‘Diversity’: A buzzword that sounds good but is often misused

Diversity is another one of those buzzwords du jour – and apparently the cure for all that ails. Except there are a few problems.

Firstly, diversity is often not – in practice – extended to embrace many within the community. I’m thinking here, for example, of white men, non-feminists, and those with a conservative or right-of-centre political persuasion.

In this blog post for example I examined the example of a debate organised by the Diversity Council of Australia. In that example, diversity meant assembling two debating panels that represented or supported a range of feminist perspectives.

A couple of other examples are provided in these other blog posts:

A couple of queries concerning ‘Balancing the future: The Australian Public Service gender equality strategy 2016-19’

We’ve set a target of having 10% of our senior management team female by 2017

Martin Daubney in the UK has drawn attention to this July 2013 article about part-time workers in Britain, which includes the following extract:

“For years, the term “part-time” has been synonymous with junior responsibility and low pay. And yet the pool of people who want to work in this way is incredibly diverse.”

Martin points out that only 12% of those featured on the ‘Power Part-time Top 50’ list mentioned in the article are male. Not so diverse in that regard, huh?

Elsewhere Martin provides the example of the organisation ‘CMI Women’, within whose web site we see an exhortation for gender diversity which starkly contrast with their own board membership (100% female).

Secondly, those who lobby for diversity tend to want to have it imposed by way of gender or racial quotas, selective recruitment, and the like. They do so despite the fact that such measures need not result in measurable improvements to organisational performance or community harmony, and may even be counter-productive in this regard. Indeed they are not averse to exaggerating or otherwise misrepresenting the benefits of diversity.

This aspect is discussed in these blog posts and others:

Less than 50/50 representation does not automatically imply ‘gender bias’
On affirmative action and the imposition of gender quotas
About what happened in Cologne

Thirdly, those who lobby for diversity fail to acknowledge, let alone analyse and debate, the negative outcomes that arise when achieving becomes the major determining factor when adopting government policy. Indeed, if we look at what is happening in some European countries now, such as greatly increased criminal activity, there is evidence of efforts being made to suppress such information.

See also:

Commissars in our universities (27 April 2019)

The ever-growing ‘diversity industry’ is overtaking higher education (25 April 2019) USA

Want viewpoint diversity on campus? Here’s how (16 April 2019)

Finally some robust research into whether ‘Diversity Training’ actually works – Unfortunately it’s not very promising (10 April 2019)

Ex-diversity officer smacked with massive fine after giving husband fellowship (15 March 2019) USA

Apple’s diversity VP apologizes for controversial statement at summit this week (14 October 2017)

A memo to Google – firing employees with conservative views is anti-diversity (11 August 2017)

Diversity Authoritarians (17 July 2017) Video

Opinion: Screen Australia’s sexist policies proof it is biased against men, by Mike O’Connor (12 May 2017)

Social Justice is winning (29 March 2017) Video

“Massive immigration and forced assimilation is called genocide when it’s done in Tibet. When it’s done in White countries it’s called “diversity.”” (Source)

College ‘Diversity Council’ Admits to Posting Fake Racist Flyers On Campus (23 March 2017)

Misguided drive for diversity is sending us headlong off a cliff (28 February 2017)

By promoting diversity over fighting ability the Army is alienating its warriors (25 February 2016)

Why Diversity Programs Fail (July-August 2016)

Feminists aiming to strengthen their foothold in Thailand

July 2014 saw an unusual spate of pro-feminist articles appear in the Thai media, suggesting a concerted effort to raise the profile of feminism there. I first noticed this article in the Bangkok Post, one of the two main English-language newspapers in Thailand. It used a recent terrible crime (rape and murder of a young girl) as a vehicle to bang the feminism drum in a country that is wonderfully thus far relatively free of the feminist yoke.

Next I came across this article in a popular regional English-language magazine. It discussed a feminist get-together in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The author of that article, Hilary Cadigan, subsequently wrote a follow-up OpEd in response to comments from readers including myself.

On 27 July 2014 the Bangkok Post published an editorial entitled ‘Feminism is not a dirty word‘, which was followed only a few days later by ‘Australia’s ‘hidden’ abusive migrant marriages‘.

That latter article appeared to greatly exaggerate the risk to Asian women in relation to marrying foreign men. Feminist scare tactics like this are ten percent motivated by a desire to protect the welfare of a small minority of Thai women potentially vulnerable to exploitation, and ninety percent about punishing western men who reject feminist-indoctrinated women as partners. (See this post as to one possible reason why)

Some might say “well perhaps Thailand is a country that could benefit from feminism?“. Well yes and no, but mostly no.

Firstly, and by way of background, I am fortunate to be somewhat familiar with the country and its people. I am also aware of the views of western women regarding Thailand, via personal discussions and many years of scanning media and online sources including expat fora. Whilst there are Thai feminists, online discussion and English-language media coverage is driven by female western expats who rankle at the nature of society here. Whilst a few are sensitive and understanding of the nuances of Thai culture, the vast majority are not. Indeed, the depth of Thai experience of too many western commentators is limited to media coverage of sex-trafficking and prostitution, and perhaps a stroll along Pattaya’s Walking Street during a brief holiday stopover.

Unsurprisingly, Thai society does have its share of negative features. As in the west, some of these  impact disproportionately against girls and women, some impact disproportionately against men and boys, but most affect people of all genders. Chief among this latter group of factors is the huge disparity between rich and poor within Thai society.

I have two concerns, the first of which is the nature of feminism and its potential impact on Thai culture. My second concern is more general and involves those who seek to superimpose western mindsets and ‘solutions’ onto completely different cultures.

The primary vectors for feminism in Thailand are western women working in international organisations (e.g. various UN agencies, World Bank, etc), in a myriad of western NGO’s and charities, and to a lesser extent in the media.

Readers should also recognise that in Thailand, as in many other countries, there is a substantial financial dimension to feminism. This mainly comprises a large ‘rescue’ industry that focuses on ‘helping’ women and girls. Never mind that the majority of people trafficked in Thailand are men working in the fishing and construction labor industries, who are the recipients of negligible assistance (and none whatsoever from feminist organisations). This gender bias by aid organisations is a world-wide phenomenon, and is addressed in this other blog post.

My own view is that feminism (or at least that form of feminism now dominant in western society – ‘gender feminism’) is not the remedy that’s needed to effect lasting positive social change in Thailand. The affect of this pernicious ideology would simply introduce new biases and inequities, whilst further eroding traditional aspects of Thai society worthy of being maintained.

A few background articles that might be of interest are:

Wikipedia entry on feminism in Thailand and on Women in Thailand

Thailand’s SIGI rating

A Reddit discussion thread about the current situation with feminism in South Korea (19 April 2017)

This Reddit discussion thread was created by a Malaysian feminist who, to her credit, was seeking information on mens issues. It is included here as some of the responses may be of interest

Thailand’s first female Prime Minister vs Thai feminists (14 August 2011)

Feminist activists find peace in Thailand (23 July 2010)

(As an aside, I note this last article includes a reader’s comment: “A group of female tourists in Thailand posted their responses to sex tourism in a video, and received some harsh backlash”. Well, gee, western women volunteered some biased and fairly harsh criticism of the behaviour of western men and received some of the same in return. This happens in grown-up society. Instead of childish pouting, why not address the specific points raised?)

letmetellyou

I thought women were meant to be more empathetic?

Empathy means the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Those banging the drum about how more women should be promoted to senior management sometimes seek to support their position with sexist generalisations about how women tend to be more ethical, collegial, empathetic, and so on and so forth.

Earlier generations of Australian women were mostly empathetic to a fault.
Nowadays perhaps not so much.

Empathy with the resident citizens of overseas countries

Some time ago I was reading the results of a survey of overseas travellers. It found that most travellers were disturbed by displays of cultural insensitivity by fellow travellers. Unfortunately the survey did not breakdown its results on the basis of variables such as gender.

This got me thinking about my own experiences living and travelling in Asia.

Thai culture is quite conservative but Thais will rarely inform tourists when they have crossed the border of social acceptability, unless they venture far beyond the bounds of decent behaviour. Expressions of polite conduct such as kreng jai – the Thai version of our ‘good manners’ – is highly important to them.

Mention Thailand and most people think of men behaving badly. And indeed some men do … as do some women. The difference is that those western men who misbehave tend to do so within touristy nightlife areas, in many cases within recognised ‘red light areas’. Their behaviour generally involves drunken debauchery within the confines of go-go bars or the like. There is nothing laudable about this, but at least the local Thai people in such areas tend to be inured to witnessing this type of behaviour. Outside these areas I have witnessed exceedingly few examples of western male travellers displaying overt cultural insensitivity.

In contrast I have seen many examples of western women behaving inappropriately outside the bar precincts. A common issue is that of wearing skimpy and revealing clothing in and around temples, and in public places such as markets or parks. This occurs despite the fact that any guidebook on Thailand clearly states that such clothing is considered unacceptable, as well as there being signs installed in many locations.

On this note I happened across the following comments by a female editor of an English-language magazine in Thailand:

“Then there is the trio of English lasses who were found wandering around Wat Phra Singh a few weeks back in their bikinis! It has nothing to do with cultural insensitivity or ignorance. It is just a willful refusal to give a crap. Their grandmothers would have taken a wooden spoon to their bottoms had they trotted into the local church dressed that way.”

I have never confronted anyone about this particular transgression, but from discussions in online forums the attitude seems to be “this is my style, why should I have to change to suit them?”, or they are old-fashioned/sexist and *they* should change. I have also noticed plenty of instances of western women exhibiting exceptionally intrusive, pushy and loud behaviour in public places (particularly for example during community events).

Anyway that’s what this correspondent has noticed in going about his daily business, but discussions with Thai women revealed some other issues. These were women who either ran businesses, or worked in other peoples shop-front businesses (not bar-related, I hasten to add). I must first explain that Thai women are generally in awe of western women, and in general there is no underlying animosity whatsoever.

One after the other these women told me similar accounts of their dealing with western female customers, and of their surprise, dismay and occasional anger at the rude behaviour they often encountered. This included body language (like eye rolling and pained expressions) plus clicking noises of annoyance, and rude gestures and insulting words.

As noted, these were just my own observations – what do others think? Are western women travelling overseas less inclined to observe and maintain local cultural decorum, than western men? And if so, why? Do you think it might it be related to an increasingly overdone feeling of entitlement, and of being beyond criticism/censure? That sense of feeling oneself to be a ‘special snowflake’?

Singer ‘Bjork’ clearly thought she was a very special snowflake indeed when she saw fit to assault this reporter at the airport in Bangkok. And here’s another western woman showering the Thais with empathy.

And then there’s the behaviour of the USA women’s team towards the Thai team in the 2019 World Cup match (12 June 2019)

The incredible outburst that got this tourist jailed for six months in Bali (8 February 2019) And what a fine ambassador for Britain was this particular ‘lady’

And in another blog post we can see that some western women also behave in a racist and/or culturally insensitive manner when they are at home.

Some other incidents wherein which women display an absence of empathy:

Woman threw cat at neighbour’s door because ‘it kept coming into her garden’ (2 July 2019) UK

Feminist, Chidera Eggerue, doesn’t have time to worry about male suicide (Tweet dated 14 March 2019)

‘Fight Club’ organized by teachers at day care caught on camera (30 October 2018)

Tourists facing 10 years in Thai jail over ‘ridiculously drunk’ prank (26 October 2018)

Video shows nurses doubled over laughing as World War 2 veteran dies (19 November 2017) USA

‘Who are they gonna believe, you or me?’: Texas prosecutor fired after drunken Uber tirade (14 November 2017)

When making a sandwich is a crime against feminism, by Miranda Devine (7 October 2017) The lack of empathy by feminists towards others is legendary – here’s another example

‘Poison Ivy’, 17, bullies ‘weak’ men into degrading themselves online before encouraging them to kill themselves (26 October 2016) with related Reddit discussion thread here.

Women more likely to get angry behind the wheel (20 October 2016) UK

First-ever survey of the motivation behind disability hate crime (9 May 2016)

“Around half (49%) of all attacks were group based. Women were involved in most group attacks (men were more involved in lone attacks).”

Inside house of horrors full of dead pets including one dog still chained to its kennel in shocking case of animal neglect (5 May 2016) UK

Rotherham woman offered safe haven to troubled girls – then pimped them out (27 February 2016) UK

Woman pretended to have cancer to get money from her boyfriend so she could pay for plastic surgery (12 February 2016) UK

‘It was the worst flight of my life’ (11 December 2015)

Secret Service Agents: Hillary is a nightmare to work with (2 October 2015)

Anesthesiologist trashes sedated patient — and it ends up costing her (23 June 2015) USA

Russia jails three young women for WWII memorial twerk (27 April 2015)

Egypt investigating how tourists filmed pornographic video near Giza pyramids (8 March 2015)

American sisters deported for naked photos at Angkor Wat (9 February 2015)

Kiwi tourist smashed Buddha statue in Cambodian temple (14 October 2014)

Other sources related to women and empathy:

‘Bali bikini ban’ will help ‘transform mass tourism hot-spot’ (1 October 2018)

Charity boss jailed for stealing thousands meant for burns victims (13 June 2018)

I’ve Gotten Blown Off By Men So Much Lately That I’m Literally Questioning Everything (October 2017) Author displays total absence of understanding that men have been treated this way since forever (well before the advent of dating apps!) Welcome to our world darling. Reader’s comments scathing but accurate.

Stereotype that women are kinder and less selfish is true, claim neuroscientists (10 October 2017)

Newsflash: Less Yelling Means More Sex (6 September 2017)

Gender differences in empathy (27 August 2016) Reddit mensrights discussion thread

Oxytocin Has a Dark Side, Says This Stanford Neurology Professor (6 July 2017)

The Absence of Empathy: Understanding the Psychology of Sociopathic Feminism (26 March 2016)

“You’re gonna get hit. It’s gonna hurt. Accept it.” Lessons from Krav Maga (14 March 2016)

Social contagion: Women more likely to yawn in response to others, study says (2 February 2016)

Ringleader in Texas’ biggest sex-trafficking ring sentenced to life in prison (20 January 2016) USA. This is not a rare exception – many women are involved in the running of human trafficking operations like this one.

Health experts warn of dangerous trend as survey finds women self-criticise eight times a day (4 January 2016) Perhaps the most worrying thing about these research findings is how little of the self-criticism relates to the impact of a women’s own behaviour on others around them … it’s all me, me, me

A Plea to Women (28 November 2015) Australia

The Empathy Gap – Fiamengo File Episode 4 (3 September 2015) Video

Woman’s Hour and the lack of understanding or empathy (1 September 2015) Reddit discussion thread

The only two “Fairy Tales” you need to understand women (1 August 2015)

Why do women have such a hard time empathizing with men? (3 April 2015)

Are men inferior to women? Let’s check the data, by Christina Hoff Sommers (30 March 2015) Video

The angry men of the Internet, by Jasmin Newman (March 2015) Australia

Men are selfish, uncaring idiots (23 December 2014)

No, I will NOT wrap all the presents. Why are women still responsible for the holiday joy? (10 December 2014)

Feminist’s perverse game to misrepresent Anti-fem righteous outrage (Youtube video) 27 July 2014

Q&A: Women are nurturing? How about cruel, especially to one another (24 August 2002)

Sorry, Martin Amis – your kindly women can do cruelty too (16 July 2010)

Mom’s Abuse Makes Man Afraid Of Women (2 November 2010)

http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/are_women_more_compassionate_than_men

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130408111841AAwBfyC

http://www.angryharry.com/Who-Is-More-Empathic-Men-Or-Women.htm

http://goingyourownway.com/showthread.php?638-The-Female-Psychosis-part-1-Egocentrism

Elsewhere in this blog see:

On being male or female (incl. innate differences, stereotyping and so on)

On privilege, respect, and entitlement

Mostly female perpetrators, so child abuse is a gendered crime then?

On violence carried out by women and girls