National Times, January 11, 2011
Seems a bit rich these days to claim there is a “glass ceiling” for female jobs. Load of cobblers, isn't it? I mean, Australia has a female Prime Minister and a female Governor-General.
Has there really been discrimination over the years against mothers who work -- or against women without children?
The National Council of Women thinks so and no surprise there. I recently chatted with Victorian leader Jennie Rawther who pointed out that, among other things, women at the end of World War 1 had to give up their jobs to returning servicemen -- even though their husbands may have been killed in combat. There was no widow’s pension, nor child support.
Sounds tough but Age reader Steve Hills of Rosebud is not impressed. “There is overwhelming evidence that female health, safety and female lives were held as more valuable than men’s lives,” he says. “Men’s lives were routinely regarded as disposable. The view that women alone were discriminated against is an ignorant one.”
According to Hills, “men have generally protected women but when women share all the power, will they look after men? No. They never have. Is there any such thing as a widower’s pension? Doesn’t exist. Never did.”
Hills is not alone in his jaundiced view of an anti-male world.
Here’s author Michael Flood:
Fathers’ rights groups overlap with men’s rights groups and both represent an organised backlash to feminism. These groups consider that males have been displaced from the labour market, schools and universities, deprived of their role as fathers, and are now regarded only as “gene pool and cash machine”
On the men’s rights website mensactivism.org the list of alleged discrimination is a long one.
Women-only discounts for car rental in New Zealand -- a Canadian woman who killed her defacto with a knife but walked free from court -- a British study (by a woman) that finds women actually do like staying home while men pay the bills:
The idea that women dislike being financially dependent on men is a myth, with more choosing to “marry up” now than did so in the 1940s, according to Dr Catherine Hakim from the London School of Economics.
After decades of gender equality campaigning many women now find it hard to admit that they want to be a housewife more than they want a successful career of their own, she said.
Says Steve Hills: “Patently women have been protected and paid for -- and paid respect due to their sex -- far more than men.”
Is he right?