What women need to do to shift the continuing unfair gender biases!Aug 12, 2023
My 82 years of active feminism started when I was refused a drum in the kindergarten because I was a girl. So, I went home a very longterm cross activist. A few years later Simone de Beauvoir explained we were The Second Sex which offered an explanation why we were not in control. So I’ve been actively agitating for gender equity ever since, as part of the new second wave.
I joined the formal 2nd wave Feminist Movement in the 70’s and became politically active. We were very hopeful that we could intervene in a society that was still dominated by male values and controls. Women were then still the second powerless part of macho male societies, offering devalued women’s both paid and unpaid roles. Our roles were clearly defined by prime responsibilities for households, babies, meals, clean clothes and orderly living spaces. Our access to paid work had lower pay rates, feminized paid jobs, usually in ‘women’s work’. We were rarely valued as leaders, even if in senior positions like matrons and head teachers.
We fought for equal pay and won the same wages as men in same jobs. However, even now there are still feminised jobs which attract lower pay than male ones like care vs labouring. So now, five decades later, there is still a gender wage gap of 22%. Despite more women now able to achieve more powerful positions, as this century plus has had paradigm shifts away from social democracy to and adoption of market-based measures that reduced much spending on valued public services. The values of Neoliberalism based models of GDP, which were Gross values, not Domestic or Productive by deleting of the unfunded transactions of public delivery of social wellbeing of citizens. So now, it is obvious that this shift is seriously damaged.
The neoliberal model crap in the eighties, was initially interestingly promoted by the first female UK PM, Margaret Thatcher. The new paradigms undermined governments financing support for societies per se. This is clarified as languages redefined citizens’ rights and responsibilities to nations were replaced by redefining all of us from citizens to customers. Market economies value financial wellbeing only as traded Gross Domestic Production. This measuring ignores our unpaid roles, our social connection. Measures of fairness, ethics and trust were no longer even counted as contributions to our wellbeing. Now, these views dominate most market based monetised accumulation roles as the basics of wealth status.
The results have been damaging to both national stability as nations move to an ever-increasing mess as citizens need social and political trust to address the unfairness, climate damage and other serious risks to our ability to collectively address the threats to our future survival. affects
The need for more feminist reforms to equality has been negatively ignored. So, it is up to us as women/feminists to fix the damage of increased social inequities and poverty undermining the social cohesion and wellbeing needed. We need to restore being active citizens again, so social policies make societies become more civilised and survive. Macho customer self-interest per se won’t create such solutions. Add men who agree, and newly known genders to join us!
We need to reinvest in social equity and fairness as bases for decisions on how we organise the needed social policy trust links that make good societies. Enough of macho crap individual self-interest beliefs that push bad excessive materialism and power models.
So, it is up to us all, as feminists, to devise universal wellbeing options. Utopian options offer the visions we know of social needs to counter Macho aggro aims of money, power and self -controls. The Second Sex needs to de-stereotype what limits our ability to use feminised fair leadership! Time to our use of effective optimism and ACTION.
Some immediate priorities
- Rewrite the tax system so we have more funds to pay for social wellbeing payments
- Reframe the role of large businesses who use tax avoidance models
- Recognise the needs of all citizens for appropriate affordable health, education, and care programs
- Ensure the changes to our power structures that include the voice of first nations are passed and implemented
- Have another referendum further defining citizenship to ensure that we have equitable access to necessary changes to ensure fairness and respect, and
- Stop using ‘customer’ and ‘consumer’ tags and restore ‘citizens’ as a category