Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Piles of fresh, stinking bullshit

There are times when you read an article that is so simplistic and pathetic that it just makes you want to tear all of your hair out. This is one such article...
Girls have a greater fear of failure than boys despite outperforming them at all stages of school, a report said.

And these worries could seriously affect their chances of succeeding in school and work, the Equality and Human Rights Commission study claimed.

Tough tits. Seriously, what are you going to do? Let's look at ways in which we could equalise these fears.

Perhaps you would like to start brain-washing the girls to make them braver? Or perhaps you could take them to see the Wizard of fucking Oz, who will grant them a great, brave heart? Or perhaps you could just make them not give a shit (much like the boys, I imagine)?

Or perhaps you could make the boys more scared of failure by publically kicking the shit out of any that fail? Or perhaps you should tell them that, if they do fail, their families will be tortured to death?

Fuck me, I mean, seriously: where to fucking start?
It also suggested girls often aim for careers reinforcing gender stereotypes, such as teaching, childcare and beauty.

Perhaps they want to go into these professions? Perhaps women tend to be more interested in childcare? Or teaching? Or beauty? Could it be that there is a gender difference in the things that people tend to be interested in?

Oh, wait: that's probably just a fucking imposition of the patriarchy, isn't it? I forgot, there is absolutely no difference in the parenting instinct between males and females of this species (despite this being the case in just about every other mammal), is there?
The Commission's report suggested a fifth of young people had not received one-to-one careers advice, and did not understand how to achieve their desired goal.

Or, to put it another way, some 80% of young people had received one-to-one careers advice and did understand how to achieve their desired goals.

But sometimes those goals change; sometimes "young people" change their minds, or just can't actually achieve their goals.

Your humble Devil, for instance, wanted to be a mediaeval knight or a train driver when he was very young; then he wanted to be a doctor; when he bollocksed up Chemistry A Level, he went into nursing; then he went to study Microbiology; then he went into graphic design, and thence into a job doing print design; six years after that he went into web design and these days, after a stint in project management, he is now a Head of Marketing.

Do you see? Goals change: some goals become unobtainable, and then others open up.
It said despite girls' success at GCSE, three quarters of women still ended up in the "five Cs" of employment - cleaning, catering, caring, cashiering and clerical.

This would rather imply that maybe—and I might be sticking my neck out here—that women (and men) make certain choices about their lives and about what they are interested in; that men and women tend to make different choices about the relative merits of work and leisure, about competition and caring.

Is that a bad thing? I think not.

Of course, unlike the Equality and Human Rights Commission, I do not have an axe to grind (except that of personal freedom)—nor a massive fucking budget to protect. This QUANGO thrives on people being placed into stereotypical pigeonholes: if it did not, it would have no need to exist.


Not Quite Hayek said...

A Government-composed constitution would naturally result in a highly-politicised, fad-filled document reminiscent of the European Charter of Human Rights, which includes absurdities like the right to an education and the right to healthcare.


For example, when the state defines that citizens have "the right to an education", what it actually means is "the right to an education provided by the state and funded through the extortion of money from other citizens".

"Surely, Devil," some will cry, "this is a bit of a leap of imagination?" No, not really: let me amplify.

There is no such thing as free education and if someone cannot afford to pay for an education for their child, then the money must come from someone else. And the only way that you can absolutely guarantee that this money can be obtained—as opposed to, for instance, soliticiting charity—is to know that it can be stolen from someone else.

I appreciate your position, but Bella's interpretation of Protocol 1 Article 2 of the ECHR (which she calls a 'charter') (and thus the Human Rights Act) is incorrect- and I wouldn't want you to be misinformed by it (and I'm not suggesting that it is).

It is actually a reinforcement of a negative right, rather than a positive - ensuring that citizens have a right not to be denied an education. It certainly doesn't compel subscribing states to provide an education.

The protocol doesn't provide for "the right to an education", nor does the Human Rights Act itself.

On the issue of healthcare , the convention doesn't even mention the subject, so that straw man is knocked down. Only health is mentioned in the context of public authorities not interfering with the rights set out by the convention except for where the protection of health requires it.

The Education Act 1944, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights, however, are a different matter entirely...

Like Bella, I don't doubt that a government-led constitution would be full of bollocks and positive rights, but we should be careful not to write off existing treaties - especially when we haven't taken the time to read them properly.

Rob Farrington said...

What, you really never wanted to be an astronaut? Weirdo!

Why DO they feel the need to put people in pigeonholes? I was pretty academic at school but then went off the rails for a while, did an OU degree in my twenties because I could afford it and wanted to learn about astrophysics purely for the sake of it (if you hadn't already guessed, I'm a space nerd).

I'm now teaching myself how to repair laptops, but in my spare time like to volunteer to walk dogs. There's maybe no rhyme or reason to it all but hey, I manage to earn a decent wage, and to enjoy my spare time, too.

My interests include physics and computing (obviously), history and archaeology, politics, philosophy, religion, sci-fi and fantasy fiction, and working with animals. And all of my friends, male or female, have very diverse interests, too. That's how we manage to be, well, you know...friends.

At school, I was always best at maths, so presumably I missed my designated calling to become an accountant. Thank God *shivers*...

Roger Thornhill said...

Leftie Authoritarians cannot understand why men and women still fall into gender stereotypes.

Duh - might be because they are not enforced* "stereotypes" but reality, natural bias from within. You know, Lefties, "reality". Heard of it yet?

My niece went all pink at the age of 3. No reason. Mum dressed her in all colours, mostly asexual. She likes pink. She is a girl. It happens. Get over it.

* which is the implied dimension from them.

JuliaM said...

"This QUANGO thrives on people being placed into stereotypical pigeonholes..."

Don't they all?

And like all Quangos, it's in their intersts not to really make any changes, else they will lose their meal ticket.

Vicola said...

If girls are more scared than boys it can't be affecting their performance at school that badly because they are still outperforming boys in all subjects except imagining Miss Jamison who teaches maths naked and trying to hide an inconvenient erection. When I was young I wanted to be a vet. Then I realised that my aversion to blood and mess was a problem. A lot of girls end up being teachers because you go all the way through uni, still can't decide what you want to do so opt for teaching because you can go into it with virtually any degree and you get long holidays plus a decent starting salary. Even I considered it. This is just another load of horseshit that should be ignored until it goes away.

Henry Crun said...

Rob Farrington:

"At school, I was always best at maths, so presumably I missed my designated calling to become an accountant. Thank God *shivers*..."

Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!! Please don't say that. My lad is way ahead of his school peers at maths. Please don't say that the only outlet for his talent is accountancy.

JD said...

I have noticed that there are a lot of differences between boys and girls. Why cannot the righteous, interfering busybodies notice something that is so damned obvious? Either they are stupid, or have an agenda.JD.

Pogo said...

@Henry Crun

@Rob Farrington:

"At school, I was always best at maths, so presumably I missed my designated calling to become an accountant. Thank God *shivers*..."

Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!! Please don't say that. My lad is way ahead of his school peers at maths. Please don't say that the only outlet for his talent is accountancy.

No need to worry Henry... "Maths" is not the same as "arithmetic"... :-)

Boy on a bike said...

I wanted to be a lawyer. Thank christ I fucked up my 1st year at Uni and didn't make the cut. Then I wanted to be an accountant, but my studies soon showed that I couldn't make a balance sheet balance (shouldn't have worried and gotten a job with Enron instead). I somehow landed in a policy adviror slot, then moved on to events management, then management consulting, a spot in IT, then some project management - and along the way I've weighed trucks, cut the balls off sheep, laid bricks, stacked supermarket shelves, driven tractors, picked vegetables and fired machine guns at targets.

All careers advice is complete shit, and the whole boondogle should be abolished, burnt to the ground and then that ground sewn with salt. Getting a job is like finding a wife - you have a poke at a lot of things until you find something you like.

Not Quite Hayek said...

Not sure why my comment ended up here... I suppose I must have had two comments windows open :/ noob.

Anyway... Isn't fear of failure something that should be used to drive encouragement and development?

I'd be way more concerned if girls (and boys) lacked a 'fear of failure' and instead just "didn't give a fuck".

Anonymous said...

Or perhaps they could bring back the O'level exam, which boys outperformed girls in to such an extent that they abolished it in the name of 'fairness'.

Politista said...

I have seen families where both genders of children like pink until the boys are told they are not allowed to. To me this is a very good analogy. There is a gender bias inherent in society that fails to reward males for learning to nurture, and fails to reward females for playing computer games obsessively.

How far that divide is natural and how far it is inherited depend largely on your definitions of natural and inherited. But I really really wanted to be in the infantry, only I don't have a dick, so hard luck me.