Stay-at-Home Moms, You're Making Social Engineers Cry
When I was looking for this report, which I vaguely remembered reading about while I was deep in the throes of finishing a novel, a friend of mine referred to it as “World to End Tomorrow: Women, Minorities Hardest Hit.”
He is not wrong.
This report which started being produced in 2006 – note the date, because it’s relevant – purports to measure:
Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment. In addition, this year’s edition also analyses the dynamics of gender gaps across industry talent pools and occupations.
Pardon me if I didn’t carefully read the entire report. Even as a science fiction writer, I have trouble swallowing more than three unsupported assertions or outright lies in a paragraph. Take, for instance, their initial statement:
Gender parity is fundamental to whether and how economies and societies thrive. Ensuring the full development and appropriate deployment of half of the world’s total talent pool has a vast bearing on the growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses worldwide.
Is gender parity fundamental? Tell us why and show us the numbers. Sure, in places with a profound lack of gender parity the economy is more backward, but then again, many of those societies – most Arab countries, say – live, functionally somewhere between the seventh century and today.
Is their backwardness the result of lack of gender parity, or simply the result of lack of freedom at all levels, including but not limited to a strictly enforced policy against lending money?
The only way to test that statement is to take two countries exactly alike, one with gender parity and one without gender parity and run the numbers.
Since this is a completely impossible task, they can’t assert that truthfully. If they’d prefaced it with “We believe” I’d have no complaints. But economics is a science and “muh feels” is not. People incapable of knowing the difference have no business pronouncing on scientific fact.
Then take the second sentence:
Ensuring the full development and appropriate deployment of half of the world’s total talent pool has a vast bearing on the growth, competitiveness and future-readiness of economies and businesses worldwide.
If you don’t get warning bells at “appropriate deployment” you should. Who decides what’s appropriate deployment? Or full development, for that matter. I’ve known stock brokers who turned their backs on careers to go carve wood and live in log cabins. I’ve known women who turned their backs on full-on corporate careers to be mothers. I’m sure the people who run this report wouldn’t consider that “appropriate deployment,” and one starts to get a really bad feeling that what they really want is to determine how everyone – particularly women – should live.