I am becoming fed up and bored with aspects of the political correctness of gender equality. Don’t get me wrong. Generally, I am 100% behind gender equality and everything #MeToo but, parts of the campaign are misguided.
There are areas of life and work where we can and must educate all generations that equality is important and gender discrimination is wrong. Examples are obvious. Gender has nothing to do with the quality of a lawyer. The male power politics of a Harvey Weinstein and others are more than just misguided. They are illegal.
Thankfully, Spanish prosecutors are to appeal against the verdict in the case of five men who were cleared of the gang rape of a woman during the running of the bulls festival in Pamplona and convicted of the lesser offence of sexual abuse.
But, you knew there was going to be a but somewhere soon, not everything in life is equal. What has got my goat today, is the push by campaigners to make music festivals more gender equal. There is a call for more female headline acts.
When it is entertainment a promoter aims to maximise ticket sales by booking the bands people want to hear. We need to be clear. If a festival promoter thought that a female cast list would increase sales and profits, then believe me there would be an all-female festival. Promoters at festivals may have a passionate love of music but first, they are in it for business.
To say that I prefer hearing male singers over female singers is not sexist. It is not politically incorrect to hold that opinion. It is a preference developed out of years of listening to music.
I enjoy watching the England women’s football and cricket teams, both of who are among the best in the world, but if the TV schedules pitted a woman’s international against a man’s then I, like many others, both men and women, would watch the men’s games.
There are times when bias and historical prejudice need a nudge and I fully understand why there is a push for single-sex lists to increase the number of female MPs. I agree that there should be more women on the boards of companies and there should be equal pay for equal work.
There are many areas of life where we do need to educate and make changes to improve equality but entertainment, music or sport, is not one.
When it is entertainment the performer’s remuneration should reflect consumer demand. Wimbledon tennis has just started, and the perennial debate has been about equal prize money for men and women. Women have demanded and got equality, but the truth is that the men’s game is more popular, and women should be paid less.
We are confusing equal opportunity with entertainment value. We must strive to make the opportunity equal for both men and women to achieve in sport or entertainment, but we cannot legislate and dictate to the public what they enjoy and what they will pay to see.
Probably, I would have let this pass me by if it wasn’t for another news article on a related theme.
In another aspect of the feminist, equality dialogue, and despite many feminist protests, Sheffield council renewed the licence of a lap dancing club in the town centre. The objection is that striptease demeans and objectifies women.
It probably does but at the same time women, around the world spend billions on clothes to feel and look more beautiful. Until Sasha, and most other women I know, tell me that they would prefer that I didn’t open doors, not care how they look or expect them to go Dutch at every meal, I will not support them closing strip clubs. To be honest, at my age I would enjoy the opportunity to be objectified as a sex object.
I know this is not the same as the gender equality argument, but they are on the same agenda, and both make me wonder if the fear of being politically incorrect and being seen as a neanderthal and not a modern man is restricting discussion and debate.
Who is going to tell me that I am wrong?