If you’re looking for relentlessly whining women prepared – nay, keen – to play the ‘victim card’ at the drop of a hat 24/7/365, the ladies at the Fawcett Society should be high on your list. Though why you might be looking for such women, heaven only knows. A diagnosis of masochism would surely be in order.
So what have the Fawcett ladies got their knickers in a twist about now? In the final months of the last Labour administration, feminist Labour MPs finalised the Equality Bill (2010). It would be difficult to imagine a more left-wing and anti-male piece of legislation. Within weeks of attaining power in May 2010 David Cameron did two things that must have delighted militant feminists such as Harriet Harman:
– he appointed Lord Davies of Abersoch, a Labour peer, to write a report making recommendations on how (not whether) to increase the proportion of women in senior positions in the public and private sectors; and
– he passed the Equality Bill into law, with very minor modifications.
Almost two-thirds of public sector employees are women, and this has been the case for many years. In the interests of equality, therefore, it would surely be fair for the public sector to favour men over women in terms of recruitment and promotion, especially given men largely finance the public sector, collectively paying 72% of the income tax collected in the UK while women collectively pay just 28%.
We know unemployment is a bigger risk factor for men than women, and three times more men than women commit suicide in the UK. So any drive to favour women over men in employment terms would inevitably contribute to the male suicide rate. Surely the state wouldn’t pursue policy directions which would lead to men killing themselves, would it? A rhetorical question, of course. It would and does in this area and many others e.g. denying fathers reasonable access to their children following relationship breakdowns, virtually non-existent support for male victims of domestic abuse…
In the Equality Act (2010) is the nefarious ‘public sector equality duty’ – PSED. It permits public sector bodies to favour women as a ‘disadvantaged group’ – seriously , I’m not making this stuff up – over men in recruitment and promotion, despite women already outnumbering men in the public sector almost 2:1.
The coalition government is reviewing the PSED, and this is what has got the Fawcett ladies’ knickers in a twist, as reported in the Guardian. The link to the article was contained in an email sent to Fawcett supporters a little over an hour ago. One of those (lady) supporters perhaps doesn’t support Fawcett as much as Fawcett might think she does, because she forwarded the email on to me. Now here’s an odd thing, which the estimable lady spotted. My name’s in the middle of the URL. Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you…
Clearly a female: male employee ratio of 2:1 in the public sector isn’t high enough for the Fawcett ladies. Let’s hope the coalition scraps the PSED, and earns some appreciation from us as a result. But I very much doubt they’ll scrap it, I regret to say. Everything the coalition has done since May 2010, where legislation or guidance impacts differentially on the genders, has been pro-female and anti-male.