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Harriet’s gender bender agenda

2 March 2010 203 views One Comment

Our thanks to Melanie Phillips for this excellent article in the Spectator

So what do you expect if you have something called an ‘Equality Minister’? She will impose gross injustice wherever she can in the interests of a coercive and preposterous ideology. Harriet Harman’s proposal that companies should positively discriminate in favour of women job candidates (ie discriminate against men) is yet another example of the way in which feminism got hijacked and turned from a campaign for fairness for women into an onslaught against men. Her proposal is not only totally unfair — job candidates should be appointed on grounds of merit, not chromosomes – but is based on the false premise that the gender pay gap proves that women are the victims of systematic discrimination in the workplace.

But this is simply untrue. Granted that there are indeed specific instances of discrimination against women, the generalised claim is false because it ignores the differences in behaviour between women and men at work. As academics such as Professor Catherine Hakim of the London School of Economics have long argued, such iconic feminist causes as the ‘glass ceiling’ and the ‘gender pay gap’ are in very large measure the outcome of the choices made by women themselves.

Of course there are exceptions, but in general women have very different expectations from men about work. That’s because many women have another set of competing priorities – child rearing. As a result, they tend to want to work part-time. Even those who work full-time tend not to put in the same hours of overtime and so forth that men do because they are less interested in getting to the top of their profession — mainly because unlike men they don’t usually define themselves through work and have less interest in power and status and all those guy things. All these factors mean that even if they are doing the same jobs as men they are not doing it in the same way. So why should they expect to be paid the same?

In fact, women are not exactly going to the barricades over this issue. It’s only Harriet Harperson and the sisterhood who are agitating about this because it’s all part of their anti-man agenda. It’s an economic variation on what they did to rape law, whereby they forced through changes which loaded the legal dice against male defendants in rape cases because the conviction rate in such cases was said to be ‘too low’. But that presupposes that the men in such cases are all guilty and their female accusers never tell a lie – two propositions which have been proved over and over again to be wrong, quite apart from ditching the presumption of innocence which helps define a free society. Nevertheless the law was changed and pressure continues to be applied to make even more changes to get the rape conviction rate up. Because whether in the workplace or the bedroom, as we know, all men are guilty of the oppression of women.

It is a great mistake to write off Harriet Harman, as many do, on grounds of demonstrable stupidity. She is one of this administration’s great survivors. One of the reasons she has survived has been her ruthless use of the woman card against men who haven’t got the cojones to stand up against this gender bullying. Let’s hope that this time, with the business world up in arms, her latest wheeze is dismissed with the contumely it deserves.

One Comment »

  • admin said:

    This typical feminist survey is designed for nothing but propagation and entrenchment of the same old lies.

    To design a proper survey you only vary the single item you want to investigate. So if you want to see if yellow cars are faster than green cars you take two cars of the same make and model, with the only difference between them being the colour. So you might compare the speed of a yellow 2CV and a green 2CV.

    This ensures you are testing for differences caused only by the variable you are interested in (the colour). Doing the same test by comparing a yellow 2CV and a green BMW would clearly not tell you anything about how colour effects the speed of a car.

    But this nonsense is exactly the fundamental failure of all surveys I have ever seen into the ‘pay gap’. The studies do not compare only the variable they are trying to assess, but compare two vastly different groups of employees. By simply comparing the pay of men and women in similar jobs they are not testing only for the difference in pay between genders, they are assessing what the difference in pay is between :-

    1. A group of workers who usually work longer hours, full-time and wish to build up their careers through continuity of employment and proving their commitment by tolerating personal inconvenience (working away, for example);


    2. A group of workers who work part-time, often ask for flexible working and flexible holidays, don’t want to work away from home because of child-care commitments, may take months off for paid child-rearing duties

    Of course, group 1 is mostly men, and group 2 is mostly women, but this isn’t because of discrimination. This is simply because this is how most people in our society choose to organise themselves. So these studies are comparing the difference in pay between these two groups and not between men and women.

    To find out what the real gender pay-gap is (if they really wanted to know) they should compare Men in group 1 above with women in group 1 above, ie women who may not have children but in any case who choose to pursue their careers as most men do. (Of course, they could also compare men in group 2 with women in group 2).

    If they did this, they would find out what the true difference is in pay between genders. Sadly, it seems the real gender pay-gap is the last thing most studies are interested in finding out.

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