Thinking about this gender debate it the shower this morning, it occurred to me that what irritates me about the whole process is how effectively it is derailed. First of all some women make what they hope is a reasoned argument, backed by facts, with suggestions for how we can move forward. Then a bunch of men spot the discussion and think, “ooh, a fight, let’s pile in!” They get aggressive, they get personal, and they try to wind people up. Finally the people who get targeted by these attacks fight back, complain about how unfair this all is, but put the blame on the issue, not on the way it has been distorted.
I’m sure this has all been said by Joanna Russ.
But there is always hope, and in response to all those people complaining about positive discrimination, quotas and the like I offer this article from today’s Observer. It is about something called the 30% Club, which seeks to significantly improve the proportion of women serving on the boards of major UK companies. It is backed by, amongst other people, the (male) bosses of Centrica (energy company), the Royal Bank of Scotland, John Lewis (major retailer) and Ernst & Young; and by the (Tory) government.
If they can do this, and recognize it is valuable to them to do so, can we not we manage something similar?