Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bring them calamity

On Christmas Eve the papers here in Australia feature guest columns by Christian religious leaders. They are nearly always of the "kumbaya Christianity" type.

This year Isabel Thomas Dobson, the Moderator of the Uniting Church, decided to devote her column to the cause of refugees. I couldn't help but notice one line of her column in particular:

there are unsubstantiated fears of them being violent

Why was that line so striking? Well, just a few pages prior to this was a story about a group of men charged with plotting a terrorist attack in Australia. Three of the five are Somalian refugees.

One of these men was caught on tape celebrating the death toll from the Black Saturday bushfires:

The next day fires broke out in the whole country ... Allah bring them calamity.

And this:

The bushfires was all good, man, Allah willing. No Muslims.

No Muslims died in the fires, but 173 others did. Our Somalian refugee thinks that is "all good".

The same Somalian refugee described Australians as "filthy people".

But is this just a one off? Well, in the same week Dutch police arrested 12 Somali terror suspects, British police arrested 9 terror suspects who had planned a London Christmas bombing blitz, a suicide bomber launched an attack in Sweden and two embassies in Rome were attacked.

We are relying right now on our security services to keep the violence in check.

I'm not suggesting that most of the refugees will become involved in such activities, but it does show that our kumbaya Christian leader is being way too trite in her claim that fears of violence are "unsubstantiated".

Here's another odd feature of Isabel Thomas Dobson's call for open borders. She has lamented elsewhere the decline of Christian worship in Australia. What does she think will happen, though, as Australia's intake of Muslim refugees increases?

You can't have it both ways. If you want a large, indiscriminate refugee intake then you have to accept a declining Christianity. Christian churches will be replaced with mosques. In effect, Isabel Thomas Dobson is calling for a lesser future for her own faith in this country. Is this really the responsibility she is charged with?

She is a Christian leader but she wants to give up on the idea of Australia as a Christian country. Would you really do this if you sincerely felt that Christianity had something important to offer that other faiths did not?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Male separatism is a wrong turn

You have to be very careful when you adopt political first principles. Inevitably, the logic of these principles gets played out.

That's why I'm concerned that a wing of the men's rights movement has decided on a separatist politics. The aim of these separatists is to reject relationships with women in general and Western women in particular.

Where does a politics based on separatism lead to? First, it encourages the idea that all women are so unworthy that relationships are simply impossible. Which then leads to the kind of attitude expressed by one MRA commenter here at this site:

Women of generation y are sadistic whores who want to make men slaves. I refuse to be a part of it. Every generation y woman is a feminist who hates men even the ones who believe they aren't feminists.

Your daughters are all sadistic man hating whores but you believe them to be pure virgins. And you attack men for doing nothing but defending themselves...

I have no doubt that the feminist order will collapse. Western Civilization will die and the Chinese and Muslim hordes will give Western women what they deserve by raping and slaughtering them. I will be watching this in 2160p with 10.2 surround sound safe in the Chinese empire since I will be able to purchase a place in the Chinese empire. Until then I will play Xbox.

And what are men who reject relationships with women to do? The commenter above intends to spend his life playing computer games while waiting for foreigners to violently punish Western women. Other separatist MRAs have discussed the possibility of the Japanese improving the technology of female robots. And in a recent post at the separatist site The Spearhead, a commenter suggested the following:

Just a thought, guys keep talking about male pill how about libido suppressant? Are there any drugs out there that will suppress a man’s libido so much he would be a functional eunuch (oxymoron i know)?

Imagine never even thinking about sex, means you can without effort treat every hot chick without that mild inner bias to her goodlooks. Possible with game but this time, you wont be feinging dis-interest, with the utlimate aim of getting in her pants.

You would genuinely not be interested in chicks. We might be surprised how many guys would actually go on such pills if they were available.

Nor are separatists going to be at all sympathetic to social conservatives. In fact, at sites like The Spearhead, social conservatives are often considered a worse enemy than feminists. They see us conservatives as being supportive of men marrying (which is true). But given that they see no possibility of marriage being in men's interests, they assume that we support men marrying as a male sacrifice on behalf of women (i.e. out of "chivalry" or "white knighting").

And so you get a theory that the real cause of men's problems is not the pursuit by feminists of liberal autonomy, but the sacrifice of men by social conservatives in the cause of chivalry or white knighting.

Which leads to some odd assumptions. For instance, there was a case recently in which a man, Leon Walker, was charged with computer hacking because he went into his wife's emails and found out that she was cheating on him.

It turns out that Walker had married a twice-divorced woman, who cheated on him with her second husband, the one who had beaten her up in front of her son. To a social conservative it all sounds dysfunctional, an example of social decline.

But that's not how it's read at The Spearhead. Why would the man marry such a woman in the first place? It must be, the reasoning goes, a product of social conservatives pushing men to sacrifice themselves as white knights for women:

He must have felt like the hero as he said his vows to her. It’s a role tailor-made for female fantasy – the white knight who sweeps in to save the day for a wayward woman. Finally, the right man to get her back on the right track and provide for her and her child. The Social Conservative types just eat this sort of sh*t up.

The same commenter then links to another example of white knighting that we social conservatives supposedly can't get enough of. It's the story of an American man who met a woman just after she'd had her first abortion. This woman was highly promiscuous and had approached six members of the football team to try and establish paternity of the child, but had failed to do so. The woman was last on the list of our white knight's possible list of marriage partners, but all the rest were already taken so he married her. After marrying, she cheated on him, hit him and lived an extravagant lifestyle, getting him into massive debt.

Does that sound like the social conservative vision of marriage to you? The fact is that it's about the opposite of what social conservatives would advise when it comes to marriage. But we're dealing with the logic of male separatism here. The logic of male separatism is that all women are unworthy of marriage; marriage cannot be in the interests of men; therefore, if social conservatives support marriage it's because of a chivalrous, white knighting desire to sacrifice men in order to rescue wayward women.

That's how a conservative nightmare is transformed by male separatists into a classic conservative marriage scenario.

But if separatism leads to such distortions, what's the alternative? The alternative is to understand that the Western political elite is a liberal one; that liberals believe in equal autonomy as the overriding aim of politics; and that feminists have campaigned to have equal autonomy applied to the lives of women.

How can women's lives be made autonomous? By allowing women to raise their children independently of men (through state welfare, no fault divorce laws, alimony and child support, paid maternal leave, assumption of female custody etc.); by female careerism (affirmative action, changes to school curricula, state subsidised childcare etc.); by delaying a commitment to marriage and children (a single girl lifestyle of casual relationships, travel and career); by promoting sexual "liberation" (women selecting for sex alone, just as men supposedly do, rather than for marriage or romantic love, which then "liberates" women to select hypergamously or crudely on the basis of markers of testosterone, such as risk-taking, thuggishness, violence).

All of this makes life more difficult for the average man seeking a long-term relationship in his 20s.

Therefore, the ultimate aim of a men's movement ought to be to successfully challenge the idea that autonomy is the ultimate aim of politics rather than, say, healthy relationships or an attractive ideal of womanhood and manhood.

Male separatism doesn't challenge the political orthodoxy. It responds to a female attempt to be autonomous of men with a male attempt to be autonomous of women. It makes the pursuit of autonomy less one-sided than it currently is, but it doesn't attempt to promote healthy, functional, interdependent, complementary relationships between men and women.

I don't believe that what most young men really want are Japanese robots or libido suppressing drugs. Nor is a politics based on the idea that there are absolutely no women worth having a relationship with likely to have great appeal. Separatism is a wrong turn for the men's movement.

Leftist hero attacks feminism

Is the love affair between leftist men and feminism finally over? This is what Julian Assange has to say after his encounter with a couple of feminist admirers in Sweden went wrong:

Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism. I fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism.

A commenter at this site, Van Wijk, put the conundrum for leftist men well in a previous discussion:

Liberalism is a melange of falsehoods, many of which are directly contradictory. What we're witnessing is the collision of two of these: the right of all individuals to sleep with whoever they like without consequence, and the right of a woman to never be used or objectified by a man. Whatever the outcome of this case, one right will be devoured by the other.

Sweden is attempting to resolve the contradiction through feminist "date rape" laws which make men vulnerable to legal complaint. There is no way Assange can blame conservatism or traditional society or Christianity or patriarchy for this; these laws are clearly a creation of a left-wing, modern, secular feminist society.

And so, as a leftist man who is a target of these feminist laws, he is now speaking of feminism in strongly negative terms. As I've written before, I've already noticed a trend at some of the men's rights sites for leftist men to turn against feminism.

Interesting how politics can change.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Just who do rights serve?

In Australia there's a debate about bringing in a bill of rights. Opponents argue that a bill of rights would undermine the ability of parliament to pass laws in the national interest and transfer power instead to unelected judges.

Here's some very strong evidence that this is a valid concern. Australia is currently experiencing a mining boom. There's a particularly strong demand for our mineral resources in China. But the Chinese aren't content just to buy the minerals. The Chinese want the mines (and the farms) and are now even wanting to replace local Australian workers with Chinese ones:

HUNDREDS of Chinese contract workers will be brought to Queensland by mining boss Clive Palmer.

Mr Palmer revealed yesterday that up to 10 per cent of the construction workforce for his planned $8 billion coal development in the Galilee Basin of central-west Queensland would come from China. This fly-in contingent would number up to 600, many of them engineers.

The proposed coalmine, a 500km railway and port are being pursued by Mr Palmer in conjunction with the Metallurgical Corporation of China.

He said yesterday MCC would be the main contractor on the project, with three of its government-owned subsidiaries each having responsibility for the mine, the railway and the port. Each would sub-contract to Australian firms, Mr Palmer said, and he expected about 60 per cent of the work to go to foreign companies and 40 per cent to Australian companies.

MCC is also building Mr Palmer's $5.2bn Sino Iron project in Western Australia, and the magnate said the 60-40 division of operations on that project would be replicated in Queensland.

But Mr Palmer told a Brisbane press conference yesterday he expected about 10 per cent of the workforce on the ground in his Queensland project would be Chinese workers.

"In Western Australia, in our projects there, we've had something like 10 per cent who are Chinese people on site," he said.

"We've had 7000 workers, we've had about seven or eight hundred Chinese engineers who are directing the work. It would probably work out something like that" in Queensland. The three parts of the project are expected to generate 6000 jobs during construction and 1500 jobs when fully operational. A spokesman for Mr Palmer said after the press conference that much of the work would be prefabricated overseas.

Mr Palmer, the biggest political donor in Australia and an active member of Queensland's Liberal National Party, said the only hurdle to the project going ahead was the Queensland Labor government's approvals process.
What does the generally right-liberal Australian newspaper think of all this? It blames, wait for it .... low migration levels!:
We report today that Queensland mining boss Clive Palmer expects to bring in about 600 Chinese engineers to build his new $8 billion coal project in the Galilee Basin ... Low migration and tight labour laws have created the perfect storm ... Labor added to workplace rigidity and costs with retrograde industrial laws before adopting a "small Australia" approach to migration...

C'mon guys. Immigration is being run at massive levels, about 250,000 a year. You can't blame "low migration" for the Chinese bringing in their own workers to run things.

Anyway, it gets worse. David Marr is an old-style Australian left-liberal journalist, one of the "luvvies" as they are sometimes called. He gave the official human rights oration this year.

It's a curious thing, but the speech he delivered differs in one respect from that reported in the papers. What was reported in the papers includes a line that was left out of the official transcript. I'm guessing that he provided a transcript to the papers but then had second thoughts about this particular line and left it out.

And I'm not surprised he left it out. Because in the newspaper version of the speech, Marr complains that:
In 2010 there is nothing in law to stop Western Australia closing its iron mines to Chinese workers.

So David Marr, a left-liberal luvvy, thinks we need a bill of rights so that the Chinese Government gets to determine who works in our mines rather than our government. He wants to deprive our parliaments of the power to determine migration policy.

It's an attempt to lock in a liberal, individualistic, internationalist view of how things should be, to effectively place it beyond political contest. No doubt Clive Palmer and other mining bosses will be pleased, as will the Chinese Government. Human rights legislation will serve some very powerful interest groups seeking material gain, rather than ordinary Australians.

We should be wary of those pushing the rights agenda.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas greetings

To all the readers of this site a Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Just how free are Swedish free schools?

Last year I scoffed at the idea that state schools in Sweden were free from indoctrination:
Björn, the ABBA pop star, wants to ban independent religious schools in Sweden. Why? He gives this explanation:

Above all, children should be kept away from anything that bears even the slightest whiff of indoctrination. In fact, freedom from indoctrination ought to be a basic human right for all children.
I burst out laughing when I read this. There is no place in the world where people are more indoctrinated than in Sweden. And they are not indoctrinated by churches but by the secular state.

I think I was right in this assessment. It seems that even the "free" and "independent" schools in Sweden are heavily subject to the state ideology. Consider the case of the "free school" located in Hörby in the south of Sweden. It was visited recently by the school inspectorate. The result?

The chemistry books used by the school were declared anachronistic, not because there was anything wrong with the chemistry being taught in the books, but because the books weren't adequately multicultural or feminist. It seems that the names in the chemistry books were "almost exclusively Western" and therefore offensive to the state ideology. The inspectorate also criticised the school for its lack of dialogue on gender and ethnicity.

The principal of the school, Kerstin Lindberg, hastened to reassure the officials responsible for monitoring any deviation from the state ideology that the lapse would be rectified:

The literature will be evaluated and new books will be purchased. [The school] will also initiate a clear equality plan for staff and invite a lecturer in gender and ethnicity issues.

The school has been given until March 3 to re-educate itself.

Really, what is the point of having an "independent" school that is so obviously under the thumb of the state? You may as well get your indoctrination straight from the source, from a state school.

As for Björn, those costumes he wore back in the 70s must have cut off some of the circulation to his brain. He claims that "children should be kept away from anything that bears even the slightest whiff of indoctrination" but remains oblivious to the fact that the great indoctrinator in Sweden is not some little religious school, it's the liberal state.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Elam's separatist response

A couple of months ago I wrote a criticism of certain trends within the men's rights movement (MRM). This post has now been replied to at The Spearhead by Paul Elam.

Elam pushes a hyper-separatist line. According to Elam we have hit an apocalypse. He agrees with Hanna Rosin that the "end of men" is inevitable. He's not sure why it's happening, but he believes that female dominance and male subjugation is an inescapable destiny.

What does that mean for marriage? Women will choose to have sex with thugs and will coerce a few lapdog beta men for supplemental income. There will be just a handful of alpha men who might be able to support a woman in marriage in the traditional way.

So there's no room for marriage in the future and as for masculinity Elam declares himself to be unsure of what that term refers to.

What does Elam advocate? This:
What we need, assuming there is a “we,” is a chivalry strike, which is to say a total abdication and rejection of any responsibilities to women, individually, and as a group.
Elam doesn't seem too confident that men will heed this separatist call. He writes:
Most men, especially traditionalists, will do what men have done in the face of gender feminism for half a century now; that is, follow their instincts to please women and wait for Hannah Rosin to tell them what to think about their own lives, how to live them, and what their place is.
That's confusing. Elam had previously called traditionalists "patriarchs" who would be "intellectually culled" under future conditions. Now he is identifying us as lapdogs who follow along after feminist women doing their bidding.

Elam's approach is not uncommon in the MRM. He takes certain real trends and makes them absolute and inescapable. He does so because it fits his programme, which is a radical separatist one. Being a radical separatist he has to justify men having nothing to do with women.

Elam's justification is sophisticated compared to some others in the MRM. Sometimes what you hear are coarser claims such as "all women are whores" or "all women are gold diggers".

Radical separatists aren't going to like traditionalists like myself. Our aim is to return to the ideal of distinct, complementary relationships between men and women. Although such relationships have been made unnecessarily difficult in modern liberal societies, we don't hold them to be impossible. Our position, therefore, is incompatible with that of the separatists.

As for separatism, it's difficult to see what it's going to achieve. If a Western man drops out, there'll be someone else to take his place. By itself separatism doesn't challenge either the ideas or the institutions on which the current social order is based. This order will carry on whether or not Paul Elam and a few other MRAs decide to marry or not.

A lament for France

At GalliaWatch there's a link to a heartfelt song lamenting the demise of France (in French, but with a translation).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The end of men? Maybe not.

An American feminist, Hanna Rosin, has given a speech in which she smugly charts the demise of men. She notes, in support of her case, that American women are doing much better than men when it comes to education, employment and wages.

My own response to her speech? First, I think it's going to become much harder for feminists to claim that women are oppressed victims when high profile feminists like Hanna Rosin are triumphantly declaring the "end of men".

Second, Hanna Rosin comes across as insufferable. If she is a representative of triumphant womanhood, then humanity is staring into the abyss.

Third, she's wrong. Yes, young women are doing much better than young men when it comes to education and employment. That does have significant consequences, particularly when it comes to family formation.

But her argument that changes to the economy are the death knell for men is too simplistic. First, it's not true that all blue collar work has been made redundant. In Australia, a hard-working tradesman can make a good living, certainly a better one than my own white collar profession (teaching).

Nor do most women end up wanting to spend their lives working full-time. At my school, there are no married women with children who work full-time. They are all part-timers.

The important thing for young men is to hold their nerve. They might be temporarily outcompeted when in their 20s, but if they commit to a job and keep at it, chances are that they will eventually move ahead when their female peers start to downscale their career commitments.

And it's clear that men are still needed by women. I have yet to see any evidence that modern women find emasculated men romantically attractive. Social dysfunction and poverty are much higher in fatherless families. Middle-class women, in particular, are still reluctant to embark on motherhood without the support of a husband.

What all this means is that the men who refuse to become demoralised are likely to find themselves a much sought after commodity.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A failed experiment

There was an article in The Age this morning about the attempt to recruit two Aboriginal boys back in 1849 to become missionaries.

The story is interesting because it highlights how varied the attitude to Aborigines was in colonial times. In this case, there was too high an expectation placed on the two Aboriginal boys:

On January 8, 1849, filled with hope and eager expectation, Francis Xavier Conaci, 7, and John Baptist Dirimera, 11, left Perth with Rosendo Salvado, the energetic abbot of the Benedictine monastery at New Norcia, 160 kilometres north of Perth.

This extraordinary journey was part of Salvado's great mission, conducted over more than 50 years, to enculturate the Aborigines into Christianity. He lived and camped with them, wrote dictionaries of their language and lobbied for them with colonial authorities.

Conaci and Dirimera were from the Yuat tribe, and had begged Salvado to take them to Rome. The Benedictines hoped to train the boys in European ways and send them as missionaries to the Aborigines of Western Australia.
In Europe, the Aboriginal boys were lionised:

In Rome, they met Pope Pius IX, who presented them with their distinctive black woollen Benedictine habits, and told Conaci: ''Australia needs a second Francis Xavier; may the Lord bless this boy, and make him into one!''

Salvado presented them to the king and queen of the Two Sicilies, and then to meet the king and queen of Naples at the palace in Gaeta outside the city...

Both boys were granted patents of nobility by the king and admitted to the College of Nobles.

Things went well at first, with the boys doing well at their studies. But as with so many attempts at assimilation, the experiment ultimately failed:

But in March 1853, the abbot at La Cava warned the Vatican about the poor health of the Aboriginal novices. Doctors, including the Pope's physician - believing that the boys' illnesses were exacerbated by homesickness - advised that they should be sent back to Australia.

Conaci spent two months in a Naples hospital, then moved to the abbey at St Paul's Outside the Walls to recuperate. But his condition worsened and he died on October 10, 1853. Dirimera arrived back in Australia in May 1855 a broken boy. Salvado had a hut built for him in the bush and visited him regularly, but Dirimera died in August. ''They pined away,'' Hayes says.

The Benedictines were demoralised by the deaths and never again sought to recruit Aborigines to the order. "It may be that Salvado lost all hope or got depressed by the whole idea," says Peter Hocking, archivist at the New Norcia monastery.

The problem was not a lack of idealism but an underestimation of how difficult assimilation would be.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Why the sting in feminist sex?

Second wave feminists fought for the sexual liberation of women. What they meant by this was that sex should no longer be directed toward romantic love or toward family, which were thought to be ploys of the patriarchy to oppress women. Instead, women were to throw off sexual restraints and engage in casual sex on their own terms, just as it was supposed men did.

There were to be no limits on sex, with the one exception that sex was to be consensual (so that the autonomy of either party would not be breached).

Feminists succeeded in changing the culture (with the assistance of men like Hugh Hefner). But how has it all worked out?

Consider the Julian Assange case. In one sense, he is among the winners of the sexual revolution. For most men, it has become more difficult to form a stable relationship with a woman of their own level. That's because women are now more likely to pursue their hypergamous instincts and to use their sexual power to try to attract a small number of "alpha" males (or else to select more crudely on the basis of sexual markers such as risk-taking behaviour or thuggish appearance etc).

But Julian Assange was one of the favoured few who was actively pursued by many women. He went to Sweden and had sex with two women there. The women did, initially at least, give their consent. But now he has been charged with rape.

What went wrong? The details of the charges aren't exactly clear yet. But I'd suggest that underlying it all, several factors are at play.

First, in the new conditions, men like Julian Assange don't have to treat women that well. He has a steady stream of willing female sex partners, whom he can treat as brusquely as he likes. So women like Anna Ardin or Sofia Wilen might well feel, after the act, as if they've been used or have somehow been put at a disadvantage or have experienced a lack power in the exchange.

Second, it's likely that numbers of women don't really respond that well to casual sex and have regrets later. The two Swedish women seem to have worried that they might have left themselves vulnerable to STIs and felt physically violated in this sense.

Third, Anna Ardin is a feminist who believes in patriarchy theory. She believes that men use sex to maintain social dominance over women. She is primed, therefore, to think of sex as an act of exploitation or oppression.

It's a toxic combination. Let's say you're a 31-year-old Anna Ardin. You've been brought up to believe that you should engage freely in sex. You've directed your efforts to winning over a leftist alpha male. Along comes a real leftist alpha, Julian Assange. You have sex with him. But he is not a considerate lover and you find out he's having sex with another younger woman at the same time. You're now 31 and starting to worry about your age. It's not working out. You feel used and violated. Your feminism tells you that men as a class use sex to oppress and control women. What recourse do you have?

It's difficult in the new conditions to appeal to moral or cultural standards. After all, the idea of the sexual revolution was that men and women were to be treated exactly the same and that both would be liberated by engaging freely in casual sex.

Nor can women like Anna Ardin exercise the kind of influence over men that wives or girlfriends traditionally could. When a woman is in a relationship with a man, she has power to influence his behaviour. But when she is simply another notch in the belt of an alpha male she has no power over him at all.

So it's not surprising that feminist women like Anna Ardin look increasingly to a more formal, legal control over men, including using a range of "date rape" laws to try to control male behaviour.

It's difficult to see this working out, though. It's an unwieldy tool to use to control personal relationships. And it doesn't solve the underlying problems: it won't cure the disappointments of women like Anna Ardin who are unlikely ever to win the romantic commitment of alpha leftist males, nor will it undo the contradiction within feminist politics in which it is believed, on the one hand, that sex should be "liberated" from the restraints of romance or family commitments, whilst on the other hand believing that sex is an oppressive instrument of male control over women.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Anna Ardin

Anna Ardin is the 31-year-old Swedish woman who has accused Julian Assange of rape. I took a look at her website to get some idea of her politics. It turns out that she is a feminist, Methodist vegan. She believes in patriarchy theory, describes herself as a liberal, supports legal abortion but opposes abortion personally (believing that life is sacred) and is yet another left-wing European woman who identifies with the Palestinians.

In fact, what struck me most of all was the contrast between two photos of Anna Ardin. The first is of her relaxing with a friend in Sweden (she's on the left):

The second is a photo of her on a visit to Gaza:

In the first photo she has her body prominently on display, in the other she's gone the other way and put on the veil. She has defended wearing the veil as follows:

For some, the veil is a way to protest against an exclusive society, for others it is a Muslim identity marker or simply a personal way to get closer to God.

Where is she now? According to her website she's living in a Palestinian village in Israel and studying Arabic. It makes me wonder if she'll eventually follow the lead of Lauren Booth and convert.

What was that about a pay gap?

In the UK women in their 20s are now earning on average 2.1% more than young men. The small gap swings the other way for women in their 30s: they earn on average just 2.9% less than men.

So will the authorities now give up pushing the issue of the pay gap? It seems not:

A spokesman for the Government Equalities Office said: ‘The narrowing of the gender pay gap is very welcome but it still remains too large, which is why the Government is committed to promoting equal pay and taking measures to end discrimination in the workplace.’

So despite the fact that young women are earning more than their male counterparts, the state is still going to intervene on the assumption that women are the victims of discrimination. But not everyone agrees:

The insistence that the Government must act to close a pay gap that, for many women, no longer exists brought a scathing response from some critics.

Economist Ruth Lea, of the Arbuthnot Banking Group, said: ‘There is no pay gap for women who do not have children, and for women under the age of 40 the gap is now trivial.

‘We always knew that single women were paid just as well as men. The idea that women are discriminated against was always a fantasy. I think the equality lobby will be running out of things to say.’
Given that women are increasingly dominating the higher education system, the young female pay advantage is likely to grow. And this has some potentially negative consequences. Women are generally hypergamous: they prefer to form families with men they consider as high up, or higher up, in the social scale as they are. But if women in their 20s do increasingly better than men, then where is the supply of male partners for women going to come from?

Perhaps what will happen is that numbers of highly educated, professional women will date "non-seriously" in their 20s, before having to settle for a non-professional man in their 30s.

In any event, family formation is likely to be disrupted.

For men, it's important not to be demoralised by what's happening. When the women around you are high flying careerists, it can be difficult to see the point of making the sacrifices needed to take on a traditional provider role. But a lot of these women will lose their gung ho commitment to careers either when they become mothers or after they've spent years in the work force. And those men who have stayed the course and moved ahead at work will then have put themselves in a strong position.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Regular programming resumes shortly

I'll be back on board and updating the site in a few days. Currently chasing down multiple work deadlines.