I saw this article in Die Welt am Sonntag, from 10th March of this year. Most Germans know Elke Büdenbender because she is married to the Bundespräsident of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeyer. She also studied law at the Justus-LIebig University of Siegen, Germany. In her practice, Büdenbender concentrates on "Sozialrecht," the effort to create a more egalitarian German society--not surprising since both Büdenbender and Steinmeyer are Socialists.

What I noticed first about Büdenbender from first glance is, of course, the feminist "Look", the sculpted mask of good-humored intimidation, her skepticism about male intentions, and the readiness to do combat with anyone who messes with her--against foolish women, reluctant to support feminist initiatives, as much as against foolish men who do not submit to feminist prerogatives.

I have known too many women to tolerate fools on this point. If their mothers tell them they will go to law school and advance in society, they will. If their feminist peers tell them they are letting down the side by not seeking a partnership, not getting additional education, or not toeing the line on a legislative initiative, they will find themselves hard-pressed to explain why they don't.

The feminist call for parity with the males, and their preference for quotas to gain them that equality, means that they have to wheedle those things out of the men, who run most of the corporations and political parties in Germany, by demanding that the boys play fair and include them. I do not see a feminist investment in personal initiative. The feminists don't create businesses like the boys do, from junk they keep in a garage. They use political pressure and class-action lawsuits to get them seats on the board of directors. They call it "justice"; I call it "preferential treatment".

The male's fierce, selfish individualism, that leads to new lines of business and exploits new products and people, has behind it a single-minded preoccupation with work and making lots of money; so that almost all of the self-made-men are men! It is the reason feminists feel so much antipathy toward them. They accomplish things that the feminists, with their lack of selfhood and their dictatorial group-think, cannot do. 

I have to conclude that feminists don't typically think outside the box--into the realm of thinking that empowers entrepreneur-types. Only men want to bet the whole company on an untried innovation, proposing lines of out-there products, or proposing totally new ways of doing things. They just ignore the risks to their business's continued survival. Their need to prove themselves knows no bounds, and provokes more management-fights than anyone can count.

When I asked my father why he worked so hard, he replied, "Money is how you keep score." He never bothered much with how good he looked. He wore shabby clothes and drove a shabby car; but he made sure that Mother dressed nicely and drove a Lincoln. She functioned, in effect, as his score-card. We children wore hand-me-down clothes and rode hand-me-down bikes, but we never minded that Father spoiled Mother.

The Welt am Sonntag interviewer mentioned to Frau Büdenbender that her predecessor as First Lady, Christine Herzog considered herself "die Nelke im Knopfloch meines Mannes," (the flower in the buttonhole of her husband}, Büdenbender replied, "With all due respect to Frau Herzog, I see the situation differently." She values herself more as a woman with convictions, "weniger als schmückendes Beiwerk"--less as a jewelry-accessory. She wants people to see her for her own content. But it's the same old male-hating, feminist drive to pull men down to their level, not so much a call to lift themselves up to the men.