to wonder if women(105 Posts)
My theory.... Ahem, clears throat importantly and stands up tall at 5ft1.....is that we will never be as "successful" in the world as it is now and measured by the current ideas of what "success" actually is, because, as that bleaty and patronising song says," this is a maaaaan's world". It's all set up by men, for men. Women are doing amazingly well in western societies,all things considered, but "equality" is impossible when standards are set by masculine ideals and values. We should actually stop trying to compete with men on their "playing fields" and set up our own parallel systems.... That work just as well to achieve the end goal but just in a feminine way. Personally I tend to prefer working in a more feminine supportive workplace with less competition and more cooperation ( in my experience- obviously that's not always the case!) women need to stop feeling they need to compete with each other and go back to working together for a common good :-) that's where our strength and power lie.
Ok I'm rambling.... It's just a vague theory of mine!
If it makes you feel any better (and believe me, it doesn't make me feel any better!) I think that it isn't even really about men or women, it's about money and power. The fact remains that the centuries of oppression of all kinds of minorities has lead to a white male ruling class who don't give a shit about anyone of any gender, so long as their position isn't threatened.
I recently read that the 85 richest people in the world control as much money as the poorest half of the population of the rest of the world. That sort of inequality needs to be eradicated before any significant inroads can be made into everything else, because it is the attitudes and desires of those 85 people that trickle down through the layers of society and end up taking their toll on the most vulnerable and needy. Women the world over will never be equal as long as they are living in societies where they are not valued, and inheritance and likemindedness among the vastly wealthy insures that things change much slower at the top than they do at the bottom.
Tbh I think society needs to change both for men and women. I think modern western society generally is not serving either particularly well. Both my DH and I work full time and sorting out kids in this context is challenging. I dream of Scandinavia but with a little more choice for women who prefer to sah.
I work for a small business (four staff two of whom are the employees). I am a bloke btw. If a woman took a year off on maternity leave we would be in deep financial trouble - having to pay maternity leave and employ someone else at the same time. For this reason, if a hypothetical owner of a small business was considering employing two equally qualified people one of whom is a woman of child bearing age, I imagine they would go with the other option pretty much all of the time. That thought will almost certainly enter the owner's head. I know it is wrong and grossly unfair, but if businesses have to absorb this cost then that is what will happen.
Possible solutions could include making maternity (parental) leave equally claimable between men and women. But I imagine if this did occur it would still be mostly women who claimed it, partly for biological reasons, so it wouldn't affect the thought processes of someone considering employing someone.
I therefore think, that for this and reasons given above, that women are a long way from being equal in the workplace.
I am vaguely interested in the offspring of those rich ones - there must be daughters. I think of Bernie Ecclestone's daughters and they only spring up in my mind for excessive house expenditure. Sad that if you have the world at your feet, the best education money can buy, and you only reach my consciousness via the money you spend on houses and shoes.
DrDre, but SMP is paid by the government and parental leave IS being opened up so that men can take half or more.
Have you discovered the FWR topic? Or looked at the Let Toys Be Toys campaign? Or joined the Fawcett Society? Or subscribed to some of the most excellent blogs?
DrDre - yes as Portofino says the whole SMP thing is a specious argument. The Govt pay it back to the employer.
I often wonder why employers just don't employ more women as a way of strengthening their negotiating position with men pushing for pay rises?
I know one employer who successfully got rid of a lot of men who were always pushing for pay rises and quickly hired a lot of VERY good women without needing to hike the pay bill. You just have to say no to men and let them leave and hire every good woman who walks through the door who is prepared to accept that pay (and any good men of course). The organisation is run by a woman. She just tells the men to stop pushing for pay rises that are unwarranted and treats people equally and fairly. It really works.
Its mad how many employers cut off their nose to spite their face by discriminating against women and hiring less good men at higher pay.
When I had my DC I worked in an almost identical company set-up DreDre. Despite profits being tight, my employer paid be 100% pay during my maternity leave because he wanted to keep me on board. I was good at my job and a lot cheaper than hiring a man who would need training.
Not quite sure what I think anout that MoreBeta. You've spun it as a positive thing, but what you mean is that MEN deserve and ask for more money, where as they can happily get away with paying the women less, so it is not an entirely good thing that they ditched the men and employed "cheaper" women, surely?
Porto - what I mean was the men were told NO and they left and they then just employed women who were better on the same wage. They were good women underpaid elsewhere - hence easy to attract. Not a perfect solution but if more employers did this the wage gap would pretty quick disappear.
Not sure why employers don't just say NO to men more often.
I think the only way it could happen is if everyone worked part-time - that way childcare could be shared by partners equally and both would have the best of both worlds with more leisure time once children were older.
Failing that having the womb/boobs/hormones I want to be there for the kids early on whatever my prior education level/career status.
Do men not want to stay home for the year with each baby?
Or is it that women do want to?
I think it's more of the second than the first.
Maybe someday in the future, I REALLY hope so but no, it doesn't see like yet. I LOVE strong women such as Karren Brady!
I met a man the other day whose baby is 6ish months and who is about to go on paternity leave. He says whenevrr he mentions this to people they assume he has had another child in the meantime (me included I have to say, or I was at least confused)
In fact if a business pays out less than 45K in employer's and employees' NI, the employer can claim back 103% of statutory maternity pay - presumably to assist with the cost of recruiting cover.
I think that women in the UK get a much better deal than men. Women are more often entitled to parental leav, men get a poxy 2 weeks ( if their lucky) women usually get the majority of time with their children if there is a relationship breakdown, I don't know anyone in the UK who has a 50/50 arrangement for their children after a seperation. I have 2 friends who have moved across the country, taking their children away from their ex ( who had no issues in terms of being a parent) just because they wanted to be closer to family.
Women don't earn as much as men, but men get far less time with their children. What's more important? Children, or money? If the answer is money it's probably best you don't have children.
I live in Sweden which is one of the most equal countries in the world. My dp is entitled to 9 months paternity leave ( I'm entitled to 9 months maternity leave) if we split up dp would be automatically have ds 50% of the time, I wouldn't be allowed to move away ( rightly so) if our child is ill dp is entitled to full pay to stay at home to look after ds, if I'm ill whilst on maternity leave dp is entitled to full pay to look after ds, when ds was in hospital with bronchiolitis we were both entitled to payed time off so we could live at the hospital with ds.
Are UK women willing to give up half their maternity leave? Are UK women willing to allow their children to live with their ex half the time?
The real injustice in my opinion is the way men are sidelined in the family.
Well I am equal.
I had my own flat at 22, my own house at 27, I spent about 15 years on a city trading floor earning six figures. Got married had two children, had 8 years off because I had earned enough at that point to be able to afford it. Went back to work when the youngest started school, admittedly started at the bottom again but have a second career and am 2nd most senior in my department. My last two bosses have been female.
Women need to focus on portfolio careers and accept that they are different - who would want to be a man.
FWIW my grandmother was equal - her husband considered her to be so and she worked (she was the one who ran the farm while grandfather ran another business), my mother worked all her life having at one point a successful small business and then ran the admin side of my stepfather's large business. I have no examples of women who think they are not equal in my growing up. My grandmother would be a 101 this year and come to think of it I think her mother was pretty much an equal to her husband too.
I'm not even sure if I'm a feminist.
My experience is similar to Near's.
And FWIW I was shocked by the number of women that said they would prefer not to work on a recent thread.
In some ways we have more choices than men.
I was the only woman at my workplace for the majority of the time I was there.
Maternity leave was a nightmare, as the company had to replace me, train the new person up and accept that my colleagues would have to pick up the slack until they achieved decent productivity levels.
I returned part time, and even though, during my 22 hours there, I was more productive and versatile than my colleagues, I was treated like a slacker, like I'd let the company down.
I left when my third dc was born (my boss, sadly also my father) barely spoke to me during that time, as I was clearly deliberately letting everyone down
Where I live, there are many small businesses, and it is definitely a man's world.
People I know who employ people do try to avoid women of child bearing age, because despite smp being paid back, in a small business, this doesn't cover the upheaval of having to replace someone temporarily.
I left work demotivated, feeling worthless and dreading the thought of having to run the gauntlet of working again.
I know many have positive experiences of work and maternity leave, but I know too many who had similar experience as me, who felt completely disrespected and put down because they dare to have a baby.
Until this changes (and I don't see how it can, as the idea of the little wife at home with the baby seems very ingrained), men will continue to see themselves as the important breadwinners, bringing home the bacon as the woman does the majority of the child rearing and house work.
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