Warning: I'm not hugely well-versed in the feminist literature here, so if I fuck up, chalk it up to ignorance.
Sure, we'll probably never have 50% of women in plumbing, or 50% of men in hairdressing. But it's a mistake to say that these things are natural and thus can't be changed. (Though there is probably some , but we're not sure where or precisely how much) Nonetheless, there are fields women (and men as well, though there are considerably fewer fields) don't go into not solely because of natural aptitudes but because of the gross, pulsating hostility emanating from that field.
Philosophy is actually one of those fields (one of the two I'm majoring in, along with mathematics), and it's amazing what a boys club it can be. Possibly because right answers aren't necessarily obvious it can be easy to discount what a woman's saying because she's a woman (as opposed to mathematics, where people can call you on that shit, and often have done in my experience), and the percentage of philosophers who are women is smaller than the percentage who are astrophysicists, chemists, and mathematicians - notoriously male-dominated fields. (source: crookedtimber)
This seems unusual, especially given the closeness when it comes to things like sociology and social ethics - being interested in one means you've very likely to be interested in the other, and yet we see women flood into sociology and yet trickle (at best) into philosophy. Sure, women probably don't want to be philosophers at the same rate as men. But that's probably got less to do with philosophy than the shitty environment surrounding philosophy.
My mum wanted (very badly) to get into IT and computers back in the day, but her computer lecturer basically told her to fuck off and sat her in the corner with a book, and all the blokes in her class sneered at her when she tried to get a few minutes of computer time (this is back in the day when 'computer time' was a limited resource and that shit was to be hoarded if possible). She ended up dropping out of the course (and this is a woman who had damn near topped the state in the HSC and won basically every 'best of school' award available in every year of her degree) not because of some aptitude bullshit, but because of the way she was treated. I find it unlikely IT is so predominantly male because of natural shit, but rather because of the way the culture there is set up to basically shut the door on women.
Sure, women have a predisposition not to get into certain jobs, but it's actually the human predisposition not to be shit on and judged - the best analogy I can draw (and forgive me if it's shitty) is the way there are very few men in primary school teaching; you're going to be looked at suspiciously and treated like an intruder (or worse, an invader), and who the fuck wants that? I know far too many blokes not going into teaching because "mate, I love kids, but you'd be mad to go in as a bloke now." (this isn't some misandry shit here btw, just trying to make this shit relatable)
So when it comes to positions of power, it's pretty obvious that women are greedy born-to-rule power-hungry fucks (or moral ideologues) in fairly similar ratios to men, and the reason women don't dominate politics has less to do with women being sweet, innocent beings of light who don't desire to rule over others (or amoral fucks who don't care about ideology and thus don't care about politics) and more to do with politics being seen as an absolute boys club in which you'd be fucking mad to go in as a woman.
Because make no bones about this, Tony Abbott isn't talking about the reprehensible lack of say, women as garbage collectors with this quote. It's a naked excuse to tell women to fuck off from the halls of power, they're not particularly wanted and there's no way Tony is going to make any effort whatsoever to accommodate you. And while I don't really give a shit about quotas for women as CEOs (because they're all going up against the wall just as soon as I finish this latte), quotas for women in politics are important, because politics is all about doing the right thing for people and you can't know what the right thing is if you've got no-one who's walked a mile in that person's shoes.
Fuck, if this is what you think the left wants, no wonder you fucking hate it. I'd hate it too. And shit, there are some fucking lefties who think this is what we're about, but they're wrong.
What we want is a future where the only reason we judge people's sexual attractiveness is to determine whether or not we want to fuck them. Where your entire self-worth isn't meant to be bound up in how 'fuckable' you are, and your ability to do shit is separate from your attractiveness, your looks, your weight or whatever.
Likewise, you can make the case that being fat is (generally) a bad thing without saying fat people are a fucking plague on the Earth who deserve to be tossed into the salt mines. We want a future where we can say 'this shit is unhealthy' without demonizing people for it. We can say 'shit, companies are fucking pushing terrible food relentlessly and shoving sugar and fat into fucking everything - maybe we can get into public information campaigns to push back against that, or run government programs to help people to learn to cook, and to help people cook shit which both tastes good and doesn't fuck your health in the long run'.
It's not a fucking Harrison Bergeron future where everyone is equalised by force - it's a future where everyone has the opportunity to rise, whether they're poor people trying to break into the middle class, women trying to break into IT, or Aboriginal people just trying to catch a fucking break. And those people who don't rise - we don't need to pay them CEO wages, but we're fucking rich enough to make sure that the disadvantaged, the disabled, the people who got hit hard enough by life that they never got up again - to make sure that they're still in the ring. To make sure they still get a chance, a fair go at life that has done fuck-all but knock them down and put the boot in for years.
Because we have a bit of Centrelink now, we think 'well, job fucking done', and move on. A lot of people think because there's fewer people starving there's no need to go any further, and lifting people up is useless and won't work anyway. The left isn't here to tell you to drag yourself down to the level of people life fucked over (or people who fucked their own life). We're here to try and stop life putting the boot in, and offer a hand up. That's what we want. That's what we work for. Whether we're trying to get that hand up down to refugees, to single mums, to Aboriginal people in rural communities, to poor people, or to fat people who cop it every day because they've put on the pounds, we don't want to drag people fucking down.
We just desperately want to try and lift people up. I grew up in the shitty part of town, and most of the people I went to school with are unemployed, or working shitty jobs that barely pay the bills. They don't know anything else - they've never been told about anything else, never believed in anything else. Shit, I still don't. The idea that I'm lined up to head into jobs that give me the sort of money it takes to rent an entire house is still a little incomprehensible. And yet I was one of the better students in my year, with a fairly stable family life, and a shit-ton of luck.
When I look at the fucking wreckage of lives that came out of my year at school (I think eleven or twelve of a hundred and thirty or so made it to uni - about thirty-five made it through Year 12) I can't conclude I was better than anyone else, just that the artillery of shit that rained down on our lives in our blighted little town happened to miss me.
Except in that year, most of that eleven or twelve came from upper-middle class families with solid jobs and plenty of time, money, and resources to devote to their kids. (To be fair, about that number again pissed off to private schools halfway through high school). I think three or four of us poor fuckers - in a year where maybe a hundred of us were properly poor, made it to uni.
Sure, not everyone wanted to. But most of them just didn't think that they could make it, that they'd ever make it in anything. And shit, they didn't. They'll be working service jobs for the rest of their life at best, earning just above minimum wage, and those that are will be glad for it. Because at least they're not on welfare. Because they know and they've seen how much worse it can be.
I can't believe that that's just a matter of aptitudes, that every single one of those people never aspired to anything more, that every single person in high school who dreamed of bigger things and talked about leaving, talked about going somewhere and making something of themselves just didn't have what it took.
Maybe that's the case. But I can't reconcile it with reality. I can't believe it was genetic differences in ability that kept them all down. Maybe it was, but they never got a fair go from the outset. They never even got a chance to prove that it wasn't. And without the helping hand from the left, they never will.
I think sometimes we only spend time with conservative shitheads. That when we touch base with the right, it's only with the vilest, most racist, most FYGM people who are the liquid shit that drives the turbine of conservatism. I find that when I talk Greens policies with voters in this electorate, they're all for them.
Dental care in Medicare? Yeah. My nephew had to some dental work done and it almost beggared him.
Giving farmers rights to stop coal seam gas on their lands? Of fucking course.
Making sure country people have equal access to the internet? Definitely, how else are my kids going to be able to stay out here in the country?
Well then, why not vote Green? Those are all our policies. Green? No mate, I'm no fucking Green. I'm not some latte-sipping wanker who looks down on people like me.
There are so many people who vote Tory, who identify as conservatives not because they're hateful shitheads, but because we live in an era of impossibly fast change, change it's impossible to keep up with. So many of them do the job their dad did, and vaguely wonder why it just can't slow down. Why we can't go back to the days where the world was comprehensible, where you had a job that came for life, not a job that changed year by year.
They're reactionaries, but this conservatism isn't hateful, it's bewildered. It's the cry of a man who wants the world to just fucking slow down for a minute so he can at least get a handle on what is going on. And anyone who can promise that, well, maybe that's the way to go.
Sure, there are a lot of shitheads, but they're more noticeable, not more numerous.