Copyright: Public Domain / Used With Permission

I gather that Claire Foy (whoever she is) was recently paid less than Matt Smith (whoever he is) for appearing in “The Crown”.

Whatever that is.

No doubt a tidal wave of feminist outrage is sweeping towards us even as I type, with various wimmin demanding to know why women are paid less than men “for doing the same job!”

Well…………maybe Claire Foy is a less well-known actor?

Or we could wonder whether Matt Smith had other offers and she didn’t, when their roles were offered?

We could even just ask why she (or her agent) didn’t simply ……….ask for more money?

No wait – maybe he should have demanded less, like a reverse Oliver Twist?

You know…………..to save her the trouble. And so it was fair.

Perhaps she thought that the role would place her well for other roles – presumably sometimes actors accept a lower fee to perform a role that gives them good exposure and might lead to other more lucrative work later?

Whatever.

Perhaps one day a feminist will accept that in many jobs in society, your freedom to negotiate is quite significant. You can ask for more money, or more leave, or shorter hours, or easier conditions, or bonuses, or the key to the executive washroom, or a neon pink Porsche, or a statue of Charlton Heston. Or Switzerland.

You are FREE – free as a bird.

Free to say no when they fail to agree to your perfectly reasonable demand for a private Bat-tunnel to be carved through the bedrock separating your garage at home from your new office car park.

Just as the prospective employer is free to tell you that no, you cannot have the bedrock tunnel, but he will agree to a subsidised rail pass.

Freedom!

Surely that’s what we’re after, isn’t it? Surely we are not being told that if a man demands more, the woman should then get the same automatically?

If Matt Smith’s agent had done a great job and got him an extra million quid, Claire Foy should have just been told by her agent “Great news Claire – I got the most money I could for you given the role and what they felt you were going to bring to it, but luckily Matt Smith’s agent bargained hard (risking them giving the role to Christopher Biggins instead) and now they have to pay you the same! Ker-ching!”?

Men have to do women’s pay negotiating for them now?

Can I suggest that woman are responsible for negotiating their own pay and conditions, just as men have always been?

The alternative of course is that women realise that they never need to negotiate at all – just wait for some bloke to get a pay rise and then all demand parity.

Send him in to do your dirty work for you.

Doesn’t sound very “empowering” though, right?