Hila Harary
Zeitgeist at your service

Sharren Haskel’s Knesset incident exposes why we’re getting back to the office

Since Covid, the line between work and private life is blurring and I have shown several examples where babies are seen in professional situations.
Buble’s IOP at NASDAQ
Covid hit women more than men in the job market and it was found that women’s participation in the job market is at a 33-year low. In the column on the age of anti-ambition in which I told how the mindset of the white-collar and the blue-collar are swapping, I quoted the former deputy of the employment service in Israel who told Calcalist that a significant part of this phenomenon is the unwillingness of mothers, who in the last two years have been at home much more with the children, to return to full-time jobss in the office. “There is a desire for balance at work. Mothers are looking for part-time jobs that are more convenient for raising their children. It is something post-covid of wanting to be with the children and not running after the career. This phenomenon is worrying. To a certain extent, Covid has brought the women back home” and I say that the situation isn’t understood in the right way. The concern stems from the thought of canceling the achievements of the feminist revolution that brought women to work, but here we see a new revolution. Something is not working and women’s tastes have changed, and accordingly, we need to create more part-time jobs and more flexibility in jobs – both in hours and in location – because that is where it goes in general, and part of the desire for balance and spending more time with the children is (also) expressed in bringing the children to professional events as we saw in a number of examples.
The day before yesterday, Member of Knesset Sharren Haskel went up to the podium in the Knesset with her baby in a carrier and was asked to step down by the chairman of the Knesset. An unusual event among the similar events we have seen in the last two years. On her Facebook post, Haskel wrote, among other things:
“I bring my daughter to work not for provocations or for likes, but because I am a mother and I want to combine my motherhood with my career, like every mother in the State of Israel. ‎
From the first day, I committed to go with my motherhood with pride and without shame, not to hide or be ashamed of my motherhood, but to prove to women wherever they are that it is possible and necessary to normalize motherhood everywhere, even in the Israeli Knesset”.
watch the video
The responses were not late to arrive. In many of them, they asked why the Knesset member who earns a very high salary couldn’t hire a babysitter while she was at work, some claimed that it was a provocation and that she was trying to get many likes, others said that she was privileged and asked which workplaces allow walking around with babies at work?!
Among all the responses, the following response from Hilit Kraus Israel stood out to me:
“Good morning to all the men commenting here* who probably never had to attend an urgent meeting at work with a child who just had a fever, because there was no time to organize a babysitter,
And to all the men who have never put a child to sleep in their arms for an hour and knew that if they put him down, he would immediately wake up,
And to all the men who may have children, but they don’t really know all the most basic challenges of raising them and working at the same time.
If you have partners who had to do it – it seems – completely alone, I feel sorry for them
If I had a shekel for every time I came to work with a baby or a child, because that’s what was possible at the time, I could buy Baby Bjorn’s newest carrier right now.‎
Get out of the way
And our choices in general
enough. What an exhaustion!
*I edited because I realized that my response was misunderstood. I mean the men who wrote comments and their ‘wise’ advice on what to do with the child
Not to those in the plenary. I don’t go into who is responsible for her being taken down from the podium, but for the very act of being asked to step down.”*
Perhaps the event should not surprise us too much considering that Israel has slipped 23 places in the World Economic Forum’s gender equality index (from 60th to 83rd place), and in the categories of political representation and administrative positions Israel was ranked particularly low (but we didn’t really need the index To know that, right?) this was published yesterday in TheMarker.
So who does this really bother? Why is this artificial and total separation between home and work necessary and the “need” to eliminate household work and raising children (and accordingly – women) from the public sphere?
The answer may lie in Ori Lavi’s post, which happened to be published the day before the incident in the Knesset, and he writes as follows:
“Do you want the truth?
The truth is that Deep Down I’m afraid
Afraid of your awakening in recent years
Afraid that you become aware of your true power and choose to give up the pleasing that is so built-in in your system
I don’t want you to please me
I don’t want any person to please any person
But it was very comfortable for me
I came to a world where I got an advantage over you just because I’m a man and you’re a woman
There was a consensus here that the last word was mine – with zero effort on my part, and recently this status of mine is beginning to be undermined
It’s okay, I’m on it, not letting this fear lead, there will be no more witch hunts here
This movement is important and welcome and its time has come a long time ago, the human race will probably not survive otherwise
Just give me a second to get used to the new situation
to mourn an expired status quo
I tell you this not for pity
just so you know
There is another side to the coin
And ask for your understanding while I update a version.”
The short answer is whoever was comfortable. One whose status is undermined. who is afraid.
And while Ori Lavi is updating his version, many men are still stuck in the old version, or dealing with some bug, and at the same time, let’s remember that most company managers are men, and between fear and preserving the status quo, they prefer to choose comfort and return workers to the offices because there is no room for the workers’ interruptions and excuses like children and housework in the background (until the labor world abandons the principles of the industrial revolution that measured us in hours of shifts on the production line and moves to measure outputs in a way that allows the flexibility that so many people, especially parents, need and want).
Now, what would happen if housework and raising children were taken into account in GDP?
Clementine, Sir Winston’s wife, was talking to a street sweeper for a while. “What did you talk about for so long?” asked Sir Winston. She smiled, “Many years ago he was madly in love with me.”
Churchill smiled ironically, “So you could have been the wife of a street sweeper today. ”
′′Oh no, my love “, Clementine replied, “If I had married him, he would have been the prime minister today.
In an earlier post, I mentioned an OECD report that was published in July 2018, titled: “Including unpaid household activities: An estimate of its impact on macro-economics. The report, which is based on the work of economic Nobel laureate Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, included interesting conclusions:
Without the support provided at home, the functioning of the formal labor market would dramatically decline in efficiency, thus potentially having severe impacts on economic growth, and well-being more generally.
What is interesting is that when you look at the housework done by the family members (mainly women, of course), it is difficult to quantify them and associate it with the GDP, but when you outsource them, they have a very clear price tag. Everyone knows how much they pay for cleaning, gardening, babysitting, cooking, caring for a sick person/nursing the elderly, etc.”
The social protest of the last few months has taught us a new concept: the tyranny of the majority, and it seems that women are tired of being invisible, or as I mentioned before – we are facing a new revolution.
In an opinion column at Time Out, “AT” editor Roni Vadnai writes about the incident of Sharren Haskel in the Knesset and concludes with the following words:
“The time has come to establish a women’s party that will work for women, with elected officials who know how to fight for what is important to 51 percent of the country’s population – who served and are serving in the army, who go to work, who pay taxes, who finance this government. It cannot be that our voice is counted only at the ballot box, and then immediately put on silent. Just because the present is lost, does not mean that the future is doomed. We cannot allow anyone to shut us up and tell us to go sit in the corner. It’s time to turn the tables.”
This revolution isn’t going anywhere, it won’t disappear tomorrow morning because Sharren Haskel has been asked to step down the podium, and until the women’s party that Roni talks about is established, the revolution may creep more slowly, but it certainly won’t evaporate.
What reinforces this line of thought for me is the sight of men with their babies at professional events, like Jimmy Gomez who came with his four-month-old baby to the Capitol last January and said that “it’s time to normalize fatherhood.” Because of the double standards we live in, when it is done by men it is received more sympathetically, but overall the direction is the same – these are men who have already gone through the version update and are interested in being more involved in raising their children.
So if you are in the management of your organization, start thinking about how you allow the parents who work for you (and especially mothers in the meantime) the flexibility that will allow them the long-awaited combination, before the women’s party is established and will enact laws that will force you to recognize the new reality.
What companies have you seen that are already moving in the revolution’s direction?
About the Author
Hila is a trendologist (future forecaster) @ Tectonic Shift & a social entrepreneur. In parallel to building her own venture, she's helping b2b companies, governments, and organizations with their biz dev and creative marketing strategies, using trends and content, and has a great specialization on the German market.
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