In Humanity’s Self-interest

Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older. Maybe I’m an old man atoning for a younger man’s indiscretions. I’d like to think its because wisdom is finally kicking in. In any event, I think much more in moral terms than I did decades ago. In America “selling” something with a moral argument is often a fool’s errand. Today I’ll try to “sell” something morally correct with a self-interest argument.

As we progress more and more workplace provisions are being implemented that, on the surface, favor women. There is a backlash from mainly less well-educated white men. They feel they are being discriminated against because they see what they feel is their rightful male privilege eroding. The advances are being packaged as women’s rights. Both the former and the latter views are incorrect; the latter to a much lesser degree.

Perhaps Hillary Clinton put it best in 1995 when she said, “…human right’s are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.” It is in the interest of the species that we reproduce and only female mammals are capable of giving birth. Especially since World War II, we have put more and more women into the labor force while still expecting most of them to have children. Therefore, making provisions in the workplace that are more accommodating to females simply is in the interest of society.

While adding to the burdens of working outside the home we have not modified our domestic gender-based distribution of chores and responsibilities much if at all. Women bear the bulk of childcare, cooking and cleaning chores. Dr. Mom became a catchphrase in a TV commercial. Do you think Dr. Dad would have resonated? I don’t. The primary caregiver role is a huge and increasing burden. Elder care is becoming an increasingly large burden in our society and women are still the principal caregivers in most homes and extended families. Guys, just think for a bit; don’t you dump most of “that stuff” on your wives and sisters?

If we are going to expect women to be in the labor force while simultaneously giving birth to children, disproportionately caring for them and the family elders (including their in-laws) then we are going to have to make some provisions because there are only 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week regardless of gender. It is simply in humanity’s interest.

When a new “allowance” for women in the workplace is first advanced the knee jerk reaction of most guys is negative. Don’t forget that a large part of the phrase “knee jerk” is the word jerk. Don’t be one; think just a bit longer.

This article was written well ahead of publishing in order to accommodate my year end hiatus and is the property of Its content may not be used without citing the source. It may not be reproduced without the permission of Larry Marciniak.