In today’s Australian, Janet Albrechtsen reminds us that efforts to enforce gender quotas and the like are examples of good old rent seeking by a small number of rich elite white women. Do you notice the lack of diversity in organisations such as Chief Executive Women? I doubt any live in the western suburbs of Sydney. As Albrechtsen notes, no one would think of insisting that 50% of all surgeons be female. Yet the Australian Government is now insisting on a quota (sorry, targets) for barristers
The Turnbull government’s new “equitable briefing policy”, released last month by Attorney-General Christian Porter and Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer, requires all commonwealth agencies to meet targets — 25 per cent for female silks and 30 per cent for female junior barristers — when awarding legal work. No more asking for the best person.
Targets are the preliminary for of quota – what’s the use of a target if it isn’t monitored, and actions taken to move towards that target?
As for those precious men “male champions of change” – how many are resigning their positions to allow a female to take over? Why is it that they take on such a role only after benefiting from their ‘male privilege’? What do they think their junior male colleagues should do? Not apply for promotions perhaps?
Recently the Thai cave rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach has enthralled the world. All of the scuba divers who rescued the boys were men, selected purely on merit not on quota. Would we have seen such a happy outcome had the gender police been in operation and selected female divers purely by gender rather than merit?
And, finally, how are we to view all of the above in the context of the current review of the UK’s Gender Recognition Act 2004? For it seems that this is to be ‘liberalised’ by making it easier for people to declare their gender. If a person can be any gender, or no gender, it makes a mockery of the concept of gender. I can be Lucius today, Lucia tomorrow and back to Lucius the day after. Perhaps I wish to be referred to as ‘he/him’ on Mondays, ‘she/her’ on Tuesdays and ‘ze/hir’ on Wednesdays.
Perhaps all of this is evidence of the decline of western civilisation – we have moved beyond Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to some state where any fantasy can be entertained.