A Spearhead Fisking
Those of us that see the big picture of gender politics and the ulterior motives of the social engineers that inflicted feminism on the Western World as a means of population control read such articles and notice the sheer amount of feminist shibboleths and memes that are assumed as a given premise – in which the author presumes the reader already accepts the feminist point of view as normative.
As I labored to point out in We Are All Misogynists Now, there a number of assumptions that have been inculcated into mainstream consciousness by a variety of cultural influences; points of views that the larger society accepts at face value that are never questioned — just accepted as factual.
But when one learns to recognize these premises, it’s rather easy to start to deconstruct the kind of articles that pass for conventional wisdom in mainstream media outlets like The Economist. The following fisking will show just how many assumptions and premises of the politically correct, feminist mindset are taken as a “given” by some of the contributors to this magazine.
AT A time when the world is short of causes for celebration, here is a candidate: within the next few months women will cross the 50% threshold and become the majority of the American workforce.
Just who is “celebrating?” Those that gleefully rejoice in watching more and more women forsake marriage and creating families with multiple children so that they can pursue the education-career track? How about the growing number of working women growing disenchanted and harried as they try to find “balance” between careers and home making responsibilities?
Women already make up the majority of university graduates in the OECD countries and the majority of professional workers in several rich countries, including the United States.
Note…professional workers. Get back to us when they make up the majority of blue collar, hazardous and physically laborious jobs as well. Until then, your cheers of victory for “equality” ring quite hollow.
Women’s economic empowerment is arguably the biggest social change of our times.
Now there’s something we can all agree on. The real question you should be asking is whether or not this change has been good for society or not.
Just a generation ago, women were largely confined to repetitive, menial jobs.
Just like most men. Except for most, you could also add hazardous and physically laborious to that description as well.
They were routinely subjected to casual sexism and were expected to abandon their careers when they married and had children.
Ahh yes. Now that women are 50+% of the workforce, casual sexism is no longer a problem! At best, telling Betty she looks “pretty in that dress,” will land a man (that Betty doesn’t find attractive – remember, it’s only harassment if he’s ugly,) in “sensitivity training sessions” and a permanent mark in his company file; or at worst, summarily fired and sued for “creating a hostile environment”
And of course, now women do not have to “abandon their careers” — I wish I could have “abandoned” my career once I got married…but I digress — they now have the freedom and joy of dropping off their kids for babysitting by minimum-wage paid workers at a day care center or the nearest State-run public educational system’s indoctrination and social engineering facilities (aka public school,) so now they too can pursue the fulfillment of being a corporate-drone wage slave in a cubicle farm…just like the lucky men!
Today they are running some of the organizations that once treated them as second-class citizens.
Running them alright…right into the ground.
Millions of women have been given more control over their own lives.
Got that ladies? Unless you become a human resource for a giant corporation, you don’t have control over your own life! Those of you that are stay at home housewives don’t even know how little control you have over your life!
And millions of brains have been put to more productive use. Societies that try to resist this trend—most notably the Arab countries, but also Japan and some southern European countries—will pay a heavy price in the form of wasted talent and frustrated citizens.
Oh yes, they most certainly will pay a heavy price…they will actually have above-replacement levels of children so that they won’t have to encourage mass immigration from poorer countries to prop up their tax base and menial, service-sector work force. After all, what a waste to have millions of female brains focused on nurturing and raising their own children…better to have them devising sensitivity training courses and power point presentations for their Human Resources department!
This revolution has been achieved with only a modicum of friction. Men have, by and large, welcomed women’s invasion of the workplace. Yet even the most positive changes can be incomplete or unsatisfactory. This particular advance comes with two stings. The first is that women are still under-represented at the top of companies. Only 2% of the bosses of America’s largest companies and 5% of their peers in Britain are women. They are also paid significantly less than men on average. The second is that juggling work and child-rearing is difficult. Middle-class couples routinely complain that they have too little time for their children. But the biggest losers are poor children—particularly in places like America and Britain that have combined high levels of female participation in the labour force with a reluctance to spend public money on child care.
Note the bolded section of this excerpt. This is the classic case of feminist cognitive dissonance. The idea that women who “juggle” work and child-rearing, would have nothing to do with why women on average making less than men? Or that many never attain the top-level positions in companies…that would have nothing to do with the time voluntarily taken off of work over the course of a career to meet familial responsibilities and obligations…nah, couldn’t be…IT’S SEXISM!
Dealing with the juggle
These two problems are closely related. Many women feel they have to choose between their children and their careers.
Many women FEEL? Feelings have nothing to do with the reality of opportunity costs my dear! I hate to break it to you, but you simply can’t be in two places at once. No matter how you feel about it, you can either take the time to be a great Mother or a great Career Womyn…not both.
Women who prosper in high-pressure companies during their 20s drop out in dramatic numbers in their 30s and then find it almost impossible to regain their earlier momentum.
But never forget…it’s still unfair and oppressive that these women make less than men on average!
Less-skilled women are trapped in poorly paid jobs with hand-to-mouth child-care arrangements. Motherhood, not sexism, is the issue: in America, childless women earn almost as much as men, but mothers earn significantly less. And those mothers’ relative poverty also disadvantages their children.
Now they’re “trapped?” I thought women have escaped the “trap” of Patriarchal oppression by eschewing marriage and entering the workforce to become “economically independent!?”
Demand for female brains is helping to alleviate some of these problems. Even if some of the new theories about warm-hearted women making inherently superior workers are bunk, several trends favour the more educated sex, including the “war for talent” and the growing flexibility of the workplace. Law firms, consultancies and banks are rethinking their “up or out” promotion systems because they are losing so many able women. More than 90% of companies in Germany and Sweden allow flexible working. And new technology is making it easier to redesign work in all sorts of family-friendly ways.
Women have certainly performed better over the past decade than men. In the European Union women have filled 6m of the 8m new jobs created since 2000. In America three out of four people thrown out of work since the “mancession” began have been male. And the shift towards women is likely to continue: by 2011 there will be 2.6m more female than male university students in America.
Take note, Men. Remember the opening sentence of this paragraph: “AT A time when the world is short of causes for celebration, here is a candidate: within the next few months women will cross the 50% threshold and become the majority of the American workforce.”
Female empowerment = Male dis-empowerment
Isn’t it great that your fathers, your husbands, your uncles, your brothers, your nephews, your boyfriends…they’re losing their jobs at a record pace…BUT WOMEN ARE SOON GOING TO PASS THE 50% THRESHOLD OF THE WORKFORCE! Still feel like celebrating, ladies?
The light hand of the state
All this argues, mostly, for letting the market do the work. That has not stopped calls for hefty state intervention of the Scandinavian sort. Norway has used threats of quotas to dramatic effect. Some 40% of the legislators there are women. All the Scandinavian countries provide plenty of state-financed nurseries. They have the highest levels of female employment in the world and far fewer of the social problems that plague Britain and America. Surely, comes the argument, there is a way to speed up the revolution—and improve the tough lives of many working women and their children?
Of course there are plenty of calls for hefty state intervention. Never mind all of the social ills, the broken families, the neglected children…never mind the “tough lives” that are the results of these “modicum of changes,” more of the same is the only solution to make things better!
If that means massive intervention, in the shape of affirmative-action programmes and across-the-board benefits for parents of all sorts, the answer is no.
Why, how reasonable of you…especially since affirmative-action programs and benefits for parents of all sorts are already the law of the land!
To begin with, promoting people on the basis of their sex is illiberal and unfair, and stigmatises its beneficiaries.
You don’t say?
And there are practical problems. Lengthy periods of paid maternity leave can put firms off hiring women, which helps explain why most Swedish women work in the public sector and Sweden has a lower proportion of women in management than America does.
Don’t worry dear, this is changing real soon. Under the current economic conditions, America’s “Public Sector” is the only growth industry.
But there are plenty of cheaper, subtler ways in which governments can make life easier for women.
Ah yes. This is precisely what Governments are for, right? I forgot that little part of the Declaration of Independence…you know, the old “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for women.”
Welfare states were designed when most women stayed at home. They need to change the way they operate. German schools, for instance, close at midday. American schools shut down for two months in the summer. These things can be changed without huge cost. Some popular American charter schools now offer longer school days and shorter summer holidays. And, without going to Scandinavian lengths, America could invest more in its children: it spends a lower share of its GDP on public child-care than almost any other rich country, and is the only rich country that refuses to provide mothers with paid maternity leave. Barack Obama needs to measure up to his campaign rhetoric about “real family values”.
Real family values? How about changing the laws and the welfare system to restore the meaningful role of FATHER? Abolish the gender-biased family court system? Eliminate “No-Fault” (his fault) divorce? Oh wait, silly me, I forgot…men have nothing to do with “family values.”
Still, these nagging problems should not overshadow the dramatic progress that women have made in recent decades.
Isn’t it great that just about every time an article or report is written singing the praises of “women’s progress,” much of the articles are always full of statistics, anecdotes and examples of women who are struggling…but they always conclude with a statement that despite such problems, it is still “dramatic progress” that should be hailed as some sort of grand achievement?
During the second world war, when America’s menfolk were off at the front, the government had to summon up the image of Rosie the Riveter, with her flexed muscle and “We Can Do It” slogan, to encourage women into the workforce.
Now they merely indoctrinate them through mass media and educational brainwashing to get into the workforce. Never mind getting married and having children…get that degree! GET TO WORK!
Today women are marching into the workplace in ever larger numbers and taking a sledgehammer to the remaining glass ceilings.
More like taking a sledgehammer to Western Civilization, the nuclear family and society as a whole.