I was talking with someone the other day about why females are less likely to be hired than males, and why are they usually paid less. We actually came to many conclusions that might justify not hiring a woman, because of a matter of sheer economics.
For example in France and many other European countries, companies are required to give women maternity leave if they get pregnant. The companies are forced to leave the positions open, and the companies have to continue to pay them what they would make while they are on leave. In California, their positions are to be held during that period of time, and they still have to be given the same benefits they had while they are working. Since so many women have children in this country, doesn’t it seem like common sense to hire a man for a vital position? You don’t have to worry about losing your employee, and you don’t have to pay so many benefits. Granted not all women have children, however when try to make money isn’t it better to generalize to simplify things.
Is the motivation for not hiring the woman sexist or common sense or both? While it’s true that a company might intentionally choose not to hire a woman, its for the sake of making more money most of the time. The woman is not being not hired just because she has different sexual organs; she is not being hired because it might not create the greatest profit yield. It’s true a woman could choose not to have a kid, and she could choose to not raise it herself; however a good portion of the time, a company is going to get burned. You might argue that making these stereotypes that a woman needs maternity leave, etc. etc. is sexist, but it is profitable. I realize women in general get paid less, however keep in mind that many women also quit their jobs after having a child. With all this in mind it seems like hiring a woman for extremely important roles does not sound like the best possible investment. In a capitalist society all businesses attempt to gain the greatest long term wealth possible. If a company is in the business of making money, is it possible to have a capitalist society where women are treated equally? To me it seems like it is not possible.
Earlier in the year we mentioned how capitalism allows for women to be oppressed. The system treats women as unpaid labor in the home, and that the epitome of capitalist exploitation. However the book did not mention this little aspect of capitalism. Instead of fighting for feminism by changing our mindset about how we perceive our bodies and mindsets we have, maybe we need to change the way we perceive business and capitalism, like Rubin suggested.
I realize I may have offended just about all of you so feel free to post. No I am not an actual advocate of socialism. I just wonder if feminism and capitalism can work side by side.