Women are not inherently good

Published 10 years ago

Some race reductionists have argued that black people cannot be racist. According to this argument, black people are so dominated by whites in every sphere that they could not possibly be racist, even if they tried.

To be racist, goes their argument, a group must possess state or economic power to collectively subjugate those of a different group, those who do not look like them.

At best, blacks can despise whites for all the pain they have caused since their ancestors first left Europe in search of new lands and resources some 500 years ago.


As you might imagine, such an argument has the ability to raise passions, regardless of which side of the debate one chooses. It is also, of course, a nonsensical premise. Blacks are human, and from time immemorial, human beings have had prejudices based on all sorts of things, from which side of the river one hails to the color of their hair.

There is an equally flawed theory, based on more or less the same sentiments, held by the ‘blacks cannot be racist’ brigade. This time, it is led by women, who think that by merely being women, they possess the magical skills to manage people.

Women bosses are allegedly more compassionate, consensus-orientated and, unlike their male counterparts, not overly competitive.



Before we get ahead of ourselves, let me hasten to add that I have no doubt that there are women leaders out there like that. By the same token, however, there are women leaders who are everything but.

To assume, therefore, that for no other reason than they are blessed with

more X chromosomes, that they bring to boardrooms, the shop floor and wherever else they manage people, a divinely ordained insight into how to get human beings to be more productive, get on with each other and go home to be excellent partners and parents, is ridiculous.

It is no better than the delusion that blacks are incapable of racism simply because they are black. It may make women feel better, but it is bigoted, for it attributes to women, characteristics that they acquired by mere membership of a group they had no say in joining and therefore cannot escape.


Anyone who believes that the biological factors they possess – the color of their skin, eyes or the dominant hand they use – give them special powers and advantages over other human beings, is on the road to nowhere.

One would think that people with some experience in the workplace and the boardroom have seen that both great and lousy leaders come in all shapes, sizes and genders.

Political correctness demands that we believe women bring a ‘softness’ and more ‘heart’ to the boardroom, as if women in business are recruited from the convent rather than the coalface where business leaders are made. We are told that their maternal instincts (and goodness knows what else) gives them the abilities that their peers around the boardroom table do not share.

As is the case with black people, by now women should refuse to be treated as if they are monolithic judged on the performance of those who look like them. They should not only refuse this association when it is negative, but should reject it altogether when told they are the better species for no other reason than they are women.


To accept, as some women have, that their gender gives them some advantage is to deny their own humanness and the effort and skill it takes to climb the corporate ladder.

The ‘I am a great boss because I am a woman’ brigade denies the role of training, mentoring and old-fashioned hard work that makes excellent bosses excellent. It tells men that kindness and empathy are feminine traits and they should therefore play them down, lest their masculinity be questioned.

It is up to women to correct this ever-growing misconception that it is something to do with gender and not abilities and skills that makes them excellent leaders.

If the women’s movement has learnt anything from centuries of patriarchy it should be that sooner rather than later, those who imagine themselves to be virtuous because of who they are rather than what they do, are eventually caught out and put in their place.


It is women who must call the likes of Margaret Thatcher to order for saying: ‘if you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman’. It may be a great quote, but it brings with it seeds of counterarguments and examples of how the opposite is true.

Nature and nurture have provided men and women with different ways of seeing the world. That, however, is no excuse for allowing how we have been socialized to determine what it takes to be an excellent business leader.