Maybe we don't need a solution to 'gender inequity'
I recently watched two online video presentations about gender inequity (here and here). There are many others, but I stopped there. Both of them are informative and, I think, well-meaning, but they have two glaring defects. They approach the issue, first, as if it were a problem and, second, as if the so-called problem can be solved. These criticisms may sound narrow-minded, but until we dare to venture into forbidden territory, matters will get only worse.
Let me emphasize that the subject here is not sexual harassment, the boorish practice that unjustly causes suffering, oftentimes in the workplace. The accused perpetrators here are not of the Harvey Weinstein ilk. Indeed, to their credit, the speakers in these videos are not accusing anyone of such crimes.
Instead, they are grudgingly acknowledging that, for decades now, there has been progress, at least in terms of social awareness. They use numbers. A large percentage of Americans now view gender inequity as a real thing. Many, if not most, regard it as unfair, and many demand solutions, ranging from re-education of men to enforced quotas and wage standards.
Despite all that supposed progress, women, who are fifty-one percent of the population, continue to occupy only a small proportion of positions considered important, such as top corporate offices and seats in Congress. There remains a supposed pay gap (which is disputed once the numbers are run). Feminists have been maddeningly frustrated by the persistence of these statistics.
The frustration feminists feel has forced them to re-evaluate: just what the problem is, what are its causes, and how to solve it. Their evaluations fail in all three.
The reason for that triple-failure is obvious: censorship. Those who accurately identify the primary factors of concern are punished when they point them out and have been punished consistently for decades. The emperor’s clothes are just fine, damn you, and how dare you say otherwise?
Even staunch pro-feminist liberals are canceled whenever they step outside the narrow orthodoxy that insanely declares that “anything a man can do, a woman can also” and that, therefore, fifty-one percent of all categories should be occupied by women. Even Harvard University president Lawrence Summers, strongly liberal, was removed from his position after suggesting, in a 2005 speech, “that the under-representation of women in science and engineering could be due to a 'different availability of aptitude at the high end,' and less to patterns of discrimination and socialization.” The “availability,” he pointed out, is due to the fact that a great many high-caliber women prefer careers other than in science and engineering, even when they are encouraged in that direction. Such heresy could not be tolerated.
What the feminists are saying now is that we are, all of us, unconsciously biased. That is true, except in my case, in which the bias is conscious. For example, I strongly object to the policy of lowering the standards of physical fitness in the military to accommodate women. As unfair as high standards are to the women, lowering them is grossly unfair to the widows and orphans of those who will die in combat as a result.
Unconscious bias is deeply ingrained, so deeply that removing it will not only be nearly impossible but be harmful to society. I have been castigated in online discussions where I affirmed that there are such things as “the good and natural differences between the sexes and that these differences should be recognized in law.”
The harm includes the ludicrous result of feminist self-contradiction — for example, in the current controversy over so-called “transgender” men competing in women’s athletic events, a practice that discriminates against the very women that feminists fought so hard to protect in Title IX legislation. Legislation has been proposed to remedy this feminist discrimination against women, but leftists strongly oppose such remedies. Have we gone through the looking glass?
Most social problems are easily and quickly solved, at least as far as the “low-hanging fruit” is concerned. After that, what is left are the difficult problems, the intractable issues, where the cure is worse than the ailment. We are cutting the foot to fit the shoe.
We have reached the stage in which we are identifying nature itself as the problem — for example, genetics — and proposing unnatural solutions, such as indoctrination or surgery. As the saying goes, one must not fool with Mother Nature. The consequences are disastrous.
Image via Pixabay.
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