I have yet to find one reasonable answer to the question “Why shouldn’t (insert job) have 50% women.” On the face of it, it sounds like the perfectly leftist thing to say. But is equality permissible in all situations? Most believe so, and what’s more they feel they are validated in this opinion. Here is why they (and maybe you) are wrong.
People of the newer leftist movement, say equality means that Jeremy Corbyn should choose 50% of women for his shadow cabinet. Yet, they only extend this “equality” when gender is on the table, never for skin colour, or ability, height, weight, eye colour, ethnicity, place of birth, amount of hairs on the body etc.
Equality to me, is more of a basic rule that fairness should be attached to all that we pursue, but equality isn’t the same as fair.
For example, a man I admire greatly and someone I am happy to have been compared to by angry right-wingers, Owen Jones, has tweeted this:
As well as half Shadow Cabinet being women, women should surely make up half of the big four ministries (PM/ Chancellor / Foreign / Home)
By this logic equality only regards vaginas and penises – and the bodies they are attached to. At no point in this tweet does he ask for a black person, a latino, a muslim, a disabled person, someone with a wonky eye, a train driver or a polygamist.
If we began to really force equality into the cabinet, we would simply have no places for all ethnicity & genders. When will we split each job into 12 vacancies so a Pisces and the rest can have their fair place? Where is the Caitlin Jenner in our government? Where is the token (insert anything).
Governing is the most important part of our nation. Decisions made by government change all of our lives in a substantial way. People in positions of power need to be the most qualified for their job. It completely demeans girls to say “Don’t worry if you can’t get the answers, we will give you a good mark anyway.” What would be the point in revising? Wouldn’t the degree hanging on the wall come with a taste of bitterness, because better students were marked down due to gender? Isn’t this the EXACT opposite of what we were trying to achieve by giving females equality?
My partner is a brilliant school teacher. A job I believe is not only admirable, pivotal to our country’s future – but also massively underpaid. I watched her work hard to achieve her goals. She pushed herself to be the best candidate when going for job interviews and cried her eyes out when she was denied. This was not a reaction due to gender weakness, but the stress and sadness from months of grueling work. When she got the job of her dreams she was completely overwhelmed. Her feedback concluded she gave the best lesson out of any other candidate – this mattered to her most, as it should do. She wasn’t saved or helped: No man had to give her the benefit of the doubt, or get her on the ladder of success. She put in the work and it paid off.
This is equality! Walking into a room and being observed and critiqued equally is fair. Not walking into a room and over-hearing “Well, there are no more applicants and by law we need 7 female teachers – so I hope you are good.”
This attitude is a lowering of standards.
In my opinion 100% of the shadow cabinet should be female, if they are the best for the job. Equally, in my opinion 1% of the shadow cabinet should be female, if they are best for the job. Women don’t need job schemes to become members of society, they have done it without our help. Beside my personal hatred of her, Maggie Thatcher was in many ways, one of the most successful politicians in our country’s history – Her influence on our government can still be seen today in the old “Labour” cabinet. And she did it all without a penis, how strange?
Now, to be fair! (as is the point) I will mention the one opposing view I hear time and time again, with regards to politics. “We need 50% women as around 50% of the population is female – fair representation!”
Well, not so much. Again we would then spiral out of control if every different kind of person was given a role in government just to be PC. That aside, saying we need equal men, says that women are incapable of making a decisions for other genders, which is absurd. If there is a housing crisis in the north west, I’m pretty sure a female from the south would be able to mention it to her peers. I very much doubt her throat would close over when she notices it isn’t her area of expertise. Equally a man should be able to empathise with female issues, and vote with the best interests of all in mind. Government ministers are not just elected to represent their constituents or people who look or sound like themselves. They are to represent the views of the people. And views have no gender.
The policy of affirmative action could have seen the most powerful country in the world ruled by the likes of Sarah Palin. This is a woman who vehemently disagrees with teaching children sex education, as a consequence her daughter had two children out of wedlock. She was asked what books she reads and proceeded to claim the question was “unfair” & “a trick”. When asked how she was qualified to deal with Russia as a potential commander in chief she replied “Well … In Alaska, I can see Russia from my house!”
Is this what women envisioned?
I am a lefty, but I am disheartened almost on a daily basis for what passes as “left” nowadays. Political correctness began to strike racism from our culture, now it stops black people from telling jokes about black people. Or anyone telling jokes about anyone at all. We used to campaign for females to be given equal rights and votes and jobs – now we are thinking of legislating to make the same rights restrictive for men. We once fought for skin colour to not influence how we treated other humans, now we can’t give a job without looking at our quota for ethnicity and making sure no one can sue us if we fall below the national average of blacks in the workplace. If history teaches us anything, it is that black people can achieve their goals against all odds – and so too can women. Stop dividing politics into a genital contest.
This isn’t left. This isn’t fair. This isn’t equal.
(If I am wrong, please let me know. I genuinely welcome opposing views)