Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Gender Wage Gap Lie

Gender pay gap: The familiar line that “women make 77 cents to every man’s dollar” simply isn’t accurate. - Slate Magazine:
"The point here is not that there is no wage inequality. But by focusing our outrage into a tidy, misleading statistic we’ve missed the actual challenges. It would in fact be much simpler if the problem were rank sexism and all you had to do was enlighten the nation’s bosses or throw the Equal Pay Act at them. But the 91 percent statistic suggests a much more complicated set of problems. Is it that women are choosing lower-paying professions or that our country values women’s professions less? And why do women work fewer hours? Is this all discrimination or, as economist Claudia Goldin likes to say, also a result of “rational choices” women make about how they want to conduct their lives."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

When Class Became More Important to a Child's Education Than Race

When Class Became More Important to a Child's Education Than Race - Sarah Garland - The Atlantic

an observation about cultural appropriation and genetic determinism

In the comments at On Miley Cyrus, Ratchet Culture and Accessorizing With Black People, Specular said:
You can't have this one both ways: either pop music created by non-dominant cultures is open to enjoyment and emulation by people outside that culture, or it is off limits to anyone not from that background and we therefor can't complain about limited sales and/or industry recognition. It's like when the folks over at Queerty complain that hipsters "stole" camp from gay people. It's not "progressive" in any sense, it's straight up genetic determinism and IMO not something to be proud of.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

C. S. Lewis on moral busybodies, aka do-gooders or social justice warriors

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." —C. S. Lewis

Saturday, August 10, 2013

James Webb: Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege

James Webb: Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege - WSJ.com: "In 1974, a National Opinion Research Center (NORC) study of white ethnic groups showed that white Baptists nationwide averaged only 10.7 years of education, a level almost identical to blacks' average of 10.6 years, and well below that of most other white groups. A recent NORC Social Survey of white adults born after World War II showed that in the years 1980-2000, only 18.4% of white Baptists and 21.8% of Irish Protestants—the principal ethnic group that settled the South—had obtained college degrees, compared to a national average of 30.1%, a Jewish average of 73.3%, and an average among those of Chinese and Indian descent of 61.9%."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

an update on the Tawana Brawley story

Tawana Brawley starts paying man she falsely accused of rape in 1987 - CNN.com

I was one of the people who believed her: I assumed a black woman wouldn't lie about being raped by white men. When the truth came out, I realized my assumptions were both racist and sexist. Everyone deserves the presumption of innocence.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Brendan O’Neill on trolls and moral panic

The hysteria over trolls is a classic moral panic | Brendan O’Neill | spiked:
To understand why virtually the entire British media and significant chunks of the political class have become weirdly obsessed with small numbers of trolls who fire vile insults at women, you could do worse than dip back into the late, great Stanley Cohen’s 1972 book, Folk Devils and Moral Panics. An indispensable guide to the modern era’s malarial-like social scares, which come and go like waves of a fever, Cohen’s book popularised the term ‘moral panic’. A moral panic occurs, he said, when ‘a condition, episode, person or group of persons become defined as a threat to societal values and interests’. A moral crusade, fuelled by ‘media sensationalism’, is then launched against these allegedly threatening ‘deviants’, he said, until they loom large in the public mind as ‘folk devils’ whose behaviour poses a threat to public safety or moral norms. In the past, Teddy Boys, football hooligans and drug-taking yoof were elevated to the status of folk devils; today, it’s internet trolls.

Monday, August 5, 2013

more evidence that anti-racism training is a deadend

Riley Cooper racial slur: How does racial sensitivity training work? - Slate Magazine:
Although the numbers may have changed in recent years, a 1998 survey suggested that only 2 percent of diversity trainers have a relevant degree. 
Does racial sensitivity training actually work? It’s difficult to say. A 2007 study of 829 companies that use diversity training suggested that the sessions make virtually no difference in the number of minorities hired or promoted into management positions. (Employing a manager of diversity or a diversity task force produces far better results.) There are also troubling anecdotes, like the Texaco executives who were taped referring to employees as “black jelly beans” who were “glued to the bottom of the bag” after seeing jelly beans used in a diversity training session.
It's more evidence that if you don't understand the problem, you can't find the solution—something an Australian study of anti-racism programs found two decades ago. Perhaps the whole thing's been nothing but huckstering ever since Derrick Bell and his buddies came up with their capitalist-friendly approach to fighting racism rather than poverty. It certainly pays well for the academics who promote it—and they get to enjoy their class privileges at the same time. That's a win-win, eh?