Over the years I have worked on building sites during the summer holidays and one observation I would make is that these dirty places of work were 100% female free zones. In terms of the oily bits of a car, every mechanic I have ever dealt with was a bloke, no oil-stained overalls in a female shape. In a home of five females and yours truly, whenever the sewer pipes backed up, domestic demarcation dictated that I, and only I, got to use the smelly brushes and hose to unblock them. In that regard I’ve seen things that no man should see, (tee hee).
It used to be generally understood that women wouldn’t/didn’t do the horrible jobs but that must surely change now. You see, our Higher
Education Minister has vowed to create women-only professorships in a radical move to address persistent gender inequality at senior levels in universities and third level colleges. As things stand, any State posts that become available in Third Level Education can be applied for by both male and female applicants. So to tackle what she perceives as a bias against women, Mary Mitchell O’Connor will create a complete bias against men. “I want 40% of professors within our institutions to be female by 2024,” she said. May I ask why? If I were studying for a degree at present I would want the best lecturer available talking to me, regardless of age, sex or social standing.
It is understood that, initially, up to 10 posts will be funded, at professorial level, where salary scales start at between about €80,000 and €115,000, but that is just initially. Maybe over time there will be over 100 of these women-only posts coming on stream and no male, super-qualified or not, will be allowed to apply for any of them. Could you imagine the explosive backlash if that announcement had been the other way around? Adverts with “No Women Need Apply” scrawled over them would appear. I remember here in Cork a few years ago when a Polish Shop advertised for staff with the legend, “No Irish Need Apply.” They pasted that up on the shop window and within an hour, a rock took out the advert and the window. It took the owner to come on local radio the next morning to explain that candidates for the job needed to have fluent Polish before the bad feeling lifted slightly. If the ad had said that in the first place they wouldn’t have needed to fork out for a new window but then, they were fluent in Polish but not in English.
When I thought about it through, it seemed reasonable to assume that our third level colleges would simply carry on as usual and continue picking the best candidate for the jobs as they arose. But Mary Mitchell O’Connor obviously anticipated this and so has added the proviso that, “Gender equality will also become a key factor in general funding allocations to each college.” That is using public money to bribe/bully our colleges to hire women professors whether they are any good or not. It is an example of fascism not democracy. We are told that the minister’s announcement comes against a backdrop of growing international focus on gender gaps and equal pay in the work place, fueled by the #MeToo movement that emerged from women speaking out against sexism and harassment in Hollywood. Well, what else is it if a qualified man, possibly next in line for advancement is excluded from applying for advancement because he is sporting a penis? That is just blatant sexism and harassment.
And while I’m on the subject, why are all HR departments ninety per cent populated by females with a strong bias to employ more females all things being equal, (or maybe not)? I note also that women are still not flocking to the building sites or garages around the country despite the upsurge in the economy. On a similar note, there are many ads today that depict men as the inferior sex. I’m thinking of a particularly annoying one for car insurance. It begins with an authoritative female voice saying, “I think we should break up .” What can only be described as a pathetic needy male voice pleads, “But I’ve just had your name tattooed on my….” The authoritative female voice quickly interrupts sounding annoyed and exasperated, “With our car insurer.” Did you ever hear anybody refer to changing their car insurer as, “Breaking up with the old one?” What is this accepted narrative where the male of the species must be depicted as universally stupid? The ad was awkwardly designed in order to make the male role sound subservient, inferior and stupid.
They are planning for gender equality in the Dail too and that is just plain stupid to my mind. You are not entitled to a hundred grand a year just because you are a female and if you are, then I demand a hundred grand a year as well because I am a male, after all, that’s what it says in the constitution about equality for all of our people. It cannot work, can it? I strongly support the idea of gender equality and with two engineers for children I’d like to think my daughter can earn the same as my son. What I would not support would be a job advert that only allowed her to apply and excluded him for not being another daughter instead. That is just plain wrong in my opinion!