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HomeLaura PerrinsLaura Perrins: Female quotas serve only mediocre women

Laura Perrins: Female quotas serve only mediocre women


The wretched feminists get everywhere. They have marched through the institutions; they took over Amnesty and now they have a grip on Oxfam of all places. That is the last time I will ever buy a goat.

There was an item on Woman’s Hour so immoral it is difficult to know where to begin.

Sally Copley, Oxfam’s Head of UK Policy, told us, “Oxfam is a feminist organisation.” A sad demise, I am sure you will agree.

Truly this interview, from the terms of the debate, to the tone, to the themes, was a materclass in presenting feminist ideology as neutral fact. Not a single feminist orthodoxy or illogical statement was challenged.

Claire Melamed, Director of Poverty and Inequality at the Overseas Development Institute, as well as Ms Copley and of course Jenni Murray, think that the middle class housewife in comfortable suburbia who happens to care for her children and do housework is just as oppressed as the women in Vietnam who must leave their babies unattended in filthy cots to work in the fields all day.

When discussing the women of Vietnam no one seemed to ask the question, where are all the men? Why aren’t they providing for their family? Perhaps they are working in the fields also, but no one seemed to care to ask. I’d like to know.

The solution, of course, was to put the children in crèches, which granted is better than alone in their cots all day. And what happened to the women? Oh, they remained in the fields working for probably less than a dollar a day.

So Oxfam’s idea of poverty alleviation is to provide crèches so women can slog in a field, just like we used to do here in pre-industrial Britain. Hurray!

No, what these women need are first, the men to provide financially and second, to be liberated from the fields. What they need is an industrial revolution something that rich, Western hippie environmentalists like to deny them.

Further, as this is Woman’s Hour, the prospect that middle class women might choose to look after their children and thus reduce their ‘earning power’ was the worst thing in the world. This was ‘structural inequality.’ This ubiquitous phrase is just feminist-speak for denying women agency if they happen to make decisions that go against the feminist norms. In addition, the fact that these women have men who were willing to provide and protect them was not mentioned at all.

In order to rebalance all of this and achieve ‘parity’ (i.e sameness) the feminists campaign for much more government meddling. A good example is the demand for quotas that only ever serve the agenda of an elite group of women.

This used to be called ‘discrimination’ but somehow just by the power of using the fandangled word quota this illegal discrimination becomes legal. It is legal because it is discrimination against men and if it can be against white men then so much the better.

We know quotas are discriminatory because it allows for less able women to be chosen over men. If it did not allow for this then you could not increase the number of women in any particular area and quotas are pointless.

So, if there is a board and you must have four out of 10 women – if three are there by ability then the last one must be a woman even if there is a better-qualified man. Choosing someone less qualified because of his or her gender is discrimination – only not if you call it a quota.

The alpha males at the very top of the tree will go along with this, not because they believe in it, but because they need to do so to stay at the top of the tree. It is the rest of us – served by mediocre women benefiting from ‘positive discrimination’ that will suffer.

But sure who cares about the rest of us? Certainly not the elite.

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