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A woman working in the orange grove, Kibbutz Na'an

In the early days of the movement, kibbutzim tended to be male-dominated with significantly more male members. Nevertheless, women performed many of the same tasks as men. Both men and women worked in the fields, performed guard duty, and heavy labor.[29] However, mostly women filled the traditional female roles, such as cooking, sewing, and cleaning.

In the first couple of decades there was no traditional marriage in the kibbutz. If a man and woman wanted to get married, they went to the housing office and requested a room together. Not having traditional marriage was seen as a way to dissolve the patriarchy and give women their own standing without depending on a man (economically or socially) and was also viewed as a positive thing for the community as a whole, as communal life was the main aspect of the kibbutz.

When the first chi

In the early days of the movement, kibbutzim tended to be male-dominated with significantly more male members. Nevertheless, women performed many of the same tasks as men. Both men and women worked in the fields, performed guard duty, and heavy labor.[29] However, mostly women filled the traditional female roles, such as cooking, sewing, and cleaning.

In the first couple of decades there was no traditional marriage in the kibbutz. If a man and woman wanted to get married, they went to the housing office and requested a room together. Not having traditional marriage was seen as a way to dissolve the patriarchy and give women their own standing without depending on a man (economically or socially) and was also viewed as a positive thing for the community as a whole, as communal life was the main aspect of the kibbutz.

When the first children were born at the kibbutz, the founders were worried that this would tie the women to domestic service. They thought that the only difference between a man and a woman was that women gave birth and thus were automatically tied to the children and domestic duties. The communal dining and laundry were already a part of the kibbutz from the start. Of course they were implemented for reasons of living communally, but also to emancipate women from these duties so they were free to work in other sectors. With the arrival of the children, it was decided that they would be raised communally and sleep communally to free women to work in other fields. The desire to liberate women from traditional maternal duties was an ideological underpinning of the children's society system. Women were "emancipated from the yoke of domestic service" in that their children were taken care of, and the laundry and cooking was done communally. <

In the first couple of decades there was no traditional marriage in the kibbutz. If a man and woman wanted to get married, they went to the housing office and requested a room together. Not having traditional marriage was seen as a way to dissolve the patriarchy and give women their own standing without depending on a man (economically or socially) and was also viewed as a positive thing for the community as a whole, as communal life was the main aspect of the kibbutz.

When the first children were born at the kibbutz, the founders were worried that this would tie the women to domestic service. They thought that the only difference between a man and a woman was that women gave birth and thus were automatically tied to the children and domestic duties. The communal dining and laundry were already a part of the kibbutz from the start. Of course they were implemented for reasons of living communally, but also to emancipate women from these duties so they were free to work in other sectors. With the arrival of the children, it was decided that they would be raised communally and sleep communally to free women to work in other fields. The desire to liberate women from traditional maternal duties was an ideological underpinning of the children's society system. Women were "emancipated from the yoke of domestic service" in that their children were taken care of, and the laundry and cooking was done communally.

Women born on kibbutzim were much less reluctant to perform traditional female roles. Eventually most women gravitated towards the service sector. The second generation of women who were born on the kibbutz eventually got rid of the children's houses and the Societies of Children. Most found that although they had a positive experience growing up in the children's house, wanted their own children at home with them.[27]

The documentary 'Full Circle' summarizes the change in the women's view of equality on the kibbutz. The original Utopian goal of the founders was complete gender equality. Children lived in the children's houses. Freed from domestic duties, women participated in the industrial, agricultural and economic sectors alongside men. However, in the 1960s, while the rest of the Western world demanded equality of the sexes and embraced feminism, the second generation of kibbutz born women began to return to more traditional gender roles. They rejected the ideal achieved by their grandparents and returned to domestic duties such as cooking, cleaning and taking care of children. Today, most women do not participate in the economic and industrial sectors of the kibbutz. They even embraced traditional marriage. Women often played a major part in this transition, often framing their arguments in terms of what they saw as the "natural needs" of womanhood and motherhood.[36]

Another example of the change in the original egalitarian nature of the kibbutz is that the founders of the kibbutz did not use the traditional Hebrew word for husband, ba'al (בעל‎, BAH-al), because the word is otherwise used to mean "master" or "owner" and implies that the wife is submissive to her dominant spouse. .[27]

Statistical data proves that the majority of women work in the service and domestic sectors while men work in the production sector. According to data from the 1940s, gender equality existed neither in the domain of work nor in the area of politics in the kibbutzim of the time. For instance, in 1948, in eight kibbutzim of the Ihud, a kibbutz federation with a pragmatic socialist orientation, 78.3 percent of the women worked in services (services for adults, child care, education) as compared with 16.7 percent of the men. That same year, 15.2 percent of the women worked in production as distinct from 58.2 percent of the men. The situation was the same in political life.[37]

By 1979, only 9 percent of the women were engaged in some type of farming activity. "[In 1979] only 12 percent of the female labor force is permanently assigned to productive branches, compared to 50 percent in 1920." Females comprise 84 percent of the service workers and the educational workers.

Also, although there was a "masculinization of women" at one point, there was no corresponding "feminization" of men. Women may have worked the fields, but men did not work in childcare.

Along with property and ideology, social lives were also held in common. As an example, most kibbutz dining halls exclusively utilized benches, not as an issue of cost or convenience, but because benches were construed as another way of expressing communal values. In the beginning, some kibbutzim husbands and wives were discouraged from sitting together, as marriage was an expressed form of exclusivity. In The Kibbutz Community and Nation Building, Paula Rayman reports that Kibbutz Har refused to buy teakettles for its members in the 1950s; the issue being not the cost but that couples owning teakettles would mean more time spent together in their apartments, rather than with the community in the dining hall.

In the beginning, members were not allowed individual items, like teakettles and everything was strictly communal. Starting around the 1950s and 1960s, people were entitled to individual property, like teakettles, books, radios etc. According to Criden and Gelb "The equality problem only becomes serious when there are gross deviations from basic principles." Having a few books was fine, but having a private car was unacceptable. Items like cars were communally owned and had to be requested in advance by members or used for work related duties.[29]

Communal life proved hard for some. Every kibbutz saw some new members quit after a few years. Since kibbutzniks had no individual bank accounts, any purchase not made at the kibbutz canteen had to be approved by a committee, a potentially humiliating and time-wasting experience. Kibbutzim also had their share of members who were not hard workers, or who abused common property; there would always be resentment against these "parasites". Although according to Criden and Gelb, the vast majority of people on kibbutzim are not free-loaders. They state that their chief weapon against free-loaders is public opinion. People who do not pull their own weight in the community are frowned upon and their opinions are not taken seriously by the community and they are not given any responsibility. Finally, kibbutzim, as small, isolated communities, tended to be places of gossip, exacerbated by lack of privacy and the regimented work and leisure schedules.

Although major decisions about the future of the kibbutz were made by consensus or by voting, day-to-day decisions about where people would work were made by elected leaders. Typically, kibbutzniks would learn their assignments by consulting the duty sheet at the dining hall.

Kibbutz memoirs from the Pioneer era report that kibbutz meetings varied from heated arguments to free-flowing philosophical discussions, whereas memoirs and accounts from kibbutz observers from the 1950s and 1960s report that kibbutz meetings were businesslike but poorly attended.

Kibbutzim attempted to rotate people into different jobs. One week a person might work in planting, the next with livestock, the week after in the kibbutz factory and the following week in the laundry. Even managers would have to work in menial jobs.[38] Through rotation, people took part in every kind of work, but it interfered with any process of specialization.

Aversion to sex was not part of the kibbutz ideology; to this end, teenagers were not segregated at night in children's societies, yet many visitors to kibbutzim were astonished at how conservative the communities tended to be. In Children of the Dream, Bruno Bettelheim quoted a kibbutz friend, "at a time when the American girls preen themselves, and try to show off as mu

In the beginning, members were not allowed individual items, like teakettles and everything was strictly communal. Starting around the 1950s and 1960s, people were entitled to individual property, like teakettles, books, radios etc. According to Criden and Gelb "The equality problem only becomes serious when there are gross deviations from basic principles." Having a few books was fine, but having a private car was unacceptable. Items like cars were communally owned and had to be requested in advance by members or used for work related duties.[29]

Communal life proved hard for some. Every kibbutz saw some new members quit after a few years. Since kibbutzniks had no individual bank accounts, any purchase not made at the kibbutz canteen had to be approved by a committee, a potentially humiliating and time-wasting experience. Kibbutzim also had their share of members who were not hard workers, or who abused common property; there would always be resentment against these "parasites". Although according to Criden and Gelb, the vast majority of people on kibbutzim are not free-loaders. They state that their chief weapon against free-loaders is public opinion. People who do not pull their own weight in the community are frowned upon and their opinions are not taken seriously by the community and they are not given any responsibility. Finally, kibbutzim, as small, isolated communities, tended to be places of gossip, exacerbated by lack of privacy and the regimented work and leisure schedules.

Although major decisions about the future of the kibbutz were made by consensus or by voting, day-to-day decisions about where people would work were made by elected leaders. Typically, kibbutzniks would learn their assignments by consulting the duty sheet at the dining hall.

Kibbutz memoirs from the Pioneer era report that kibbutz meetings varied from heated arguments to free-flowing philosophical discussions, whereas memoirs and accounts from kibbutz observers from the 1950s and 1960s report that kibbutz meetings were businesslike but poorly attended.

Kibbutzim attempted to rotate people into different jobs. One week a person might work in planting, the next with livestock, the week after in the kibbutz factory and the following week in the laundry. Even managers would have to work in menial jobs.[38] Through rotation, people took part in every kind of work, but it interfered with any process of specialization.

Aversion to sex was not part of the kibbutz ideology; to this end, teenagers were not segregated at night in children's societies, yet many visitors to kibbutzim were astonished at how conservative the communities tended to be. In Children of the Dream, Bruno Bettelheim quoted a kibbutz friend, "at a time when the American girls preen themselves, and try to show off as much as possible sexually, our girls cover themselves up and refuse to wear clothing that might show their breasts or in any other fashion be revealing." Kibbutz divorce rates were and are extremely low.[39] Unfortunately from the point of view of the adults in the community, marriage rates among communally raised children were equally low. This conservatism on the part of kibbutz children has been attributed to the Westermarck effect—a form of reverse sexual imprinting whereby even unrelated children, if raised together from an early age, tend to reject each other as potential partners. The children who grew up together in the children's houses considered their peers brothers and sisters and had close lasting bonds with each other.

From the beginning, kibbutzim had a reputation as culture-friendly and nurturing of the arts. Many kibbutzniks became writers, actors, or artists. Kibbutzim typically offer theatre companies, choirs, orchestras, athletic leagues, and special-interest classes. In 1953 Givat Brenner staged the play My Glorious Brothers, about the Maccabee revolt, building a real village on a hilltop as a set, planting real trees, and performing for 40,000 people. Following kibbutz work practices of the time, all the actors were members of the kibbutz, and all performed as part of their work assignments.

Although there have been sensational crimes on kibbutzim, overall the crime rate is lower than the national average by a significant margin.[40]

Ps

Three researchers who wrote about psychological life on kibbutzim were Melford E. Spiro (1958), Bruno Bettelheim (1969) and Michael Baizerman (1963). All concluded that a kibbutz upbringing led to individuals' having greater difficulty in making strong emotional commitments thereafter, such as falling in love or forming a lasting friendship. On the other hand, they appear to find it easier to have a large number of less-involved friendships, and a more active social life.

Some researchers came to the conclusion that children growing up in these tightly knit communities tended to see the other children around them as ersatz siblings and preferred to seek mates outside the community when they reached maturity. Some theorize that living amongst one another on a daily basis virtually from birth on produced an extreme version of the Westermarck effect, which diminished teenage kibbutzniks' sexual attraction to one another. Partly as a result of not finding a mate from within the kibbutz, youth often abandon kibbutz life as adults.

The era of independent Israel kibbutzim attracted interest from sociologists and psychologists who attempted to answer the question: What are the effects of life without private property? What are the effects of life being brought up apart from one's parents?

Bettelheim suggested that the lack of private property was the cause of the lac

Bettelheim suggested that the lack of private property was the cause of the lack of emotions in kibbutzniks. He wrote, "nowhere more than in the kibbutz did I realize the degree to which private property, in the deep layers of the mind, relates to private emotions. If one is absent, the other tends to be absent as well". (See primitivism and primitive communism for a general discussion of these concepts).

In Kibbutz life, group pressure to conform is particularly strong.[41][42] It is a subject of debate within the kibbutz movement as to how successful kibbutz education was in developing the talents of gifted children. Several kibbutz-raised children look back and say that the communal system stifled ambition; others[who?] say that bright children were nonetheless encouraged.[citation needed] Bruno Bettelheim had predicted that kibbutz education would yield mediocrity: "[kibbutz children] will not be leaders or philosophers, will not achieve anything in science or art." However, it has been noted that although kibbutzim comprise only 5% of the Israeli population, surprisingly large numbers of kibbutzniks become teachers, lawyers, doctors, and political leaders.[citation needed]

In the 1990s, a journalist tracked down the chi

In the 1990s, a journalist tracked down the children Bettelheim had interviewed back in the 1960s at "Kibbutz Atid" (now called Kibbutz Ramat Yohanan). The journalist found that the children were highly accomplished in academia, business, music, and the military. "Bettelheim got it totally wrong."[43]

Kibbutzim in the early days tried to be self-sufficient in all agricultural goods, from eggs to dairy to fruits to meats, but realized this was not possible. Land was generally provided by the Jewish National Fund. Later, they became dependent on government subsidies.

Even before the establishment of the State of Israel, kibbutzim b

Even before the establishment of the State of Israel, kibbutzim began to branch out from agriculture into manufacturing. Kibbutz Degania Alef opened a factory for diamond cutting tools that came to have a gross turnover of several US million dollars a year. Kibbutz Hatzerim has a factory for drip irrigation equipment. Netafim is a multinational corporation that grosses over $300 million a year. Maagan Michael branched out from making bullets to making plastics and medical tools, and running an ulpan. These enterprises bring in over US$100 million a year. A great wave of kibbutz industrialization came in the 1960s, and as of 2012 only 15% of kibbutz members worked in agriculture.[44]

Hiring seasonal workers was always a point of controversy in the kibbutz movement. During harvest time, when hands were needed, labourers were sought outside the kibbutz. The founders of the kibbutz movement wanted to redeem the Jewish nation through manual labour, and hiring non-Jews to do hard tasks was not consistent with that idea. In the 1910s Kibbutz Degania vainly searched for Jewish masons to build their homes, but could not find Jewish stonemasons, and hired Arabs.

In the 1970s kibbutzim frequently hired Arab labourers. From the 1990s, teams of foreign workers were brought in, many from Thailand and China.