Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

"Where's the foetus going to gestate? ...

...Are you going to keep it in a box?"

Lynne Featherstone has put her elegantly manicured finger on what is stopping today's women achieving their full potential:
“One of the main barriers to full equality in the UK is the fact that women still have babies.” 
Er...yes - I mean, who else is going to do it?

By popular demand:


  1. Yet it doesn't appear to have prevented Ms Featherstone from exceeding her full potential.

  2. Nicely put, AKH!

    Yes, it's impressive to see how far you can get with a Diploma in Design from Oxford Polytechnic - and millionaire parents who own a successful high street business chain.

    Funny how these mothers complaining about boardroom inequality never compare themselves to childless women - it's always men who have somehow stolen a march on them because of an unfair biological advantage.

    Of course, she's not really interested in a level playing field:

    In December 2010 Featherstone introduced a move that would allow positive discrimination which is primarily aimed at addressing female under-representation in the workforce.

    It will also mean that a manager will be able lawfully to hire a black man over a white man, a homosexual man over a heterosexual man, if they have the same skill set.


  3. It must only be a matter of time before a leading supermarket introduces products from overseas to meet this need. We can soon look forward to offers of two for the price of one.

  4. She hits the nail on the head and then looses all credibility by blaming the entire problem on men.

    A man and a woman beginning the same job on the same day at the same rate of pay may well be on different rungs of the ladder and earning different wages in ten years time as the woman will have had a few years off to have children.

    She recognises that but misses the point that this is not inequality. On the contrary, it is equal return for effort.

    She goes on to suggest that it's somehow mens fault that women spend years away from work rather than advancing thier careers.

    She also seems to suggest that if a woman takes a year off work to have a child, when she comes back she should not continue the job where she left off but where she would have been had she never left.

    This is not equality. Not until they allow us blokes to take a year off to go backpacking accross Australia, then return to a promotion and pay rise.

  5. Demetrius, there is, of course, the matter of surrogate mothers; once a last resort in cases of infertility, they are coming to be seen in the US as a solution for career women who really can't be bothered with all that gestation business and can afford to farm it out to someone else, as they already do their childcare.

    Bucko, I suppose it's partly due to the orthodoxy that childcare is a low-status occupation even when it's your own child and thus time spent on maternity leave somehow doesn't count in the grand scheme of things and should be ignored.

    Personally, I cannot imagine entrusting the day-to-day care of my children to anyone else; given the amount of linguistic and emotional development that takes place over the first few years, I wasn't prepared to put that into anyone else's hands.

    It's odd that, amid all this talk of how childcare policies affect working women, no-one ever suggests that there might be an impact on the child.

    How do the children of these women feel, I wonder, at being repeatedly and publicly described as an impediment to Mummy's career?

  6. Just stealing this now lock stock and barrel.

    Post coming up tomorrow and this will wind it up beautifully.

  7. "She goes on to suggest that it's somehow mens fault that women spend years away from work..."

    I guess her 'reasoning' goes 'Well, it's men who get us pregnant!'...

  8. I guess she's hoping for the test-tube approach as popularised in "The Machine Stops".

    Given the huge success achieved by the State "care" system, what could possibly go wrong?

  9. Julia, yes; she makes it all sound as if as if she had no choice.

    A phrase of my mother's is, I think, particularly apt here: "She wants the penny and the bun".

    WY, I hadn't come across that one before - thank you!