There are a lot of things that annoy me about the whinging feminists, but the two biggies are the incessant complaining about how a) men don’t do enough childcare and b) ‘the workplace is designed by men for men.’ In fact, men now do more childcare than ever but, of course, it is never enough. The feminists have figured out that there are only two ways of upping the numbers and that is by nagging the men into submission, or essentially bribing them to do it – with the State’s money.
Anyway, the nagging does not seem to be going so well, leading to more women freezing their eggs. “A shortage of men prepared to commit to hands-on fatherhood is driving more highly educated women to freeze their eggs, a study has found.”
So I wish the feminists luck with the nagging campaign.
They other issue is this hogwash about the workplace being designed by men. The workplace is designed by the market – which includes women, who no doubt love making demanding claims on workers, such as the delivery man who brings the shop at 8 pm.
I guess the feminists only want their own workplace to be family friendly, but everything else must be convenient for them. The truth is the workplace has thus far promoted specialisation and excellence, resulting in huge improvements to everyone’s living conditions.
Take Johan Norberg in his new book Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future (published by Oneworld at £16.99). He informs us that “despite what we hear, the great story of our era is that we are witnessing the greatest improvement in global living standards ever. Poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, child labour and infant mortality are falling faster than at any other time in human history.” Yes they have, and much of it was driven by male ambition and endeavour.
Further, Steven Horwitz at the IEA explains it was “the markets that humanised us”, creating unbelievable progress, including liberating children from the labour market. He explains, “The wealth produced by capitalism allowed us to indulge our humanitarianism in ways not possible when so many were living on the edge of survival.”
It is these truths we should keep in mind when reading the typical feminist whinges that the reason women do not dominate the boardroom is because of ‘working conditions designed by men.’ The reality it that humankind, and women in particular, have benefited hugely from these working conditions that were developed to promote specialisation in a particular sphere with the intent of improving conditions for us all.
Previous to the Industrial Revolution, not only were women toiling in the fields – but their children were also. Women and children then got ‘promoted’ to working in factories in dangerous conditions. But as male endeavours progressed, motivated in a large part to excel and prove themselves in the public sphere, children and then women were liberated from these dangers.
What happened then was unique in human industry – the home became more and more a place where children could be cared for and nurtured for longer and longer. Middle-class women, at least, could spend time caring for their children and educating them. The home became a refuge. This specialisation in non-paid labour greatly improved the lives of children, creating the protected period we now take for granted – childhood.
Meanwhile, men were supported to specialise in the public sphere and improve life for everyone. Although it may have been difficult for individuals, overall it was an efficient way to organise society for the benefit of all.
In industry and medicine the transformation was exceptional. Even if these were ‘working conditions created by men’ we all benefited. In the field of medicine alone, it was male devotion and specialisation that produced penicillin (Sir Alexander Fleming), and the epidural (Fidel Pagés Miravé). Ferdinand Adolf Kehrer performed the first modern Caesarean section, a procedure that went on to save the lives of millions of women in the West. That is the horror of a ‘workplace designed by men for the convenience of men.’
What this really means is a workplace that encourages excellence. All in all, a simple thank you from the feminists you would be sufficient.
So can we all just take a moment, please, to remember how far humanity has come; the liberation from farm and factory and where childbirth is not longer a potential death sentence. So much of this was down to the efforts of men and specialisation in the public sphere, which gave women the time and space to devote their energies to caring for children, an immense task once afforded great respect.