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01. Oktober 2008

Ok Letís Go!

A comentary by Edit Schlaffer

Ok Let’s Go! seems to be the slogan of our current political situation. We are once again being called to rush to the ballot boxes. The people are bored, the polling firms are painting pictures of disenchantment with politics and fatigue with democracy—but this election is in fact very exciting: no dull photos of “powerful men patting the heads of small children” are now adorning billboards, but rather the domestic and defensive rallying cries against foreign infiltration and the threat posed by immigration.

The voters can decide: for a climate of fear, our Austria populated by uneducated, unqualified, often Muslim migrants who are useless as future pension providers. Or: for the fine new world of equality of opportunity for women that will be evoked through age-old slogans and in which the few, but therefore all the more valuable, children will be cared for—preferably from birth—in free daycare facilities.

Women will determine the outcome of the Viennese elections. And this election campaign is costing €700,000 in Vienna alone. This same € 700,000 will not be available when the (young) women, who have taken the leap into motherhood, desire to and must return to work as quickly as possible.

After the elections the short-term memory of the political strategists will be immobilized once again and the conjured threats and focused temptations will be locked away in the parties’ headquarters for the next election.

Women, the gender eager to learn, should focus less on suppression and more on recognition: patriarchy means rule by men. The fact that 270,000 more women than men vote means nothing. The Parliament is a firm male fortress; there are only 58 women among 183 representatives. And why do women put up with this? Because not all women have a bad deal under male rule. It is not that all men rule, but some do, and these tend to favor their own sex. This is how the world of patriarchy is organized.

This article was printed in the Austrian weekly newspaper "Die Furche" on September 22nd 2008.


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