I received a rather long comment from Jim on my recent blog about Dominic Raab and his ‘analysis’ of feminism. I felt like turning my reply to Jim’s comment into a blog post.
Jim argues that sexism has nothing to do with the gender pay gap, whilst relying on biological and stereotypical arguments formed through wide-scale generalisations:
Because many job salaries are dependant on how you sell yourself to the company through negotiation. Men, it seems, are better at this. Some more so than others. Women hate competing with men. (All the while claiming they are our equals) Which is why they instigate so many “equality” laws.
Hmm. Not a testament to many women I know who like competing with men. Through my time playing football, I have been routinely denied the ability to play against boys simply because I was a girl. But, for instance, my sister and I were amongst a hand-full of girls who went to a Sheffield United training day, and we loved playing against the boys; with a few of us picking up certificates for our achievements. Now, I loved these challenges, I loved proving those people, who think all women can’t kick a ball or don’t know the offside rule, wrong. Another personal example, which I am sure stands true for many others, politics itself often has a very masculine environment. I have been on the receiving end of a few negative comments because I am a female who enjoys politics. It doesn’t put me off though. And whilst it isn’t all about competition with others, I rather enjoy political debates (ask anyone who knows me!).
Jim raises his objection to all-women shortlists. Again an area some feminists have in common with anti-feminists such as Jim; I find the measures unhelpful in their ability to tackle the root causes of women’s low representation; areas such as poor child care and poverty.
Jim goes on to say:
If anything young women should be earning LESS than men. In what universe do companies pay women more with the mindset that they will soon depart them to raise a family? LOGICALLY they would be paid less as they are a BAD INVESTMENT for their employers. Men are the ones who should be earning more from the outset as the companies see them as an investment for the future.
Jim’s comments ironically support my argument. My point was that younger men are more likely to start working at a lower salary to progress up the carer structure; whereas younger women often go in for a job that is better paid (only slightly, not even Raab says it is a lot) but are not likely to see this rise as it’s not a career, the company are not investing in the worker as they can just replace them; but a man is more likely to be invested in by a company as they are less likely to have the interruptions of childcare etc that even Jim admits women are more likely to experience. Again, this goes back to the root causes of women’s inequality. There are also problems with women having to gain more skills than men to get these higher wages.
Why is it that when a man tries to highlight the plight of men you must constantly drag the focus on women?
Well, that’s simple. I relate to women because Dominic Raab was talking about men to women. It is rather hard to talk about men’s position without a relative comparison!
The reason a woman may or may not do more (you provided no evidence..) is because they do not work as much as men so of course have more time available to do so. Do you expect men (who work longer hours) to also contribute to 50% of the housework??
Many women volunteer because they are BORED. Boredom is a LUXURY most men do not have.
If Jim needs me to provide evidence that women do more housework then it just shows how ignorant he is to the literature on this topic. I agree, men are beginning to do more housework; as i stated at the end of my blog, times are changing; but women are predominately the ones expected to stay at home and do the housework. And look, again, the stereotypical argument that women choose to do the housework (some do, mind). How naive. Does Jim question why women are less likely to work? No. I will never have kids because I don’t want to be subjected to the belief I have to stay at home and look after the kids whilst the man goes out to work and ‘supports’ me. Nor would I expect my partner to do the same. Boredom is not a luxury, I hate boredom and I know many who do. Many women would be love to be working but simply do not have the resources to do so.
Jim reiterates previous complaints:
God. You are forever shifting the focus from men to women. OK. Women living longer. How is this discrimination? How about the FACT that the government spends much, much more money on women’s cancers than men’s?
Cancer in general is a health concern for men and women alike. Furthermore, things such as lung cancer that Jim cites are not only suffered by men; I would never just say that breast cancer or cervical cancer is what we should focus upon, nor would I say that to be true for prostate cancer; it is important for research to look into tackling all forms of cancer. This again reverts to my central point; feminists want equality between men and women, and as i stated in my blog, I recognise men experience inequality and as I argued (but Jim has ignored), this should be part of the feminist movement.
God, Im getting bored now. Im supposed to FEEL SORRY for women who have outlived men. Im sorry. I always believed it was better to be than not to be. Those poor women. They have lost their cash cow, I mean workhorse, sorry I mean husband (he had the cheek to die..) and now they struggle on with LIFE while their husband rots in the ground. They are the ones hard done by indeed…. I cant be bothered to go on with that. You are beyond help.
It’s nothing about cash cows. I never want to be dependent on a man (nor a woman, for that matter) for making a living, precisely why I don’t want to have kids. But why should I have to deny myself kids because of that? Is it because women are more likely to suffer from the unequal childcare arrangements, the insecurity and the stops and starts this brings to their work undermining their ability to build up a pension and savings? Is it because women have to deal with the prejudice of men such as Jim, and this biological assumption that women should stay at home and look after the children?
I think men such as Jim need to stop complaining about how hard done by men are and actually put their feelings into actions. There are some legitimate grievances of Jim’s I recognise. I agree, the feminist movement does need to become more receptive to the inequalities men suffer from. But why don’t people like Jim put their words into actions and initiate a movement for changing these inequalities? Especially if they hate feminism so much.
Feminism is a movement primarily for and by women, there is no doubt about that after all it is about reversing a legacy of oppression against women. But, as I have stated, this does not mean that feminism is not working towards equality for both sexes of which many men take part in creating. Not all feminists are man-haters. Some are, granted. But the majority work for a society where women and men can have equality. Jim should consider becoming more receptive to both sides of the argument and help fight for the injustices that face both women and men.