Gender inequalities can be political, economical, social, religious, cultural and more. It’s one of those topics that is so boundless it’s hard to know where to even start to form an opinion.
My meandering thoughts on feminism and equality have never really ceased to ebb and flow.
All you can do is crumble it down into meaningful grains, draw from your own experiences and keep your thoughts open to change.
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT
I get it that in the past we, the ones with vaginas, have not had equal rights compared to them, the ones with the penises. And I have nothing but admiration for the people who’ve made big things happen.
The Suffragettes winning our vote, Simone de Beauvoir for scribbling up on the divide and Rita O’Grady for rallying the women at Ford to fight for equal pay. Heroes.
But I also get there’s still a lot left to be done. For everyone.
In an ideal world, we’d be able wipe the slate clean and start over with a simple word that covers it all – Equality.
Back to reality…In October last year, the a report was published that the BBC were paying their females 9.3% less than their males. So equal pay is all over the headlines right now, and given I’m looking to take a new role overseas, this topic is very much all up in my cerebrum.
JORDAN PETERSON ON EQUAL PAY
There’s a pretty famous and absolutely brilliant debate between the somewhat controversial, clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson and Channel 4 news presenter, Cathy Newman.
They’re talking through some supposedly controversial comments he’s made recently and debating the notion that there may not be a gap at all.
Cathy’s approach is aggressive. She doesn’t listen. She puts words in his mouth. And she also makes a comment using the phrase “have to wear the trousers“. All of which to me does not scream equality.
Hands down to Peterson for how he handles her.
It’s no wonder feminists can sometimes be branded Feminazis if this is the approach they take.
In most organisations, there’s the obvious approach of role-related pay. It means that people, regardless of gender, who are doing the same role, should be receiving pay within a particular pay band. If you’ve got the right skills, the right experience and you’re determined enough, then you’ll be at the top end of the bracket. I think this approach is completely fair – and it has nothing to do with genitals.
I’m not sure if the statistics and stories behind that 9.3% stack up. If it’s a case that they’re doing different roles then that “fact” is totally flawed. If it’s because there are more males in senior positions, then again, it’s not a valid comparison of pay.
WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE
Peterson says that child-rearing can be one of the main reasons there are more men at the top.
He talks about the fact between the age of 28 and 32 a lot of women have a career vs family crises. I’m going to vouch for this, less so for myself but definitely for people around me.
I’ve know plenty of hard-working female directors who have children and I know stay-at-home dads. I’ve seen people rush into loveless and lustless relationships, marriages, popping out kids with the wrong person. I know people who are freezing their eggs. I know people who have been adamant they never want children since they were a child themselves. And I’ve seen people miss the cut-off and have to channel all of their love even more so into their careers, whilst wishing they could turn back their biological clocks.
All things considered I don’t think it’s impossible to choose both. Yes there will always be an element of compromise, but if you want both things so much then I’m pretty sure you can make them happen.
CHROMOSOMES & CHARACTERS
Anyway, Peterson goes on to make a load of solid points on personality types.
Cathy argues that he’s generalising but a) he’s a clinical psychologist, that’s what they have to do to draw conclusions from analyses and b) realistically it’s what we all do to form opinions. And while our IQs are on par, it’s quite clear to anybody that there are personality traits that are generally XY, and others that are generally XX.
Stereotypically, men are more competitive and less agreeable. And again, generally, these are characteristics of people who succeed in getting to the top of the career ladder.
I’m pretty sure there are a lot of other generalised traits too – he mentions intelligence and conscientiousness but I’d like to think having a positive outlook is also on the list.
So if what we want is genuine equal pay and women at the top, then we probably need to do less talking and just make it happen. Know your worth and make sure you’re remunerated for it.
show me the mother fucking money