The grand question about discrimination is whether the discrimination being practiced is taste discrimination (\”don\’t like them, never have\”) or rational discrimination (\”no, sorry, but we really don\’t employ vampires in the holy water bottling plant\”).
Louise Mensch, an author and MP for Corby, said “did not have any ambition” to be a Cabinet minister because of the “level of life commitment” the job requires.
The comments will further shine a spotlight on how few senior women there are in the Government. There are currently five women members of the Cabinet.
Mrs Mensch said the need to look after her children meant she would not devote herself entirely to a Cabinet job. She said: “I don’t have any ambitions to be a senior politician at all, to be in the Cabinet, whatsoever.
\”I don’t think it is for me ever, principally because I have small children and it requires a certain level of life commitment that I don’t think I could give to the job.”
Women at the top in politics, business, anything else in fact. Is the lack of them taste discrimination by those doing the hiring or taste discrimination by those applying for the jobs? Rational discrimination by both sides?
My own, tentative, answer is that while there most certainly was taste discrimination by the hirers (and the law further back) we\’re pretty much at the end of that. There are those in the twilight of their careers now who were held back before, yes, but I think it would be very difficult to argue that the young people of today face any significant gender discrimination.
Which leaves really that motherhood thing. And changing that is going to require a wholesale change in who looks after the babbies, not something that can really be legislated.
I\’m aware that there are more men willing to do this, there are more house husbands. But I\’m deeply unconvinced that mammalian nature is really as malleable as all that, that we\’ll reach some future state where it\’s a 50/50 break as to who gets the poo and the vomit and who makes it to the boardroom.
The best we can hope for is that everyone gets to make their own choice. You know, that lovely liberal nirvana of maximal liberty. Thing is, I don\’t think we\’ll ever get a 50/50 split along gender lines of the choices being made. So we\’ll never end up with what some regard as \”equality\”, equality of outcomes, as long as people use their equality of opportunity to make different decisions about what makes up the good life.