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[flagged] Why Women Had Better Sex Under Socialism (nytimes.com)
20 points by 7852b1805e 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments

Let me sum up the good and the bad:

The good:

  * You were guaranteed a job (it was actually compulsory to have a job)
  * There were no beggars on the streets and people felt safe about their basic needs
  * All education, starting from kindergarten up to academic was completely free
  * All healthcare was completely free
The bad and the ugly:

  * The choice of products to buy was very limited
  * You weren't able to freely express any negative feelings about the system (in some extremely serious case you could even be killed for that, although it was relatively rare)
  * You couldn't travel and work where you wanted.
Trying to explain the difference in sexual satisfaction between East and West Germany based on social security seems tempting, but it's would be hard to prove (if the study was conducted well). I guess we'll never know for sure.

Right, has the reporter visited China?

There is a huge difference between communism and socialism. Also, many differences between socialism in different countries. The article speaks of several countries in Eastern Europe, specifically excluding some of them.

What are you talking about? Where did you find the connection between China and this article? I would guess the word "socialism"? China is more capitalistic than you would think; people should read more about it before spreading such stereotypes.

Are people having bad sex in China?


Please explain your statement and engage in meaningful debate. This comment, taken alone, is just empty venom, and if I wanted that I'd be on Facebook.

The article is driving at a point the current generation should be able to relate to: previous generations enjoyed benefits the current one does not, making it much much harder to support a family. Stagnating wages, dismantled social benefit programs, movement to defined contribution over defined benefit retirement, dramatic rise in cost of education, the destruction of organized labor... I could go on and on.

So, feel free to explain why the article is off base. I'd love to hear your perspective, if you can explain it constructively.

Yes, life in the East was less stressful. "East German women suffered from the notorious double burden of formal employment and housework.", except work was quite a bit less demanding than you'd think. "We pretend to work, they pretend to pay us". This is the foundation of the lack of stress in the Soviet block. It eventually led to the utter economic crash of the system.

Yes, the current generations are sucked dry at work compared with their parents and grandparents. What do you expect when the supply of labor explodes 10x from 500M western males to 7B males and females worldwide, thank to globalization, feminism and demographic explosion? Throw in open borders immigration in the West and post-communist depression in the East for good measure.

The article fails to account any of this. Instead, it engages in nonsensical drivel about "patriarchy".

The article's sources are a link to a "study", which is actually a link to a German documentary from 2006, and a couple interviews by the author. It seems like somebody went digging for a titillating story for the weekend edition that would appeal to the reader base.

You're still not actually addressing the substance of the article itself.

First, based on a cursory search, the documentary was inspired by an actual study in the 1980s, so you're basic claim seems to be flawed. I can try to find the study itself if that's helpful, though the I'm not sure how easy that'll be.

I don't know because I don't speak German, and beyond that all I've got are a couple interviews with folks wishing for a return to the security of the good 'ol days, a trope in Russia now. The study cited is from 1990, and I don't think it's a big surprise that all kinds of dissatisfaction accompanied those chaotic times.

What I'm saying though is that the article is not written for somebody who cares to confirm the thesis, which is pretty over-the-top, making for bad journalism, ergo parent's "parody of itself" assertion. So I would say that yes, based on the insubstantial (though entertaining) contents alone, the article comes to an improper conclusion.

It's an over-the-top title to be sure, but the article itself is, I think, a pretty interesting survey of some facts I did not know about women's rights in Warsaw Pact countries, written by a scholar who studies the history of the region.

As a result, while I get the criticism, I think it's a bit unfair. But at this point it's a matter of opinion and taste rather than fact.

But hey, at least we had a conversation, so thank you for that!

Gern geschehen :)

> all I've got are a couple interviews with folks wishing for a return to the security of the good 'ol days, a trope in Russia now

Not just in Russia. There's these people [1] who are protesting in my hometown (Dresden) every Monday under their famous slogan "I'm not a Nazi BUT..." [2], and the best theory I've heard for why they're shouting out racist paroles in public is basically that.

Before 1990, East Germans were used to not living in particular wealth, but at a quite high level of social security: They knew that if they wanted to, they could perform their current job until retirement, always have a living wage (and then a similarly-sized pension), and their children would be able to afford a good education and raise their offspring in a similarly socially secure environment. [3]

After re-unification in 1990, East German industry was sold out to rich people from West Germany [4], who dismantled most of it and told their East German workers that they don't know how to work [5]. Over the course of a few years, many East Germans lost their jobs, large parts of their pension claims (to currency conversion and increased cost of living), and their social rank (as they had to take a new, lower-paid job).

Today, racism and criticism of immigration is stronger in East Germany than in the western states because many East Germans believe that it's 1990 all over again: Immigrants [6] from a foreign culture [7] take all the good jobs [8] from them, leaving only stressful and low-paying service jobs (or unemployment) for the natives.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegida

[2] Not really, but could as well be.

[3] Of course, all of this only applies when you're dutifully waving a little red flag at the May 1 rally, and careful about whom you discuss your true opinions about socialism with.

[4] Cave-at: There are always exceptions to this; I'm painting broad strokes here.

[5] Anecdata: My grandmother recalls being told literally that ("first of all, we're going to teach you how to work") by the West German who bought the supermarket that she'd headed for the past 20 years via a 60-hour work week.

[6] Then West Germans, now immigrants and refugees from Africa, the Middle East, and from Asian countries whose name ends in -istan.

[7] 40 years of separation by the Iron Curtain had caused German culture to diverge enough that it's easy for an East German to recognize a West German in the early 90s, and vice versa (and sometimes still today, not just because of dialects).

[8] That's also why it doesn't help when people point out that many of the immigrants are actually quite well-educated.

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