By all appearances and by all science men and women are not the same.
Both sexes ought to have equal rights, but having equal rights does not make men and women identical in all ways.
Men and women make different life decisions. As free individuals they have a right to do so. Different decisions lead to different outcomes. If women choose to spend more time with their children they will most likely have different career paths. If men choose to spend more time at work, they will likely have more responsible positions, but will spend less time with their children.
Life is about trade-offs. It is about free individuals choosing the best way to fulfill their responsibilities. Life is not about conforming to an ideology about how the world should or should not be organized.
Unfortunately, too many ideologues believe that if men and women do not have the same career paths, there is something wrong with the workplace. They insist on exercising control over the labor market in order to make it more female friendly.
Since women suffer a disadvantage when they leave work early to care for their children, the ideologues want to force men to do the same thing.
They do not consider the possibility that the men who are thrown off the job at a specific time might not rush home to change diapers. They might go out with the guys for an evening of debauchery.
According to the ideologues, it’s the fault of the work culture. Men work too many hours, thus getting ahead faster than women. But, shouldn’t people who work longer and harder be rewarded for their efforts?
Work culture is the trendy term that feminists use when they try to rationalize their will to change the way men and women work. One imagines that it's a stealth attack on the old Protestant work ethic.
Claire Cain Miller has the story in The New York Times:
But some researchers are now arguing that the real problem is not the lack of family-friendly policies for mothers, but the surge in hours worked by both women and men. And companies are not likely to want to adopt the obvious solution.
The pressure of a round-the-clock work culture — in which people are expected to answer emails at 11 p.m. and take cellphone calls on Sunday morning — is particularly acute in highly skilled, highly paid professional services jobs like law, finance, consulting and accounting.
Offering family-friendly policies is too narrow a solution to the problem, recent research argues, and can have unintended consequences. When women cut back at work to cope with long hours, they end up stunting their careers. And men aren’t necessarily happy to be expected to work extreme hours, either.
How can you force men to work less, without depriving them of their freedom? The authors of a new study do not have a very good answer.
Professors Robin Ely and Erin Reed want to undermine what they call the culture of overwork, the tendency of highly successful people to work long hours. Apparently, required long hours exclude women from management tracks and from certain job promotions.
Ely and Reed do not seem to consider that women might not want to have the lives that their husbands have, that they might be perfectly happy not being chief executives.
This underlying assumption, unquestioned, undermines and ultimately discredits their work. Like many modern feminists, they fail to respect women's free choices.
Men and women dealt with the pressure differently. Women were more likely to take advantage of formal flexible work policies, like working part-time, or to move to less demanding positions that didn’t involve serving clients or earning revenue for the company. Decisions like these tended to stall women’s careers.
Men either happily complied, suffered in silence — or simply worked the hours they wanted without asking permission. About a third of them, according to another paper about the same firm by Ms. Reid, would leave to attend their children’s activities while staying in touch on their phones. They also developed more local clients to reduce travel or informally arranged with colleagues to cover for them. Decisions like these tended to get men promoted.
When women tried the same strategy, it usually didn’t work. When a man left at 5 p.m., people at the office assumed he was meeting a client, Ms. Reid said. When a woman left, they assumed she was going home to her children.
Underlying this disparity are deep-seated cultural expectations about how men and women should act. Men are expected to be devoted to their work, and women to their family, as Mary Blair-Loy, a sociologist at University of California, San Diego, has described in her research.
For all anyone knows these deep-seated cultural expectations are deep-seated because they correspond and correlate with the nature of the two sexes.
Who would have guessed?
Naturally, feminists are happy to trot out statistics that demonstrate that men who work fewer hours are more productive. If this is true, then the marketplace will quickly find a way to profit from the fact.
If men who work less hours are more productive then a company can be more profitable by forcing men to stop men from working so hard. It will then outcompete those companies that allow men to work very long hours.
Simple solution, don’t you think?
And yet, it’s possible that the extra hours are beneficial and that a man who is primarily focused on his job might just be better executive material than a woman who has chosen to spend more time and energy and concentration bringing up her children.