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NY Times: In Germany, a Tradition Falls, and Women Rise
Manuela Maier was branded a bad mother. A Rabenmutter, or raven mother, after the black bird that pushes chicks out of the nest. She was ostracized by other mothers, berated by neighbors and family, and screamed at in a local store.

Her crime? Signing up her 9-year-old son when the local primary school first offered lunch and afternoon classes last autumn -- and returning to work.

"I was told: `Why do you have children if you can't take care of them?"' said Ms. Maier, 47. By comparison, having a first son out of wedlock 21 years ago raised few eyebrows in this traditional Bavarian town, she said.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 12:24:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By comparison, having a first son out of wedlock 21 years ago raised few eyebrows in this traditional Bavarian town, she said.

As anyone who has read Klemperer's diaries will know, this is part of the Bavarian tradition. Moving to Munich from Berlin, he was shocked at precisely this aspect of Bavaria, and he mentions a colleague applying for a position in (I think) Erlangen who was shocked when he was asked for the number of legitimate, followed by the number of illegitimate, children. Statistics seem to back this up.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 05:31:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oo ee.

These figures are sufficiently disturbing, and yet they do not exhibit the full extent of the evil.

Thanks, gk, for sharing.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 06:02:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the data are from The Catholic Encyclopedia.  gk used them to make a point, perhaps not to endorse the point of view.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 09:37:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I figured. BWAH! Being intimately acquainted with practice and thee-oh-ree.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Mon Jan 18th, 2010 at 09:52:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct. I figured that data that tended to suggest the "superiority" of Orthodox Christianity was likely to be reliable from this source. Other parts of the entry are probably nonsense:
Moreover, poor girls are generally less familiar with methods of forestalling the consequences of lapses from virtue, and less able to conceal these consequences.
Klemperer was particularly shocked by the fact that, rather than wanting to conceal the consequences, the Bavarians seemed to be rather proud of them.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Jan 19th, 2010 at 05:24:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, not for Bavaria but another Catholic region with high illegitimacy ratios in those stats -- from books written in and from the stories of my own ancestors around the Habsburg Empire, it did appear to me that the typical profile of the mother of an illegitimate child is a maid or peasant girl who got in the sights of the landlord, and then had to struggle (either the mother all on her own, or the child was separated from the mother and given to relatives, or the father paid the mother without marrying her). 'Bastard' was a strong curse word, after all.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 19th, 2010 at 06:18:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the encyclopedia, it is because of resources requirements before the states allowed marriage in Bavaria...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 19th, 2010 at 06:25:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It does appear then that Bavaria is a special case, for reasons well predating the stats liked by gk.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 19th, 2010 at 06:28:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Illegitimacy
Until the year 1868, a man could not get a license to marry in Bavaria unless he possessed an amount of economic advantages that was beyond the reach of a large proportion of the population. Soon after the modification of this legal restriction, the birth rate of illegitimates dropped from twenty per cent to twelve per cent. The rate in Bavaria is still the highest in Europe, with the exception of Austria, but this is undoubtedly due in some measure to the unfavourable legal restrictions which yet remain, and to the surviving influence of the bad customs and the indulgent public opinion which were produced by the older regulations. That the large proportion of illegitimacy in Bavaria is not, as some have assumed, to be attributed to the Catholic religion, clearly appears from the fact that the evil is greater in the Protestant than in the Catholic sections of the country.

Well, Catholicism is better than protestantism.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Tue Jan 19th, 2010 at 06:21:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The still strong prevalence of the one-earner patriarchal family model was indeed a surprise when I went to central West Germany two decades ago.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jan 19th, 2010 at 06:22:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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