Discrimination is frequently cited as an explanation for the under-representation of women in science, business, and other endeavors. So, to remedy the problem some suggest interventions to promote women in areas where they are under-represented. The preferences of women are rarely explored in such debates because it is assumed that men and women are exactly alike and as such women will aspire to achieve what men have attained. Observing that women have different interests and objectives from men is unacceptable to the gender equality movement.
But the irony is that by promoting women in stereotypically male spaces activists deprecate their interests. If women opt to be teachers and nurses, rather than engineers, their choices must be respected. The pursuits of women are just as valid as their male counterparts; therefore, they should not be judged by masculine ideals. That more men talk about politics on YouTube or edit Wikipedia pages is not evidence of female marginalisation, but rather their limited interest in such activities.
Twenty-first century feminism must be disentangled from the liberal ideas of early feminists, considering that it’s more motivated by power than a passion for legitimating the pursuits of women. Feminists want more women in engineering and finance but don’t lobby for their increased participation in construction and logging. Dangerous and low-paying professions are not targeted by feminists because what they desire is power rather than equality. In the world of feminism, the marginal involvement of women in some sectors indicates that women are blocked from the corridors of power.
Yet feminists have failed despite attempts to limit male dominance in certain domains. Though feminist propaganda has become mainstream, its message has not impacted most women who continue to pursue traditionally female paths. The great error of feminism is thinking that ideology can manufacture women into men.
Research on sex differences has discredited feminist propaganda to a considerable extent, even though feminism retains mainstream endorsement. Feminists posit that the paucity of women in STEM is a consequence of gender discrimination. However, research shows that sex differences are larger in more gender-equal countries. The argument of researchers is that women in affluent countries have more choices, so they are not limited to STEM professions.
Additionally, in a subsequent paper, Gisjbert Stoet and David Geary point out that studies consistently find that sex differences for many traits are more pronounced in gender egalitarian countries.
Consequently, Erik Mac Giolla and Petri J. Kajonius in a 2019 paper, further corroborate the finding that gender roles are more traditional in gender egalitarian countries. Moreover, after using facebook data to study how a country’s degree of gender equality affects the difference in preferences between men and women, researchers conclude that sex differences are larger in gender equal countries. Analyses reveal that such differences are rooted in evolutionary biology and cannot be rectified by social engineering.
Another failed argument of feminism is that social institutions prefer men at the expense of women. Research has proven the opposite to be true by contending that institutional discrimination favors under-represented groups. For example, in France women who apply for high-level teaching positions in physics and philosophy are favored, as are men who apply for similar positions in female dominated fields like literature and foreign languages. The objective is to empower groups who are under-represented in specific fields; hence this example shows that institutions do work in the favour of men and women.
However, other examples reveal a direct preference for women. According to an assessment of the National Bureau of Economic Research, when researchers with similar profiles are compared women are more likely to be awarded by the Economic Society. A similar study found that although two-thirds of academics do not endorse bias, for every one academic who expressed preference for a male, 11 supported discrimination in favour of women. In the corporate sector, bias is even more fervent with the increase in companies creating programs specifically for women.
In terms of income, women are also doing well across the board. Women are out-earning men in several U.S. metros and many wives are closing the gender pay gap with their husbands. On average, however men still out-earn women for several reasons. Men work longer hours and are more concentrated in lucrative jobs. Women experience a penalty in the labor market because some jobs prove to be inflexible for people with more caring responsibilities.
Contrary to feminist rantings, women are doing quite well and their under-representation in some professions is not indicative of discrimination, but rather their different preferences and choices. Feminists must appreciate that men and women have differences and women can never become men.