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Stop Imposing Mandates for Women's 'Own Good'

June 6, 2022

It was unconstitutional from the start, and Gov. Jerry Brown knew it.

Senate Bill 826 — which forces any corporation incorporated or even just headquartered in California to have a minimum number of women on its board of directors—raised “serious legal concerns,” Brown admitted when he signed the bill into law in 2018. Nevertheless, Brown said he signed the legislation because it was “high time” that businesses have a minimum number of female board members. That decision was typical of a mentality that has held women back for generations: the condescending attitude that women can’t make it on their own — and that their freedom, or that of their male peers, should be limited “for their own good.” Fortunately, a state judge agreed with Gov. Brown last month, and struck SB 826 down as unconstitutional.

But how many women on a board is “enough”? And who should decide what positions women should hold: politicians—usually male—or women themselves? Laws like SB 826 treat women as incapable of choosing their professions or negotiating the terms of their employment, and brand them as victims if they choose flexibility or other benefits over jobs with more seniority or higher pay.

Read the full op-ed in The Orange County Register



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