Marshall McLuhan on why women are better suited for the modern workforce

“The electric world, because it does not favour specialism, does favour women. Men are naturally specialists compared to women. Men are very brittle and unadaptable people compared to women. Women have had through the centuries to adapt to men rather than vic versa. So, specialization, which used to be taken for granted in modern industry, has now become very very shaky and roleplaying has taken over from job holding in big business. Role playing means having several jobs simultaneously or being able to move rapidly from one job to another. A good actor can play many parts. So women’s lib is really a reply to the new electric conditions of employment in which huge information is available simultaneously to everybody. In the electric world the simultaneity of information is acoustic in the form that it comes from all directions. Role playing is a very different thing from goal seeking and in the electric time we are moving very much in that direction. The reason that most of you in this room find it difficult to imagine a goal in life is simply that you’re living in an electric world where everything happens at once. It’s hard to have a fixed point of view in a world where everything is happening simultaneously. It is hard to have an objective in a world that is changing faster than you can imagine the objective being fulfilled. Women’s lib therefore has very deep roots in the new technology and is not just a matter of votes for women. It means that the work that is being performed today can in many cases be done better by women.”

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