Tonight I was thinking about painting the ceiling, but decided to check A|N instead.
One of the dominant topics on A|N regards gender and, more specifically, issues of representation of women on A|N, and on male priviledge. For example, one of The Nerd's posts on the topic has had 29 pages of response, as of this posting - something like 350 responses (When I checked the view did not include a response counter).
I confess at the outset that I have not read every post, and I have not read every comment. There may be a data-based discussion, I don't know. But I did not see one. If the linked sources have been posted, please pardon me, and link (if you so desire) to them so that I (and others) can sort the wheat from the chaff.
I did see the following article, in Huff Post: here
, with the title "What's Happening To Women's Happiness? It's written by a male author (Marcus Buckingham), on a website that is owned by a woman (Arianna Huffington), generally regarded as liberal (I think). I state these to get some of the ad hominems out of the way, while acknowledging impression of bias.
My interest was in the data, more than in the author's further analysis. Extracting some of his numbers:
During the 2008 school year, 59% of all BS degrees and 61% of all MS degrees were be earned by women.
In 2009, 4 out of the 8 Ivy League universities--Harvard, Brown, Penn and Princeton, have female presidents.
October 2009, is the first month in which women outnumber men in the workforce.
Women hold more management and supervisory positions than men, by a margin of 37% to 31%
In like-for-like work women and men with the same amount of work experience earn the same.
Women's pay is increasing faster than men's.
The author also comments that women are running the governments of some countries, mentioning Germany, Ireland, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Chile, Mozambique, and Jamaica - although that's not really many. In the past, we can also include UK, India, Sri Lanka, Argentina, and you can probably add to the list.
It's nothing new that men die faster than women - this is true in every state of the US - data here
. more here
- 2004 data with the following information: "The greatest increase was experienced by black males with an increase of 0.6 year (from 68.9 to 69.5). Life expectancy increased by 0.4 year for black females (from 75.9 to 76.3), for white females (from 80.4 to 80.8), and for white males (from 75.3 to 75.7)."
OK. What am I doing here. First, what am I not doing: I am not making any claim denying male priviledge, Im not discounting any individual experience or anecdote, and I am not making a claim that there is equality. I also realize that the majority of the information here is US oriented, and there are truly horrible things going on in many countries.
What I am doing is asking how we can discuss issues of gender fairness, priviledge, and opportunity? As someone who is data-oriented, and who does not trust politics or ideology, I am stuck with a need for numbers. Are the numbers above accurate? I don't know. I don't have the primary sources. Are they current? They appear to be. Is there bias in choosing what numbers to look at? Maybe, again I don't know. Are there other sources of data? If so, it would be helpful to see them.
Given these numbers, are we able to come up with a data-oriented definition of equality? If not, how do we know when we get there?
I'm interested in rational discussion. The Nerd has posted some rules in her discussions, and I hope that similar rules can be honored here, including no ad hominems, try to stick to data, unless new ideological or semantic concepts come up that have hot been covered elsewhere are relevant - in some cases, a separate discussion might be useful, since a 350-comment discussion becomes unreadable.