Ah, so it was before the Civil Rights Act but about 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation supposedly fixed the legal inequality problem.
Not true in Canada and I suspect elsewhere. “Oh, this male nurse assaulted a helpless patient repeatedly? Well, he’s the sole breadwinner for his family, so we need to go easy on him!”
More thoughts on the earlier discussion:
This is not just about gender issues and not just in Taiwan. A few years ago the Guardian published an amusing rant about elderly British judges who were clueless about social media and modern slang because they had no direct experience with either. Considering the speed and depth of social and technological changes, including changes in perceptions of gender roles, within the last few decades, this is cause for concern.
- Gender Equality Committees
As you said, @Andrew0409, you want to see where the law treats men and women differently so that you can fight to change it, but as I pointed out, the Act of Gender Equality in Employment requires the GEC’s to be over 50% female, so in theory you should be fighting to change that.
At one level, it’s obviously discriminatory. Yet at another, it’s a kind of correction. The committees shouldn’t be necessary at all, but the consensus (at least among legislators) was that they were and are necessary. Hopefully one day they can be abolished because they won’t be needed.
I reckon if there were more female judges, the situation would be different, yet using affirmative action for judges would be sexist and lead to suspicions of underqualification, yet people decided something had to change, so here we are with legally mandated unequal equality committees.
Knowing the law inside out is useless if it can’t be applied in a way that meets society’s needs, e.g. if a judge knows the legal concept, legislation and case law of libel better than anyone else but fails to understand the nuances of modern slang in a libel case. How can this be fixed? Compulsory training programs for judges who may not want to pay attention (“young people today with their phones, ugh”)? Expert witnesses? Incentives for early retirement?
When it comes to gender, sensitivity training (like what some Canadians think will prevent a repeat of the Robin Camp “keep your knees together” scandal) may be useful, but there is still cause for concern.
Let’s take Rocko’s Senate Health Committee again. For argument’s sake, we’ll put aside questions like is contraception good or bad, is free contraception good or bad, is abortion good or bad, should employers be forced to pay for things they don’t believe in and so on.
Let’s just suppose that a hypothetical state decides it’s going to provide free contraception to men and women. If the state wants to implement this policy in a fair and effective manner, how should it proceed? They appoint a committee to decide.
Option 1: medication for women and… medication for men
This is reportedly not very popular among men. It’s popular among some women for reasons other than contraception, because apparently it can be used to avoid menstrual problems – something men will never fully understand.
Option 2: operations for men and… operations for women
Again, we’re going for equality, right? But the implications and complications of these operations would not be the same for men and women, so that’s a problem.
Option 3: condoms for men and… condoms for women.
That’s fair in theory. But are male and female condoms really equal to each other, in practical terms? I don’t know. I suppose the only way to find out is to try both kinds, before and after a very realistic sex change.
As for male condoms, you might hear some people saying “one size fits all” and even trying to prove it with stunts like this.
The women in the room might buy it because it seems logical, but the men in the room (or some of them anyway) would shake their heads and say that’s just not how it works!
But wait – are there any men in the room? If we take Rocko’s suggestion and make the committee 100% female, perhaps the result will be (male) condoms that only fit a small percentage of the population, so the aim of fair and effective implementation would not be met.
Does that mean a 50-50 split would make everything perfect? Of course not, but I reckon the closer you get to 100% on either side, the greater the danger of one side’s concerns not being taken seriously because the other side doesn’t understand.