Corona politics Where does the hatred of children come from??
Children in Germany: Loved? Not in the pandemic
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Germany hates children. This can be said at least since the pandemic, I think. Of course, it is not that all Germans hate children, probably surveys would even show that most Germans claim to like children. Probably most of the ruling politicians would say the same. "Social desirability" is the name given to the phenomenon according to which people often paint a socially accepted picture of themselves in surveys, even though they act according to other standards the rest of the day. People call themselves "animal lovers" and eat animals, what can you do?? Anyway: Germany as a state hates children, and there is not enough political pressure on politicians to change this, because the devaluation of children is too deeply anchored in our thinking. Not only in Germany, but already also specifically here.
Born in 1986 in Poland and grew up in Berlin. She studied philosophy and social sciences and works as a freelance writer since 2009. Her feminist bestseller "Untenrum frei" was published by Rowohlt Verlag in 2016. "The Last Days of Patriarchy," a collection of columns from SPIEGEL and "taz," followed in 2018.
Not everyone makes it as clear as Julian Nida-Rumelin does. In an interview a few weeks ago, the philosopher said about the Corona incidence: "If these incidences in under 20-year-olds go through the roof, we don’t really care, because almost nothing happens there."This "almost nothing" means, however, that children and adolescents can also die of Covid-19 and many have to struggle with long-term consequences of an infection (apart from the fact that the very fewest under 20-year-olds live alone and can therefore infect others). Unfortunately, Nida-Rumelin is not just anyone, but vice chairman of the German Ethics Council. So someone from whom the government takes advice.
It is probably not necessary to explain that the German corona policy has not sufficiently considered children and their needs. My colleagues Sascha Lobo and Christian Stocker recently wrote about it. "In the past 14 months, the interests of children and young people were first put on the back burner, then ignored and finally trampled underfoot," Stocker wrote. There are more than enough examples: insufficient strategies for daycare and school closures and the correspondingly needed care, not enough money for coronatests for children, not enough money for air filters, instead constant airing in winter, junky digitalization of schools, regulations for private meetings where children are present that need to be improved, no vaccination prioritization for parents, confusing vaccination information for breastfeeding and pregnant women, trips to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern please without the potentially germy little ones. The fact that many children and young people have been suffering unnecessarily for more than a year is theoretically known, but politically it has little effect.
Ageism also exists against children
But why? Where does this disregard for children come from?? There is the term ageism, but mostly it is used when older people are excluded or offended. But ageism also exists against children and young people, and it is related to other forms of discrimination, especially misogyny, that is, misogyny.
From an ideology-critical point of view, hostility towards children is a necessary consequence of capitalism and patriarchy. With capitalism this is perhaps even more obvious than with patriarchy, but both are of course related.
Dealing well with children does less for the economy in the short term than saving an airline. Who wants to protect mainly the capital and less the people, for whom small people, who do not create profits yet, are mainly a care problem and unfinished later labor force. Whenever minors were mentioned in connection with Corona last year, they were often referred to as "pupils" who are allowed or required to do this or that. But children and young people are not just students. Also, certainly. But they also have a private life in addition to this role, which, however, was mainly an issue when it came to how dangerous groups of young people sitting in the park are now or how to cure smartphone addiction in children. What children and adolescents are getting now, while the first vaccinated adults without children are booking their summer vacations, is the "Action Program Catching Up to Corona," which already has the competition in its name. In it there are also leisure activities, but it is not called "recovering after Corona", but "catching up", so that the little servants do not make themselves too comfortable on the two billion.
Hatred of women and hatred of children are two sides of the same coin
The link between child hostility and patriarchy may seem a bit contrived to some, but it is actually obvious. As long as children are mainly born and raised by women, misogyny and child hatred are only two sides of the same coin. The feminists of the seventies emphasized this connection more often than today’s feminists, and for a long time I found this a bit strange to the point of esoteric, but it was correct in its basic idea. For example, in "Women’s Liberation and Sexual Revolution" in 1970 (1975 for the German translation), Shulamith Firestone demanded, among other things, "the shift of child rearing to the whole of society," "political autonomy for women and children through economic independence," and "complete integration of women and children into society" (supplemented by the addition: "Down with the school!").
Erich Fromm also wrote at the same time (1971, in "uberfluss und uberdruss in unserer Gesellschaft") about the "crisis of the patriarchal-authoritarian structure" and the advancing development away from patriarchy: "Women, like children, were the object and property of men. This has become different. (. ) And there is every reason to believe that this revolution of women will continue, just as the revolution of young people and children has continued. They will recognize, articulate and represent their own rights."
But as long as mothers are still expected to look after their children, children will have to rely on women having enough rights, and women will have to rely on children having enough rights. But we are still far from that, and you can see that mainly in two power issues: Money and violence. Poverty among women and children are closely related, because child poverty is mainly a consequence of poverty among women. Women are financially punished in Germany when they become mothers. For men it’s the other way around, fatherhood has a positive effect on their income.
This could be changed politically, as could the issue of violence: Women’s shelters, for example, are called "women’s refuges," but they often house not only women who have experienced violence, but also women with their children. When there is room. Women’s shelters in Germany were already heavily overloaded before the pandemic and were far from being able to meet the demand for places. Currently there are more than 14 missing.600 women’s shelter places, the NDR recently reported. So-called "domestic violence" has increased massively during the pandemic, the numbers for women and children are often mentioned in the same breath.
The police registered an increase of 6.8 percent in sexualized violence against children, and we know that this violence often takes place in the social sphere, i.e. also by the parents. The help hotline "Violence against Women" recorded 15 percent more calls. When women can’t separate from violent partners, it’s often also a matter of financial dependence, and often not only the women suffer, but their children as well.
And all this in a country that still makes abortion difficult for pregnant women and emphasizes the "protection of unborn life," but then when that life is born, its protection doesn’t count quite so much anymore. The pandemic has only exacerbated this situation, because it is not new altogether. The protection against violence for women and children was already bad before. The care situation likewise, the equipment of the schools dito.
The fact that children and young people and their needs were not given enough consideration by politicians was already the case before. Must this be called hatred of children? You would not have to. One could also speak of exclusion and oppression, but it would amount to the same thing. Every misanthropic ideology uses children and young people as cannon fodder, and capitalism and patriarchy are no exceptions to that rule. It is not a coincidence that young people are more often left-wing, feminist and ecological, it is their will to survive.
Protestant penchant for suffering and hardening
Capitalism and patriarchy exist in other countries, too, of course. Whether it is decisive for the specifically German hostility towards children that Germany imagines a lot on its neatness and punctuality and that children are the personalized chaos, I don’t know. In any case, the situation is not made any easier by the fact that until a few decades ago, the educational guidebooks by the Nazi ideologue and physician Johanna Haarer could be found in many households (for example, "The German Mother and Her First Child"). Today, bestsellers such as "Every Child Can Learn to Sleep" recommend leaving children with sleep problems alone in their room and only checking on them occasionally, but not giving them a hug. The Protestant penchant for suffering and hardening wants to be learned early on.
If there are discussions now and then about lowering the voting age, one can only say: go ahead. If younger people had more political power, this country would look very different.