Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"Mothers lose right to equal salaries"

"Women who take time out of the workplace for maternity leave have no automatic right to the same pay as male colleagues who are doing the same job but have not had time off, Europe’s top court ruled yesterday...Bernadette Cadman, 44, a health inspector from Manchester, brought the case after she realised that she was being paid up to £13,000 less a year than male colleagues who were doing the same job.", says The Times of London.

There is no end to the narcissism and selfishness of middle-class women. Are they seriously suggesting that employers should not pay their workers in proportion to their length of service and experience? That seems to be what they are demanding.

Why should someone with no experience be paid the same as someone with twenty years' experience? The fact is, the veteran employee has job skills which are both deeper and wider, better established colleagial and client relationships, more self discipline, and is generally of more value to the company than someone with no experience. They are a tried and tested, reliable asset to the organisation, unlike someone who has just walked in off the street. Of course employers are going to pay them more, and if one employer doesn't, another one will.

I think you'll find that if women were the ones with the greater experience and higher salaries, that would be perfectly acceptable. You would be able to hear a pin drop in the feminist camp. Jemimah will expect her own seniority to be recognised if she has it, but she denies her male colleagues the same right.

I don't believe that even feminists could argue something as absurd as the claim that experience should not be linked with pay, so in some ways I have just knocked down a straw man to make a point. Their gripe is only about maternity leave.

When Jemimah gives up her job to spend a year at home looking after little Sebastian, she expects to go back into the workplace at the same level as her colleagues who didn't take any time off. Why on earth does she think she has a right to that? They've been working all the while, completing new projects, keeping up with developments in the industry, establishing new customer relationships, while she has been at home. Now she has to play catch-up, but that's her problem. The fact is, no-one forced her to have a baby. It was her choice.

I've told this one before, but it is worth repeating. A male friend of mine who comes from a South European country had to do compulsory military service at eighteen. He commented that when he and his friends came out of the army and entered university, the girls they knew from high school were already one or two years ahead of them. It would not be reasonable for him to insist that he should be allowed to enter university straight into the third year. If you take one or two years out of the career market, then you go back into it one or two years behind everyone else. That's life. At least working women can choose whether or not to have children; my friend couldn't choose whether or not to join the army.

I don't accept this special pleading for mothers. I don't think that taking a year off to have a baby is any different from taking a year off to travel the Amazon rain-forest, climb Everest, or undertake any other quest for self-fulfillment. Because let's face it, that's why Jemimah had her baby. To make her feel more fulfilled. In fact, that's why Jemimah has a career.

Did you spot the casual sexism in the Times article I quoted? "she realised that she was being paid up to £13,000 less a year than male colleagues who were doing the same job". Male colleagues? What about the childless females?

Personally, I'd like to take a year off to tour the flesh-pots of South East Asia. Hey, it might make me feel more fulfilled. And when I get back, if my boss doesn't give me the same promotion he gave my colleagues, I'm going to sue his ass. It's my right.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Legalise Prostitution

Anti-prostitution campaigners typically cite a central corpus of issues as evidence that prostitution must be regarded as an absolute social evil, and eliminated by means of oppressive law enforcement. These include:

  • Violence against sex-workers, including rape and murder.
  • Economic exploitation of sex-workers.
  • The involvement in the industry of professional criminal elements, including gangsters, pimps and people-traffickers.
  • Drug-use among sex-workers.
  • Unhealthy or dangerous working conditions for sex workers.
  • The involvement of under-age sex-workers.
  • The intrusion of street prostitution into the lives of those who do not wish to be involved, such as local residents.
  • Prostitution encourages the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases.
  • Prostitution constitutes a significant sector in the shadow economy, in which:

    • No taxes are paid
    • Commercial contracts are enforced by violence, due to the absence of recourse to legal process.
    • Causes secondary economic crime such as corruption and money-laundering.

All of these problems exist, and they are indeed a heady cocktail of issues.

However, they are all easily solved. All of them. At a stroke. All you have to do is legalise prostitution, and all of these problems will substantially go away.

The fact that prostitution is illegal is in fact the cause of these problems, not the solution to them.

However, anti-prostitution campaigners are not motivated by logic, but by moral dogma, ignorance and narrow self-interest.

Feminists have got it absolutely right when they talk about abortion. Making abortion illegal does not stop it from happening. It just makes it more dangerous. Therefore, it is in the public interest to keep it legal, and therefore regulated and safe.

However, they do not apply the same logic to things they disapprove of, such as pornography and prostitution, or in the last century, alcohol. A charming character called Carry A Nation used to go into saloons with a group of her friends, and smash the place up with axes. She and her fellow feminists were a key force in the Temperance movement, which eventually led to alcohol prohibition under the Volstead Act of 1919.

Prohibition was a national disaster for the US. It led to the creation of a massive shadow economy, organised crime, the criminalisation of many otherwise law-abiding citizens, police corruption, violence and a disregard for the rule of law.

A bit like the 'War on Drugs' today. Making drugs illegal actually makes them more dangerous, because gangsters are not concerned about quality control. Bootleg whiskey was often poisonous and contained methanol. That's why there were so many blind Blues musicians like Blind Lemon Jefferson. But the temperance fanatics would take this as evidence that they were right all along: "Look. You drink whiskey, you go blind. We were right!". They seemed to be willfully ignorant of the fact that they were the ones actually causing the problems.

This is exactly the situation today with regard to both illegal drugs and prostitution. People are going to do these things whether you like it or not, so you just have to make the best of it.

Many moralists were against setting up needle exchanges for drug addicts, on the grounds that we shouldn't be encouraging people to inject drugs. However, responsible policy-makers accept that you have to deal with what's in front of you; you can't just wish you had something different. In fact, needle exchanges have been very successful in reducing the spread of infections.

Feminists like to cherry-pick their issues. One policy for abortion, another for prostitution. It's time they started being honest.

My view is that anything which takes place between consenting adults in private is no-one else's business.

If we legalise prostitution, we can set up licensed brothels. These could be subject to police inspections and health and safety checks. The staff and the owners will pay taxes. There will be professional recruitment procedures. No more people-traffickers, pimps and gangsters. No more violence. No more disease. No more under-age workers. No more coercion. Let's see if anyone wants to work there. Of course they will. This is exactly what the Australians have done.

I offer the Australian model of legal prostitution as a model for the Western world. I challenge anyone, even Julie Bindle, to find anything wrong with it, beyond the same mundane operational problems which affect any business.

In the licensed brothels in Australia, there has never been a single murder of a prostitute, or a single case of HIV infection. In Britain, in the past 10 years, over 60 street prostitutes have been violently murdered. A third remained unsolved. They make up the biggest group of unsolved murders in Britain. Reference.

I offer the American model of alcohol prohibition as an explanation of why the current situation in Britain is so completely fucked-up, and far from being the solution, is actually the source of most of the problems. It is interesting to note the high degree of feminist involvement in both problem situations. Feminism simply causes far more problems than it solves.

As well as licensed brothels, there should be a zero-tolerance policy towards both street-walkers and kerb-crawlers. Never mind 'zones of tolerance'. The street is no place for prostitution. The appropriate venue is the private house or licensed brothel. The same thing applies to the gay community. The public toilet is not your personal brothel. Summary arrest for everybody. No exceptions. We need to get casual sex off the street and into a safe private environment. If we do that, the problems associated with prostitution will all largely disappear overnight.

Traffic Noise

The government has set up a new agency to combat people trafficking. A worthy enough cause in my view, but one distorted once again by the feminist-dominated media. All we hear about is women trafficked to work as prostitutes against their will. We just love stories about female victims, don't we? We can't get enough of them. I'm not saying it never happens, but let's get some facts straight.

  1. The agency itself identifies four different markets for people trafficking (in no particular order):

    • Those trafficked to work as prostitutes (Predominantly women).
    • Those trafficked to undertake forced labour (Mainly men).
    • Children (Presumably for adoption by childless couples).
    • Those trafficked to work as domestic servants (Presumably mainly female).

  2. Abductions are rare. With the exception of children, almost all traffickees are trafficked voluntarily, and even pay large sums for the privilege. They are economic migrants.
  3. The UN has stated that those most likely to be trafficked for forced labour are men.

We never hear most of that. All we hear about is women being tricked or forced into prostitution. Some writers have commented that the moral panic over people-trafficking is simply a resurgence of the myth of the 'White Slave Trade, a nineteenth century moral panic created for largely racist motives.
This article is particularly worth reading:

The campaign against 'trafficking in women' has gained increasing momentum world-wide, but in particular among feminists in Europe and the United States, in the last two decades. This current campaign is not the first time that the international community has become concerned with the fate of young women abroad. Modern concerns with prostitution and 'trafficking in women' have a historical precedent in the anti-white-slavery campaigns that occurred at the turn of the century. Feminist organisations played key roles in both past and present campaigns. While current concerns are focused on the exploitation of third world/non-western women by both non-western and western men, concerns then were with the abduction of European women for prostitution in South America, Africa or 'the Orient' by non-western men or other subalterns. Yet, though the geographical direction of the traffic has switched, much of the rhetoric accompanying the campaigns sounds almost completely the same. Then as now, the paradigmatic image is that of a young and naive innocent lured or deceived by evil traffickers into a life of sordid horror from which escape is nearly impossible.

The mythical nature of this paradigm of the 'white slave' has been demonstrated by historians. Similarly, recent research indicates that today's stereotypical 'trafficking victim' bears as little resemblance to women migrating for work in the sex industry as did her historical counterpart, the 'white slave'. The majority of 'trafficking victims' are aware that the jobs offered them are in the sex industry, but are lied to about the conditions they will work under. Yet policies to eradicate trafficking continue to be based on the notion of the 'innocent', unwilling victim, and often combine efforts designed to protect 'innocent' women with those designed to punish 'bad' women: i.e. prostitutes.

The current moral panic is not really an anti-people trafficking effort at all; it is an anti-prostitution campaign; we are being told the lie that the two things are one and the same.

The nineteen cockle-pickers who drowned in Morecambe Bay were people-trafficked illegal immigrants. Seventeen of the dead were men. I don't hear much moral panic about that. Where are the tabloid headlines like "Trafficked to death"? As the call-girl-cum-author Belle de Jour pointed out in her letter to the Guardian (unpublished), "When Chinese migrants died collecting cockles, no one was daft enough to suggest that the solution was to limit the number of shellfish one should have access to, or better still, forbid people from eating fruits of the sea altogether."

The desire to combat people-trafficking is not an argument against legal prostitution. If anything, it is an argument for it.

How ironic it is to witness the Left frothing at the mouth about the issue of illegal immigrants. And for all the wrong reasons.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Good Old Fashioned Prejudice

I heard John Humphries on Radio 4 this morning mouthing the usual feminist bullshit.

Apparently, the lack of women CEOs in the corporate sector is because of 'good old-fashioned prejudice'. Then he was smarming up to Jenny Murray from Wimmyn's Hour. It annoyed me before I had to go to work.

There is an important difference between demanding equal opportunites and demanding equal outcomes. Everyone is in favour of equal opportunities (well, everyone except feminists, looking at the education and legal systems after 40 years of feminist meddling), and in fact white middle-class Western women have more opportunities than anyone else in history. They have the opportunity not to spend their lives working like slaves, and then they cite this as evidence of their oppression. Incredible.

Feminists have already got everything they ever dreamed of, and more, in terms of equal opportunities. Surely it is time to go and do something else. But no. They have switched their attention to demanding equal outcomes instead. This is a fundamental shift in policy, which has been introduced piecemeal, largely unnoticed.

Equal outcomes are impossible to achieve even in theory, and there is no reason we should want them in practice.

What a narrow, book-keeper's notion of social justice, to look at some statistics, and say 'This column doesn't match that one. This is a social injustice'. It is no such thing. To jump to conclusions about prejudice is a classic case of the kind of superstitious, paranoid conspiracy thinking I wrote about before.

To become a CEO (or get to the top of any other professional tree for that matter) requires not only talent, but years of hard work and commitment. Those who do this lose out on family life, suffer stress, and so on. Men are more prepared to do this than women because they have different personal objectives, and more social incentives.

You are expected to 'take it like a man' if you suffer stress. Other people judge a man's worth by his career. Being a fat cat makes you more attractive to women.

The reverse is not the case. Becoming a CEO doesn't make a woman more attractive to men. People do not judge a woman's personal worth by her job. She is not expected to put up with stressful situations stoically. Women also have socially acceptable ways of acquiring money other than by working for it, such as marrying it.

There is simply no incentive for women to make those kinds of sacrifices, and so it should come as no surprise to find that most of them don't. Most women would rather spend time with their family and friends, and have less stress. It is no surprise that they live a lot longer, a sexual disparity which feminists never seem to complain about for some reason.

Most women would probably rather marry a fat cat than be one (you get the wealth and status without the work). As long as this remains true, most fat cats will be male.

The personal choices that men and women make determine these outcomes, and they make them for good reasons. Women are not more stupid than men. Neither is there any kind of misogynist conspiracy going on. The 'glass ceiling' is inside women's (and for that matter, men's) heads.

Feminists and their camp-followers consistently refuse to take individual choice into account. For all their screaming about women's freedom of choice, they themselves consistently refuse to accept that the choices made by millions of women (such as to get married, have children, and devote their time to their children) have any validity.

This is partly because their social constructionist world-view is very strongly deterministic, so they don't believe very strongly in the notion of free will (except when it suits them of course). This same devaluing of free will produces the kind of madness espoused by the Dworkin-MacKinnon axis, that under the Evil Patriarchy (TM), women do not have the capacity to give meaningful consent, and therefore any consent they do give is essentially worthless, and therefore all heterosexual sex is rape. The mainstream feminist movement takes this kind of drivel seriously.

Even so, social constructionists though they claim to be, they dogmatically permit no social constructionist model other than prejudice and conspiracy. Even as social constructionists, they refuse to consider economic and sexual incentives as determining factors, which is almost incomprehensible. Almost. The fact is, there is good money to be made in the victim industry by peddling these myths, so it will continue until we remove their funding.