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Why Do We Have Daylight Saving Time? Who Benefits, Who Loses

By November 4, 2010

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I don't know about you. But it's awfully dark in the mornings where I live. Especially during this final week before Daylight Saving Time ends this Saturday night (or more precisely, Sunday morning at 2 a.m.)

My daughter doesn't see sunlight until she arrives at school. Children waiting for the bus huddle in darkness on the side of the road. They blink like dazed rabbits in the headlights of oncoming traffic. The only difference is, rabbits have light coats. With so many teens wearing dark clothing, it's not easy to see them if you're a driver whose morning cup o' joe hasn't kicked in yet.

Daylight Savings Time

This aspect of Daylight Saving Time has never sat well with me, and I know others agree. I've often wondered who benefits from this. Our children sure don't.

A couple of years ago, I thought I heard an interview on the radio in which someone said that it wasn't farmers who wanted Daylight Saving, it was golf course owners who knew more people would play after work if it was light outside longer. Back then, I thought, "Am I hearing right? Is this why we turn the clocks ahead for 8 months out of the year?"

I thought it had to do with saving energy. I also recalled some crazy urban legend about how in 2007 we gained another month of Daylight Saving Time because candy manufacturers would be able to sell more sugary treats at Halloween time. This seemed unlikely. Why would an entire nation sacrifice itself to more dark mornings just to sell a few more bite-sized Snickers or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?

Being a curious person, I looked into it. And I was astonished at what I found. Much of what's been legislated is less than beneficial for women, especially working moms.

Is Daylight Saving Time a women's issue?

Read "Women, Children and the Politics of Daylight Savings Time" and judge for yourself.

Photo Dana Hoff/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Comments

November 5, 2010 at 9:35 am
(1) Kathy Adelson says:

In my house we always dread the “changing of the clocks” no matter the season. It takes a significant amount of time and effort to get to every clock radio, appliance, three cars, not to mention the dozen or so watches that my family of four will wear, maybe even just once, over the course of the next eight months. But the worst by far is the humongous clock hanging over the fireplace mantle. It’s a two-man job which involves moving furniture and a 10-foot ladder. Whether it needs it or not, that clock always gets two brand-new AA batteries because, God forbid, we should have to climb up there again before the next time change. My husband would be just as happy to leave it on DST time all year long. In fact, last year I gave up and left the little clock I keep high up on a shelf in my walk-in closet set to Standard Time. While dressing, I always have to remember to “add an hour” to keep on schedule. Starting Sunday, I’ll have to remember that my little clock is telling me the correct time.
About the children…my own kids have long gone to a school that begins its day at 8:15 a.m., even in high school. The benefits of starting at that hour extend beyond not having to wait in the dark for a bus; it also allows a teen to get a decent night’s sleep! I think we should be looking at the system that ignores our children’s biological needs and asking it to change. I also wonder about how DST fits in with the rest of the world. I currently have a daughter living in Spain. They’ve already changed their clocks back an hour and for the past few weeks we have been five hours apart, instead of the usual six. That will change this weekend when it will again be 6 p.m. in Syracuse and midnight in Madrid. The same goes for other countries where we have family and friends, including Chile and Brazil. They too readjust their clocks twice yearly although in the opposite direction. Sometimes we’re two hours apart and sometimes we’re no different at all…go figure!

November 7, 2010 at 2:19 am
(2) Just Saying says:

I do not understand how changing the clocks back and forth could be a women’s issue. As you said, children are affected too. Men are affected also. It is darker earlier for everybody. I doubt that Daylight Savings Time is some plot to make women suffer more than they have for most of American history. I don’t really understand why Daylight Savings Time exists, but just because it is “less beneficial for women” doesn’t make it solely a women’s issue.

September 7, 2011 at 5:31 pm
(3) skay nayavusoata says:

i strongly disagree to the implementing of daylight saving to a country because it does not benefits to everyone but only to the business people

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