It’s not feminism

// 19 July 2005

Confusing article in the Guardian today entitled “Women getting rich faster than men“. It claims that “women are becoming increasingly more wealthy than men” and “it is estimated that by 2025, women will own 60% of the nation’s personal wealth”.

I’m not an economist so I’m going to leave aside the validity of those conclusions, which seem to be at odds with what most organisations such as the Fawcett Society and the Women and Equality Unit are saying about women and money.

What will really make feminists cringe about this article was the resort to sweeping sexist generalisations by various businesswomen to explain these developments. Veronica Lim said “men will be money-driven initially. But for most women it is their passion for a challenge which drives them – they are more practical.” Nighat Awan said: “women are natural multi-taskers who are used to hard work.” Jacqueline Gold said that “we are better at doing business than men… we work hard, are not agressive – but level-headed. We listen and take advice.” The article concludes with her explanation that “women are more sensible than men”.

Ugh. It’s infuriating that people feel the need to ascribe certain generic human characteristics to one gender or the other to explain success or failure. In this case, the not so subtle implication is that men as a class are naturally lazy, less sensible, less practical, less driven, less passionate, and just generally not as good as women are.

I’m with Andrea Dworkin (may she rest) who spoke out against this kind of complete drivel in her superb essay Biological Superiority: The World’s Most Dangerous and Deadly Idea.

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