The Guardian\’s Feminism

This is fascinating:

The lessons of Louise Mensch\’s departure? There are none

That women, more often than men do, put marriage and or children ahead of career provides no lessons for us at all.

There is absolutely nothing we can learn about the dearth of Cabinet Ministers who are female, CEOs who are female, leaders at the top of our society in all fields who are female, from the way in which a millionaire novelist decides that kiddies come before a political career?


I agree absolutely that we can have very interesting discussions about whether women ought to place such different weights upon things. But that is a normative discussion. It simply is a fact about our world that on average women do weigh these matters differently than men. And that difference does explain from some to all of the \”gender achievement gap\”. That very phrase being silly for the whole point is that many women decide that career achievement isn\’t life achievement in a manner different than the way many men do.

We\’ve an example here of one of the most privileged women on the planet (not to be snarky or anything but definitely in the top 0.1%, maybe higher, of all the people on Earth) making a decision about the life work balance. And we\’re supposed to swallow the calumny that this means nothing at all for our study of the life work balance more generally?

Tosh I say. And Ptah! as well.

And that the piece was written by a woman who made a very similar decision, one to leave a senior editorial post to go freelance as a result of kiddies just adds to the joy of the argument.


16 thoughts on “The Guardian\’s Feminism”

  1. What’s more, a woman who has been politically ambitious since her teens, who throws it all up once she’s 40 and has children.

  2. It’s slightly more complicated though because of the long-distance thing. The equation is being apart, less time with kiddies, less sex, more travelling (less money), and who knows what hubby’s getting up to versus not being apart, more time with kiddies more sex, no travelling (more money) and keeping a tighter leash (excuse the unintentional 50 shades pun) on hubby.

    And that extra money could be easily sunk into some hobby business venture or other.

  3. JamesV,

    The other 2 things are that Louise Mensch doesn’t need the job (literary career) and will probably lose her seat at the next election.

    Might as well jump when the timing is right for her.

  4. You’ve fallen into the trap of using highly unreliable data to bolster your viewpoint.

    The source is tainted – a politician – and her reasons for resigning don’t really stand up to scrutiny. She’s just started a new business for chrissakes.

    She can’t bring herself to say ‘I want to make more money, and my constituents don’t make enough for me.’

  5. I really don’t know why Louise Mensch’s new husband can’t move to the UK for a few years and manage Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers from Corby.

  6. Doug is right on the money.

    Louise Mensch’s reason for standing down is, at best dubious, at worst an outright lie. There is good info she has been planning to go since Easter. Her constituency party hate her, so her re-selection wasn’t a done deal. And if the Tories lose the next election (as looks increasingly likely) she’d have jumped ship anyway.

    She’s clearly talented, but has never been in it for anything but her own career.

  7. Doug (#6), the new business doesn’t look like a good reason for leaving. It’s a politics business, and being an MP must be very good publicity for it.

    If she was doing it for money, she’d have stayed on as an MP for another year, being increasingly controversial to get even more publicity for the business and whatever she planned to do next.

    It looks genuine to me.

  8. Just as many left-wing ideas on economics boil down to trying to perpetuate a centrally-commanded total-war economy of the 1940s type, an awful lot of left-wing thought about the two sexes seems to rest on continued adoration of Rosie the Riveter.

  9. @ Richard

    A business launched in the States ( which is where she’s relocating to. Coincidence?? Looks more like a long pre-planned move.

    She has her twitter followers already, and unlikely to gain dramatically more, and her new business will only work if users are loyal and use it consistently.

    Being an MP good for attracting finance for sure, and that’s done. I doubt it’s very useful for attracting that specific customer niche that will be long-term users. She’s not exactly a political heavyweight, and her profile could well turn off serious users in UK.

    Seems to me pretty much gone to plan – profile raised, great cv addition, financing done and now to cash in.

  10. sackcloth and ashes

    ‘She’s clearly talented, but has never been in it for anything but her own career’.

    Which makes here different from the majority of MPs in what way?

    As for the ‘Guardian’ and its commitment to feminism, it comes to an abrupt halt when the woman in question happens to be fairly good looking – and a member of the Conservative party.

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