There was a prominent story in The Australian yesterday that would have grabbed a fair bit of attention.
Its headline screamed, “Businessmen say women lack ambition”.
Then, a little further down, was this actual quote:
“Women’s “lack of ambition’’ was blamed by 19 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women, in the poll of 1000 professionals by workplace consultant Positive Leaders.”
So what this means is that the vast majority of men surveyed don’t believe women lack ambition at all. And the small minority of men that do are fairly well matched with women who believe the same thing themselves.
Given this, I’ll let you decide whether the poll results warranted the attention-grabbing title.
But in fairness to the journalist, Natasha Bita, it’s often the editors who write the headline. She was also the only journalist who was brave enough last year to report on the evidence produced on this website proving that parental leave is being paid out for abortions after 20 week’s gestation. So she does deserve some slack.
Anyway, my interest in this story was not so much what the headline said, but what the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, had to say below it.
And on the topic of the workforce, she spoke thus:
“The system has been designed with men in mind.”
This is probably the first time in my life I have been in whole-hearted agreement with Ms Broderick.
Yes. The workforce and work and companies and business and everything that goes with it has been designed for men. I agree wholeheartedly. How astute of this esteemed woman.
Unfortunately, our short-lived mutual concurrence ended there because the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner also had this to say:
“It’s that model that needs to change — not the women.”
And this is where all sensible people beg to differ.
The world of work has been designed for men because it is a male-dominated environment. And it will always be a male-dominated environment for a very good reason: ambitious women are often too busy with the far more important task of creating the next generation to waste their time in a dingy office meeting some relatively unimportant deadline.
To put it another way, males are just not equipped to carry a pregnancy, give birth, or breast feed. That also means their ‘careers’ are not ‘disrupted’ to the same extent as women. That’s why men do better at work than women.
Complaining about the male-dominated workforce is like complaining about too much oestrogen in a maternity ward.
Yes, there is room for males in the birthing suite, but they will always play second-fiddle to women because that is just the way things are. And although there are notable exceptions in the workplace, men will always rule the roost there.
There’s no point arguing about this general fact of life. There’s no point complaining. And it is absurdly ridiculous to try and change the ‘work system’ when the ‘womb system’ cannot be modified. Especially when people like Ms Broderick bluntly demand that women remain unchanged.
And you can call me a traditionalist, or a male chauvinist pig, or a sayer of sensible truths for pointing out this fact of life. I really don’t care. Whatever I am labelled, it will make no difference to reality.
This does not mean that men are better than women, nor does it mean women are more worthy. It just means that they complement each other. Furthermore, I am not suggesting for a second that women shouldn’t have jobs or that they can’t contribute in the workplace. Individually they can and do. Nor am I saying that every woman should be raising children.
But collectively, women are in the baby business. It’s something that they deserve much more credit for. And it is precisely for this reason that they should be well educated. Intelligent mums are the best things for little bubs.
This point is worth labouring.
Our entire society’s future is based on the sacrifice that women make to have children.
And I’m glad that Commissioner Elizabeth doesn’t want women to change because if they stopped doing this, the world would literally end. In about 80 years.
Actually, that’s pretty much what is happening in Japan. It is simply shutting down. And much of the rest of the world is following in its footsteps.
When societies collapse, economies fail. And in today’s material world where everyone is a material girl, that’s really all that anyone seems to care about.
Which is also absurd.
Getting upset about a broken economy when society is imploding around you is like complaining about the lack of food service from the stewards on a 747 with an engine fire.
And pretending that incentives encouraging women into the workforce will address the problem of the ageing population is like arguing that borrowing to pay the interest bills is a good idea.
In a society that no longer believes children are priceless, it’s going to be hard to keep them coming. But it would help if an economic value was placed on motherhood. It’s basically the only thing in the world that is considered worthless.
Here’s two very quick but depressing examples.
Mothers who stay home to raise their children are deemed to be without value. But childcare workers have unions and strikes and wage rises and rallies. Their efforts are included in GDP.
And mothers who stay home to give the next generation the very best chance are scorned. But the emissions a cow makes in some dusty paddock are calculated, valued and monetised.
It’s pretty insulting.
When motherhood is undervalued, by extension women are too. They are treated like slaves.
And that’s exactly what the maternity leave scheme does. It treats women like cogs who should breed in their spare time and then get back to work.
The Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner should think about that. And also about whether the undoubted talent, ambition and intelligence of women is best served by forcing them to compete with men in a male-dominated environment.
There is no dignity in this.
Furthermore, Australia would be much better off if women were truly given the freedom and support to choose whether they want to use their skills and ambition climbing the corporate tree, or put them to use building a family tree.