In a blog last week I explained how the feminists were irritated by the fact that boys and men remain ambitious in the face of feminism and thus the gender pay gap could remain for decades to come. I pondered solutions: ‘What shall we do? Maybe we should go full Egyptian Pharaoh on the boys, those nasty, ambitious boys with their risk-taking.’ At the time, I knew I was being slightly bombastic but it seems I was not that far off the mark after all. It seems that for some feminists every genocide has a silver lining.
On Netflix there is a short series that ‘explains’ various issues, one of which is the gender pay gap. In this 18-minute programme, Hillary Clinton and Anne-Marie Slaughter explain the stubborn pay gap between man and women. I did not disagree with much of their analysis – they admitted most of it was due to the fact that women still have children and many want to care for them. The pay gap was mainly due to a ‘motherhood penalty’, and not discrimination (although some residual discrimination against women remains, something I also agree with). I did disagree with them about the underlying assumption that mothers caring for their children is a bad thing and how realistic it is to assume that there can be a straight swap of roles between men and women.
This was not caught what my eye, however. The feminists did offer two countries that are shining lights when it comes to closing the gender pay gap. Can you guess them? The first is Rwanda and the second is Iceland. Let’s take Rwanda first.
Woman have made huge strides in Rwanda – they have surged into the work force and are a majority in Parliament. This is indeed good news. But do you know why this is the case, why Rwanda flipped from a society with a very strict gender roles along traditional lines to a feminist utopia? Yes, you guessed it – the genocide of 1994 where in about 100 days an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed, constituting an estimated 70 per cent of the Tutsi population. Numbers have been difficult to pin down but the programme accepted that the majority of those killed were men, and as such with this shortage of men it left a gap for women to enter traditional male roles and thus close the pay gap. So according to the feminists, every cloud has a silver lining . . .
The second country offered up as an example we could all follow is Iceland, which after implementing various policies has also managed drastically to reduce its gender pay gap.
That’s not the only thing that has reduced however – so have live births. This piece tells me that Iceland enjoyed its lowest fertility rate ever in 2017. Ever! I am sure there is no connection between feminist government policy that seeks to dictate to men and women how they should run their lives and a collapsing birth rate.
In Iceland there were 4,071 live births which is a fertility rate of 1.71, well below the 2.1 replacement rate. So sure, in the next 30 years the gender pay gap could close, but what happens to Iceland in the 30 years after that with this kind of fertility rate is anybody’s guess.
There we are, folks: Rwanda or Iceland. The choice of feminist utopia is yours.