French conservatives seek compulsory female parity

Remember when criticism of feminism was a central plank of conservatism? Remember when top neoconservative and social conservative minds regularly produced significant articles and books showing the damage feminism had done to society? Those days seem long gone. Feminism, female empowerment, and female careerism have taken over the thinking and practice of the West to such a degree that even in America most conservatives are automatic feminists, even if they don’t call themselves feminists. In the midst of this intellectual surrender, Australian blogger Mark Richardson continues, week in, week out, to hold a light up to the madness of female “equality” in its ever metastasizing forms. In a recent entry, he tells that France’s ruling “conservative” party, the UMP, is proposing legislation that will require the boards of directors of all French private companies to be 50 percent female by 2015:

Why make it compulsory for board directors to be 50 percent female? Why not just allow companies to select whoever they think is best to fill these positions?

The answer is that under the logic of liberalism gender must be made not to matter.

Liberals take autonomy to be the highest good in society. Therefore, they favour what is self-determined, rather than predetermined. Our sex is not something we get to choose for ourselves—it is predetermined. Therefore, liberals take the fact of sex distinctions to be a negative impediment to individual freedom that must be made not to matter.

Liberals once thought that equal opportunity would do the trick. They assumed that men and women were by nature the same, so that if there were equal opportunities women would end up doing what men did in equal numbers.

But it hasn’t turned out that way. Even though women are favoured in getting onto company boards, there aren’t as many women who compete to do so. So even with equal opportunity and affirmative action gender still matters. Therefore liberals are increasingly turning to the blunt instrument of the law to get what they really want—equal outcomes, regardless of merit or fairness.

The president of the UMP, Jean-Francois Cope, made this perfectly clear when he said,

We must do to companies what we did in the public domain a few years ago and impose parity.

Equality of outcome is to be imposed by a party of the right. So much for the idea that liberalism is a neutral philosophy that leaves people alone to run their own affairs. We have well and truly reached the phase of liberalism in which the state intrusively engineers social outcomes.

As for liberals recognising that equal opportunity wasn’t working as they’d hoped, listen to the views of this French woman:

Veronique Preaux-Cobti, a leading businesswoman, said the discussions were a sign that times had changed.

“In 2002, a huge majority would have been against,” she told Le Figaro earlier this year. “Now, after years of good will with no change, there is a real realisation that things are not going to change on their own.”

What a quote. She recognises that businesswomen have faced “good will” rather than hostility and opposition, but that things haven’t changed (i.e. gender still matters). She then says that there has been a change in view as people have realised that “things are not going to change on their own”—which is a nice way of saying that people (liberals) now want things changed forcibly by state coercion.

See the conclusion of the article and the discussion here.

Here are some of Richard’s other articles related to feminism and today’s women:

- end of initial entry -

D. writes from Seattle:

No need to worry about this; by 2015 France will be majority Muslim and adopt Sharia, which will keep corporate boards 100% male.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 14, 2009 01:11 AM | Send

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