Equality in the Workplace? Okay, which one?
One cannot credibly argue for equality in one area as a self-evident social duty, and in other areas demand that women and men be treated un-equally, but only when that is in some way to women’s advantage.
Day after day, we see calls for some measure to be undertaken upon some company or industry, to institute what we are told will be gender equality in the workplace.
One professional area where this is currently fashionable, is in the fields of high technology, and there are many others. We are assured: they won’t rest until the demands are met, until women have the numbers someone has apparently decided they must have, to satisfy whatever metrics are being used to determine this reputedly mandatory (womandatory?) outcome. This is presented as a matter of some urgency, as so great a need for gender justice that we must not shrink from it as a society.
When they’re done cracking the tech ceiling, they can move on to get equal numbers of women and men in merchant shipping, highrise construction, waste disposal, commercial fishing, homebuilding, heavy equipment operation, mining, oil drilling, logging, livestock husbandry, powerline maintenance, industrial construction, road- & bridge-building, sewer maintenance, tunneling, wildland fire suppression, railroad operation….
For my own part (and the list is actually much longer), I never thought for a second that women couldn’t handle any or all of these. I’ve wondered for a lifetime: so where are the recruits, ladies? Where are the marchers and petitions and social media campaigns and political pressures, to break these male-dominated professions open for women to enter and thrive in, and in matching numbers to those of men?
Not interested, seems to be the silent answer. It really looks, on closer inspection, as if gender equality is intended only for climate-controlled offices or the gilded halls of power, because, by this measure of gender equality, the only women’s work is the work women are told to want to do.
Trouble is, there is still men’s work to be done. And, God help us all if there aren’t men to do it, because women aren‘t exactly beating down those particular doors looking for those very well-paying jobs. Aside from the fact that my list contains much of the daily economic activity essential for the continued maintenance and survival of civilization (which combined with their inherent risks is why so many of the jobs in question pay so very, very well) why would any woman want to get into any of these areas, when there have always been men to see to the task?
Beyond a case being made toward one field or industry, in the much bigger picture than just the lush middle-class prosperity that the chosen list of targets for equality offers, when determining the social morality of what profession contains what distribution of which of the sexes, how have we arrived at the conclusion that it is right and good to demand an increase of women’s presence in some fields, and yet altogether ignore that entire equation in a long list of others? We see the argument rejected continually, that women simply choose — each for her own reasons — what they want to do in their work lives, and that these choices are reflected in the numbers. The counter-explanation, is that this is a clear and present injustice and must be addressed aggressively, and solved.
But only in selected fields.
So, how is it decided which professions must achieve gender equality by any means necessary, and which ones can just be allowed to remain far out of balance between the sexes, the balance tilting either way depending on which profession we examine?
In fairness, it would be simplistic to allege that women are just dodging hard work, or dangers, or unpleasantness, outright. Women have succeeded in law enforcement and military roles, to name only a few, where their lives and safety are just as much on the line as men’s, so I do not question women’s courage or capacity here. Not so very long ago, the entire industrial sectors of major nations during the Second World War were operated largely by women, and both the quality and the quantity of works these women achieved speaks well enough for itself, on the subject of what women from all walks of life are capable of, when they rise to the task. But, why is the equality formula not applied in any meaningful way, to the fields I’ve named above, and many more? Conversely, why are the vast majorities we see, of women in primary education and nursing for example, not presented as “inequality”? Is that something other than a convenient omission, a means to apply a selectively female-favoring ethos in an unbalanced way to an unjust end?
I assert, and have for decades, that claiming to demand gender equality as a response to institutionalized unfairness toward women, has thinly-hidden motives other than (and ultimately in opposition to) a true desire to see both sexes treated fairly throughout society. One cannot credibly argue for equality in one area as a self-evident social duty, and in other areas demand that women and men be treated un-equally, but only when that is in some way to women’s advantage.
When men are even perceived as having such an advantage, it is called “Patriarchy”, which (if you read up on these things) is supposed to be the whole problem. What do we call it, then, when women demand and ultimately acquire the power and control to determine both their own, and men’s, roles, and yet men are still told that women are getting the short end, and therefore are not finished with this epochal drive for gender equality?
Where, and only where, they deem it fitting, that is.
The real initiative behind gender-equality demands, I hereby charge, has little to do with the betterment of the actual women involved, by means of their getting a job (to say nothing of the men who lose or never get theirs because of their sex). The obvious motive, given the selective emphasis on some professions and the outright ignoring of others, is to build networks of operatives and sympathizers and influencers within these certain fields, which oddly seem to be limited to professions and occupations where larger female-favoring agenda can be promoted and spread, and larger areas of both public policy and commercial practice each may be influenced in women’s favor.
Education, technology, journalism, politics, corporate leadership, bureaucracy: these are areas where we have witnessed decades of pressure being placed on hiring policies and terms of employment to achieve this proffered aim of gender equality. Compare these with the list of professions and industries I named above, and see which of them offers their respective earners better access to policymaking influence in the broader society. That a capable linewoman or fisherwoman might have more opportunity to make more money and have more prosperity in her life, than a female programmer or board chairwoman might achieve, has always been beside the point.
That point has been for female-dominant policy influence far beyond the workplace, and female-favoring work/life requirements as demanded by only some women, to be finally implemented over all professions and occupations, with men inhabiting predominantly the proletarian role: cumulatively barred from influence or opportunity, a glass ceiling if you will, with women choosing only what they prefer to do for a living, while men are left and expected to do literally everything else.
A woman could make a fortune working on an offshore platform or running a welding shop, but that isn’t the true goal of this gender-equality melodrama, is it? Those women are of little utility to a far larger aim, which is to create female-dominant, female-favoring leadership across the spectrum of civilization, and the complete proletarianizing of men in order that we may continue, as always, doing the heavy lifting required to maintain that civilization, but with less reward, less respect, less influence, less longevity, less services, less credibility before the law….
Men are the spider-killers in the feminist vision of a gynocratic future. We will have our place, and just might make some kind of decent life for ourselves, so long as we stay in it. That much has been made plain.
…and it is at this point that, if you say,
you will have finished my point:
This is not a quest for gender justice at all, and never was.
It is a crusade, by those who place the pursuit of long-articulated grievances higher than the building of magnificent and obvious opportunities open to perfectly capable women,
a crusade, for PAYBACK.
Men, regardless of each of our levels of numeric presence in the workplace, need no longer wonder whether our lives will be affected, by this pressure for a brand of gender equality that inevitably places our own well-being and status at risk because we are men.
What we must assert now, is that neither men nor women whose motive for work is to earn a living and make a life (rather than to alter the course of human history in favor of half of us at the other half’s expense) can afford this divisive, self-indulgent, cynical, bigoted crusade any longer. What would serve both our aims, jointly and severally, far better, is to master, at long last, the true arts of fitting the best person to the right job. That may not produce equality as one faction would have it defined, but it would certainly better resemble justice.