Friday controversy, man-splaining, gender pay gaps and the presidents club


Brought to you by The Couch Pundit Podcast

As we head into the weekend free (unfortunately) from provincial rugby I thought it was time to get serious about a very serious topic. Or 2 serious topics.

I will be covering this on Fridays Couch Pundit Podcast so do check that out as the written word sometimes needs elaboration with a spoken word (link above – podcast up before 6pm Irish time)

Starting off with the presidents club. This is a club of rich men who like to spend time together in a posh London hotel while dressed as penguins, ogling women and splashing the cash. 2 out of those 3 things aren’t bad. Basically at their most recent assembly, and I am sure this was regular order at these things but having €140 in my account precludes me from receiving an invite. The servers (all women) where paraded in front of the men before mingling and waitressing for the evening. What followed was an evening of groping, flashing and general indecent conduct from the men in attendance.

The women were told to wear black underwear in their instructions for the evening and to expect lewd behaviour.

This is all wrong and horrific behaviour; there is no dispute in that. It is the reaction on social media that has been interesting / worrying.

 

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Some (mostly men but some women too) have been saying that once the instruction and warning about the evening came in, the job should have been turned down. If it wasn’t turned down, did the women know what was coming? The thinking behind this is, you can always get another job without putting yourself in the firing line for abuse. While this is a rational way of thinking, maybe some of these women didn’t have an option of another job; maybe the tips received from the evening would have paid their rent for a week, or paid for the month’s food. The issue us men have is that we literally have no idea what it is like for a woman to walk down a street, let alone work in a customer facing environment. Life is very different for us. So saying ‘just get another job’ makes sense to us, but may not work in the life of a woman.

But unless it is an internet troll purposely winding people up like Olaf from hotpress magazine, this way of thinking is not coming from a place of malice. My interaction with people on twitter about this today was to try and explain Olaf’s point, assuming it as a legitimate way of thinking. But the problem is that I am a man trying to explain a way of thinking to a woman. This is just not tolerated on social media. This is man-splaining apparently. Man-splaining is a term made up to totally discount a rebuttal from the owner of a penis on an issue of importance when this is rarely the case. I have never man-splained anything to anyone, I have certainly put a differing view forward and explained why that view (in my opinion) makes more sense than someone else’s, but that’s not mans-plaining. To Olaf (in this instance) it is a simple matter of taking yourself out of a bad situation; this isn’t a bad way to go about life.

My main point to the women I was tweeting with about this was that the replies he has been getting is the best revenge. People disagreed with him en masse, probably because of the man himself and his general high state of self-worth as opposed to his message. I had asked them why not block him so that his negativity doesn’t appear on your timeline. I was then told to go away and not tell anyone what to do with their twitter.

And now you see the issue, if people (gender doesn’t matter) cannot understand a question or an opinion being put forward, that is not someone telling you what to do. The issue here is that a lot of the women arguing with Olaf have the same bloated self-worth that he has, and we are forever locked in this circle of immaturity and actively avoiding debate.

I blocked both Olaf and the woman in question here by the way.

The second point to cover here on contro-Friday is one that will bring more blocking to my social media. That being the gender pay gap.

Again, this is coming from a man who apparently has been paid more than most women in any jobs I have had (not true btw). The story of 5 male BBC workers taking pay cuts to match their female colleagues appeared today. Initially I thought fair play to them. Then after thinking a bit more, I thought it was a cynical exercise from all involved and let me explain.

These fellas taking the pay cut do no help the issue of fair pay. Chris Evans makes millions, Moyles before him even more and the same can be said for the top Irish earners. First question is, why does Evans get paid more than Winkleman? The answer is that he has a history of making his bosses money, earning advertising revenue and high ratings. Same for Pat Kenny et al here. THAT is why they get paid more than women in the same job. In Ireland we had the issue of the male news reader being paid twice as much as the female news reader recently. That was easily explained, the male reader was there twice as long, and given time in the job of course he will be paid more than someone not there as long. If you paid them the same it would invalidate time spent in the company.

The bigger issue and the only way to fix this (we all believe it should be fixed) is to have the starting salary the same and to have opportunities the same for both genders. When this happens, as has happened in Scandinavia, you find that women gravitate towards more caring roles like the medical profession, whereas men gravitate towards the other side like engineering. This is a broad example but the findings are there (google search should you wish to do so). It is all about opportunities. If a woman wants to be a mechanic, she should be allowed the opportunity to go through the same training a man would and to qualify. Same if a man wanted to become a nurse. I am using these jobs as they are stereotypical female/male jobs. And we don’t just make up stereotypes.

In closing, I am not looking to offend. I am looking to be grown up. Nothing is perfect, everything needs fixing. Taking a pay cut does not fix the issue; a gender quota does not fix the issue. Increasing healthcare for babies/children while the mother works is a start. But we also have to act like adults, remember that most people on social media are trying to wind you up for clicks and for you to think and digest a way of thinking before making up terms to invalidate someone who is only expressing an opinion.

And if that doesn’t work, there is always the block button.

Twitter.com/nkeegan

thecouchpunditireland@gmail.com

 

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