Men Are From North Dakota and Women Are From South Dakota

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Notre Dame Philosophy Professor James Sterba and the Independent Women's Forum's Carrie Lukas debate feminism at Cato and can only agree on one thing: pornography is really, really bad. Sterba says something incomprehensible about the fact that men's rights are not violated by Shoebox greeting cards. Lukas mentions The Vagina Monologues, which is a relief because if anyone from IWF goes 30 minutes without mentioning Eve Ensler, the universe will implode. Lukas argues that women aren't discriminated against in the workplace; it's just that "if one person like potato chips, and another person likes pretzels, it's ridiculous for us to each to try to make sure that each has an equal share." I think I blacked out for a moment after that line, but you can watch the whole thing (as I did) here.

The different-preferences-create-different-outcomes argument is ambitiously superficial and question begging. Absent any account of how preferences are shaped, I'm not sure why anti-feminists think they're saying something intelligent when they boldly assert that men and women want different things. IWF loves to talk about Title IX, and it's a great example of a cultural shift affecting preferences in young women. Did 14-year-old girls just not like sports before Title IX and the rise of the girl jock? Or did Title IX help create a culture where a broader range of interests could be engendered and cultivated? Does the fact that girls in 1950 did not aspire to captain high school soccer teams say anything interesting about women? I don't think so.

As far as good old, traditional discrimination persisting despite market forces to the contrary, I find Roderick Long's account extremely compelling:

A wage gap might persist even if employers are focused solely on profitability, have no interest in discrimination, and are doing the level best to pay salary on marginal productivity alone. But there is no reason to rule out the possibility of deliberate, profit-disregarding discrimination either. Discrimination can be a consumption good for managers, and this good can be treated as part of the manager's salary-and-benefits package; any costs to the company arising from the manager's discriminatory practices can thus be viewed as sheer payroll costs. Maybe some managers order fancy wood paneling for their offices, and other managers pay women less for reasons of sexism; if the former sort of behaviour can survive the market test, why not the latter?

Actually, everything Roderick Long writes on this topic is extremely compelling. This especially.

*Headline stolen from Janet Hyde.

NEXT: Paul in the Primaries

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  1. Carrie Lukas understands perfectly well that Title IX has changed what women and girls want, expect, and aspire to.

    That, to her, is the problem with it.

  2. Of course women are discriminated against in the workplace. Women discriminate against women in the workplace! (personal experience, no statistic intended)

  3. Men are From North Dakota and Women are From South Dakota

    And Therem Harth rem ir Estraven is from Gethen. That is all.

  4. you can watch the whole thing here

    I’ll pass. I’m sure it’s…compelling…
    I have to, um, wash my hair. Yeah, that’s it.

  5. My wife has a firm employment offer for about $80,000 a year. However, she’s still applying to things that will pay half of that since she’s concerned that she won’t enjoy the $80,000 a year job as much. I would guess that this sort of attitude is more common in women since men are supposed to be the breadwinners. That alone will cause a pay imbalance.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that incompetent women in male dominated fields have a much lower chance of being fired than incompetent men in the same field. If this is widespread it means that women will be less productive on average than men in one of these field (the less productive men go somewhere else), which should result in a pay imbalance.

  6. I disagree with Long, the writer Howley inexplicably praises, since he seems to endorse irrational sex discrimination in child custody decisions that is harmful to children’s welfare.

    I am saddened and puzzled by Long’s lament about belated moves towards equality in family law.

    He complains that “sex discrimination law has, in the hands of male legislators and judges, been used to reverse 19th century feminist gains in custody and divorce law.”

    I assume that the “gains” he is talking about was the shift from one sexist paradigm to another — from the former presumption that the children go to the father in the event of a divorce, to the “feminist” presumption that they should go to the mother instead.

    Now, thanks to sex-discrimination rulings like Orr v. Orr, the law says the kids should go the parent, regardless of gender, whose selection would be in their best interests.

    In practice, of course, the mother still tends to get custody — which may children in father-headed households outperform, and out-achieve children in mother-headed households: because a father has to be much better than a mother to get custody of the kids, owing to gender bias.

    So Long doesn’t have to worry about “sex discrimination” ending just yet, unfortunately.

    It ought to end, though. The mother isn’t always the better parent or the primary caregiver during the marriage. In a significant minority of cases, the father is the more involved or better parent than the mother.

    Yet in many family courts, women get custody 80 percent or more of the time.

    When I worked at a non-profit law firm, I saw many cases where little children — little girls and little boys — suffered because they were left with inattentive or abusive mothers and step-fathers, rather than loving fathers, because the family court judge just couldn’t believe that a man could raise a child as well as a women.

    These little girls and boys suffer because of the “sex discrimination” in child custody decisions that “feminists” defend (state NOW chapters do everything possible to fight moves to facilitate fathers’ custody and visitation) and that Long seems to endorse.

    Ironically, back in the 1970s, before it was overtaken by sexist radicals, NOW’s leaders actually favored reforms that would promote fathers’ participation in their children’s lives.

    Now, NOW takes the opposite position, and does everthing possible to block fathers from visiting with, or having custody (joint or otherwise) of their children.

    Note that in part owing to gender-bias in custody decisions, divorces are far more likely to be initiated by wives (who expect to receive custody) than husbands.

    Two thirds of all divorces are initiated by the wife over the husband’s objection, typically no-fault divorces. (See annual data from National Center for Health Statistics).

    The fraction is even higher among spouses with children.

    Note that in many states, a wife seeking a no-fault divorce can seek lifelong alimony after being married for just a few months. (See the Virginia Supreme Court’s 1981 decision so holding, in a case where a marriage lasted only weeks).

    Is that fair? If you left your law partnership, would you expect your ex-partner to pay you a fraction of the partnership profits for life?

    But that is the “feminist” position in the analogous area of alimony. Feminists have fought tooth and nail legislation like the California law that adopts as a rough rule of thumb that alimony will last only half as long as the marriage itself.

    I am not, incidentally, divorced.

  7. In my comment above about why “feminist”-supported sex discrimination in child custody decisions is bad for children, including both little girls and little boys, one paragraph was messed up.

    That paragraph should have read:

    “In practice, of course, the mother still tends to get custody — which may be why, on average (not in every case), children in father-headed households tend to outperform, and out-achieve children in mother-headed households: because a father has to be that much better than parenting than a mother to get custody of the kids, owing to gender bias.”

  8. I think I blacked out for a moment after that line, but you can watch the whole thing (as I did

    Nope, I read the quotes and I already have a headache. Is this another one of those jargon-riddled pontifications? Because if it is, I’ve got no patience for it.

  9. Title IX has had mixed results (according to the 60mins special a couple of years ago)… yes, there are more opportunities for womens sports. 100s more womens rowing teams, soccer, track specialties, etc.

    Problem – schools are mandated to provide ‘balance’… which means to get the right split, they’ve had to cut many less popular men’s sports to achieve the % man/woman sports required, or else lose the ever-loving federal funding that they cherish. It’s easier to make your men’s sports programs smaller than grow the woman’s side to make up for it, so this has been the main path to ‘unity’.

    There were multiple examples provided (RE: the 60 mins piece) where schools that have many new womens teams can’t find enough women to field a full competitive squad… and so mainly become a ‘clinic’ sport. They also had problems maintaining participation over time. Meanwhile, there were students given scholarships to wrestle, whose team was surreptitiously disbanded, and were told if they’d probably have to transfer to compete.

    I dont remember all the details, but the piece (done by lesley stahl i think) ended up saying that ‘equality’ comes with a price, and that while ‘elevating’ women’s role in sports was a worthy goal, that Federalizing the idea produced results nearly the opposite of what was intended = punishing the marginal men’s sports programs at state universities, and forcing dollars to be spent on programs that had little grassroots support.

  10. If women don’t want to be discriminated against in the workplace, they can always get back in the kitchen where they belong.

    Zing! Thank you, thank you! I’ll be here all week, and don’t forget to tip your server on the way out!

  11. if one person like potato chips, and another person likes pretzels,

    Am I the only one who wishes she had used snails and oysters in this analogy?

  12. Notre Dame Philosophy Professor James Sterba and the Independent Women’s Forum’s Carrie Lukas debate feminism at Cato and can only agree on one thing: pornography is really, really bad.

    They’re obviously not going to the good websites, I’ve seen some that’s awesome.

  13. What kills me, GILMORE, is that the colleges we’re talking about often have 100 football scholarship athletes, but instead of cutting that to 80, they disband the wrestling team!

  14. Am I the only one who wishes she had used snails and oysters in this analogy?

    But some people like snails and oysters.

  15. The different-preferences-create-different-outcomes argument is ambitiously superficial and question begging. Absent any account of how preferences are shaped, I’m not sure why anti-feminists think they’re saying something intelligent when they boldly assert that men and women want different things. [bold added]

    Oh, Kerry. You disappoint me. Surely a self-respecting libertarian woman who has made it as a journalist can make some kind of peace with the realities of human nature.

  16. The marriage vow, as a rape license, has its parallel in the electoral ballot, as a tyranny license. Those who seek to withhold consent from their country’s governmental apparatus altogether get asked the same question that battered women get asked: “If you don’t like it, why don’t you leave?” – the man’s rightful jurisdiction over the home, and the state’s over the country, being taken for granted. It’s always the woman, not the abusive man, who needs to vacate the home (to go where?); it’s likewise the citizen, not the abusive state, that needs to vacate the territory (to go where?)

    Huh, that’s an interesting point. (I’m reading on, though, and it’s starting to get less compelling – we’ll see…)

  17. Brian S,

    Recognizing that human nature exists : believing biology explains gender inequality :: recognizing that molecules vibrate : believing in homeopathic medicine

  18. My wife has a firm employment offer for about $80,000 a year. However, she’s still applying to things that will pay half of that since she’s concerned that she won’t enjoy the $80,000 a year job as much. I would guess that this sort of attitude is more common in women since men are supposed to be the breadwinners. That alone will cause a pay imbalance.

    I’m also more concerned about having fun at work than higher salary. In fact, even though I graduated from top of my MBA class, I got one of the lowest starting salaries. But then, I don’t have a wife who’d pressure me into being a “breadwinner”.

  19. I wanted to watch, but its in Real Video. Damn those freedom-hating bastards at Cato and their use of awful proprietary formats!

  20. joe | November 29, 2007, 1:17pm | #
    What kills me, GILMORE, is that the colleges we’re talking about often have 100 football scholarship athletes, but instead of cutting that to 80, they disband the wrestling team!

    joe – simple explanation.

    Football generates MILLIONS in revenue for big schools. TV time. Tshirts. Ticket sales. Concessions. Donations from alumni/fans. etc.

    Wrestling, however, or thigs like men’s gymnastics, rowing, track, hockey, whatever… they generate $0, have only ‘cultish’ loyal fans, get no press for the University, dont drive applications etc. The math is simple. Keep football and basketball, then have dozens on small womens teams to ‘balance’ out the participation, get that extra money from the Fed for being ‘non sexist’.

  21. Feministing on men and pornography.*

    It’s like watching a car battery explain how to cook coq au vin.

    Working, as I do, in a female dominated industry, I can anecdotally put to rest the notion that feminists are interested in equality.

    *Includes bonus rant about the term “politically correct,” that is, in of itself, a diatribe on political correctness. Ah, Feministing, the humorless man-bashing brought me in, but the ideological blindness to irony keeps me coming back.

  22. What kills me, GILMORE, is that the colleges we’re talking about often have 100 football scholarship athletes, but instead of cutting that to 80, they disband the wrestling team!

    College Football at least at the 1A level is a money maker. Wrestling isn’t.
    Would college football still make money with 20 less “atheletes”? Yes.
    Will a college administrator at a division 1A school confront the football coach and rabid alumni over it? No.
    Do I have a solution that doesnn’t micromanage college atheletics? No, but I’m willing to entertain ideas.
    Does Title IX deserve to be revisited and tweaked? Undoubtably.

  23. Why is that superficial and question begging? If I’m buying the chips and pretzels, I’m not likely to be worried about what horrible environmental factors caused some people to prefer one over the other. For that decision, I just take it as given and go on.

    There are a whole raft of issues, and I suspect that employment discrimination is one of them, that don’t need to touch on why particular preferences exist.

  24. I’ve read, though not confirmed, that if revenue generating sports were excluded from counts, pretty much all of the problems associated with Title IX would vanish.

    Anyone know the veracity of this claim?

  25. Recognizing that human nature exists : believing biology explains gender inequality :: recognizing that molecules vibrate : believing in homeopathic medicine

    What gender inequality? I ask in earnest. In 2007 in the United States, discrimination based on gender is like highway robbery. Technically, it still exists, but it’s been shrunk to a tiny remnant of the problem it once was.

  26. I’ll defend Title IX forever.

    What the IX haters out there never seem to grasp is that athletics and exercise for women benefits both genders equally.

    Less fatties on campus is an unambiguous good.

  27. GILMORE,

    Sure, but are those revenues really going to go down if the fifth-string free safety is also the fifth-string strong safety? Or if one of them is a walk-on?

    Pro teams get by with 53 plus a six man practice squad. “Only” having 79 or 80 scholarships instead of 100 isn’t eliminating football.

  28. Does J sub D sound like Donald Rumsfeld? Yes.

    Does that mean he doesn’t make a good point? No. No, it doesn’t.

    I second the “pro-tweaking, anti-elimination, don’t have all the answers” sentiment towards Title IX.

  29. I was trying to watch the CATO event but couldn’t.

    Can someone PLEASE explain to me why RealPlayer can’t get me through even 10 minutes of a presentation without permanently crashing?

    (I have a late model mac and no problems with other formats…)

  30. What kills me, GILMORE, is that the colleges we’re talking about often have 100 football scholarship athletes, but instead of cutting that to 80, they disband the wrestling team!

    Then again, at a huge percentage of Div. I schools (those offering unrestricted sports scholarships), the football program (sometimes along with basketball) quite literally funds the entire rest of the athletic department, if said department even makes money at all (which most don’t).

    That said, it shouldn’t be a major problem to free up 20 or so scholarships from the football team and apply that money elsewhere.

    BTW, I thought they limited football scholarships to 85 these days.

  31. Brian Sorgatz,

    Have you spent a great deal of time as a woman? Perhaps you and I shouldn’t spent too much of this fine afternoon discussing how much discrimination women face.

    That said, while I agree that adherence to a male-supremacist ideology has become pretty rare in our society, and even prejudiced beliefs about womens’ capabilities is a shadow of what it once was. But those are far from the only sources of gender inequality in our culture.

  32. Jesus, I guess I’ve been beaten to the punch…damn squirrels.

  33. Have you spent a great deal of time as a woman? Perhaps you and I shouldn’t spent too much of this fine afternoon discussing how much discrimination women face.

    Nice try, joe, but I don’t go for politically correct guilt trips like that. I’m white, but I still reserve the right to say, for example, that teenagers are the new niggers.

  34. I second the “pro-tweaking, anti-elimination, don’t have all the answers” sentiment towards Title IX.

    I’m with you, especially on the tweaking. I wouldn’t mind if they scrapped it and started over, though, either.

  35. Recognizing that human nature exists : believing biology explains gender inequality :: recognizing that molecules vibrate : believing in homeopathic medicine

    Huh? Homeopathic medicine is nonsense (the effect will show up once the active substance has been diluted to nothing). Biology explains a great deal of the differences in men and women. As an example, the average woman cannot be as strong as the average man without chemical assistance.

  36. Thank you, stuartl. And to bring your point back to the discussion on workplace discrimination, women have a statistical tendency to make certain choices about number of hours worked, etc., that account for almost all of the wage gap between the sexes.

  37. No guilt trip, Brian, just an observation: how the hell do you know?

  38. I suspect that’s true, Mo. The principal issue with Title IX, as touched on above, is that football eats up a disproportionate share of the male side of the pool (although the scholarship limit is now 85.) But football cannot be touched, because most IA schools depend on the football revenue to pay for everyone else. Which means that male athletes in non-revenue sports are SOL. (Just from personal recollection, baseball and swimming seem to be particularly vulnerable.)

    The only schools that escape this trap are the mega-heavyweights who rake in millions a year from boosters, and can therefore afford to fund as many non-revenue sports as they wish. Stanford, with fifteen male varsity sports, is an extreme; Florida, with eight, is more typical.

  39. No guilt trip, Brian, just an observation: how the hell do you know?

    Joe, if my penis prevents you from taking my word for it-you sexist!-read here.

  40. stuartl,

    I wrote “gender inequality,” not “gender differences.” Sure, biology explains why men tend to have more upper-body muscle mass than women, but that’s irrelevant to the question of social and economic equality.

    Believing that women are naturally better suited to subordinate positions, for example, is nonsense, too. It just happens to be slightly more common nonsense, with a longer pedigree, than homeopathy.

  41. Believing that women are naturally better suited to subordinate positions, for example, is nonsense, too.

    Does anyone at the Independent Women’s Forum believe that? Be fair, Joe.

  42. joe sez
    “Only” having 79 or 80 scholarships instead of 100 isn’t eliminating football.

    well, yeah, but tell that to the athletic director and the treasurer of the school. The football scolarships bring in competitive players. If they can zap ‘pole valuting’ and get more money for other school programs, leaving football alone, then WIN/WIN! the point is the incentives are there to mostly trim mens sports to meet the requirements. Bringing women’s sports up to the ‘equal level’ by creating huge, expensive, non-revenue generating womens programs (where its impossible to find players) would be impossible. The title ix program provides incentive to snip mens sports and increase marginal sports options for women.

    I dont think it should be revised; i think it should be scrapped. I think colleges need to stop sucking on the federal tit, and be more competitive, drive costs down. College tuitions grew like 3X faster than inflation over last 10 years.

  43. At my college, we had an okay women’s track team and a stellar women’s CLUB waterpolo team. The waterpolo ladies tried to push the school to make it a school-funded sport (trying to use Title IX) and the school responded by creating a women’s Indoor track team. Same coaches and athletes as the Outdoor team, but double the body count under Title IX for almost no expense. Tada!

    The school had no need to build an indoor track when the girls would be traveling to every meet anyway, and no one needs to go indoors to train in California winters, unless it rains.

  44. Brian,

    Noting that your experience as a male hinders you from understanding the experience of being a woman is not sexist.

    Not understanding the distinction between gender differences and gender equality, on the other hand, suggests pretty strongly that you aren’t terribly well-informed about sexism.

    You really, honestly think that my observation about your lack of experience as a woman sounds the same as a sexist statement, don’t you?

    Tell me, do you often have the experience of not understanding why something you say causes jaws to drop, when it sounds to your ears just like what you’ve heard feminists say? I find that that’s usually the root of such poorly-played gender cards as yours.

  45. Does anyone at the Independent Women’s Forum believe that?

    From what I’ve seen, yes, most of them do.

  46. Not understanding the distinction between gender differences and gender equality, on the other hand, suggests pretty strongly that you aren’t terribly well-informed about sexism.

    In other words, I haven’t been indoctrinated to define sexism the same way the feminist establishment does. With all due modesty, I think it does me credit.

    Tell me, do you often have the experience of not understanding why something you say causes jaws to drop, when it sounds to your ears just like what you’ve heard feminists say? I find that that’s usually the root of such poorly-played gender cards as yours.

    If I do cause jaws to drop, I consider it a credit to my courageous outspokenness-again, with all due modesty.

  47. I know you do, Brian.

    That’s why it rolls off my back when people like you try to play the gender card.

  48. I’ve read, though not confirmed, that if revenue generating sports were excluded from counts, pretty much all of the problems associated with Title IX would vanish.

    Anyone know the veracity of this claim?

    Might be true, but I doubt it’ll happen. The more you treat college sports as a pure money-maker for the school, the less defensible it is to shut the athletes out of the profits.

  49. one point here that may be overlooked, is that with the Title IX incentive to scrap marginal mans sports programs/scholarships, it’s effectively making it harder and harder for superlative atheletes to get any opportunity to go to top-flight schools.

    My younger brother went to F&M on a lacrosse scholarship (and I would have gone to a small NE school on the same if I hadnt gotten acedemic scholarship from better school down south), and those things at the time were like Hens Teeth. The word i hear now is that aside from the very top Div 1 schools, you can forget about it. my brother would proabably have had to go to SUNY schools without that extra funding. Its a sad thing that the schools are forced by the govt to basically restrict opportunities for excellent athletes in the name of ‘equality’ or fairness, when in practice there’s nothing fair about it.

  50. It’s sort of like when people who only ever comment on racism* in order to call for a big reduction in the admission of African-Americans to college call me a racist for disagreeing with them.

    Why the hell would I care what such people think?

    *Which is not to say that all opponents of Affirmative Action fall into this cagegory. Some of them actually are offended by racial inequality. You can usually tell who they are, because they find examples of racial inequality to denounce other than those which benefit black people.

  51. Good for you, Joe. I’m not discouraged that people like you let it roll off their back. If you honestly believe that the Independent Women’s Forum consists of women who want to be slaves, you don’t have the intellectual integrity to ascribe ordinary human motives to your political opponents. For that reason, you’re not a reliable political thinker.

  52. I agree with joe that there is a sometimes subconcious belief that women are more suited to subordinate positions, and women themselves buy into it. Women will MORE OFTEN be hesitant demand a bigger salary, a bigger office, more perks, etc. and they value their office friendships more, and will be less likely to leave an unsatisfactory job because of “loyalty”.

    I can also see that if a woman is in a job that pays well, that she likes ,with people she gets along well with, she’s quite unlikely to look for a better job.

    A man is much more likely to search out an even better job. Men are much less risk adverse, and yes, I do think testosterone makes ’em that way. Overall this can contribute to a wage gap, and overall I think this would be fair.

  53. Atrevete, you may be right or wrong in the details of your explanation. But at least your mode of thinking is more sophisticated than some others here today.

  54. GILMORE,

    I wonder, if reducing the resources available to a very small elite to perform at the highest level allows a much larger body of people to gain the benefits of sports, how do measure whether this a good or bad thing?

    I like college ball, too, but I have trouble understanding the moral case that it is better for five athletes to be on scholarship, than for 20 or 40 ordinary students to be able to play some kind of ball.

  55. Slaves is your word, Brian. I don’t believe anyone at the IWF wants to be a slave. Just a “real woman,” or a “natural woman,” or a “good woman.”

    If you want to hold forth on who is a reliable thinker, let’s start with the people who put words in others’ mouths because they’d rather not contend with their actual arguments.

  56. If you want to hold forth on who is a reliable thinker, let’s start with the people who put words in others’ mouths because they’d rather not contend with their actual arguments.

    I would love to keep going, but I would need you to clarify. What’s the actual argument I’m making that I won’t admit?

  57. I wrote “gender inequality,” not “gender differences.” Sure, biology explains why men tend to have more upper-body muscle mass than women, but that’s irrelevant to the question of social and economic equality.

    joe, to be simplistic, “different” means “not equal.” To be more specific about how those biological differences can relate to income differences, think about first responders. Size, strength, and tolerance for risk make more men appropriate for those jobs.

    Both Hillary and Obama have come out for “fair wages” because, IIRC, it is unfair for nurses to be paid less than fire fighters. But first responders are paid extra wages because of the risks they take. The risk/strength bonus shows up in the pay for dangerous construction jobs as well.

    This is not to say that women of equal skills should not be paid the same as men, but that some of the biological differences can and do lead to economic differences.

  58. Or your argument I won’t admit?

  59. Title IX, originally = necessary, needed, important move.

    Passive aggressive implementation by some departments: BAD!

    state today? Probably needs a few tweeks, can’t say what, but more people with opportunity for sports has got to be a great thing. (however, I’d say that arts and music help with thinking, and are important parts of education, too)

    Once again: more people in sports = good.
    Passive aggressive implementation = twaddlenockish.

    US women’s soccer team, swimming – teh AWESOME.

  60. I second the “pro-tweaking, anti-elimination, don’t have all the answers” sentiment towards Title IX.

    Dammit joe, if keep agreeing on crap, people will forget that we can’t stand each other. We need a good welfare or public schools fiasco post. đŸ™‚

    P.S. Loved the Rummy line.

  61. I think a lot of the problem goes back to mistaking “equal opportunity” for “equal outcome.” I’ll go out on a limb and say that overall, women are less interested in sports than men. Yes, there are multiple exceptions to the rule in both genders, but I don’t think we’ll ever see a time where the number of women who are hardcore sports fans is equal to the number of males, for example.

    And while I personally don’t want kids or a family, I know that makes me a relative minority among women. I’m not interested in a job that offers a lower salary in exchange for more time with my non-existent family, but a lot of women are. How many of them bring the overall wage average down?

  62. stuartl,

    To be accurate, “equal” is a concept derived from mathematics. It does not “the same.” It means “having the same value.”

    In “2x + 5 = 8,” “8” and “2X + 5” are not the same. One is a polynomial, one is a monomial. One is a variable, one is a real number. They are different, but equal. As a matter of fact, that’s pretty much what the equal sign exists for – to demonstrate when two different things have equal values. Nobody in their right mind bothers to write, “a = a.” Heh.

    As for the example you give, yes, in the case you chose, the biological differences between men and women will in that case equate to greater earning power. But you’ve chosen a very unusual case. The amount of physical strength required to do a job does not correlate with the amount of money earned at that job for the vast majority of the public. As a matter of fact, the correlation is probably strongly negative.

  63. Brian S.,

    If you can’t figure out the difference between “slave” and “subordinate position” in this discussion, don’t look to me for help.

  64. But those are far from the only sources of gender inequality in our culture.

    And the lack of a Y chromosome is one of them. Reality sucks, but it’s still reality.

  65. Thank you, Jennifer! See, Joe, I’m not a pig just because I haven’t been pussy-whipped by the feminist establishment.

  66. J sub D,

    And the overabundance of the chromosomes that code for melanin…

    And the the presence of chromosomes that make one more likely to get Tay Sachs disease…

    And the lack of chromosomes for good, Aryan hair and eye color…

    are three of them. Reality sucks, but it’s still reallity.

    I cling to the radical leftist notion that we’re all created equal.

  67. Was Howley being sarcastic when she described Title IX as a cultural shift changing preferences? Balderdash.

    It was an economic shift. Period. An economic incentive was created for female high school students to get involved in sports: if you got good enough at them, you got free college. The growth of women’s sports after the creation of that direct economic incentive was created seems like Exhibit A of a behavior change that was created purely economically.

    To the extent that there was a cultural change as a result of Title IX, the economics dragged the cultural change behind it.

    If you passed a law that mandated that colleges hand out scholarships to people who hit themselves in the face with a hammer, the creation of that $160,000+ economic incentive would induce people to hit themselves in the face with a hammer. This would not represent a “cultural shift” or a change in underlying preferences.

  68. joe wrote — To be accurate, “equal” is a concept derived from mathematics. It does not “the same.” It means “having the same value.”

    The first definition for equal in wiktionary:

    (not comparable) The same in all respects.

  69. Yikes, I had the word created on the brain I guess. I used it a few too many times in the third sentence of my second paragraph.

  70. I cling to the radical leftist notion that we’re all created equal.

    Also, you seem to think that the end justifies the means as far as what the government does to make us equal.

  71. You made a very good point, though, Fluffy.

  72. Brian,

    Kerry’s point is spot-on. To believe that we are, suddenly, out of the grip of sexist cultural attitudes is simply fantastic. The first women’s Olympic marathon was held in 1984. Prior to that, it was believed that women would do permanent physical damage to themselves if they ran that far. I was eleven in 1984. Most living Americans were raised in a time in which such convictions were commonplace. At my own company, there is an obvious generational gap between both men and women about appropriate interaction between the sexes. It so happens that the men who are in charge are the ones who think sexual harassment is just good clean fun. This has had a notable effect on female attrition in my firm. Mothers and grandmothers from coast constantly annoy their daughters and grandaughters about when they will have grandchildren, entrenching ancient cultural expectations about what women are supposed to be and do that create difficult tradeoffs for women who want successful careers. If you think that despite all this and much much more, expressed differences in men’s and women’s preferences are nothing but, or even mostly, a simple function of the biological fact that male gametes are cheap and female gametes are expensive, then you’ve got your head way up Steven Pinker’s ass.

  73. Actually, if we’re going to go all algebraic in this thread, I think I should point out that everyone in America, of both sexes, already makes the same “X”.

    X = whatever you can get your boss to pay you.

    Since I can use algebraic values to prove equality, as in Joe’s example above, that means everyone is already equal. Next problem, please.

  74. Brian,

    Finding a woman that agrees with you says nothing about the value of your opinions on gender issues.

    I’ve never met an actual feminist who would do such a thing. That’s the lowest form of identity politics.

  75. I’ll play the big pig here. I hire a woman right out of college and spend tons training her, pay her good and treat her equally. After a few years she falls in love, gets married and starts having kiddies. If she stays at work, I have to fill her position for maternity leave and while she is out for the sick children. If she becomes a stay at home mom, I have to hire and train someone new. More expense. Profit wise, all things being equal between applicants, I am better off hiring a man.

  76. Munchkin:
    If you think that despite all this and much much more, expressed differences in men’s and women’s preferences are nothing but, or even mostly, a simple function of the biological fact that male gametes are cheap and female gametes are expensive, then you’ve got your head way up Steven Pinker’s ass.

    So bring it back around to the topic of the thread. What does the government have to do legitimately with that stuff?

  77. And the overabundance of the chromosomes that code for melanin… And the the presence of chromosomes that make one more likely to get Tay Sachs disease… And the lack of chromosomes for good, Aryan hair and eye color… are three of them. Reality sucks, but it’s still reallity.

    I can’t think of any job other than, perhaps, “fashion model” where your skin or eye color would have the slightest impact on how well you can do the job. But there are many instances where certain sexual differences, like physical strength, would matter.

  78. Munchkin:

    I would submit that enjoyment of sports is very closely related to enjoyment of aggression, whether participatory or vicarious, and that comparing the number of women who remain interested in sports after the economic incentive disappears following college to the number of men who stay interested in sports during the same life-period will indicate that, yes, girls pretty much do like sports less than boys.

    Granted, this may be a function of the types of sports we’ve actually got, which could very well be “coded” to male preferences. This would not be surprising, since the major American sports are uniformly male inventions.

  79. Feministing on men and pornography.*

    I couldn’t help but imagine those people speaking like the old ladies on Monty Python…

  80. stuartl,

    When Jefferson wrote, “all men are created equal,” he most certainly did not mean “the same in all respects.”

    Do you actually think that people must be “the same in all respects” in order to be equal?

    Or are you just being a smart-ass?

  81. Brotherben,

    Yes. You’ve identified exactly why women who don’t intend to have children are likely to experience discrimination, and why women who do have children are creating a cultural spillover effect that harms women who do not have children.

  82. Finding a woman that agrees with you says nothing about the value of your opinions on gender issues.

    I support everyone who agrees with me, regardless of sex.

  83. I’ve never met an actual feminist who would do such a thing. That’s the lowest form of identity politics.

    Joe, do you recall the name of the brilliant genius who earlier said to that pig Brian “Have you spent a great deal of time as a woman? Perhaps you and I shouldn’t spent too much of this fine afternoon discussing how much discrimination women face.”

    Apparently I’m the only Vagino-American currently commenting on this thread, which makes me the ONLY commenter whose opinion has merit here. How much discrimination have I faced? None that I can recall, except for a few times when this allegedly feminist guy on Hit and Run will sometimes bring up my sex life in an attempt to discredit me. But it’s not for the government to teach him proper manners.

  84. Jennifer,

    We can all think of examples when that is true. Nonetheless, those positions that do require physical strength are relatively few. What’s more, most of them pay poorly.

    So that’s really not very good evidence that pay differences are the natural result of biology.

  85. You did it again, Jennifer. I’ll never regret hosting your guest essay.

  86. Brotherben,

    That’s exactly why women should be able to sign contracts with their employers promising not to have children.

  87. Jennifer,

    My comment was about experience, not gender itself. Telling Brian he cannot speak authoritatively about womens’ experience because he hasn’t had that experience is considerably different than opining that women must be right, because they’re women.

    If you’ve never been a Chinese chef, perhaps you shouldn’t hold forth on Chinese cooking

    vs.

    If Lee Ho says to use a cup of chili peppers, then he must be right.

    See the difference?

    Anyway, I’m sorry you’re still smarting over your sex life.

  88. Joe –

    Men and women should certainly be completely equal before the law.

    But that naturally leaves a very broad section of life where it’s not very clear that Jefferson’s equality applies.

    The essence of making a purchase is exercising arbitrary preference. If I prefer to go to a female hair stylist to a male, just because I don’t like some guy rubbing his hands all over my head, that’s my preference and the male hair stylists of the world don’t get to complain that I’m not treating them “equally”.

    Since I don’t regard hiring a person as an employee as differing in any fundamental way from purchasing a service, I therefore find it difficult to regard a pay discrepancy between men and women to be a problem that requires addressing. Any pay discrepancy you can find just represents the sum total of arbitrary preferences of purchasers in the marketplace. Big whoop.

  89. Telling Brian he cannot speak authoritatively about womens’ experience because he hasn’t had that experience is considerably different than opining that women must be right, because they’re women.

    That is very true. But telling Brian he cannot speak authoritatively about womens’ experience because he hasn’t had that experience DOES mean that Joe can also not speak authoritatively about womens’ experience because he hasn’t had that experience.

    So it would mean that we cannot be sure that Jennifer is right, but we can be sure that you can’t tell her she’s wrong.

    So it’s better to just leave that “speak authoritatively” issue to one side and not bring it up at all.

  90. I had a rooom mate like Jennifer and Brian once. I used to help him with his English comp essays, because he needed it.

    I’d read what he wrote, and it would be absolute gibberish. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was, until he told me that he was just trying to write like the text in the handouts. To his ear, they both involved a lot of big words and confusing verb tenses, so what he wrote looked just like the handouts.

    I see the same thing in the statements of a lot of anti-feminists. There are distinctions that are obvious to me, but which other people just don’t seem to get, and they end up getting themselves into trouble.

  91. …they end up getting themselves into trouble.

    Speak for yourself, Joe. I notice that we both have moral support here today.

  92. Personally, I remember that when I interviewed for my current job (which I really, really wanted), I walked out of the interview pretty confident that they liked me and would offer me the position. (as they did.) But one thing did worry me–what if they’re afraid to hire me for fear that I’d get pregnant and ask for time off? Especially since the paper has only three writers on staff, so if one leaves it’s not like the remainder can easily absorb the work.

    I would have loved to reassure them “Don’t worry, I will NEVER ask for maternity leave.”

  93. what is the attrition in different corporations? is brotherben’s situation really applicable?

    Or: hires anybody out of college, trains them, etc, and they discover a different interest, and leave. or anything like that.

    it’s gonna happen. it’s at will employment. maybe in a law firm or some place like that, but in higher turnover, professional industries, I don’t buy it.

  94. South Dakota, where the men are men
    and so are the women.

    PS Sorry for inadvertantly posting this on the Ron Paul thread.

  95. Fluffy,

    I agree that there are a few steps that come in between “we are all created equal” and our actions in real life.

    I would attribute our differences to a couple of different assumptions we make.

    For example, I believe that the personal nature of a personal service like a haircut makes it a special case, rather than a controlling one. You shouldn’t allow gender to influence your purchasing or hiring decisions unless there is something gender-related that actually effects the individual’s ability to perform the job. In the case of anything involving physical interactions, someone’s gender really is relevant to their professional role.

    Any pay discrepancy you can find just represents the sum total of arbitrary preferences of purchasers in the marketplace. I actually don’t think that individual customers’ gender preferences plays much of a role in pay disparity across the entire economy. Women professors don’t make less money than male professors because students prefer men to give lectures and grade their papers, so much as structural issues related to balancing work and family.

  96. I cling to the radical leftist notion that we’re all created equal.

    And I cling to the radical rationalist notion that measured difference are real differences.

    Since childbearing fatalities have been virtually eliminated, women live loger than men. That is a fact. Do you think that pesky Y chromosome might have something to do with it?

    Girls have better language skills than boys, that is a fact. You think there might be a genetic component to that?

    Upon the onset of puberty and the flood of testosterone, young men do better than young women at mathematical and spatial reasoning, that is alsso a fact. Do you think documented hormone induced diffferences in brain development has something to do with that?

    No joe, I’m not a sexist, but I don’t stick my head in the sand and ignore modern neurological science findings that demonstrate physical differences in the brains of men and women.

    Standard libertarian disclaimer #12 (people should be judged on their merits not their group affiliation) goes here.

  97. Fluffy,

    But telling Brian he cannot speak authoritatively about womens’ experience because he hasn’t had that experience DOES mean that Joe can also not speak authoritatively about womens’ experience because he hasn’t had that experience. True. I can’t. That’s why I said WE SHOULDN’T…

    So it would mean that we cannot be sure that Jennifer is right, but we can be sure that you can’t tell her she’s wrong. That would depend on what I’m telling her she’s wrong about. I can’t tell her she’s wrong about her own experiences, obviously.

  98. Joe:
    I can’t tell her she’s wrong about her own experiences, obviously.

    Why are you so obsessed with personal, subjective, anecdotal experience anyway? It’s never the basis for sound public policy, and you should know that.

  99. And I cling to the radical rationalist notion that measured difference are real differences.

    Mmmm, nope, doesn’t work. You see, “we’re all created equal” is, apparently, a contested matter, whereas we’re all in agreement that measured differences are real differences.

    Since childbearing fatalities have been virtually eliminated, women live loger than men. That is a fact. Do you think that pesky Y chromosome might have something to do with it? I don’t know. That’s a complicated question. Are you counting how society treats individuals differently because of the genotypes as “something to do with it?”

    I will readily admit that there are physical differences between men and women, but I’m not sure this is one of them, or if it is a cultural artifact.

    I don’t think there is anyone here who doesn’t realize that there are genetic differences between men and women.

  100. I think it’s pretty clear that Kerry will stop being a libertarian when she has children in violation of her undisclosed contract with Reason Magazine.

  101. Why are you so obsessed with personal, subjective, anecdotal experience anyway?

    I’m not.

  102. “It’s always the woman, not the abusive man, who needs to vacate the home (to go where?); it’s likewise the citizen, not the abusive state, that needs to vacate the territory (to go where?)”

    Always???

    I am a man that was in an abusive marriage. I left to in order to stay alive. Put more than 1,000 miles behind me before I felt safe.

    Wanna truly understand gender and it’s impact? Read Paglia, et al., not these two freaks.

  103. joe, a clarification question:

    If you recognize that there are genetic differences between men and women, do you agree that this would seemingly inevitably result in social differences?

    If so, are you proposing that the law be used to suppress this different social treatment?

    If so #2, do you think that such suppression would work, considering that the social differences seem to be based on very basic (i.e. genetic) factors?

  104. A man is much more likely to search out an even better job. Men are much less risk adverse, and yes, I do think testosterone makes ’em that way. Overall this can contribute to a wage gap, and overall I think this would be fair.

    I think it has much more to do with mate selection criteria — women tend to place more emphasis on men who earn large amounts of money, while men tend to place more emphasis on women who are physically attractive and have the personality traits to make a good mother. This sexual selection pressure would result in men making the tradeoffs and sacrifices that result in higher average salaries, while women would be more likely to pursue other values. Both are rationally pursuing the goals that they perceive benefit them most. No need for government intervention in this marketplace of choices and outcomes.

    Disclaimer: my wife is a high-earning professional, and I’m a stay-at-home dad, so I fully understand that “tend to” does not equate to “always happens that way”.

  105. Women tend to be socialists
    đŸ˜‰

  106. Prolefeed, you just raised the I.Q. of the entire thread. Thanks for that.

    (Again, it’s not that Prolefeed is necessarily right in every particular. But his thinking is admirably sophisticated.)

  107. Or her, as the case may be.

  108. Oops! I’m embarrassed. I obviously had it right the first time.

  109. When Jefferson wrote, “all men are created equal,” he most certainly did not mean “the same in all respects.”

    No, he meant “equal before the law.” Certainly we should have that: men and women follow the same laws, and face the same penalties for the breaking thereof. But “equality before the law” doesn’t mean “identical in the eyes of society” or “identical in the workplace.”

  110. In “2x + 5 = 8,” “8” and “2X + 5” are not the same. One is a polynomial, one is a monomial. One is a variable, one is a real number. They are different, but equal.

    This is confused. If you wish to treat “2x + 5” as a formal polynomial, then it actually is not a number, and it is not equal to 8. If you wish to treat it as a number, then it is, and they are equal in every way. It is trivial that the sign, as in the names for the objects, are different. Your statement would be more clear if it were written:

    “2x + 5” = “8”
    (i.e., the string of characters “2x + 5” is equal to…)

    Which is, of course, a false statement.

  111. Episiarch,

    I need a clarification: do you mean differences, or inequalities? And even then, I think we’d need to get to a different level of specificity before I’d be able to offer an answer other than “maybe, kinda, sorta, but maybe not.”

    Let me ask you, if you recognize there are genetic differences between Africans and Scandinavians, do you agree that this would inevitably result in social differences?

    I don’t think you do, and yet you seem to accept this reasoning about male/female differences. So now we have to get into how male/female differences can be distinguished from Euro/African differences.

    As for your last question, even if we were to stipulate that there are both biological and social influences at play – and can we all agree that there are, in fact, some social influences that play some role in why women are poorer than men? – it would not lessen the case for striving for greater gender equality.

    Getting back to Title IX, I find it easy to believe that in a world with no sexism, there would still be a difference between the % of women who are interested in sports and the % of men – but it wouldn’t be as great as it was in 1950.

  112. Jennifer,

    No, he meant “equal before the law.” No, he didn’t. We are not created “before the law.” People were created before the law even existed. That entire sentence from the Declaration refers to what is innate in the human character.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their creator with certain rights…To protect these rights, governments are instituted…

    Government comes after our innate nature, which includes our rights, and our equality.

  113. I don’t know. That’s a complicated question. Are you counting how society treats individuals differently because of the genotypes as “something to do with it?”

    joe,
    No, I’m not. I contend that in longevity, women as a group, are superior to men as a group. Completely divorced from socially caused effects, women are better at reaching the century mark. They are better at language skills and worse at mathematical and spatial reasoning skills, again as a group.

    Granted, there have been no reliable studies on emotional differences between the sexes (I wouldn’t have a clue how to quantify that data), I can still hypothesize that inherent sexual differences are to be found there as well. Standard libertarian disclaimer #12 still applies.

  114. Let me ask you, if you recognize there are genetic differences between Africans and Scandinavians, do you agree that this would inevitably result in social differences? I don’t think you do, and yet you seem to accept this reasoning about male/female differences. So now we have to get into how male/female differences can be distinguished from Euro/African differences.

    Except that genetic differences between races boil down to two things: physical appearance and a greater likelihood of certain diseases. Whites need not worry much about sickle-cell anemia, and blacks needn’t worry much about cystic fibrosis. But neither of these differences translate into “different ways of viewing the world,” or “a tendency to have different intellectual strengths and weaknesses” or “a likelihood of having different ambitions in life.”

    But male and female differences do. Generally speaking, if you hear someone say “I really wish I could be a full-time stay-at-home parent,” you’ve got a much better than 50-50 chance of it being a woman. But the race or ethnicity of that person could be anything.

  115. Government comes after our innate nature, which includes our rights, and our equality.

    Are there no practical limits on the ability of the government to make us all equal, Joe?

  116. I agree with this part, though:

    But “equality before the law” doesn’t mean “identical in the eyes of society” or “identical in the workplace.”

    The issue here is injustice, discrimination, prejudice, bias, and unequal opportunity. Unequal outcomes are evidence of these problems, a manifestation of these problems, not the problem itself.

  117. “More expense. Profit wise, all things being equal between applicants, I am better off hiring a man.”

    I would love to see a graphic overlaying the dicline of society over the last fifty years (teen pregnancy, suicide, kids shooting kids for sport) with the percentages of women in the workforce.

    The proof is in the pudding.

  118. We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their creator with certain rights…To protect these rights, governments are instituted…

    Exactly. The government should thus treat everyone equally where the law’s concerned. As for God’s view of people, that’s God’s business and not a political matter.

  119. J sub D,

    I still don’t know. It is quite possible that the difference in longetivity is a consequence of social differences. It is also possible that it’s the consequence of biology leading people to behave differently. It’s also possible that there is something in difference between XX and XY that influences lifespan. Or some combination. I don’t know.

  120. I would love to see a graphic overlaying the dicline of society over the last fifty years (teen pregnancy, suicide, kids shooting kids for sport) with the percentages of women in the workforce.

    Speaking of diclines, I could form a line with my dick around your ignorant failure to provide statistics.

  121. I don’t think you do, and yet you seem to accept this reasoning about male/female differences.

    As do you:

    I find it easy to believe that in a world with no sexism, there would still be a difference between the % of women who are interested in sports and the % of men

    So what we (both of us) have is some inherent notion that there are differences between the sexes, and that these differences are more than just muscle mass–they extend to social preferences (sports enthusiasm and others).

    If you agree with that, then my question is: is it useful–or even moral–to try and force an equality/similarity where we both seem to agree that one doesn’t exist?

  122. The issue here is injustice, discrimination, prejudice, bias, and unequal opportunity. Unequal outcomes are evidence of these problems, a manifestation of these problems, not the problem itself.

    If you mean “often a manifestation of these problems” you won’t get a lot of disagreement here.

    If you mean “solely a manifestation of these problems” you will.

  123. Jennifer,

    But neither of these differences translate into “different ways of viewing the world,” or “a tendency to have different intellectual strengths and weaknesses” or “a likelihood of having different ambitions in life.”

    But male and female differences do. This just begs the question – do these differences exist because of genetics, society, or both?

    And even if we could nail down that they were 100% genetic, that still would not provide a basis for justifiying social inequality.

  124. Jennifer,

    A minor quibble….
    Vagino-American

    Nah, I like
    Estrogen-American much better.

  125. The goal here, as I see it, is to find a way for humans to evolve into hermaphrodites. Problem solved.

    And since its clearly in our national interest, I think it would be okay for the govenment to fund it.

  126. Are there no practical limits on the ability of the government to make us all equal, Joe?

    Holy flaming nonsequitor, Batman! What are you TALKING about?

    Maybe, like Jefferenson, you should let the political implications of ideas come from, rather than determine, your understanding of those statements’ truth value.

  127. “No, he meant “equal before the law.” No, he didn’t. We are not created “before the law.” People were created before the law even existed. That entire sentence from the Declaration refers to what is innate in the human character.”

    Gotta disagree, Joe.

    The statement about equality does in fact mean legal equality, which was a very living issue in 1776, since western civilization had been customarily dividing men into hereditary classes to which different laws were applied for millennia.

    “You shouldn’t allow gender to influence your purchasing or hiring decisions unless there is something gender-related that actually effects the individual’s ability to perform the job.”

    In that case, if you support legal efforts to penalize those who indulge their gender preferences in hiring, shouldn’t you also support it in the case of purchasing? If I statistically determine that the sum total of your purchases has a disparate impact on female-owned businesses, shouldn’t I be able to sue you on behalf of those female business owners as a class?

  128. And even if we could nail down that they were 100% genetic, that still would not provide a basis for justifiying social inequality.

    Just to clarify something here – are you arguing that even if men and women were demonstrated to have different intellectual strengths and weaknesses genetically, that disparate social outcomes would still be unjust in your view?

    How exactly do you intend to mandate equal social outcomes for people with different intellectual strengths and weaknesses?

  129. Are there no practical limits on the ability of the government to make us all equal, Joe?

    Holy flaming nonsequitor, Batman! What are you TALKING about?

    I’m only talking about libertarianism itself. Have you heard of it?

    Maybe, like Jefferenson, you should let the political implications of ideas come from, rather than determine, your understanding of those statements’ truth value.

    Please restate that. I don’t understand it.

  130. Episiarch,

    I wasn’t attempting to insult you with that statement about “and yet you accept.”

    is it useful–or even moral–to try and force an equality/similarity where we both seem to agree that one doesn’t exist?

    I don’t accept your premise. Acknowledging that there is a biological element does not exclude social and cultural elements.

    It is useful and moral to erode the inequalities that exist as a result of social forces.

  131. J sub D,

    I meant “often,” or “to some extent.”

  132. “No joe, I’m not a sexist, but I don’t stick my head in the sand and ignore modern neurological science findings that demonstrate physical differences in the brains of men and women.”

    Would you be open-minded enough to consider there may be brain difference inherent to race as well?

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NzEyZjFmOWQ4YzlmZDRhMTdlMWYyNWJlNjEwM2Q5NDI=

  133. Fluffy,

    The statement about equality does in fact mean legal equality, which was a very living issue in 1776, since western civilization had been customarily dividing men into hereditary classes to which different laws were applied for millennia.

    That legal inequality was predicated on a belief in inherent inequality. Jefferson’s statement was about the inherent nature of Man. He clearly drew political conclusions from this proposition, but the document argues for legal equality on the basis of natural equality, just as it argues for legal respect for rights on the basis of the inherent, Creator-given nature of those rights.

  134. Would you be open-minded enough to consider there may be brain difference inherent to race as well?

    Why not? Plato is dear, but truth is dearer.

  135. It is useful and moral to erode the inequalities that exist as a result of social forces.

    Laziness is socially looked down-upon. Lazy people may be fired from their jobs for said laziness. This creates inequality. Is it useful and moral to erode the social opprobrium against laziness?

    This is not to equate laziness with Mexicans women*. It is to point out that sometimes there are reasons for social inequalities. Even if you feel it is moral to attempt to do so, wouldn’t it be useless?

    * JOKE

  136. J sub D,

    I meant “often,” or “to some extent.”

    Well shit! We’ve got to find something else to argue about then. Pistons/Celtics?

  137. “Except that genetic differences between races boil down to two things: physical appearance and a greater likelihood of certain diseases.”

    That’s just silly.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:National_IQ_Lynn_Vanhanen_2006_IQ_and_Global_Inequality.png

  138. Nah, I like
    Estrogen-American much better.

    Femerican. No hyphens.

  139. “Speaking of diclines, I could form a line with my dick around your ignorant failure to provide statistics.”

    My, what an asshole.

  140. My, what an asshole.

    I disagree. I think I was well justified in losing my temper over yet another false report of social decline from yet another dime-store social critic.
    The misspelling was a happy accident for me.

  141. Would you be open-minded enough to consider there may be brain difference inherent to race as well?

    Skeptically, of course. It’s wise to be skeptical of new ideas/theories/claims.

  142. Skip,

    One other thing , I haven’t seen the evidence yet, but I will look at the link soon. I will also note where it was published. National Review is not Nature, Scientific American, JAMA etc. Even they get stuff wrong.

  143. “My, what an asshole.

    I disagree. I think I was well justified in losing my temper over yet another false report of social decline from yet another dime-store social critic.
    The misspelling was a happy accident for me.”

    I stand by my original post. If you can’t discuss an issue without “losing (your) temper” and relying on the imagery of using your penis to establish intellectual territory, then you are proven by your own words to be an asshole.

    BTW — Did I mispell something too?

  144. Skip, never mind. IQ has a tenuous relationship with intelligence at best. This from someone who score well on the things. The scores really don’t mean a whole lot and have been discredited as a measuring tool for years.

  145. BTW — Did I mispell something too?

    Yes, you did. Learn to pell properly.

  146. “One other thing , I haven’t seen the evidence yet, but I will look at the link soon. I will also note where it was published. National Review is not Nature, Scientific American, JAMA etc. Even they get stuff wrong.”

    As you do, I also consider the source, but it’s interesting just the same.

  147. “Yes, you did. Learn to pell properly.”

    An asshole AND easy to manipulate! What a hoot!

  148. Skip,

    You’re using imagery of your asshole to establish intellectual territory…

    Or are you looking for a synthesis of the two viewpoints?

  149. This isn’t a dating site you know.

  150. An asshole AND easy to manipulate! What a hoot!

    Hmm. That reminds me of the professional engineer I once knew who hated the stripper at his friend’s bachelor party. He resented the “manipulation,” he said.

    Well, some of us aren’t ashamed to have warm blood running through our veins. Some of us aren’t embarrassed to be affected emotionally by our environments.

    Foolish pride. That’s what I’m saying.

  151. “You’re using imagery of your asshole to establish intellectual territory…”

    Are you saying that Brian is my asshole? Perhaps you’re right; I’ll have to check…

  152. Two hands and a flashlight, anyone?

  153. Recognizing that human nature exists : believing biology explains gender inequality

    You’re stretching here, joe. I know what you’re getting at, but you’re stretching. One of the points of the human nature argument, and its most recent ascention is that despite metric tons of government programs, women and men still (frustratingly – to some) make choices which defy our cultural overcorrections. It is a reasonably fair question to ask whether or not certain perceived inequalities are the mere results of independent decisions made by the sexes- and that these preceived inequalities will never change, even in the face of ham-fisted attempts to ‘fix’ them?

    Hardly a day goes by, joe, where I’m not hearing some feminist on the radio talk about how different international politics would be if women ran the show because of their different nature. Their ability to nurture, display empathy, feel more deeply, persue communication and dialogue, plus shop for the best bargains! Ok, sorry on that last one.

    But my point is, for the last twenty years I’ve been harangued by women telling me how much better they’d be at this stuff… by nature.

  154. Episiarch,

    Laziness is a behavior, and I have no problem with discrimination on the basis of behavior. Perhaps a different example would work better.

  155. I gotta back up Brian Sorgatz in his dispute with Skip.

    Sometimes the play is so bad that booing becomes a moral imperitive.

  156. Perhaps a different example would work better.

    Yes, exactly. An example that doesn’t treat women as victims for acting on their own free will would be best of all.

  157. Paul,

    I guess I could have been clearer there – as I’ve said several times already, I’m not arguing that all differences are socially-created.

    I mean “explain” in the sense of fully accounting for.

  158. I don’t have the girly moniker, but I’m 100% estrogen-American, Femerican, etc.

    And I agree with Prolefeed at 4:01.

    Upper body strength is only one manifestation of gender differences, but perhaps the most obvious one. Even then there are SOME women who are stronger than SOME men. As a group, however, I contend men are much more likely to be risk takers. That can give them a big advantage in the workplace, and also make it more likely for them to end up in jail. Otherwise why would we say women are socially unequal if they are only about 10% of the prison population?

    Another difference is that men can father children even in their seventies or eighties! After the age of 35 a woman’s fertility goes down dramatically. So even if men were inclined to be the stay at home dad, they can pursue a career and have children when they retire! Not a likely option for women.

  159. I mean “explain” in the sense of fully accounting for.

    I’m glad you said that, Joe, because that brings us to an important point of political epistemology. Nothing will ever be fully accounted for, but we have to try to have limited, constitutional government now.

  160. Laziness is a behavior, and I have no problem with discrimination on the basis of behavior. Perhaps a different example would work better.

    OK, then use risk-taking, since it seems to be a popular and multi-gender supported trait on this thread.

    Would you try to force equality in risk-taking, even if it turns out women are genetically more risk-averse? Title IX in skydiving, in essence?

  161. “But my point is, for the last twenty years I’ve been harangued by women telling me how much better they’d be at this stuff… by nature.” (Paul)

    If women were in charge of the world “we’d still be living in grass huts”. According to Camille Paglia, anyway.

    I concede she has a point.

  162. I want to go back to the Declaration of Independence and the American democratic-republican concept of equality.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.

    I know that all good libertarians look at that statement and recognize that the inalienable nature of those rights is tied to their being endowed to us by our Creator – that is to say, that we are born with them, they are not given to us by the government. This is a statement about the inherent nature of humankind, and the politcal conclusion drawn from this is that the government is bound to respect and protect our rights. There are certain affirmative duties imposed on the government to protect our rights, and there are certain limits imposed on the government’s ability to operate.

    Well, the same language is used to describe out equality – we are created with it. Since the inherent nature of our rights leads certain conclusions about the government, so does the inherent nature of our equality.

  163. Well, the same language is used to describe out equality – we are created with it. Since the inherent nature of our rights leads certain conclusions about the government, so does the inherent nature of our equality.

    Fair enough. But you must understand that everything you just said doesn’t necessarily promise the average American woman the same pay as the average American man.

    It just doesn’t necessarily follow.

  164. Episiarch,

    Risk-taking is also a behavior.

    Look, my position is neither profound nor convoluted; I believe in equality of opportunity, and I believe that social forces contribute to gender inequality. We should continue to wear away at those social forces to create a more-equal society. Enforcing outcomes tends to be a less desireable way to do this, because it creates all sorts of side effects without doing much to change the underlying dynamic.

  165. Fair enough. But you must understand that everything you just said doesn’t necessarily promise the average American woman the same pay as the average American man.

    I do, Brian.

    And you must understand that decrying sexism, gender discrimination, and the gender inequality they produce doesn’t necessarily mean one is advocating violent levelling.

    I think there is an optimal point, somewhere in the direction of absolute equality, but we can’t be sure where exactly it lies. We should move in that direction, and as we get closer, we will be better able to fix its locatin precisely. Maybe it will turn out that the natural optimum really is at absolute gender equality, and like the most radical of 70s feminists wrote, even men’s larger muscles are an artifact of social structures. But probably not, and figuring out exactly the answer to that question is only important to people who don’t want to move at all, and to those who don’t care about a natural optimum and just want to jump to absolute levelling.

  166. According to Camille Paglia, anyway.

    My wife was a young college feminist (now cured), but I recall she hated Camille Paglia. I always felt Ms. Paglia was just kind of…creepy.

  167. If women were in charge of the world “we’d still be living in grass huts”.

    Oh, and according to some, grass huts are more sustainable, so… just sayin’.

  168. The issue here is injustice, discrimination, prejudice, bias, and unequal opportunity. Unequal outcomes are evidence of these problems, a manifestation of these problems, not the problem itself.

    Everyone has biases. I worked for an insurance company, and one supervisor was gay, and almost all of his hires were gay males. Another supervisor was Asian, and almost all of her hires were Asian females. Was this injustice? By the prevailing governmental laws, this would be considered a positive, admirable step to end discrimination, whereas it looked to me like the supervisors hired people they could personally identify with, which I viewed as none of my business. But if they were white males hiring almost all white males, that would have raised a ruckus.

    We should move in that direction, and as we get closer, we will be better able to fix its locatin precisely.

    Somehow, joe, if we go down that road I suspect folks like you, only even more so, will fix its “locatin” (sorry, couldn’t resist the snark — my bad) as being “everyone is exactly equally poor, except for their socialist overlords, but no one will dare to mention that”.

    Which is a fancy way of saying I have a far greater trust in marketplace mechanisms to root out inequality than pandering politicians.

  169. Another supervisor was Asian, and almost all of her hires were Asian females.

    Hey, if I were the hiring manager, all my hires would be Asian females because.. I… er…

    I’ll shut up now.

  170. Which is a fancy way of saying I have a far greater trust in marketplace mechanisms to root out inequality than pandering politicians.

    prolefeed, joe,

    If I may be so bold, the free exchancge of ideas has done more to bring about equal opportunity and equal treatment under the law than either politicians or economics. Most people’s hearts and minds can be changed. Those who refuse…well they eventually die and you convince their descendents.

  171. J sub D — I’d say free market economics is a subset of the category “the free exchange of ideas” — that, or an essential condition for free ideas to flourish. If the government controls the paper supply and the personal computer supply, and TV and radio and internet access, good luck with having a free exchange of ideas.

    With that caveat, I wholeheartedly agree with your 6:33 post.

  172. free exchancge of ideas has done more to bring about equal opportunity and equal treatment under the law than either politicians or economics.

    Boy, do I have a perspective on that which was a huge epiphany for me when I lived in a very gay-friendly neighborhood. I was fascinated at the amount of direct marketing to the gay community was occurring without any fanfare, any “hey, look at this we’re all being equality conscious’n stuff”.

    Long story…

  173. J sub – agreed – without economic power, you cannot take advantage of marketplace mechanisms. Criticisms of Becker’s dissertation bring that up.

  174. aw krap. that was moi (“a”)

    anyways, wholeheartedly support J sub D’s call that free exchange of ideas is the key (“market mechanisms” and “politicians” have frequent failures when dealing with your “coefficient of distaste” utility functions)

  175. All right, folks, hearty stuff. Thanks for your participation.

    In the liveliest exchange of the thread, pitting “Brian Sorgatz” against “joe,” the win goes to Sorgatz, who held his own against a stubborn but loose-around-the-edges joe. Sorgatz saw a points deduction for his ill-advised dick joke, if only because the play off the misspelled “dicline” was a long stretch, as is that dick pun right there, not to get too circular and hall-of-mirrors on you all.

    Joe did well in addressing uncomfortable questions and tough rebuttals, but his arguments ultimately did not vanquish those proffered by his opponent.

    Thanks for coming and we’ll see you at the next inglorious petering-out of a 100-plus-comment H&R thread. Good night.

  176. If I won on balance, this is a happy day for me.

  177. Joe was a gracious and useful opponent.

  178. Useful for sharpening my written debate skills, I mean.

  179. I’d just like to remind everyone that Wendy McElroy’s XXX: A Woman’s Right to Pornography is available for free online.

  180. I’d just like to remind everyone that Wendy McElroy’s XXX: A Woman’s Right to Pornography is available for free online.

    *sigh* I was hoping for a more…pictoral approach to the subject. BORING!

  181. “That’s exactly why women should be able to sign contracts with their employers promising not to have children.”

    What howls of outrage from feminists would go up if an employer ever tried to enforce such a contract? Or even offered it? The bad PR alone makes such a thing unrealistic. It would be said that women should not be asked openly to choose between their careers and having children. No employer would do it.

    In the aggregate, women want it both ways. They want to be able to have families and careers without one having a negative effect on the other. On the individual level I expect most women are more practical and realize that choosing career means giving up an aspect of family life and vice versa, and deal with it. Women as a group, as a mob, don’t accept that as reality, and are in deep denial when forced to face it.

  182. prolefeed,

    You think By the prevailing governmental laws, the targetted hiring of asians and gay men to work in a professional office would be considered admirable? Ummmmmm…..no.

    Somehow, joe, if we go down that road I suspect folks like you, only even more so, will fix its “locatin” (sorry, couldn’t resist the snark — my bad) as being “everyone is exactly equally poor, except for their socialist overlords, but no one will dare to mention that”.

    Well, as we’ve seen in your skylarking about Asian and gay affirmative action, you make a lot of unwarranted assumptions about other people’s politics.

  183. J sub D,

    When there is persistent discrimination against a group, it is rarely something people can be talked out of, because that discrimination is usually in the service of maintaining the privileged position of those adhering to the discriminatory beliefs.

    When somebody’s power and status in society revolves around believing something, they’re going to keep believing it.

  184. MJ — women do balance career and child-rearing. I saw a study (sorry, can’t recall the source) that showed that the average woman spent more time on work and more time with her children than the average woman did forty years ago. What made up the balance? Housework. Working mothers don’t spend much time dusting.

    We don’t really need “no child” contracts — systems like the university tenure track serve the same purpose. Pay all employees at a reduced rate early in their careers (around childbearing age for women) and then increase salary and rank if the employee shows promise. A woman who publishes good work in her thirties has demonstrated either that she’s not going to have children, or that she can handle family responsibilities and still devote time to her career.

    Of course, I think the main issue is that women shouldn’t bear sole responsibility for raising children and running a household.

  185. As usual, Im late to the thread…
    “In the aggregate, women want it both ways. They want to be able to have families and careers without one having a negative effect on the other. On the individual level I expect most women are more practical and realize that choosing career means giving up an aspect of family life and vice versa, and deal with it. Women as a group, as a mob, don’t accept that as reality, and are in deep denial when forced to face it.”

    OK, if women have to choose between a carrer and a family and most choose a career, WHO is gonna have/take care of the kids? Men? Arent they just as busy at work as women? Are we simply as a society going to say, “well, let’s give up on this whole idea of having a family cuz the misses ain’t gonna give up on her career and I sure as hell am not going to take care of the little rug rats.”
    What about all those couples/families that NEED the woman’s income cuz the man cant provide enough on his own? Will THOSE men be saying, “well, honey its either your career or our family?” And if so, then he will say “KO, if you choose family I will make sure I provide for all of you”…. I don’t see this happening very often.

    It seems to me that MEN want it both ways. They want to work and not have to take as much responsibility for the kids/housework but WANT to have a family and WANT their wife to ALSO chip in with the bills.
    Sheesh.

  186. “no child contract?”
    why not “dont have a period contract”? Women miss work due to painful periods.
    I know, I know, You will point out that women have a choice to have a child but not to have a period, but these are related since women and only women can have children.
    In evolutionary tems, “that’s what they were made for.”
    And before anyone jumps out and says “well, women arent defined by whether or not they have children”. I agree. But it is a fact that as a species, that is their job.
    If a woman as an individual chooses not to have a family, great. If she chooses to have a family, great. But dont castigate her for choosing what nature intended her to do, which BTW, she doesnt do/choose ALONE. Men are involved and invested in this process.

    These “no child contracts” would be fine in an ideal world, where “all things were considered equal”, meaning men and women were exactly the same. But we are not.
    Atrevete points out a very important fact that many tend to overlook, women have a biological clock, men don’t. This profundly affects what choices women make regarding their careers, and naturally affects their paycheck.

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