He runs a successful company in Germany, but according to a recent interview, Wolfgang Grupp’s views on equality and family have drawn criticism.
Wolfgang Grupp, CEO of the clothing brand Trigema, is known for many conservative attitudes. For some he is celebrated: he relies on production in Germany, thus creating many jobs, and prefers to run his company himself instead of relying on investors or shareholders. The 81-year-old has always done well with this. But with other views that seem a little outdated, he now offends.
In fact, he also commented on his image of women and family. That doesn’t seem to tally with current realities. “I’m surprised that there are so many single mothers today,” says the Trigema boss. “Children who are left to their own devices shouldn’t normally exist.” He does not reveal what couples who can no longer or do not want to live together should do. In addition, children of single parents are usually not on their own – but have at least one parent who is there for them.
Trigema boss has an idiosyncratic image of women
In Grupp’s view, both parents are not equally to blame for the dilemma of children being left “on their own”: “I wonder what women do to make their husbands run away,” he teases in the podcast and thus blames the entire responsibility mothers to. And not only when it comes to maintaining the relationship with the father, but also when it comes to the entire upbringing of the children.
After all, that’s how it is in nature: “I’ve never seen a deer running around with a calf, only a hind,” says the 81-year-old, explaining his image of women. “The children belong to the mother.” Apparently, his own dealings with his children were similar. “If my children had come to me earlier because of minor aches and pains, I would have asked myself: What’s wrong with my wife, why don’t they go to their mother?”
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It seems he has ignored how gender equality and lifestyles have evolved over the past thirty years. In the world of the manager, the roles are still clearly divided: “The men are responsible for the income, the mothers are responsible for the children.” After all, that always worked. “But if today women want the jobs and the men are supposed to do the household chores, then the world has gone wrong,” he says.
At least that seems to have worked in his own family. However, Grupp sounds a bit more cautious when he talks about his own wife: “I’ve been married for 36 years. And I’ll say, you have to understand your wife. You have to live together. And it would be fatal for me if if I had any arguments with my wife. Because that also passes to the children.” The businessman has two children, Bonita and Wolfgang junior, with his wife Elisabeth.
Note on transparency: The podcast episode was published by RTL Germany. Stern and stern.de also belong to the same company.