This week the Fawcett Society published an equal pay report. ‘Women currently earn, on average, £2.53 less per hour than men do’ we are told, because of the “gender pay gap.” Notice how the feminists must call it a ‘gender pay gap’ and not pay discrimination because cases of paying women less for the same work as men are rare indeed.
That is not to say that it never happens and I am willing to accept that dismissal and/or discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy may occur all too frequently. But the gender pay gap is spun so that we are to believe that women are still discriminated against in favour of men. They are not, and in fact women in their twenties out earn men by a very small amount.
Sadly, this seems lost on the feminists who are heavily invested in their own victimhood. The Fawcett society, Woman’s Hour and the World Economic Forum measure women in isolation from their family. As such, they have us believe that Rwanda is a great place to live if you are a women, but in the UK women face discrimination.
So women who are caring for their families and living a comfortable middle class life are oppressed. But our Rwandan sisters who earn on average $1,200 per year while labouring in fields or factories are the big winners. This is the kind of garbage we have to put up with from the mainstream media every day. The feminists are so invested in the victimhood that all logic and reason is cast aside.
The obsession with ‘equal pay’ is so intense that Jessica Valenti has proposed paying men less than women for the same work.
No hiding or dressing it up as ‘affirmative action’; just straightforward discrimination against men. This – being actual discrimination as opposed to the feminist invented fantasy kind – is unlawful so good luck with that. Still it just demonstrates the craziness that pervades the sisterhood.
What the feminist victimhood industry relies upon is ignoring women’s preferences. The equality project is measured only by women’s efforts in the public sphere – especially paid work - therefore any effort in the private sphere, including caring for children or parents, comes to zero. As such, despite huge strides by women, as many still do express preferences to care at some point in their lifespan, the (public) equality spreadsheet is doomed to fail.
There is a further catch. The feminists now like to obsess over what occupations women work in. So teaching and nursing are out, but mergers and acquisition, private equity and engineering is in. Once again I had the misfortune of hearing the usual Women’s Hour moaning about the lack of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.
Now I like STEM subjects on a personal basis – I was far stronger at them than languages but ultimately read law at degree level. Should I therefore be shamed for abandoning my natural talent in the sciences because I found law more interesting? According to the feminists – yes. But the feminist hypocrisy is startling as most of the insufferable carping comes from those who would not dream of taking a STEM subject themselves.
Nicky Morgan, as Minister for Women and Equalities, likes to wax on about this. She enjoyed the sciences so much and thought them so important for the good of the country that she studied law at University.
Liz Truss is another – she did in fact study maths at A-level and PPE at Oxford. As such you can find her somewhere in a lab working on a cure for cancer. No hang on, that is not right. She went into politics, abandoning what could have been a promising career in mathematics.
The unbalanced one Nick Clegg also thinks STEM subjects are important for the nation. He so made it his personal mission to fulfil this obligation to pursue STEM at university that he studied archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge. I would like to see him crack the genome code with that one.
Finally, we must not overlook the hard-core feminists who spend years studying ‘gender studies’ and then leave university bemoaning the lack of female engineers. And they do this without a drop of irony over the fact that they themselves have contributed to this terrible ‘shortage’. Only there is no such shortage as plenty of men do it, but this is not good enough for the great equality spreadsheet in the sky.
This is what feminism looks like today - relentlessly negative. It involves repeated shaming of women’s life choices if they impact on the gender genie. Feminists do not actually care about women themselves, they only care about the abstract ‘equality project’, which is defined in traditional men’s terms and sets women up to fail. Three cheers for the sisterhood!