Letters to the Editor

Gender affairs has no space for inane rantings of partisan activists

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

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Dear Editor,

Policymakers in Jamaica are becoming just as ignorant and biased as their counterparts in North America. For years North American feminists have sought to blame institutionalized sexism for the paucity of women in high-paying fields like engineering and computer science. Further, in recent times more policy analysts have been lobbying politicians to eliminate the gender wage gap that is not in favour of women. However, the data do not indicate that discrimination is the reason for the inadequate representation of women in certain fields or the gender wage gap.

According to Rosenbloom (2009), more men are likely to be computer scientists because men have a greater preference for performing technical tasks; women, on the other hand, even when they possess strong quantitative skills, have less interest in activities. Another study by Su et al (2009) also indicates that men have a greater affinity for working with objects, but women tend to be more people-oriented. Though more men may be engineers, women are not under-represented in all sciences. For example, studies have shown that fields, such as biology and pharmacology, are dominated by women. Therefore, if women are more likely to study biology and pharmacology, gender activists should not complain that they are under-represented in engineering, since men and women have different interests.

But the crux of the matter is that computer science and engineering are lucrative fields, hence feminists believe that women are being shortchanged by not dominating these fields. However, such an analysis is quite shallow, because the value of a scientist cannot possibly be measured by how much money he/she makes. In addition, the reasons for the gender wage gap has been examined ad nauseam, yet activists continue to ignorantly state that it is as a result of discrimination.

Men tend to be employed in more lucrative professions and work in dangerous jobs, usually for longer hours than women, so obviously, on average, men will earn more when these factors are taken into account. It is for these reasons the Government must not entertain the idiotic ramblings of gender activists who posit that women are not entering various professions, due to discrimination and stigma. Also the asinine suggestion from a University of the West Indies lecturer that men should be taxed to compensate women for “care work” ought to be dismissed. If women want equality in the distribution of household duties then they should discuss the matter with their husbands. Men without women and children ought not to incur the costs of such a tax. The media could do Jamaicans a big favour by not publishing the inane rantings of partisan activists because such views only serve to divide the sexes.

Lipton Matthews





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