Today’s Globe has a large spread on successful women. Nothing wrong with that. But I take issue with the tone. And I take issue with targets, which Sheelagh Whittaker, Director of Imperial Oil and Standard Life, advocates for in a taped message. You can listen here. (If you do, you’ll note her defence of targets isn’t very substantive and amounts to a desire for poor quality candidates everywhere. Furthermore, it’s quite condescending…”We’ll be equal when there as many incompetent women working as incompetent men”?? Really? You rose to the top on sentiments like that?)
I’ve been reading up on the female and male biological disposition in books like George Gilder’s Men and Marriage and other places too. And it has opened my eyes to the ways in which gender differences work. One thing is that men are naturally more aggressive and competitive than women. This is one of Gilder’s points and I happen to agree.
This means that in a competition in the workforce or in politics, men are, all things being otherwise equal, more likely to win. That doesn’t offend me. It just means Margaret Thatcher is that much more of a success. (And there are many other areas where women “win” since we are all so keen in our culture today on playing the gender warfare game. And we need things to be so very equal. One for the men, one for the women. It reminds me of spending time with my small and adorable nieces. Share! Your turn is over! That’s not yours! Thing is, they are both below the age of four. We really shouldn’t be doing this anymore as adults.)
The problem with targets is it is clear evidence that women cannot succeed without discriminatory policies (against men) working in their favour. I find that very patronizing, to use a word feminists wouldn’t like. This sort of discrimination causes unrest amongst women and men alike.
Needless to say, I don’t think I’ll be working for Sheelagh anytime soon.by