European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde recently spoke with the French business magazine Challenges [sic] on the “revolutionary process” of feminizing of the workplace (actually focusing on female leadership). Her comments were quite instructive on the state of globalist thinking on this question.
Lagarde opens with the following salvo of factoids:
Gender inequality still exists in terms of access to the job market and the pay gap. In OECD countries, the gender wage gap is still 13%. Women are working more and more but are still under-represented in management positions in both the private and public sectors. The coronavirus crisis has made the situation worse for women. Women make up almost 70% of the healthcare workforce; they are at greater risk from a health perspective. During lockdown, they have been active on all fronts, forced to work while caring for their children, not to mention coping with the threat of domestic violence. As in every economic crisis, they are at greater risk of losing their jobs or of having their wages cut.
This kind of hodgepodge needs no detailed rebuttal. Note that the OECD gender wage gap makes no account for the fact that men and women work different jobs (notably well-paid STEM careers). The comment on women being “at great risk” of coronavirus is in particularly poor taste given that men are more likely to die of the disease.
Lagarde ends with a totalitarian flourish that would make the dourest Ceaușesquian apparatchik proud: “The road towards gender parity in the workplace is anything but straight. It is a long-term process that requires vigilance at all times from every segment of society.” There can be no room for spontaneity and natural development in our society. Everything must be monitored, controlled, policed, and sanctioned according to our ideological priors.
When, exactly, did gender equality slip from a commitment to equality of opportunity to a mission of socially engineering equality of outcomes?
Lagarde observes: “We have made some progress [on gender equality], but unfortunately there is a civil society consensus at international level that, given the still slow pace of advancement, any significant gains on the equality front will take decades rather than years to emerge – unless something changes.” Now there’s a mouthful: “international civil society consensus,” referring to the vast network of para-governmental or oligarch-funded organisations that are considered our conscience on this issue. Evidently, there has been a decided shift in opinion in the managerial class, the top 15-20% of our societies, in France embodied by the supporters of Emmanuel Macron.
A curiosity of Official Feminism is that one can make the case for female superiority, but not the reverse. Lagarde argues:
You’ve often heard me say that if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters, the financial crisis of 2008 would no doubt have turned out differently. And the quality of a number of women leaders in the political or economic arena has certainly enabled better management of the unprecedented health crisis which we are now experiencing. But there are still too few women in positions of responsibility. More needs to be done in many areas. Just to give one example: we should encourage men to take paternity leave, and grant it to them for longer periods than their current entitlement of a few days or weeks.
Needless to say, the debate becomes rather one-sided given that anyone making the case for the superiority of male management will face instant professional annihilation and expulsion from polite society. Witness the fates of Larry Summers and James Damore after making more innocuous comments.
Lagarde adds: “And beyond the professional world, too, there is still quite a way to go, as is sadly evident from the prevalence of domestic violence and number of femicides.” This has become a popular and emotive issue in the French media recently, as though it were a recent issue or a worsening issue or something.
[M]en are definitely more accepting than before of women attaining the most senior positions, and corporate behaviour is beginning to change. Not only with regard to career paths, but also in day-to-day interaction between men and women. This is a valuable and necessary transformation; moreover, the younger generations are more aware of these issues. But the real change in mentality will come when nobody, male or female, questions the legitimacy of a woman holding a position of power.
One wonders who she could possibly be referring to in this current year.
The trouble with this whole discourse is that it denies a priori any significant biological differences between men and women. Or rather, feminists want to have it both ways: on the one hand there are no significant biological differences which could lead to legitimate male over-representation in a desirable field, other the other hand sometimes differences are acknowledged and these account for female superiority in some field.
In fact, given their differing roles and incentives through their evolutionary history – men using their physical strength to fight other tribes for instance, women spending much of their lives pregnant and caring for their young – it would be utterly normal for men and women to be attracted to different fields of work. If there is equality of opportunity, inequality of outcomes should be expected in certain sectors and should not be assumed to be because of exclusion or discrimination. It’s obvious that the fact that men are more violent than women by about an order of magnitude has fundamentally biological causes.
Naturally feminism focuses on replacing men in prestigious positions such as government, corporate leadership, and STEM. Few ask: why are all those UberEats bikers delivering food men? Why are nurseries and primary schools overwhelmingly staffed by women? (“Stereotypes,” of course, have probably brainwashed these women to prefer spending time with small children rather than face dismal weather conditions as UberEats bikers.) Why are garbage collectors men?
Actually, I hesitate to tease feminists on this. I have even encountered official government programs mandating the increase in the percentage of female garbage collectors. But the inevitable question: Why? Who cares? Don’t you have better things to do?
Anyway, the growing popularity of transexuality among our thinking class shows that they have become completely unhinged from biological reality, at least wherever some wounded ego is concerned.
The upshot to all this is that, in Europe and much the developed world, systematic and official discrimination against men in politics, management, and science will intensify. Quotas for female politicians already exist in many European countries, notably France, and the EU wants to legally require all corporations to have gender quotas for their corporate boards. Including, obviously, for sectors women tend to avoid, such as IT.
Lagarde concludes: “Female emancipation boosts productivity and economic development. That is an established and documented fact. So, what are we waiting for?”
All this begs the question: what will be the long-term consequence of feminizing leadership?