Monday, January 7

Introducing "Das Eva-Prinzip"

"Das Eva-Prinzip" (the title translates into "The Eva-Principle") is a German book that has created quite a discussion and is, in many ways, a slap in the face of all women, no matter whether they see themselves as feminists or not.

Eva Herman, the main author (she's had a co-writer, but that's not what I'm so mad about), is a well-known moderator and news-anchor in Germany. Or rather, she was, until she said some stupid stuff. She was 'on screen' every day from 8.00 to 8.15 p.m. as a news moderator of the "Tagesschau", the oldest and best-known news magazine in German TV. In addition, she was also one of the two moderators of a talk show on another TV channel. So you could say she was a successful businesswoman. She also has a child, by now the girl is about 13 (or so my mother informed me, I'm not really into gossip myself).

Some time during 2006, Miss Herman presented her third book (if I've counted them correctly) to the public. After telling people about the huge importance of breast-feeding and about raising children correctly, she has finally arrived at her final destination: the right behaviour for women.

Basically, "The Eva-Principle" doesn't tell anything new. It's the same old story: women can only be happy if they stay at home and raise the children and leave the dangerous business-world to men.

While I - unlike some hardcore feminists - won't say a woman doesn't have the right to stay home and raise children, if that's what she wants, I won't create an idea of 'the perfect life' for anyone and expect all others to live it. Humans are individuals and thus have the right to decide for themselves what kind of life they want.

But what really angers me about the book is not so much the content, but the content in relation to the person named as author on the cover. If a woman who has stayed at home and raised four children had written that book, I still wouldn't have agreed with her on the content. But nevertheless, I would have thought that she was true to herself. But preaching a life at home and at the same time having a career? There is something not quite right about that.

As could be expected, the book stirred up quite an argument. While conservative politicians celebrated it as a new eye-opener for women, feminists naturally damned the book - and the writers - to the seventh layer of hell. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't have to be the seventh layer - the sixth is deep enough. And what has happened to Miss Herman since the book was published, was enough of a punishment, anyway. She has lost both her jobs (news-anchor and moderator of that talk show) and people suspect her of being a Nazi (something which I personally don't believe for one minute, she's just a bit stupid when it comes to explanations some times).

In December I bought the paperback version of the book myself - as I wanted to build up my final opinion of it myself - and I'm still not through with it. I normally can read a book quite fast (I've managed 600-pages novels in one afternoon, mind - non-fictional books take a little bit longer, but not much), but I really have to fight every page of this book, getting enraged about the huge amount of misinterpreted and simply ignored facts and the easy way in which Miss Herman just projects her own wrong decisions on all other woman and declares that everything which was wrong for her also has to be wrong for them. (And this, dear readers, is a perfect example of the species "extreme long sentence".)

In other words: with every sentence of her book I read, I feel less inclined to read on. Even the authors of extremely boring science books I've read for my studies at university have rarely managed that.

Nevertheless, I'll fight my way through and keep you updated, both here and at my other blog (A not so average woman).

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