Prime Minster Trudeau’s Budget Puts Women into A Feminist Straight Jacket
Prime Minister Trudeau’s 2018 budget is putting into practice the notion expressed in feminist Betty Friedan’s 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique: that all women regard the home as a concentration camp from which they must be freed to find true happiness in the paid work force.
The budget, which includes 358 references to gender, is designed to get women into the work place. For example, although most individuals support fathers’ involvement with their children, the budget’s provision to provide new fathers with a 5 week “use it or lose it” parental leave is designed so that new mothers can more easily enter the work force after child birth.
The budget treats women as single issue constituents, based on the feminist ideology that women would be just as likely as men to be work-centred once opportunities were opened to them, and that sex discrimination alone has held women back from the top jobs in any society.
This is nonsense. Women are not a homogeneous group. They make different choices in their lives. Most women have jobs rather than careers, and find the balance between paid work and family challenging.
Some women are home-centred, and prefer not to be in the paid work force, but other women, including most childless women, are work-centred. The majority of women however, adapt their lives to fit their family situation. These women want to work, but are not totally committed to a career. Rather, they feel obliged to contribute to household finances because of housing costs and the riskiness of relying on a single breadwinner, given job insecurity. That is, paid work is often regarded as an unfortunate financial necessity or insurance policy. Not all families can afford two paid nannies to care for their children as does Trudeau.
Instead of reducing family taxes and increasing child benefits to provide some genuine flexibly in women’s lives, Trudeau prefers to assign to women the role in which he thinks they belong; in the work force.
Unfortunately equality in the work place cannot compete with the inequity of nature which curiously allows only women to become pregnant, and never men. Women also have the curious inclination to want to nurture and care for their children. This is why mothers are much more attached to part-time work than are fathers, who although they dearly love their children, much prefer to support with paid employment.
Trudeau’s budget is an attempt to change the nature of men and women by providing incentives for women to enter the paid work force. This, not incidentally, increases the taxes paid which will give Trudeau more money to fling around to fund his pet projects. Judging from his past three budgets, the extra money will not be used to reduce the deficit or the national debt even though Canadian taxpayers are now paying more interest on the national debt than on our military.
The budget ignores the fact that the Canadian economy is facing serious and pressing challenges. Trudeau’s failure to broker trade deals is going to result in women, along with men, losing their jobs. Productivity growth has been weak and will get worse. Substantial tax reforms in the US makes Canada’s industries less competitive, and there is nothing in the budget to improve investment possibilities in Canada. Nor is there any attempt to encourage transporting our goods to market, such as getting our oil to tide water.
Although the budget does designate $70 million to women-led technology firms, and $65.9 million over 5 years to assist women to enter the trades, the budget also includes a $100 million financial commitment over 5 years to the Status of Women to support more initiatives to build the capacity of equality-seeking organizations, (feminist organizations) to reduce gender inequality in Canada, and to promote a “fairer and more productive society”.
This translates into more money being dumped on feminist groups to push their priorities over the choices of other women.
The feminist Status of Women appears to have written Trudeau’s 2018 budget, not the Department of Finance.