If you type the headline of this article into Google, you will be bombarded with links, from ‘expert sources’ telling us that women ‘evolve better than men’ – apparently women are getting better looking through evolution; while men are staying the same – go figure!
One of my favourites is: Why did God create man first?
Because he needed a rough working model before creating the perfect specimen of the species!
But in all seriousness, the amount of real data that purports to support that women are better than men is astonishing. When you examine the statistics by ‘accredited institutions’, the work of these individuals speaks for itself.
So, is one gender better than the other?
First, let’s take a humanitarian perspective. An Australian Bureau of Statistics report on charity work found that 38% of women and 34% of men say they volunteer to help others each year. Among the people who volunteer as primary carers for somebody incapacitated, 54% are women. Now let’s compare that with the way we celebrate the ‘good’ people in our society.
The Order of Australia system of honours is designed to recognise people that perform community work. The Bureau reports that ‘between 2003 and 2012, 65% of OAMs have been awarded to men, and 35% to women’.
Women help others more than men do, but men obtain the majority of awards. Could this be because the system is about how much money you donate rather than how much time you spend caring? Even if that is the case, men have more money to contribute because they occupy the best-paid jobs! This space seems rather inequitable, don’t you think?
Logically, one would conclude then that as most jobs are awarded purely by distinction, men must be smarter, right?
The issue here is that even if it were true, there is no evidence.
Data confirms, however, that girls out-perform and out-stay boys in school; as a result, they go on to university in greater numbers. Statistics from the Federal Education Department reveal that the number of female students in higher education jumped by 33.5% over 10 years compared with a 22% rise by males. In 2012, university graduate numbers had increased to nearly 195 000, of whom 60% were female.
So girls are better than boys when it comes to education, but it is not reflected in their salaries; so, what about ‘social’ comparisons?
When examining crime and illicit dealings, the last prison census found that 93% of people in jail were male. In terms of respect for our natural habitat, men are apparently more casual about the environment; women are more concerned about the disposal of household waste, and much more worried about climate change; 61% of women vs 53% of men.
Many argue that cultural preferences fit neatly into superficial gendered categories: for example, 50% of men say they go to at least one sporting event per year, compared with 37% of women. Women, on the other hand, attend more opera/musicals than men: 21% of women and 12% of men say they attend at least one a year.
So far I can confirm more women care, more women study and more women invest in culture, making us superior social participants.
But what about in business?
While some studies illustrate that men and women have different intellectual strengths — a consequence of nature perhaps — women have proven to be a worthy investment and despite our apparent numerical ‘shortcomings’ women running their own business last longer than their male counterparts.
Women are also better survivors, even in a recession. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 80% of those who have lost their jobs since December 2007 have been men. This could be because male dominated occupations were hit hardest – but, hey, maybe it’s time more men became carers and/or teachers. Or maybe they should start producing the things women want; we are the biggest consumers, after all!
We even invest better! According to a study of 100 000 portfolios, women’s investment returns outperform men’s – 18 to 11%. This apparently is because women are more cautious with investments and think long term.
With this small amount of data, I conclude that the hypothesis that ‘women are better than men’ is not only true but supported by empirical data.
Throughout history, physical and mental differences between the sexes has led to widespread discrimination by men against women. It’s been just over 100 years since women ‘won’ the hard—fought right to vote because we were judged to be intellectually inferior and politically irrelevant. Instead of seeing us as an essential component of the community, men viewed women as property. Men believed they were, and still some do, superior.
If we viewed each other as equal, the yin and yang, would our world be a different place?
Would there be more peace and fewer wars? Better pay for careers and less for sportsmen?
Together, we offer a more complete perspective on life than we can have on our own.
I borrow the analogy of a man and a woman standing back to back, describing what they see to each other. Each is unable to see more than half of the horizon, but together they see it in its entirety. With only half the picture, it would be wrong for either to claim that they had the true vision of the world.
We should be using our diversity in positive and proactive ways to build a stronger society.
It’s time for women to step up to make our voices and votes count.
Enough with the stats; let’s start making a difference every day in every way.
Change can start with one; so if nothing changes, nothing changes.