EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘Lendarduzzi: ‘Women can rescue the economy‘:

I wouldn’t even know where to start with this given the depth of sexism it represents. While it purports to espouse gender equality, it does nothing of the sort: it rejects classic male sexism that stereotypes women’s inability to perform the same jobs/functions, while embracing female sexism that women are not just different but better, more caring towards others, the community and, amazingly, more cooperative between one another.

Anyone who remembers high school or even their own worklplace knows that women are just as – if not more – competitive and self-serving (and even vicious) as men.

Maternity leave is to be compulsory for men, not because it is a right they should have, but because it will enable women to have a full range of choices. Meanwhile it is a right, not an obligation, for women.

Do I favour a world and economy in which women participate fully? Absolutely. But only one where men also have choice and are freed from their traditional roles and expectations. Face it, the things/roles that women expect from men have not changed at all since women’s liberation. The same women who demand equality in the workplace and in terms of pay – and who demand that men participate fully at home and with children – still demand that men must act as providers/protectors.

Does Ms. Lenarduzzi really espouse or desire a world for women in which men decide they would prefer to concentrate on their home/children and be supported by strong successful women? Doubtful, since as I experience and read that this is not a choice available to men; it is an obligation for them once a woman has decided her career is important and a man had better both help support her and share in household duties.

Conversely, if she decides to be a home-maker, he had better still be a provider/protector. In other words, men’s roles and their expectations have not changed; women simply get to decide for them when they will act in traditional roles and when they had better act in more ‘liberated’ roles.

When women start valuing men for who they are – separate from their status/wealth – and men get to choose which role to pursue – it might be a more equal world. No man alive has that choice, however: the choice is work and support or help support a woman until the day we die, unless HER career is more important to HER, in which case we are expected to wear both hats.

When women stop decrying sexist attitudes about how women can’t be engineers or CEOs because of emotional/intellectual shortcomings while discussing at the same time their emotional/intellectual superiority, men might actually start to listen more.

For women to be fully equal the next step is clear, but won’t be embraced by the ‘women’s movement’: liberate men.

I realise, however, that Animal Farm was not a treatise on Communism but on Feminism; ‘we are all created equal: just some of us are created more equal then others’ might concisely summarize the attitude of the women’s movement.

Michael

Private citizen

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