Ruth Bader Ginsburg Channels Barry Goldwater in The NY Times Mag on The Effectiveness of Gov't Action; Leaves Readers Wondering When They Started to Pick Up Their Dog's Doo

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From an interesting interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine. Here's an answer to a question about whether government policies can fundamentally alter social behavior, specifically related to the amount of house work men do:

The Legislature can make the change, can facilitate the change, as laws like the Family Medical Leave Act do. But it's not something a court can decree. A court can't tell the man, You've got to do more than carry out the garbage.

In such a moment, Ginsburg sounds more than a little like Barry Goldwater, who explained his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act during his run for White House as stemming in part from the belief that

You cannot pass a law that will make me like you—or you like me…. That is something that can only happen in our hearts.

This is all well and good, and I think most people would recognize that its general truthfulness. Laws can be written and enforced by courts and still leave many major beliefs and situations largely unchanged.

However, there are also clear governmental actions that very quickly caused changes in behaviors and attitudes that corresponded to the behavior. Prior to the pooper-scooper laws that first passed in the mid-to-late 1970s, for instance, it was totally common (in my neck of the woods, anyway) for owners to let dogs shit wherever they wanted, whether on the street, sidewalk, or other people's lawns. Owners were encouraged to "curb your dog," but that didn't seem to have much effect, especially in public places. Once the laws against it were in place, public dog-shitting not only decreased rapidly, so did the tolerance of it by the general public and, I'm guessing by dog owners. At least in this case, I'm guessing that dog owners didn't just wake en masse one day and decide to start collecting their dog's crap in old bread-loaf bags and tucking it into their waistbans on morning and evening strolls. I'm sure it's fun as hell, but I'm betting you were pushed into it.

Something similar was, I believe, the case with public littering (does anyone else remember that pre-Crying Indian golden age before littering laws when it was perfectly acceptable to toss fast-food remnants out of cars?), seatbelt usage, cigarette smoking, drunk-driving, and other behaviors whose frequency changed in relation to changed legal situations. Laws were changed (in the case of drunk-driving, being loaded started to become grounds for a stiffer sentence in an accident rather than exculpation) and not simply behavior but mental shifts occurred as a result. It didn't just because illegal to dump shit from car windows, it became unseemly. The increasing sense of smokers as pariahs comes at least in part from the fact they are no longer allowed in public the way they used to be (not saying this is a good thing, but it is a thing).

The laws did not do all the heavy-lifting; in many cases they simply served as official certification of a trend in social thought and behavior that is well underway. Hence, mandatory seatbelt legislation came into existence after a growing understanding that it was a small inconvenience with a large payoff in terms of increased safety (that seatbelt laws, emphatically passed as secondary enforcement measures for which cops could not pull drivers for, are now primary enforcement codes, meaning that police can do exactly that, shows how such rules expand in negative ways very quickly).

To bring it back to the Supreme Court and the law's ability to radically restructure social behavior (say, between men and women or blacks and whites) in the United States, I think legal expert Mark Tushnet got it right a few years back in an interview about his book, A Court Divided:

If you're trying to chart the direction of the country–and I'll make up a number here–95 percent of it is due to changes in culture and politics. The Court can have some influence on the margins, pushing things a little further in the direction that they're already moving or sometimes retarding the direction. But 10 years down the line, the society's going to be pretty much where it would've been even if the courts hadn't said a word about it. I've used a metaphor from sound engineering. It's "noise around zero." It sort of fluctuates up and down around the trends, so sometimes they're ahead of the trend. Sometimes they're behind the trend. The reason why the Rehnquist Court's economic conservatives won and its social conservatives lost is because that's what was generally happening in American politics.

More from Tushnet here. And recall his words during the wrap-up of the Sotomayor hearings and the next few years, too.

So laws are not the be-all and end-all, but in some cases, they do force or encourage some pretty clear-cut changes. However much anti-discrimination laws can be abused in everything from hiring to school admissions to redefining "public" space—and however much their passage reflects already-changing cultural mores—does anyone seriously doubt that once legal barriers to entry were fully outlawed, that the Strom Thurmonds and George Wallaces of the world didn't almost immediately start figuring out how to adapt not just outwardly but inwardly too? Sometimes the way, or part of the way, to the heart may just be the law.

To return to Ginsburg's example, new research by Mark Aguiar and Erik Hurst shows that between 1965 and 2005, the average man increased his hours of child care per week from 1.6 to 3.4 and his "total nonmarket work" (a category that includes a lot of house-related tasks) from 9.8 hours to 13.3 hours per week. Women still do much more in the house (their child care figures are about double that of men) but it's also true that expectations have changed considerably and are moving in a more egalitarian direction.

None of this, of course, is meant as a brief for social engineering via government. And in the case of odious institutions such as segregation, it's always worth remembering that it was individual liberty to contract and right of association that was being denied by Jim Crow laws forced single regimes on all interactions. But libertarians often too steeply discount not simply the legal framework in which behavior occurs but the impact that that framework has on the attitudes that further shape and reinforce or resist a given situation.

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  1. Here’s another interesting part of the same interview, dealing with abortion:

    ‘Q: Are you talking about the distances women have to travel because in parts of the country, abortion is essentially unavailable, because there are so few doctors and clinics that do the procedure? And also, the lack of Medicaid for abortions for poor women?

    ‘JUSTICE GINSBURG: Yes, the ruling about that surprised me. [Harris v. McRae – in 1980 the court upheld the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of Medicaid for abortions.] Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion. Which some people felt would risk coercing women into having abortions when they didn’t really want them. But when the court decided McRae, the case came out the other way. And then I realized that my perception of it had been altogether wrong.’

    Here’s the winning quote: ‘Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.’

    It’s hard for me to tell if Ginsburg is describing her own views, but she is talking about opinions she imputed to other pro-choicers.

    I would hope that she might want to elaborate on these particular words.

  2. fascinating post, Nick. Sure to get the S flying.

    If smoking and seat belt laws went away, would the old modes of behavior (using, not using, respectively) return? Gut tells me smoking yes, but not quite all the way, and seat belt – no.

    Air bag requirement laws? I dont think the gov. should tell me I have to buy them, but I defintely (now) want to buy them.

  3. The problem is that when socially-acceptable behavior swings back in a different way, the laws usually don’t sunset effectively. See: sodomy.

  4. Oh, HoneyBunny… it’s just too early.

  5. “However, there are also clear governmental actions that very quickly caused changes in behaviors and attitudes that corresponded to the behavior.”

    Uh Nick, hope you like stake (cuz the faithful around here are likely to want to tie you to one for this heresy!).

    Max
    Unless Ginsburg is nuts I immediately assumed she meant “unwanted [by the parents] children.” Most pro-choicers would like to see that population go down.

  6. Whoa.. maybe the most confused headline in some days.

    Was Barry Goldwater *really* in the NY Time mag?

    With that said.. FrBunny is both right and wrong.

    The laws do eventually “sunset.”

    It just takes the revolution to do it all at once (and I’m not talking about any kind of commie thing that gets people at high Galtitude going on.. just whatever the revolution is, when it comes, the pendulum and the blades swing).

  7. FrBunny, in areas of sex where most LEOs probably don’t even know the laws because they were written so long ago and rarely mentioned as being against the law, unlike drug laws which are always reinforced through every day arrests and trials and political grand-standing, they just get ignored.

    I have friends who will say “they can do whatever they want in their own home” but those same friends that say that about sodomy will not make that statement about pot because “pot’s illegal so I don’t like it.” Continual reinforcement works…so I continually call them hypocrites and it’s starting to sink in. I even convinced one co-worker who was totally against MJ legalization when I met her a year ago that she now over time has come to accept that it should be decriminalized at least.

  8. I hit an airbag with my face once. I’m glad it was an airbag and not a steering wheel.

    I don’t see how the government can “pressure” someone into getting an abortion. I should hope women making this decision have the sounded mind to make their own decision.

  9. A lot of these laws (like picking up dog crap off a sidewalk) are just telling you what you can and can’t do on other peoples property (enforcing property rights). Its just that the owner of the propery is the government.

  10. Nicks comments are a good example of why I support Title IX. When hearts and minds have been shaped by evil government restrictions its OK to have relatively mild restrictions to redress that. I don’t want my daughter to suffer because of nutty beliefs shaped and perpetuated by outright government coercion of ages past, beliefs that don’t just magically disappear when the government programs which fostered them are ended.

  11. Actually I tell my neighbors that if they’ll keep their dog from shitting on my lawn, that I won’t come and personally drop a duece on their lawn.

  12. I should hope women making this decision have the sounded mind to make their own decision.

    Yeah, like when they had the sound mind to not get pregnant in the first place. Oh, wait.

  13. That’s OK, MNG. Your daughter will be fine, but if your kid’s school doesn’t have a boys volleyball team because they have to have the same number of boys and girls sports (and football has to be paired with something) and your son wants to play volleyball, tough shit.

    Not to mention the fact that equal numbers of sports teams per school is stupid, because far more boys are interested in playing sports than girls, as evidenced by the turnout at tryouts or that some girls sports can barely field a team, because of lack of interest, yeah, Title IX is so great.

  14. Wow, sounds like a bunch of political Mumbo Jumbo to me dude!

    RT
    http://www.anonymize.tk

  15. Can a big group of people with guns make you do something? Yes.
    Are they wise or honest enough to only use force for good? Obviously not.
    Your example of housework is a great illustration. If you add up hours of work-work plus hours of housework you find that men do MORE work then women. If government were to get involved they would force men to do more housework and make the male-female work balance even more unfair to men.
    See if you can make a case that government does more good than harm?

  16. “Unless Ginsburg is nuts I immediately assumed she meant “unwanted [by the parents] children.””

    Ginsberg: “and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of”

    ???

  17. Laws were changed (in the case of drunk-driving, being loaded started to become grounds for a stiffer sentence in an accident rather than exculpation) and not simply behavior but mental shifts occurred as a result.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to assume that no behavioral/attitudinal changes would have occurred but for the legal change. The legal change was driven by attitudinal changes, after all, and may have helped accelerate broader social change, but I seriously doubt it was a primary driver.

    After all, there are lots and lots of examples of legal changes that haven’t driven social change, aren’t there?

    But libertarians often too steeply discount not simply the legal framework in which behavior occurs but the impact that that framework has on the attitudes that further shape and reinforce or resist a given situation.

    Whether we do or not is irrelevant to the question of whether force and the threat of force should be used to “encourage” a given change. In fact, I don’t think libertarians tend to discount the effectiveness of coercion at all; if anything we are more sensitive to it than most, it seems, and for that reason are more opposed to its use to “remedy” every perceived “social ill.”

  18. MNG,

    Title IX has been demonstrated to suppress men’s athletic opportunities because college football sits so heavily on the scales used to determine how money, etc. for athletics is rationed. For the individual who has his program cut it is more than a mild restriction. And of course that is always the problem with these group based solutions; individuals get screwed.

  19. Nick,

    I think you forgot to include the counter possibility. Laws often push people in the opposite direction – Abortion became a MAJOR issue after Roe. Without that decision, some states would have had legal abortion, some wouldnt and no one much would have cared. By passing the law, abortion became important IN BOTH DIRECTIONS to people.

    Also, see prohibition. Alcohol prohibition led to harder drinking, not to pushing people towards alcohol being wrong.

    As you quoted:
    But 10 years down the line, the society’s going to be pretty much where it would’ve been even if the courts hadn’t said a word about it.

    The exception to this seems to be when the court/law goes against the direction society is heading. So, when the court/law agree with the direction society is heading, it makes a marginal difference at best. When it goes against it, it leads to rebellion and/or societal splits.

    All and all, seems an argument against trying.

  20. Anyway, this is kind of a chicken and egg sort of deal. Does the culture come first or the law? I’m betting on the former. What politicians generally do is ride on the coat tails of the culture and then high five themselves claiming their “visionary” aptitude.

  21. MNG, your defense of Ginsburg is misplaced; here statement cannot be fairly read to be exclusively one of concern for unwanted babies. She said, “there was concern about population growth AND particularly growth in populations tht we don’t want to have too many of.”

    Thus, she is expressing, in behalf of herself and/or pro-choicers, concern for population grwoth, in and of itself. You do note that conjunctive AND, prior to her expression of concern regarding what, arguably, is limited to unwanted babies, in particular, don’t you?

    The bottom line is that here words preclude construing her comments to be limited to just unwanted babies. Furthermore, her words do plausibly raise some very dark inferences-perhaps Mad Max would agree.

  22. But libertarians often too steeply discount not simply the legal framework in which behavior occurs but the impact that that framework has on the attitudes that further shape and reinforce or resist a given situation.

    Is this the cue for our regular “no true Scotsman” argument? We haven’t had one of those for a while. Admittedly, it’s usually someone outside the tent telling us what we are/think/believe that sparks it off.

  23. Nick,

    But libertarians often too steeply discount not simply the legal framework in which behavior occurs but the impact that that framework has on the attitudes that further shape and reinforce or resist a given situation.

    It is easy to discount because most of most of the time we do not avail ourselves of it. The legal system may be fairly transparent, lack much corruption, etc., but it is still an incredibly expensive and time consuming way to get on with one’s life. 99% of the time we simply do not even consider it a useful avenue for constructing our social, etc. lives. Despite all the romantic inclinations and statements of politicians, etc., it just isn’t that important most of the time.

  24. “Hence, mandatory seatbelt legislation came into existence after a growing understanding that it was a small inconvenience with a large payoff in terms of increased safety”

    So I take this to mean you support forcing people to wear a seatbelt when not doing so only harms the individual. They shouldn’t have the right to make that choice themselves and take the consequences of their actions.

    Please reconcile this with your belief that all drugs should be legal.

  25. I admit there seems to be some ambiguity to Ginsburg’s statements…

    And while I agree Title IX has its problems, the WNBA is not Title IX’s fault.

    It is not Title IX’s fault.

    There need to be more dunks.

  26. Did you explain how the women’s good fundamentals make up for their inability to dunk?

  27. Please reconcile this with your belief that all drugs should be legal.

    People become missiles on the highway when they don’t wear their restraining belt. Also, street pizza is cleaned up on the taxpayer dime.

  28. I should say, they become missiles *if* they don’t wear their belts *and* get in a high-speed collision.

    lol@Femputer

  29. With all due respect that is a pretty weak set of facts and examples for that particular argument. The only law that you mentioned that is even arguable is the drunk driving laws and the campaign that accompanied the law could be attributed with the decrease as much as the actual law or punishment. Dog crap and littering are still a problem in many urban areas.(cruise N. Saint Louis or any ghetto for a first hand look at this) I’d say assuming it was the law that changed society and not a societal shift is a little off with those examples.

    I’ll avoid the obvious arguments pertaining to recent and past complete failures in legislating social change.

    The viking helmet definitely did not make an appearance in this article.

  30. You may be right, Nick. The mass of values we hold is a complex equilibrium, and almost any external incentive can change it in unpredicatable ways. But I think it’s also fair to say that laws are more likely to structure values when they are negative prohibitions against intereference with property — a la dog-poo and littering laws, as these are natural extensions of the other values that make society possible. This would help account for the ambivalence people feelhave toward non-smoking laws, and the general irritation they feel toward seat belt statutes, even as they obey them.

  31. I should say, they become missiles *if* they don’t wear their belts *and* get in a high-speed collision.

    Then the next of kin should pay appropriate damages to anyone that is injured or suffers property damage from said missile.

    Prior restraint is not required to deal with the issue.

  32. I don’t agree with seatbelt laws, but getting rid of them is very far down on my libertarian priority list. Down there with getting rid of spotlights and making the roads completely private.

  33. Then the next of kin should pay appropriate damages to anyone that is injured or suffers property damage from said missile.

    The projectile’s estate, you mean. I am not paying anybody for any results of my sister’s notoriously poor driving skills. I didn’t do it, so don’t push the responsibility off on me. Hit her estate up and anything past that is just a loss.

  34. “if your kid’s school doesn’t have a boys volleyball team because they have to have the same number of boys and girls sports…”

    It just says there has to be rough equality. That’s bad how?

    “because far more boys are interested in playing sports than girls”

    Yes, as I said for decades government coercion suppressed women’s chances, institutional and societal support and hence women’s (and fan) interest in women’s sports. Once that coercion was lifted the interests did not magically correct themselves. Title IX is remedial of those ages of government coercion aimed at women.

  35. For decades women were denied chances and institutional support for their sports. Now the law simply demands that women and men get equal support. And what are you guys bitching about?

    The latter.

    Sad.

  36. People become missiles on the highway when they don’t wear their restraining belt. Also, street pizza is cleaned up on the taxpayer dime.

    I’ll assume this was a sarcasm, otherwise you’d really be implying that bodies ejected from vehicles would cause a greater taxpayer cost that free-flowing crack, LSD and heroin. You can’t seriously believe that, can you?

    For the record, I totally support the total legalization of all forms of drugs, crack, LSD, heroin, prescription, alcohol, etc.

  37. The idea is that it will change hearts and minds so that interest in and support of women’s sports will eventually even out.

    Unless you think women are inherently less interested in sports, or that society is inherently less interested in watching and supporting women’s sports. Both are bullshit imo. I’d much rather watch women’s volleyball than mens. But I’m straight like that…

  38. MNG,

    What government coercion?

    Failure to sponsor != law against.

    Women’s sports leagues existed well before title 9.

  39. Remember, Title IX does not make private enterprises support men and women’s sports equally: investors don’t have to give a dollar to the WNBA for every one they give to the NBA.

    It just says that GOVERNMENTAL institutions (or ones that feed at the teat) have to provide roughly equal support for sports opportunities for men and women. Not so nuts considering that men and women are roughly equally the taxpayers and citizens who the government serve…

  40. MNG,

    We arent bitching about the law requiring equal support. We are bitching about the law existing.

    Remember, we are mostly anarchists and minarchists here. The big problem is with government schools existing at all, not with sports programs within them.

  41. “Unless you think women are inherently less interested in sports, or that society is inherently less interested in watching and supporting women’s sports.”

    Yes, they are. There are real differences between men and women, but I’m straight like that…

  42. Unless you think women are inherently less interested in sports, or that society is inherently less interested in watching and supporting women’s sports.

    Actually, I think both of these statements are true, and easily confirmed simply by looking around.

  43. robc

    The schools, who represented men and women citizens, took money from both, then said “we will have mens sports, but now women’s sports.”

    I guess they did not forbid the women from forming their own intramurals and playing in the public park, but there was certainly something stinky going on.

    And you know I could have some great fun with you right now with some civil rights analogies (“hey, it’s true we don’t have any schools for you darkies, but what do you want, sponsorship? At least we are not coercing you from having your own school if you wanna go out and build and staff it”)

  44. And there most certainly was government coercion involved, in the truest sense, in denying women many opportunities, for example forbidding them from practicing law or other professions. Do you deny this?

    This overall regime helped foster the overall idea that women were inferior, which of course spills over into sports.

  45. I think the culture determines whether or not a given law is written, but for subsequent generations it is the law that largely determined the acceptance of it. How many people today just accept that drugs are bad because they are illegal without ever using the drugs themselves or knowing much about them. “Druggies and drug dealers are criminals therefore drugs are bad, mkay.”

  46. The projectile’s estate, you mean.

    Yes, I was sloppy.

  47. My alma mater has never had a Title IX problem, advantage of an engineering school with its 25% female population. If anything, they probably need to add more men’s scholarships to get the balance exactly right. Even with football. 🙂

    But, I never hear the title IX supporters bitching about that.

    GT Women’s Tennis – NCAA champs 2007

    The only NCAA team championship in school history (NCAA doesnt award a football title in the FBS)

  48. After years of being treated as inferior and fragile and denied opportunities to prove otherwise, lots of women seem to have less interest in sports and such.

    And you take that as conclusive evidence that these interests are inherent.

    Nope, couldn’t have had anything to do with hundreds of years of oppression!

  49. “But, I never hear the title IX supporters bitching about that.”

    Maybe b/c historically and currently support for men’s sports doesn’t seem to be in a crisis state in society overall (whatever is going on at your school)?

  50. And there most certainly was government coercion involved, in the truest sense, in denying women many opportunities, for example forbidding them from practicing law or other professions. Do you deny this?

    Nope. And I oppose that. Just like I oppose Jim Crow laws too. But, civil rights laws made the same mistake in the opposite direction. They used government coercion on private businesses.

  51. Maybe b/c historically and currently support for men’s sports doesn’t seem to be in a crisis state in society overall (whatever is going on at your school)?

    Fuck society overall. I expect them to bitch about the particulars at my school.

  52. robc
    Are you talking Georgia Tech?

    I see their mens football team play in a huge stadium almost every week in the fall (ACC fan=me). I don’t think they have any equivalent institutional support for their womens teams.

    Shit, I’ve never heard of their women’s teams in anything…

    That’s kind of what Title IX is trying to address (or redress).

  53. I’d like to know which law mandated that men in TV commercials must always play the clueless buffoon. If someone is being struck on the head with something, or assaulted outright, you can bet it will be the man (see any recent V-8 commercial). Women in TV ads are wise, gentle, empathetic. Men are hairy apes, barely able to chew their food and change their underwear.
    How did we allow this to happen? Discuss.

  54. Most roadside litter disappeared due to deposit laws. People seem to forget, the original purpose of bottle deposit laws was not for recycling, it was to reduce roadside litter. To that purpose, the laws worked great. They were targeted at soda and beer, because pretty much at the time they were passed, soda and beer were 99%+ of all serving size bottles consumed. Sobe, energy drinks, iced tea, bottled water, and juices just weren’t consumed in that manner. If you walk along the roadside now, most discarded bottle are one wihout a deposit.

  55. Shit, I’ve never heard of their women’s teams in anything…

    From above:

    GT Women’s Tennis – NCAA champs 2007

    Clearly you dont follow women’s tennis. They have been highly ranked ever since Shelton took over as coach.

    Interestingly, women’s tennis is worse than football as far as recruiting – Tech’s high than NCAA academic standards makes most junior tennis players ineligible. The tennis academies do not prepare them properly.

    Of the major football playing schools, only GT and the academies have female:male scholarship ratio greater than the female:male student body percentage.

  56. MNG, I would rather play volleyball than not be allowed to play volleyball. That is my point. I am not asking the women’s volleyball team be prevented from existing. I am angered by a law that limits something else because of an equality standard when, whether you recognize it or not, there IS more interest in men’s sports both from a participation standpoint and an audience standpoint.

  57. erm, um, the academies dont offer scholarships, but you know what I mean. In their case, female:male athlete ratio.

  58. I see their mens football team play in a huge stadium almost every week in the fall (ACC fan=me). I don’t think they have any equivalent institutional support for their womens teams.

    Shit, I’ve never heard of their women’s teams in anything…

    That’s kind of what Title IX is trying to address (or redress).

    Do you go to womens games? I mean personally, do you buy tickets? Watch it on TV?

  59. “It just says that GOVERNMENTAL institutions (or ones that feed at the teat) have to provide roughly equal support for sports opportunities for men and women.”

    Title IX is arbitrary and a political vehicle like everything else the government does. Title IX bases equality on the male-female ratio of the student body which is only a minor component in running college athlete tics. If everyone is worried about the taxpayer supporting inequality then why not base scholarships of the ability for sports to support themselves. As it stands schools want football because it generates a lot of financial support for the school. However it also consumes a large percentage of Title IX allowed male scholarships. So schools are put in a bind between the law and their financial self interest and the average man suffers and average woman benefits. Not unsurprisingly the statists get more votes that way.

  60. MNG, do you ignore the fact that men and women have different interests? Are my wife’s Lifetime and HGTV viewing habits the result of the oppression women before her have endured? Or could it be that she finds baseball boring and would rather watch shitty TV? These are her choices and believe me, in our house, sports are quite present and available to her from a fan standpoint. The opportunity is there and she chooses not to take it so as to comply with your ideas that women should be able to be more like men.

    Similar anecdotes are being played out at stadiums and shopping malls throughout the nation, despite the equal access to both.

  61. “Most roadside litter disappeared due to deposit laws.”

    So where do I take my fast food trash and how much do I get for it?

    Oh, and my cigarette butts too.

  62. BTW, I can blow RC and his measly arsenal right out of the water.

  63. Oh, and my cigarette butts too.

    Yesterday, driving to a business meeting, the car in front of me tossed out a cig butt.

    That one hasnt gone away.

  64. MNG,

    All that began to change in the 1870s and 1880s when the number of women’s colleges shot up and traditional men’s universities started to admit women. You can see these sort of gender changes in Bellamy’s “Looking Backward.” That is long before Title IX.

  65. Anyway, Title IX is a form fiat rationing, not price rationing, and it has all the problems associated with fiat rationing (which we will soon be seeing in our government run health care system).

  66. My twins turn four in a week. My wife and I have tried to provide a gender-neutral environment, but have both been amazed at how much Charlie is a traditional boy and Katey is a traditional girl (much more so than her mom).
    It’s caused me to rethink the whole “vive la difference” debate.

  67. much more so than her mom

    …who is really a dude. NTTAWWT

  68. Not any more, Nick!

    …except for critters. Charlie is squeamish, but Kate’ll catch anything that’s not faster than her and love it do death.

  69. “Unless Ginsburg is nuts”

    There’s doubt?

  70. If you add up hours of work-work plus hours of housework you find that men do MORE work then women.

    Not in my house buddy. And my wife would kick your ass for saying so.
    My wife works more hours than I do (I have a straight 9-5 M-F) as me and does a majority of the housework.

    All of my married friends in our age group are in the same situation. Each of them are 2 income households and the man does very little housework (and in fact adds to the chores his wife has to do)

  71. If you walk along the roadside now, most discarded bottle are one wihout a deposit.

    That’s only because the deposit bottles and aluminum cans have been picked up by homeless people, not because they’re not still getting chucked out of windows.

    Actually I don’t know about anywhere else but here in Central Florida the roadsides are pretty clean. That’s partly because of the quite strict enforcement of the anti-littering law and the Adopt-a-Road program. Nothing like getting the local citizens and booster groups out to pick up trash.

    Actually my first sentence was kind of cynical. Even without deposit laws it’s amazing how little of the kind of trash is thrown on Florida’s highways. IIANM most of the litter is due to unsecured items fallen out of or off of vehicles.

  72. in some states cops can’t pull you over only because they see you breaking the seat belt law. hell New Hampshire doesn’t even have a seat belt law.

  73. BTW, I can blow RC and his measly arsenal right out of the water.

    Where the hell did that come from? 😉

    BTW, love the handle, Gunboat Diplomacy.

  74. Isaac, northern Colorado is about the same(and no, I don’t just mean Boulder!). I always took it as a sign of people’s pride in the place they live. Cities in the area generally do a good job with keeping things like curb and gutter looking nice, and people want to keep the rest of the place that way. We’ve got a lot of adopt-a-road areas, too, but then again, we also have a lot of people fulfilling their community service sentences, too…

    I was in SoCal recently, and was astounded at the amount of trash in the highway medians. It was then that I realized just how much I liked living where I do.

  75. I’m not really sure what the point of this post was.

    Absolutely, the law can change the heart. You give me total control of the laws and an obedient police force willing to do whatever I say, no matter how horrific, and within three generations I will produce a slave class that will internalize its slavery and feel it in their “hearts”. Or let me use tax dollars and the police power to create a state church, and within three generations the majority of the population will love that church with all their “hearts”.

    The question is when a government of free men should strive to change the “heart”, or in what matters it should so strive, and what means it is entitled to use, and what islands of private conduct should be totally free of those means. And if changing hearts requires me to intrude on any man’s liberty or property using the police power, or requires me to take taxes from one man to spread beliefs he does not share, no thanks. No matter how good you think the idea is or how bad the hearts of your subjects are.

  76. What MNG does not want to address are the horrible consequences of Title IX. For example, Providence College had to drop its mens baseball program several years ago in order to comply with Title IX. There are dozens of examples like this.

    Why should a private university be forced to drop its mens baseball program so that it can field a womens field hockey team?

    Having said that, my wife, who is a self-described “sports comapnion wife,” refuses to watch the WNBA or the LPGA. She is just not interested. However, just try, I dare you, to click away from any NFL game that she is watching.

    IMO, my wife’s sports interests and viewing habits are not much different than most women who do like sports-bring on the NFL, the NBA, MLB and to a lesser extent, the PGA. The WNBA or other womens sports? Not interested. With my wife, the only exception is womens tennis-and then only Wimbledon and the US Open.

  77. Fluffy,

    Considering the attendance rate at state churches in Europe, I dont think you are correct.

  78. On the other hand, I’m much more interested in the success of our school’s softball and women’s basketball teams than the baseball and men’s basketball teams, and when I watch the Olympics, I probably watch women’s sports as much as men’s. Except beach volleyball which I don’t watch at all because the US dominates it too much.

  79. That doesn’t translate to pro sports, though, except for tennis.

  80. There’s a stretch of highway I walk along now and then. I see virtually no bottles, paper or plastic bags, fast food litter, etc., but I see hundreds if not thousands of cigarette butts. Apparently that’s one kind of litter that people engage in, mostly I think because it’s not really visible when you’re driving. Fortunately, cigarette butts are biodegradable.

  81. Another change in behavior: Not wearing a seat belt increases the risk of death, in effect, a sort of death sentence. Laws with small fines did more to change behavior than a death sentence. Does this mean we should institute fines for murder? I think not. A dfferent problem altogether.

  82. You give me total control of the laws and an obedient police force willing to do whatever I say, no matter how horrific, and within three generations I will produce a slave class that will internalize its slavery and feel it in their “hearts”.

    See, e.g., North Korea.

  83. “my wife would kick your ass for saying so.”

    I do not doubt you, CT. Based on you being a pussy liberal I am sure the only woman you could get outweighs me considerably.

    By the way your antedote means nothing. Non made up feminist research consistently shows that the average american man works similiar or slightly more than than the average american woman when considering work at jobs plus work at home. Do a google if you doubt me.

  84. I’m having difficulty with the correlation between Ginsburg’s comments and the examples given and Goldwater’s comments.

    It seems that there are two statements being made. The former, that laws can influence actions, and the later, that laws cannot influence “hearts”.

    I think the fundamental point that Goldwater was trying to make was that whether or not government action can influence societal actions, they do not necessarily influence the minds and desires of individuals (or simply intend to subvert them).

    Such actions may even steer them in the opposite and/or more extreme direction. In the case of civil rights, bigots’ hatred likely increase in the short term, as with pro-lifers on the subject of abortion.

    It’s doubtful these legislation’s intended outcomes would not have eventually happened. However, instead of a gradual change (which is worse in the short term), civil rights legislation opened the doors for short term resentment and opportunities to abuse those laws (i.e. ‘reverse discrimination’, quotas, etc.) in the long term.

    Ginsburg was right that government action facilitates change. The problem is that such forced change facilitates resentment and, though they may have just intentions, frequently lead to the folly of unintended consequences. I say let individuals make changes for themselves.

  85. libertymike — Many college wrestling programs have been dropped for the same reason.

  86. The problem is that such forced change facilitates resentment and, though they may have just intentions, frequently lead to the folly of unintended consequences. I say let individuals make changes for themselves.

    Yeah, frequently. Like in 100% of cases observed to date. But this next time, it’ll be different!

  87. The Legislature can make the change, can facilitate the change, as laws like the Family Medical Leave Act do. But it’s not something a court can decree. A court can’t tell the man, You’ve got to do more than carry out the garbage.

    It’s not about avoiding carrying out the garbage. We have project to get done at work, we have to get it out the door by a certain date or we’ll get our asses kicked by our competitors. If we take too much time off the project won’t get done in time. No Family Leave Act is going to help in this situation.

  88. There’s a phrase that has gained currency in recent years to describe the subject of this blog entry: “the teaching function of the law”.

    After years of being treated as inferior and fragile and denied opportunities to prove otherwise, lots of women seem to have less interest in sports and such.

    But women’s lack of interest is true cross-culturally. You’d think there’d be some cultures where that wouldn’t be true if it weren’t genetic, but no. There are some games that are traditionally female in various cultures, like the pancake flipping race, but the distinctions are there.

    Meanwhile, say a school drops support (i.e. scholarships or even varsity & JV status) for baseball or football. Anything stopping the students from forming a baseball or football club, or joining existing clubs? For many decades after previous varsity football powers Fordham U. and U. of Chicago dropped varsity football, they had football clubs, to take 2 examples I know. They eventually resumed varsity football, albeit non-scholarship or at least very much de-emphasized.

    A disadvantage of same is that the NCAA (and probably the NJCAA and NAIA, I’m guessing) now forbids play of member teams (at least varsity, probably JV, probably not frosh) with non-member teams, such as clubs. However, there are 2 sides to that coin, because the club is free to play against other clubs.

  89. So the incentives caused by a law against abortion would reduce the number of abortions?

  90. “He loved Big Brother.”

  91. Citizen Nothing,

    You forgot to say ‘spoiler alert.’

    You’re like the jerk who blurts out the surprise ending to *The Passion of the Christ.*

  92. nice post…
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