When banks divert from banking to social engineering

Mid-way through 2015 the ANZ bank in Australia opted to join the chorus of ‘enlightened’ corporate entities banging the feminist drum at their customers expense.

The bank’s first step was to release the ANZ Women’s Report: ‘Barriers to Achieving Financial Gender Equity’. And no, in case you wondered, there is no corresponding ANZ Men’s Report. There never is. This despite the fact that, in this instance, many men also “fall behind and retire in poverty“.

“For many years people have been trying to tackle issues around gender equality by asking men and women to change. This approach will not work.

What we need to do is to look at the systems that are holding women back from achieving their full potential. And when we’re talking about systems we’re referring to structures and practices in our schools, workplaces, businesses and community that reinforce biases. These systems need to be redesigned so they are fairer for women, recognise the unique strengths and talents of both genders, and equally support the success of both genders.”

So apparently we can’t ask women to change what they’re doing, even if it directly contributes to their predicament. Nope, we have to change the “systems“.

Since then various related ‘initiatives’ have emerged such as ideologically correct videos (below), and a decision to contribute an additional $500 into the superannuation accounts of female staff based on the feminist misinterpretation of the gender paygap.

Being unhappy about witnessing this regressive move I contacted the bank, firstly via Twitter and then email, to express my concern and dissatisfaction. Our subsequent email exchange is shown below:

“Thanks for getting in touch with us to provide feedback relating to ANZ Women’s Initiative that was launched on the 29 July 2015. This kind of feedback is valuable to us because it helps us better understand what’s important to our customers. 

ANZ is committed to being a socially responsible bank, and we believe that from time to time we have a responsibility to take action on important social issues. We understand that some of our customers and employees hold different views on our decision to make additional superannuation contributions for our female employees, and we respect your right to hold this view.

Research shows that in Australia, women retire with 47% less superannuation than men – and 1 in 5 women yet to retire has no superannuation at all. This is driven by a range of complex factors.  However, on average women retire earlier and live longer than men, so the importance of having enough superannuation is even greater for women.

ANZ has weighed up all of these factors and is comfortable that the payment to female staff is a positive step that will help women to overcome the gap.

ANZ takes the issue of discrimination very seriously and in developing these new measures considered the relevant Sex Discrimination and Anti-Discrimination Laws. The payment is permitted under Australia’s anti-discrimination laws because it is a “special measure” designed to address this super gap that our research clearly demonstrates between men and women.

Our action has the full support of the Sex Discrimination Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission. The Sex Discrimination Commissioner advised ANZ that, in her view, ANZ’s initiative is consistent with the objects of the Federal Sex Discrimination Act. ANZ has also been given a 10 year exemption from the NSW Anti-Discrimination Commission (because NSW is the only State where the anti-discrimination legislation does not contain a “special measures” exception).

 ANZ views this initiative as a positive step to support women and help close this gap in superannuation savings so they have greater security in retirement. While you may disagree, we do appreciate you taking the time to provide us with this feedback.”

I wrote back to the bank:

“Thank you for your prompt response. I disagree with your rationale for promoting feminist policies at the expense of your customers and shareholders. My original position on this matter remains unchanged and unresolved.

1. Whether women retire with less or nil Super is a reflection of their personal choice. Choice about what type of training they undertook, choice about what field of work in which they seek employment, choice about how much overtime they do, choice about whether they take time out during their careers.

2. Those women who choose to get married often then have the choice to be stay at home mum’s (and be supported by their partner) or not. Most women enter marriage with less assets then their partners, or in debt. Most divorces are initiated by women, who then tend to walk away often with in excess of 50% of their partners assets, even when those assests were accumulated prior to the marriage.

3. The wage gap is a much debunked misrepresentation of the true situation in relation to income received by men and women and cannot be validly used to ‘prove’ gender discrimination. That issue is discussed in this article – http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/the-myth-of-wage-disparity/

4. Women live longer in large part because disproportionately more is spent on research into womens health and on the treatment of womens health issues, and because men are more likely employed in relatively more stressful and higher risk occupations (one reason why they are, on average, in receipt of higher incomes)

In summary for every disadvantage suffered by women there are benefits or advantages, as is the case for men. Therefore it is inappropriate and discriminatory to single out women for incentives/rewards for real or imagined discrimination faced by them, but at the same time to ignore issues that negatively impact on men.

The fact that the additional payment to women by ANZ was ratified by the former AHRC sex-discrimination commissioner is more a reflection of her partiality and gender bias rather than vindication that ANZ’s policy was truly a fair and appropriate one. That issue is discussed in this article – http://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/gender-bias-at-the-australian-human-rights-commission/

And the bank duly wrote back:

“Thank you for your email and further feedback which has been noted. As your concern is regarding a policy decision made by ANZ, the Customer Advocate will not become involved. It is not the role of the Customer Advocate to review or change a matter that relates to ANZ’s setting of staff benefits. If you wish to escalate your concern you may contact the Financial Ombudsman Service.”

Whereupon I said:

“Thank you for your prompt response but my concerns with ANZ’s decision to re-orientate itself in lockstep with feminism philosophy runs deeper than simply the $500 payment to female staff. In the absence of other options I will now investigate/consider the appropriateness of lodging a submission with the Financial Ombudsman Service”

It’s not just banks doing this … it’s not just about financial benefits … and the implications extend beyond staff of the relevant company

Since forever many companies have wanted to do good in their local communities, or at least be seen to do good. Until recently they were content to do things like sponsor a local football team or make a donation to a charity. Although the worthy causes were usually unrelated to the business of the company, these were small benign gestures that troubled no-one. How quickly that has changed in the space of just a few years.

Now were are seeing companies expend large amounts of money and time on causes that can be polarising and contentious. The implications of adopting (often judgmental) public positions on these issues or causes can flow through to staff, customers, shareholders and then out into the broader community.

With the superannuation issue there was a tangible benefit for staff, well, for some staff. As this trends builds, and with these other issues, there are both carrots and sticks being employed. The sticks can include shunning/shaming or even dismissal for staff who don’t embrace the company line and engage in wrong-think.

Workplace intimidation silences lawyers critical of same-sex marriage (30 August 2017)

“Solicitors have complained of being intimidated at their workplaces if they publicly criticise the endorsement of same-sex marriage by their professional association and law firms … He said it was wrong for the Law Society and the Bar Association to express any view on same-sex marriage because it was peripheral to the central concerns of both organisations.”

The market for virtue: why companies like Qantas are campaigning for marriage equality (28 August 2017)

How James Damore went from Google employee to right-wing Internet hero (12 August 2017)

See also:

NAB promotes #EndToViolence (November 2017) with further details in their web site

Did Westpac just mansplain gender diversity to its competitors? (26 October 2017) Westpac learns, as have countless male feminists, that no matter how much you pander to feminist nonsense, you will still be subjected to harsh criticism.

Westpac under fire over same sex marriage email (5 October 2017)

“Westpac has been forced to defend an email from a staff networking group telling fellow employees to vote Yes in the same-sex marriage survey, erroneously claiming that doing so would prevent 3000 suicides a year”

What? No, Women Shouldn’t Be Paid More Super Than Men, by Corrine Barraclough (26 May 2017)

Why we’re backing women, by Lorraine Murphy, National Australia Bank (6 March 2017)

Young women can budget in the short term but struggle with long-term investments: survey (14 February 2017) A very gynocentric article, but which does support the value of addressing financial literacy/skill to enhance post-retirement financial status.

Banks preaching about gender wage gap myth, by Rita Panahi (28 October 2016)

Female tech leadership to get $1m boost (4 October 2016)

Shareholders slam CBA’s ‘diversity’ bonus (27 September 2016) Australia

It would seem that National Australia Bank has now jumped on the bandwagon (August/September 2016) See below and here. Perhaps trying to regain their feminist cachet after an earlier #fail

nab

I see that both ANZ and NAB have directors on the board of Diversity Council Australia. DCA are, amongst other things, the organisers of this feminist talk-fest planned for November 2016.

CEOs say women will be promoted and men should get used to it or leave (24 August 2016)

Radical proposal to force bosses to fork out extra super for women (3 June 2016)

Angus Aitken out at Bell Potter after ANZ Michelle Jablko email (26 May 2016) with further background to this episode in this interview with Kate Jenkins

Tweet from Paul Edwards, Group GM Corporate Communications at ANZ. So now it’s forbidden to criticise women in the finance sector (misogyny!). In the words of Miranda Devine: “Where is the sexism? You know what damages women? Cheap virtue signalling PC BS like this”

The Superannuation Gender Gap (21 April 2016) Australia. Related reddit discussion thread here

Australian bank buys into the gender pay gap rubbish (9 April 2016) with related Reddit discussion thread here. Note the observation about the Bank disabling comments on their Facebook page and cleansing earlier comments – as feminists are wont to do.

Australian bank ANZs new ad. Pushing the wage gap myth on children (March 2016) Reddit mensrights discussion thread

‘Blatant sexism’: ANZ’s #equalfuture campaign cleared of discriminating against men (4 September 2015)

ANZ pays women extra super (31 August 2015) A very long-running discussion in the Whirlpool online forum

ANZ bank giving female employees an extra $500 to correct gender pay gap (August 2015) Reddit mensrights discussion thread

ANZ Bank launches a super deal for female employees (29 July 2015)

ANZ pushes its new gender diversity measures in national campaign (29 July 2015)

This article suggests that women might be better off considering the impact of financial literacy on their retirement savings, rather than complaining about the wage gap.

Postscript (19 September 2018) Today Bill Shorten, Australian federal leader of the Opposition, announced a $400 million scheme to support women in relation to their retirement Super balances

We’ve all heard of the gender ‘income gap’, but what about the ‘expense gap’?

In two other posts within this blog I explore the concept of the gender wage gap:

How feminists misrepresent the gender ‘income gap’, and
That tired old feminist chestnut that is the ‘gender wage gap’ resurrected in Australia

Those posts found that the ‘wage gap’ is an issue that is persistently misrepresented by the feminist lobby, and that differentials in salary are generally reflective of personal choice rather than gender discrimination in the workplace.

This post explores the notion that there is a flip-side to the ‘wage gap’, that I label the gender ‘expense gap’. This concept is borne from the premise that men/boys incur significant additional expense, in comparison to women, to access or obtain various goods or services and/or to perform the role that western society demands of them.

The existence of a gender expense/cost gap is addressed in the media from time to time, but such discussions are limited to the gynocentric meme of a ‘pink tax’. Such articles, examples of which are provided below, focus on women paying more for retail products such as shavers, fashion, haircuts and sanitary products. The reality that men pay more than women for other goods/services is overlooked.

Tesco cuts price of women’s razors so they cost the same as men’s (2 January 2017) UK
NYC pharmacy introduces ‘man tax’ provoking protests which it labels ‘hate’ (14 October 2016) USA
The Pink Tax (25 August 2016) A video by ‘ShoeOnHead’ (a female MRA)
The ‘tampon tax’ is not a marginal issue – it’s the force of structural sexism at work (25 July 2016) USA
This Is How Much More It Costs To Be A Woman (2 April 2016)
Price discrimination isn’t only about pink razors (6 February 2016) UK
‘Pink tax’ angers women from New York to London (3 February 2016)
CBS News goes undercover to reveal gender price discrimination (25 January 2016)
Pink premium? There are greater problems (24 January 2016)
Britain’s ‘sexist’ high streets: How women are being charged TWICE as much as men for almost identical items (19 January 2016)
Ever heard of the ‘pink tax’? It’s real and cutting into women’s finances in a big way (30 December 2015)
Why you should always buy the men’s version of almost anything (22 December 2015)
So Who Is Responsible For The Gender Cost Gap? (23 December 2015)
Women Pay More for Everything From Birth to Death, Report Finds (23 December 2015)

The Gender Expense Gap is broader and more pervasive than simply retail pricing differentials, encompassing for example:

  • Men being required to pay more for a particular product or service than a woman for the same or similar product or service (i.e. gender discriminatory pricing). A broad range of examples can be identified including nightclub entry, membership of online dating sites, and insurance (health, life, auto, etc). Here is one such example.
  • Men being expected (via social convention) to meet the full cost of a given expense, e.g. a restaurant meal or a holiday, rather than the relevant expense/s being split 50/50 with their female companion
  • Men being forced, by law, to incur certain expenses that would either not be incurred by women, or would only rarely be incurred by them, e.g. payment of alimony or spousal support
  • Men being unable to avoid particular expenses (without a penalty being applied), that women in the same circumstances would or could avoid  (e.g. in the US, women are less likely to meet their commitments to pay child support, and less likely to be penalised for doing so)
  • Men being denied compensation or financial support that would, in the case of women, offset costs incurred by them. Consider for example discounts or financial incentives or external funding support denied to men but available to women, e.g. scholarships and educational grants (example), superannuation top-up payments (here and here), maternity leave, and rebates or tax reductions for female-owned business start-ups.

How might we also, for example, assign a financial cost to factors such as workplace deaths (overwhelming affecting men), and the health impacts of reduced medical research/treatment (whereby the government spends a pittance on men/boys relative to women/girls).

This is a most challenging task as far as economic analysis goes, but nevertheless ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’. A related reddit discussion thread can be found here.

Let’s look now at some of the specific factors that might be considered:

Courtship expenses and celebratory days

Men are still expected to subsidise most of the costs associated with courtship. The issue of who pays for dates is addressed in another blog post. One of the articles listed there is ‘Why women should never go halves on a date’ (27 November 2014).valentines-spend-ecommerce

Men are also expected to spend more on celebratory days, for e.g. birthdays, Mothers Day and Valentines Day, than are women.

The Fathers Day spending deficit is addressed here, but some related articles include:

The Father’s Day spending gap: Why does mom always win? (10 May 2015)

Less spent of Father’s Day gifts than Mother’s Day gifts (6 September 2014)

Valentine’s Day spend twice as high for men: bank research (13 February 2017)

Valentine’s Day spending driven by single men in search for love (12 February 2015)

Valentines Day, by the numbers (14 February 2013)

Why Are Some Men Such Awkward Gift Givers? Let Them Explain (5 December 2016) USA. Talk about ‘look a gift horse in the mouth’! On that note see also “Men are also pretty useless at buying gifts in general”

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2385196/Sorry-gents-results-Men-really-ARE-good-fear-women-need-rid-spiders.html#ixzz4wCarcD3N
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

And on a lighter note, see If girls proposed to guys (Video)

Marriage and co-habitation

Although times are certainly changing, men typically remain the primary breadwinner in the family and are responsible for supporting most/all of the living expenses of their spouse and children. Men are also likely to bring considerably more assets into the marriage than are women. Woman however still typically remain in charge of making most of the decisions regarding the expenditure of household income.

WA de facto couples will be able to split super if relationship breaks down (25 October 2018) Men typically bring significantly more assets into a relationship, but the fact that they might take out more is “fundamentally unfair” … gynocentric much?

Is this the new normal? Women who live on a weekly ‘allowance’ from their husbands (7 May 2017)

New research reveals females control the household budget (27 November 2015)

‘I get a wife bonus — and I deserve it’  (29 May 2015)

Women who out-earn their husbands are also more likely to make money decisions for the family (17 March 2015)

New fathers must have same pay rights as mothers, says Nick Clegg, who vows to smash ‘Edwardian’ view on raising children (20 October 2014)

oppression

http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/diversity/17spending.pdf

Men make more, women decide how to spend it (11 May 2012)

I declare the gender pay gap to be a truly dead and gone issue (27 April 2014)

The following quote addresses the average differential between earning and spending in male/female households:

“Men earn 61.5% of all income but only account for 25% of domestic spending. Men only spend 40% of what they earn after tax. In contrast women make up 38.5% of all income but control 75% of domestic spending, women on average spend 90% more money that they earn. Men are exploited as cash machines and even with spending on children accounted for women still spend more money on themselves than the combined spending for men and children.” (Source)

Divorce/Separation, incl. spousal/partner/child support and alimony

Sources addressing the issue of spousal maintenance/alimony can be found in this other blog post, but some examples are provided below.

Rosenblum: As times change, should alimony change, too? (25 March 2016)

Afeni Shakur And Whether Or Not Men Deserve Alimony (18 March 2016) USA

Group pushes male-dominated S.C. Legislature to change permanent alimony law (1 March 2016) USA

Report: NJ woman sued for writing ‘bum’ and ‘loser’ on ex-spouse’s alimony checks (19 December 2015) More on this case in this discussion thread and linked article

Breadwinning Women Are Driving Alimony Reform (18 November 2015) and related reddit discussion thread

Even though 37% of women earn more money than their husbands, only 3% of divorced men receive alimony (30 June 2015) Reddit discussion thread

Retired farmer must pay more in alimony than monthly income, Nebraska Supreme Court rules (27 June 2015)

Are Moms Less Likely Than Dads To Pay Child Support? (26 February 2015)

Divorced wife told to get a job and stop living off her ex-husband (23 February 2015)

Deadbeat moms? Should mothers be required to pay child support? (20 April 2014) and related reddit mensrights discussion thread

Jail Becomes Home for Husband Stuck With Lifetime Alimony (27 August 2013)

Woman sues ex-husband for a share of wealth he made years after they divorced (9 December 2014)

Why Do So Few Men Get Alimony? (20 November 2014) USA

Working woman in /r/legaladvice divorcing and is horrified that she has to give part-time-working ex-husband half her assets (15 November 2014)

Ex-wife of US oil baron to appeal $1 billion divorce award (13 November 2014)

Halle Berry’s Child-Support Fight: Female Breadwinners Can’t Have It Both Ways (20 October 2014)

Businessman is ordered to pay £28,500 to ex-girlfriend in landmark court ruling because he led her to believe he would look after her for life (17 October 2014)

Veteran chooses jail over giving his disability money to ex-wife (17 September 2014)

Alimony is broken – But let’s not fix it (1 September 2014)

Cost of education (esp. regarding the availability of financial support via government or university grants or discounts for example)

Jordan Peterson, dozens of academics attack Ivy League anti-male bias (8 February 2019)

New data shows women now surpassing men in STEM fields (3 December 2018) USA

The Science Ambassador Scholarship (December 2018) USA

Anti-male discrimination complaint gets UMN to change scholarship rules (2 November 2018)

Scholarship funding available for women working in the horticulture sector (28 September 2018)

Scholarships for Women in Male-Dominated Industries (12 September 2018)

Scholarships for ‘Board Ready’ Women in the Disability Sector (30 June 2017)

Sydney University defends new scholarship that favours men as ‘consistent with diversity’ (8 February 2017) Feminists lose it when a uni faculty applies same logic to attract more male students – cry ‘sexism!’

Storm over Shami’s £500,000 to help girls get degrees … (4 January 2017) UK

Women in MBA Scholarship: 30 full rides. There are no men in biology or men in elementary education scholarships (23 September 2016) Australia

VCAT green light will let Ivanhoe Grammar School offer more places to girls (11 August 2016) Australia

“The decision [to escape provisions of sex discrimination legislation] will allow Ivanhoe Grammar to target female students in its advertising and to offer sweeteners to attract girls, including “scholarship and bursary assistance”.”

UN Women National Committee Australia MBA Scholarship (April 2016) Just one example – how many more like this?

There are four times as many scholarships for females as there are for males (28 February 2016) Reddit discussion thread and linked article

“It would be bad enough that men are continuously shamed for earning more than women, and told that because women get better grades in easier subjects, that women are more intelligent (SourceFed, 2014) or motivated (Lewin, 2006). However, women are also given disproportionate financial aid to attend college, even though they are now a sizeable majority of college students compared to men. While data is difficult to find, using the University of Oklahoma as an anecdotal example, in 2007 women received 78% of scholarships, and between the years of 2008 -2013 women received 89%, 77%, 68%, 94%, 92%, and 100% respectively (OU SLIS, 2013).

Government grants are another major source of funding for women wishing to attend college. There are numerous resources available created specifically for women (Scholarships for Women), but none specifically for men, unless you count athletic scholarships, which are a sticking point with Feminist activists who resent that female athletics lose money while male athletics make money for colleges (Bloomberg News, 2011). It seems fans aren’t interested in paying to watch female athletes perform at the level of a male high school junior varsity team. However, if you put athletics aside, and focus only on the resources available to help men obtain college degrees, those resources are sorely lacking, while money is being thrown at women who are wasting it on Liberal Arts degrees instead of STEM.(Source)

scholar

Scholarship discrimination (7 December 2015) Reddit discussion thread

How the Australian Research Council promotes gender equality … by providing “at least two named Australian Laureate Fellowships targeted at outstanding women researchers” (2015) None for men

Verizon donation makes STEM summer camp for girls free of charge (20 November 2015)

Female postgraduate engineering students entitled to taxpayer-funded sponsorships worth £22,750, on the basis of gender alone (30 April 2015)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2012/02/16/the-male-female-ratio-in-college/

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/2005-10-19-male-college-cover_x.htm?csp=14

http://www.macleans.ca/general/why-do-women-still-deserve-special-scholarships/

Supporting women scholarships (February 2015) Australia. How many men-only scholarships are offered? My guess is ‘none’

4x as Many Scholarships for Women — a Disadvantage for Men? (27 February 2013)

Student Loans Help Women More than Men in Reaching Graduation (21 February 2013)

Insurance

Why Men Don’t Care About The Healthcare Debate (13 November 2017) USA

Men pay £170 a year more than women for car insurance despite EU gender rules (3 October 2017)

Men ‘pay £101 more’ for car insurance than women (13 January 2017) UK

Differences in insurance costs (29 June 2016) Reddit discussion thread

Men paying more for car insurance. Mensrights discussion thread and linked article (3 May 2015) Ireland

The benefits gap — a cursory analysis of US social security (OASI) and disability insurance (DI) (28 October 2014) A Reddit discussion thread

Canada’s Insurance Rates: Men vs. Women (17 January 2012)

Articles that address other gender-based expenditure/cost/revenue differentials

Vodafone is paying women 500 extra a year for being women, possibly in violation of the 2009 law Fair work act in AU (15 March 2017)

The Travel Insurance Company Tackling Australia’s Gender Pay Gap (15 February 2017)

“Equal Pay is Not Enough”, says violent feminist ad for overpriced shoes complaining that women pay more for things (25 January 2017) Video with related Reddit discussion thread here.

About a company that operates lounges at conferences and to promote equality, men are charged more for refreshments based on the gender pay gap (18 January 2017) Reddit discussion thread with linked article.

Female scientists with young children offered extra $10,000 annually to stay on at Brisbane Institute (17 December 2016) Australia

Swiss parliament rejects paternity leave plea (27 April 2016)

Give Your Money To Women: The End Game of Capitalism (10 August 2015)

Why Do Women Have More Credit Card Debt Than Men? (28 June 2015)

“Bring it on” – Says Fitness center illegally charging men more for membership in the UK when complaints are raised (9 April 2015) Reddit mensrights discussion thread. And here’s how that story eventually played out.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program Financial support for entrepreneurs (males need not apply)

You Should Know About: Feminist Perversion of Scientific Research. Athena SWAN – The go-to positive discrimination vehicle for feminists in STEM HE (14 November 2014)

Elsewhere in this blog you might be interested in:

On taxation and the ‘Female Economy’

Len & The Lamprey: The other side to the issue of financial abuse

When banks divert from banking to social engineering

Good manners versus chivalry