By VennerRoad, 5th Mar 2018
As entitled women protested their “oppression” in Central London, men of humble stock ensured their event and their lives ran smoothly.
Laura Bates in 2014
This misnamed March4Women was widely reported. Among those who endorsed it was the Mayor of London. Sadiq Khan is supposed to be a Moslem; here he looked and sounded like a mangina. Among their grievances was the gender pay gap - a piece of nonsense that has been debunked time and time and time again. And of course they were angry that there are few women in positions of authority. So being queen of the house is not enough?
I gave this demonstration a miss, and would have even if I’d heard about it, but I took another look at one of the many presentations given by Everyday Sexism founder Laura Bates, and yet again it was all about statistics. Laura has statistics coming out of her ears, and rubbish coming out of her mouth. Here are a few of the figures she cites:
Less than one in four MPs is a woman.
Women make up one fifth of the membership of the House of Lords.
Four out of 35 Lords Justice of Appeal are female.
Eighteen of 108 High Court judges are female.
In the arts, only 15% of listed statues are of women.
And here is a classic: fewer than one in ten of engineers is female.
This was 2014, so the figures have obviously changed, but probably not by much. Laura is just as obviously an intelligent woman, but even though she read English Literature at university rather than mathematics, she surely knows the statistics she is quoting are facile, because they are devoid of context, in particular history, biology, and societal norms. What would she make of this quite frightening statistic?
Between August 2011 and June 2015, 16 female cyclists died on London’s roads, and every one of those deaths was the result of an incident involving a lorry.
Are there undetected serial killers on our roads who are deliberately running down women? Or perhaps, is it sometimes the case, the victim is to blame? Clearly somebody was doing something wrong. It took a man - inventor Crispin Sinclair - to address this very real problem. Now let’s return to the other statistics.
Less than one in four MPs is a woman.
Woman can’t stand for Parliament? Or perhaps they don’t want to. We now have a female Prime Minister. Would Laura change places willingly with Theresa May? Many people have low opinions of politicians, but the work is time consuming, and although not manual labour, can be draining. Mrs May is also the MP for Maidenhead, which is a fair distance from the capital. Try commuting from Leeds or Newcastle a couple of times a week in addition to running your surgery, late night sittings at Westminster, meetings, overseas travel...the novelty will soon wear off. Most women aren’t up to this sort of schedule, neither are many men, but is this so-called gender imbalance so surprising?
Let’s look at the judges. Only 18 of 108 High Court judges are female. If Laura understood as much about the legal profession as she doesn’t about statistics, she would realise that the last thing a top QC wants is a promotion to the bench, because those engaged in especially civil litigation will be taking a pay cut. Sitting as a judge is not an exercise in gender politics, it is one of the most responsible positions anyone can hold. Judges are there to serve, not to pad their CVs.
Only 15% of listed statues are of women.
When the fair sex has produced an intellect of half the stature of Sir Isaac Newton, or a literary figure who can compete with William Shakespeare, we can have this conversation again. But in case she hadn’t noticed, the arts is one field in which women do excel. This country has given the world Agatha Christie, and dare I say J.K. Rowling? Accomplished women of a musical bent are not exactly thin on the ground either, which may account for they’re being so few female engineers. What does Laura propose to solve this imaginary problem, force women into the profession at gunpoint? Talking of engineers, late in the afternoon of the March4Women rally, Londoners in many areas, including mine, were facing serious problems. Turn on the tap, and nothing comes out. Due to the freeze after the recent cold spell, pipes were bursting all over the place. At 6am the following day, there was a trickle of water coming from my cold tap. Three hours later, it was dead again, but by the afternoon, the problem appeared to have been solved.
This is a problem that occurs again and again, as do power cuts on occasion, as do broadband and telephone problems. When they arise, who fixes them? Men, that’s who, male engineers who are called out all hours of the day and night every single day of the year in freezing weather and foul, in gale and baking sun. Still wonder why there are so few female engineers, Laura? Manicured fingernails and sewage pipes are a bad combination. In short, men run London and every other city in this country. Men run this country, men run Europe, men run the world. This is man’s world, get used to it, and bear in mind next time you are giving a whining TED talk to an elite audience attacking men, if they pull the plug, the lights go off, and your audience will go home.
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