Thursday, January 16, 2014

I Got Your “Empowerment” Right Here, Baby . . .

So, the other day, our agency celebrated “Empowering Women in the Workforce”.  I heard it was a good place to meet girls, so . . .

The keynote speaker was “The Honorable” Dot Harris, Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity for the Department of Energy.  A diversicrat, in other words.  Some highlights from her speech:

“Women have an IQ five points higher than men.”

I’m not making this up.  Apropos of nothing at all, this was the first thing out of her mouth.

So, first of all, no, they don’t.  In the categories most relevant to STEM (the purported focus of her speech) they are behind men in IQ.  And that’s especially true at the level Ms. Harris is supposedly operating.  And second, I’m pretty sure this is not the glass house she really wants to be throwing stones in.

"Our students place #31 against other countries in academics"

Thank you, immigration!  But in point of fact, and with very few exceptions, we educate students much better than their nations of origin do.

"Women make $.70 on the male dollar."

Mostly bogus:  This Forbes article summarizes a bunch of studies showing that, with appropriate controls, the differential is in single digits, and sometimes favors women over men.

"Girls in Georgia and Tennessee are told to be nurses."

The point being that they aren’t told to be doctors, presumably like the girls in Blue states are and like boys everywhere are.  I googled around unsuccessfully trying to find a citation for or against this 50s-era factoid, but for now, I’m betting that the same class of people decrying the alleged tracking of girls into nursing are also crying that the shortage of nurses means we have to have immigration reform now!  Yup, I’m betting that’s the case.


Anonymous said...

People likely recommend that girls go into nursing for two primary reasons:

1. It is one of the few career fields that is always hiring, everywhere. When it hires, it pays well enough to support a family.

2. It isn't something that requires better than a 85 IQ to get a college degree, get hired, and be successful and required very little math.

Compare that to the options that boys on the lower end are offered: manual labor. Military service.

Elusive Wapiti said...

The sad part is that the audience likely believed the IQ, wage gap, and "gotta have more immigrants now!" falsehoods.

Moreover, had a man said that men were 5 pts above women in IQ, he would have been pilloried, despite being closer to the truth. #everydaysexism

"Girls in Georgia and Tennessee are told to be nurses"

I know that we're supposed to be outraged by this, but I'm having a hard time with the "so what?" here.

Which is better? To steer girls toward occupations to which they're likely a better fit, or to steer them toward occupations to which they're likely to rack up a bunch of debt, and then leave medicine entirely at rates far more than men?

Then there's the flip side to this faux outrage, that PH touched upon. Where/what are men of average IQ (i.e., around 100) encouraged to do? Other than go into the service, that is? Where are the keynote speakers raising men's consciousness on the public dime to encourage men to graduate from HS and college and go into the white-collar professions?

Anonymous said...

For the record, I am "encouraging" my only child to go into nursing to the tune of 16 large a year for 4 years. So, yes, I am a believer that it is good for her even though I know she is more than smart enough to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer.