How many stereotypes can you fit in one sentence? ‘We can beat that’.

I read this news report last night, about how women are going to rule the workplace by 2020. I was quite interested. You know, better get to know the future masters. Or something. So I took a second look at the article.

Do you want to guess why the people who conducted this ‘study’ – Ericsson Malaysia – think women are going to be ruling the workplace come 2020? Here’s their reasoning:

“Women will move rapidly up the chain of command, and their emotional-intelligence skills may become ever more essential,” […] “This will change company culture in an in-depth manner due to the difference in female management styles,” […] “Women will employ a different leadership style. It will be heavily engaged and motivational,” said Sebastian Barros, head of multimedia and consulting system integration, Ericsson Malaysia. He said women also manage more cautiously than men and they focus on the long term. They are consensus builders, conciliators and collaborators.

Really now? Aren’t there any more generalizations and stereotypes you can come up with? Come on, I’m sure there must be a few more where those pearls of wisdom came from. No?

One of my research supervisors is a woman, and her being as good a teacher as I’ve ever had has nothing to do with her being a woman. Her being a good researcher has nothing to do with her being a woman. Nothing, in fact, other than her being a woman has anything to do with her being a woman.

The bunch of nitwits!

All this stupidity is before one even gets to the best part of what the ‘study’ has to offer. With a title that has ‘rule the workplace’ in it, you’d expect that women would have taken over every industry and every job in the world, wouldn’t you? So, what did this ‘study‘ find?

One in every three workers will be a woman by 2020, and they will increasingly be in control of the workplace…

Did you get that? Women, who are half the population of the world, will have a third of the jobs in the world. And that is ‘ruling the workplace’ and ‘taking charge of industry’ and ‘controlling the world’ and whatever else. Increasingly in control, I believe. Technically, an increase in the number of women workers from none to one is an increasing employment rate. Maybe that’s what the morons meant.

Oh, by the way, that woman who was going to get stoned to death in Iran has been sentenced to ninety nine lashes in prison. For daring to let a British magazine print a picture of her without a veil. (The picture wasn’t hers, by the way. It was the picture of an activist who was fighting to save this woman from execution. But that hardly matters.)

But this is Iran, and they’re just, you know, neck-deep into the religion of peace, you say? ‘Sensible people will know better’? The BBC, of all people, ran a debate about the imminent stoning of Mohammadi Ashtiani, and aired the views of Mullahs who want the woman executed. The BBC just happened to forget, shall we say, to include the views of a feminist… or anybody representing the don’t-murder-her side.

‘It’s time for the women to take charge‘. My foot. How about we stop stoning them to death first, huh?

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4 thoughts on “How many stereotypes can you fit in one sentence? ‘We can beat that’.”

  1. Disregarding this “study”, I think women and men think differently, have different priorities etc. The reason for this might be entirely historical. It is also worth wondering if there is any evolutionary explanation for this dichotomy. I haven’t done much research into this but if you have, I’m all ears.

  2. I’ve read about some stuff like that as well. Men are better at spatial recognition, they say, for example. That may or may not be true. In either case, I don’t think any difference is significant enough to affect what men or women can do for a career, or for fun. You’re right that these differences are probably historical. In today’s context, I would say biology has very little role to play in people’s choices.

    It’s like the studies that report IQ variation with race. The number of confounding factors that may lead such a study astray is astounding. And that is to say nothing of trying to ‘measure’ intelligence using one number.

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