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Baked Injustice, Anyone?
Justin Lafferty writes in the San Diego State student paper of a bake sale by the campus chapter of NOW that charged men and whites more:

"It's just to raise awareness," NOW @ SDSU Co-President Amanda Whitehead said. "A lot of people don't realize that white women make 75 percent of every dollar a white man makes or Hispanic women make 50 percent. It's pretty ridiculous. When they actually have to buy the cookies, it puts it into perspective."

White men, of whom NOW @ SDSU says make the most money of any demographic, were charged a dollar for the same cookie a Hispanic woman would pay 50 cents for. The group broke down the prices for white, Hispanic, black and Asian men and women, using pay scale statistics from NOW and www.payequity.org.

"It's a more unique way of showing the differences without just showing the statistics all the time," NOW @ SDSU Co-President Ashley Frazier said.

This was a creative way for NOW @ SDSU to present students and faculty with the facts, but some people didn't like the way the cookie crumbled.

Finance and statistics senior Adam Hyman passed out free doughnuts to men only after seeing the bake sale, disbelieving in the point NOW @ SDSU was trying to make.

"I feel that America isn't anti-minority (or) anti-woman," Hyman said. "(I did this) to prove a point that if a woman were really getting paid 75 percent of what a man is, they could just quit their job and go work for somebody else.

"If this discrimination was real, then a company that only hires women would be better at business."

Feminists who keep flogging this old horse should read the latest by Dr. Andrew Beveridge on the 2005 census. He found that young women in urban areas made 117 percent of what men did. That means MORE Amanda. (Perhaps Lawrence Summers was right to wonder whether women, in general, might lack an aptitude for math?)

But, back to the wage issue; nationwide, says Beveridge, women earned 89 cents on the dollar for every dollar men did. Even so, what's really important is the individual, not the across-the-board wages. The reality is, many women take low-paying career paths (liberal arts-track), and take time off to be mommies. Note to the NOW ladies (or should I call you "wymyn"or something?) you don't resolve what you lazily perceive as discrimination by discriminating. It's just childish -- like so much of modern feminism.

P.S. The payequity.org website mentioned as a source of their stats is "temporarily unavailable." Not a surprise. It's much harder to actually accomplish things than to whine about them, huh?

P.P.S. I loved this comment on the article by a guy named Jamie H. Crowley:

First, does anyone else see the humor that an organization that frowns on women in the kitchen is having a bake sale?
bake sale link via fark

Posted by aalkon at November 12, 2007 3:38 PM

Comments

This is exactly what Republican and conservative campus groups do to point up the ludicrous nature of affirmative action - and the whole ideology of victimhood that creates privileged-because-they're-oppressed classes.

But when the conservatives do it, they are hounded off campus - or shut down for "hateful" rhetoric.

Amazing.

Posted by: Ben-David at November 12, 2007 12:42 AM

Another problem with affirmative action programs is that they seldom end. So the bake sale should keep selling cookies at the mentioned prices. Forever. Even if the stats show the inequality has vanished.

Posted by: d at November 12, 2007 4:55 AM

I'd like to take a look at their statistical data, too. People can spout facts but the context of those facts is important.

Fact:
women:men
$0.89:$1.00

So we need to know if the statistics are
1) An across the board average
Yes, some women take time off from work to have kids. Yes, some women choose lower paying jobs (maybe less demanding, who knows). If all women became teachers and all men became bankers then of course the average salaries will be different. Women tend to be overrepresented in lower-paid paid jobs and that skews the stats. But, a teacher isn't going to make as much as a CEO of a multi million dollar company. The issue here isn't about career choices (if you want to become a teacher you know your earning potential is limited). The issue is: if a woman goes through all the same education, same internships, puts in the same hours at the office, etc., will she reach the top like her male counterpart? Bringing us to statistical data concept two:

2) If the stats are "good" and hold all else constant. This is the only type of study I'd acknowledge.

If the study looked at two people and held everything equal except sex and found that the man got paid more I'd be miffed. Paying a women less in anticipation that she'll have a kid someday isn't okay - if you do that it reinforces the incentive for the woman to be the one at home = self fulfilling prophesy. We should offer people equal pay for equal work, end of story. I don't have kids, not planning on it for another decade or so, so why should I earn less for the same thing?

That's the issue we need to look at. I think it's worth whining about.

Posted by: Gretchen at November 12, 2007 5:34 AM

Gretchen - That's already been done, at least in tech. And the differences in salary in tech are almost exclusively based upon seniority and ability.

Maybe it's because nerds don't care who does it, as long as it gets done right.

What the feminazis are bitching about is why a secretary doesn't make the same salary as the lead engineer. They're hoping that you won't notice.

Posted by: brian at November 12, 2007 6:01 AM

"almost exclusively based upon seniority and ability." Let's hope it's just "exclusively" - get rid of the "almost" if gender has anything to do w/ it then it's not ok. But, if it's just seniority and ability then that's how it should be.

"why a secretary doesn't make the same salary as the lead engineer."

Of course a secretary shouldn't get paid as much - but if women are pissed they don't earn as much (b/c they choose less lucrative professions) that's on them. I think the feminazis real issue should be: why aren't there women engineers (or, insert equally high paying career)?

Posted by: Gretchen at November 12, 2007 6:08 AM

What the feminazis are bitching about is why a secretary doesn't make the same salary as the lead engineer. They're hoping that you won't notice.

I know! Those duplicitous bitches! I'm all for equal pay for equal work, but if you don't have the degree, shut up and work for it. It's one thing to get paid what you're worth, and another to bitch about why you're not getting more than someone else whose job encompasses more than yours. o_O

Posted by: Flynne at November 12, 2007 6:11 AM

"First, does anyone else see the humor that an organization that frowns on women in the kitchen is having a bake sale?" This is only ironic if they made to cookies. If their male feminist companions made the cookies then it's all good, by them.

"get rid of the "almost" if gender has anything to do w/ it then it's not ok." Women would tend to make more if the asked for it in technology because of affirmative action type programs. As to the why next time you have the chance go to an engineering school like WPI take a quick head count. You will instantly notice that there is a huge disparity here. Go to most grad level finance classes same thing. Biomed is the only engineering field where the number are even close to even.

There are a few things I have seen that make me wonder about the stats.

I had a female friend teaching me to drive stick. After stalling a few time the person that lived in the house in-front of which I was stalling. She wanted to see if I was ok. Then blissfully told us that driving stick was a "guy thing" and would be better learning from a male instructor.

The place I work is a mixed gender engineering company. Three of the women that work do not work full 40 hour weeks. One I know took the job at 80% time 80% pay. She takes all Fridays off cause she has kids. The other two have boat loads of seniority but still "work from home" one or two days a week every week cause they have kids (one has two teenagers). When they are working form home nothing appears to happen during those days. They both choose (by action or stated intent I don't know) not to move to Principal Engineers or team leaders, which are both higher paid engineering positions.

There is of course one basic reason why women make less, in fact why two people with the same qualifications will make less. They ask for less. If the person looking for the job is willing to work for X why the hell would an employer pay them more than X.

P.S. on a hourly basis my wife makes more than I do, she works 20 hours I work 40. If these stats were published on an hourly basis and not salary I think the number would be different.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 6:52 AM

Just FTR, NOW has never and does not currently "frown on women in the kitchen."

Posted by: deja pseu at November 12, 2007 6:56 AM

The ladies have always had the advantage over us guys. They have at least half the money in the world and all the pussy.

Posted by: Roger at November 12, 2007 6:58 AM

Paying a women less in anticipation that she'll have a kid someday isn't okay

The reality is, though, a company will put a lot into training a person, and some (many) women do want children, and are more likely to say, "Hey, sorry, gotta go." If you run a small company, who would you rather hire, somebody with little or no chance of ditching you for stay-at-home-mommyhood, or somebody with a substantial chance of it? It's illegal to ask about stuff like that; I'd guess some employers, or many employers, just make the leap and hire a man.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 12, 2007 7:01 AM

"They have at least half the money in the world and all the pussy." Like in many things as per Jeff Foxworthy gay and married men are the same in this respect to in that it doesn't really matter to us.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 7:02 AM

Gretchen - I can't answer why, but I can give you my best guess. Keep in mind that when I was in college, there were very few women in the engineering department, and the vast majority of those were either in the mechanical or civil engineering programs. There was one girl in the Electrical Engineering program. One.

I suspect that it has a great deal to do with the way women were socialized in the 70s and 80s (when I was growing up). Things like math and science were for "nerds", and nerds were reviled. In order to hold a high position in the social order, girls gravitated away from those things. For all I know girls are still taught today that social standing is more important than educational achievement.

This is changing, however. Girls are realizing that nerds are the ones with the long-term earning potential, so nerds are becoming at least acceptable, if not outright cool. And geek-girls are also becoming more common.

Which pisses me off a bit, because I was born 15 years too early to date most of them.

Posted by: brian at November 12, 2007 7:13 AM

Way to go with the infantile insults!

"Feminazis"?

That stupid word makes me want to bung a vast donation to the most provocatively politically correct female student group I can find!

"I'm all for equal pay for equal work, but if you don't have the degree, shut up and work for it!"

Flynne,
The San Diego bake sale babes are indeed people who are working for their degrees!

Are you saying they should study silently?

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 12, 2007 7:27 AM

"who would you rather hire, somebody with little or no chance of ditching you for stay-at-home-mommyhood, or somebody with a substantial chance of it" Well can't find any newer research but http://www-tech.mit.edu/V125/N41/womenscareers.html
shows that the fear is well founded.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 7:42 AM

> That stupid word makes me
> want to bung a vast donation
> to the most provocatively
> politically correct female
> student group I can find!

Why?

Posted by: Crid at November 12, 2007 7:48 AM

"That stupid word makes me want to bung a vast donation to the most provocatively politically correct female student group I can find!" Are you trying to tell me that there are no groups under the feminist creedo working for subjugation rather than equality? The feminazis which is a subset of the feminist movement, they call themselves feminists want males as a whole to be completely servile and will lie cheat and steal to do it. As brian pointed out (which hasn't changed much) engineering has few women. As far as the other fields, if they are commission based you can't blame the employer.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 8:07 AM

"If you run a small company, who would you rather hire, somebody with little or no chance of ditching you for stay-at-home-mommyhood, or somebody with a substantial chance of it? It's illegal to ask about stuff like that; I'd guess some employers, or many employers, just make the leap and hire a man."

I won't disagree that that is how it happens. If you run a business w/ only a few employees you're pretty fucked if one of them goes to have a kid. I guess the problem is the fact that it's expected the woman will give up her job (or cut back hours, be the one to take the kids to the doctors, etc.). People do this of their own volition - or do they? My dad never saw the inside of a pediatrician's office and I don't think he's alone. I don't think my parents would even have thought to have him take us.

If a guy was just as likely to take parental leave (b/c, shocker, either parent can take it) as a woman then I'm sure it would be different. But why would a man take the time off when he makes more? ...well, that may be one element of a huge equation, and that's what I'm getting at. If parental leave, doctor's appointments, phone calls from home, etc. were equal b/w parents then employers would be unable to look at men and women differently. If they were looked upon as equal "threats" as far as taking time for family then that would remove mommy-hood from the pay issue. And if being a woman (and potential child rearer) didn't work against women, and they got paid the same, it would remove the financial incentive for the woman to be the one who stays home/gives up her career.*

Caveat: then they'd have to look at "breeders" versus "non breeders." That would be such a shitshow brawl - "But I'm having children - it's good for society!" "I have kids I need more" "I don't have kids, I work harder and longer than you!" Hee hee.

*and in case you didn't read my first post, we're holding all else equal. We're talking about two people who are exactly the same in every way except for genitals...and the woman gets less b/c she may or may not have kids.

Posted by: Gretchen at November 12, 2007 8:09 AM

"and the woman gets less b/c she may or may not have kids." No because she's willing to take less. If women wouldn't consistently take less then employers wouldn't bother offering less.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 8:16 AM

If I were going for a company job, I'd sure make it clear by hint or otherwise in the interview, how I am not a person who wants or should ever have kids.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 12, 2007 8:21 AM

"Well can't find any newer research but http://www-tech.mit.edu/V125/N41/womenscareers.html
shows that the fear is well founded.
"

Vlad,

For an entertaining, deflating and specific response to the "bogus" essay at your link about elite women and careers, I recommend Jack Shafer's "Slate" article.

He wrote: "While bogus, "Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path to Motherhood" isn't false: It can't be false because it never says anything sturdy enough to be tested. So, how did it get to Page One? Is there a New York Times conspiracy afoot to drive feminists crazy and persuade young women that their place is in the home?..."

http://www.slate.com/id/2126636/

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 12, 2007 8:26 AM

What about this http://www.cbsnews.com
/stories/2004/10/08/60minutes/main648240.shtml? I used the previous one since it was newer, shit as it may be it goes with this one which does have stats and I have not been able to find a retraction to it.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 8:33 AM

Jody - it isn't name-calling. As vlad said - there is a specific subset of feminist dogma that is properly termed "get-even-with-em-ism". The women who promote this worldview are properly called "feminazis" (a term coined by Rush Limbaugh) to draw the parallel to the Waffen SS in their methodologies and ideals.

Gretchen - What I'm saying is that all else being equal, women aren't being singled out for lower pay because of potential children. Women are, however, not as likely as men to negotiate for higher starting compensation packages, because they've been taught for decades that either they shouldn't negotiate because it's bad form, or they shouldn't HAVE to negotiate, because they deserve better. You ALWAYS have to negotiate. If you want something, the only way you are going to get it is to ask for it or take it. Waiting for it to come to you is roughly equivalent to writing "Welcome" on your back.

Oh, and this one REALLY frosts the feminazis (who tend to be rather unattractive - probably because of all the hatred and rage): There was a study that I can't find right now that showed in commissioned sales positions that attractive women did better than any other group. And unattractive women did worse than unattractive men.

And this was true regardless of the gender of the client.

No doubt we'll have the uglo-Americans banding together to demand that the attractive people be forced to wear masks to eliminate that advantage.

Posted by: brian at November 12, 2007 8:46 AM

I think you bring up an important point about negotiating salary.

I boosted my starting salary. Even so, first jobs out of college aren't too lucrative, sigh. My negotiation was weak. It went something like this:
Them: So, the position starts at $Xk
Me: Oh, ok...
Them: How does that sound?
Me: Err, umm. Well, I think that that a bit below average I was hoping for $Xk + 5k (sounding wicked apologetic and ready to renege on my counter. Almost pissing my pants b/c I *needed* the job and didn't want to screw it up)

Luckily I got it...and I don't have much right to complain about pay considering the fact I get to mess around on the computer most of the day in b/w actual work.

But I stand by my point about women being the parent whose job will take a hit.

Posted by: Gretchen at November 12, 2007 9:02 AM

"The women who promote this worldview are properly called "feminazis" (a term coined by Rush Limbaugh) to draw the parallel to the Waffen SS in their methodologies and ideals."

Brian,
Thank you so much for establishing your "bona fides" (as they say!) in this matter.

I won't waste your time further.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 12, 2007 9:16 AM

"But I stand by my point about women being the parent whose job will take a hit." On one hand I agree with this stand philosophically. However since my brother in law had a kid my wife (who swore on stack of whatever you gave her she'd never wanted one) wants one, in fact I was given an ultimatum on the subject. I caved mainly for financial reasons. Now should I have to give up my career which I love and spent years in the hells of academia so she could get what she wants? So I think that one thing that needs to be taken into account is who wanted the kid in the first place. Then I agree with your stand whole heartedly.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 9:16 AM

Just cause Rush Limbaugh coined the term does not automatically mean it doesn't fit. Rush L. will use the term to paint less extreme feminists than I would (or most of us) but that is a difference of degree.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 9:19 AM

> I won't waste your
> time further.

Miss Davis storms out from under the Kliegs, upsetting a cart of lipsticks and powders on the way to her trailer. "I simply cannot work with that man...."

Posted by: Crid at November 12, 2007 9:21 AM

But I stand by my point about women being the parent whose job will take a hit.

And that will not change until the male of the species can give birth!


Flynne,
The San Diego bake sale babes are indeed people who are working for their degrees!

Are you saying they should study silently?

Not at all, just saying that until they fulfill the requirements necessary to get that degree, they should be a little more circumspect as to who and when they're "shouting" about it all. I mean, if you're all in someone's face about it, and then fail your course or have to retake the test, you're gonna look pretty damn silly. Have the degree under your belt before you go spouting off, is all. It doesn't hurt to be able to back yourself up.


Posted by: Flynne at November 12, 2007 9:21 AM

Ugh, it's such a major change of life and lifestyle. I understand that some people want them -- many people, even -- but I'd break up with any man who expected me to have one. Or even just adopt one. (Or do it the Hollywood way, and pay somebody else to endure the stretch marks, weight gain, saggy boobs, and morning sickness.)

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 12, 2007 9:22 AM

"Just cause Rush Limbaugh coined the term does not automatically mean it doesn't fit..."

Vlad,
The term itself is hopelessly jejune. Sorry.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 12, 2007 9:30 AM

> hopelessly jejune.

The ashtray grazes the assistant's scalp so lightly that she doesn't even recognize the assualt. But as it shatters explosively on the wall beside her, she realizes that the starlet is calling her to attention.

"Get Sam Goldwyn on the phone!", screams the Bette.

Posted by: Crid at November 12, 2007 9:36 AM

"Not at all, just saying that until they fulfill the requirements necessary to get that degree, they should be a little more circumspect as to who and when they're "shouting" about it all. I mean, if you're all in someone's face about it, and then fail your course or have to retake the test, you're gonna look pretty damn silly. Have the degree under your belt before you go spouting off, is all. It doesn't hurt to be able to back yourself up."

Oh Flynne!

You sound about 195 years old.

They're students!

(Spookily enough, I was at San Diego state last weekend. Poking around the glorious hacienda-style campus in the slightly smoggy sunshine! The college tour included the state-of-the-art gym, but not the library. So I'm even more than inclined to cut the lefty poppets some slack).

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 12, 2007 9:38 AM

Vlad, I don't support having a kid to assuage one's spouse. It's not fair to the kid and there could be major resentment down the line...which is even more unfair to the kid.

Having a baby needs to be a decision that both people are behind. One that both people talk about openly and (try to) work the kinks out before they pluck off the rubber. And Flynne, a woman can take 6 weeks leave and then the husband can take six weeks. It's not unreasonable to walk into parenthood with your husband and expect that the two of you will split it up. If I'm making good money his career doesn't come first b/c he's got a penis. I went to a great college and am saddled w/ debt and working full time - why do I have to throw it on the back burner? I don't - to apply Brian's argument:
"You ALWAYS have to negotiate. If you want something, the only way you are going to get it is to ask for it or take it." I think this applies to child rearing, too. If I had to be a stay at home mom I'd also be an alcoholic and probably resent my children.

All you jaded people are making me want to get my tubes tied A.S.A.P...if this is what it's all about...ew.

Posted by: Gretchen at November 12, 2007 9:50 AM

Jody - You argue like a woman.

"I don't like that word, so your point is irrelevant."

"You listen to him? At least now I know how inferior you are, and I can dismiss your arguments with a flip of my hair."

You aren't the only smart person in the room. Get used to it.

Posted by: brian at November 12, 2007 10:12 AM

Gretchen -

You are learning the hard way what people have known for centuries. You cannot have it all.

Actually, that should be amended - you CAN have it all, you just can't have it all at once.

So you need to make a choice - do you want children, or a career? Well, given that you have a sell-by date stamped on your ovaries, I'd say you better get it figured out, find a man worthy of fathering your children, get them raised and out of the house, and then pursue your career with the remaining 40-50 years of your life.

But then again, I'm only a man. What do I know.

Posted by: brian at November 12, 2007 10:15 AM

And Flynne, a woman can take 6 weeks leave and then the husband can take six weeks

Not something I've specifically researched or even read recently, vis a vis parental attachment theory, but I'd sure want to if I were a woman with a baby. There are certain psychological and biological realities here, and I can't imagine ripping the kid away from mommy (from what I vaguely remember from Bowlby/Ainsworth -- sorry, mind like a steel sieve) is good for the kid.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 12, 2007 10:36 AM

"get them raised and out of the house" Um, after about 5 years old you have plenty of time to work. If your career is far enough advanced (in tech at least I don't know other fields) you can do consulting work. I'm all for either parent working from home. This is very different from a stay-at-home whatever.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 10:40 AM

So you need to make a choice - do you want children, or a career?

So Brian, which did you choose?

Posted by: deja pseu at November 12, 2007 10:50 AM

"It's not fair to the kid and there could be major resentment down the line...which is even more unfair to the kid." Depends on the people involved. So long as she dose not become a stay-at-home-mom and I'm not having to give up all of my hobbies (which would be an absolute if she became a SHM) then I see no reason for resentment. If she gets to stay at home (she is not a house wife at all btw) and I still have to do the house work, or pay someone to do it and work, and then have to sacrifice all my hobbies I WILL make HER life hell till it changes, the trappings of marriage go both ways. As long as I'm not getting completely screwed and there are some benefits to her that I'm not going to bring up here all is good.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 10:52 AM

Well, deja, given that I am a man, and I have no wife, and I also despise kids, I certainly didn't chose children.

And I wouldn't call what I do a career. It's more like a paid hobby.

Posted by: brian at November 12, 2007 10:58 AM

Perfectly put, deja.

Posted by: Gretchen at November 12, 2007 11:07 AM

Jody, you're close - I'll be 50 on Thursday! o_O

Gretchen, you can take all the maternity leave you want - 6 weeks is what is usually paid for, and the rest you can either use your vacation time (as did one of the women I work with) or you can go on short-term disability at 60% of your regular pay. In my case, when I had Daughter #1, I had been free-lancing for a musician's magazine and had no benefits, but was supported by a federally funded program (Healthy Start) for the birth. When #1 was 4 months old, I went back into the work force at an office job. I was lucky enough to have my (retired) mother near enough that she volunteered to babysit for me. I have always worked full time, and missed some firsts with both of my girls, but my mom was there for them, which was infinitely better than having them at a daycare center; my girls and I were very lucky as far as that goes. Daycare can be a nightmare, as some other mothers have told me. (One of my friends actually offered to pay my mother to look after her daughters when she was diagnosed with Luekemia and was going for treatments. My mother of course refused to accept any money, and her daughters and mine became fast friends. Sadly she passed away before the younger daughter's 6th birthday.) After #2 and the big D, I moved out of my parents house, I was working full time; still am. It's easier now that the girls are in school full time, but I can understand parents wanting to be with their kids while they're still young. Having kids does change your life in a major way, and it's not something that should be entered into lightly. Most of us don't realize just how much of a change it really is, though, until after the fact.

Posted by: Flynne at November 12, 2007 11:10 AM

Gretchen - What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Life is inherently unfair. You are the only ones that can have children. You're uniquely qualified biologically to care for their needs in the first months of their lives. Yet you expect the world to simply put itself on hold because you have career aspirations?

Make your choice. Do you want a career at 30, or children. I suggest that having both is likely to result in neither turning out well.

Or are you just jealous that as a man, I don't have to make the choice. Was that the point of Deja's little snark?

Welcome to Life 101. Men and Women are not perfectly equal.

Posted by: brian at November 12, 2007 11:14 AM

"Jody - You argue like a woman.

"I don't like that word, so your point is irrelevant."

"You listen to him? At least now I know how inferior you are, and I can dismiss your arguments with a flip of my hair..."

Brian,
Once upon a time, I grant you, quoting Rush used to have a certain "épater le bourgeois" cheek.

But it's gotten a bit stale, don't you think?

It's also pretty feeble to act the satiric ventriloquist for another commenter - then mock the dialog you've just made up.

This is why I don't want to waste your time. You seem perfectly content to "win" conversations with yourself!

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 12, 2007 11:16 AM

So you need to make a choice - do you want children, or a career?

A career.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 12, 2007 11:20 AM

"Most of us don't realize just how much of a change it really is, though, until after the fact." I have a good idea and in worst case scenario terms. I have seen shit with regards to other people that have shown me several things. I can and will be a good parent as long as I'm not getting totally screwed (nothing for me in the deal), selfless martyrdom leads to resentment. I do not, have never and will never hold most SHP (regardless of gender)in anything but disdain (there are of course exceptions). The sun will not shine out of my child's ass and it will not smell like roses, he/she is not gods gift to the world. The world is an ice hearted place.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 11:21 AM

Flynne,

Have a fabulouslyfuckingfantastic 50th!!!!!

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 12, 2007 11:25 AM

Thank you, Jody, I have every intention of complying! o_O

(BF is out right now with the girls, shopping. Goddess bless their little hearts!)

Posted by: Flynne at November 12, 2007 11:28 AM

Jody - do you deny that you actually said that, in not so many words?

Brian,
Thank you so much for establishing your "bona fides" (as they say!) in this matter.

I won't waste your time further.

Now, how would you parse that? You have said here, quite explicitly, that now that you have ascertained what I think and believe, you no longer find it necessary to consider me further.

You have dismissed my position on the basis that you do not like a word I used, and the source of that word.

You have, however, completely missed the opportunity to prove me wrong.

Posted by: brian at November 12, 2007 11:38 AM

"Or are you just jealous that as a man, I don't have to make the choice." And yet you claimed earlier that you did just that. Also yes yes you do have to make a choice several actually. You have 1) find a women willing to be the mother of your kids which maybe far from your visual ideal, and/or MAY (emphasis so as not to get yelled at) diverge from that ideal more with time and kid count. 2) Get a job that has good benefits and reasonable pay (remember she's a SHM) 3) Keep your credit in decent shape unless you plan on renting for the rest of your life with a family. Most fun jobs rarely pay well and are stable enough to have a family on one income. Start-ups/consulting pays well but not very stable, large firms with great benefits tend to pay less and the work is usually monotonous.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 11:39 AM

Vlad - that's the point. I don't HAVE to choose to sideline a career to rent my body out to an infant.

The anguished cries of "unfair!" come from those women who have bought into the feminist dogma that not only are they entitled to a career, but they are entitled to a career that will make room for them to take the time necessary to raise a family, and suffer no difference in pay over time compared with the men and women who didn't put the job on hold.

Posted by: brian at November 12, 2007 11:50 AM

"You have dismissed my position on the basis that you do not like a word I used, and the source of that word."

Yup, that's about right, Brian.

The position of most men who smirkily quote Mighty Rush on "feminazis" is usually last bar stool on the left, before they fall face down in a puddle of drool.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 12, 2007 11:58 AM

To get back to the topic of the original posting, I’m always a bit puzzled by these claims that women only make X% of what men make. If you could really hire women to do the same work as men for three-fourths of the pay, you’d be a fool to hire any men.
Maybe engineering (my field) is a little bubble of egalitarianism in an otherwise cruelly sexist world, but women make the same and very often more than men at the same experience level. Any manager who consistently paid the female employees even 5% less (25% would be inconceivable) than the men would be: A) open to a hugely expensive sex discrimination suit, and B) soon to lose the women to a competitor who wants to bump up their diversity numbers. Most managers choose to err on the high side when it comes to women’s salaries. Actually, my last two managers were women…


The “pay ‘em less because they’re going to quit to have babies” line doesn’t jibe with my experience, either (though my experience only runs back to the 1980s). It’s not like the average kid out of college now is going to take a job and stay in it till retirement, they’ll change jobs more than a few times. Because turnover is expensive, many companies try specially to get new hires to stay with them a long time. Treating them like “well, you’re not going to be here long anyway” is pretty much a self-fulfilling prophecy. There are all kinds of maternity/paternity leave, family leave, job sharing, and part-timing programs where the companies will try to keep you in the game during the toddler years (or during the senile-parent years for the non-breeders). Sure, you’re never going to be a VP at age 30 if you have kids first, but having kids is hardly poison for the career. Just depends on where your priorities are-

Posted by: Chuck at November 12, 2007 12:56 PM

Um, no one HAS to choose to side line their career for kids, regardless of gender. Like wise regardless of gender you do have to make a choice to some extent. The question is is there actually a disparity in salary base on gender or is the disparity based on decisions made by a specific gender in general due to social pressures.

The feminazis (yes I use the word when appropriate and I had no idea it was coined by RL) swear there is a huge difference 50% for Hispanic women and the right wing retards like Rush swear that women should be minding hearth and home and not concerned with the work force.
So those of us with a more centerd view are left to ask. Who took the statistics how valid/biased were they and what benefits are drawn from them.
You should never dismiss anyone based on who they quote (cause they maybe re-quoting) but how and why.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 1:00 PM

"A lot of people don't realize that white women make 75 percent of every dollar a white man makes or Hispanic women make 50 percent." I can't find the stats they are quoting but these sound like general populations stats. If you overlay these with education statistics you will likely see the source of this disparity, assuming these are even real.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 1:11 PM

RL is not a very serious guy, but neither is John Stewart. There's a reason that Stewart and Mahar do politics only under the guise of comedy (and only with two hundred adoring tourists clapping under an "Applause!" sign)... And it's the same reason that Limbaugh only takes phone calls from people who essentially agree with him.

But "Feminazis" offends people as they deserve to be offended. Most women I know don't care about it.

Posted by: Crid at November 12, 2007 1:16 PM

But, as we all know, people will always be just about as offended as they wanna be. o_O

Posted by: Flynne at November 12, 2007 1:24 PM

HBTY, Flynne!

[OT Digression: Brilliant perspective on the strike from Barry Diller via PaidContent.org -

----

"The writers strike is a dopey thing on the part of the writers. They're asking for more money for DVD...the numerical here is from 4 cents to 8 cents. This is for DVDs for scale, that means for movies. So this involves really 10 writers a year that would be economically affected.

"The idea that the Guild is going for strike, under a dumb guise that digital media will be valued and what. No one can solve an issue where there is no economic model yet. Over the next five year, the market will develop, and at the end of that period, if the economic value is being created, we will sit in good faith and give you the money."

----

I saw BD in an elevator in Brentwood once, and spoke to him unbidden. It was flattery, but he was still spooked.]

Posted by: Crid at November 12, 2007 1:28 PM

Happy birthday Flynne.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 1:32 PM

Awwwwww, spanks, guys! o_O

Posted by: Flynne at November 12, 2007 1:35 PM

vlad: Actually, I sort of did make that kind of a choice. I work in a branch of engineering where long hours and frequent travel are SOP. I realized long ago that such a career path was incompatible with raising children. So, like Amy, I chose career. Unlike Amy, I made this choice with a certain amount of regret (not too much, though). When one door closes, another opens.

The one study that I've seen which compared male and female employees of like credentials and experience show that they are nearly always very close in pay. It makes basic sense, as chuck pointed out: If women were willing to work for 75% of what men take, then any corporation would be fools to hire men (especially considering that male employees are, in general, not protected by anti-discrimination laws, and so there is no legal risk in hiring only women). I also agree with chuck that I haven't observed any career-oriented women settling for lower pay just because of the "mommy taint". I have observed some women who did take lower-paying positions specifically because they knew that they would be quitting or cutting back their hours for child rearing. That's their choice.

What I have observed is that women who leave the work force for several years don't make as much as their colleagues when they return. And why should they? After all, their co-workers (both male and female) have been working and advancing during those years. In engineering, if you take several years out of the field, it's very difficult to get your chops back up once you return. It takes at least a year for a person who has been out of the field for several years to regain a reasonable level of productivity; for the first six months or so, they are no better than interns. This is one reason why, in my experience, people who leave the engineering field for more than a year are unlikely to ever return. And it's pretty presumptuous of someone who does so to assume that, upon their return, they should be rewarded by receiving the same raises and advances that their colleagues earned during that time.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at November 12, 2007 1:41 PM

Actually, Vlad,

Brian himself volunteered a stupefyingly literal definition of this dumb word:

"feminazis"...(a term coined by Rush Limbaugh) to draw the parallel to the Waffen SS in their methodologies and ideals."

Even adjusting for daft hyperbole, it hardly applies to a group of San Diego college kids throwing an agit prop bake sale with their polite aim explained - virtually in the opening line of Amy's post -"It's just to raise awareness.."!

Is that really the sound of jackboots crushing the cookie crumbs?

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 12, 2007 2:00 PM

"It's just to raise awareness.." If you are trying to raise awareness you might want to start with a review of the stats you are trying to present (especially the authors bias). Then when you have shown that the disparity is due to gender and not to other factors sure by all means.

"This was a creative way for NOW @ SDSU to present students and faculty with the facts, but some people didn't like the way the cookie crumbled." Which is an endorsement by the school news paper that these are facts. Which they are not, anyone with half a college degree should be able to see the stats at there page are biased against men. They compare various minority womens groups to all men. Plus traditionally women dominated fields like teachers and primary care are paid like shit. Go on a psych transport (EMS) in the middle of the night and all you will see is women (few of whom speak English). Anyone willing to lie and cheat to get their point across especially in such a drastic way screams extremist thus feminazi.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 2:28 PM

I can however see you point that the women from the college MAY not ALL be convinced of our (male) need to be properly subjugated. The speed at which they chose to blame men for the disparity and my personal experience with "feminazi" groups draws some parallels. The connotation that that feminazis are lesbians is complete horseshit. Every single (maybe 10) I have had to deal with personally were all straight, nasty as hell and usually thought not always uglier then sin.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 2:42 PM

"Every single (maybe 10) I have had to deal with personally were all straight, nasty as hell and usually thought not always uglier then sin."

Gosh, they sound perfectly frightful, vlad!

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 12, 2007 2:52 PM

I have to agree that the statistics seem suspicious in the first place.

I've worked as a hiring manager in two large companies. I can guarantee that the gender of the applicant made ABSOLUTELY no difference in offers made. Offer amounts were based on: 1) What do we already pay others doing a similar job, 2) How much experience does the person have, 3) Does the person have a special or unique skill, and 4) What did they make at their last job.

I was involved in the internal discussions on who to make offers to, and for how much. I never once heard about gender or race, even in coded terms, even a little. When the "Well, they might leave in a year or two" discussions happened, they were also never based on gender - it was only ever raised when someone's resume showed they changed jobs frequently.

The bottom line is that without convincing, statistically meaningful data, I just don't believe the ".75 to the dollar" or ".89 to the dollar" statements. You can't compare the salaries of social workers and teachers to that of doctors and engineers, and call that a study. As others have pointed out, if hispanic women make .50 compared to 1.00 for a white male for the same job, no one but hispanic women would have jobs. Corporations are driven by profit.

Posted by: Tiki at November 12, 2007 2:55 PM

"Gosh, they sound perfectly frightful, vlad!" Nope just angry, but that's what I get for taking a women's studies course. However your sarcasm makes me wonder, do you happen to think that men should actually be subjugated? That all the worlds problems spring from any one with a shlong. That if this horrid sub-species of humanity could be destroyed safely it would be a nice shinny happy place.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 3:07 PM

Could you be the one that is neither scary or nasty but wants to magnanimously direct us (men) wayward savages. Gently but firmly tech us the proper way to clean our cages and not throw food on the floor when left alone for 5 minutes.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 3:13 PM

" do you happen to think that men should actually be subjugated? That all the worlds problems spring from any one with a shlong."

No, Vlad,

I'm not remotely a man-hater. Quite the reverse.

Didn't all that "woo-hoo watch out, guys - she's a man hater!!

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 12, 2007 3:21 PM

"If she gets to stay at home (she is not a house wife at all btw) and I still have to do the house work, or pay someone to do it and work, and then have to sacrifice all my hobbies I WILL make HER life hell till it changes, the trappings of marriage go both ways."

Vlad, I don't disagree with your premiss here. Given your intensity, I sincerely hope you had this conversation with your wife before you "conceded" to having a child.

Posted by: snakeman99 at November 12, 2007 3:22 PM

> Even adjusting for daft
> hyperbole, it hardly applies
> to a group of San Diego
> college kids

True!

Posted by: Crid at November 12, 2007 3:24 PM

Sorry, Vlad.
I messed up my last comment.

It's just that asking someone if her real problem is hating all men is kind of goofy, isn't it?

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 12, 2007 3:28 PM

"It's just that asking someone if her real problem is hating all men is kind of goofy, isn't it?" It's goofy if they give you no reason to assume so. Then you are being an ass. However if you use skewed stats to blame a whole group wouldn't it be safe to assume that you don't like the group.

The above was a bad attempt at poetic sarcasm in reply to "Gosh, they sound perfectly frightful, vlad!" Which was sarcasm as well, I assume.

I was also pointing out that while most feminists are not man haters or nazis there are some that are both. Your reaction to the word sounds like either my or brian's use of the word hit a nerve.

snakeman99: I'd be pretty stupid to have not but there is a bit of caution. If I gave ground on the kids issue why should I rule out her changing her mind on this.

Posted by: vlad at November 12, 2007 4:10 PM

"If she gets to stay at home (she is not a house wife at all btw) and I still have to do the house work, or pay someone to do it and work, and then have to sacrifice all my hobbies I WILL make HER life hell till it changes, the trappings of marriage go both ways."

I don't know a single woman who wants to stay home all day while hubby works and then does nothing (including housework, cooking, child rearing). These women are what I like to call "entitled bitches" or the female equivalent of the "spoiled prick." I choose to have neither species in my life. I don't care if it's the man or the woman doing the begging but living a life on someone else's dole ain't cool.

Posted by: Gretchen at November 12, 2007 5:46 PM

Vlad: "If I gave ground on the kids issue why should I rule out her changing her mind on this."

I think this risk applies whether you give ground or not. Sounds like you ans she are relatively forewarned. For my part, the high cost of FutureWife's post-graduate (but pre-me) education simply makes it impossible for her not to work, mom or no. (Actually, the same applies to me). Funny thing is, we both work for ourselves and our flexible schedules would probably make us an ideal parental tag-team. However, that same entrepreneurial risk (and the high cost of SoCal living) makes us very hesitant to have a kid.

Gretchen: Your posts always make me think you're older than you are. Then you drop this one on me: "I don't know a single woman who wants to stay home all day while hubby works and then does nothing (including housework, cooking, child rearing)." You must be in your 20s! Unfortunately, you'll learn about this breed in the coming years - mostly as your married male co-workers complain about them. Don't feel too bad for them, though - most are in situations of their own making.



Posted by: snakeman99 at November 12, 2007 6:03 PM

That all the worlds problems spring from any one with a shlong."

Personally, I'm schlong-positive.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 12, 2007 6:48 PM

Personally, I'm schlong-positive

Me too, as long as its mine ofcourse


Jody - check out these links and tell me if you still think women telling the truth about making less

http://www.hisside.com/5_22_05.htm

and

abcnews . go . com / print ? id = 797045

Posted by: lujlp at November 12, 2007 8:23 PM

There are certain psychological and biological realities here, and I can't imagine ripping the kid away from mommy (from what I vaguely remember from Bowlby/Ainsworth -- sorry, mind like a steel sieve) is good for the kid.

Hm. I've known some couples in which the mom went back to work full-time and the dad stayed home with the kid, and it worked well...because the dad truly wanted to be home with the kid, while the mom liked work and was happy to go back as long as the kid or kids in question had their daddy at home. James Lileks has been his daughter's primary caretaker because his writing career fit better with caretaking than did his wife's legal career, and things seem fine there. That having been said, until we have a Lois McMaster Bujold world in which babies are gestated in uterine replicators, with the possible addition of breast milk that can be artificially generated, I don't think we're ever going to see a 50/50 split in terms of primary caretaking. Pregnancy is hard on the body. It takes time for most women to recover. If they're breast-feeding, they're in tune with the baby in a way that no one else is ever quite going to be. There's also the fact that some men who are decent, loving fathers have trouble getting overwhelmingly jazzed by parenthood until the first kid hits 18 months or so and can finally DO something. I think it's great that more men are getting involved in day-to-day parenting, but I think biology is working against the 50/50 split. Not every woman is going to feel a passionate hormonal/instinctual pull to stay with her kidlet 24/7...but some will. Too bad there's not a better way to pair up the men who would be happy to be stay-at-home daddies with the driven career women who want kids too. From a career woman's point of view, the couple in "Fever Pitch" - ambitious workaholic woman, sweet schoolteacher guy - could be ideal...if both participants were fine with that setup.

That having been said...I've known quite a few women who quit working when they had a kid...but I can't think of any I know who LOVED their jobs who quit completely and utterly upon having kids. Some left for a year or so, some went part-time, but generally they found a way to be involved. It's not that I think hormones and the like don't play a role, but I also wonder if part of it may be that women who reach a point of wanting a different job/career may postpone making any sort of substantive change, thinking that when they have a baby they're going to take a few years off anyway. It's not a bad approach, especially if they decide on a career modification/switch that involves obtaining a new degree or other training.

Heinlein's solution for this - one of them, anyway - was a world in which women in their early 20s have their babies, put 'em in suspended animation, work on their careers until they're established, and then thaw out the kids as they wish. (Podkayne of Mars) But it didn't work perfectly there, either. The real solution is something that lets women reset or turn off the biological clock, but that's a ways away.

Posted by: marion at November 12, 2007 11:51 PM

Jody - check out these links and tell me if you still think women telling the truth about making less

lujlp,

Are you trying to drive me nuts?

Because I'm an obedient broad, I duly checked them out.

And the problem is, the links at your links simply rehash both sides of the debate.

For every think piece saying the gender pay gap is discrimination, there's an answering article contending that it's jolly well not.

(Plus an odd story in the middle about whether women really want pink firearms!).

The only thing your links actually prove is that the San Diego students of Amy's original post are playfully engaging in a long established argument.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 13, 2007 4:59 AM

Oh no, snakeman, but I don't want to know them! I actually do know "of" a woman who does fit the bill of "mooching stay at home good for nothin'." It's my bf's boss's wife. The boss is pulling in serious dough, over half a mill. Then he has the gall to complain to my (overworked/underpaid) boyfriend about how "there's never enough money." He actually told him something like "Jeeze you need a million *just to live* these days." Can you hear my choking on my cereal over here?

My bf is a financial planner/stock broker and the boss is the...I'm not sure what he does, but it doesn't seem like much. So, being the financial planner, bf sits down with boss to go over his finances b/c boss is concerned that his money isn't going very far. Guess what? Wife is spending over $20k a year on CLOTHES!! And he goes on to tell about the drama of having vaulted ceilings in the bathroom and how that leads to $400+ custom shower curtains. Like, give me a fucking break. The wife stays home and dreams up obnoxious and unnecessary ways to blow his cash...like decorating their new Cape house (they already live in one of the richest towns in MA).

I gag every time he mentions his boss b/c it makes me think of his wife.

So, I guess I kinda sorta DO know "those" types of women, if only via hearsay. I hope I don't encounter them face to face as it would be difficult not to start laughing at them.

Posted by: Gretchen at November 13, 2007 5:20 AM

"Oh no, snakeman, but I don't want to know them! I actually do know "of" a woman who does fit the bill of "mooching stay at home good for nothin'."

Gretchen,
Count yourself lucky!

There are tons of these women in my neck of the woods. One or two of them are smart and lively and devoted to Good Works. Most are defensive, brittle, unhappy and a total pain.

A lot of them look exactly like Carmella (from The Sopranos) and I only wish they were married to the mob. It would be a lot more entertaining!

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 13, 2007 5:40 AM

Whether you agree with them or not, selling cookies at different prices has impact. Well done them for an imaginative way to grab everyone's attention. I wonder if I could think of a problem that needs that solution.

Posted by: Norman at November 13, 2007 6:30 AM

And yet when a conservative group did the same exact thing to point out the inherent unfairness of affirmative action, they were essentially called racists.

Posted by: brian at November 13, 2007 7:14 AM

The use of race to determine the price of cookies is racist lookup the definition. No one is debating if the actions were racist, the question is were they valid.

Posted by: vlad at November 13, 2007 7:20 AM

"...they were essentially called racists."

Not true, Brian.

Great care was taken by the students who disliked the different issue-raising intention of your cookie sale NOT to call it "racist":

From your link:

""This was not an issue about free speech," Tim Moore, director of the SMU student center, said in a story for Thursday's edition of The Dallas Morning News. "It was really an issue where we had a hostile environment being created.""

You, Brian, are the only one trying to turn these "imaginative" (as Norman, above, correctly puts it)student stunts into a war between "feminazis" and "racists".

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 13, 2007 7:28 AM

I've known some couples in which the mom went back to work full-time

This commenter was talking about at the six-month mark.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 13, 2007 7:32 AM

Stunts, which is what they were doing have to be done carefully and in the right place. The conservative group you speak of choose to pull the same stunt in a different area. The same thing would have likely happened in say Georgia if a black student group tried a similar stunt. Yes I know your response would be that they would be shielded by the local law. Yes and no, the kids who ran it would still probably get the crap kicked out of them if they do it at a predominantly white school. Which would have lead to an overall escalation and whole shit load of problems.

"You have the right to freedom of speech and the responsibility of knowing when not to use it." Anon

Posted by: vlad at November 13, 2007 7:41 AM

Gretchen - Sorry, if this sidetracks, but your BF's boss is not alone. One of the hardest thing of being an attorney (or any high-cost service provider, I'd imagine) is being surrounded by those who have significantly more. In the past year, I've known a handful of clients/colleagues who have become very wealthy very quickly. None are handling it well. Two have been sued. One sees a therapist because anxiety prevents him from sleeping or boarding a plane. Another is severly obese. This is all on top of the routine complaining about wife-spending.

I'm not going to pretend I don't wish for the same success, but man - there's a cautionary tale in there. FWIW - my parents (teachers, who in the best of times never grossed more than maybe $100k between them) are in their early 60's and sitting on a VERY nice nest egg thanks to simple living, home ownership, and conservative investments. Heck - maybe that's the lesson.

Posted by: snakeman99 at November 13, 2007 8:34 AM

One comment, two points.

1) I seem to recall that recently, a study factoring actual equal career behavior showed that the "salary gap" was virtually nonexistent. That is, that if two people with the same education worked the same job with the same number of hours (ie, not taking the "mommy or daddy track", or mat/pat leave, etc), they got the same salary. The so-called salary gap is, in my opinion, a function of the choices women and men make. (I'm a woman, if that's relevant to anyone).

2) A former schoolmate, also female, got a scholarship to a prestigious school and became a nuclear engineer. She worked that gig for a couple of years, then decided to pop out a couple of kids. She now does very part-time work at a hardware store, selling paint and wallpaper trim, so she can spend more time at Water Tots and the like. It's my opinion that she essentially stole a scholarship from someone. And it pisses me off.

Posted by: wiserchoices at November 13, 2007 9:51 AM

And yet if your friend had been denied that scholarship because she might have children, you'd cry to the heavens that she'd been discriminated against.

If you want equality of opportunity, you can't complain about how people leverage theirs.

If you want equality of outcome, you can't complain when everything sucks.

Posted by: brian at November 13, 2007 10:07 AM

Oh, and one more thing - there's nothing stopping your former schoolmate (maybe she's not your friend) from going back into nuclear engineering when her kids are off to high school or college.

It's not like her brain stops working after 15 years of raising kids.

Posted by: brian at November 13, 2007 10:09 AM

"It's not like her brain stops working after 15 years of raising kids."
Debatable :-}

Posted by: Gretchen at November 13, 2007 11:20 AM

Brian: Oh, I'd cry to the heavens, would I? Wow, have we met? Or do you just assume that because I'm a woman, I like crying to the heavens? Or are you projecting, because you'd be crying to the heavens? PLEASE do explain!

Because frankly, I believe that women like her have farked things up for women like me. It's because of her, sucking up thousands of dollars in education and training, then tossing it away, that women WILL be looked at with suspicion when jobs are hiring. And I don't blame employers one little bit for being suspicious. If I had the choice of hiring a fresh young woman or a fresh young man, it's not unlikely that I'd think the same way.

And yeah, I guess you're right about her going back to the job after the kids. I mean, it's not like there are likely to be many advances/changes in nuclear engineering in the next 15 years. And selling wallpaper trim is a great way to keep on top of everything anyway. I'm sure pretty much every nuke generation station and such will be totally desperate for 50 year old engineers who've spent a decade or two mixing paint colors and matching swatches.

Posted by: wiserchoices at November 13, 2007 11:28 AM

"Because frankly, I believe that women like her have farked things up for women like me. It's because of her, sucking up thousands of dollars in education and training, then tossing it away, that women WILL be looked at with suspicion when jobs are hiring."

Wiserchoice,
Initially, I thought you had a very valid - if black and white - reaction to girl who was at school with you.

But you're packing a lot of heat into condemning her.

Personally, I'd be fascinated to find out her reasons!

You first say it's as though she stole someone else's future. Now you say she's clipped your own opportunities with her unfathomable decisions.

Do you know exactly why she abandoned what appears to be a top flight career? Can you find out?

Or are you not interested - and you're simply content to spent the rest of your life spitting nails over her "betrayal" based on ungenerous school reunion-type gossip?

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 13, 2007 11:41 AM

wc -

The reaction I got tells me that you are primarily irked at this woman for 'betraying the sisterhood'.

Imagine, she had the gall to start a family after getting all that education. And now you have to worry that potential employers might think you'd do the same thing.

But you'd never throw away an opportunity to work through your fertile years just to have children.

I think the majority of the bitterness from so many women on this topic comes from the fact that women have that use-by date stamped on their womb, but nobody has a microscope that can read it. That and the fact that their womb runs out on them long before brains do.

Well, if people like Amy keep not reproducing, then old folks will have no trouble getting jobs, because there won't be any kids to do them anyhow.

So you go on feeling bitter about your friend betraying you by starting a family. And when you're bitter and alone at 60, and she's taking her vacation from working for GE or ABB to watch her children graduate college, you'll have one more thing to complain about.

In other words, I don't think you're nearly as upset about the choices she's made, as you are with the choices YOU made.

Posted by: brian at November 13, 2007 11:48 AM

Hi, Jody,

Well, it's twofold. I think she stole someone's future (or at least made it a whole lot harder for someone).

And, yes, she is one of those women who have made choices that will affect other women. Not me in particular, but much of this thread has been about how some women's choices affect other women. Specifically, that women choose to chuck their careers (and the training that employers put into them) for childrearing, and so employers are more likely to take the safer route by hiring someone unlikely to make that choice. Probably (though not necessarily) a man.

If she had paid her own way through school, I'd only have the latter concern. However, she also took a scholarship away from someone who might actually have used it better. Maybe another woman who would have stayed on career, keeping a woman in a male-dominated field, and/or showing that *some* women will actually stay around and be long-term employees.

It's all related.

And I know exactly why she abandoned her career. She decided to have a couple of kids, and even though her husband had the less-lucrative career, it's Mommy who wanted to be the SAH. It was her choice to chuck her education and employment to parent.

Now, don't get me entirely wrong. I'm not a kid person, but I do appreciate that it's a Good Thing for an actual family member to be the primary caregiver. I'm not a fan of daycare and the like - why have a kid and then give it to other people to care for?

BUT, she took the Mommy Path, despite it being a worse financial decision, despite her having a career she loved, despite the huge investment by her employer, despite having snagged free education. And if someone like that - this was a VERY driven woman when I knew her well - could ditch everything, then why would any employer imagine that any female job applicant will stick around long-term?

And as an aside, I don't know why on earth you imagine that she crosses my mind at any time other than when threads/stories like this come up, where it's applicable. Let alone spending the rest of my life spitting nails. What are you projecting onto me? I'm guessing you've been the victim of "school reunion-type gossip", since THAT got tossed at me out of the blue. And inapplicably.

Posted by: wiserchoices at November 13, 2007 11:59 AM

Hey, Brian,

You've mistaken me for someone bitter, I'm afraid. Perhaps my (not terribly well-done) attempts at not being insanely verbose have misled you. Or perhaps you're just projecting.

First off, I don't believe in "the sisterhood". Though "women" (often "womenandchildren") are often clumped together for ease of categorizing, or even just un/subconsciously.

Second, even if there was one, I don't particularly believe she "betrayed" anything or anyone. She made a choice, though, that those who clump people together (see my first point there) will see as reflecting on that clump. It's just a fact.

You and Jody seem to have mistaken me for someone who sits around for hours every evening, and wakes up every morning, furious at my former friend (no falling out, just no longer close enough to be "friends"). I do not, and am not. But in a discussion such as this one, where "the choices some women make affect their careers and other women's careers", her story is pertinent. I may not be a close friend any more, but it doesn't mean her existence has been erased from my memory.

But your last couple of paragraphs clearly show that you are a master of projection. I made my choices with full consciousness. I wilfully and specifically chose not to have kids. I have not regretted it for a moment. I am not bitter that other people make different choices. And I won't be "alone at 60", as I have these things known as "friends" and "relatives".

See, I'm not counting on someone wanting to be my bestest buddy just because there's some DNA involved. I'm not breeding in hopes of future companionship. I'm finding people who *do* have more in common with me, and whose company I enjoy.

And, I realize full well, that my former friend may well have as delightful a dotage as I intend to. See, I'm not foolish enough to imagine it must be one or the other.

In other words, I don't think I'm nearly as upset about the choices she or I have made, as you are with the choices I've made. And maybe the ones you've made. Me? I'm frucking *thrilled* with the choices I've made.

Posted by: wiserchoices at November 13, 2007 12:11 PM

You should ask yourself why there is the automatic assumption that the woman will stay home. Why is it that women are automatically obligated to take responsibility for the rearing of children? It has a lot to do with the reinforcing of cultural standards.
Also people keep talking about why women aren’t engineers and such. Could it possibly have something to do with the fact that from the escape of the womb boys and girls are encouraged to engage in different activities which develop different skills? Humans enact gender, it isn’t inherent and is just a way to further divide the people. Patriarchy is the original oppression.
It isn’t the fact that a woman is able to have children biologically that is unfair it is the cultural ramifications for doing so subsequently that aren’t merely unfair, but are deeply unjust. Who says that it has to be the woman – the mother – that is the primary care giver?

Posted by: Isis at November 13, 2007 12:38 PM

Don't give birth, adopt. There is an over population problem.

Posted by: Lilith at November 13, 2007 12:40 PM

> It isn’t the fact that a
> woman is able to have children
> biologically that is unfair
> it is the cultural ramifications
> for doing so subsequently that
> aren’t merely unfair, but are
> deeply unjust.

A fool would deny it!

Posted by: Crid at November 13, 2007 12:40 PM

Thanks for the reply, wiserchoice.

Nah, I've never been scalded by reunion gossip! (Though I don't bridle at your suggestion. Fair enough as an assumption, I guess).

Now you write:

"BUT, she took the Mommy Path, despite it being a worse financial decision, despite her having a career she loved, despite the huge investment by her employer, despite having snagged free education. And if someone like that - this was a VERY driven woman when I knew her well - could ditch everything, then why would any employer imagine that any female job applicant will stick around long-term?"

These are roughly the same descriptive bare bones you provided the first time - can't you see they're not remotely a full explanation?

In fact, there's great big mystery here.

As you say, she's ditched everything - a happy, high level career, ongoing financial security for the entire family, status, intellectual stimulation, in exchange for way-below-her-abilities minimum hours grunt work in a hardware store - and the last detail means she's not even a full time SAHM for her two kids!

Maybe I'm being stupid.

It just doesn't add up without something else going on, does it?

Is her husband normal?

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 13, 2007 12:58 PM

This commenter was talking about at the six-month mark.

I was talking about at the six-week mark. :)

Humans enact gender, it isn’t inherent

Uh, last I checked, if I want biological children, I pretty much have to gestate them and sustain them with my body for nine months, potentially risking my life. If the guys I know want biological children, they pretty much just have to have sex without birth control. Yes, I know that gestational surrogates and infertility treatment occasionally alter that equation a bit, but you get my point. What sex you are matters. Does that mean that EVERY woman thinks the same way? No. I'm very much a woman and I dislike shopping (except online), hate chick flicks, and love science fiction. ON AVERAGE, though, there are differences between men and women, and there will always be, because we aren't built the same way. Researchers are just now finding out that certain drugs and other medical procedures work differently on women than on men. I don't think that's because of "cultural conditioning." I also don't think the fact that women tend to take on more of the caretaking role, ON AVERAGE, is solely because of cultural conditioning. Among other things, last I checked, men can't breast-feed, and don't spend nine months literally carrying another human being inside them. That doesn't mean that EVERY woman will desperately want to stay home with her kids, but it does mean that this idea that gender is *all* "culturally conditioned" doesn't stand up.

Don't give birth, adopt. There is an over population problem.

Actually, it now looks as though the world's population will peak at around 8 billion, and then start falling back. In addition, overpopulation is the result of a number of social conditions such as a heavily rural population, low access to birth control, high infant mortality, and a low status for women. Every society that has managed to address *all* of these has seen its birth rate fall - in many cases, below replacement value. We don't have a population problem in the world - we have a poverty problem (and in some cases a women's-status problem - women in Saudi Arabia aren't poor, but they definitely don't control their own destinies). Address that, and overpopulation will take care of itself. I'm not saying that adoption isn't wonderful. Adoption is wonderful, and I highly encourage it...but please DON'T adopt if the *only* reason you're doing so is to save the world. Kids deserve to be seen by their parents as more than social projects or good deeds.

Posted by: marion at November 13, 2007 1:23 PM

Hi, Jody!

I'm not sure there's a mystery - it's one of those things that women (too) often do, or are societally programmed to do. By the time she made this choice, we were down to occasional emails and her "Holiday Newsletters", and not close enough for me to say "are you out of your mind?" and expect an answer.

But from what I got in those notes and newsletters, it was the usual scriptwork - it's women's work (or "the most important job in the whole wide world", depending on how you want to spin it), or it's "better", since she's the one with the milk production easily at hand.

Well, I guess in a way it's a mystery - I have NO idea why any sane woman would choose to do it, personally - but considering how very, very, very common it is, most people would say it was a mystery if her husband was the SAH.

And as for the husband, he's a normal, nice, well-employed fellow. Not nuke engineer well-employed, but responsible and respected.

Maybe you and I are kind of in the same mindset in many ways. It DOES seem crazy, but the only aspect of the story that *makes* it crazy, is that she was so well-employed. If she'd been, say,an executive secretary, we'd be shrugging, thinking "yep, Mommy track" and never giving it another thought, since millions and millions of women make the choice to have kids and downgrade/leave their not-as-high-powered-and-well-paid jobs. It's pretty much standard procedure, sadly.

Which is why, in my opinion, it's a particularly telling anecdote. That no matter how driven, how intelligent, how educated a woman is, she's still a flight risk in the eyes of many employers. And it's not unreasonable that some employers may think that way, to the possible detriment of *all* women, regardless of what choices they might make. And that's unfortunate.

I think there's a small bright side, though. We *are* asking why on earth she became the SAH. We *aren't* just accepting it as the right and proper thing for a woman to do. If we could just get that attitude out to another billion or so people, things might be a whole lot different.

Posted by: wiserchoices at November 13, 2007 1:47 PM

First, projection would require that I have a flaw or anxiety that I don't like in myself, thus requiring me to see it in others. I'm not entirely sure that is the word you are looking for.

As far as betrayal, perhaps you have a different interpretation of I believe that women like her have farked things up for women like me. Because that sounds like someone who feels betrayed, or at least has had the rug pulled out from under herself.

The fact that you react so angrily to the topic of this thread makes it seem that you expect any woman who decides to have children to not avail herself of scholarships or careers so as to not "hurt" other women's chances. Do you honestly think that every woman has it figured out at 17 that she wants a family? Have you considered that maybe she didn't figure out that she wanted to be mom until later on?

Why the venom about her leaving a career where she was making more than her husband. Is it completely lost on you that some women find greater fulfillment in raising children than in punching a clock?

And why on Earth would I be upset about the choices you've made? Unless you've chosen to come to my house and kill me, there isn't a single choice you make that affects me enough that I'd care.

Thanks for thinking I'm a master of projection, but there was none there. It's called "taking a few random paragraphs on the internet and attempting to divine personality cues from them" (also known as "a fool's errand"). You are free to dismiss it as bullshit. But as they say, denial isn't just a river in Egypt.

Posted by: brian at November 13, 2007 1:48 PM

Brian: Presumably I do have a different definition of "betrayal", because I believe it requires intended harm. I don't believe my former friend intended to harm anyone. It's merely a side-effect that the actions she (and others like her) choose, can reflect poorly on others who don't make those choices.

And honey, if you think I'm "react(ing) angrily", then you are really in another world. If I didn't know better, ahem, I might just think that this is one of those "men are forceful, women are bitches"-type attribution errors.

As for "venom", well, if you think this is venom, I'm very happy for you that you've evidently lived in Care Bears Village until now. ;)

The thing is, that no, it's not lost on me that some women find greater fulfillment in raising children than in punching a clock. I'm not sure, however, whether that saddens me or not. I suppose your transparent use of "raising children" and "punching a clock" rather than, say, "wrangling screaming toddlers" and "using their abilities and interests to the hilt and getting paid for it" kind of skews your either-or balance.

But my basic point remains unchanged. Currently, women's choices to trash vast amounts of education and training to leave the workforce and raise kids, can reflect poorly on other women in the eyes of employers. Until men make that choice in equal numbers, it's just a fact of life. And that fact is unfortunate for the women who don't make that same choice.

By the way, you're the one who's announced that my future is going to be bitter and lonely, evidently, while every parent in the world will be jet-setting to their kids' graduation parties, where I've made no attributions regarding the joys or miseries of the SAH vs the childfree/non-SAH. And yet you keep declaring that I'm venomous and angry. Maybe it's just me, but you're coming across a lot more frothful than I think I do.

Posted by: wiserchoices at November 13, 2007 2:24 PM

wc -

If it helps you to visualize the way I am acting as I type this, think of the buddha. Fat, bald, and smiling.

From your last posting, I am going to guess that you place a high value on making money. Until about 50 or so years ago, making large sums of money was not the defining characteristic of a life well-lived. And you're talking to someone whose hatred of children is such that he will leave a restaurant rather then suffer their presence, so I'm not "transparently" doing anything.

You can whine about how unfair it is, but denying the biological fact that a woman is better equipped to raise offspring (James Lileks aside) is not going to suddenly get men to say "OK, I'll stay home with the kids so women don't get a bad rap in the workplace".

And you claim to have made no "attributions" regarding motherhood, but you started the whole thing off by saying that your former classmate fucked it up for all other women by dropping a lucrative career to play with her kids all day. If that's not a value judgement, I don't know what it is.

Posted by: brian at November 13, 2007 2:34 PM

Brian,
I think your last was directed at wiserchoice.

Still, I want to comment when you write:

"Why the venom about her leaving a career where she was making more than her husband. Is it completely lost on you that some women find greater fulfillment in raising children than in punching a clock?"

With wiserchoices' last, fuller reply after I hassled her - I've somewhat changed my mind.

The point is, Mrs ex-nuclear engineer was not remotely, not by any stretch "punching a clock".

I can say - with no edge or peculiar agenda - that yeah I'm with wiser.

In the absence of, say, a burnout, a spectacular breakdown, some hidden personal back story - I also feel like shaking my head at anyone sacrificing so much achieved.

Most of my longterm female friends are pretty much seamlessly recognizable before - and after kids.

Sure, careers have gone to shit, changed, adapted, stalled, revved up after a long break. (I know a forensic psychiatrist who took seven years away from her job - not as her first choice. Kids and a country move because of her husband forced it. She's hopped back to work - she had to rather than go mad -and it's been incredibly hard, though worth it.)

For the most part, the women with promising careers that falter because of kids are defensive, apologetic, rueful and at times resentful.

I don't know any who are sure they've done the right thing in the long term. And the better their previous job, the worse they feel.

So, yes, I think wiser has a right to feel let down by Mrs Ex Nuclear Engineer for dashing expectations. It's an extraordinary decision.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 13, 2007 2:35 PM

Jody -

The point that you seem to be missing is that your friends WENT BACK TO WORK.

If everyone followed WC's lead, there wouldn't BE a next generation. And even if your kids won't take care of you, someone will have to. And where are they going to come from? Everyone is going to be JUST AS OLD AS YOU.

What I don't understand here is the emphasis on a career, when you've got some 60 productive years ahead of you when you leave college, and only 15 to 20 of those are available for procreation.

Is motherhood now so distasteful to the career set that the continuation of the species can take a back seat to that new plasma?

Are you really willing to leave the important work of creating the next generation of Americans to the likes of Britney Spears?

Hell, in my view, if you are intelligent, it's almost a civic duty to reproduce. Someone's gotta keep the stupids in check.

Posted by: brian at November 13, 2007 2:44 PM

>If it helps you to visualize the way I am acting >as I type this, think of the buddha. Fat, bald, >and smiling.

Then perhaps in return, you should visualize me lounging and shrugging. I'm just sayin' how things look to me.

>From your last posting, I am going to guess that >you place a high value on making money. Until >about 50 or so years ago, making large sums of >money was not the defining characteristic of a >life well-lived.

Actually, money has its place, but it's not the be-all. My mentions of money were because all other things being equal, one would assume the higher-paid spouse would logically be the one to keep working. I also mentioned "getting paid for it" in terms of "using one's skills to the hilt", which hardly seems C. Montgomery Burnsish to me.

I do think it's a little sad that what you're implying - raising kids is the sign of a life well-lived - would ever be considered the case. It's so *mundane* an endeavor, simply by dint of it being so *common*. I'd think that doing things that are unique and adventurous would be an ultimate goal.

I'd also suggest that, up until about 50 or so years ago, relatively (don't bother thowing Marie Curie or Amelia Earhart at me) few women would have had anything remotely resembling a life well-lived. Choices were relatively minimal. I'm not surprised that when someone doesn't have the option of becoming President of a corporation, or going Around the World in 80 Days, but rather is expected to be the babymaker for the men who DID get to do that, that one's sanity would depend on spinning babymaking as a super-amazing experience.

>And you're talking to someone whose hatred of >children is such that he will leave a restaurant >rather then suffer their presence, so I'm not >"transparently" doing anything.

If you believe that "raising children" and "punching a clock" are equally neutral, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree here.

>You can whine about how unfair it is,

See, this is another one of those "men are forceful, women are bitches" statements. I've stated my opinion pretty flatly. If you think that's "whining", then I doubt I can reach you any further.

>but denying the biological fact that a woman is >better equipped to raise offspring (James Lileks >aside) is not going to suddenly get men to say >"OK, I'll stay home with the kids so women don't > get a bad rap in the workplace".

Once the birthing and breastfeeding are over, can you give me any good reason why women are "better equipped" to raise offspring? And if you try the "women are more nurturing" crap, I'm just going to have to laugh until I may pee a little bit.

And I don't expect anyone - male or female - to do anything for the greater good. It ain't gonna happen. No man is going to say "gosh, Suzie, you go back to work in support of working mothers everywhere". You're absolutely right there. It's merely unfortunate that the choices made for the individual good (preference? *lack* of choice, if the father doesn't want to stay at home?) does end up reflecting on those who may not make the same choices.

>And you claim to have made no "attributions" >regarding motherhood, but you started the whole >thing off by saying that your former classmate >fucked it up for all other women by dropping a >lucrative career to play with her kids all day. >If that's not a value judgement, I don't know >what it is.

Well, I'm glad you've admitted you don't know what it is. Because that statement has nothing to do with my opinions on motherhood. It has to do with choices and behavior. My former friend becoming a mother was not the reason I have concerns. Her choices upon becoming a parent is the reason.

I'll also point out that I did not say that she had fucked it up for all other women. I said women *like her*, because it's not individuals. It's a big 'ol groupthink - and it's in both directions, since it takes employers' grouping all women as all being flight risk.

You should probably take yourself down a notch for the rest of the conversation, because me having to keep pointing out your wild exaggerations and misinterpretations is wasting both our time. Stay as calm as that ol' Buddha. As calm as me. ;)

How about this...

Do you disagree that many women leaving jobs (high or low paying, it doesn't matter) can make employers wary of hiring women in childbearing years?

If you do disagree, does the fact that I've seen it first-hand make any difference to that opinion?

Because if you simply cannot agree that women may be at a disadvantage in the job market for this reason, then I just don't think there's much point in debating any further. We're simply too far apart to do anything but waste keystrokes.

Posted by: wiserchoices at November 13, 2007 2:59 PM

WC - I'll agree to your stipulations. I just think that they are ultimately irrelevant to the point you are trying to make. So long as women are the ones capable of making the babies, and so long as women will find themselves inexplicably driven to desire to care for them (hint - chemicals in the brain), then employers will have to deal with the fact that women aged 20-40 are more likely to depart to start families than men are. Logic dictates that they be wary of young women.

What you want just isn't going to happen. Thinking there is is the same mode of self-delusion as 'Isis' displayed above. Motherhood is no more a social construct than gender.

To be honest, I don't understand people who define themselves by their jobs. It seems to me that you ought to consider the pursuits that you don't have to be paid to engage in to be more valuable. But then again, what do I know. I'm just a hysterical, exaggerating, projecting, misinterpreting oaf.

Posted by: brian at November 13, 2007 3:34 PM

Brian,

There's so much to tackle in your posts, it's hard to know where to start.

But here goes...first of all,why the double standard on the "duty" to procreate? You've made it clear that you dislike children intensely and never plan to have any. You also make it clear that women are "biologically" suited/destined/whatever to have and raise kids (as an aside:I don't buy into most of the "evolutionary destiny arguments - I think it's a weak excuse for not thinking about behavior and choices; after giving birth and breastfeeding if you choose to, there's no reason women are "biologically" more equipped to cope with a toddler or teenager). And you say intelligent people are almost obligated to do so as their civic duty (another fallacious argument, but I'll leave that one alone for now).

Why are you exempt from the civic duty, at the same time you're criticizing Wiserchoices for not doing so? You accept that the bulk of childrearing burden falls on women, and then find it hard to accept that motherhood might not be appealing to some?

Posted by: MD at November 13, 2007 3:52 PM

MD -

Nice try.

First, I've never stated that I find it either hard to accept that motherhood might not be appealing to some. I find it quite likely, in fact. Motherhood is quite the burden, to hear the women I know who've gone through it tell the tale.
I don't believe that women have a 'duty' to reproduce either. But I also don't buy the idea that they should be constrained or discouraged from doing so once they've received an education, so as to not mess up the works for someone else.

Amy's the expert on Ev-Psych. She could no doubt expound on whether I'm completely wrong or have a point about the biological imperative for women to raise children. Women are better at raising children because on balance they are more likely to WANT to. Have you ever noticed the way women tend to melt in the presence of an infant? Notice that men DON'T tend to do that? Ever think that there might be a reason for it?

So far as civic duty goes, I don't expect intelligent people to take up the burden of reproducing just to keep up some kind of arms race with the stupids. Civilizations tend to die off because the wrong people reproduce, and eventually there's nobody born that is intelligent enough to lead.

Finally, why the double standard? Because I know me. I'm not a patient man. And I'm not relationship or father material. Let's just say that the likely outcome of me reproducing is various people in hospitals, morgues, and prisons. I'll leave it to your imagination to work out who goes where.

Posted by: brian at November 13, 2007 4:02 PM

A further elucidation:

The whole point of having children is to continue the society. We've woven ourselves a considerable web of entitlements that are paid for on the backs of the producers.

At this time, the wages of three persons are taxed at a rate of 15.6% to support the Social Security payments of one retiree.

With the reproduction rate as it currently stands, that will decrease to two persons, meaning that the tax level will have to increase.

And with the bulk of the reproduction occurring among stupids, that means that those being born are going to be less capable of the high earnings necessary to continue funding such generous entitlements.

So, do smart people have a duty to reproduce? Depends on how you wanna define duty, I guess. But if you want to be cared for in your old age, then at the very least having a family, and ensuring that they respect you and care for you is an act of enlightened self-interest, no?

Posted by: brian at November 13, 2007 4:07 PM

I'm not saying that evolutionary psychology has nothing to tell us about human behavior. But it is not appropriate as a justification for individual behavior, in my opinion. In my book, all of these arguments - women/men are more inclined to (fill in the blank) are useful only to an extent. We're talking about aggregate behavior, averages! The problems come when people use averages and population-level tendencies as an excuse not to think when it comes to individuals.

As for having kids as an act of enlightened self-interest? No. Kids are not retirement plans, built-in companionship for old age, bundles of joy, blessings, the hope of the future or any other cliche with which society all to frequently endows them. They are just kids. They may earn salaries and pay taxes when our generation is retired, but don't forget that there's an awful lot of societal investment in them right now. I wonder if their future contributions even come close to breaking even.

Posted by: MD at November 13, 2007 4:21 PM

Breaking Even? Well, if you're going to view children through a strictly financial prism, then we ought to can the public schools. Shit, for 50% of the tax revenue generated, we get kids that can't read.

Why don't we ask Japan? Better do it quick, because they're reproduction rate is so far below replacement they are going to have massive problems in about 50 years.

Or we could ask Italy, where the reproduction rate is just a touch higher, and they've taken to importing people from North Africa to do all the work, and the attendant cultural problems that are caused by that.

And if using aggregate behavior is not valid in hiring decisions, then why should it be valid in any other situation, like, say determining life insurance premiums? Aggregates are the only thing we have to do a useful analysis of anything involving people. When someone like the crowd of ideologues at SDSU uses intentionally flawed aggregate numbers to skew perceptions and influence policies in their direction, then they are not valid.

And kids are the ultimate retirement plan. Whether yours, or someone else's, the money and manpower to push your drooling carcass around has to come from some place. And we're not getting any younger. Don't you ever feel that those who don't have kids are kind of imposing upon the children of all those who did?

Posted by: brian at November 13, 2007 4:33 PM

Hey, Brian...

>WC - I'll agree to your stipulations. I just >think that they are ultimately irrelevant to the >point you are trying to make.

I'm not certain you understand the point(s) I'm trying to make. As evidenced by:

>So long as women are the ones capable of making >the babies, and so long as women will find >themselves inexplicably driven to desire to care >for them (hint - chemicals in the brain),

Okay, a digression first: Uh, you really need a "some" in front of "women". I have no drive, explicable or non, to care for babies. I avoid babies like the plague. I have a pretty broad social circle, and only a small percentage of them have or want kids. I happen to believe that a goodly chunk of women aren't "driven by desire" to have kids, so much as just assume that's what women/people do. Hell, I've never liked or wanted kids, but it took a while for me to realize that that particular path is *voluntary* in North American society. I think there's a lot more social pressure/assumption to have kids, than there is actual biochemical desire. That is open for debate, but it's my opinion. It's no surprise to *me* that the more educated women are, the less they breed, on average.

> then >employers will have to deal with the fact > that >women aged 20-40 are more likely to depart > to >start families than men are. Logic dictates > that >they be wary of young women.

Okay, back to business. Well... er... this is pretty much the exact point I was making. Why are you arguing if this is also what you believe?

I just happen to extrapolate to believe that it's unfortunate that other women suffer for this logical behavior on the part of employers. Because others' choices are negatively affecting other others' choices, to put it awkwardly.

You may think it's peachy-keen that women who plan to remain childless may have trouble finding employment, but I respectfully disagree.

>What you want just isn't going to happen. >Thinking there is is the same mode of >self-delusion as 'Isis' displayed above. >Motherhood is no more a social construct than >gender.

Um. What exactly is it that you think I want? I haven't actually posited any brilliant solutions. I've just mused about what is, and what I feel is unfortunate as a result.

And sure, "motherhood" is a gender issue. But *parenthood* often is a social construct. As choices become wider, more people are choosing the nontraditional path, including remaining childfree. It wasn't so long ago that parenthood was barely a choice, and not so long before that even less so.

>To be honest, I don't understand people who >define themselves by their jobs. It seems to me >that you ought to consider the pursuits that you >don't have to be paid to engage in to be more >valuable.

For what it's worth, I'd feel *exactly* as much disappointment about my former friend's choice to SAH if she had been an unpaid volunteer with UNICEF or something. I'm not wringing my hands in despair at her financial choice.

>But then again, what do I know. I'm >just a >hysterical, exaggerating, projecting, >misinterpreting oaf.

Hey, I never thought you were an oaf. ;)

Posted by: Wiserchoices at November 13, 2007 4:36 PM

Brian, have you ever made a hiring decision? I have, and I have to say, I've never resorted to evolutionary psych or any other population-level data to make them!

When hiring, I consider the resume, cover letter, interview and the needs of the position. If I interview 2 people for a position (I'm in the sciences), I never find myself saying "well, she really is a better fit for the position, but she's female so she's going to want babies," or "he seemed like an idiot, but I'm going to hire him because he went to X University and X has really great average SAT scores." These may be silly examples, but I'm just trying to make the point that hiring decisions are really individual. In earlier posts, somebody made the point that if employers were systematically using this kind of thinking, they'd be creating great opportunities for the competition to poach their talent. I totally agree. Hiring people cannot be likened to reading actuarial tables.

Posted by: MD at November 13, 2007 4:43 PM

Well, MD, you're making PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE ARGUMENT that Wiserchoices is making.

I've been involved in hiring decisions. I only used the resume as a pointer for where to begin my interrogation. The only physical property I care about is a pulse. No sense interviewing dead people, after all.

And as far as employers systematically using bad thinking - I give you Intel, accused of giving people a pink slip for their 40th birthday. The reasoning? A 40 year old engineer is more expensive, and less inclined to learn new things than a 25 year old. Nice, huh?

Certainly, decisions are individual. But for the purposes of statistical analysis, it is useful to look at aggregates. And since men aren't having babies, they remain less likely to reconsider their career options after they've bonded with a new child.

Posted by: brian at November 13, 2007 5:12 PM

"I give you Intel, accused of giving people a pink slip for their 40th birthday. The reasoning? A 40 year old engineer is more expensive, and less inclined to learn new things than a 25 year old. Nice, huh?"

Brian,
I agree that sort of reality isn't "nice".

But it's precisely this sort of hiring reality that makes educated women nervous of opting out to do the baby thing full time - then trying to play catch-up just when their age is starting to count against them.

...and so we all muddle through - often glancing furiously at each other's choices!

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at November 13, 2007 7:26 PM

Oddly enough, I've heard of something conservative student groups sometimes do that's similar. It's an Affirmative Action bake sale, in which men and whites are charged full price and women and minorities get discounts. White man pays a buck, white woman pays $.80, hispanic woman pays $.60.

Affirmative Action bake sales are routinely broken up by campus police, administrators, and groups of angry students. No glowing reportage in the student paper for them, just scorn and derision for advocating colorblind level playing fields.

Posted by: Scott at November 30, 2007 9:13 PM

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