Thursday, 5 January 2017

Sugar and Spice

Today it’s all about girls and boys, university and ‘that’ Labour peer. Shami Kebabrabalti, who says "Gender injustice is so embedded in our society and our world, that sometimes we stop seeing it.” She is so right, oh yes indeed... but the gender that is being hard done by, as far as education is concerned, is the male one. Some ardent feminists even go so far as to suggest restricting the participation of males in society to being sperm donors only and even that by strictly clinical means. Ugh, men!

We ought to give that a go, though. The men could all go and live on an island – Australia ought to do it and it does have previous in this regard – and see if they can get by on only such skills and ingenuity as are within the purview of the newly irrelevant sex. It would be fascinating to see how long the far superior womenfolk survive on gossip, feminine solidarity and bitching about the dudes once their technology begins to falter and fail. Over in Aus it is likely to get a bit unruly, untidy and obviously smelly but at least they would have the option of bathing if they so wished; back in the civilisation of the sisterhood I have an inkling they may soon stop drooling over the pretty boys and begin to fantasise about plumbers...

Of course that is a ridiculously simplistic, generalised, juvenile and frankly Neanderthal representation of the male-female dichotomy. It’s also pretty much spot on. For all the decades of hammering square pegs into round holes, the attempts to feminise men have largely failed... as have the many, many projects to get women to be equally represented in the rough, tough, dirty, hands-on trades of engineering and the more robust sciences. For every fast-tracked female exec, leap-frogging over the male competition to boardroom stardom; for every female apprentice whose image has been used on the front page of every trade magazine; for every woman boxer, wrestler or racing driver, there are hundreds of fellas equally able.

Why do we have to tell ourselves fairy tales about sameness when the very essence of the binary genders that 99% of the human race identify with is difference. Men, women; with the exception of the statistically insignificant anomalies that’s what we’ve got. Our physiology is different, our mental acuity different, our social preferences different and our attitudes to much about life... different. It’s what we like about each other.

If you are a woman who has carved out a high-flying career without the reverse prejudice of women-first or women-only policies you won’t be offended by any of this. If you are offended, the chances are it’s because you’re not so secure in your merit as you have tried to convince yourself. You may need a female-only safe space. The uneasy partnership between men and women and the perversity of nature forcing us together has existed unaltered for millennia. Where did this desire to pretend that gender is a choice come from?

I blame education, education, education. If a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing a lot of simply untrue knowledge may be the death of us. We have progressed from a model of civilisation that worked to a fluid social experiment that is unleashing continual unrest and dissatisfaction. Despite all the choices people are presented with today, I have a sneaking feeling that people were generally happier back when they had far fewer options. If you wanted an indicator as to how pointless this debate is, even Lily Allen has waded in – despite having the clear choice not to...

Anyway, I don't why am I bothered, I have plenty of stuff to be getting on with. I’m enrolling on my cycling proficiency PhD next week over at the Wallamaroo University of Manly Things. It should nicely complement my Masters in 25m breast stroke. If anybody needs me I’ll be over there with the blokes... and the last remaining cold beers on the planet.

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