Update March 8 See Justin Millikan’s comment @ 38 – he hadn’t read the article when he posted it, and apologizes for doing so. In turn I apologize for the rude things I said about him!
So, it’s International Women’s Day on Saturday. Well how fucked up is that, am I right? When is it ever International Men’s Day? When is it Rich People’s Day? White People’s Day? Straight People’s Day? Are we not all human beings???
Fortunately, the president of the Humanist Society of South Australia, Justin Millikan, is on the case. He posted a super-appropriate item on the HSSA page to make this very point. What super-appropriate item is that? A link to an article with the brilliantly aphoristic and wise title:
Oh, yes; thank god somebody said that at last. The hell with all this feminism and anti-racism and anti-colonialism and gay rights, the hell with anti-poverty campaigns and affirmative action for dalits and First Nations and indigenous Australians; it is about humanism, period.
Elle Hardy writes:
It is assumed that all women want equality, when many of us simply want opportunity. Indeed there are many of us who stridently oppose quotas, and who believe the merit of the individual should be the sole determinant of success.
Damn, why didn’t I think of that? How stupid of me to think genitalia or skin color or country of origin should be the sole determinant of success.
Except I didn’t think that. What I did think is that the merit of the individual is already not the sole determinant of success, it’s just that people like to assume or pretend it is when in fact other factors play a part in whose “merit” gets evaluated at all. There are filters on who gets called for an interview that are not labeled “merit” but rather things like “similar to me” and “the kind I want to have lunch with” and “the type we are used to seeing in jobs like this” and “looks right for the part” and “seems authoritative and tough.”
Opportunity for women in our country is generally not lacking. We are no longer institutionally subordinated. To phrase it more crisply: one is far better served by being a white female than a black male in Australia.
Er…that’s not the relevant comparison. Is one far better served by being a white female than a white male in Australia? Is one far better served by being a black female than a black male in Australia? Those are the relevant comparisons if you’re trying to claim that women are treated equally or even better.
A couple of women on the HSSA page handed Justin Millikan his head. It’s too bad one of them isn’t president instead of him.