In the flood of words written recently about women and work, one related and hugely significant point seems to me to have been neglected. It has to do with America's future, about which -- here's a familiar opinion from me -- I'm an unqualified optimist. Now entertain another opinion of mine: Women are a major reason we will do so well.This raises the question: is it actually a problem? Buffett acknowledges that America forged this incredible success without utilizing the talent of women. In recent years, America has been utilizing more and more female talent, and yet strangely, has seen the rest of the world, much of which is still not utilizing female talent to the same degree, catch up to it, and in some cases, even surpass it.
Start with the fact that our country's progress since 1776 has been mind-blowing, like nothing the world has ever seen. Our secret sauce has been a political and economic system that unleashes human potential to an extraordinary degree. As a result Americans today enjoy an abundance of goods and services that no one could have dreamed of just a few centuries ago.
But that's not the half of it -- or, rather, it's just about the half of it. America has forged this success while utilizing, in large part, only half of the country's talent. For most of our history, women -- whatever their abilities -- have been relegated to the sidelines. Only in recent years have we begun to correct that problem.
Now, logic would suggest that there is at least a possibility that this past success stemmed from not using that talent, that female "talent", in fact, has a negative effect on human potential. However, that isn't a debate that anyone is permitted to have, because the Female Imperative insists that more female involvement means more better in all aspects of human endeavor.
Perhaps those who hold this position will be more open to the possibility after the next economic crash, or after equalitarian societies crash and/or die out. I tend to doubt it, though, as the sort of women who subscribe to the Female Imperative were capable of learning from history, they wouldn't be equalitarians or feminists in the first place.