Partial feminism

Is we all supposed to be equal or not?

Like most gender differences in outcomes, there only ever seems to be concern when women are under-represented in fields like politics, and never any concern when men are under-represented for outcomes like bachelor\’s degrees, master\’s degrees, doctor\’s degrees, graduate school enrollment, biology degrees, veterinary degrees, optometry degrees, pharmacy degrees, etc. The only exceptions are when the outcomes are negative like prison populations, learning disabilities, occupational injuries and fatalities, motorcycle injuries and fatalities, suicides and drug addiction and then there is no concern about female under-representation.

71 comments on “Partial feminism

  1. I’m pretty sure (top?) female porn actresses are paid significantly better than their male counterparts, which is a problem for the levellers in all kinds of amusing ways.

  2. The main problem that I have with the equality argument is that it ignores fundamental differences (not the physical ones) between men and women.

    Women want the same pay as men, but they don’t want the same hours or to be penalized for having children.

    This is why we have the situation where SME’s will avoid interviewing young females as they cannot afford the costs of both paying for someone on maternity leave and also providing temporary cover.

    Time and again this leads to employment tribunals, where the employee usually wins.

    If they wanted true equality then they would remove the financial cost to the employer and place it with the government.

    There are numerous situations where the costs (including risk) of employing a woman versus a man are different. Some higher, mostly lower and the salary paid usually reflects these social costs.

  3. You’re quite right, Ian. My first comment was a lie, designed merely to outrage. Still, I wonder whether young men aspiring to be TV newsreaders have any views on the subject. I can think of one or two who’ve made it, but every time Anna Ford complains she’s been given the Order of the Boot because she’s too old, I query whether she’s ever reflected on the way gender inequality assisted her early on in her career when it stymied men of her own age … what am I talking about. Scrap all that, of course she bloody well hasn’t.

  4. The industry I know best, publishing, is almost entirely female dominated from entry level to upper management.

    I await the left’s howls of outrage.

  5. “never any concern when men are under-represented for outcomes like bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, doctor’s degrees”
    Yes the boys did so much better in the days when women weren’t allowed through the doors of Universities and the hallowed halls of academia, it was obviously a big mistake letting them in and expecting a group that had had it all their own way for generations to actually compete on a level playing field. Poor lads.

    “The only exceptions are when the outcomes are negative like prison populations, learning disabilities, occupational injuries and fatalities, motorcycle injuries and fatalities, suicides and drug addiction and then there is no concern about female under-representation.”

    There are more men in prison because more men commit crimes and whilst I would happily agree that many of those crimes don’t really warrant a custodial sentence you cannot convince me that all of the men currently serving prison sentences were picked up off the street at random purely and simply because they happened to be male. Young men have more road traffic accidents because of a cast iron belief that they are indestructible, this probably contributes to drug use too.
    The ONLY real issue you have touched on is suicide rates. This is something that is a very real cause for concern and about which less than nothing is being done. If you had stuck to real issues you might have given your point more impact instead you come across as a whiner.
    And as for John Galt who says “Women want the same pay as men, but they don’t want the same hours or to be penalized for having children”. May I suggest that both parents be penalised for having children, much fairer that way instead of half of the team pretending that the messy bits are not their problem and can be safely left to someone else. If daddy were to take his responsibility seriously and put family ahead of career advancement then employers might wake up to the fact that PEOPLE have families, parthenogenesis does not occur in humans.

  6. Heretic,

    I would actually suggest that a smaller proportion of female prisoners are inside for offences that “don’t really warrant a custodial sentence” compared with the male offender population. It has certainly been that way in Scotland for a while.

  7. @Heretic:

    May I suggest that both parents be penalised for having children, much fairer that way instead of half of the team pretending that the messy bits are not their problem and can be safely left to someone else. If daddy were to take his responsibility seriously and put family ahead of career advancement then employers might wake up to the fact that PEOPLE have families, parthenogenesis does not occur in humans.

    Fair point – at least partially. The difficulty that we have is that equality means different things to different people.

    To my wife it meant the right to go to University (she did B. Ed and MBA), the right to have a child, the right to choose to work or not (she chose to stay at home and raise our child).

    Specifically, it means the right of choice, equality of opertunity, something that she was restricted to in her native country (Malaysia).

    Where it gets problematic is that the UK tax system (almost uniquely in Europe), penalizes single earner families in comparison to dual earner families.

    Which was one of the reasons we left.

  8. “There are more men in prison because more men commit crimes …”

    As it happens, based on experience of life and professional experience I think this is almost certainly a correct representation of reality.

    But correctly representing reality has never been a leveller concern. Ostensibly the concern of a leveller is to achieve uniformity. Underlying this is the intention to create uniformity which favours preferred client groups.

    I wonder, Heretic, where you stand on rape conviction data? Do you say there are more rapes than there are convictions? The same? Fewer?

    If there are more rapes than there are convictions, should it be made eaiser to convict those accused of rape?

  9. Oh, and whilst I agree that woman are generally less criminal than man, and generally commit fewer crimes worthy of custody, I know from extensive professional experience that it is significantly easier to keep a woman out of prison than a man where, ceteris paribus, both are convicted of an identical crime.

  10. Heretic, you seem to have somwehat missed the point, which is that “outcomes based” reasoning is only used when it suits the Feminists, and not when it doesn’t.

    The major problem is that outcomes analysis is open to enormous bias, and activists (in this case, Feminist activists, but it applies across activism) smuggle in an assumption for the cause of the outcome at the same time as declaring it, and thus avoid actually analysing why there is a particular outcome.

    Take crime. There are two points. The first is that thanks to more than a century of feminism in various forms, men are routinely treated more harshly than women in the system, which bends over backwards to excuse women responsibility for their crimes (“It wuz male oppression what made me do it”, etc).

    The more significant point though is this; why are males more likely to be criminals? Exclude for the moment the “nutter crimes” and concentrate on rational crimes like theft, drug dealing, etc. And then ask yourself how many women have Barbara Windsor syndrome, in which they are happy to knowingly live with criminal males, and off their, er, immoral earnings. If a man lives off a woman’s immoral (but harmless) earnings as a prostitute, he is breaking the law. If a woman lives off a man’s immoral earnings as a burglar, she is not.

    In other words, there is far less pressure on a woman to commit criminal acts herself, as she can attract a supporting male who does so on her behalf.

    As to the point about babies, I’ll use a personal anecdote regarding the family of an ex-girlfriend. She had three sisters. They were from a middle class, academic family and all had degrees (paid for with grants, etc). Two had transitioned straight from university to being housewives, as a choice. The third had a successful, highly remunerative career as an accountant, which on reaching her 30s she simply dropped, quote, “because I want to stay home and have my babies now”. She had no desire to return to the workplace whatsoever, manipulated the large company’s maternity provisions to her maximal advantage, and declared quite openly that it was now her husband’s job to support her. Even my girlfriend, her twin sister, remarked after we left their house that day that the whole conversation had made her squirm.

    The bottom line is this; feminism demands the “right” to work as a lifestyle choice. It singularly rejects any responsibility to work, which remains with men. In general, a man who wants to put “family” ahead of “career advancement” is making the decision to earn less money, and your average middle class wife is not going to be impressed with that reduction in living standards. To be harsh about it, under the current divorce regime, he is likely to end up with no family, few lifestyle choices and a big honking responsibility to continue supporting the wife who has left him.

    Equality?

  11. Heretic,

    You can always give reasons for gender inequality, that’s not the issue. The issue is to do something so more women are locked up and have road injuries until we reach equality.

    Alternatively, just turn your attention to the incidence of women on fishing trawlers, building sites, oil rigs and down mines. How do we address these disparities?

  12. Sigh.

    For many jobs, the important thing is equality of opportunity – we want to treat people fairly, and we want to get the best people for the job.

    For some jobs, it’s important to have at least no great inequality of outcome, in respect of characteristics which are not intrinsically important to the role. These are jobs which bestow a position of authority over the general population, including MPs, judges, and police officers.

    For example, if we find that there are few women MPs, and we think that’s because of the hours required, we should ask ourselves whether those hours are in fact intrinsically necessary to the role, or whether they’ve become a requirement just because it hasn’t in the past been a problem for the men who once had exclusive access to the profession.

    All clear?

  13. Why would it be desirable to have parity in police officers, especially (as it has already been pointed out) with most criminals being men?

  14. These are jobs which bestow a position of authority over the general population, including MPs, judges, and police officers.

    And then, when you look at the history and behaviour of the Feminist Movement, and realise that it is simply a campaign to entrench and extend the moral hegemony of upper class females, it starts to all make sense.

    For example, if we find that there are few women MPs, and we think that’s because of the hours required,

    And why do we “think” that? Isn’t that a rather begging the question kind of thing? Let’s look at it another way. If Feminism is an articulation of the desire by said Gibson Girls to impose moral hegemony, why would they want to be MPs? MPs don’t have much political power. The chance of becoming PM, or even a major cabinet minister, is rather small. And then if you do, you find you don’t hold the levers of power.

    Under Progressivised politics, elected reprsentatives merely enact the desires of a much larger social formation where the real power lies; the “opinion formers”. So if you’re a feminist, it actually makes much more sense to either put yourself into the bureaucracy and quangocracy, where you can exert considerable hegemony, or into the opinon forming class of activists, public intellectuals, writers, and so on. And that, in the main, is what they do.

    Judges, lawyers, police chiefs, newspaper columnists, activists, campaigners, quangocrats, etc, all have far more influence than backbench MPs. What proportion of women make up that broader political class? That’s the interesting statistic, not the lobby fodder.

  15. “I wonder, Heretic, where you stand on rape conviction data? Do you say there are more rapes than there are convictions?

    If there are more rapes than there are convictions, should it be made eaiser to convict those accused of rape?”
    Yes to the first part of the question and no to the second. It should never be easy to convict someone of a crime. The unfortunate reality with regard to rape is that it is a crime that is difficult to prove, her word against his, rape in front of witnesses is almost as rare as virgin birth. However, it is far far better to live in a world where the guilty sometimes go free than to live in one where the innocent are punished. Anyway rapist bastards rarely stop at one so they eventually get caught.
    Oh and I notice the first part of my comment has passed unremarked, too difficult for you boys?

  16. It helps to look at what the women are getting degrees in. As I commented above, with women pushing themselves into a mixture of lifestyle fluffery (History Of Art, anyone) and hegemonic careers, like law, on a level playing field you’re going to end up with gender imbalances in favour of women in those areas that their Princess Complex drives them into.

    Simply put, it’s not much use to a Feminist getting a degree in a hard science, because it’s not a good career from which to “change the world” in a moral sense. You have to actually do something useful in engineering or chemistry.

    So for “us boys” it’s pretty easy to answer, I just don’t think anyone wanted to come out and say how fucking pathetic and selfish the Movement is. But thanks for giving me the excuse.

  17. Generally, women study easy subjects that act as spring board into pointless professions like HR, PR and management consultancy.

    Enough of a sweeping, chauvinist statement for everyone?

  18. “Oh and I notice the first part of my comment has passed unremarked, too difficult for you boys?”

    Um, if you’re referring to your first paragraph, personally I ignored it because I thought it was juvenile.

  19. …and, Heretic, I didn’t notice you addressing either female pornstars or young lady newsreaders in your comment…indeed, you swept those examples aside by saying that suicide was the only issue thus far addressed. Nor have you gone on to address Mr Potarto’s point about wimmin on trawlers, oil rigs and so on…too difficult for you?

  20. @MRub-a-dub Yes
    However, @ Heretic 8 one may ask why not all the girls who *did* get into Oxford in the days of single-sex colleges got Firsts? When my sons were at school the new dispensation led to girls getting better academic results in all subjects except the one subject where courswork was supervised in class so that it was indisputably the work of the pupil (mathematics).
    There is scope for saying “boys are better at maths, so that’s not the only reason”, just as there is for saying “if you exclude Afro-Caribbean boys from single-parent families, the gender differential almost disappears” but when I and my parents competed on a genuinely level playing field the boys could manage (that is not deny that my little sister is brighter than me, just that I never got to know any other girl who was before I reached 40).
    @ John Galt Unreasonable discrimination penalises the employer as they pay more for less value than a non-discriminatory employer but, ignoring maternity leave, women’s DB pensions cost more than men’s, women take more sick leave, they are less willing to work overtime at short notice etc [Anecdote: in 1974 I went to a motorists’ shop and bought a 32watt lantern so that when the lights went out I could finish whatever work I was doing – all the girls went off to the cloakroom at a sufficient interval before the lights went out that they could prepare themselves to go home.]

  21. Would someone please point me in the direction of a man who will work hard to earn a decent living so I don’t have to? I’ve never met one. The “right” to choose not to work never applied to me. It applied to my ex-husband, and to my current partner. Both of them absolutely refused to take any responsibility at all for keeping their families – that was women’s work. Feminism, in enabling women like me to work full-time in well-paid jobs, has also allowed lazy men to avoid responsibility. Which is why I am not a feminist.

    Tim adds: “I’ve never met one.”

    Aye, we’ve not met have we?

    “Would someone please point me in the direction of a man who will work hard to earn a decent living so I don’t have to?”

    I’m going just by the internet photos you understand, plus the obvious intelligence of your views as expressed over the months, but I would be willing to try.

    Umm, there is your partner, my wife, different countries, umm, all sorts of things to try to have to deal with. But, you know, being the honourable male type that I am, I’m willing to give it a try for, what, 48 hours before either of our significant others find out about it? Or, umm, 48 hours so that they don’t?

  22. Forgive the impertinence, Frances, but why, then, are you still with your current partner?

    I realise it’s none of my business, I’m just burning up with curiosity.

  23. I’m just glad that Frances was stuck with pigs that made her work, because otherwise we wouldn’t be getting all her useful and interesting comments, she’d be over at Mumsnet mithering about net curtains or something.

  24. All the successful and proper advances in the status of women in (for example) the UK happened before the advent of Feminism: discuss.

  25. and I second your comment about her useful and interesting comments…

    …note to self: stop using this like an instant messaging system

  26. @ Frances 27
    I do*, but that does not mean that you don’t have to since I have a wife and a younger son to support (my elder son is earning his own living, I don’t expect the younger one will get the chance and my wife has chosen to be a Social Worker which means she couldn’t afford to live in a bedsitter around here if she totally lost patience with me).
    I know lots of responsible men but, male mortality being higher than female, not many widowers able to take on responsibility for you and your family (one retired civil servant could probably support you but not your children as well).
    I accept that national statistics show that this is unusual but more of my men friends have been left with the kids when their wives walked out than have walked out dumping the kids on their wives.
    * unless your definition of a decent living means paying higher rate tax (I’ve always used covenants and Gift Aid to avoid doing so)

  27. Ian,

    You’re very kind. But my day job has nothing to do with the “interesting and insightful comments” I make! We don’t talk much about music and singing here….

    Edward,

    I don’t know the answer to that. I think I just have appalling taste in men.

  28. Who says women only do useless degrees? They’re an overwhelming majority in both of my professional threads of life/clinical science and language. At my current employer (focussed on the former where I do a lot of the latter) the union council has a clause about minimal representation for the less-represented sex. The sex imbalance in the company is such that they have to stuff the council with men, over some women who received more votes.

  29. I didn’t say that. I said that women tend to focus on particular types of degrees.

    If there are ten pubs, and equal numbers of men and women, and men visit the pubs equally, and women prefer five particular pubs, some of the pubs will be female dominated (the female poplular ones) and some of them will be male dominated (the ones that always seem to be my local).

    Additionally, women seem to have a preference for life-affirming useless degrees, and for politically hegemonic degrees, which biases female dominance towards those degrees (i.e. the five female-popular pubs).

  30. OK, Heretic, let’s have a look at your first paragraph:

    There are more men in prison because more men commit crimes and whilst I would happily agree that many of those crimes don’t really warrant a custodial sentence you cannot convince me that all of the men currently serving prison sentences were picked up off the street at random purely and simply because they happened to be male. Young men have more road traffic accidents because of a cast iron belief that they are indestructible, this probably contributes to drug use too.

    Is the distinction only sexual? We know, for instance, that the percentage of black men in prison, both in the UK and in the US, is disproportianate to the ethnic makeup of the the populace in general. So would you also subscribe to a statement that included race? Would you, for instance, endorse this statement:

    There are more [black] men in prison because more [black] men commit crimes and whilst I would happily agree that many of those crimes don’t really warrant a custodial sentence you cannot convince me that all of the [black] men currently serving prison sentences were picked up off the street at random purely and simply because they happened to be [black] male. Young [black] men have more road traffic accidents because of a cast iron belief that they are indestructible, this probably contributes to drug use too.

    If not, then why not?

  31. MrPotarto#17: I didn’t say that parity of numbers between the sexes is desirable in the police force. For this job I had in mind more that racial representation should be not too far from proportional.

    Ian B#18: ‘Why do we “think” that’? We would think that if we asked a sample of qualified women why they’d chosen not to pursue a political career, and that was the answer many of them gave.

    Most of the men here: would you show this discussion to your sister/wife/mother/significant other woman?

  32. Paul,

    Why the sigh? What is the rational basis for your distress?

    For example, if we find that there are few women MPs, and we think that’s because of the hours required, we should ask ourselves whether those hours are in fact intrinsically necessary to the role, or whether they’ve become a requirement just because it hasn’t in the past been a problem for the men who once had exclusive access to the profession.

    Really? And what is it about female MP’s that is so extraordinary? What is it about female MP’s that makes them more appropriate to a given constintuancy than a male MP?

  33. Most of the men here: would you show this discussion to your sister/wife/mother/significant other woman?

    Yes, but then I haven’t (yet) asked Frances for a date. Although I do actually know her (but she won’t remember me).

  34. PaulB, the problem is, you haven’t actually ascertained whether the hours are the problem with politics, or its that the hours are a problem with women who don’t want to put the hours in.

    I mean, I’d be happy to be CEO of a multinational corporation, so long as I don’t have to do all the running the company and sitting in meetings, and I don’t want to wear a suit either. But I’d really like the money and the prestige so, there being not many lazy old hippies represented in that power class, you really need to fix it so I can be a CEO, you know.

  35. “Is we all supposed to be equal or not?”

    To which the answer is “no”. It’s apples and oranges, and rather irrelevent. Einstein was a great physicist, but a terrible dancer; Nureyev was a great dancer, but… Division of labour was likely originally based on sex grounds by the simple fact that a pregnant or suckling female was little use in the hunting/gathering malarkey, but it’s this division and the trade offs that come with it that makes for our modern world, and all the fun we can have with it.

    But… Feminism is essentially fascistic in nature. There is always an Us and Them, if you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem; they love to march behind banners, force their views opinions on others, always fighting the “good” fight; they mythologise their own and demonise the enemy, the ever good and peacable woman against the wild rapists.

    see:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_fascism#Umberto_Eco

  36. Heretic – “Yes the boys did so much better in the days when women weren’t allowed through the doors of Universities and the hallowed halls of academia, it was obviously a big mistake letting them in and expecting a group that had had it all their own way for generations to actually compete on a level playing field. Poor lads.”

    We all did better, didn’t we? Good days those were. Not that the playing field is level. To get more girls into Universities the way that we assess students has changed. In particular we have moved from rigorous assessment through things like exams to soft assessment through class work (where girls do better because they suck up to teachers more) and essays.

    “There are more men in prison because more men commit crimes and whilst I would happily agree that many of those crimes don’t really warrant a custodial sentence you cannot convince me that all of the men currently serving prison sentences were picked up off the street at random purely and simply because they happened to be male.”

    Well yes and no. You have to ask what do we make illegal and what do we not. Crime is very gendered in that it punishes male behaviour far more often, and more seriously, than female behaviour. The law is mainly aimed at young males. So naturally more young men are in prison. Even when we are dealing with the same crime, men are more likely to get a custodial sentence, and get a longer one, than a woman.

    “May I suggest that both parents be penalised for having children, much fairer that way instead of half of the team pretending that the messy bits are not their problem and can be safely left to someone else. If daddy were to take his responsibility seriously and put family ahead of career advancement then employers might wake up to the fact that PEOPLE have families, parthenogenesis does not occur in humans.”

    Actually a man who works hard at his career is taking his family responsibility seriously. A man who stays at home is not. Because the first thing a child needs is a roof over her head.

  37. JamesV – “Who says women only do useless degrees? They’re an overwhelming majority in both of my professional threads of life/clinical science and language.”

    I am not sure your second sentence disproves your first one.

    I did like two guys at Duke, I think, getting in trouble for pointing out that African American students are admitted with lower SATS and once in college, they move out of STEM subjects and into Arts and Humanities ones. From useful to non-useful degrees in other words. They got accused of racism.

    However white women pioneered that path a long time ago.

  38. Alternatively, just turn your attention to the incidence of women on fishing trawlers, building sites, oil rigs and down mines.

    True, but I have found that women outnumber the men 10-1 in the oilfield bars of the developing world.

  39. …..Heretic – “Yes the boys did so much better in the days when women weren’t allowed through the doors of Universities and the hallowed halls of academia, it was obviously a big mistake letting them in and expecting a group that had had it all their own way for generations to actually compete on a level playing field. Poor lads.”……

    Actually most of us boys didn’t do very well back then we were downt pit or int statanic mill

    Not being a subscriber to the Genital Sorting type of politics, I always find these arguments a little confusing.

    In the company I work for, all the senior management are men. Does it fill me with glee, that only hairy bottoms can sit at the top table? Well actually not. I am only interested in the position of one hairy bottom, and that is mine.

  40. Tim Newman – “True, but I have found that women outnumber the men 10-1 in the oilfield bars of the developing world.”

    Blatant sexism! We should demand equal numbers of locals of either (or is that any?) gender.

  41. Thank you all for the kind remarks and, er, offers. I think you slightly missed the point, which is that feminism is misplaced. In enabling women to “have it all”, it has also enabled men to evade responsibility if they choose, on the grounds that women can now do it all.

  42. Surreptitious Evil

    “I don’t remember, I don’t recall, I’ve got no memory of anything at all….”

    please remind me?

  43. Quite true, Frances. Your point is a variation on Martin Amis’ theme that in the 1970s women became the “cocks”… Meanwhile some of the ” men” on the Costa Concordia pushed aside women and children to get to the lifeboats.

    Whoever asked whether I’d show this exchange to my wife, mistress etc. the answer is yes. But then they’re both too scared of me to answer back.

  44. Of course not. Doubtless the old traditions survived that encounter, thus:

    “madam, my name is evil”

    “mr evil, how nice to meet you”

    “your servant, madam”

    Etc

  45. Yes, back in those days I generally used my nickname “Blatant”.

    “That’s a strange name, what do you do?”

    “I run the internet Gestapo. We read your email.”

    Was normally enough to get bankers to quickly change the subject.

  46. “in the days when women weren’t allowed through the doors of Universities”: isn’t it a bit of a stretch to refer to the 18th century?

  47. PST#45: “Why the sigh? What is the rational basis for your distress?”
    I’m distressed to find myself in the virtual company of people conducting a discussion on the level of undergraduates in the bar of a single-sex college.

    “And what is it about female MP’s that is so extraordinary? What is it about female MP’s that makes them more appropriate to a given constintuancy than a male MP?”
    Nothing, in any given constituency. But it is appropriate that there should be balance between the sexes, so that the viewpoint of both can be properly represented.

    IanB#47: you’re right, I haven’t presented any evidence as to what the reasons for the imbalance might actually be. I was addressing Tim’s post, which implies that we should seek equality of outcome in all fields or none. I realise that it’s unusual on the internet to stick to the subject…

  48. PaulB – “Nothing, in any given constituency. But it is appropriate that there should be balance between the sexes, so that the viewpoint of both can be properly represented.”

    Why is it appropriate? Why do you think that you have to lack a penis to properly represent other people who lack a penis? What is more, given people-without-penii are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves who to vote for and can vote for other people without a penis if they so choose, why do you think that it is of the slightest public concern to force any sort of decision on voters if they don’t want to make it for themselves?

  49. Frances Coppola – “I think you slightly missed the point, which is that feminism is misplaced. In enabling women to “have it all”, it has also enabled men to evade responsibility if they choose, on the grounds that women can now do it all.”

    It is not that I disagree with this in general, but I am not happy with the word “evasion”. Chivalry and gentlemanly behaviour was never a legal or even moral obligation. It was a freely given gift. An effort by men to be better men. So not really about women if it came down to it.

    But women have rejected it. They always did more or less, but mostly quietly. They may have said they preferred gentlemen like Bingley but somehow it was always the cads like Wickham who ended up with the girl. Now many of them are openly contemptuous of decent men. Look at the horrendous Eat, Pray, Love’s treatment of the author’s first husband.

    So they are still trying to give women what they want. It is just that women don’t know and are not systematic – too many simply want whatever is in their own personal interests at any one given time. British men are being gentlemanly in their desire not to be gentlemen.

  50. SMFS

    I don’t really buy the “men are only doing what women want” argument. There have always been cads, and for some reason cads are attractive to women. And cads are, by definition, doing what THEY want, not what women want. So there would seem to be some advantage to men NOT to do what women want.

    Nor am I talking about “chivalry and gentlemanly behaviour”. Nice though that may be, its absence does not bother me. I am talking about shared responsibility, for example for bringing up children and providing for them. “Evasion” is exactly the right word to use when a man, or a woman, refuses to participate in these shared responsibilities. Exactly who does what is a matter for negotiation. But if most of the burden falls unfairly and without negotiation on the woman, or the man, the other is evading responsibility.

  51. SMFS: do I think that men know as well as women what it’s like to be a woman? No I don’t. I agree with almost all commentators here that there are important differences between the sexes.

    Do I want to force a decision on voters? No, certainly not. But the sex balance of parliament is not determined by voters choosing between the sexes, and never has been.

    The classical plural of “penis” is “penes”. Third declension.

  52. Frances Coppola – “I don’t really buy the “men are only doing what women want” argument. There have always been cads, and for some reason cads are attractive to women. And cads are, by definition, doing what THEY want, not what women want. So there would seem to be some advantage to men NOT to do what women want.”

    Sure. But most men are not cads. Never have been. They simply have been told how to behave to women and by and large they do. Which these days is contradictory. All through primary and high school they are told to be gentlemanly. At University they are told to treat women as equals. The former shapes the way they do the latter.

    ““Evasion” is exactly the right word to use when a man, or a woman, refuses to participate in these shared responsibilities. Exactly who does what is a matter for negotiation. But if most of the burden falls unfairly and without negotiation on the woman, or the man, the other is evading responsibility.”

    I prefer to think of it as avoiding. Because there is no legal obligation that men do otherwise. Not much of a moral one either. Of course it is impossible to comment on specific cases, by in my experience of British couples, men may dodge but they don’t dodge much. British women are better off than women almost anywhere else short of Sweden.

    68PaulB – “do I think that men know as well as women what it’s like to be a woman? No I don’t. I agree with almost all commentators here that there are important differences between the sexes.”

    So how does it follow that knowing what it is like to be a woman is necessary to represent them? Especially given women’s on-going refusal to actually vote for other women. They do not think it is important.

    “Do I want to force a decision on voters? No, certainly not. But the sex balance of parliament is not determined by voters choosing between the sexes, and never has been.”

    It is hard to know what “appropriate” means in that sentence then. You don’t want to force voters, but it is important they come out with the outcome you desire of equal sex representation? How are you going to achieve that? The voters have a choice of a range of candidates. I remember being in Australia I think it was when they were even offered a Woman’s Party. Which failed miserably. They have a choice on a whole range of features of which sex is one. They persistently do not choose on the basis of sex.

    If women do not think sex is important when it comes to their representatives, why do you?

    “The classical plural of “penis” is “penes”. Third declension.”

    Thank you. I shall remember that.

  53. SMFS

    There may be no legal obligation, but in my view there is a considerable moral and practical obligation on both men and women to share responsibility for such things as care of children, providing a roof over their heads, etc. Failure to do so destroys relationships.

    Your experience of British men is different from mine, evidently.

  54. Pingback: Central news week on the Monday the 23th January 2012 | Kevin Burctoolla's gaming world

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