Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Long live gender equality!

As I have noted in the past, some stereotypes may exist for a reason. On average, women do seem to be a bit less reckless and aggressive – particularly when engaging in potentially risky undertakings like driving. Unsurprisingly, this proclivity translates into car accidents caused by woemen. On the basis of such statistics, until recently insurers in many EU countries rewarded female drivers with substantially lower insurance premiums. The EU commission, however, decided to put an end once and for all to this blatant gender discrimination against male drivers. 

The Commission issued a “gender directive” (which took effect just before Christmas) prohibiting insurance companies from assessing different premiums on the basis of a driver’s gender. As women continue their march to take over the world, I guess they will need to become accustomed to such rulings protecting the newly weaker sex. But if the EU Commission want to be consistent, they need to ban all forms of statistical driver profiling. After all, each driver is a unique individual responsible for his or her actions. Why, then should he or she be punished if other drivers with similar characteristics tend to behave irresponsibly; or rewarded if others like him or her are seen as a smaller insurance risk?