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Posts Tagged ‘Hayek’

The time has gone when comparisons with the EU and the USSR could be considered crazy. On top of the recent plans to record details of every phone call, email and web page visited, on top of the plans to regulate dissent, forcing blog writers to register and forcing them to allow the EU to respond to criticism on their blogs, the EU has decided it wants to regulate the relationships between men and women.

Today’s Telegraph reports that MEPs have drawn up plans to ban any advertising that reinforces gender stereotypes. Ladies and Gentlemen, THIS is totalitarianism.

Logically, such a law requires that someone be in a position to decide what is a cultural stereotype of gender and what isn’t. There is no way of settling a final answer to this question, which means the EU wants to grant to itself carte blanche to determine for the millions of people in the nations of Europe how they should think of their gender.

In his The Road to Serfdom, Hayek describes the difference between a law which sets out the limits within which individuals are free to determine their own fate, and those laws which depend on the arbitration of a person to choose between the competing valuations of individuals for their settlement. The latter laws set up the state – here the EU – as the authority to decide the answer to a question which does not have one answer which could satisfy everybody. In this situation: what is a cultural stereotype and what is a natural expression of the profound biological differences between men and women.

The simple fact is that human beings vary enormously, and what is good and healthy for one is not so for another. Anyone who thinks that Jordan is being oppressed by male patriarchy is bonkers, while there are, no doubt, girls who would be happier if they didn’t focus on her as a role model. In a free society, individuals are influenced by others who have made free choices, like those girls who have made millions out of wearing bikinis and holding products, and like those who have made a career in business (like the woman on Dragon’s Den, for example), and like those sportswomen who win Olympic golds, and like those women who are happy looking after their family (Jamie Oliver’s wife comes to mind). Some may, in the ultimate reckoning of the thousands of choices and decisions they make, be harmed by some of these influences. Equally though, many will not, and will use such examples as inspiration for their own happiness. There is no way to decide which influences will harm which people.

That is what the EU wants to do:

Ms Svensson said: “Gender stereotyping in advertising straitjackets women, men, girls and boys by restricting individuals to predetermined and artificial roles that are often degrading, humiliating and dumbed down for both sexes.”

Who the fuck is she to tell each and every one of us that gender stereotypes are degrading!? Maybe she finds these ideas degrading, but there are many who don’t.

In making the blanket statement that sexualised gender stereotypes harm women, the EU is showing itself to be made up of extremely stupid people who want to impose their unpopular view of the world onto us. The kind of people, one might surmise, who couldn’t get selected for a Westminster seat.

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