Wednesday, 19 September 2007

The male glass ceiling

Argh, it be talk like a pirate day, it be. In celebration I plan to read a book about pirates and say argh too much. Argh.

In less amusing news -

MSN article on the male glass ceiling

The premesis, men have trouble breaking into the top ranks of female dominated careers. I don't know if that's true or not but it seems it could be a plausable premis. The problem's not so much with the premis as the way it's carried of.

They decide to dicuss this, for some reason best known to themselves, they need to first work out why women 'gravitate' to certain jobs. Their conclusion -

"Women enter into those areas because they are the most fulfilling," he says. "Men don't because they feel they need to take on the responsibility of providing for the family, and the way they earn love is to earn money."

So women don't work to provide for their family, they work to forfil their caring nature. After all, who needs to support themselves when they have a MAN to do that for them?

Plus, in today's world of double incomes, men are free to pursue career paths they find interesting rather than ones they solely see as financially viable, Kaiser says. "In the past decade, more careers have opened up to women," she notes. "They're becoming lawyers and doctors and scientists, and leaving openings in other areas that men are now filling."

Let's read that another way. In the past, men filled up these jobs. Now the women are coming and taking those jobs away, the poor men are having to fill up the less well paid jobs left behind.

So, the reason women take these jobs is they don't need to support, just be supported, and more men are now taking them because the women are stealing all the big paying jobs (what was I thinking, going to university, the poor man who was destined for the pHd I will eventually get (hopefully) will be pushed out into the street and have to work in something as decidedly unmasculine as child care! Oh no). Anyway, we've established that, so now we need to prove the glass ceiling exists, right? That would be the logical thing to do. No, they give me a casestudy of a guy who rose through the ranks and says he never felt discriminated aginst because of his gender. Useful. But, wait, there's another case study and this one does claim to experince discrimination, but has risen anyway through his hard work and determination!

That mindset certainly contributed to Clifford's success. Says Farrell, "Men tend to be strong in the area of 'doing.' Unlike women, men won't articulate what bothers them about the barriers; instead, their attitude is, 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going.'"

See, it's womens fault for their own opression! Women who try to draw attention to the problem are at fault. We should just be quiet and work hard and pull through! Right, because that works.

It's just, ah! The glass ceiling isn't about women prefering the lowere paid jobs, it's not about women feeling a bit uncomfortable in the office, that's still discrimination but that's something else. The glass ceiling is the invisible barrier that stops women rising through the ranks. It's the old boy's club, the shake of the hand and the job's yours, the inhrant bias that a man's work has more value then a woman's even. And the implication that the ceiling exists because women just don't work hard enough.

Screw that.

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