[Please note: The word “Featured” on the left side above was NOT inserted by this blogger, but apparently was inserted by WordPress, and it cannot be removed. NO post in this blog is sponsored.]
The Bonus Book of the Week is “Secrets of the Sprakkar, Iceland’s Extraordinary Women and How They are Changing the World” by Eliza Reid, published in 2022.
The author, born in the mid-1970’s, grew up in the Ottawa Valley in Canada. She met and married an Icelander, who was later elected president of Iceland. She wrote that numerous studies have shown: gender equality in a society increases happiness, economic prosperity and lifespans in that society. Another interesting factoid: Iceland has no military (translation: NO organized group of mostly males who would be trained to fight and kill Iceland’s enemies– a masculine mentality).
Taxpayers of Iceland fund, among other health and human services: maternity leave for both parents– even for part-timers, and childcare. Even so, in 2016, a female attorney who happened to be a member of Parliament, brought her baby to work with her after taking her six-week paid maternity leave. She happened to be televised breast-feeding her baby while she delivered a speech behind a podium (It was NOT a publicity stunt as it would be in the U.S.!). She also chaired committee meetings while her baby slept in a stroller nearby. No one batted an eye. So far, Iceland is one of the very few countries of the world in which that might happen.
The author interviewed a young mother who listed numerous occasions in the wee hours she was woken up repeatedly by her babies and children, whom she of course, fed or soothed and put back to bed. It appeared that this parent missed reading Julie Andrews’ memoir. For, the book provided a priceless tip on how new parents can minimize their own sleep-deprivation: the mother (or father!) should make the baby conform to their own schedule, with feedings at regular intervals (three or four hours), and if the baby happens to be sleeping when a feeding or diaper-changing is due, wake him or her up.
Anyway, read the book to learn much more about how Iceland’s gender-equality, which is still not yet 100%, is still superior to other countries’ in terms of parenting, family relationships, work, schooling and politics. By the way, the author also did admit to the specific cultural problems Iceland has. So the United States shouldn’t mimic all aspects of Iceland’s culture– but only the ones that result in a better society– for which there is ample scientific evidence (such as gender-equality, and widespread book-reading instead of TV-watching!).