Kristina Schröder, Germany’s 33-year-old family minister, has given German feminists a collective slap across the face, dismissing their cherished wage gap as a result of personal choices and opposing affirmative action in the boardroom in a controversial interview with Spiegel.
Regarding the wage gap, this is what Schröder had to say:
The reality looks like this: Many women like to study German and humanities; men, on the other hand, electrical engineering — and that has consequences when it comes to salaries.
Taking it a step further she drove a stake into the core of feminist doctrine:
I don’t agree with a core statement by most feminists, the statement by Simone de Beauvoir: ‘One is not born a woman, one becomes one.’ Even as a schoolgirl I wasn’t convinced by the claim that gender has nothing to do with biology and is only shaped by one’s environment.
Radical feminists immediately responded with outrage, calling the statements “crude and antiquated,” and so much “nonsense.”One of the feminists Schröder took particular issue with, Alice Schwarzer of Emma magazine, called Schröder “a hopeless case” and suggested she was not qualified for her position.
Referring to Ms. Schwarzer, Schröder said she was a radical who had discredited herself with wild theories:
…I found that many of her theories went too far. For example that heterosexual intercourse was barely possible without the submission of the woman. I can only say to that: Sorry, that’s wrong.
There was indeed a radical movement that argued in this way and saw being lesbian as a solution. I didn’t find it very convincing that homosexuality should be the solution to the problem of women being disadvantaged.
Despite the bashing from old feminists, younger German women have voiced support for Ms. Schröder, suggesting that feminism has gone too far.