8 Mar 2020 – noon GMT – 7°C Mostly Cloudy – Co. Longford, Ireland
Ireland had a general election recently. Moribund policies in discussion that brought about the election include housing, healthcare and pensions. The twelve-year economic recovery is not perceived as benefiting the majority of society that are working so hard to sustain it. And now an electorate desperate for change has voted into a position of strength a group that we suspected are run by an army council of shadow players.
However to focus on these issues is to miss a point. These issues may not be as important as one fundamental problem.
I think the real problem is gender inequality. I think that if this country (world) is to seriously address the majority of the issues that the politicians talk about, the best way to approach it is to invert the challenge pile. And by inverting the pile I mean take the undiscussed gender inequality issue and make it the primary focus. Either we are born equal or we are not. Either we want equal opportunity or we do not. Either we want social mobility or we do not. Either we want separation of church and state or we do not.
As I made my view known, one person said that she had given up her work because she needed to earn 35,000 a year just to pay for childcare. I noted that she said ‘I’ rather than ‘we’ need which tells me so much about the waste of talent and ambition and drive in this one woman.
There are other stories out there about the hordes of women trapped into unrecognised care roles. You know these women. They are your sisters and your daughters for whom these roles are harder to accept than for your wife, mother and grander-mothers. So no need to repeat the stories here. Sometimes one example is enough to show how biased society is.
When I mention that one of our daughters makes 90 cent per hour after child care, men typically tell me that’s a better take home than their wives or their sisters. Imagine that; the metric for a successful working thirty-something woman is 90 cent per hour.
If I was an activist, I’d call for the so-called unemployed women to demand the government guarantee them the minimum wage as a direct payment into a bank account else I’d want the women to withhold their labour for two weeks. To not free women from financial control is to accept it and that condemns them to gender slavery. Gender inequality starts at conception, the male escaping slavery solely because a Y chromosome meets an X. Britain ruled the waves using a chronometer and raised an empire with slavery, a trading nation like the Romans and Vikings before them. This is 2020. Enough.
We give wheelchair access to mobility-impaired people. What will we give to those who are social-mobility-impaired?
We need to talk about XX. Luckily, I’m off towards Rome. Maybe someone from The Vatican could prepare to meet and discuss gender equality?
Perhaps I could meet Femen in France. Leader Inna Shevchenko lives there because she’s not popular at home in Moscow.
The world celebrated International Women’s Day today: gender equality was the theme. That sounds great but inequality is the problem, equality the aspiration. You go to the doctor with an infection, you don’t expect to be given a fitness regime.