,每天都做一样的事,很厌倦,而且都没有社交生活的能量了。我知道我不想整个一生都这么过。”


“但很快我学习了个人发展训练,我感到更自信了,于是决定裁减工作时间。一开始告诉老板这个我还感到不安,但他告诉我不必担心什么。”


我问她这对她和男朋友之间的相处方式有没有影响。“我比他做更多的家务活,但我不觉得有必要总给他做晚饭。我给他的时间也更多了。”


但是,他尊重你吗?这样的关系不是有点老式吗? “不,这更现代。我们的关系更好了。我搞点摄影,去健身中心做做锻炼。经济方面我们能搞掂。我觉得比以前幸福多了。”


宁静的阿姆斯特丹:这里许多女性自在地在城中散步骑车,而不是整天工作。


我发现荷兰女性和英国同胞的主要不同就在于她们对物质方面的考虑少很多。


黛比,是《荷兰Grazia 》杂志34岁的副主编,她每周工作5天,但她告诉我:荷兰女性宁可住在小房子里,只偶尔出去吃吃饭,也不愿意全职工作。


“我的朋友全都说她们想要为生活工作,而不是为工作生活。这里没有信用卡文化。但男人们确实愿意付账,而且他们好像也不介意。他们从小就是受的这种教育。”


我问她对兼职工作的人愤慨吗, “每周五下午,这座大楼都像是被抛弃了,”她说。“如果你是一个妈妈,没问题。但如果你是个普通女性,为什么要兼职上班?不是很多荷兰女性喜欢被叫做女权主义者。她们不会长时间的工作。大学毕业后她们就找份兼职的工作。她们说这是发展自我,她们还想为此写书。。。”


“对我来说做妈妈比上班重要。这里可没有什么保姆文化。”


我对她的话有同感。我做梦也不会想要雇用一个全部抱负就是每天在咖啡厅里坐上个三小时的人。但Yvonne van Nielen却不同意,她是一位有个年幼儿子的34岁女性,作为Grazia杂志的图案设计师每周工作4天。她相信兼职工作者比全职上班的人工作起来更专心。


“我们把5天的工作放进4天做。但是,确实,对我来说做妈妈比工作更重要。这里可没什么保姆文化。”


我搭了一辆计程车去阿姆斯特丹市郊与丽萨会面,她是一个年轻的母亲。她的公寓整齐洁净:全部是光洁的地板,20世纪中期的家具,孩子的玩具都存放得整整齐齐。这与我那些身为母亲又超忙的朋友的家是如此不同。


有一次我回国和一位做电视新闻主播的朋友一起吃饭,当我们回到她300万英镑的住宅的时候,我看到她门厅里到处散放着杂物,于是说“天啊,这是有人入室盗窃了!”“没~,”她说,一边把上衣丢在一堆衣服上,“平时就这样。”


丽萨今年33岁,有一个18个月大的儿子,戴维。她丈夫是一名厨师,全职上班。我问她做什么为生,她回答:“全职家庭主妇,”没有一点歉疚的意味。 “我曾做过PA,但男人们希望妻子呆在家里。”她说:“这种生活一样有压力,做个好妻子,好厨师,还要把家收拾得美观。”


她会叫自己女权主义者吗?“不。”她觉得自己弱势吗?“我过去赚钱很多,所以我知道我还能那么赚钱。我正接受培训作个美容护理师。所以我以后每周会工作一天,但不是全天。”


我开始想知道荷兰的男人是怎么觉得的。结果发现他们可不喜欢号称为荷兰式的AA制,他们愿意为一切买单。


但之后我碰到一个年轻人,当时是在史基浦火车站,他捧着一大束郁金香。我问他,“你有女朋友吗?”“是的。”“她全职工作吗?”“你是在开玩笑吗?不,我崇拜她,愿意使她感到幸福和满足,这是我的工作。”


也许荷兰女人的想法是对的,如此看来。

21
2011-03-11 10:19 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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