Saturday, December 10, 2022

Yes, equality can hurt

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Who can sit here? The Federal Council room in the Federal Palace.

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Camilla AlaborEditor Sunday view

Just 20 years ago, today’s SP member of the Council of States, Daniel Jositsch, thought the advancement of women was a good thing. In a letter to the editor in 2000, Jositsch wrote that the gender quota had “definitely practical advantages” for men: “After the quota was introduced, we can run for the offices that are available to us with a clear conscience and without the risk of becoming a ‘lady killer’ standing, and that is at least 50 percent.”

Now that the principle of equal rights is directed against him, Jositsch senses discrimination. He finds it unfair that the SP only wants to nominate women to succeed Federal Councilor Simonetta Sommaruga. His election would mean that only two women would be represented in the Federal Council – but that doesn’t bother him.
Jositsch’s frustration is understandable. Not least because the SVP wrongly got away with the debate about the number of women in the Federal Council: the Swiss People’s Party has never nominated a Federal Councilor – with the exception of Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, who was elected against the will of the party.
Nevertheless, the question arises as to whether Jositsch’s letter to the editor was more than just lip service. Because it must have been clear to him: equality means that men lose their exclusive claim to management positions. That’s exactly the point.
Perhaps he – and other men who feel threatened by women’s claim to leadership – is comforted by the following realization: once equality is achieved, there will be just as many mediocre women as men in management positions. So we will all have good reason to complain, whether it’s about the boss or the boss.

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