Letter: Feminist challenge

Sir: Jennifer Worth suggests that 48 per cent of top nursing posts are filled from the 7 per cent of nurses that happen to be male because "the vast majority of women want and need to be dominated by men" (letter, 11 March).

What nonsense - the problem with women is that they want and need to dominate their families, and are willing to forgo domination of their workmates to achieve this.

The majority of women have children and immediately seize primary responsibility for childcare, resenting any handover of this to their partners.

The extra commitments that come with senior management are unattractive because they reduce the mother's presence and influence at home.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that women accepting promotion while their children are small often do it out of insecurity or lack of assertiveness - to "pull their weight" after taking time off or because they fear redundancy or loss of "high-flyer" status.

The more secure or assertive will turn promotions down or reduce their hours as far as financially possible to spend more time at home.

As the father's status at home is reduced to a supporting role, promotion over his workmates becomes a major attraction.

The fact is that men, who don't have much to do at home, pick up the senior jobs that women are too busy to do. It has little to do with any discrimination by men against women or any need by women to be bossed about by men.

The challenge for feminists is: how do you get women to choose senior management over control of childcare and the home?



Sir: Jennifer Worth is quite misguided in her concept of feminism.

Feminism is not about making men and women the same but about making them equal.

Women are not dominated by men; it is the structure of our society that values the skills and abilities of men more than those of women.

So until nurses are recognised and recompensed as equal to, say, accountants, the feminists will continue to scream about it.


London E15