‘Pregnancy discrimination is illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable’, says Jo Swinson,1http://conservativewoman.co.uk/kathy-gyngell-lib-dem-hectoring-jo-swinson-feminist-high-horse-working-women/ Lib Dem MP and the Coalition’s Employment Relations and Junior Equalities Minister. However, her argument, which might once might have had the ring of fairness and social justice about it, those qualities that used to characterise the true liberal mind, now sounds more like a cracked bell. It amounts to little more than a ‘right-on’ repetition of mindless mantras in the name of the feminists’ version of ‘equality’ – and it is a charter for cheats.
It is typical of the intellectually and morally corrupt thinking that women like Swinson verbalise. Her utterances are as threadbare as the outdated feminist ideology upon which they are based, and it is high time that women take on the mantle of moral agency that comes with their ‘liberation’, eschewing the whingeing entitlement this sort of utterance so characterises.
Under the current régime of enforced maternity leave, and the obligation for an employer to keep a woman’s job open for her, should she choose to return to work after a year, pregnancy discrimination is entirely to be expected, and entirely just.
The cost of recruitment, training and integration of an employee is significant for employers, and anyone with any common sense, let alone business experience, knows that it takes time for the new recruit to bed into the organisation and become productive, so why shouldn’t an employer seek to ensure that his investment is going to give a proper return?
The fact is, Swinson has hoist herself on her own petard. Women who are truly equal, cannot have the freedom of self-determination without shouldering the yoke of moral responsibility that comes with their equality.
When making employment decisions, an employer is bound to factor-in the possibility of a young, fertile woman becoming pregnant during her employment, and then invoking all the paraphernalia of the state, driven as it is by the left/liberal drive to give mothers even more reason to leave their very young children and enter the workforce. (And, of course, that’s a really good thing isn’t it? Not in my view.)
When I say the employer is bound, I don’t just mean that in the moral sense. Those who run limited companies are under a legal obligation to work in the best interests of the people who own the company – the shareholders or members – and a similar obligation is placed on those who run organisations in the public and third-sectors too, and that means getting a return on the investment, or ensuring a proper return on financial resources. So why shouldn’t women be held to be responsible for their contribution to that?
In this brave new world of the cloud-cuckoo land feminist version of equality (which really means equality when it suits and not when it doesn’t) there is now good reason to expect that a young career woman step up to the plate, face her basic responsibilities as an equal player in the means of economic production, and act out her equality with men.
There is now a good case – a common sense, balanced and just case (indeed a liberal case) – to scrap the present employment protection provisions surrounding pregnancy, and replace them with a legal régime in which fairness to both sides is recognised. After all employment is a legal contract – an offer met by an acceptance, with the consideration of pay.
As part of her employment contract, I believe that a woman of child-bearing age should be expected to give her employer a legal undertaking not to become pregnant for a set period of time following the commencement of her employment, and for that period to be re-applied, by negotiation, upon her promotion or re-deployment with that same employer.
After all, pregnancy is no longer out of a woman’s control. It has been a matter of personal choice for over fifty years.
Ten years would not be an unreasonable requirement for a woman in her early twenties who is embarking on a career that involves extensive training, it seems to me. After all, the typical age at which women, having established their careers, are marrying and settling down is now thirty.
Should a woman become pregnant during her contractually agreed period, she would be held to have breached her contract of employment, and any contractual obligations her employer owed her would become null and void. The employer would then be free to replace her without legal penalty when she leaves to have her child. It is nonsense to hold an employer responsible for women’s life choices.
The Swinsons of this world, her counterparts in the Labour Party (that fount of febrile feminism), and, indeed, those feminists in the Conservative party (and not all of them female, if you know what I mean?), need to wake up to the stark – and for them, no doubt, surreal – reality that they are on the wrong side of common sense. Their thinking is flawed and patently weak because it is based on dogma not discernment – on mantra, not mental rigour.
They need to take the red pill and see that people, men and women alike, cannot demand privileges in the name of social justice, whilst ignoring completely the social responsibiliies that come with those privileges.
Of course, there is always the possibility that the Conservative Party could do the unthinkable and seek its social soul again, exercising some moral leadership. As true Tories, they could introduce fiscal measures that would give substantial tax breaks to married couples and make it financially attractive for women, once again, to value marriage, motherhood, and family life. Like Margaret Thatcher, they could refuse to fund the creche economy and redirect the millions allocated to it by Tony Blair to that more noble purpose.
They could start to lead this nation again, re-installing its family values, sending a strong moral message that motherhood and family life are both fulfilling and rewarding for women. In that way they would atone for the damage to women who want to be mothers they themselves have been complicit in wreaking, and help them to get off the Marxist treadmill and get a life.
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