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The long road to gender balance

By 6 August 2014 42

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Katy Gallagher addressed the National Labour Women’s conference on the weekend, talking as the most senior elected member of the Australian Labor Party.  Her core message was ‘women can and do make a difference.’  I wholeheartedly agree.  But it’s going to take a massive mindshift in our society to draw a better balance for women who happen to be mums in finding career success.  Maybe one day a women’s conference won’t be necessary.

With Mike’s post last week, I have been thinking more about women and ambition in Canberra.  Mike threw open a question around the gender pay gap and whether it exists.  Yes it exists.  Yes, I’ve experienced it.  But for me it’s less about the money and more about the opportunity.

Back in a time long ago (or so it feels) before I had children, I started a Women’s Network for the European staff of an international bank.  It sounds more impressive than it was.  It was mostly an opportunity for women to share their stories on success and sacrifice.  For me, it was a way to pick the brains of our older female leaders on how they had found success whilst managing a family.  I wanted the answers and they came usually in the form of having a trusted Nanny, asking family for help, making space in the diary for time with the kids, being disciplined etc.  But they were all questions we asked of our women leaders who were mothers.  I never asked a male leader how he got where he was whilst being a father.   

I do recall being wide eyed and full of career hope when listening and confident that my career could take centre stage along with my children when I fell pregnant with my first daughter.  I felt that right up until it came time to return to work. 

In many ways we have it easy in Canberra.  We are not blighted with long commute times and have (when we can find it) access to good child care.  The space where I feel it all falls down is the old fashioned, hard worn views of a woman’s role.  For many of my friends, they work in busy jobs, have a young family and a home.  These are smart women  – intelligent and well educated in their late 30’s and (ahem) early 40’s and yet the majority of the roles within the home and involving the kids still fall on their shoulders. 

I’m sick of hearing about ‘working mums’.  I never hear about ‘working dads’ – they’re just working.  Or, mums needing childcare.  Surely (and I do fully understand that it isn’t always the case that we are talking about two parents involved in a child’s upbringing), parents need childcare.  Surely, it should have just as much impact on a man as a woman when they can’t secure childcare.  And yet it doesn’t.

These days, I see far more participation from dads.  At pre-school pick ups, dropping kids at day care on their way to the office.  And that is awesome.

I firmly believe that as women and men, we can have it all.  But we can’t have it all at once.  I do believe that when there are young children involved, someone needs to lower the throttle on their career to be the go to person for illness and those in between pick up stints.  I don’t however believe that this should always fall to a woman.

I long for a day when businesses run interviews and make no differentiation between a man and a woman at a stage of life where they are likely to consider having children.  I long for the day that the responsibility is truly split.  That as a community we truly take a step back and wait to hear how that family will play it out.

I am a woman and I am a mother.  Keeping house, managing the kids and putting dinner on the table is not my sole responsibility.

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42 Responses to The long road to gender balance
#1
curmudgery11:41 am, 06 Aug 14

If your partner puts half the meals on the table, the kitchen is no longer yours. Can you do that?

#2
gooterz9:05 pm, 06 Aug 14

Greatest argument for the gender discrimination “Yes it exists”.

I’m sick of hearing about ‘working mums’. I never hear about ‘working dads’

Maybe because men are slain in the family court and almost never end up with primary care.
The matriarchy at work perhaps?

“I see far more participation from dads….. And that is awesome.”
So males don’t have to be good parents just participate and that’s good enough?
The title of the post is called “The long road to gender balance ”
TAGGED gender equality

#3
Walker10:15 pm, 06 Aug 14

curmudgery said :

If your partner puts half the meals on the table, the kitchen is no longer yours. Can you do that?

Let’s say it is so. That’s just one line of the article and hardly the main point. Then, to the rest of it, what else to say?

#4
gooterz11:38 pm, 06 Aug 14

Walker said :

curmudgery said :

If your partner puts half the meals on the table, the kitchen is no longer yours. Can you do that?

Let’s say it is so. That’s just one line of the article and hardly the main point. Then, to the rest of it, what else to say?

She also posted

“Let’s pretend it’s the 1950s and you’re the housewife” back in may, on the-riotact.

#5
260412:21 am, 07 Aug 14

I firmly believe that as women and men, we can have it all.

It is ridiculous to think that either women or men can “have it all”. That is a profoundly ignorant idea and one which anyone who is planning to have kids should understand is not true. If you have kids and a career, your career will suffer unless you’re prepared to put it ahead of your kids, in which case your kids will suffer.

Keeping house, managing the kids and putting dinner on the table is not my sole responsibility.

Who, exactly, is saying that it is? That’s something for you and your husband to sort out between yourselves, not something which is society’s fault or a matter for public debate. If your husband expects you to do everything, take it up with him.

#6
VYBerlinaV8_is_back8:21 am, 07 Aug 14

The bit that many people just don’t get is that ‘equality’ doesn’t mean ‘same’. We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men. They’re different, but complement each other. In a strong and productive relationship they can be truly equal, and we need to extend this to the ways in which we interact with each other. Then we’ll see real and meaningful equality.

#7
Emily Morris10:19 am, 07 Aug 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

The bit that many people just don’t get is that ‘equality’ doesn’t mean ‘same’. We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men. They’re different, but complement each other. In a strong and productive relationship they can be truly equal, and we need to extend this to the ways in which we interact with each other. Then we’ll see real and meaningful equality.

I completely agree.

gooterz said :

Greatest argument for the gender discrimination “Yes it exists”.

I’m sick of hearing about ‘working mums’. I never hear about ‘working dads’

Maybe because men are slain in the family court and almost never end up with primary care.
The matriarchy at work perhaps?

“I see far more participation from dads….. And that is awesome.”
So males don’t have to be good parents just participate and that’s good enough?
The title of the post is called “The long road to gender balance ”
TAGGED gender equality

Your point about men in the family court is very relevant. I also see many women holding tight to the ‘house and children’ and control thereof with tight fists. I do think it is a very different situation (at least for now) with single parents and not something I am in a position to comment on. But, for a couple who are together, with children, I don’t like that assumptions generally put the woman in the role of primary carer. Something that is partly driven by business as I do think there are still different expectations on men and their role as a parent.

2604 said :

I firmly believe that as women and men, we can have it all.

It is ridiculous to think that either women or men can “have it all”. That is a profoundly ignorant idea and one which anyone who is planning to have kids should understand is not true. If you have kids and a career, your career will suffer unless you’re prepared to put it ahead of your kids, in which case your kids will suffer.

Keeping house, managing the kids and putting dinner on the table is not my sole responsibility.

Who, exactly, is saying that it is? That’s something for you and your husband to sort out between yourselves, not something which is society’s fault or a matter for public debate. If your husband expects you to do everything, take it up with him.

I did go on to say that we can’t have it all at once.

You don’t think there remains an expectation and assumption in society that this falls to women?

#8
chewy1411:16 am, 07 Aug 14

Emily Morris said :

You don’t think there remains an expectation and assumption in society that this falls to women?

There remains societal pressure to do thousands of other things as well. For both men and women.

But as functional adults, we make our own decisions and should be prepared to live with the consequences of those decisions. No one forces mothers to take the lions share of parental caring responsibility in the same way that no one forces fathers to take the lions share of paid work.

Couple’s need to take responsibility for their choices and understand that having children requires sacrifices. For most couples this will mean that rational economics determines that one partner steps back from their career and concentrates on childrearing for a period, whilst the other partner concentrates on income. But there is no requirement for this to be the case and there are many other choices that couples could make. You need to own your own decisions.

Far too often I think that this concept of “having it all” permeates people’s thinking that they are entitled to and deserve to have the wonderful career, the wonderful family, the wonderful house, the wonderful holidays, the wonderful work/life balance etc, etc, etc. And have them all at the same time. It simply isn’t possible and it’s unfair to expect it.

#9
VYBerlinaV8_is_back11:42 am, 07 Aug 14

chewy14 said :

Far too often I think that this concept of “having it all” permeates people’s thinking that they are entitled to and deserve to have the wonderful career, the wonderful family, the wonderful house, the wonderful holidays, the wonderful work/life balance etc, etc, etc. And have them all at the same time. It simply isn’t possible and it’s unfair to expect it.

Nailed it. Well said.

#10
Maya12311:44 am, 07 Aug 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

The bit that many people just don’t get is that ‘equality’ doesn’t mean ‘same’. We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men. They’re different, but complement each other. In a strong and productive relationship they can be truly equal, and we need to extend this to the ways in which we interact with each other. Then we’ll see real and meaningful equality.

“We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men.”
How about just consider them all people.

#11
VYBerlinaV8_is_back12:10 pm, 07 Aug 14

Maya123 said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

The bit that many people just don’t get is that ‘equality’ doesn’t mean ‘same’. We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men. They’re different, but complement each other. In a strong and productive relationship they can be truly equal, and we need to extend this to the ways in which we interact with each other. Then we’ll see real and meaningful equality.

“We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men.”
How about just consider them all people.

Because one of the causes of gender imbalance is pretending that females and males are the same. They’re not. They have different characteristics and different strengths. De-identifying people from who they really are is not equality, it’s just shallow polictical correctness and I think it gets us nowhere.

#12
Maya1231:43 pm, 07 Aug 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Maya123 said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

The bit that many people just don’t get is that ‘equality’ doesn’t mean ‘same’. We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men. They’re different, but complement each other. In a strong and productive relationship they can be truly equal, and we need to extend this to the ways in which we interact with each other. Then we’ll see real and meaningful equality.

“We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men.”
How about just consider them all people.

Because one of the causes of gender imbalance is pretending that females and males are the same. They’re not. They have different characteristics and different strengths. De-identifying people from who they really are is not equality, it’s just shallow polictical correctness and I think it gets us nowhere.

It is that attitude that leads to presumptions and discrimination. Not all females are the same; not all males are the same. People should be considered on their strengths and weaknesses as individuals, not as some presumption (or want) you are making.

#13
Ben_Dover3:15 pm, 07 Aug 14

“Katy Gallagher addressed the National Labour Women’s conference”

In an article on “gender equality”, oh the irony….

#14
VYBerlinaV8_is_back3:18 pm, 07 Aug 14

Maya123 said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Maya123 said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

The bit that many people just don’t get is that ‘equality’ doesn’t mean ‘same’. We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men. They’re different, but complement each other. In a strong and productive relationship they can be truly equal, and we need to extend this to the ways in which we interact with each other. Then we’ll see real and meaningful equality.

“We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men.”
How about just consider them all people.

Because one of the causes of gender imbalance is pretending that females and males are the same. They’re not. They have different characteristics and different strengths. De-identifying people from who they really are is not equality, it’s just shallow polictical correctness and I think it gets us nowhere.

It is that attitude that leads to presumptions and discrimination. Not all females are the same; not all males are the same. People should be considered on their strengths and weaknesses as individuals, not as some presumption (or want) you are making.

The only presumption here is being made by yourself. At no point have I said that all females are the same, nor that all males are the same. I said that males and females have strengths and characteristics that make them different from each other. I maintain that de-identifying people is a backward step. Being able to separate the concepts of ‘different’ and ‘equal’ is absolutely key.

#15
HenryBG4:49 pm, 07 Aug 14

I wonder, what was the gender balance like at this “Women’s conference”?

I’d also like to see less focus on the supposed “gender pay gap” and more focus on actual spending power. The majority of women live beyond their own personal means, and men on average have far greater financial responsibilities towards others than women do.
Which means focussing just on pay gives you a cockeyed view of things.

It is pretty obvious from the homelessness stats, access to healthcare, access to education and life expectancy figures, that society is in fact geared around taking care of women as its number one priority.
Let’s see them agitating for “equal” access to healthcare and education for men for a change.

#16
Maya1236:07 pm, 07 Aug 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Maya123 said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Maya123 said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

The bit that many people just don’t get is that ‘equality’ doesn’t mean ‘same’. We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men. They’re different, but complement each other. In a strong and productive relationship they can be truly equal, and we need to extend this to the ways in which we interact with each other. Then we’ll see real and meaningful equality.

“We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men.”
How about just consider them all people.

Because one of the causes of gender imbalance is pretending that females and males are the same. They’re not. They have different characteristics and different strengths. De-identifying people from who they really are is not equality, it’s just shallow polictical correctness and I think it gets us nowhere.

It is that attitude that leads to presumptions and discrimination. Not all females are the same; not all males are the same. People should be considered on their strengths and weaknesses as individuals, not as some presumption (or want) you are making.

The only presumption here is being made by yourself. At no point have I said that all females are the same, nor that all males are the same. I said that males and females have strengths and characteristics that make them different from each other. I maintain that de-identifying people is a backward step. Being able to separate the concepts of ‘different’ and ‘equal’ is absolutely key.

I quote you: “Because one of the causes of gender imbalance is pretending that females and males are the same. They’re not. They have different characteristics and different strengths.”
And that’s not presumptuous! And another comment from you: “I said that males and females have strengths and characteristics that make them different from each other.” How are these comments not presumptuous? Please explain.

#17
Maya1236:08 pm, 07 Aug 14

HenryBG said :

I wonder, what was the gender balance like at this “Women’s conference”?

I’d also like to see less focus on the supposed “gender pay gap” and more focus on actual spending power. The majority of women live beyond their own personal means, and men on average have far greater financial responsibilities towards others than women do.
Which means focussing just on pay gives you a cockeyed view of things.

It is pretty obvious from the homelessness stats, access to healthcare, access to education and life expectancy figures, that society is in fact geared around taking care of women as its number one priority.
Let’s see them agitating for “equal” access to healthcare and education for men for a change.

“The majority of women live beyond their own personal means, and men on average have far greater financial responsibilities towards others than women do.”
Could you please give your research on this to back up your comment.

#18
Maya1236:15 pm, 07 Aug 14

HenryBG said :

I wonder, what was the gender balance like at this “Women’s conference”?

I’d also like to see less focus on the supposed “gender pay gap” and more focus on actual spending power. The majority of women live beyond their own personal means, and men on average have far greater financial responsibilities towards others than women do.
Which means focussing just on pay gives you a cockeyed view of things.

It is pretty obvious from the homelessness stats, access to healthcare, access to education and life expectancy figures, that society is in fact geared around taking care of women as its number one priority.
Let’s see them agitating for “equal” access to healthcare and education for men for a change.

You should read these before making those comments.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/debt/men-women-and-debt-does-gender-matter.aspx

http://www.gobankingrates.com/debt/women-have-more-debt-but-its-men-who-wont-pay-you-back/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-women-handle-credit-better-than-men/

#19
chewy148:29 pm, 07 Aug 14

Maya123 said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Maya123 said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Maya123 said :

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

The bit that many people just don’t get is that ‘equality’ doesn’t mean ‘same’. We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men. They’re different, but complement each other. In a strong and productive relationship they can be truly equal, and we need to extend this to the ways in which we interact with each other. Then we’ll see real and meaningful equality.

“We see too much of trying to turn men into women and women into men.”
How about just consider them all people.

Because one of the causes of gender imbalance is pretending that females and males are the same. They’re not. They have different characteristics and different strengths. De-identifying people from who they really are is not equality, it’s just shallow polictical correctness and I think it gets us nowhere.

It is that attitude that leads to presumptions and discrimination. Not all females are the same; not all males are the same. People should be considered on their strengths and weaknesses as individuals, not as some presumption (or want) you are making.

The only presumption here is being made by yourself. At no point have I said that all females are the same, nor that all males are the same. I said that males and females have strengths and characteristics that make them different from each other. I maintain that de-identifying people is a backward step. Being able to separate the concepts of ‘different’ and ‘equal’ is absolutely key.

I quote you: “Because one of the causes of gender imbalance is pretending that females and males are the same. They’re not. They have different characteristics and different strengths.”
And that’s not presumptuous! And another comment from you: “I said that males and females have strengths and characteristics that make them different from each other.” How are these comments not presumptuous? Please explain.

I don’t see many women running out for the Brumbies in the Super 15 and I don’t see many White guys winning the 100m Sprint at the Olympics.
Conversely I don’t see many men taking time off to give birth and I believe our prison population is only around 10% female.

Noticing differences in groups of people and recognising relative strengths or weaknesses in those population groups isn’t discrimination or inequality. Not choosing people for jobs or pre judging people regardless of their abilities and talents is.
ie. The fact that those examples above aren’t equally distributed among race and gender isn’t proof of discriminatory practices.

#20
gooterz11:11 pm, 07 Aug 14

Emily Morris said :

But, for a couple who are together, with children, I don’t like that assumptions generally put the woman in the role of primary carer. Something that is partly driven by business as I do think there are still different expectations on men and their role as a parent.

Disney makes a movie with substantially less women in lead roles and the world attacks.
Every company selling children’s productions under the sun pretty much only targets women, signalling to men that its not their job, and no one bats an eyelid.

Women who pay for male sperm is totally legal and encouraged they’ll put whoever you want on the birth certificate. However pay a cent to a women to carry a child and its totally illegal you have to outsource overseas!

#21
HenryBG9:39 am, 08 Aug 14

Maya123 said :

HenryBG said :

I wonder, what was the gender balance like at this “Women’s conference”?

I’d also like to see less focus on the supposed “gender pay gap” and more focus on actual spending power. The majority of women live beyond their own personal means, and men on average have far greater financial responsibilities towards others than women do.
Which means focussing just on pay gives you a cockeyed view of things.

It is pretty obvious from the homelessness stats, access to healthcare, access to education and life expectancy figures, that society is in fact geared around taking care of women as its number one priority.
Let’s see them agitating for “equal” access to healthcare and education for men for a change.

You should read these before making those comments.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/debt/men-women-and-debt-does-gender-matter.aspx

http://www.gobankingrates.com/debt/women-have-more-debt-but-its-men-who-wont-pay-you-back/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-women-handle-credit-better-than-men/

I talk about spending and you chip in with some irrelevance about bank loans.
http://www.trendsight.com/content/view/40/204/

“Women Control about 80% of Household Spending: A Look at the Numbers”

This is why men have to constantly chase higher salaries: their spouses’ spending is a far greater proportion of their joint spending than is their spouse’s earnings a proportion of their joint earnings.
So looking at *pay* is not a rational measure of the female sex’s access to money.

#22
HenryBG9:48 am, 08 Aug 14

“I long for a day when businesses run interviews and make no differentiation between a man and a woman at a stage of life where they are likely to consider having children.”

OK, so I’m a small business – if I employ a woman who is of childbearing age, I might find myself short an employee but with an obligation to keep paying her and then retrain her when she eventually returns to work. On the other hand I can avoid this risk. What’s my rational choice?
So I’m a director of a publicly-listed company with the identical dilemma. It is my legal duty to maximise shareholder value, which means accepting risks such as the above could well be an act I could be prosecuted for. What’s my rational choice?

Alternatively, the sentence I have quoted could be implying not a desire for regulations forcing individuals, businesses and companies into making irrational choices, but rather a desire to be living in a society where men and women have precisely 50% responsibility for giving birth and neo-natal childcare.

Either way, rational minds can judge feminism for what it is: politics divorced from reality.

#23
Maya12310:37 am, 08 Aug 14

gooterz said :

Emily Morris said :

But, for a couple who are together, with children, I don’t like that assumptions generally put the woman in the role of primary carer. Something that is partly driven by business as I do think there are still different expectations on men and their role as a parent.

Disney makes a movie with substantially less women in lead roles and the world attacks.
Every company selling children’s productions under the sun pretty much only targets women, signalling to men that its not their job, and no one bats an eyelid.

Women who pay for male sperm is totally legal and encouraged they’ll put whoever you want on the birth certificate. However pay a cent to a women to carry a child and its totally illegal you have to outsource overseas!

Maya123 said :

“Disney makes a movie with substantially less women in lead roles and the world attacks.”

Really. It seems more as though this is accepted as normal. Even when it is ridiculous. An ant’s colony for instance, with more male characters then female. I have never heard that attacked; only praised.

Maya123 said :

“Women who pay for male sperm is totally legal and encouraged they’ll put whoever you want on the birth certificate. However pay a cent to a women to carry a child and its totally illegal you have to outsource overseas!”

Personally I think that surrogacy should be regulated and legal and women who want to be a surrogate (for whatever personal reason), as long as they are deemed suitable, should be allowed and well rewarded. People are checked that they are suitable parents before they adopt; so it should be for IVF and using a surrogate.

Maya123 said :

“Every company selling children’s productions under the sun pretty much only targets women, signalling to men that its not their job, and no one bats an eyelid.”

How does this work? Men can shop for children too.

#24
Maya12310:39 am, 08 Aug 14

gooterz said :

Emily Morris said :

But, for a couple who are together, with children, I don’t like that assumptions generally put the woman in the role of primary carer. Something that is partly driven by business as I do think there are still different expectations on men and their role as a parent.

Disney makes a movie with substantially less women in lead roles and the world attacks.
Every company selling children’s productions under the sun pretty much only targets women, signalling to men that its not their job, and no one bats an eyelid.

Women who pay for male sperm is totally legal and encouraged they’ll put whoever you want on the birth certificate. However pay a cent to a women to carry a child and its totally illegal you have to outsource overseas!

“Disney makes a movie with substantially less women in lead roles and the world attacks.”
Really. It seems more as though this is accepted as normal. Even when it is ridiculous. An ant’s colony for instance, with more male characters then female. I have never heard that attacked; only praised.

“Women who pay for male sperm is totally legal and encouraged they’ll put whoever you want on the birth certificate. However pay a cent to a women to carry a child and its totally illegal you have to outsource overseas!”
Personally I think that surrogacy should be regulated and legal and women who want to be a surrogate (for whatever personal reason), as long as they are deemed suitable, should be allowed and well rewarded. People are checked that they are suitable parents before they adopt; so it should be for IVF and using a surrogate.

“Every company selling children’s productions under the sun pretty much only targets women, signalling to men that its not their job, and no one bats an eyelid.”
How does this work? Men can shop for children too.

#25
Maya12310:47 am, 08 Aug 14

HenryBG said :

Maya123 said :

HenryBG said :

I wonder, what was the gender balance like at this “Women’s conference”?

I’d also like to see less focus on the supposed “gender pay gap” and more focus on actual spending power. The majority of women live beyond their own personal means, and men on average have far greater financial responsibilities towards others than women do.
Which means focussing just on pay gives you a cockeyed view of things.

It is pretty obvious from the homelessness stats, access to healthcare, access to education and life expectancy figures, that society is in fact geared around taking care of women as its number one priority.
Let’s see them agitating for “equal” access to healthcare and education for men for a change.

You should read these before making those comments.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/debt/men-women-and-debt-does-gender-matter.aspx

http://www.gobankingrates.com/debt/women-have-more-debt-but-its-men-who-wont-pay-you-back/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-women-handle-credit-better-than-men/

I talk about spending and you chip in with some irrelevance about bank loans.
http://www.trendsight.com/content/view/40/204/

“Women Control about 80% of Household Spending: A Look at the Numbers”

This is why men have to constantly chase higher salaries: their spouses’ spending is a far greater proportion of their joint spending than is their spouse’s earnings a proportion of their joint earnings.
So looking at *pay* is not a rational measure of the female sex’s access to money.

The links I provided were not irrelevant. I don’t know your personal circumstance, but I get the feeling you are talking from a personal position, and not in a broader sense; also from possibly the viewpoint of an older generation when few women worked and had their own income. Some men (I’m saying this is a broad sense, not aiming this at any individual) might feel their non-income producing wife spends ‘their’ money.

#26
Maya12310:56 am, 08 Aug 14

HenryBG said :

“I long for a day when businesses run interviews and make no differentiation between a man and a woman at a stage of life where they are likely to consider having children.”

OK, so I’m a small business – if I employ a woman who is of childbearing age, I might find myself short an employee but with an obligation to keep paying her and then retrain her when she eventually returns to work. On the other hand I can avoid this risk. What’s my rational choice?
So I’m a director of a publicly-listed company with the identical dilemma. It is my legal duty to maximise shareholder value, which means accepting risks such as the above could well be an act I could be prosecuted for. What’s my rational choice?

Alternatively, the sentence I have quoted could be implying not a desire for regulations forcing individuals, businesses and companies into making irrational choices, but rather a desire to be living in a society where men and women have precisely 50% responsibility for giving birth and neo-natal childcare.

Either way, rational minds can judge feminism for what it is: politics divorced from reality.

To remove this discrimination against women, I think that both parents’ places of employment should equally pay her maternity leave, and perhaps it should also be mandatory for the father to take some time off to care for the child, after the mother naturally has had her time off, as she needs time to recover from the birth and breastfeed the future generation.

#27
justsomeaussie11:47 am, 08 Aug 14

Maya123 said :

[To remove this discrimination against women, I think that both parents’ places of employment should equally pay her maternity leave, and perhaps it should also be mandatory for the father to take some time off to care for the child, after the mother naturally has had her time off, as she needs time to recover from the birth and breastfeed the future generation.

You have to be a public servant if you think that it’s ok for every business to pay employees while they are absent from work for extended period, birth or not. I’m quite confident that the data will show that the overwhelming majority of women choose to proceed with a pregnancy till birth. i.e. it’s a voluntary act.

You are actually enforcing discrimination against women by doing forcing business to pay out “birth leave” because as highlighted above because it’s something that plays on every business owner’s mind and for some it’s a burden they can’t bear.

This thinking was highlighted to me recently by someone tho proclaimed that women who take 1 year off for maternity leave shouldn’t be discriminated against in the workforce in terms of seniority. When it was pointed out that of anyone else who took a year away from work for any other reason also loses seniority against their non on leave peers the individual promptly reversed their decision and realised the silliness of such a policy.

Additionally laws enforcing time away from work are also divorced from reality and are a great example of where “big government” shouldn’t intrude into people’s personal lives. If a mother or father wishes to stay at work post birth, who is anyone else to question that right.

#28
justin heywood11:48 am, 08 Aug 14

HenryBG said :

“I long for a day when businesses run interviews and make no differentiation between a man and a woman at a stage of life where they are likely to consider having children.”

OK, so I’m a small business – if I employ a woman who is of childbearing age, I might find myself short an employee but with an obligation to keep paying her and then retrain her when she eventually returns to work. On the other hand I can avoid this risk. What’s my rational choice?
So I’m a director of a publicly-listed company with the identical dilemma. It is my legal duty to maximise shareholder value, which means accepting risks such as the above could well be an act I could be prosecuted for. What’s my rational choice?

Alternatively, the sentence I have quoted could be implying not a desire for regulations forcing individuals, businesses and companies into making irrational choices, but rather a desire to be living in a society where men and women have precisely 50% responsibility for giving birth and neo-natal childcare.

Either way, rational minds can judge feminism for what it is: politics divorced from reality.

Very well put Henry.

#29
HenryBG1:01 pm, 08 Aug 14

Maya123 said :

Some men (I’m saying this is a broad sense, not aiming this at any individual) might feel their non-income producing wife spends ‘their’ money.

Well, if you only look at *pay* then it becomes enormously relevant that many women are living off their partners pay, and are therefore accessing financial resources that are not visible in the “equal pay” argument.

#30
HenryBG1:12 pm, 08 Aug 14

justsomeaussie said :

Maya123 said :

I think that both parents’ places of employment should equally pay her maternity leave, and perhaps it should also be mandatory for the father to take some time off to care for the child, after the mother naturally has had her time off, as she needs time to recover from the birth and breastfeed the future generation.

You have to be a public servant if you think that it’s ok for every business to pay employees while they are absent from work for extended period, birth or not.

And here we see the continuing effects of the long-term pernicious influence of the craze for marxist-stalinist ideas in our tertiary institutions over the last several decades….

I must say, the idea that a father should be compelled to take an equal-length period of leave to care for a recent addition to the family is amazingly intriguing.

On the face of it, as the majority of children these days are being produced in families where the father is an even worse influence on his children than the mother is, this would have a net negative effect on the future generations.
However, if you balance this off with daily visits from the Government Parental Behaviour Monitoring Agency in order to enforce on both parents the requirement to inculcate decent values in their children, the idea may have some merit.

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