Female Labour and Lib Dem MPs are among the whiniest feminists in the UK – in the world, come to that – and in recent times we’ve presented awards to several of them: Yvette Cooper, Gloria De Piero, and of course that perennial whiner, Harriet Harman, one of only two Harpy Lifetime Achievement Award winners, the other being Germaine Greer. When considering the contenders for this month’s Whiny Feminist of the Month award, an obvious one was Meg Hillier MP, who suggested that more women would cycle if they could ‘pootle along’ in slow cycle lanes – here. Ms Hillier was selected as a parliamentary candidate from an all-women shortlist – what are the chances? And you have to ask, what was the calibre of the women who lost to her?
Ms Hillier hadn’t come to our attention before that story, but our award winner has been on our ‘radar’ for some time. Jo Swinson is a Lib Dem MP, the Employment Relations and Junior Equalities Minister. In 2012 she gave evidence to a House of Lords inquiry, uttering vacuous nonsense in support of the government’s bullying of companies into appointing more women onto their boards, despite offering no evidence to indicate corporate performance might be expected to improve as a result. Our comments on her contribution, and a link to the minutes of the inquiry, can be found here.
Ms Swinson wins this month’s award on the strength of her whining about ‘pregnancy discrimination’ – the perfectly reasonable reluctance of employers to hire women of childbearing years, or promote them to senior roles, given how onerous employment legislation is with respect to women who have children. Kathy Gyngell of Conservative Woman wrote an excellent piece on the matter, a link to which can be found on Ms Swinson’s award certificate.
We were impressed by comments posted by Herbery Purdy in response to Kathy Gyngell’s article. Mr Purdy writes a ‘must read’ blog. His comments take up the remainder of this blog piece:
“Pregnancy discrimination is illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable.” Really?
But pregnancy discrimination is entirely to be expected because it is based on common sense, a commodity that is signally lacking in so-called liberal thought nowadays. The fundamental spirit of freedom with responsibility tempered with a sense of social justice, those enlightened aims of eighteenth century liberalism has morphed into just ‘right-on’ repetition of mindless mantras in the hands of women like Jo Swinson.
In an age of equality, Swinson’s argument is hollow. Equal women cannot have freedom of self-determination without shouldering the yoke of moral responsibility that comes with their freedom. What she is advocating is a charter for cheats.
In an age of equality, there is a good case – a common sense, balanced and just case (indeed a liberal case) to throw out the present legislation and require able young career women to step up to their basic responsibilities as players in the means of economic production. They should give their employer a legal undertaking (as part of their employment contract) not to become pregnant for a set period following the commencement of their employment, or upon promotion or re-deployment with that employer. After all, pregnancy is no longer out of a woman’s control. It is a matter of personal choice. Ten years would not be unreasonable for a young twenty-year-old.
Should a woman become pregnant during her contractual period, she would be held to have reneged on her contract. Any obligations her employer had toward her contractually would legally cease and the employer would be free, without penalty to re-recruit. It is nonsense to hold an employer responsible for women’s life choices.
It is about time that women assumed the mantle of moral agency that comes with liberation, and eschewed the intellectually and morally corrupt thinking that women like Swinson spout. It is as threadbare as the ideology upon which it is predicated.
The Swinsons of this world, her counterparts in the Labour Party, that bastion of feminism, and, indeed, those in the Conservative Party (and not all of them female, if you know what I mean?), need to wake up to the stark, and for them, no doubt, surreal reality that they are not only on the wrong side of common sense, they are also on the wrong side of history. Their thinking is flawed and patently weak because it is based on dogma, not discernment; on mantra, not mental rigour.
They need to take the red pill and see that people, men and women, cannot have the privileges that women demand in the name of social justice, without also balancing those privileges with social responsibility.