A Hobson Choice, in terms of discrimination, is a choice where only one option that doesn’t have a severe detrimental effect on you, but any other choice is undesirable and unfair also.
In Marxism it became clear that there was an unfair balance of power between the workers and the factory owners. The owners gave the workers a Hobson’s Choice: “Either you work for what I am willing to give you, or you don’t work at all.” – the consequences of not working meaning not being able to afford subsistence. They were in effect ‘financially impaired,’ and this lack of finance was disabling them in terms of the opportunities they could access.
In Feminism it was clear an equal unfair balance of power needed to be addressed. Men would give a Hobson’s Choice: “No one will give you a job, either you do what I say with the money I give you, or you can walk the streets.” – the consequences were clear, that one has to do what one is told or one gets nothing. Women were therefore also ‘financially impaired‘ – their sex meant they couldn’t get jobs from the bigoted men who controlled the workplace, meaning they couldn’t get money, meaning they had to depend on men rather than themselves.
I have epilepsy and can’t drive. I do not have much money available, so live with my parents. My parents live in a village where it is difficult to get out of without a car. On this basis I am ‘driving impaired‘ and ”financially impaired.’ Here are some of the Hobson Choices I get given by my parents on a regular basis:
- “If you don’t do what we tell you, you won’t be getting that lift I promised you tomorrow.” (or: They will use my epilepsy against me, if it means they can try to control me more)
- “You can buy anything you want, so long as it is not an expensive take-away because are you only able to do that because you are living with us.” (or: by paying nearly £15 for a Chinese must prove I am using them, as they wouldn’t spend that for one person. In other words; anything I buy that is an unfair price to them is clearly me using them in their minds!)
- “You don’t have to live here, no one is forcing you to” (I can always become homeless now Housing Benefit has been cut).
I was abused when I was at school, and here are some of the Hobson Choices I was given there:
- If you don’t do what we say, we will tell your parents who will be disappointed in you.
- You can have any haircut you want, so long as it is done by the one we force you to use.
- If you don’t do what I tell you, I’ll tip your bed over and make you make it.
- If you don’t do what we tell you, we’ll put your strip-bare by an ice cold window.
- It is either you go or we go.
On this basis, my parents are no better than the people who abused me at school. Any impairment I have they try to use to bribe me, and thus turning it into a disability. At one point women were disabled as people, because their sex was made into an impairment by men. Many working people are opportunity impaired because they need a job to survive. That impairment becomes a disability when they are given a Hobson Choice – “you either like it or lump it.”
For every protected or personal characteristic we hold there is a potential impairment – ones caused by one’s body, the environment or what we are able to possess. It is other people by either not accommodating or abusing power over that impairment that make us disabled.
As soon as one is given a Hobson Choice – you either do what I tell you or I’ll use your impairment against you, the person is discriminating against you, and making you disabled on the grounds of that impairment. For instance:
- “Anyone is allowed to apply for this job” (so long as they are not gay, disabled, Black, a parent, young, or women).
- “You’ll be able to do something in politics, you are the future, you have youth on your side” (or: you are not going to get anywhere at your age, but please stay around to help older people get elected).
- “You could be the first Black person to make it here” (or: they are bigots and you are not going to get anywhere however hard you try).
- “We are very welcoming to disabled people, we don’t discriminate” (or: they will treat you the same as everyone else, even if it means walking then flights of stairs when you are not able to).
One thing common among Marxism, Feminism, and even Fascism, there is a person with power who is abusing that power to control others. In also all cases this abuse of power involves a Hobson Choice – you either do a particular thing or get nothing.
It is my view that women should not seek to treated the same way as men but should assert their own identity and expect to be treated equally to them by their differences being taken into account.
Consider for a moment this jovial comment:
My wife is so funny – so typical of women. She always gets me to put the toilet seat down. Why doesn’t she put it up for me?!
Would you say this was sexist? If yes then you need to question your ethics. By not accepting that women have different needs to men, then people are being institutionally discriminatory on the grounds of sex. Treating women equally means treating them differently. One would treat women the same if they were made to use the same urinals as men – but they would not have equal access to relive themselves as men unless there were WC cubicles installed.
I set out below my policies in relation to women’s rights.
The Status Quo
These are a number policies that are currently law relating to women that I agree with:
- All women-short-lists are a proportionate means to acheive a legitimate aim of increasing the number of women in public life.
- In the case of interviewing people for employment, where there is a tie between a man and a woman, the woman should be treated more favourably, except if the man is disabled and she isn’t.
- Women who have new born children should be allowed to bring them into the workplace and be able to breast feed them if they wish providing they are never left unsupervised, for their own protection as any.
- Women with young children should be allowed to ask for flexible working in order that their job supports their family life rather than detract from it.
- Women should have the right to abortion – It is inhuman and degrading treatment to expect her to carry a foetus she doesn’t want.
These are a number of new rights I want women to have:
- When a woman is the best person for the job, she should be given the right to request that the second best candidate be offered the chance to job share with her if she wants flexible working.
- Women who are in self-employment should have the same access to maternity pay and other rights as women who are employed.
- A woman should have a statutory right to have her embryos frozen so that she can have her career without the risk of sacrificing her chance to found a family afterwards.
These are the rights I want women and parents/guardians in general to have:
- Where a parent has a child with behavioural difficulties they should immediately qualify for a Blue Badge and be able to park in disabled parking spaces.
- All ‘accessible toilets’ currently for disabled people should be fitted with baby changing facilities and other essential features a mother (or other parent) and child might need.
Prostitution is they say the oldest profession so why are so many against it? Many feminists are disgusted by other women becoming prostitutes, but are they any better wanting abortions? If feminism means women have to right to control their body by aborting a child, surely others have the right to sell their body either for sex or for photographs for lads’ mags?
Based on my interpretation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) alone I think that it is a human right to be a prostitute or receive services from one.
The ECHR says everyone has the right to marry and to found a family. As with all European Rights they have a right not to found a family or marry. Therefore it should be a right for those outside marriage to practice their right not to found a family with the help of a prostitute.
The ECHR says we have a right to privacy. Therefore if the state interferes in our right to receive sexual services then it is infringing on our privacy, including the privacy of our home if we have call outs.
The ECHR says we have a right to associate with those we choose and to have freedom of thought conscience and religion. So if the state does not allow us to associate with prostitutes for which activity with them is on our conscience then they are denying us our human rights.
So now turning to the rights of the prostitute. Under the ECHR it is a right not to be forced or compelled to perform any particular form of labour such as forced prostitution. Therefore prostitutes have a right not to provide services. Also they have the right not to take part in inhuman or degrading treatment, which forced prostitution would be.
There is a human right not to be deprived of ones’ property. So by not allowing prostitutes to ‘live off earnings from prostitution’ then some states who prescribe this may be denying prostitutes their human rights.
I was in the Labour Party for 14 years. One thing most people will remember about me was how I spoke up for all-women shortlists and decried the way women were forced into traditional gender roles, like making their tea in Ogmore or taking in the minutes in Pontypridd. I challenged both of these by taking on the role of Secretary in both constituencies, and showing the men in Ogmore CLP how to make tea – don’t ask me how to boil an egg though!
Most of the women I know in Pontypridd CLP are neo-feminists – they want to be treated on the same terms as men because their values are still outdated, so they adopt all their negative traits such as being delusional about their true abilities and worthiness and try to control where they have no competency.
The women I know in Ogmore CLP are not even feminists – they know the men won’t listen anyway because they think they know it all so let them get on with it and keep making mistakes.
The women I know in Rhondda CLP on the other had have no such hang-ups; they are assertive yet tolerant and competent and strong willed – the men in Rhondda know they have met their match! The women in the Rhondda CLP are proud to be women and proud to be from Rhondda – they know they don’t need to be treated the same as Rhondda men, because they are confident in their abilities and who they are and in being themselves.