Jason (jcreed) wrote,
Jason
jcreed

omg forbes magazine radicalizes my feminism

Forbes updated their recent controversial "don't marry no career girl" article by posting a rebuttal of sorts by Elizabeth Corcoran:

http://www.forbes.com/home/2006/08/23/Marriage-Careers-Divorce_cx_mn_land.html

It's an interesting read.

There are two things I'd like to assert about the whole controversy: one, that the question of intrinsic gender differences at the statistical level really is an empirical question, one to be answered by studies we've controlled as carefully as possible, not by anecdotal evidence like "well, my X is Y". Two, that setting up, interpreting, and above all choosing how to act on the experiments that are supposed to address these issues is a pretty fucking delicate thing.

For example, I do think it's a catastrophically bad conclusion from "divorce rates are higher among career women" to avoid romantically seeking out women of intelligence and ambition. This is I think Corcoran's best point; that women who are more competent, interesting and financially independent may be more likely to dump your sorry ass — because they can, and because they think they can do better. Don't give them reason to.

The asymmetry between the correlation between women's income and divorce rate on the one hand, and men's income and divorce rate on the other, has a quite viable null-hypothesis explanation in terms of purely sociological factors: men could just be more confident that they can financially get by in the world even if their present income is so-so, and be that much less inhibited from bailing out of a marriage. Think of the likelihood of men vs. women getting stuck with kids by our present court system. Think about all the other economic factors that might affect the situation. I'm not saying I'm positively confident I can model the situation, but neither to I think Noer can enough to support his "word of advice".

(thx to queen_elvis for the title, by way of liberal paraphrasis)
Tags: politics, web
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