BBC Porridge this morning had an interesting pair of ladies on this morning talking about gender equality in the workplace.
One was a businesswoman and the other was, well, not sure really. Ah, irrationally opinionated, that was it.
The businesswoman spoke her mind and said what is almost impossible to say these days - hiring women of childbearing age is an absolute nightmare unless you are some vast corporation or government department with excessive slack. The businesswoman just wanted people to be in work 9-5, 5 days a week. In our new sexist world it is very difficult for a man to say such things, if at all. The truth is not permitted for some.
What was interesting was the presumption by the non-businesswoman that the way men work and what is expected of them is somehow a "male" thing.
Has it ever occurred to anyone that the way men work might actually be the best way for the company to function? That this might actually be the practical thing for the employer, as in regular, reliable attendance with a focus on the job being paid for, not the employee's kids?
Has it ever occurred to anyone that women are paid less not because they are less capable or discriminated against for just being women, but because they might disappear repeatedly at any time for up to a year at a stretch and then return with a legal right to their job? If a man tried that he would not be paid less, but would more likely not be paid at all! In short, less valuable to the organisation - all other things being equal - means less pay.
The move for gender "equality" is not equality at all, but a means to secure rights for women. This is not a complaint per se, but lets not try and confuse the two.
Let us have more women in business and more starting their own companies. May they progress to running for parliament and so inject some sense into the proceedings and displace the men and women who have come through the ranks of the party machine or via non-jobs in Quangos and government departments isolated from reality.