Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
This is interesting. I didn't come (or started this) to defend political convictions. Which part of my discourse smells right wing to you? I'm quite curious.

The only clear political idea I might have stated here was that the individual is a rational being, endowed with critical thinking, free choice, libre arbitre, in spite of all societal conditioning.
That makes me a classical liberal, I suppose.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 05:46:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which part of my discourse smells right wing to you?

Most of the things you say!  Your ideology is fundamentally different to mine.  

Although you have not articulated it as such your reasoning comes across as implying that individuals are more or less in control of their own fate. If they work hard enough (negotiate their contracts well), and apply themselves then they will not be at a disadvantage. ie it is up to the individual.

That's very much a right wing piece of rhetoric.

Also the fact that you view motherhood as a role that the woman should take up to the full (if they have children), that is what I referred to when I said it came across as being socially conservative - ie not thinking that these gender roles need to be challenged because they are 'natural' and that is how things should be.  I challenge that notion.

I'm surprised melo/kcurie have not brought in anthropology here because we've been talking about social constructs and the age old debate of the natural vs the social and that very much underpins where our different ideologies come from. I'm more on the side of there being no clear line between what is deemed as 'natural' in terms of gender roles and place in society and what is socially constructed. So I challenge it all.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 06:25:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But wherever have I mentioned ideology? I tried to remain rational, reasonable, and bring arguments.

Coming across, getting impressions, having the feeling that ... you do realize such impressions may come from you being leftwing conditioned :)

Individuals: I rationalised the thing: I said free, educated, adult individuals, however conditioned, can still find their critical thinking and make decisions. Not all the time, not in all cases, there is a continuously moving balance in my view, things are not so clearly cut out as linca or you seem to have it about society conditioning.
Sometimes "conditioning" is the result of evolution, is normal accumulation of social wisdom. I don't think you can deny this.

Negotiate contracts: well it was my own case, alas. And I saw women in job interviews and evaluation interviews. I even interviewed them. None was tough enough. I'm not either, btw, I've a scientifical formation (hence inclination to logic approach and rationalizing), I'm terrible in business or sales.
Business can be tough. Not always good, not always fair, so not always up to the individual. Is this reasoning rightwing? Frankly, when we take everything one says not as his real life experience, but as ideologically conditioned views, it's a sign something went wrong.

Motherhood is natural. Well isn't it ? Do you honestly and nonpolitically think a mother's 6th sense doesn't exist? Do you think men are so much worse in taking care of a child only because of social constructs ? Are you denying women are more sensitive, more intuitive, more empathical, more attentive, more nuanced, kinder at heart even?
This is not rightwing politics, not ideological, but my own personal unique experience with life. It might be socially conditioned though.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot franša) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 07:08:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I grew up in a Tory voting and right wing household. I grew up in the Tory heartlands of England.  I had no access to views from other people that were not at least moderately right wing.

Yet by my own nature I am left wing and when I found the political discourse that gave me the means to articulate how I felt things should be, it was amazing.  This is fundamentally my way of approaching the world.  So I was not leftwing conditioned by any means - I became left wing when I found the discourse that I felt comfortable with.

You haven't mentioned ideology but to refer to wiki:
Ideology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An ideology is a set of beliefs , aims and ideas, especially in politics. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things (compare Weltanschauung), as in common sense (see Ideology in everyday society below) and several philosophical tendencies (see Political ideologies), or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society.

So we are discussing our visions of how things should be and our ways of looking at things.  Even if this is personal and doesn't result from being a member of a political party or being a political activist (ie not buying into an organised ideology), it still counts as ideology.  I see yours and mine being very different.

I used softer words such as what you say 'comes across as' because I don't want to go pointing my finger and saying you are this or you are that.  My impressions come from the way I read into the language that you use and the concepts you are putting forward.  Also your view of what constitutes 'right wing' may well be a bit different to mine.  So you put yourself as moderate where I put you on the right based on the way you have discussed these issues with me. You think I am left wing conditioned but you don't think that you could be right wing conditioned?

The one thing about right wing rhetoric is that it does a fantastic job of getting the message over that this is all common sense, rational and reasonable and because most of the messages you absorb (through the French media you believe to be left wing) are aligned with right wing rhetoric, it's the 'norm' to you that you think is moderate. I haven't been able to express that too well.

Back to women in business and sales.  Why do they need to be so tough?  Is it because they are mostly dealing with male clients who expect a certain type of interaction in setting deals?  What about female clients who may prefer to work with a female sales person?  Research does show that our instincts mean that we prefer people who are like us.  This is where prejudice stems from, the important distinction being whether that prejudice then turns into discrimination through the way people act.

So men prefer to work with other men in certain environments say.  Or white people instinctively prefer to choose white applicants for jobs, because it is more in the personal comfort zone - especially for people who are not regularly exposed to a wide mix of people.  There's genuine psychology behind that.

There is also a business case for having a diverse workforce because it means that you can promote an image that will be attractive to a more diverse client base. Using methods such as flexible working can support both the female workers but also the male workers too, some of whom may have caring responsibilities but usually get overlooked and are expected to be present at work all the time.

My own unique personal experience of life has been an extremely diverse one - bringing me into contact with hundreds and hundreds of people from all walks of life, from different groups and situations, and communities. Part of my job is to gain an insight into the things they experience, especially within a work environment, and this has only strengthened my left wing views because I can see very clearly the disadvantage that certain groups face, disproportionately, that results from discrimination.

To push motherhood as being a natural thing for women then goes punishing the women who are not naturally good at it and prevents fathers from playing a fuller role in bringing up their children.  That's why I challenge it rather than assuming that that is the natural state of things.  Society is progressing I think in a way that enables fathers to play a larger role in their children's lives and that is because the stigma is lessening for women who prefer to go back to work and share the caring responsibilities more evenly with men.

That has happened because the social constructs around gender roles and the assumed role of women in families and in the workplace have begun to change - thus enabling both men and women to have more choice. But as I pointed out elsewhere, the gender pay gap means that choices are still restrained and things like the expectation that men will work longer hours than women, and so on, all still plays a huge part in preventing people from making the choices they wish to.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sat Nov 15th, 2008 at 04:44:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series