In her article “Feminists don’t know what women want” run in The Australian in 3 December 2003, Albrechtsen argues that women get it all wrong when it comes to leadership in a male-dominated environment. Women, as Albrechtsen points out, try to lead as women block where the failure of them, the women block, is perceived as prejudice and thus, when it so happens, so does the need for regulation arise. She opines that what is disguised as discrimination and regression takes the form of the tastes of women. This paper delves into and reviews Albrechtsen’s arguments and deduces that her opinions and assessment identify a justifiably overlooked situation where the women-block aspiring for leadership in male-dominated environment blindly cry hoarse to “parallel park” with their male counterparts in an otherwise situation where they would be successful if they participated as individuals. However, she may be used as an example to show that what she argues was evident in the old days, “ by a group of older academics” thus outdated, and that it isn’t demonstrated by women of a later generation as she gives an example of the Sydney Law School encounter. Nevertheless, she doesn’t give that opinion.
Albrechtsen starts her arguments by giving an example of a time in 2003 when there was a post in the ALP where women were called to run for it, but unfortunately, it seemed that they were not ready for the post. This was amid the allegations by women whenever they failed to clinch a senior post that prejudice was the answer to “why not?” Albrechtsen touches lightly on a feminine author, Anne Summers, whose view was that regulation would earn women tickets to the power posts, were time not to help them (Monica & Zora 2008).
Albrechtsen continues to cite the opinions of middle class feminists, who are have got a good education that “women want a leg up, a short cut, and they want power.” She cited the women reliant on the government for “a leg up”. A short-cut, as the adage goes, is always a wrong-cut, yet, these feminists that’s what they want. What these feminists they don’t really want to do is take a short. In career paths, one’s past experience is fundamental when it comes to being appointed or vying for a senior post, thus Albrechtsen could be trying to explain the reason why, in her starting argument, women were not ready to lead the ALP.
An assumption in this argument is that it means all women look up to the government for the so called leg ups and short cuts. Thus, the main issue that is being raised here is that senior posts call for work experience, that can’t be achieved by a leg up or a short, rather following the staircase rather than the lift. The importance of this as viewed by the author is that experience is fundamental in job offers and can’t be got from legs ups or short cuts.
She gives the opinion that women, specifically older feminists academics, seem to search for discrimination in every nook and cranny. This follows her suggestion that she had never been a victim of discrimination at any big law firm in Sydney. The awed women tell her that she had been a victim and that she had merely overlooked it. Thus, Albrechtsen found that women were hell-bent to fault the working environment while those, being older academics, are veterans in spotting discrimination to women whereas she, the writer and who is a younger feminist academician fails to notice it. Albrechtsen, see’s it as some kind of irony whereby it is them, the older academics, who “were searching for discrimination in all the wrong places.” Thus, according to her opinion, the main issue that she wants to raise here is that it isn’t that women are discriminated against rather that the market environment doesn’t fit their individual tastes. Therefore, women have got ample chances if only they shed their self-imposed cage of discrimination and strive to compete with their male counterparts rather than waiting for a leg up or a short cut.
When Albrechtsen cites the example of a new feminine appointee as a chief justice, Marilyn Warren, and her subsequent comment where women bring about “energy, patience, humor and insight”, it doesn’t imply that means are just the opposite of that. Thus, the main issue that Albrechtsen raises is that, men, perceive nothing as discrimination from the words that specifically are pro-feminists while conversely, women, find anything that’s pro-masculine as locking the feminists out (Chilla 1997). The author takes this as important because she opines that individual merits in their male counterparts that enable them to triumph over their females, is always viewed from a prejudice perspective.
In her article, Albrechtsen’s main issue is that to the feminists, gender stereotype has vital role in propping up a backlash against female prejudice in senior posts whereas men, who eye the posts not as a “block of men” but rather as individuals, strive to justifiably use merit to triumph over women in the senior posts (Lynda 2006). Thus, women participate as a women-block, which is a poor strategy to clinch senior posts compared to their male counterparts take advantage of their individual merits. The author takes this as important because she sees this as the hindrance of women clinching power.
Janet, A. (2003). Feminists don’t know what women want. Victoria: The Australian
Chilla, B. (1997). Living feminism: the impact of the women’s movement on three generations of Australian women. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Lynda, B. (2006). Feminist alliances. New York: Rodopi.
Monica, D. & Zora,S. (2008). The Great Feminist Denial. Victoria: Melbourne Univ. Publishing.