In The Australian 2003 article, “Feminists don’t know what women want”, 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 a group of women where their failure, is perceived as female prejudice. Thus, women counter the “discrimination” using what they term as the need for regulation. Albrechtsen’s view is that what the feminists term as discrimination and regression is actually a form of disguise of the women tastes . This paper delves into and reviews Albrechtsen’s arguments and concludes that her opinions and assessments identify a justifiably overlooked situation where the feminists aspiring for leadership in a male-dominated environment unsuccessfully compete with their male counterparts in an otherwise situation where they would be successful if they participated as individuals. However, Albrechtsen’s encounter in the Sydney Law School may be used as an example to show that what she argues was evident in the old days, “by a group of older academics,” and thus outdated. Moreover, there isn’t any evidence that it is demonstrated by women of a later generation.
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 it seemed that they were not ready for the post. This was amid the allegations by feminists 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 if time wouldn’t help women to rise to power, then regulation would then be a sure passport (Monica & Zora 2008).
Albrechtsen continues to cite the opinions of middle class feminists, who have got 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 want the shortest way possible. What these feminists don’t really want to do is take a strain so as to achieve their ambitions. In career paths, 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 first example-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 by the author is that senior posts call for work experience, that can’t be achieved by a “leg up” or a shortcut, rather by being given credit where and when it’s due. The importance of this, as viewed by the author, is that experience is fundamental when it comes to being offered a job and can’t be got from the so called “legs ups’ or short cuts.
She gives the opinion that women, specifically older feminists who are academicians, seem to search for discrimination in every nook and cranny. This follows her suggestion to thee older academicians that she had never been a victim of discrimination at any big law firm in Sydney where the surprised feminists at the Sydney Law College 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 mixed-sex working environment where they are veterans in spotting female discrimination whereas she, 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; instead, 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 it means the opposite of that to their male counterparts. 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 discriminative against them (Chilla 1997). The author takes this as important because she opines that the advantage of their male counterparts is individual merits which enable them to triumph over the feminists; the individual merits are always viewed from a prejudice perspective by the feminists.
In her article, Albrechtsen’s another main issue is that, gender stereotype has a vital role in propping up a backlash against female prejudice in senior posts whereas men, who eye the posts not as males but rather as individuals, strive to justifiably use individual merits to triumph over their female counterparts in the senior posts (Lynda 2006). Thus, women participate as a group of women, which is a poor strategy to clinch senior posts compared to their male counterparts, who take advantage of their individual merits. The author takes this as important because she sees it 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.