Sunday, July 28, 2019

folly and injustice from "gender equality" (of certain sorts)

Excerpts from Lionel Shriver's terrific essay in Harpers on the folly and injustices of striving for equal outcomes between men and women...
Apparently, there's a thing called the “50:50 challenge”-- where organizations strive to reach parity in outcomes between males and females. (Of course, it's interesting that they exclude all of the other genders that people claim these days.) Shriver discusses the NY Times' embrace of this goal for the "letters to the editor" section of the paper, since their letters skew heavily male. (She's especially interested in the Times given its social importance and her relationship with it as a long-time subscriber.) 
"Goals" and “challenges” are airy, aspirational synonyms for “quotas”—and maybe it’s a small sign of progress that the quota has achieved a sufficiently negative connotation to require a euphemism. Moreover, the Times’ “goal” is an unusually pure illustration of the contrast between equality of opportunity and equality of results. For there is certainly no barrier to an infinite number of women [writing such letters]...
She says that she rarely checks gender in letter writers, unless it's relevant to the topic addressed or the view expressed. She's not bothered by all-male panels on TV either. Her chief concern is whether the perspectives are entertaining, smart, etc. (People are "sexist" when they were concerned with gender along with productivity.) She thought she was as likely to disagree with women as much as men. But after reading feedback on the NYT's effort, she suspects that she's more likely to disagree with women! 
The experience was excruciating. Hoping to sample the full range of popular opinion...I instead encountered a staggering uniformity in comments from women (and most of the comments appeared to be from women), in both content and tone....a maelstrom of resentment, fury, self-pity, grievance, paranoia, and old-hat, jargon-­strewn feminist cant...crushed by the “patriarchy” (one of those helpful bywords for “I am unbearable”)...I failed to locate a single woman who objected to the prospect of the Times discriminating against male-authored letters... 
To her shock, the women were not "crusading millennial activists fresh from campus indoctrination camps but women in their sixties from my own generation. You’d think after all these years those chips on our shoulders would have eroded a bit from exposure to the elements, and instead they’ve grown roots deep into the deltoids and sprouted oak trees."
She muses about why females might write fewer letters-- from fewer readers to fewer writers. On the former, she suggests that we might need to force women to read Paul Krugman. And then to a point echoed by David Mamet in his critiques of the Left: "this isn’t about fairness. It’s about the appearance of fairness...Plugging in unequal input and churning out equal output is merely a formula for ­reversed unfairness." 
This would like result in a "lower intellectual and stylistic bar" and "as in so many cases of diversity-­mongering, it’s the consumer who ultimately pays the price." And of course, the Times is missing the most important aspect of diversity: viewpoint variance on politics and society. 
All of this reminds me of the 50:50 insisted upon by JCPS in the matter of racial diversity. Its most absurd application was telling blacks that they could not attend their preference (Central High School) because there would be "too many" blacks there. So, they were discriminated against because they were black! It was funny/sad to see (faux) liberals like the C-J editorialists avidly promoting discrimination of this sort. Thankfully, SCOTUS over-turned this and forced JCPS to at least pretend that they weren't doing these things. 


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