In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 6, 2005 / 29 Sivan, 5765

Spain's bullheaded men being cowed into domesticity

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | You have to hand it to the Spanish. They've got a knack for inquisitions. The latest doctrine to which Spaniards now must pledge their fealty is equality in housework.

Under a proposed law, the male half of couples electing a civil wedding will have an additional vow. Not only "I do," but also "I will:" wash the dishes, change the diapers, make the beds, mop the floors, tote granny to elder care and lower the seat when I'm finished.

Or does Seņora prefer I learn to sit? Oh, and bark? Did you want me to bark, too? But of course "meow." What was I thinking?

It is impossible to resist hyperbole when life becomes this absurd, but I exaggerate only about toiletries. Still, it can't be long before men are required to sit to do that which a dwindling majority still do standing.

Already in Europe the WC Ghost is a big seller. That's the German-spawned gizmo that admonishes a water-closet visitor when he lifts the toilet seat. In Germany, a voice that sounds like Gerhard Schroeder warns that standing is not permitted and that violators will be fined.

In Spain, men may be able to stand a while longer, but at home they'll be expected to tidy up afterwards. While no civilized person would argue against the virtue of cleaning up after oneself, is it really necessary to involve the government? The world's erstwhile conquistadors apparently think so. (And Southerners think they know something about guilt.)

This week the Spanish Senate is expected to pass a reform to the nation's divorce laws that would require men to contribute as much as their wives to housework and dependent care. The measure reportedly is in response to Spain's tardiness in embracing feminist notions of equality.

A survey by Spain's Labour Ministry Institute of Women reported recently that Spanish men spend only 44 minutes a day on housework and 51 minutes on childcare, compared with their wives, who spend nearly six hours daily on such chores.

Apparently men now will pledge to do better, and it's high time, says Margaret Uria, one of the reform's champions and a Basque Nationalist Party lawmaker.

"Feminists have been wanting (the reforms) for a long time," she said, adding that the "idea of equality within marriage always stumbles over the problem of work in the house and caring for dependent people."

As a wife, daughter, sister and mother who has lived mainly with men — I was raised by my father and helped raise three boys — I can sympathize. At my house, I regularly perform "magic tricks" wherein I demonstrate to the male creatures lounging about my kitchen how, for example, one makes a fresh roll of paper towels appear from behind a pantry door and slip onto the empty spool by the sink.

"Ole!" I say, and they laugh and applaud, amazed. With time, patience and diligence, they, too, eventually learn to master the trick. This same technique works for bed-making, towel-hanging and clothes-folding.

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Arguably, the Spanish have created a neater trick. Force husbands to promise in advance to be nurturers and nesters (just what you want in a man), and, like biological clockwork, households will bustle with gender-equal equanimity.

The mind naturally wanders amid all this domestic bliss to other stations of marital unrest. The bedroom. You know the old "never/all the time" saw when couples are asked how often they share the joy.

If one were truly concerned with gender equality in marriage, one might suggest that men's duty to clean house is matched by women's duty to meet his various appetites. Or perhaps, fairly speaking, women should vow to work outside the home as many hours as their husbands, or take out garbage, or do whatever men do that women typically don't.

You see how ridiculous it becomes. Most couples — even in patriarchal Spain, I'd bet — figure out a way to get the job done. Meanwhile, inviting government to participate in defining what a private relationship should be opens the door to scrutiny and, in time, punitive measures.

Can jurists long resist passing judgment where broken vows are involved?

Uria says the gender-equality laws are symbolic only, but symbols have meaning, words matter, and signed pledges have a way of becoming legally binding. When Spanish couples find themselves in divorce court and child custody has to be determined, kids most likely will go to the squeakiest clean. Her name is "Madre."

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