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  • Writer's pictureThe Duffer's Diary

Duffed no more: The problem with raw (ish) census data and the mooks who write about it.

Updated: Dec 10, 2020


I made the error of stumbling across this rather judgemental pile of shite earlier and had to share: Census reveals that fewer women are staying at home to raise children. Official figures show that there are now 300,000 fewer mothers at home that previously estimated. Experts said that those who decide to sacrifice their career in order to look after their children at home are now considered in the minority. According to returns in the 2011 census, there are almost 1.6 million women who do not work because they are looking after their home and family. This is about 298,000 fewer than estimates previously, the Office for National Statistics said. Well, whoopy-chuffing-do. I would like to say that I’m not dissing Stay-at-home parents here, and if I’m honest, I’d have liked to have gone back to work later…those of you who get to stay home with your kids, you’re doing a grand and frequently hard job and I salute you….however as a parent with a (“career”) job, I find the underlying assumption that I’m gadding about pursuing a career for entirely my own ends at the expense of my kid rather galling.

  1. I love the fact that this study starts with a rather wrong estimate regarding how many women were actually at home looking after their kids, which clearly meant sweet Fanny Adams and wasn’t actually based on any kind of cogent facts. 300,000, even in a population of 60+ million is still a hefty margin of error, given the demographic profile..woman, child bearing age etc.

  2. “Those who decide to sacrifice their career….”. Last time I looked, it wasn’t 1954, and sometimes people (i.e. women – because the last time I looked, we were people too – or did I just miss a meeting?) may have worked very hard to achieve something and don’t see the benefit in just kicking it all in when they pup.

  3. Positive financially responsible female role models and all that – if I had a daughter, I’d prefer it if she didn’t think getting duffed by a Premiership footballer was a reasonable way to make a living.

  4. Also having a kid doesn’t automatically make you Joan of Arc…sacrifice?…*really*?

  5. As we’re in the middle of/end of/wherever point in the whole-time-space continuum of the worst recession since the Great Depression, strangely enough some people/couples would prefer to spread the risk, especially in light of the fact that the Coalition have just cut the 90 day waiting period for large scale redundancies by half………Um, making the people who are propping up the economy easier to sack, that’ll help. So….reducing the help they receive while in work, *and* cutting them off at the knees when they do lose their jobs is frankly a right bag of old wank. In order for women (or men ffs) to spend more time at home with the kids, there needs to be the resources to do it….and to use a food based metaphor, if the familial eggs aren’t going to get scrambled, it’s best that they aren’t all in one basket.

  6. Houses – we like to live in them and they cost a bomb.

  7. Bloody Nora, why am I still having to have this conversation? Necessity is the mother of invention…and graft, unfortunately.

Honestly, do these people think we live in a perfumed floral 50’s cloud where Daddy has a job for life that’ll support everyone? Balancing work and families has been the reality for women for centuries…just deal with it. It’ll make life easier for everyone.

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