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.
Recently on Interstate 40 between Winston-Salem and Greensboro in North Carolina, an anonymous party paid to have a billboard put up which says “Real men provide. Real women appreciate it.”
Here’s a photograph of the billboard (which comes form this website, and which I am showing under fair use):
Two women who disagree with the message on the billboard – Paula Atwood and Kathryn Rende – have set up this GoFundMe page to raise money to put up a billboard with their own message to counter the message on the original billboard.
However, according to the the list of people who have donated to their fundraiser, these two women, who are trying to disprove the claim that “real men provide – real women appreciate it,” are themselves accepting and appreciating money from men.
So while the intent of these two women was to disprove the claim that was made on the original billboard, the actual result of their actions was that they ended up reinforcing the claim.
Video shows the U.S. president groping a woman. But the President is Clinton, not Trump, so the political left is perfectly OK with it.
Here’s a video of the U.S. President groping a woman, when he mistakenly thought the camera was turned off.
If this was President Trump, the political left would, justifiably so, be very upset.
But it’s not President Trump. It’s President Clinton. And to those on the political left, that makes it perfectly acceptable.
Also, note the ABC News logo on the bottom right corner. The video’s description at YouTube refers to the video as “uncovered ABC footage,” which suggests that it was never aired at all, on any local or national news broadcast. If this had been Trump, the national mainstream media would be playing this clip all across the country, day and night, for a very long time. But since it’s Clinton, that kind of media exposure didn’t happen, so almost no one knows about it. Media bias at its finest.
Linda Sarsour organized the recent women’s march.
Below is a screen capture of a tweet that she made, which says the following:
“10 weeks of PAID maternity leave in Saudi Arabia. Yes PAID. And ur worrying about women driving. Puts us to shame.”
And this woman is a role model for millions of U.S. women?
In my opinion, that’s pretty scary.
She also made this tweet, which says
“shariah law is reasonable and once u read into the details it makes a lot of sense. People just know the basics”
and this tweet, which says
“You’ll know when you’re living under Sharia Law if suddenly all your loans & credit cards become interest free. Sound nice, doesn’t it?”
and this tweet, which says
“If you are still paying interest than Sharia Law hasn’t taken over America.”
So there you have it. Millions of U.S. women support a woman who wants the U.S. to adopt a legal system that bans women from driving cars, prohibits women from appearing alone in public, calls for girls to have their genitals mutilated, and gives a woman’s testimony in court only half the value of a man’s.
Of course, immigration patterns prove that women overwhelmingly prefer living in the U.S. over Saudi Arabia. I’ve never heard of any woman who was born in the U.S. who chose to permanently move to Saudi Arabia. But I have heard of plenty of women who were born in Saudi Arabia who chose to permanently move to the U.S.
Sarsour herself was born in Brooklyn. I’m glad she was born in the U.S., because she has far more rights and freedoms here than she would in Saudi Arabia. It’s too bad that she mistakenly thinks that women women are better off in Saudi Arabia than in the U.S. I hope she will reconsider her position.
Huffington Post says it’s “Islamophobic” to say women’s march organizer Linda Sarsour supports Sharia law, but doesn’t mention her tweets that support Sharia law
The Gateway Pundit recently published this article about Linda Sarsour, who organized the recent women’s march against Donald Trump. The article states that Sarsour supports Sharia law, and as evidence, includes these two tweets:
The Huffington Post responded by publishing this article, which says that the Gateway Pundit and other websites had
“… deployed classic Islamophobic tactics in trying to discredit Sarsour, claiming… that she supports the spread of Sharia in the U.S….”
Nowhere in that article does the Huffington Post actually say anything about Sarsour’s two tweets.
Organizer For DC Women’s March, Linda Sarsour Is Pro Sharia Law with Ties To Hamas
January 21, 2017
She also advocates for Sharia Law in America and has ties to terrorist organization, Hamas.
Linda Sarsour is very active on Twitter. She is pro Sharia law and a couple of her tweets even have a seditious tone to them where she romanticizes Sharia law and hints at it taking over America whereby we would have interest free loans.
London’s Muslim Mayor Hosts EU ‘Remain’ Rally With Hijab-Clad Women Forced To Stand At The Back
June 6, 2016
London Mayor Sadiq Khan gave a speech in Manchester on behalf of the EU ‘Remain’ campaign, with women noticeably absent from the front of the crowd.
In an effort to bolster the ailing Remain campaign, newly elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan has gone on a road trip across the country to try and boost support for remaining in the European Union (EU).
A photograph from one of Mr. Khan’s speeches in Manchester posted on the Guido Fawkes blog reveals that in at least one of his speeches, meant to galvanise Labour voters in the north of England, women were excluded from the front row and relegated to the periphery of the event.
Mr. Khan is said to be attempting to distance himself from the government’s official campaign that has been dubbed “project fear”, and is expected to tell Labour voters in the party’s northern heartlands that voting to remain in the EU is the “positive, proud and patriotic thing to do,” the Evening Standard reports.
The London mayor said: “I am backing Remain because it’s by far the best option for protecting working people’s jobs, wages and rights…the world won’t end if we leave Europe — but it won’t be in Londoners’ interests or the interests of working people.”
It is not the first time that a Labour event has seen the segregation of women. The party has often been accused of pandering to hard-line Muslims, with a number of incidents being revealed last year.
The Mayor has also been in hot water before when it comes to questions over his links to Islamist groups and those who practice a more traditional form of Islam that often sees women segregated at events from men. Adding further fuel to the accusations that Mr. Khan is attempting to enforce a more traditional role of women in public life is his new ban on sexualised advertising on London’s public transport.
According to Mr. Khan, the ban on sexualised advertisements was to prevent exposure to images of scantly clad models making women feel “ashamed” of their own bodies. Though the move plays into the desires of feminists who want to see a more prudish take on women in public life, it also plays to the views of Islamists and Islamic traditionalists who desire women to cover up for reasons of “modesty”.
The speeches in the north of England see Mr. Khan team up with not only Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose engagement in the campaign has been lackluster so far, but also Prime Minister David Cameron who merely weeks before the London mayoral election referred to Mr. Khan as an extremist. Mr. Cameron and Mr. Khan appeared at a rally together at the end of last month in London to extol the virtues of the EU and the benefits of staying in the political bloc.
The north of England tour is scheduled to see Mr. Khan make speeches in Manchester, Oldham, Leeds and possibly Bradford. After the tour he will return through the Midlands to London on Sunday ahead of a BBC debate with former London mayor and pro-Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson at Wembley Arena on Tuesday evening.
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
Girls basketball team gets booted from league for being too good
January 24, 2016
A Minnesota youth basketball team has been ejected from a league for being too good and now the coach, parents and players are crying foul.
The Rogers Area Youth Basketball Association girls high school team was forced to the sidelines by the Northwest Suburban Basketball League — and it’s all because the team is 3-0, Fox 9 reported Saturday.
“We found out Friday at lunchtime that we’re not going to be allowed because according to the league our girls were too talented,” coach Jason Hanauska told the station.
RAYBA sent parents a letter that said the main reason for the league’s decision was because other teams in the league “do not want to play RAYBA due to the skill level.”
“This is absurd,” parent Sherri Palmgren told the station. “Do we take the (NFL’s) Patriots or Cardinals, who are going to the championship game, and kick them to the curb because they’re too good?”
The league ejected RAYBA just ahead of a showcase tournament this weekend, according to Fox 9.
“Are we supposed to play worse just to make them happy?” team member Tessa McCarthy told the station.
Hanauska is slated to meet with the league’s board Monday.
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