Feminist rage at vision of home

REBECCA FOWLER

A female academic has infuriated feminists with a controversial claim that women are stillhappy for their place to be in the home, surrounded by housework, while their male counterparts pursue careers.

Dr Catherine Hakim, a senior research fellow at the London School of Economics, claims only one in three women are totally career-minded, one third do not want to work at all and the rest try to combine both while believing domestic chores are mainly their responsibility.

In retaliation, 11 eminent academics have signed a statement of protest, accusing Dr Hakim of failing to support her theories with research and of not taking into account economic influences.

Dr Hakim accuses them of ignoring differences in attitudes among women, many of whom she says have been let down by feminism. In the Journal of Sociology, she says feminists have created misleading "myths", with a disproportionate focus on the needs of career women.

"The unpalatable truth is that a substantial proportion of women still accept the sexual division of labour, which sees homemaking as women's principal activity, and income-earning as men's principal activity in life," she said. "Some people believe I am being anti-feminist ... all I am saying is that not every woman feels the same way."

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