to wonder if women

(105 Posts)
Coldlightofday Tue 28-Jan-14 19:56:06

will ever, ever be truly equal.

Because sometimes if seems as though we still live in a patriarchal society, that the glass ceiling is still there in the workplace and that some men (and indeed some women) are guilty of the most outrageous attitudes towards women, work, parenthood.

It makes me sad and angry in equal measure.

Coldlightofday Tue 28-Jan-14 20:00:42

<coughs sadly, but also angrily>

Grennie Tue 28-Jan-14 20:02:00

I don't know. I hope so, but I am not totally convinced.

HoratiaDrelincourt Tue 28-Jan-14 20:02:51

I think we will get closer and closer, but the fact remains that only women gestate, labour and lactate. Even getting that down to the only difference, and medicating/managing pregnancy to be as undisruptive as possible and the recovery as quick as possible, it will still be a difference.

Because even if men end up as likely to take a family career break, they will still never be pregnant, and that tiny difference (though defining and fundamental) will cause the 0.0001% inequality.

TalisaMaegyr Tue 28-Jan-14 20:04:17

We will never be equal. Because it is ingrained in some people that women are inferior, and judging by some of the misogyny and chauvinism that I come across in life, it's no different now than in was 50 years ago. Not really.

Coldlightofday Tue 28-Jan-14 20:06:03

But to be equal men and women don't have to be the same.

If pregnancy, breasfeeding and child rearing were seen as just as important as working in a job, that would help. If time away from work to have children wasn't seen as being a negative. If workplaces were more flexible.

And that's just one element of the whole unequal shitstorm.

Poopoopeedooo Tue 28-Jan-14 20:07:11

I've been thinking along those lines a lot recently . Mostly people- male and female- just go from day to day not really thinking or questioning much at all.... The vast majority don't want to rock the boat and just follow the path of least resistance, fitting in with whatever society expects of or projects onto them. It's very sad and frustrating and so much of the crap attitude comes from women themselves! I sit at school gatherings and watch open-mouthed as mothers drape their "princesses " in pink pink and ... Errr... Pink and reinforce all the same old crippling stereotypes all over again. Actually.... I think this generation may even be going backwards!! With all todays incredible marketing going on now- our kids are gender-stereotyped in the womb!
I hope somebody will come along and say it ain't so, but I feel very alone in a world of ignorant sheep.... Baaaaaa

HoratiaDrelincourt Tue 28-Jan-14 20:07:24

True. But I based my answer on the fact that there will always be bigoted arseholes, who will pick on any difference. Reducing difference reduces discrimination, but only so far.

Bubblegoose Tue 28-Jan-14 20:09:00

I think we were closer 17 years ago when we had a new Labour government who instigated better SMP and women's services etc. The last ten years have been a bit grim, with the rise of sexualised images in the media and some pretty shitty role models for young women.

I don't think we're close but I'd like to think it will happen one day. I like that stuff like the Everyday Sexisim Project is raising awareness and giving us a reference point which we can work from.

Bubblegoose Tue 28-Jan-14 20:09:42

Poopoo - I totally agree.

SybilRamkin Tue 28-Jan-14 20:10:09

I very much doubt it. From an employment perspective, you miss a year out of your career for every child, and the employer has to fund maternity leave and get cover for when you're not there.

Even the most fair-minded employer would find it hard not to discriminate against a woman of childbearing age, particularly if she's newly married, or has only got one child so far etc.

I wish it was different, but unless men start to take responsibility for 50% of childcare (and thus 50% paternity/maternity leave) then we're doomed.

RandyRudolf Tue 28-Jan-14 20:11:49

I think about this a lot. I think about life has changed in the past 100 years for women in the UK and I think 'yeah, we're making progress, slowly'. But then I look outside the UK at the bigger picture...the strength of the Taliban, FGM and so on and I just feel we're actually going backwards not forwards. It's grim if you think about it too much.

MoreBeta Tue 28-Jan-14 20:13:44

I don't think that there ever will be equality for women.

Take the issue of equal pay and opportunity at work

I know it is controversial view but actually for every woman who loses out on promotion and pay rises at work there is a man who gains and often there is a woman at home with children who benefits from that indirectly as her DH/DP gets paid more than he should AND she has a better standard of living as a result.

Does that women at home really care about the women who lost out on pay and promotion? No of course not. The woman at home has enjoyed a benefit. Only if she herself tries to return to work does she really realise how stacked against her the odds are.

Society accepts its OK for women to be paid less and to make women redundant first because society does not want men unemployed. The structure of society likes women at home and men at work.

its a very deep societal belief - so deep its almost subliminal.

cheminotte Tue 28-Jan-14 20:14:35

I don't think so no. The number of women represented on boards is growing sooo slowly for example and yet no one has the guts to introduce a quota to force companies to actively support women who want to progress.

Joysmum Tue 28-Jan-14 20:18:52

I don't think we'll be equal either. I too think most of the open bigotry comes from other women, more than men.

I remember going through CV's to interview for a position in the company I worked for and my boss questioned my first choice because she had a young child (she mentioned time off for child illness) and would most likely want another. shock

It was my first openly sexist confrontation and was thanks to another woman, not a man.

Thinking of things from a business point of view, generally aren't as reliable and are dearer to employ because of time off for childbearing and rearing. Sad, but true.

Poopoopeedooo Tue 28-Jan-14 20:19:13

We'll always be biologically/ physiologically different and hurray for that, but wouldn't it be nice if women were revered and respected, oh and REMUNERATED!!,for their vital role and feminine traits rather than taken advantage of, dominated and belittled? Imagine a benign matriarchal society.... sighs wistfully

MoreBeta Tue 28-Jan-14 20:24:54

I used to think quotas were a bad idea but frankly I do support them now. Its the only way to get a strong cohort of women at the top of business.

I know several women who are extremely well qualified and desperately trying to get non Exec positions on boards but continually blocked. Without non Exec experience it is hard to get offered a main board Executive position.

We could start at 10% minimum and go up 5% per annum.

Also limit board membership to one board per person. Stops cronyism among men and stops a few 'acceptable' well connected women being hired by multiple boards. We don't want the same small group of women cropping up on multiple boards across the land as currently happens. We need a large number of women gaining board positions.

Dahlen Tue 28-Jan-14 20:28:29

A lot of it is about changing perception rather than any real evidence that women are mostly to employ.

For every woman who produces a baby and needs maternity leave, there is a father, be he a sperm donor or an actively involved parent. Children are created by two adults, one of whom is male. While children take rather than give when young, they are the adults of tomorrow and society needs them. Rather than see maternity leave as women costing money, we need to see maternity leave as society facilitating men and women (i.e. society) to reproduce the next generation of society.

Research indicates that employers who operate family-friendly polices tend to experience greater company loyalty, gaining staff who will go the extra mile rather than work to rule, precisely because they appreciate not being given hassle about taking a day off to cover childcare for a sick child.

But there is a vested interest in not promoting that viewpoint too strongly.

Coldlightofday Tue 28-Jan-14 20:29:28

<bursts into tears>

Jesus.

It's Not OK.

Poopoopeedooo Tue 28-Jan-14 20:30:31

I disagree that quotas are a good idea- yes it will change the figures, but will it change the attitudes? Won't every woman in a high position be looked upon as somebody put there to make up numbers rather than that she got there on her own merit?
Affirmative action or whatever you want to label it, causes unfairness, less qualified people being prompted above better candidates and a lot of resentment and disrespect in the workplace! Not doing women any favours IMO- just allowing a few to earn better money but a lot less respect!

Coldlightofday Tue 28-Jan-14 20:31:15

Research indicates that employers who operate family-friendly polices tend to experience greater company loyalty, gaining staff who will go the extra mile rather than work to rule, precisely because they appreciate not being given hassle about taking a day off to cover childcare for a sick child.

Do you have any specific research to back this up?

I'd like it, preferably in hardback to ram up my bosses misogynistic backside <reasonable>

Coldlightofday Tue 28-Jan-14 20:32:35

I think you're spot on about attitudes poopoo - we need women to have an equal share because the playing field is level, not because employers have been told they have to.

Poopoopeedooo Tue 28-Jan-14 20:33:25

Err- promoted, not prompted! Oops

Dahlen Tue 28-Jan-14 20:37:31

This isn't the study I was thinking of, but it's a starting point.

PortofinoRevisited Tue 28-Jan-14 20:38:22

I was well chuffed when my employer very recently employed a female CEO. Double chuffed as the company is part state owned, and technology is still dominated by men.

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