Women Scared of the Big Issues?
Labour MP Austin Mitchell Says Women Shy Away From ‘Big Issues’
Austin Mitchell has suggested that women prefer to discuss family and “social issues” rather than “big issues like ‘should we invade Iraq?’.”
The veteran Labour MP, who is standing down next year, made his controversial remarks as he told BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour why he did not think it was a good thing for there to be more women in Parliament.
“I think the problem is simply this, that parliament with more women is going to be more anxious to discuss issues relevant to the people, that is to say family issues, social issues,” he said. “And less inclined to discuss big issues like should we invade Iraq.”
It is fortunate that this elderly dinosaur is moving on to a place outside the public eye. But his belief is not uncommon and that takes us to business ethics.
How can women be treated with some level of equality when in the minds of many men they have the “wrong” priorities. And what do we mean by wrong? Are family and social issues unimportant or are they just less important to men?
Do women have different perspectives than men about what are important issues? Election year polling certainly indicates this. It may be assumed that reproductive capacity, a comparative lack of testosterone and mistreatment in the workplace would have an effect on a person’s judgment. But does that mean that women’s judgment is worse or just different?
If the contention is that the big significant issues are all about wars, conflict and death – and that is where males excel, there is really something unflattering about that. That is not much of an excuse to massage male pride. And the idea that family and social issues are background concerns that males have “appropriately” relegated to the backburner is not an edifying concept either.
What our misguided parliamentarian seems to be saying in essence is that males have a much better grasp of the ways of violence and that violence related issues are more important than women’s concerns like family and education. It’s a stereotype similar to the caveman concept where the man hunts and the woman takes care of the children, sews skins together and develops agriculture.
Perhaps as a nation we can do some reflection and if we do, I’m sure we’ll find that war and social issues can be successfully and intelligently debated by both men and women, and that each sex having a say will make for a fuller and better understanding of these issues.
Supporting Evidence – below:
Women Get Much More Negative Feedback In Their Reviews | ThinkProgress
Seventy-one percent of the reviews had critical feedback, but women got more of it: about 88 percent of women’s reviews had criticism, versus about 60 percent of men’s. On top of this, critical feedback given to men was “heavily geared towards suggestions for additional skills to develop,” she writes. For women, on the other hand, much of it focused on their personalities. Seventy-one of the 94 critical reviews had such personality-based feedback, compared to just two of the 83 critical reviews for men.
I think this is clear evidence that women are judged on a different set of standards that their male counterparts.
Women Executives Are Stuck In Jobs That Don’t Lead To CEO | ThinkProgress
Women hold just 24 of the top roles the 500 companies on Standard & Poor’s index, and they still hold less than 15 percent of the CEO positions at Fortune 500 companies and less than 17 percent of board roles. Last year was the fourth year with no improvement for CEO positions and the eighth with no change in board positions.
Women are relegated away from the corridors of power on a consistent basis.