Last night I watched a few episodes of season twelve of the Dragon’s Den. If you’re not familiar with the show, here is the premise: An entrepreneur (or entrepreneurs) pitch an idea to the “Dragons” (in this season, a group of six millionaires). The Dragons then compete with each other to offer the entrepreneur money to advance their business in exchange for a stake of equity in the business.
Of course, it is all very fake and made-for-tv, but the entrepreneurs are real and in some cases, they do get a deal that helps them further their business. Even if they don’t get a deal from the Dragons, the television exposure they receive usually helps them anyway.
Good. Great. Grand. Wonderful.
Here’s what is different about this season. There used to be five Dragons, now there are six. Due to the odd number of Dragons, there was always one more male member than female. That’s just how it worked out.
In 2015 Justin Trudeau announced his gender-balanced cabinet. 16 men and 15 women, as opposed to Stephen Harper’s 27 men and 12 woman cabinet. Why did he need to balance the cabinet disproportionately to the total numbers of men and women members? In his own words, “Because it’s 2015.”
That’s as good of a reason as any, I suppose.
Eggcellent. Fast forward to 2017.
For season twelve, the Dragons on Dragon’s Den have achieved an even better level of gender-parity. There are three male dragons and three female dragons. Keep in mind, we are only talking about “binary” genders here.
Good. Great. Grand. Lovely.
The Dragon’s have achieved gender parity. That’s so great. They can invest in entrepreneurs on an equal playing field now.
The Dragon’s sit in a semi-circle while the “presenter” enters the stage from the back and presents their great invention, idea or whatever on the stage.
So in the episode I watched, the entrepreneur enlisted the help “the world’s strongest man” (or something like that). The guy is huge and muscular, obviously. He could basically lift my car above his head if he wanted to.
So this guy comes out on stage and right away the women are hooting and hollering and licking their lips and talking about his muscles and all that shit.
When he comes out in his little man bikini or whatever the fuck you call it, one of the females beckons him over so she can “see what his muscles feel like”. Then another one wants him to pick her up to see how strong he is. She comments that his size is equal to “like, three of her”.
In the show’s introduction, a big deal was made of the fact that males and females would now be equally represented.
But is it really equal?
If a swimsuit-clad female walked onto the Dragon’s Den stage and one of the men wanted to “feel her arms just to see what they feel like” and then wanted to pick her up, that would not fly. Not in the #metoo era.
I guess I’ll file this so-called equality under C for Car Insurance.
We can’t have it both ways, folks.