KOSICE, Czechoslovakia — "An intelligent woman is the enemy of men," lamented a middle-aged woman pediatrician here in the grim, depressed capital of East Slovakia.
More than a thousand miles away in a suburb of bustling Madrid, Jose Paniagua, the Spanish owner of a car agency and repair garage, set down his maxim about women on the job: "I don't like women at work, at least in my business. Because they are always asking for time off. . . . If a child gets sick, she is the one who ends up staying home to take care of the kid."
The world of Europe, whether east or west, is dominated by men.
Not even seven decades of Soviet-style Communism, with all its rhetoric about equality of the sexes, have managed to basically change traditional ideas about the place of women in the Russian home.
"The family is the foundation stone of everything, including the state," said a man in Leningrad, which will soon revert to its former name of St. Petersburg, sounding a theme somewhat like that of Paniagua in Madrid. "If there is no good family, there will be no foundation for the society to develop. If a woman has spent eight hours in her office, then four hours more standing in line (for scarce goods), she has no time left for her family. And no matter how good our schools are, our nurseries and kindergartens are, they will never bring up a decent person."
Traditional ideas and values, in fact, still have strong roots in Europe. The Times Mirror survey found this true of attitudes toward family, church and morality as well as women. Yet, though rooted everywhere, these attitudes and values show a myriad of variations in a Europe caught in breathtaking change. Some of the findings in the survey are startling:
* After so many decades of work, East European women, unlike their West European counterparts, yearn to be homemakers again.
* Men in the most macho societies believe that women have never had it so good.
* Many Europeans feel religious but are suspicious of their church--even in overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Poland.
* Years of confinement in a repressive dictatorial society, whether eastern or western, have bred a new moral permissiveness.
West Europeans prefer a family situation in which both husband and wife have jobs and share the responsibility of caring for children and the home. Except for Bulgarians, East Europeans prefer the traditional situation where the husband works while the wife stays home to take care of the house and children.
East European women may simply be tired of years of hard, yet unrewarding work. They also may be showing their resentment at past strictures. With the exception of Bulgaria, East European Communist regimes wanted both husbands and wives to work; agrarian Bulgaria encouraged traditional marriages. Now everyone wants to do the opposite of what was once prescribed.
Replying to men who believe in the traditional family, a middle-aged woman physician in Asenovgrad, an overgrown village near the hills of southern Bulgaria, said, "I would never give up my occupation." A young woman electronic technician, though without a job, said, "I will never stay at home if I start working in my specialty."
In Western Europe, the sharing of responsibilities was demonstrated--sort of--by 33-year-old Pierre Garenne and his wife at their pastry shop in the small, set-designer's-dream village of Doullens in the Picardy region of France. Garenne explained to his American visitors one afternoon that he had not asked his parents for funds to help buy the pastry shop because he wanted independence from them.
"This shop, it is mine," he said. "I have earned it."
His wife interrupted. "It is ours," she said.
He nodded and agreed, "It is ours."
"Anyway," she said, "that's the truth."
"Yes," he agreed, "that's the truth."
"We have built this together," she said.
A chastened Garenne nodded his agreement.
The traditional family has become a haven for East Europeans in turmoil. "I think I'm a pessimist, no expectations at all," said a 50-year-old woman in Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine. "I want to have some hopes for the better, but I do not have. The only thing which cheers me up is my family."
"I see some warmth in my private life, in my family," said a young bachelor in Kiev, "and I feel cold in relations with others. We can express the things which are happening today with an old proverb: 'My home is my fortress.' It is an ancient truth and makes sense today."
Most Europeans believe that life is better for men. Ironically, however, men in the two most macho societies disagree--an overwhelming majority of males in Spain and Italy insist either that life is the same for both sexes or that women have a better life than men.
The women disagree, of course, but not substantially. Few Spanish and Italian women believe that life is better for them, but the rest divide evenly over whether life is better for men or the same for both sexes.