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The long road to gender balance

By Emily Morris 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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The long road to gender balance
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VYBerlinaV8_is_back 3:12 pm 11 Aug 14

Maya123 said :

Saying people should not have presumptions made about them is not at all strange. If someone applies for a job; don’t say because this person is male or female they won’t be able to do the job. Look at their qualifications, training, references, etc. Treat all applicants equally, until the normal facts of the interview process and speaking to referees, etc prove otherwise. It is not only gender that counts here, but race, age, etc. Even if statistically one sex tends to favour certain lines of work (for whatever reason), it is not a reason to presume that those of the other sex who want to do this work can’t do it. Don’t presume they can’t, (because perhaps you don’t know any female cabinet makers or male childcare workers; whatever), they can’t do the job and dismiss them.
My request here is simple and easy to understand. I don’t know why you are having a problem with this. I can only think it comes down to prejudice.
Don’t be presumptuous about an individual’s abilities because of gender, age, etc, until you actually know that individual is not as good as another applicant.

It has always been my contention that we treat people equally, but be open to the fact that people have differences. It is these differences that allow people to excel at various different things.

For some reason you think this is ‘presumption’. It’s not. At no point have I suggested hiring decisions be made on the basis of gender, that is all you. The post above relates mostly to this, and yet does not respond to my comment. I am not ‘presuming’ anything, and have explained this.

I maintain that until we can accept that different people have different strengths, weakness and characteristics (based partly on gender and a range of other factors), yet all are equal, that we will continue to fall into the trap of assuming that equality equals sameness, which does advance the cause of genuine, effective equality.

On a slightly different note, the staff hiring example brings up the issue of where discrimination is, in fact, quite permissble and normal. It is normal to discriminate on the basis of qualifications, skills, experience and reference reports. I guess this is because there is an assumption that things like qualifications, skills, etc are the results of individual efforts, even thought we know the things we shouldn’t discriminate on influence these.

Maya123 12:46 pm 11 Aug 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

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.

This is a really strange response, Maya. Males and females are quite different. That’s not a presumption, is based on a heap of publicly available research.

I’m sure you know where to find google if detailed studies are what you want.

I am firmly of the belief that humans are all equal. I also believe some have different strengths and weaknesses based on a range of characteristics, one of which is gender. It’s important to remember, though, that generalising is dangerous and although recognised tendencies can be observed, you can’t automatically attribute any such tendencies to an individual.

I’m still not sure of your concern here. Perhaps you could explain your position more clearly?

Saying people should not have presumptions made about them is not at all strange. If someone applies for a job; don’t say because this person is male or female they won’t be able to do the job. Look at their qualifications, training, references, etc. Treat all applicants equally, until the normal facts of the interview process and speaking to referees, etc prove otherwise. It is not only gender that counts here, but race, age, etc. Even if statistically one sex tends to favour certain lines of work (for whatever reason), it is not a reason to presume that those of the other sex who want to do this work can’t do it. Don’t presume they can’t, (because perhaps you don’t know any female cabinet makers or male childcare workers; whatever), they can’t do the job and dismiss them.
My request here is simple and easy to understand. I don’t know why you are having a problem with this. I can only think it comes down to prejudice.
Don’t be presumptuous about an individual’s abilities because of gender, age, etc, until you actually know that individual is not as good as another applicant.

Maya123 12:27 pm 11 Aug 14

HenryBG said :

Maya123 said :

All I have said here is that we shouldn’t make presumptions. Treat people as individuals.

In which case the invocation of a “gender pay gap” is a “presumptuous” and inaccurate generalisation that we will *both* decry. Right?

We get paid what we ask for and/or what we get offered.

When negotiating pay I *always* include as detailed a description of my financial dependents as I can, and I assume most men are doing the same. (In my experience, this is worth 5%-10% in pay negotiations.)
This is clearly a part of the negotiation where men – on average – will win out over women, and will therefore account for a proportion of the inaccurate measure that is the “gender pay gap”.
The “gender pay gap” is not a measure of discrimination against women, it just reflects the reality of the cloth from which our society is woven.

Getting more money because you have children! What pay award allows for that? Are you having a joke! Please explain this further.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 11:36 am 11 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.

This is a really strange response, Maya. Males and females are quite different. That’s not a presumption, is based on a heap of publicly available research.

I’m sure you know where to find google if detailed studies are what you want.

I am firmly of the belief that humans are all equal. I also believe some have different strengths and weaknesses based on a range of characteristics, one of which is gender. It’s important to remember, though, that generalising is dangerous and although recognised tendencies can be observed, you can’t automatically attribute any such tendencies to an individual.

I’m still not sure of your concern here. Perhaps you could explain your position more clearly?

HenryBG 11:10 am 11 Aug 14

Maya123 said :

All I have said here is that we shouldn’t make presumptions. Treat people as individuals.

In which case the invocation of a “gender pay gap” is a “presumptuous” and inaccurate generalisation that we will *both* decry. Right?

We get paid what we ask for and/or what we get offered.

When negotiating pay I *always* include as detailed a description of my financial dependents as I can, and I assume most men are doing the same. (In my experience, this is worth 5%-10% in pay negotiations.)
This is clearly a part of the negotiation where men – on average – will win out over women, and will therefore account for a proportion of the inaccurate measure that is the “gender pay gap”.
The “gender pay gap” is not a measure of discrimination against women, it just reflects the reality of the cloth from which our society is woven.

Maya123 1:26 pm 10 Aug 14

milkman said :

HenryBG said :

Maya123 said :

“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.” Yes, it’s voluntary and ultimately up to her, but I’m sure in most cases it was discussed with and agreed/encouraged by her partner. She didn’t get this way alone, but the way you express it, it reads like you are inferring she did.

You’re only assuming her partner was involved. A sizeable proportion of childern are no genetic relation to the sucker who in blissful unawareness has put his name to the birth certificate.

Men cannot carry children. Women can. That is one thing that is *different* between men and women. There is no such thing as equality when it comes to giving birth.
There are quite a few other differences, too.

Basically, if you are still pursuing this “equality” myth you are tilting at windmills, and you are also turning the younger generations of both sexes right off your stuck-in-the-60s politics which is rapidly seeing feminism stranded on the fringe.

Sorry Maya, but I have to agree with this. Men and women are different. Google it if you have to.

Equality is what we should be working for rather than putting labels on everything.

All I have said here is that we shouldn’t make presumptions. Treat people as individuals. I have not got jobs because of presumptions made because I am a women. Some of these presumptions have been to my face. I quote, “You will get pregnant and leave.” That direct comment came after the interviewer p%ssy footed about the point in the interview. I did wonder where the silly questions were coming from, but it was an interview, so I was answering politely, with no idea of the political agenda and presumptions behind them; that they didn’t think a woman should do the job. I have even been told by a male boss in a job I got that I was lucky to have the job because I was a woman. I ended up being able to do the job far better than him (but so did everyone else for that matter, regardless of gender), but the presumption was that I shouldn’t have this job because I was a woman. But at least he was willing to employ females, as long as we “didn’t out number the males”. Another quote from him.
I have never said that men and women are the same in everything, but the men here (and it has been to the best of my knowledge men – sorry if I am making presumptions) have exhibited strong political agendas and applied personal prejudices. I have said that presumptions should not be made only because someone is male or female; people are individuals. That is not the same as saying there are not differences. Women having babies or instance. But the differences are far less than many men here, with their own political agenda, bitterness (what happened I wonder in their life to cause this), etc, appear willing to accept. Comments about the Raiders and the like are just silly.
Treat people as individuals. Yes, some of those individuals will have babies; others will not, including some of the females. Where I worked, the person who took the longest time off for a baby was male. But would he have been discriminated against at a job interview over this? Of course not.
Don’t presume someone can’t do a job because they are male or female. There are some jobs that require psychical strength, but as technology increases those jobs are becoming less. Chances are more males will be suitable to do a job requiring physical strength, but don’t presume because someone is female they won’t be able to do the job. People are individuals; some are physically stronger than others, whether male or female. Statistically more males might have the stronger strength to do a hard physical job, but although less in number some women will likely be able to do it to. As also some men won’t be able to. Don’t presume all men can do such a job and all women can’t; don’t make presumptions.
Please treat people as individuals, with individual strengths and weaknesses.

milkman 7:09 pm 09 Aug 14

HenryBG said :

Maya123 said :

“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.” Yes, it’s voluntary and ultimately up to her, but I’m sure in most cases it was discussed with and agreed/encouraged by her partner. She didn’t get this way alone, but the way you express it, it reads like you are inferring she did.

You’re only assuming her partner was involved. A sizeable proportion of childern are no genetic relation to the sucker who in blissful unawareness has put his name to the birth certificate.

Men cannot carry children. Women can. That is one thing that is *different* between men and women. There is no such thing as equality when it comes to giving birth.
There are quite a few other differences, too.

Basically, if you are still pursuing this “equality” myth you are tilting at windmills, and you are also turning the younger generations of both sexes right off your stuck-in-the-60s politics which is rapidly seeing feminism stranded on the fringe.

Sorry Maya, but I have to agree with this. Men and women are different. Google it if you have to.

Equality is what we should be working for rather than putting labels on everything.

HenryBG 4:02 pm 09 Aug 14

Maya123 said :

“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.” Yes, it’s voluntary and ultimately up to her, but I’m sure in most cases it was discussed with and agreed/encouraged by her partner. She didn’t get this way alone, but the way you express it, it reads like you are inferring she did.

You’re only assuming her partner was involved. A sizeable proportion of childern are no genetic relation to the sucker who in blissful unawareness has put his name to the birth certificate.

Men cannot carry children. Women can. That is one thing that is *different* between men and women. There is no such thing as equality when it comes to giving birth.
There are quite a few other differences, too.

Basically, if you are still pursuing this “equality” myth you are tilting at windmills, and you are also turning the younger generations of both sexes right off your stuck-in-the-60s politics which is rapidly seeing feminism stranded on the fringe.

Maya123 2:47 pm 09 Aug 14

gooterz said :

Maya123 said :

justsomeaussie said :

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.

I am and have never been a public servant. If a business/public service has to pay maternity leave for a mother, why not split the cost with where the father works too? I’m sure he had something to do with it. As an added though, I don’t think parents should be able to produce baby after baby and expect to get paid maternity leave. I think there should be a limit, maybe two times; with perhaps an extra allowed if a child dies.

“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.” Yes, it’s voluntary and ultimately up to her, but I’m sure in most cases it was discussed with and agreed/encouraged by her partner. She didn’t get this way alone, but the way you express it, it reads like you are inferring she did.

What’s definite proof of paternity? Do you include sterile men that sourced the batter from a donor?

Given the discrimination laws favour those discriminated against and are in the minority, shouldn’t child custody cases be biased toward the fathers because there are so many less full time fathers than mothers. Would the ladies be happy with this discrimination?

After all its legal now to pay women more for the same work as men.

This discussion is getting ridiculous.

Alderney 11:07 am 09 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.

So, from where do your future customers come if women need to work rather than begat children?

You’ve just failed in your duties as a company director.

It’s quite ignorant to not understand that the consumer base comes from the wombs of the female of the species and as for politics divorced from reality, how do people make ends meet if they aren’t both in paid work?

How happy would you be for taxes to increase to a level whereby women (only those that choose to do so of course) could stay home to propagate the species?

Do you expect women to only enter the workforce once they can no longer bear children?

And what about women who don’t want to have children yet? Should they just have to lump it until some bloke comes along to impregnate them?

I want women to contribute and to ‘shoulder the burden’. It makes no sense that half the population sits idle, from a workplace productivity perspective, during this stage of their lives. Everything comes with trade-offs, and maternity leave is but just one.

Modern society has changed, and you can sheet some of the blame on men as a woman’s role changed post the wars of the twentieth century.

gooterz 10:34 pm 08 Aug 14

Maya123 said :

justsomeaussie said :

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.

I am and have never been a public servant. If a business/public service has to pay maternity leave for a mother, why not split the cost with where the father works too? I’m sure he had something to do with it. As an added though, I don’t think parents should be able to produce baby after baby and expect to get paid maternity leave. I think there should be a limit, maybe two times; with perhaps an extra allowed if a child dies.

“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.” Yes, it’s voluntary and ultimately up to her, but I’m sure in most cases it was discussed with and agreed/encouraged by her partner. She didn’t get this way alone, but the way you express it, it reads like you are inferring she did.

What’s definite proof of paternity? Do you include sterile men that sourced the batter from a donor?

Given the discrimination laws favour those discriminated against and are in the minority, shouldn’t child custody cases be biased toward the fathers because there are so many less full time fathers than mothers. Would the ladies be happy with this discrimination?

After all its legal now to pay women more for the same work as men.

Maya123 6:42 pm 08 Aug 14

justsomeaussie said :

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.

I am and have never been a public servant. If a business/public service has to pay maternity leave for a mother, why not split the cost with where the father works too? I’m sure he had something to do with it. As an added though, I don’t think parents should be able to produce baby after baby and expect to get paid maternity leave. I think there should be a limit, maybe two times; with perhaps an extra allowed if a child dies.

“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.” Yes, it’s voluntary and ultimately up to her, but I’m sure in most cases it was discussed with and agreed/encouraged by her partner. She didn’t get this way alone, but the way you express it, it reads like you are inferring she did.

HenryBG 1:12 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.

HenryBG 1:01 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.

justin heywood 11:48 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.

justsomeaussie 11:47 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.

Maya123 10:56 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.

Maya123 10:47 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.

Maya123 10:39 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.

Maya123 10:37 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!

“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.

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