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February 26, 1970 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-02-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Thursday, February 26, 1910

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Thursday, February 26,1970 THE MICHIGAN DAILY

On
By MARGERY
Ann Arbor Women's

SWEDISH WOMEN,
being equals in society

The bathing suit:
Moses to Agnew

HIMEL
Liberation

"The
women
achieve
to that
in the

ultimate reason w h y
have been unable to
a status in society equal
of men is to be sought
traditional division of

functions whereby women are by
upbringing, habit and tradition
assigned the prime responsibil-
ity for the care of home and
children. It is this so-called
primary role which deprives wo-
men of equality in vocational
training and employment and of
equal representation in poli-
tical and trade organizations."
Sound like a blurb from a
Womens Liberation speech?
Guess again. It's from a report
called The Status of Women in
Sweden made by the Swedish
government to the United Na-
tions. Unlike some countries,
Sweden appears to be fully
conscious of its women as op-
pressed by their sex-role, and is
trying, in some ways, to do
something about it.
In particular, attention is be-
ing given to women with child-
ren regardless of whether they
.are married or unmarried.
The most obvious problem is
what do women do with their
children if they want to work
or be trained for work.
Each of Sweden's 900 muni-
cipalities has a child welfare
dommittee charged with the task
k of. working for improved child
and youth welfare. Sweden sub-
sidizes these committees to pro-
vide kindergartens for children
of employed parents. Children
can be looked after half-day or
the whole day by qualified nur-
sery school teachers and child-
Srens' nurses.
"The costs incurred by so-
ciety in building and running
these institutions can pay divi-
dents in a number of ways,"
says the Swedish government.
The social acclimatization of the
child is stimulated and health is
checked through medical exam-
inations.
"Themother is enabled to
make use of her vocational qual-
ifications or to acquire the qual-
ifications she desires, and she
retains her job longer. G o o d
facilities for child supervision
- are of direct significance to the
promotion of equality between
men and women in the labor
market."
In order to further encour-
age women with children to
work, the National Labor Market
Board of Sweden actively solic-
its unemployed mothers for its
vocational training programs if
the women have never worked or
have not worked for a long time
because of children.
During the time a woman is
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in training, she is paid a sup-
plementary allowance - aboye
the $180 a year that all Swed-
ish children receive from t h e
State - to cover the cost of
supervision of her children.
Many training centers also pro-
vide day nurseries so that hus-
band and wife can receive train-
ing at the same time.
The woman who stays home to
raise children in Sweden is al-
so considered to be a working
woman. According to the Swed-
ish government "the care and
upbringing of children h a v e
come to be regarded as essen-
tial service to the community
which in principle ought to be
paid for in cash in the same
way as service to an employer."
In keep with this, all Swed-
ish women receive free matern-
ity care and hospitalization, and
are paid $190 at the birth of
each child, plus a subsequent
child allowance until the child is
16.
In addition, women who raise
children can accrue credits to-
wards a pension, similar to
American social security, just as
if they were employed.
Special allowances, above the
usual child allowance, are paid
to families with small children
and/or with two or more child-
ren. Also families with two or
more children are entitled to
special housing allowances, so
that the necessity of a larger
home for more children does not
become a burden on the parents.
By giving such allowances, Swe-
den is acknowledging that peo-
ple have a right to be paid for
the children they raise.
Finally, Sweden has taken a
step forward in understanding
that in order to change the role
of women in society, one must
also change the role of men.

Is a feature of The Daily
designed to provide a forum for
articles about women and their
role in society. Articles repre-
sent only the individual opin-
ions of the authors; this must
be noted in all reprints. Letters
and articles will be printed at
the discretion of the editors.
The editors reserve the right to
edit all letters or articles sub-
mitted.
"If women are to attain a
position in society outside the
home which corresponds to their
proportional membership of the
citizen body, it follows that men
must assume a greater share of
responsibility for the upbring-
ing of children and the care of
the home," says the government.
The Swedes call this "male
emancipation."
Changes in legislation are be-
ing made so that fathers in
Sweden, like mothers, will be en-
titled to leaves of absence with
pay when their children are
small, and like mothers, be
paid for time spent at home
with their children.
Furthermore, schools in Swe-
den are beginning to train boys
in the "domestic" arts and
childcare, and girls in shop and

metalworking etc. Such a pro-
gram may become compulsory
for all Swedish school-children,
which would make a real change
in the traditional assigning of
skills to one sex only.
"The employment service
should a c t i v e 1 y contribute
towards the eradication of sex
barriers on the labor market,"
states Swedish Labor Market pol-
icy. "Male applicants can be
offered training and employment
within sectors generally regard-
ed as exclusively "feminine",
e.g, welfare and services."
These are just some examples
of what governing bodies can do
to encourage real emancipation
of its citizens. Although Sweden
admittedly has a long way to go
in this direction, it is putting
its money where its mouth is to
implement its view that women
must become full and equal
members of its society.
"The Government is well
aware that this view appears re-
volutionary and unrealistic in
the eyes of representatives of
many other countries," it says.
But this has been the view of
Swedish women for a long time
they fought to make the gov-
ernment see things their way.
We women 'here in America,
right here in Ann Arbor, must
fight for revolutionary changes
in the status of women.
While tearing down institu-
tions that chain women, we must
build news ones that liberate
her, such as the right to free
child-care for all women, and
demand that the wealth is our
country and our city be redis-
tributed to help, not to hinder
us.

By NADINE COIIODAS
The bathing suit as we know
it today has had a long and in-
teresting history going as far
back as Moses, if not farther.
First concrete reports of the
bathing suit come from the
middle of Genesis where Miriam,
the sister of Moses, reports that
their mother wrapped the new-
born baby in a striped woolen
outfit and sent him down the
river.
The exact cut of the suit was
not recorded. However, his-
torians say it was orobably of
the loose fitting type.
A gap in firm evidence of the
bathing suit's existence occurs
until 39 B.C. when Acapathinus,
a court scribe in Alexandria
wrote in his journal that Cleo-
patra took a dip in the Nile in
a "finely bejewelled line-con-
taining three rubies and an
emerald set against a purple
field of loose material which
draped her majesty's body."
Antony's apparel was ignored,
however Acapathinus later noted
that "the general had removed
his entire armour."
The history of the bathing
suit shifts to Europe during\ the
next few hundred years where
Chaucer in the 14th century
writes in-his Canterbury tales of
the Wife of Bath who doubtless
needed many suits as her name
implies.
Late fifteenth century Italy
provides the next link in the
bathing suit's history through a
little known portion of Michael-
angelo's diary.
While painting the Sistine
Chapel in Rome, Michaelangelo

admitted that some days the
strain, the pressure, the emo-
tional trauma and the dripping,
gooey plaster and paint were too
much.
Some afternoons "I bereft my-
self of my robes," he wrote, "and
then wrapped my loins in a
small, thin piece of lambswool
and went to the nearby pond."
It is not until 1769 that more
proof of the bathing suit occurs.
This times it comes from the
writings of Jacques Quiyoit, a
hanger-on in thecourt of Louis
XVI, who spied on Marie An-
toinette as she took a dip in
the Versaille garden pool.
Not too many years later,
reams of material about llath-
ing suits for both men and
women began to apear. And by
1863 the bathing suit was firm-
ly established' in the United
States.
The confederate spy from
Baltimore, Rose O'neil dreen-
how, revealed in her memoirs
from prison that she had trick-
ed a northern general into giv-
ing her battle plans by "re-
moving my dirty dress and put-
ting on my new yellow one piece
outfit. I left most of my leg
uncovered and all of my should-
ers," she wrote.
Since that time, of course,
bathing suits have become a
household word, perhaps best
symbolized by Vice President
Spiro Agnew who, on his S.E.
Asian trip last month, posed
for photographers while wear-
ing his newly acquired plaid
"boxer shorts for that summer
swim."

Ii

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x. 7 '

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