Sarrah Le Marquand: It should be illegal to be a stay-at-home mum
By Sarrah Le Marquand
March 20, 2017
There’s one issue guaranteed to trigger hysteria across the nation every time it comes up in the news, and it has nothing to do with Pauline Hanson, international terrorism or Married at First Sight.
It’s the topic of stay-at-home mums. More specifically, the release of any data or analysis that dares recommend Australian women should get out of the living room/kitchen/nursery and back into the workforce.
So the outcry has been predictable in the wake of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) recent report which had the audacity to suggest stay-at-home mums would be better off putting their skills to use in paid employment.
“One of the areas of greatest untapped potential in the Australian labour force is inactive and/or part-time working women, especially those with children,’’ concluded the landmark study. “There are potentially large losses to the economy when women stay at home or work short part-time hours.’’
Right on cue, hysteria ensued, with commentators from coast to coast howling in indignation at the very idea that the uppity OECD would insinuate Australia might have a tiny bit of a problem with our female workforce participation rates.
For days you couldn’t walk past a television, radio or computer screen without encountering a defensive rant about how the most valuable work a woman can do involves nappies, play-doh, and a strict adherence to only leaving the family home during the hours of 9am to 5pm to attend playgroup or a similar non-work sanctioned activity.
And then we wonder why Australia continues to languish in the bottom third of OECD member states when it comes to female employment. It’s no mystery; our collective support for working women makes Donald Trump’s cabinet look like Women’s March HQ by comparison.
First, a few facts. Anyone who has a child — and this goes for both mothers and fathers — knows that everything else in life becomes a distant second to that child’s welfare, happiness and wellbeing. So this is not a discussion about the importance of parenting — that is beyond dispute.
And yes, the role played by parents in the early months and years following the birth of a child is vital and irreplaceable. It also stands to reason that for many (but certainly not all) families, it is the mother who opts to take time off work during this period to solely focus on caring for her baby.
Once again, there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, that time at home should be a privilege afforded to more new mums, which is why a few years back I was a lone voice in supporting Tony Abbott’s grossly misunderstood and thus ill-fated paid parental leave scheme, which proposed all female employees receive their normal salary for six months.
So it’s not as simple as suggesting that the OECD’s rallying call to utilise the potential of stay-at-home mums is an insult to mothers — on the contrary, it is the desperately needed voice of reason that Australians cannot afford to ignore.
Rather than wail about the supposed liberation in a woman’s right to choose to shun paid employment, we should make it a legal requirement that all parents of children of school-age or older are gainfully employed.
The OECD was right to criticise the double standards applied to Australia’s work-search rules regarding welfare benefits. While young people face strict criteria when seeking to access the dole, those aged over 50 can still receive it despite not looking for a job by citing 15 hours volunteer work a week.
The double standards are even greater for stay-at-home mums, with governments of all persuasions traditionally wary to tackle the unfair tax concessions enjoyed by one-income households for fear of inciting voting fury. (No doubt they refer to Abbott’s aforementioned paid parental leave scheme as a cautionary tale).
But it’s time for a serious rethink of this kid-glove approach to women of child-bearing and child-rearing age. Holding us less accountable when it comes to our employment responsibilities is not doing anyone any favours. Not children, not fathers, not bosses — and certainly not women.
Only when the female half of the population is expected to hold down a job and earn money to pay the bills in the same way that men are routinely expected to do will we see things change for the better for either gender.
Only when it becomes the norm for all families to have both parents in paid employment, and sharing the stress of the work-home juggle, will we finally have a serious conversation about how to achieve a more balanced modern workplace.
Only when the tiresome and completely unfounded claim that “feminism is about choice” is dead and buried (it’s not about choice, it’s about equality) will we consign restrictive gender stereotypes to history.
So long as we as a nation cling to the lie that only a stay-at-home mum is best placed to assume the responsibilities of caregiver then working fathers will continue to feel insecure about stepping off the corporate treadmill to spend more time with their children.
It’s not good enough — and only when we evenly divide the responsibility for workplace participation between the two genders will we truly see a more equitable division between men and women in all parts of Australian life.
Here’s a five minute interview with a refugee who fled an Islamic hellhole so she could come to the U.S.
This whole thing is great, but the best part – I think – is when she asks why “western feminists” want their own countries to import the same kinds of scumbags that she came here to get away from:
There is no academic subject that is more meritocratic, and less discriminatory, than math. What this college is doing is wrong.
For their entire careers at this university, these women will be known as the math professors who got hired not because of their abilities at math, but because of their gender.
What this school is doing is condescending and sexist, and it reinforces the false stereotype that woman are not good at math.
Melbourne University advertises female-only jobs in bid to remedy gender imbalance in maths
May 18, 2016
The University of Melbourne has taken the extraordinary step of opening up jobs to female applicants only in an attempt to drive change in the male-dominated area of mathematic academia.
Only about a quarter of all mathematics academics in Australia are female, and the university is now advertising three positions in its School of Mathematics and Statistics for female applicants only.
It is believed to be the first time it has limited applications to women only for permanent academic positions.
The jobs, in pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics, may range in level from lecturer, to senior lecturer, to associate professor, depending on the candidate’s experience.
The head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics, Professor Aleks Owczarek, said the decision had been taken to promote change.
“We clearly have an issue with attracting female applicants appropriately to our workforce,” Professor Owczarek said.
“So this is an agenda to attempt to address that.” Reaching gender equality in maths stubbornly slow
Women are notoriously underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but mathematics has the lowest representation of all studies.
Lesley Ward, an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of South Australia, and chair of the Women in Maths Special Interest Group of the Australian Mathematical Society (WIMSIG), told ABC’s PM it gets worse the more senior the rank.
“At the first academic rank of associate lecturer it’s still only 30 per cent women, by the time you get up to the second highest rank of associate professor it’s down to under 20 per cent women,” Professor Ward said.
“At the highest rank, of professor, it’s 9 per cent women, according to the most recent data we have from 2014.”
She said there were many reasons for the low percentages, but a key cause was unconscious bias which sees men promoted more often than women.
Because of that, Professor Ward welcomed The University of Melbourne’s move, saying change so far had been slow.
“There have been many measures taken by universities and by individuals and by professional societies to help the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equity in these disciplines,” she said.
“In some disciplines it’s been harder than others and in mathematics it’s one where it’s taken a particularly long time.”
Equal Opportunity Act allows for positive discrimination
The University of Melbourne positions have been advertised using a special measure of the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act.
“The use of this kind of special measure that we’re using has been used with regards to Indigenous employment,” Professor Owczarek said.
“For this kind of positions, permanent continuing academic positions, I believe it might be the first time it’s been used,” he added.
Discrimination lawyer Rowan Skinner said the Act allows organisations to take actions to promote equality.
“The Act specifically permits an organisation to engage in what is overtly a discriminatory act, but for the purposes of ensuring that there is equal opportunity overall,” Mr Skinner said.
This three minute audio segment from NPR is called “Blind hiring, while well meaning, may create unintended consequences.”
It says that “blind hiring” is a process where job applicants are interviewed by computer instead of in person, so there is no bias regarding gender or race. Applicants are given online tests such as doing a math problem, or writing computer code.
I think this is a great idea.
In the NPR audio segment, the “unintended consequence” of “blind hiring” is explained by a black female college student, who complains that under “blind hiring,” she would not get special treatment.
In the comment section, someone wrote:
“The response of the black female student to blind hiring shows that in today’s job market male whites are not the privileged group.”
I think that commentor makes a great point.
It appears as if NPR has unintentionally revealed the existence of “black privilege.”
You can hear the three minute NPR audio at http://www.npr.org/2016/04/12/473912220/blind-hiring-while-well-meaning-may-create-unintended-consequences
Why does the liberal, tolerant, and enlightened city of San Francisco arrest black women at 13 times the rate of women of other races?
Black women in San Francisco arrested way more often than white women, report shows
May 27, 2015
Black women represent 5.8% of the city’s female population, but accounted for 45.5% of all female arrests in 2013… For arrests related to weapons and narcotics—both felonies—black women made up 77% and 68% of all female arrests, respectively.
Black women were arrested “at a per capita rate 13.4 times higher than women of other races,” says the report.
Considering that San Francisco is said to be one of the most liberal, tolerant, and enlightened cities in the U.S., I wonder how this happened.
It doesn’t make any sense to care how many Fortune 500 CEOs are female. Instead, what does matter is how many of the Fortune 500 companies were started by a woman in the first place.
A fake feminist demands that companies created by men hire more female CEOs. A real feminist starts her own company and makes herself the CEO.
The Hill recently reported:
… the president is proposing a new $500 second-earner credit to help cover the additional costs, such as commuting, of families with two working spouses. That plan is expected to benefit 24 million couples, the White House said.
Another proposal would streamline and expand childcare tax benefits, providing up to $3,000 per child under age 5, helping 5.1 million families that make up to $210,000 a year and cover costs for 6.7 million children.
A real tax cut means that marginal tax rates are cut, and people can spend that money however they want.
But that’s not what Obama wants.
Instead, Obama wants to use the tax code to reward people who put their children into day care, and to punish families with a stay-at-home parent.
If you want this tax cut, you will have to behave in the specific way that Obama wants you to behave.
If your lifestyle is different than the way that Obama wants you to live, then you will not get a tax cut.
I’m Jewish, and please allow me to say that it’s absurd that some Jewish men have caused commercial flights to be delayed by refusing to sit next to female passengers.
In September 2014, the New York Post reported:
Ultra-Orthodox Jews refuse to sit next to women, delay flight
Hundreds of Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men refused to sit next to women on an El Al jet from New York to Israel — and spent the 11-hour flight trying to bribe people to switch seats and loudly praying in the aisles when they refused.
“It was an 11-hour long nightmare,” one of the passengers told Israel’s ynet news Web site after the Wednesday morning flight landed.
The flight – on the eve of Rosh Hashanah – was not only delayed, but degenerated into chaos once in the air, passengers said.
“Although everyone had tickets with seat numbers that they purchased in advance, they asked us to trade seats with them, and even offered to pay money, since they cannot sit next to a woman. It was obvious that the plane won’t take off as long as they keep standing in the aisles,” said passenger Amit Ben-Natan, a passenger.
In December 2014, the Daily Mail reported:
Delta Airlines flight from New York’s JFK Airport delayed after ultra-Orthodox Jewish passengers refuse to sit next to women
A Delta Airlines flight from New York’s JFK Airport to Israel was delayed by half an hour when a group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men refused to sit next to female passengers.
Delta Flight 468, bound for Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, was reportedly held up due to several Haredi passengers refusing to to sit in their assigned seats, which were in between two women.
The behavior by these so-called “men,” and the disrespect that they showed to women in a public setting, is inexcusable.
Yes, when you’re at your synagogue, or in other areas where everyone agrees with and is accepting of your religious views, it’s OK not to sit next to women.
But when you are in a public accommodation, where not everyone shares your religious point of view, you have no right to force your religious beliefs on to other people. It is up to you, not other people, to be the flexible one. It is your responsibility, not that of other people, to adapt your behavior .
And if you don’t like the rules on the airplane, then don’t buy a ticket.
Or, buy an entire row of tickets.
But don’t force other people to alter their behavior to accommodate your religious beliefs.
The “sexist” shirt worn by rocket scientist Matt Taylor was actually made by a female friend who gave it to him for his birthday
So this rocket scientist named Matt Taylor lands a spacecraft on a comet – the first time that this has ever been done – and a bunch of people claiming to be “feminists” accuse him of “sexism” because he was wearing a shirt which depicts scantily clad women holding guns.
My first reaction to reading about this was that if these women are holding guns, they are not victims – they are empowered.
Then, when I looked at the shirt, I immediately saw that this was a richly detailed, beautiful, colorful piece of art. I know the difference between art and porn, and this is definitely not porn. It is art.
The shirt was handmade by a woman named Elly Prizeman, who is friends with Taylor, and who gave it to him for his birthday.
The people who falsely claimed the shirt was “sexist” bullied Taylor to the point that he cried on international television.
Prizeman said of this:
Dr. Matt Taylor is an amazing, kind, loving and sensitive person.
I never expected him to wear my gift to him for such a big event and was surprised and deeply moved that he did.
I made that shirt for his birthday last month as I make clothes just as a hobby and he asked if I would make him one.
He is a close and very loved friend so made sure I did this for his birthday present.
I appreciate that everyone is entitled to their opinion and having worked with people and events for a long time I have certainly learnt that you are never going to please everyone….
I am so proud of Matt and his achievements and the fact he is an interesting and very brave person to do what he did with the very sweet gesture he made towards my gift and to wear his individuality with pride.
It has certainly made history more exciting and bold.
The clothing industry has expressed interest in mass producing Prizeman’s shirt.
Here’s Taylor wearing the shirt. Click on the image to see a larger version. Image used under fair use and copied from http://www.theverge.com/2014/11/13/7213819/your-bowling-shirt-is-holding-back-progress
Shoshana Roberts doesn’t want men to “harass” her, but on her own online biography she mentions her DD breasts
Shoshana Roberts is the woman who recently made a video about how she was “harassed” when she walked down the sidewalk. Much of this “harassment” consisted of people saying hi and being friendly.
You can see the video here:
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also wrote this article about her video and the “harassment” that she received.
However, on her online biography, she mentions that her breast size is DD.
Shoshana Roberts has every right to list her breast size on her biography. But for someone who thinks that saying hi is a form of “harassment,” listing her breast size seems like an add choice.
If Shoshana Roberts is reading this, please answer this question: if you don’t want men “harassing” you, why do you list your breast size on your biography?
Whatever you tax, you get less of. Democrats understand this, which is why they support carbon taxes, gasoline taxes, the Tobin tax, and other taxes on things that they would like there to be less of.
In Sweden, six scumbags convicted of gang raping a 15-year-old girl will not receive any time in prison
The Local reports:
Six teenage boys aged 15 to 17 were convicted on Friday after raping a 15-year-old girl in a north-western suburb of Stockholm in March.
Five of the boys have been sentenced to over 100 hours of community service each, and have been ordered to pay 55,000 kronor ($8,500) each in damages to the victim.
This is despicable.
For all practical purposes, rape is now legal in Sweden.
For a country that has a reputation of being one of the best in the world when it comes to protecting women’s rights, this suggests that the reputation is not deserved.
In the July/August 2012 issue of Atlantic magazine, Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote this article called “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.”
The very title of the article smacks of radical leftist feminism – an ideology which see victimhood everywhere. In the real world, regardless of one’s gender, it is not possible for a person to “have it all.” And yet, because Slaughter does not “have it all,” she assumes that she is a victim of sexism and gender discrimination.