Tag Archives: Discrimination

Gender Inequality

Gender Inequality

There has been a ton of talk about the “fact” that women earn less than men in the market place.

Let’s forget that men die more on the job than women.

Let’s forget that men work more hours than women.

Let’s forget that men travel more than women.

Let’s forget all that.

Let’s ask women:

Denied Promotion

When women were asked if they EVER have felt that they have been passed up for promotion because of gender, the answer is “No”.

There is no group o f women that even comes close to even 20% that feel they have been discriminated against based on gender.

Except one:

Denied Promotion.Liberl.Conservative


Liberal women feel that they have been denied promotion more than twice the rate that conservative women do.

Why am I not shocked?

Are We Born Tribal?

This is one of the first Myelinated posts I discovered when I wandered over to Steve Greene’s joint:

I heard about this study on a podcast a while back, but I really like this nice summary in the Atlantic.  Short version: in watching a puppet show, babies preferred puppets that were mean to puppets that were dissimilar from themselves.  If the baby preferred graham crackers they were happy to see a puppet being mean to a green bean preferring puppet.  And vice versa.  Oh, we’re mean from the beginning, us humans.

Interesting to be sure.

Thoughts On Affirmative Action And Social Policy

I’m watching the Sunday morning shows just now, something I never do.  It’s either church, football or some other activity going on right about now.  But today the kids are out having lunch with mom and I’m home alone.

I watching MSNBC and the table is talking about the Massachusetts race for senator; specifically the element of race.  Elizabeth Warren received advantages due to the fact that she is one thirty-second Cherokee.  It would seem that by identifying herself in this way she was able to help her early career.

Anyway, the conversation shifted to affirmative action and social policy in general.

Why Affirmative Action

I went to a pretty good source for an answer to this question:

The Racial Justice Program actively supports affirmative action to secure racial diversity in educational settings, workplaces and government contracts, to remedy continuing systemic discrimination against people of color, and to help ensure equal opportunities for all people. As part of this commitment, we are working to defend affirmative action in states that are threatened for a civil rights rollback.

Pretty clear and straight forward.

  • Secure racial diversity in educational settings, workplaces and government contracts.
  • Secure racial diversity in educational settings, workplaces and government contracts.
  • Help ensure equal opportunities for all people.

Three simple goals, easy to understand and noble in its intention.

Is Affirmative Action The Right Approach

Even as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation we have to acknowledge that there is work to do; hard important work.  We have the opportunity to improve the relations between the races here in America.  However, we have to take time to consider that in just 150 years, really, borrowing an allusion from Louis C. k., that’s really the lives of two old people back to back.  We have to acknowledge that we’ve come a very long way.

The reason I mention this preamble is because we have to acknowledge that there are still unenlightened idiots out there who want to continue to discriminate based on race.  We’re not talking about that very small and insignificant minority.  Here I’m talking about the mainstream reasonable individual.  And of THAT population I find no one, not one single person, who feels that any individual should be denied opportunity based on race.

But is that the goal of Affirmative Action?

I don’t think so.  I think that Affirmative Action is a “results based” program and not a “build the base” program.  Think of it this way, I want my kids to excel in school, I want them to hit the honor roll and bring home report card after report card with A’s.  I probably can accomplish this in two ways:

  1. I can enforce strict expectations regarding achievement and insist on homework and study.
  2. I can use my influence with teachers, staff and administration to ensure that substandard grades are changed to more desirable ones.

Both paths result in my goal; Straight A’s.  However, the goal isn’t really straight A’s.  The goal is mastery of the subject such that positive life goals can be reasonably accomplished.  I want my kids to learn to earn those A’s.  Simply giving ’em to them doesn’t accomplish anything; in fact, it may prove to be counter-productive.

This is my beef with Affirmative Action.  The programs put in place often result in “inappropriate  promotion” not based on the merit but on the basis of race.  In the same way that I don’t want to see an unqualified white protestant middles-class male given preference over a more qualified candidate who may be a minority, neither do I want to see a member of a protected class given preference over that same WASP.

I want the gateway to be one of merit without bias of class, of race, of sex or of religion.

In short, we want the ELIMINATION of advancement based on those elements.  We do not want to extend discrimination simply by changing the group of people we discriminate against.

On other words, the goal of any “Affirmative Action” would be to reduce the number of qualified minorities being denied advancement.  It would NOT be to increase the number of unqualified minorities being advanced.

This seems so self apparent as to be bedrock philosophy and disagreement indicates an inherent racial bias.

If You Wanna Stop A Thing From Happening….

Then stop doing that thing:

A white student at a Riverside high school has returned a $1,000 scholarship intended for black students.

Jeffrey Warren of Martin Luther King High School received the scholarship from the Martin Luther King Senior Citizens Club at a school awards night last month, prompting laughter from the audience.

Jeffrey later returned it. The teen, who graduated last week, says he applied for 27 scholarships and won three others.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise says the 17-year-old never saw a cover letter for the award that was sent to high school counselors and specified it was for black students.

The application itself said only that African-Americans were encouraged to apply.

The scholarship has now gone to a black student. The senior club says it will change next year’s application language.

I get the point.  A group of people wanna help members of that group of people.  But the overall complaint seems to be that when the wrong groups of people help their own groups, that’s seen as bad.

Discriminating Against The Unemployed

Suppose I’m a hiring manager.  And I’m interviewing for an open position.  Can I legitimately use the fact that one of the candidates showed up for the interview in his pajamas as a reason not to consider him for employment?

How about if one of the candidates pulls out a cigarette and lights up.  How about that?  Can I use that fact to disqualify a candidate?

So, if I can discriminate against jammy wearing smokers, why can’t I discriminate against people who won’t go and get a job?

The Glass Ceiling: Equal Pay for Equal Work

For as long as I can remember I’ve been told that men earn more money than women do.  There are National Women’s organizations like The National Organization for Women and  Business and Professional Women and Feminists for Life.   These groups tell us the cold hard facts; women aren’t paid as well as men:

  • In 2007, women’s median annual paychecks reflected only 78 cents for every $1.00 earned by men.
  • Women’s median pay was less than men’s in each and every one of the 20 industries and 25 occupation groups surveyed by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2007.
  • When The WAGE Project looked exclusively at full-time workers, they estimated that women with a high school diploma lose as much as $700,000 over a lifetime of work, women with a college degree lose $1.2 million and professional school graduates may lose up to $2 million.

Is this true?

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