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Nothing undermines feminism so much as the notion that a job has to go to a women regardless of qualifications, and nothing undermines public confidence in political institutions so much as the feeling the wrong people got the wrong jobs for the wrong reasons. We have suffered enough from incompetence in key roles.
Jobs for the boys was all wrong, but jobs for the girls little better even if only to correct historic grievances and imbalances. To a large extent this is a middle class female fetish in any case used by careerists for their own ends. Women in general often don't benefit, and especially not working class women and those with lower levels of education.
All that said, Mairead McGuinness is at worst a very marginal case, and at best she could make a very good commissioner. She started working life as an agricultural journalist and might make a good agriculture commissioner.
But it would be a double slap in the face for Ireland if Ursula van Der Leyen were to first insist on her choice of Commissioner and then offer her a mediocre job. What would happen if Mairead then decided to stay as EP Vice President and take her chances with the EP presidency?
It would be a huge blow to Ireland, the Commission, and Van der Leyen if she ended up appointing a non-entity male technocrat no one really wanted in the job. But that is what you get when you say no men of relevant qualifications and experience need apply, and that is feminism at its worst.
Index of Frank's Diaries
With tongue in cheek, I might mumble that a similar case could have been made against majority rule in South Africa... where are the Blacks qualified to be ministers...
But I will refrain. Instead, perhaps we could examine the downsides to enforced parity in places where it has been applied for a while... For example, Scandinavia?
It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue
- Queen Elizabeth II
SA under Mandela was a near miraculous transformation achieved almost without major violence and prospered under his wise and competent leadership. He appointed ministers of all races, largely on the basis of competence, but also with an eye to racial balance and regional representation. Positive discrimination was introduced for blacks but generally only competent and honest people were appointed.
Since then it has been a case of a slow and steady decline, with corruption and crime rampant, and violence endemic. SA is now the most unequal society in the world, an inequality largely overseen by a rising black middle class within an overall long term declining economic growth trend.
As a result many blacks, particularly those in townships and rural areas are poorer in relative and absolute terms than ever, and many even hanker after the relative competence of some economic management in the Apartheid era if not its political repression and racial segregation.
Don't get me wrong, the defeat of Apartheid was one of the greatest political and moral victories of the last century, and much of what has happened since was predicted by me and was probably in large measure unavoidable. A person of the moral and political stature of a Mandela doesn't come along very often.
But basic competence and integrity is still a requirement of any functioning democracy, and we ignore it at our peril. The issues confronted by feminism in Ireland pale into insignificance compared to the repression under Apartheid, and women now, while grossly under-represent in the Dail (thanks to voter choices) are comparatively over represented at Ministerial level compared to the numbers elected.
There is the beginnings of an alt-right backlash at all things feminist in Ireland and I don't want to give it any more oxygen than absolutely unavoidable. Women are becoming more dominant in many professions and are often more qualified for the senior jobs now on offer. There is little need for any further positive discrimination in many sectors as women are getting there on their own merits.
If we want more women in high political office we have to persuade the best qualified to stand for election and for voters to vote for them. Claiming they are "token" women or the beneficiaries of positive discrimination only undermines and demeans them. They are well able to take it from here.
Index of Frank's Diaries
Instead, perhaps we could examine the downsides to enforced parity in places where it has been applied for a while... For example, Scandinavia?
Positive discrimination is allowed when it's based on age or income so kids, students, unemployed and elderly people can get cheaper tickets. And war veterans get free swimming and other activities.
In general the legal framework leans more towards making sure members of minorities (subjective to conditions) have a way to become a qualified applicant rather than forcing the selection. As long as the most qualified is selected.
Not a perfect system, but there hasn't been many complaints.
Feminism is a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that aim to define, establish, and achieve the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes.
The other problem with feminism (as with other Social Justice movements) is that it will not know its limits. First, it promises the sky, then the Moon, then it goes for the planets and the Sun, and then beyond the Solar system... As a way of example:
Now Charles Darwin gets cancelled: Natural History museum will review 'offensive' exhibitions about the Father of Evolution because HMS Beagle's Galapagos voyage was 'colonialist'
That is pretty offensive to my scientific and historical sensibilities :]
Similarly, there are movements to quote women equally in Wikipedia and scientific articles, regardless of the historical input. Respect for merit and hard work is so passé? If feminism will not command its own advance, some masculine interventions will.
Harmange's book questions whether women have good reason to hate men and notes that anger towards men can actually be "a joyful and liberating path".
My native region in Eastern Europe is not rich in resources for many men to become big shots. Accordingly (me thinks), men are generally trashed there - mildly or not - for quite a while. If men are loathed globally by now, it is a sign that the civilization has passed its peak.
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