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January 18, 2006

Comments

Mr. Bad

At the risk of thread drift, I need to respond to this.

alexander, the issue isn't who gets paid more, it's who earns more. The academy is no different than other areas of society except that it's more PC and feminist than, e.g., the private business sector.

The "pay gap" is a myth and a misnomer - what we see is an earnings gap. On average, men get paid more than women do because they earn more. When women work as hard as men, get equivalent training, work the same (long and overtime) hours, etc., they earn as much or slightly more than men do. Warren Farrel showed this clearly in his excellent most recent publication on the earnings gap.

The same is true for academia, however, now the feminists are pushing to actually have women getting paid the same as men for doing less work. They want the same promotions, tenure, pay raises, etc., even when they take more time off and therefore work less. Specifically, they want to advance alongside the men while taking extended periods of time off for family (e.g., during lengthy maternity leaves, taking care of an elder parent, etc). Feminists howled for the right of women to compete alongside men as their equals in the workplace, but when the men let them in the women decided that they didn't like it so they've worked to change the rules to suit their whims. And academia is one of the cultures that panders the most to their demands for special treatment.

Academia is truly a brave new feminist world, where equal rights and opportunity translates to discrimination against women.

Now back to the topic of Title IX.

Hugo

Speaking of Title IX, anyone else stunned with how easily the Duke women's team handled Tennessee last night?

And how awful is the state of American women's tennis becoming?

Brenna

I do not object to a proportional participation test for Title IX sports what I object to is methods for measuring interest. The proposed funding changes meant a university could do the bare minimum to publicize women's athletics and then measure interest from that. You should measure interest based on the number of people who attempted to sign up the year before.

I think all funding should be per student and based on participation. I am a feminist.

I know men who did not go into academic scientific research because they wanted to devote some of their lives to themselves and their families. The "high performing" criteria that Summers laid out as the number one factor in his speech was very limiting for both men and women but curtails women's participation more than men because of women's extravocational responsibilities.

Mr. Bad

Sure Brenna, but those women chose to pursue their "extravocational responsibilities" - nobody forced them to. So what? How do we solve the problem? There are only two ways to create earnings parity: Either force women to work as hard on their careers as men do, or force men to slack off as much as women.

I know it sounds harsh, but that's what it comes down to. Forcing people to do things vs. letting them choose their own path through life.

evil_fizz

First off, I resent the implication that 6 weeks maternity leave some how constitutes slacking off. Also, this whole choice argument is kinda contrived. Men have children with no direct biological inconviences, like pregnancy, labor and delivery, and recovery. They can go back to work within minutes of their children being born. Hell, they don't even have to take any time off at all. Suffice it to say, this is not the case for women. To say that women have a choice "well, nobody forced you to have a baby!" is ridiculous. The ease with which men and women working in academia can have children is *not* the same. It's a biological difference that cannot be escaped and to cast the issue as one of choice ignores the realities of childbearing. I see absolutely no reason why there can't be a greater accomodation of childbearing in academia. Calling it slacking is insulting. (And yes, I know your post didn't say anything about childbearing, but the meaning is damn clear.)

Brenna

Do you really believe that people's choices in no way limit or exclude choices that you are able to make? That institutional policies in no way affact your rational decision making process?

No one proposes forcing men to do anything but since every pop cultural product that has come out in the last 20 years from "Field of Dreams" to your average bit of suburban pop metal has been about strained/non existant relationships with Daddy you would think more men would want flexibility in their work schedules. So they can also spend time with their families. Or do men have no real interest in such a thing? All those conservative commentators who rant on and on about having a father in the house are actually just more interested in the paycheck not the actual person? All those father's rights advocates are what...lying about their motives?

What I am talking about is greater institutional flexibility that allows individuals more choices...including men. Oh wait but I am a feminist which means I hate men and want you to work yourselves to death and be very very unhappy. Sorry...I forgot. The coven will be so disappointed in me.

Noumena

Thread on my blog for the non-Title IX discussion.

alexander, you misunderstood my use of the question you quote. That was rhetorical, an alternative to Title IX's approach that we both take to clearly be worse. Let me ask you directly: you don't like Title IX, so what governmental policy would you advocate in its place, to address unjust differential spending on women in areas such as college athletics?

mythago

If discrimination is so bad, then why not use persuasion instead of the iron fist of the law to address it?

This doesn't even parse. The worse something is, the less we should turn to the law and the more we should turn to persuasion?

Uzzah

They coerced Summers into silence and tried to get him fired.

They put a gun to his head? They kidnapped his family members and told him to shut up? They rigged the HR computer?

Ah Myth. You are so sexy when you feign naivety. Surely, as a lawyer you understand more subtle methods of persuasion. Such things are pretty common in the world of workplace discrimination laws.

First off, I resent the implication that 6 weeks maternity leave some how constitutes slacking off.

Of course it’s not slacking off. The Government recognized that and instituted FMLA. That is not what companies are worried about. It’s the constant dedication of personal resources required to raise a child, and the nature of high power positions which require more of your resources than many women (and more than a few men) raising children are unwilling or unable to commit.

Also, this whole choice argument is kinda contrived. Men have children with no direct biological inconviences, like pregnancy, labor and delivery, and recovery. They can go back to work within minutes of their children being born. Hell, they don't even have to take any time off at all. Suffice it to say, this is not the case for women. To say that women have a choice "well, nobody forced you to have a baby!" is ridiculous.

How is it ridiculous? Many woman can and do put off children until later in life to nurse a high maintenance career. Its done all the time. But it requires an unpalatable choice to be made. Children or Career. To say that it’s unfair because men don’t physically have children is pointless. A man (if he’s a real man), even though he doesn’t have the physical problems associated with child bearing, still has to contribute a significant portion of his time and energy to raising his child for the next 18 years. He too has to make the choice to spend quality time with his children, or keep his nose to the grindstone and neglect his family to achieve the goal of the high maint career.

Can you both do it at the same time? Sure. Just let the day care provider raise your children for you.

No one proposes forcing men to do anything but since every pop cultural product that has come out in the last 20 years from "Field of Dreams" to your average bit of suburban pop metal has been about strained/non existant relationships with Daddy you would think more men would want flexibility in their work schedules.

The problem for many men and women is that we aren’t into these time consuming careers for the fun and fulfillment of it. We do it to provide for our families. Most of us are not into the upper management, high caliber professional or academic jobs that require that time. We are in those low paying jobs where we have to do it to make ends meet for our family. If you want to solve that problem, stand up for a living wage based on a 40 hour week. Unionize!


I personally think it is somewhat selfish, to cultivate a high maintenance career and have children when you know that career is going to require you to neglect your children. That goes for men and women. Children need both parents. Modify your goals and perhaps reduce your standard of living to the point that you don’t require this investment of time and spend more quality time with your children. They both need and deserve that.


Mr. Bad

evil fizz said: "To say that women have a choice "well, nobody forced you to have a baby!" is ridiculous."

No it isn't. What is ridiculous is trying to claim that women don't have reproductive choice.

Uzzah addressed all of the rest of the points I would make, so I refer you to his post for that.

alexander

Let me ask you directly: you don't like Title IX, so what governmental policy would you advocate in its place, to address unjust differential spending on women in areas such as college athletics?

My answer is: NOTHING. It is one thing to roll back bad laws, such as segregation. It is another to create a state which permeates all aspects of our lives. Which destroys careers and puts people in jail for the most trivial of reasons. What "liberals" (I use the term very broadly) refuse to understand is that the reason for the rightwing backlash in this country is that people are tired of liberal social engineering.

The worse something is, the less we should turn to the law and the more we should turn to persuasion?

First, spending on college sports programs is not the "worse" thing in the world.

Second, it is feminists who never cease telling me that violence and war are wrong, persuasion is good. When you are using the law, you are using the iron fist of the state. Do it or else the police will knock down your door and haul you away in chains! Is it ok with feminists that tax protestors are jailed for refusing to pay the taxes that support all this social engineering?

If you feel that spending more money on women's sports is such a good thing, then there is nothing to stop you from cutting a check to any woman's college athletic program you desire. But again, this means putting your money where your mouth is, literally.

But please do not tell me that feminism is against violence and war when you run to the state to FORCE people to do things against their will.

alexander

And how awful is the state of American women's tennis becoming?

Where is Billy Jean King when we need her?

As for the issue of maternity leave and all: as with anything else, the people who compete the best win. I have numerous women friends who have risen to the top pay slots. They got to the top the same way that men who rose to the top got there: by working more hours, by training in more programs, by networking more, by trodding on people more, by giving up their personal lives more.

There is a price to be paid for power. Men who rise to the top often give up any semblance of family life and end up divorced.

You can give men as well as women a six week post-birth leave, or whatever. But the men and women who do not take such leave will then have the advantage. This could be addressed only by massive social engineering, say requiring everyone to take six weeks leave a year so they can collect butterflies.

But again, we get back to feminists wanting to use the government to re-engineer every institution. More government programs, more force, more jails.

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