The Myth of Meritocracy

20 / 09 / 2013

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott was sworn in a couple of days ago, along with his new Cabinet, which takes Australia’s federal political representation of women in Cabinet from record numbers in the previous Labor Government, to just one woman – new Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop (or as the ABC’s Annabel Crabb described this week, the new Cabinet now consists of “Nineteen blokes and a Bishop”). In this piece for Sheilas, writer Clementine Ford takes a look at the maleness of Abbott’s new cabinet, and critiques the idea of ‘merit’ – a word that is so often bandied about in discussions around the proportion of women and parliamentary representation. This is Clementine’s third piece for Sheilas and we’re delighted she’s agreed to come on board as a “semi-regular” contributor. Thanks Clementine!

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By Clementine Ford

When Tony Abbott announced his new Cabinet earlier this week, it came as no surprise to anyone that it was set to be Bloke Fest 2013.

In a Cabinet of 19 members, Julie Bishop (who was the Deputy Leader in Tony Abbott’s Opposition, but who was required, by virtue of the fact the LNP needs the Nationals to form government, to resign that position) is the lone woman amidst 18 white, presumably heterosexual men, many of whom were former Ministers in former Prime Minister John Howard’s government.

trading opzioni binarie youtube For a team who campaigned heavily to counter the accusation of sexism levelled at their leader, it’s a curious choice on their leader’s part. With the exception of a scant few unknown faces, there’s nothing new to see here that we haven’t seen from decades of male-dominated leadership teams.

wie verdienen binäre optionen broker geld In announcing the testosterone heavy crew, Abbott claimed to be ‘disappointed’ that there weren’t more women to showcase – as if it is somehow our fault that we consistently fail to break through that glass ceiling, as opposed to the fact it has been reinforced by centuries of patriarchal codes and secret handshakes.

صور عليها كتابه Not to worry, Abbott assured media gathered to report on the announcement. There are plenty of talented women “knocking on the door” of the Cabinet! The question remains as to whether or not they’ll be given the password – but then, a meritorious woman would probably figure it out. After all, we can’t just be handing out promotions to satisfy the shrieking feminazi brigade, can we? It wouldn’t be fair.

binary options uk brokers uk Yes, once again we are forced to contend with the infuriating argument of ‘merit’ when it comes to the appointment of women to positions of power. If women were simply better, they’d be given the jobs that seem to fall so easily into the laps of their male colleagues. If women were more deserving, as the Prime Minister might have it, he wouldn’t have to be disappointed by the lack of their presence on a front bench of his own design.

forex tanpa modal 2017 Both of these arguments are routinely trotted out by people unwilling or unable to accept that individual merit is usually last on the list of considerations when it comes to political decisions. And they are wielded to justify the stymying of women’s opportunity in a system not only pitted against us, but to which we’ve only been allowed access in relatively recent times.

binära optioner böcker And yet, this argument about merit – who has it and who doesn’t – persists. Where is this Utopia, I wonder, where the political annals of power are characterised not by factional deals and a spiteful system of reward and punishment, but by a proven track record and commitment to upholding what is right? Where ‘merit’ can truly be claimed to be the benchmark for selection?

binära optioner skatt Let us not forget that the expectation one must prove their merit is reserved for the not-so-usual suspects: the women, the Indigenous, the homosexuals and all the other groups unfavourably held up as examples of ‘bullshit PC tokenism’ whenever the members of such groups actually do succeed in scoring a position of high regard. Men are never asked to justify their promotions or inclusion in decision making bodies.

köpa Viagra thailand One of the benefits of being part of the privileged status quo is that it’s just naturally assumed that you deserve to be there. So the kinds of men you normally find in these positions – the white, heterosexual, middle class, well connected kind – are never forced to field these accusations that their inclusion may not have been fully earned. And because their merit is automatically assumed, on the rare occasions women are elevated into positions of power, it’s suggested this may have been at their expense – as if the Earth would slowly roll off its axis if such a white, heterosexual, middle class, well connected man were suddenly denied a voice.

Köp Generic Atarax How else can you explain the hostility to even discussing the gender disparity of Abbott’s front bench, as if there could be any question that some of these men might not have been elevated because of talent and capability? This is a Cabinet that includes Barnaby Joyce, a man who once said he opposed marriage equality because “We know that the best protection for [my daughters] is that they get themselves into a secure relationship with a loving husband and I want that to happen for them.”

trading opzioni binarie cos\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'è To be clear, this means that one of Abbott’s front bench Ministers – a man currently considered more meritorious than all of the women in the Liberal Party, bar Julie Bishop – seems to think that legalising same sex marriage will effectively ban its hetero opposite. Additionally, this meritorious candidate has such little regard for the autonomy of women, including his own daughters, that he has no qualms expressing the view that their protection is vital and can only be secured by entering into a marriage with a man. Don’t even get me started on some other male members of the new Cabinet. Greg Hunt. Peter Dutton. Kevin Andrews. Merit? Hmm.

köp kamagra oral jelly It’s time we stopped entertaining the idea that women have to prove their ability whenever the prospect of them occupying a senior position is floated. Instead, we need to start demanding that the men who are consistently elevated into positions of power begin to demonstrate their own.

opzioni binarie le iene The accusation of tokenism is merely a way to dismiss legitimate claims of discrimination in a world that should have moved far beyond the white, straight conservative ideals of the 1950s.

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köp Sildenafil Citrate Disclaimer: Sheilas aim to publish a variety of views on important social issues. Please note, the views published on Sheilas are the author’s and not necessarily those of the Victorian Women’s Trust.