It would be nice if politicians had to have some qualifications. It might mean they could think through problems.
Men and women have some different attitudes in general. It’s not that one is better than the other, it is just that they are not the same. For example, women bear children and men don’t. That means their biology is different and that has an impact on various things. These are real differences – that are about fact rather than social prejudice. Nobody can change those facts, so you have to live with them.
However, some things are about social prejudice and threaten the concept of equality. For example, it’s apparently OK by MPs and MEPs, if, in Europe, a senior male politician has affairs, pays prostitutes etc., but I’m not sure it would be the same if a female politician (assuming any were allowed to be in senior positions) did the same. But that is perfectly acceptable hypocrisy, nobody in power makes any protest or says that this is unnecessary prejudice and is a clear example of inequality.
By contrast to prejudice, it is a fact that in general, women tend to live longer than men. Also, young women tend to have less driving accidents than young men. Those are facts, you aren’t going to change them. But politicians in Europe and the UK think that this is a problem they need to solve. Since they can’t change the facts, they change their response.
They say we must have “equality”, but they’re trying to make things “the same” that are not the same. The latest idea is to make insurance rates “equal”. It’s trying to change the unalterable facts, not change the alterable social prejudice.
For example, women live longer so, because they are less likely to die in a given period, they should pay less for life assurance than a man of equivalent age, state of health etc. With the changes, the rates for women will go up and those for men will go down. As a retirement annuity is usually paid until death, and men tend to die earlier than a woman of equivalent age and state of health, they should get more income for a given amount. So the rate of income will go up for men and down for women.
The MPs and MEPs, using their single collective brain cell “think” (if you can call it that) that it will balance out. But the insurance companies don’t know what is going to happen, and they aren’t charities, they are businesses. They’re going to play safe. So the rates for some will go up more than they go down for others, to give the insurer a margin of safety.
So overall, the effect will be to increase costs. There will be the same effect on car insurance, where the saving for young men will be less than the increase in costs for young women. And there won’t be extra profits, there will just be bigger administration expenses – not to mention the costs for the MPsand MEPs to jet around, make stupid decisions and convince themselves that they are doing something for equality.
The other problem is that things like location will still effect rates. So if you live in some areas at the time you apply for life assurance, an annuity etc. you’ll get a worse rate than in other areas. Once you have the policy, that’s it, that is the rate you pay, even if you subsequently move. But unless you have your gender reassigned (and I’m not sure what the figures are for that and I doubt the insurers do either, so the uncertainty will probably cost you as well) you aren’t going to change your gender. The result is that temporary situations, like location, smoking, current level of exercise etc. have permanent effects on what you pay, but something permanent, like your gender, has no effect on what you pay.
In my view, men and women ought to be treated equally, in terms of things like the stigma of affairs etc. But they aren’t, despite MPs and MEPs being in a position to do something useful about it (like all be held equally responsible for not using what little brain they have). However, men and women are not the same, so trying to pretend that they are identical is stupid – and the fact is that it costs a lot of time and money to achieve absolutely nothing.
It would be so nice if a politician had to sit an exam to prove that they can actually think – but since they set the rules I don’t suppose it will happen, because that would be far too sensible for a group with only one brain cell between them!