This is the first of two articles about gender issues. After reading it some readers might want to stick it to the anonymous poster. But please wait for the second before sharpening those knives.
Sadly, half of the people reading this blog are probably nodding at the headline and wondering what all the fuss is about, while their spouses are spitting blood. I have written this article in response to the latest statistics showing that women in the UK earn 19% less than men.
You would need to investigate more carefully to understand exactly what this statistic means, but it still comes as a shock when equality is taken as a given.
If two people are sitting side by side and doing the same job, I would love their employer to explain why one is getting paid more than the other if the only difference between them is gender.
Going a step further, with transgender issues becoming more prevalent, perhaps some women already considering a change of gender to get something close to a 20% pay rise?
Perhaps I should justify the provocative headline. Increasingly, in sporting contexts the media and society in general is being asked to regard women’s endeavours as equivalent to men’s.
This is generally a nonsense. While men and women have been competing on an equal basis for generations in sports such as equestrianism, this just does not work elsewhere.
Physiques are completely different and on average men are simply stronger than their female counterparts. In athletics, swimming and cycling, for example, the results speak for themselves, since the world record speeds achieved by men are far faster than those of women.
Similarly, if the best female rugby, cricket and soccer teams in the world pitted themselves against their male equivalents the results would be embarrassing, with serious risk to life and limb. As for boxing…
Where this thesis should fall down is in almost every other walk of human life. Through history, there have been fewer women succeeding as writers, composers, politicians and in the world of business.
This has nothing to do with talent and would appear to be the consequence of prejudice, ignorance and, to be slightly fairer, the fact that many women sacrifice careers to the joys of bearing children and bringing up a family.
Perhaps it is time for a reassessment. If women around the world begin to accept their limitations and strengths, maybe those in power (typically men) in the world of business etc, etc might finally begin to take steps to close that 19% pay gap and ensure that all jobs are determined on merit and the ability to do them rather than bias.