Rant #1

24 April 2008

“Innovation”.

A throbbing buzzword here in the land of the sausage-eating, beer-swilling teutons of virtuous correctness. ‘Tis a word almost as badly misused as “conscience”, that spiritual whip of the cowardly and manipulative.

But the grumpy race of former barbarians is not alone. The Internet is awash in companies peaning their breathtaking innovativeness, customer-focus and sundry whatnots. All that is often missing is a smiling wee band of fluttering little cherubs with golden trumpets regularly blowing a fanfare and other dangly appendages which shall remain nameless. (And no I am not talking about some wierd inter-religion oralizing of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.) The proclamation of innovativeness is generally intended to awe us, yon customers, into a state of awestuck gratitude at being able to fork over the cash for their customized and integrated solutions from a single hand.

But where has that hand been?

It is said that masturbation makes you go blind. Seeing this plethora of staggeringly myopic websites falling victim to their own glorious onanism really goes a long way towards proving this.

You want me to shake that?

But to the actual point of this whole rant:

Sex.

Or sexisim, to be more precise.

Were a company to be truly innovative they would do something fantastically revolutionary like:

  • Making a real contribution towards sexual equality
  • By working towards a transformation of their own corporate culture
  • Such as paying women the same wages as men /gasp/
  • Such as granting women the same respect for the same level of performance as men /gasp/
  • Such as implementing sensible and fair systems encouraging and supporting parenthood /gasp/

Yes, I said parenthood, not just motherhood.

Darwin is probably laughing at the situation, by which I mean the evolutionary dead end, created by today’s increasingly career-oriented society. One could pose the question as to whether emancipation has truly been a benefit to the human race. Now, I would be among the last to say that striving for gender equality is a bad idea. However it has had some unfortunate side-effects. Women have to work significantly harder to achieve the same recognition in the workplace (both financially and in terms of respect) as men. This often results in woman choosing, or being forced to choose between children or career. This in turn means that any number of intelligent, motivated and generally wonderful modern women are deciding against having children. The higher-income, career-oriented families are going without children: the aforementioned evolutionary dead end. Fortunately “Natura abhorret a vacuo”. Others will replace them. ‘Tis a comforting thought to know that your expendible isn’t it, thou sad little cog in the great consumer machine.

But back to the topic at hand.

Sexisim in the workplace. This is not just a man-thing. Unfortunately there are enough women out there who do their fair share towards the continuing existence of sexist attitudes. Either through their own behaviour or because they themselves continue to regard women as inferior. To quote a small band of animated penguins who took over and stole a freighter in order to reach the Antarctica: “This sux.”

Imagine being a woman working hard to advance your career and being held back by your own female boss because she’s incapable of attributing the same competence to a woman as to a man, despite all evidence to the contrary. Said boss rose up through the ranks from her humble beginnings as a secretary and now looks down upon all secretaries as lower lifeform, competing with the amboeba when it comes to intelligence and and losing. Alas said boss lacks both the spine and, in both a physical and mental sense, the cojones to cope with the growing demands of her position.

Working to transform corporate culture and achieve a greater degree of sexual equality in the workplace would make a substantial contribution to the entire issue of sexual equality in our society as a whole.

But what is sexual equality? The sameness of both sexes? Or an understanding and appreciation of the general natures and differences between men and women. Should some inspiration occur to me, I’ll rant about that another day.

Interestingly women have a major advantage in terms of understanding their own gender identity in comparison to men. We have been in the Cro-Magnon Club for the Emotionally Impaired for so long that many of us have become victims of our own steriotypes. Where women have had to (and still have to) work hard to forge a modern identity, men have lagged behind in this respect. Many of us really haven’t the faintest idea what it truly means to be a man.

Rants for another day:

  • Why my wife’s boss is a useless bitch
  • Appreciating Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus
  • Why my customer’s customer is my enemy
  • Loss & Parenthood
  • Being a man
  • Men who can’t cook