Saturday, 18 June 2016

Comment On Calin Brown's "Gender Equality" Article At Ketagalan Media

Here, though there may be some probability of it being removed at some point given the likely pre-dispositions of the people in charge of hiring political-correctness operatives like Brown.


This article should have been better.

Let's get the niggly little things out of the way with first...


It's poorly written and is riddled with WTF moments. She writes about "Confucian doctrines" containing gender biases but then she cites the Fu Jen Catholic school fiasco as an example. Eh? When the fuck did Catholicism become a Confucian doctrine?

She says that men place expectations on women to look a certain way on the basis of TV news shows' "female content", when - really - we all know that this is just the content that gets (female) viewer ratings. The same thing explains why the first four or five floors of every department store in Taiwan is women's shoes, dresses, handbags, make-up etc - that's just what women like to spend their money on, and women spend more time and money on their appearance than men. Hence.

And if these expectations are all dreamt up by men and imposed on women in a fit of sweaty misogyny, then why is it women have far more choice of what they can wear to work than men have? For example, when it's 34 degrees outside a woman can choose to wear a skirt to go to the office, but a man cannot choose to wear a pair of khaki shorts.

Oh and I'll mansplain this to her now so we don't have to take this as a reflection on Wellesley College, but when you use the verb "to permeate", then the adverb "throughout" is redundant. So she should have written "Confucian doctrines that permeate East Asia".


Now the part that really got up my nose was this...

"The West’s imperialist history of atrocities and unwelcomed cultural and political imposition naturally makes people elsewhere in the world resentful. Here in Taiwan, the undeniable privilege that Caucasian foreigners receive, and the preferential treatment they’re given, has allowed resentment to ferment. For instance, foreigners earn around double the average salary in Taiwan by teaching English (it’s not uncommon for cram schools to offer English teachers about NT $70,000 a month, while the average monthly salary in Taiwan is NT $39,000 according to the Ministry of Labor), even when they have little to no experience."

How much does she, Calin Brown, get paid for regurgitating Salon-style politically-correct tropes? More or less than NT$39,000? If she gets more, then it's because there aren't that many politically correct hacks in Taiwan writing in English, hence a greater than average market value. (Though I find it hard to believe people like Calin Brown aren't already ubiquitous). Similarly, foreign English teachers get paid more than their Taiwanese colleagues because there are fewer of them, while Taiwanese English teachers are much more common.

But about those numbers... although some schools may offer NT$70,000 per month (though that is likely the Taipei figure for a cram school or a figure for government funded schools), most will offer between NT$40,000 and NT$60,000 per month depending. And furthermore, many schools do not offer foreign teachers a monthly "salary" but rather wages calculated on how many hours have been worked; a school may then violate the terms of the foreign teacher's contract and the terms of the labour regulations by giving the foreign teacher fewer than the stipulated number of hours. So sometimes the foreign teacher might actually earn less than his or her Taiwanese colleagues. When a foreign teacher goes to the Labour Bureau to complain, the Labour Bureau might promise to fine the school and then, mysteriously, fail to do so. They will however immediately fine a supermarket branch (over NT$300,000) whose manager refuses to hire a transgender person. So if we're looking for bias, then there is that.


Now aside from her apparent ignorance of economics, or the nasty details of the English teaching industry, she clearly has no sense of irony either. An "unwelcomed cultural and political imposition" is just precisely what political correctness is. It attempts to teach us that our existing inclinations and preferences are "gendered stereotypes", "social constructs" and "tools of oppressive patriarchy" and other such nonsense, when it is far more likely that many of our existing preferences and practices are simply natural. They are more likely the result of thousands of years of evolutionary history and as such form part of our genetic inheritance. Perversely, it is actually the postulates and demands of political correctness that are "socially constructed" in the laboratories of "political science". And the result is, more often than not, misery.

How many young Taiwanese women, who ostensibly have every reason to be happy (more personal freedom, no children, taking part in the workforce etc) are actually miserable? They go to work in offices where they are constantly under pressure (and often in conflict with other, older women) and go home crying to their boyfriends. And if not to their boyfriends, then to ex-boyfriends. How many young Taiwanese women who once believed that they could start up their own business or become a successful actress have failed and have since struggled to find purpose and meaning in life? How many of these women have lied to men and even to themselves about their own desires? Is it really so bad to imagine that actually, some of these women might have been better off getting married, leaving the terrors of uncertainty and conflict to the men to deal with and instead dedicating their lives to raising children? I don't have the numbers, but whatever they are, I suspect much of this human misery is largely a consequence of political correctness.

There is nothing wrong per se with women having the freedom to do what they like. Yet that freedom necessarily includes the "gendered stereotype" option of getting married and having kids. It also includes the freedom to be "humped then dumped" by men who enjoy the same freedoms as women but whose looks and sexual options tend to last a lot longer than a woman's do.


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