Michael Buerk's recent tirade against the rising tide of women seems a bit misplaced, largely because I tend to disagree with him on some essential points.
In an interview with The Radio Times, he cited the decline of the manual workforce as an example of the trend as well as the number of women in top jobs at the BBC and other media outlets.
It is true that as more jobs become less physical there will be more opportunities for women, but in a free business market I don't believe that men will be unable to compete successfully. However, since Mr. Buerk works and lives within a public-sector bureaucracy governed by political correctness, I'm sure his perception is quite different.
"Life is now being lived according to women's rules," he said. "The traits that have traditionally been associated with men - reticence, stoicism, single-mindedness - have been marginalised.
"The result is that men are becoming more like women. Look at the men who are being held up as sporting icons - David Beckham and, God forbid, Tim Henman."
I agree that men and women are acting more similar than they used to (according to what I've read), but if these changes are the result of a competition of ideas then it seems likely that the result will be more beneficial to society than the status quo ante.
He said: "Look at the changes in the workplace. There is no manufacturing industry any more; there are no mines; few vital jobs require physical strength.
"We have lots of jobs that require people skills and multi-tasking - which women are a lot better at."
Here I would certainly beg to differ. From my conversations with women who have worked for other women, such arrangements appear to generate more conflict then when a woman works for a man, when a man works for a man, or even when a man works for a woman -- part of why I'm apprehensive of a female president. Furthermore, research has shown that while women can multitask between simple tasks more easily than men, they can't focus their attention as closely and effectively on a single difficult task. There are advantages to both.
As for the root of Mr. Buerk's distress, the political correctness that's infused his country (and is even now threatening America), it can certainly be laid at the feet of women who, decades ago, when first coming into their power, attempted to remake the existing system according to their own sense of offensibility. This pendulum, at least, is swinging back the other way in America and political correctness is becoming a joke more than a serious consideration for most people in their daily lives. Our government is still affected, but as the boomers (of both genders) pass away the long-term damage will be mitigated.
Finally, Mr. Buerk needs to gather himself together and be a man. Quit complaining! Do you seriously think you can't compete with women on equal footing? You're not going to let a bunch of girls beat you, right?