Monday, August 31, 2009

Discrimination Is Necessary For Social Reform

Today I just read an interesting and controversial article by Laura Wood, entitled Why We Must Discriminate. In it, she argues that for gender roles to be restored, for families to begin heading towards healing rather than towards the increasing dysfunction that is rampant in America, and for the resultant good of our nation, the legal environment must be changed in order to allow businesses to utilize customary discrimination and favor hiring men. In her own words:
First and foremost, we must restore customary economic discrimination in favor of men. America’s businesses and institutions must be free once again to favor men over women in hiring. If they are not, family life will never return to a reasonable state of health; the happiness of women and children will continue to decline; and men will fail to flourish and prosper.

Customary discrimination, in relation to the sexes, is the voluntary and informal practice of favoring men over women in hiring. It is not encoded in law or enforced by regulation. It exists as a result of a common understanding that men must support families and cannot adequately do so if they compete with large numbers of women, a form of competition that lowers their wages and reduces their marketability. The relative stagnation of men’s wages in the last 50 years proves the point.
I haven't read many articles specifically advocating discrimination, and I happen to agree with her argument. The truth is, feminism has been economically and socially detrimental to individuals, families and communities. Having gender-focused anti-discrimination laws does benefit businesses, but at the expense of everyone else. Personally, I believe that anti-discrimination laws of all sorts distort incentives, reduce liberty and encourage a flawed understanding of the concept of legal equality.

Specifically regarding women in the workforce, feminism may have initially appeared to be liberating. By allowing women to choose whether they pursue a family or choose a career, the apparent effect is that women have more freedom. When women first began entering the work force, it was economically advantageous for a family to earn a second income. The male provider already earned enough money to provide for his family and so adding a secondary income substantially boosted discretionary income. However, by nearly doubling the supply of labor, the equilibrium price of labor dropped dramatically. Because of the artificially low market value of labor, men and women both earn less money than if the labor market were limited to just men or just women. This decline in real income almost necessitates two incomes. Since men earn substantially less than they did before women entered the market, the amount of money needed to adequately provide for a family living in modern America is nearly equal to two full-time incomes. This means that with the rare exception of men who are wealthy, for most families, neither parent can afford to be jobless. While previously women had the option of having a job or staying at home and raising a family, now they are required to work, just to make ends meet. The resultant effect of feminism is that while previously most women didn't work, now most don't have the option of not working. Nearly twice as much work is required to earn the same amount of real income.

As bad as the economic aspect of women working is, the social effects of this are where the real harm lies. Since most women must work, they have significantly less time to spend raising children, making a difference in the world, and savoring life. There is less time for familial relationships, less time for being involved in the local community, less time to spend teaching children how to life virtuous lives, and less time for relaxation and personal hobbies. The lack of all these things serves to increase stress, decrease family unity, decrease enjoyment of life, decrease non-business related social development, and decrease the quality of childrens' education. Women's loss of social freedom and social influence is a major loss for them, directly, and for men and children, indirectly. Presently, there is a culture bias against women remaining at home and raising their families full-time. Educational instutitions and businesses profit from women in the workforce.
Why would women ever accept a return to discrimination?

The end of customary discrimination was never in the interests of women. It has forced the majority to help support their families while raising their children and managing a home. The experiment was tried. The apple was eaten. Women now see that careers come with personal costs and that many jobs are not as thrilling as feminists claim. They are ready to embrace discrimination again.
I think Laura is absolutely right. Right now, for the sake of individuals and families, America desperately needs to revoke anti-discrimination hiring laws and businesses need to intentionally choose to hire men over women. Gender discrimination is 100% necessary for America to begin true social reform. The health of our nation, the happiness of our people, the morality of our citizens, and the cohesion of our families depend on it. Let us discriminate intentionally and assertively, without apology!


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