It is unfair really. If Dr Hakim were a man, I would harbor so much less distaste for her and her findings. However, sadly for Hakim, this is not the case and therefore her recent report for the Centre for Policy Studies I find particularly repellent. Sexism is a cruel fate indeed. According to the investigation the equal opportunities battles has finally been won. Yes, so woman in full-time employment are still paid 17% less, rising to 36% for part-time jobs, among numerous other deeply depressing statistics, but not to worry. We can ignore all this for Dr Hakim assures us that it does not matter anymore. The disparity simply corresponds with the difference in gender aspiration (to be considered in another post).
In case you are now wondering what the true explanation could be to for why the vast proportion of top jobs are held by men (considering women officially experience the same luxurious opportunities), well, clearly woman just prefer low status jobs. (Yes, seriously).
“She asserts that women now have more choices than men, requiring us to believe that educated, capable women are taking poorly-paid, low-status jobs purely because they prefer them. “Why are women less likely to achieve the top jobs and associated higher pay?” she trills, swiftly concluding that there’s no way of knowing and that we therefore needn’t worry ourselves about it.” (Rowan Davies 2011)
That’s what Capitalism is about after all - “choice”.
Another favourite snippets from the fantastically titled “Feminist Myths and Magic Medicines” include:
“Unfortunately, feminist ideology continues to dominate thinking about women’s roles in employment and the family, and on how family-friendly policies are universally beneficial in promoting sex equality.” (Hakim 2011).
Feminist ideology dominating? I am beginning to wish I lived in Hakim’s world.
“On top of that, new feminist myths are constantly being created, seeking to portray women as universal victims” (Hakim 2011).
This sad interpretation begs the questions: what is Feminism to Dr Hakim? According to her report we can only conclude that Feminism is the out dated belief that men and women are not equal and that as a consequence women must be “protected” from the male agenda. The implicit assumption here being that men and women are separated by this movement and as ever, on opposing teams. Personally I always understood Feminism in terms of its fight for equality. Or it’s acceptance that although human beings are different and therefore may have varying skills and needs, fundamentally gender, nor any other superficial contrast, justifies discrimination. Feminism is a movement created to fight for those unable to shout loud enough alone - be that women or men, regardless of race, age, education or class. It is about equality. It is about strength. By encouraging the belief that feminism is the fight against men, the population is segregated; diminishing the power we would otherwise have in numbers. It is extremely sad to hear the words, “I’m not a feminist, I’m a man”, as though one excludes the other. Feminism may have evolved from a need to free women, but it’s ideologically beliefs scan far beyond this one area. Or at least, in my opinion, it should.
Davies, R (2011) http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/01/04/right-wing-wonks-claim-the-battle-for-equal-pay-for-women-has-been-won/
Hakim, C (2011) Feminist Myths and Magic Medicine: The flawed thinking behind calls for equality legislation.