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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #300 on: May 18, 2010, 01:36:30 PM »



http://www.mercatornet.com/sheila_liaugminas/view/7237/
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rachelg
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« Reply #301 on: May 30, 2010, 11:10:58 PM »

Child Brides Escape Marriage, but Not Lashes
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/31/world/asia/31flogging.html?hpw=&pagewanted=print
By ROD NORDLAND and ALISSA J. RUBIN
KABUL, Afghanistan — The two Afghan girls had every reason to expect the law would be on their side when a policeman at a checkpoint stopped the bus they were in. Disguised in boys’ clothes, the girls, ages 13 and 14, had been fleeing for two days along rutted roads and over mountain passes to escape their illegal, forced marriages to much older men, and now they had made it to relatively liberal Herat Province.

Instead, the police officer spotted them as girls, ignored their pleas and promptly sent them back to their remote village in Ghor Province. There they were publicly and viciously flogged for daring to run away from their husbands.

Their tormentors, who videotaped the abuse, were not the Taliban, but local mullahs and the former warlord, now a pro-government figure who largely rules the district where the girls live.

Neither girl flinched visibly at the beatings, and afterward both walked away with their heads unbowed. Sympathizers of the victims smuggled out two video recordings of the floggings to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, which released them on Saturday after unsuccessfully lobbying for government action.

The ordeal of Afghanistan’s child brides illustrates an uncomfortable truth. What in most countries would be considered a criminal offense is in many parts of Afghanistan a cultural norm, one which the government has been either unable or unwilling to challenge effectively.

According to a Unicef study, from 2000 to 2008, the brides in 43 percent of Afghan marriages were under 18. Although the Afghan Constitution forbids the marriage of girls under the age of 16, tribal customs often condone marriage once puberty is reached, or even earlier.

Flogging is also illegal.

The case of Khadija Rasoul, 13, and Basgol Sakhi, 14, from the village of Gardan-i-Top, in the Dulina district of Ghor Province, central Afghanistan, was notable for the failure of the authorities to do anything to protect the girls, despite opportunities to do so.

Forced into a so-called marriage exchange, where each girl was given to an elderly man in the other’s family, Khadija and Basgol later complained that their husbands beat them when they tried to resist consummating the unions. Dressed as boys, they escaped and got as far as western Herat Province, where their bus was stopped at a checkpoint and they were arrested.

Although Herat has shelters for battered and runaway women and girls, the police instead contacted the former warlord, Fazil Ahad Khan, whom Human Rights Commission workers describe as the self-appointed commander and morals enforcer in his district in Ghor Province, and returned the girls to his custody.

After a kangaroo trial by Mr. Khan and local religious leaders, according to the commission’s report on the episode, the girls were sentenced to 40 lashes each and flogged on Jan. 12.

In the video, the mullah, under Mr. Khan’s approving eye, administers the punishment with a leather strap, which he appears to wield with as much force as possible, striking each girl in turn on her legs and buttocks with a loud crack each time. Their heavy red winter chadors are pulled over their heads so only their skirts protect them from the blows.

The spectators are mostly armed men wearing camouflage uniforms, and at least three of them openly videotape the floggings. No women are present.

The mullah, whose name is not known, strikes the girls so hard that at one point he appears to have hurt his wrist and hands the strap to another man.

“Hold still,” the mullah admonishes the victims, who stand straight throughout. One of them can be seen in tears when her face is briefly exposed to view, but they remain silent.

When the second girl is flogged, an elderly man fills in for the mullah, but his blows appear less forceful and the mullah soon takes the strap back.

The spectators count the lashes out loud but several times seem to lose count and have to start over, or possibly they cannot count very high.

“Good job, mullah sir,” one of the men says as Mr. Khan leads them in prayer afterward.

“I was shocked when I watched the video,” said Mohammed Munir Khashi, an investigator with the commission. “I thought in the 21st century such a criminal incident could not happen in our country. It’s inhuman, anti-Islam and illegal.”

Fawzia Kofi, a prominent female member of Parliament, said the case may be shocking but is far from the only one. “I’m sure there are worse cases we don’t even know about,” she said. “Early marriage and forced marriage are the two most common forms of violent behavior against women and girls.”

The Human Rights Commission took the videotapes and the results of its investigation to the governor of Ghor Province, Sayed Iqbal Munib, who formed a commission to investigate it but took no action, saying the district was too insecure to send police there. A coalition of civic groups in the province called for his dismissal over the matter.

Nor has Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry replied to demands from the commission to take action in the case, according to the commission’s chairwoman, Sima Samar. A spokesman for the ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

Forced marriage of Afghan girls is not limited to remote rural areas. In Herat city, a Unicef-financed women’s shelter run by an Afghan group, the Voice of Women Organization, shelters as many as 60 girls who have fled child marriages.

A group called Women for Afghan Women runs shelters in the capital, Kabul, as well as in nearby Kapisa Province and in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, all relatively liberal areas as Afghanistan goes, which have taken in 108 escaped child brides just since January, according to Executive Director Manizha Naderi.

Poverty is the motivation for many child marriages, either because a wealthy husband pays a large bride-price, or just because the father of the bride then has one less child to support. “Most of the time they are sold,” Ms. Naderi said. “And most of the time it’s a case where the husband is much, much older.”

She said it was also common practice among police officers who apprehend runaway child brides to return them to their families. “Most police don’t understand what’s in the law, or they’re just against it,” she said.

On Saturday, at the Women for Afghan Women shelter, at a secret location in Kabul, there were four fugitive child brides. All had been beaten, and most wept as they recounted their experiences.

Sakhina, a 15-year-old Hazara girl from Bamian, was sold into marriage to pay off her father’s debts when she was 12 or 13.

Her husband’s family used her as a domestic servant. “Every time they could, they found an excuse to beat me,” she said. “My brother-in-law, my sister-in-law, my husband, all of them beat me.”

Sumbol, 17, a Pashtun girl, said she was kidnapped and taken to Jalalabad, then given a choice: marry her tormentor, or become a suicide bomber. “He said, ‘If you don’t marry me I will put a bomb on your body and send you to the police station,’ ” Sumbol said.

Roshana, a Tajik who is now 18, does not even know why her family gave her in marriage to an older man in Parwan when she was 14. The beatings were bad enough, but finally, she said, her husband tried to feed her rat poison.

In some ways, the two girls from Ghor were among the luckier child brides. After the floggings, the mullah declared them divorced and returned them to their own families.

Two years earlier, in nearby Murhab district, two girls who had been sold into marriage to the same family fled after being abused, according to a report by the Human Rights Commission. But they lost their way, were captured and forcibly returned. Their fathers — one the village mullah — took them up the mountain and killed them.
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G M
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« Reply #302 on: May 31, 2010, 05:01:32 AM »

According to a Unicef study, from 2000 to 2008, the brides in 43 percent of Afghan marriages were under 18. Although the Afghan Constitution forbids the marriage of girls under the age of 16, tribal customs often condone marriage once puberty is reached, or even earlier.

It's not "tribal custom", it's islamic law that allows for child brides.
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rachelg
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« Reply #303 on: May 31, 2010, 09:18:45 AM »

GM,

Christianity, Judaism and Islam allow for child brides.   Women are protected by civil law and modern custom.  The biblical matriarch Rebecca (Rebecca and Issac)  was said to be 9 when she preformed her act of kindness for the camels.

You don't need to go all that far back in my family's  history to find  brides of 13 or 14. Traditional Judaism and Christianity did  a much better job of protecting women than  traditional Islam does but they are not free from acts of horror.
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G M
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« Reply #304 on: May 31, 2010, 09:27:27 AM »

In 2010, judeo-christian civilization does not allow for child brides. In the islamic world it's sanctified because Mohammed's 3rd wife was six when he married her, although he waited until she was 9 before consummating the marriage, being the swell guy he was.
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G M
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« Reply #305 on: May 31, 2010, 10:26:44 AM »

http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/bukhari/062.sbt.html#007.062.088

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88:
Narrated 'Ursa:

The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).
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G M
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« Reply #306 on: May 31, 2010, 10:33:12 AM »

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/International/yemeni-bride-11-hospitalized-genital-injuries/story?id=10362500

An average of eight women die each day in Yemen due to child marriage, many of them in childbirth, according to the Arabic Sisters Forum. The group runs a hotline for victims of domestic violence and has been lobbying in support of a minimum marriage age now under consideration by the Yemeni parliament.

Pushing against the proposed law is the strong hand of Islamic conservatives in Yemen. Clerics have declared women like Amal Basha apostates from Islam for opposing child marriage, which they see as divinely ordained. The government, she says, is intimidated by the religious and tribal customs.

"They say this is Islamic…and they declared jihad against... the UN treaty on women's rights," she said.
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G M
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« Reply #307 on: May 31, 2010, 10:44:14 AM »

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/03/13/IN5D1CD71L.DTL

Saudi Arabia has a serious child-marriage problem.

It's emblematic of the nation's struggle between modernity and traditional Islam. But the lives of thousands of little girls are being destroyed as the Saudi government ponderously debates a solution.

Child marriage has been acceptable, even encouraged, in many Islamic states since the religion was born. After all, among the prophet Muhammad's dozen wives was Aisha, who is believed to have been 6 or 7 years old when the two were married. But in Saudi Arabia, at least, the practice slammed headlong into modern values last spring, when a Saudi court refused to nullify the marriage of an 8-year-old girl from Unaiza to a man in his late 50s.
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G M
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« Reply #308 on: May 31, 2010, 10:54:04 AM »

http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2010/03/11/13201531.html

Federal immigration officials say there’s little they can do to stop “child brides” from being sponsored into Canada by much older husbands who wed them in arranged marriages abroad.

Top immigration officials in Canada and Pakistan say all they can do is reject the sponsorships of husbands trying to bring their child-brides to Canada. The men have to reapply when the bride turns 16. The marriages are permitted under Sharia Law.

Muslim men, who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents return to their homeland to wed a “child bride” in an arranged marriage in which a dowry is given to the girl’s parents. Officials said some of the brides can be 14 years old or younger and are “forced” to marry. The practice occurs in a host of countries including: Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Lebanon.
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G M
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« Reply #309 on: May 31, 2010, 11:10:45 AM »

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/africa/article5248224.ece

Northern Nigeria has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world: nearly half of all girls here are married by the age of 15.

The consequences have been devastating. Nigeria has the highest maternal mortality rate in Africa and one of the world’s highest rates of fistula, a condition that can occur when the pressure of childbirth tears a hole between the vagina and the bladder or rectum. Many women are left incontinent for life. Up to 800,000 women suffer from fistula in Nigeria.

“They marry young, they get pregnant young, they deliver young and they pick up the fistula,” said Kees Waaldijk, the chief consultant surgeon at the Babbar Ruga hospital, the world’s largest fistula clinic, in the northern state of Katsina.

Most cases happen to young girls during their first pregnancy, and nearly half the patients at Babbar Ruga are under 16.


The smell of urine is overpowering and many of the women have been cast out from their communities. Some have been divorced by their husbands - it is estimated that up to half of adolescent girls in northern Nigeria are divorced. “If nothing is done the woman ends up crippled for life: medically, socially, mentally and emotionally,” Dr Waaldijk said.

The Nigerian federal Government has attempted to outlaw child marriage. In 2003 it passed the Child Rights Act, prohibiting marriage under the age of 18. In the Muslim northern states, though, there has been fierce resistance to the Act, with many people portraying it as antiIslamic. “Child marriage in Islam is permissible. In the Koran there is no specific age of marriage,” said Imam Sani, a liberal cleric in the northern state of Kaduna. He said that this was the root cause of the opposition among the more hardline mullahs, who believe that matters of Islamic “personal” law - marriage, divorce and inheritance - must be governed by the Koran, not the state.

“The Muslim clerics have a problem with this Child Rights Act and they decried it, they castigate it, they reject it and they don’t want it introduced in Nigeria,” Mr Sani said.

He said there would be serious repercussions if the federal Government attempted to impose a minimum age of marriage. “There will be violent conflict from the Muslims, saying that ‘no, we will not accept this, we’d rather die than accept something which is not a law from Allah’.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #310 on: June 01, 2010, 12:44:07 AM »

Now here's a surprising development.  Who could have imagined that men and women together in a war zone would copulate?

===================

ia Verma and Richard Blackwell

Kabul and Toronto — From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published on Sunday, May. 30, 2010 10:35PM EDT
 
Last updated on Monday, May. 31, 2010 11:21AM EDT
 

.The reputation and morale of Canada’s military, still reeling from allegations that a base commander committed multiple murders, has suffered another blow with the dismissal of its top soldier in Afghanistan for breaking the rules on personal relationships in the field.

Brigadier-General Daniel Ménard was removed from command following allegations he had an intimate relationship with a member of his staff. The subordinate involved has been sent home, according to a military spokesman.

Brigadier-General Jonathan Vance, Gen. Ménard’s predecessor, will be returning to Kandahar this week to assume command less than a year after he left, arriving as coalition troops are poised to launch a major operation in Kandahar in June that is cast as the defining moment of the war.

While Canadian military commanders in Afghanistan sought to down play the controversy as a personal ordeal, military observers and former officers said Gen. Ménard’s dismissal could be damaging to the morale of the troops on the ground, and possibly taint Canadians’ image of the armed forces.

It will certainly “take away some of the glitter” that was associated with Canadian soldiers’ performance in Afghanistan, said Michel Drapeau, a professor of military law and a former armed forces colonel.


“ I’m encouraged by the fact that Ménard was removed from his post, since it suggests that the Forces are taking the rules, and the rights and interests of female soldiers, seriously. ”
— Michael Byers, professor of political science at the University of British Columbia


It is particularly unfortunate that it comes so soon after Colonel Russell Williams, the former base commander at CFB Trenton, was charged with multiple murders and sexual assaults, he said. While the allegations against Gen. Ménard are in no way similar, they will add to the public’s concern about the quality of leadership in the armed forces and raise worries within the Forces as well, he said. “People in the military [will say] ‘Here we go again,’”

However, the greatest impact, Mr. Drapeau said, will be on the morale of troops in Afghanistan who served under Gen. Ménard. “It’s devastating,” he said. “They [put] all of their trust and respect in him, and they were prepared to follow him into battle ... Their sense of confidence in leadership will take a hit.”

Military historian Jack Granatstein said it is important to note that the allegations against Gen. Ménard are “infinitely less serious” than those against Col. Williams. If proven, they will primarily demonstrate “stupidity on the part of a commanding officer who’s job it is to set an example.”

Gen. Ménard commanded 2,800 Canadian soldiers in southern Afghanistan, as well as a contingent of American troops serving under Canadian command.

The allegations against him caused military command to “lose confidence” in his “capacity to command,” the military said in a brief statement. Military rules strictly forbid any kind of intimacy on deployments, including relationships of an emotional, romantic or sexual nature.

Gen. Ménard, is 42 and married with two children. Major Daryl Morrell, senior public affairs officer with Joint Task Force Afghanistan, said it was “too early to speculate on the charges” Gen. Ménard could face, because they won’t be known until the military completes its investigation.



AP
Brigadier-General Daniel Menard, commander of Canada's task force Afghanistan, speaks to reporters in Kandahar on Jan. 30, 2010.
.
Lieutenant-General Marc Lessard, commander of Canadian forces overseas, made a brief visit to Afghanistan several weeks ago, before Gen. Ménard went on a three-week leave, from which he has just returned. However, reporters at Kandahar Air Field were told the allegations were only revealed to Gen. Lessard on Saturday. Lt.-Gen. Lessard acted immediately to replace Gen. Ménard.

Colonel Simon Hetherington, previously Brig.-Gen. Ménard's second-in-command, is now acting commander until Gen. Vance arrives. He sought to down play any consequences the allegations could have on the military’s reputation.

“The allegations against Brig-Gen. Ménard are that – they’re allegations,” Col. Hetherington said. “It’s a personal thing, so I don’t see that as any sort of mark against the institution at all,” he added.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay declined to comment on the case while it was under investigation by the military.

Michael Byers, a professor of political science at the University of British Columbia, said that while it is clearly discouraging for troops to see a senior officer accused of breaking the rules, it also tells the public that those rules are being applied at all levels.

“I’m encouraged by the fact that Ménard was removed from his post, since it suggests that the Forces are taking the rules, and the rights and interests of female soldiers, seriously,” Prof. Byers said.

Retired major-general Lewis Mackenzie said the fact that Gen. Ménard was the commander in Afghanistan raises the situation above a minor issue, because he would be the one to make final decisions in other cases of inappropriate behaviour. “He’s the last level of authority in the theatre in disciplinary matters.”

Douglas Bland, the chair of defence management studies at the Queen’s University School of Policy Studies, said the military has moved quickly to deal with leadership issues since the Somalia inquiry, when problems in command were linked to the fatal beating of a teenager by two Canadian soldiers during a humanitarian mission in Somalia. “That is a sign of their sensitivity and seriousness about maintaining good order and discipline across the forces,” he said.

But Prof. Bland said the rules prohibiting personal relationships are essential, especially in combat zones, “where the integrity of the unit is supreme,” and must be followed, particularly, by the highest-ranking soldiers.

This is not the first time controversy has dogged Gen. Ménard.

Last week he was fined $3,500 for accidentally firing his rifle at Kandahar Air Field in March. He had failed to switch is C8 carbine rifle to the “safe” position before departing in a helicopter with his boss, General Walter Natynczyk.

Nobody was injured, but the incident qualifies as an offence under the National Defence Act, with a maximum penalty of dismissal from the military. At a military hearing into the incident, Gen. Ménard’s defence lawyer argued for leniency, noting the commander reported the mishap to investigators and discussed the incident openly with his soldiers.

Brig.-Gen Ménard joined the Canadian forces in 1984 and was posted to the Royal 22nd Regiment where initially served as a platoon commander.

He rose quickly through the ranks, serving in Great Britain, Berlin, Germany and Bosnia. He assumed command of Task Force Kandahar in November.


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #311 on: July 02, 2010, 07:39:08 AM »

The other story about same-sex parenting
Research showing the risks of lesbian and gay parenting is ignored in the race to make a political case.
http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/the_other_story_about_same-sex_parenting/


There is an inherent risk that anyone who has anything to say about gay male or lesbian parenting, no matter how cautious, will be misunderstood at best and vilified at worst. Nevertheless, the mission of a university professor includes seeking new ways to look at old issues, to resist all forms of intimidation, and to ensure that multiple sides of controversial issues are considered. Since there are more voices promoting the virtues of parenting by people defining themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT), I will present here an alternative, possibly minority, view that focuses on some of the possible risks associated with gay and lesbian parenting.

This is a challenging area. As one hint about the difficulties, consider this: when a group of authors published three articles (two even in the same journal) on data from the same set of lesbian parents about 1980, the two articles reporting favorable outcomes were cited 65 times compared to only two citations for the one article reporting unfavorable outcomes. In other cases, the worse the methodological quality of the research, the more likely it is to have been cited in major reviews of the literature.

The methodological quality of much of the literature is poor. Many studies have not controlled for parental educational and family per-capita income differences between lesbian and heterosexual families. Regardless, between February and June of 2010 no less than three articles have concluded that two lesbian mothers may, on average, tend to be better parents than heterosexual parents (Biblarz & Stacey, 2010; Gartrell & Bos, 2010; Biblarz & Savci, 2010) -- quite a controversial position. However, serious concerns remain.

Sexual Fidelity

Research is increasingly clear that many lesbigay partners enter into their versions of a committed relationship with expectations that cheating is acceptable. Some research suggests that gay men have more stable relationships only if cheating is permitted. Michael Bettinger (2006) reported: “An important difference between gay men and heterosexuals is that the majority of gay men in committed relationships are not monogamous”.

Dr. Esther Rothblum has reported that whereas women (lesbian or heterosexual) seldom permit sexual affairs, “40 percent of gay men in civil unions have an agreement that non-monogamy is permitted and over half have had sex outside their current relationship”. If gay marriage means accepting sexual non-monogamy within marriage, we must accept an inherent change in the intrinsic meaning of marriage and ultimately the meaning of responsible parenting.

Relationship Stability and Children

Another issue concerns the relationship between having children and staying together for the sake of the children. Though gay and lesbian couples in some studies appear to have higher quality, more satisfying relationships, they also appear less likely to remain stable when children are involved. Recent studies by Patterson and by Nanette Gartrell in the United States, as well as Scandinavian research, confirm this outcome, even when the GLBT subjects sampled had much higher levels of education than the heterosexual subjects.

Recently, Gartrell and Bos reported that over 56 per cent of lesbian parents had separated by the time their child was 17 years old. Based on the mothers’ reports of the children’s psychological adjustment, the adverse impact of that instability was not quite statistically significant. Comparable studies of heterosexual parents have found rates of separation ranging from 3 per cent to less than 30 percent over similar timeframes.

As yet, we have no published data on the stability of legally married LGBT parents. However, recent evidence indicates that very few GLBT individuals come together with the intention of having children and few, in fact, ever have children; if they do have a child, few spend the entire year with that child.

Effects on Children

Richard Redding, writing in a 2008 issue of the Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy, concluded that gay parents were more likely to have gay children. My meta-analyses of 26 studies and ten books on GLBT parenting concur with his findings (Schumm, in press). Furthermore, my research indicates that many literature reviews have systematically excluded information about negative child outcomes associated with gay parenting -- that is, greater levels of insecure attachment and drug abuse among daughters of gay fathers. The most recent review of literature on GLBT families did not mention Sirota’s (2009) research, even though I reported a summary of it two years ago.

Space does not permit an adequate treatment here, but some research suggests differential effects on sex role orientations of children and their views of non-monogamous sexuality. My hunch is that delayed gratification orientation may be an important intervening variable for understanding the influence of parental sexual orientation on child outcomes, but I am not aware of any studies on that variable.

Again, there appear to be differences in reporting of child outcomes, depending on the source of the data – whether parents, children, or teachers, for example. My sense is that maternal reports tend to be influenced by what the writers understand to be socially desirable outcomes, especially if the mothers sense the political purposes of the study.

Ends do not justify the means

One could probably write a book on the misuse of research regarding LGBT individuals and families. Even if the political goals of the researchers were laudable, the misuse of science would not be. In my view, the ends do not justify the means. Numerous legal and social science scholars have virtually sworn that the idea that GLBT parents might tend to have GLBT children was nothing but a myth; however, close examination of multiple sources of data suggests otherwise, as my forthcoming article will show.

Today, some would say, so what? That might be a plausible position, but it was not the position taken by most scholars between 1990 and 2005. Then, and now, I presume, most of the public would deem relationship instability to be unfavorable for the welfare of children, and would want to consider the evidence that lesbian parents have much less stable relationships than do married heterosexual parents.

As I noted at the beginning, it is risky to express such views about same-sex parenting, no matter how objectively based they are. But the public has a right to consider all the evidence in such an important matter, affecting as it does the welfare of children.

Dr Walter Schumm is a Professor of Family Studies in the School of Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University. He has published over 250 scholarly articles and book chapters and is co-editor of the Sourcebook of Family Theories and Methods: A Contextual Approach (Plenum, 1993; Springer, 2009). He is a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, a former brigade and battalion commander. His views may not reflect the positions of Kansas State University or the US Department of Defense.

For further information, including a list of references for the above article, contact Dr Schumm at schumm@ksu.edu
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G M
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« Reply #312 on: August 01, 2010, 08:39:23 PM »

http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2010/08/01/8-ways-fascist-feminists-are-ruining-americas-women/

Feminist cultural destruction.
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« Reply #313 on: August 06, 2010, 10:36:57 AM »

http://hotair.com/greenroom/archives/2010/08/06/gays-and-blood-donation-sacrificing-public-safety-for-political-correctness/

Take one for the team?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #314 on: September 07, 2010, 10:58:55 AM »

Heated debate and controversy swept across the Australian state of New South Wales last week when a bill granting same-sex couples the same rights under adoption laws as heterosexual couples was passed narrowly (45 votes to 43) in the Legislative Assembly (lower house) of its Parliament.

The message that permeated the media was this: that discrimination against same-sex couples has to stop, and that adoption is just one more frontier that needs to be conquered. Passionate letters condemning conservatives and religious beliefs reflected the same theme: one reader of the Sydney Morning Herald said that "[h]omosexuals are just as capable of, and entitled to, raising a child [sic]. The same-sex adoption bill goes some way towards the legitimate and continuing campaign to give same-sex couples the same legal and social rights... as enjoyed by mixed gender parents." While a campaign to stop discrimination against same-sex relationships clearly formed the underlying objective of this legislation and the undercurrent of debate, the justification for it was marketed by the slogan: "What matters is loving parents, not their sexuality."


Members of Parliament were allowed by their parties to have a conscience vote, and leaders of both parties voted in favour of the bill. The state premier and self-professed Catholic, Kristina Keneally, went so far as to attempt to reconcile her position to back the legislation with Catholic teaching. Keneally actually hails from Ohio where she attended the University of Dayton, a Catholic institution. Presumably she did not major in theology, judging from how she mixes snippets of Catholic doctrine on homosexuality and the morality of sex outside of marriage with quotes from scripture, mostly taken out of context, misunderstood and in any case, irrelevant. Needless to say, while Keneally may have convinced herself of the congruity between her faith and her stand on the placement of children with same-sex couples, she convinced neither those for nor those against the amendments.

In any event, what the NSW premier and the media have in common is this: they have missed the point. What should have been the crux of this debate -- the best interests of the child -- was lost in the strong tide of sentiment favouring the view that the rights of the prospective adopting parents are paramount and that discrimination against people of same-sex orientation must be eliminated in every way, shape and form.

The issue of whether same-sex adoption is in the best interests of the child is not, in fact, about homophobia or whether prospective same-sex parents have a "right" to adopt a child. One person who appears to have gotten this right is Mike Baird, the shadow treasurer of the Legislative Assembly, whose starting point was "the interests of children and their needs rather than adults and their rights". He went on to criticise the bill as one that puts "the rights of the adults at the centre... the interests of adults above those of children."

The central question to be addressed, said Baird, was not (as Keneally held) whether children needed a loving family; rather, the issue turned on whether it is in the child’s best interests to be "effectively barred" from having a mother and a father.

"f it is accepted that a child has a human right to a mother and a father," he said in the parliamentary debate, "this is a negative right in the sense that there is no claim that society or the state are obliged to provide this, but simply that they are obliged not to help deprive someone of them."

The question he raises is one that ought to make us pause: giving equal preference to same-sex parents and opposite-sex parents that wish to adopt means that the state has the arbitrary power to decide whether or not a child is going to have a father and a mother. Clothing the issue in questions of whether homosexual couples are capable of giving the child care, love and a stable environment, or whether homosexual couples could do it better than dysfunctional opposite-sex parents, and bringing in arguments about where religion stands on the debate -- all of this distracts from the main question.

What we need to ask ourselves is whether it is right that the state be allowed to deprive a child of the chance to have both a person who fulfils the function of a mother and a person who fulfils the function of a father, and all that the collaboration of two people of different genders potentially brings to the development of a human being. The opportunity to have a mother and a father is a very distinct and separate issue from discriminating against people of same-sex orientation, although admittedly and by its nature, it inevitably does.

While Baird acknowledged the complexity surrounding the debate and the need to abolish all unjust discrimination, he also pointed out that passing the bill would amount to a "deliberate decision... to negate one biological parent", which could only be justified if it is accepted that a child definitively does not need both a father and a mother.

Baird voted against the law change on the ground that there was insufficient depth of research to show that there was no long-term impact on children in same-sex families. Without such evidence he said he could not justify legislating against the "time-honoured practice of placing children with both a mother and a father".

"If we wish to make such a dramatic move," he said, "... we must be convinced that it is in the best interests of the child. From what I have read, we are not at this point. Going forward this should lead the debate, not the need to eradicate discrimination or address legal anomalies."

The Legislative Council, which is the upper house of the NSW Parliament and whose approval is required to make this bill law, is considering these issues this week. Let’s hope they get it right this time.

Susan Smithies is the pen name of a lawyer working in New South Wales.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #315 on: September 07, 2010, 10:41:40 PM »

Crafty, I think you have nailed the direction of the gay rights issue of today with the Australia story.  A short time ago gays were coming out with a plea that said: accept us, we are different from you.  We are different but we still have a right to happiness, employment, housing, education, etc.  So far, so good.  Somewhere along the road it changed to a demand: accept us we are the same as you.

No one is a perfect father or mother and no married couple with children are perfect parents.  Some hetero-marriages are not for the purpose of procreation such as when my grandpa re-married at age 80.  But marriage is mostly I think about building a home and a family and married heteros in one bed commonly leads to having and raising children.

Children have the best chance at the good things in life if they are raised in a loving home with one mother and one father married to each other and complementing each other's traits and strengths and weaknesses.  If you don't see that principle coming from God's creation and intelligent design, maybe you can observe it or measure it empirically. 

Recently there was a study concluding that children of gay parents were just as happy or happier than children of hetero-parents.  That story line ran for about one day until critics of the study pointed out that the data all came from self-reporting by the parents about the happiness of their children and was funded by a gay adoption advocacy group. The study was part of an agenda (IMHO) to lead toward no distinction between genders with parenting being the end they seek. (Gay parenting by definition involves adoption.) 

Separate from gayness, does anyone think children in general would do better with 2 fathers in their household instead of one father and a mother in a loving marriage with each bringing different qualities in terms of toughness, nurturing, different sensitivities and different role models to the household?  Would two women with two hyphenated mommy-someone names competing to out nurture each other give, in general, the full balance that children might receive with one mother and one father - each one the only mother and the only father, not one of two?  I don't think so and as a single father raising a daughter the best I can I don't say that from some lofty perch of perfection.

The end of gender distinctions after we eliminate the terms like bride, groom, husband, wife, father, mother, will be to update our religious books to command us to: Honor your gender-neutral parent-one and honor your other parent-one.

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G M
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« Reply #316 on: September 07, 2010, 11:01:11 PM »

It's about deconstructing western civilization.
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JDN
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« Reply #317 on: September 08, 2010, 09:02:20 AM »

Doug, you make some good points.  I agree no one (in their right mind) would "think children in general would do better with 2 fathers in their household instead of one father and a mother in a loving marriage with each bringing different qualities in terms of toughness, nurturing, different sensitivities and different role models to the household?"  Or two "mothers" in their household - I have a few lesbian neighbors.

However, for different reasons and varying circumstances I also know quite a few single parents.  As an observer,  it seems single parenthood is very rewarding but complicated and difficult.  And the child is "missing" having "one father and a mother in a loving marriage...."  It's really hard being a single parent (kudos to you). 

I guess my question is whether being raised by two loving successful intelligent lesbians for example is that much worse (or better) than being raised by a single parent?  I find it
a bit odd that a successful single man or single woman can adopt and/or have a child and be commended and applauded yet a successful lesbian couple adopting or having a child is frowned upon.

In both examples the child is missing a role model.  Yet in both examples, the child will be loved and nurtured. 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #318 on: September 08, 2010, 10:14:03 AM »

But in one case, sexual role models modelled will be Darwinian errors and at variance with abouat 95% of the children in question.
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G M
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« Reply #319 on: September 08, 2010, 10:14:39 AM »

I don't applaud single mothers who are single by choice.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #320 on: September 08, 2010, 01:23:48 PM »

JDN: "I guess my question is whether being raised by two loving successful intelligent lesbians for example is that much worse (or better) than being raised by a single parent?  I find it
a bit odd that a successful single man or single woman can adopt and/or have a child and be commended and applauded yet a successful lesbian couple adopting or having a child is frowned upon."

GM: "I don't applaud single mothers who are single by choice."
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
I agree with GM and lost a dear friend with that advice.  I disclosed in my post "...as a single father raising a daughter the best I can I don't say that from some lofty perch of perfection."  One of the keys to success that has worked for me taking custody virtually at birth was to make sure at least 6 loving adults to bond closely in her life, people she would see and spend time with at least every week of the year in the formative years, in particular having her experience the loving and nurturing hetero-marriage household of her maternal grandparents.  I knew she needed a positive female role model to be close like a mother and needed also to witness and experience the relationship they have with each other.  With some braggart I can say she is better off with me than aborted or abandoned, but I would never say this situation is preferable to having your one loving mother married to your one loving father married and with you in one loving household.

JDN, Your comparison of gay or lesbian adoption to single parenting or adoption is interesting.  I would not want to judge one against the other -  but will.  Certainly having two is an advantage in some ways and there typically is some degree of femininity and masculinity distinction between the two.  OTOH, with only one I can say that when times are difficult there no question in the mind of the parent or the child or anyone else who is the father (singular), not Daddy-Tom and/or  Daddy-Bill, or who is the mother singular.  With two of this or two of that; no one can stand up and say I am the father, or I am the mother (singular).  I also don't like the first name familiarity required with the duplication.

I am not against gay parenting or gay adoption.  I am simply against putting that concept alongside of hetero-marriage and hetero-parenting (a lot of hyphens are required) and saying that any combination is fine or equal.  I don't believe God was wrong to make it so structured: "Honor your father and your mother".

Some kids are troubled, disadvantaged or otherwise not in demand for adoption.  Similar to what I said for my situation, I would rather see a kid adopted by a gay or lesbian couple (or a single person) who sincerely want to take that on than have the kid aborted, abandoned or left without family.
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G M
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« Reply #321 on: September 08, 2010, 02:31:00 PM »

I would rather have a child raised by a gay couple than "raised by the state". I don't have a problem with homosexuals adopting if that's the alternative, but if there is a choice between a normal couple and homosexuals, then the default should be for normalcy.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #322 on: September 08, 2010, 04:31:56 PM »

Intuitively that makes sense to me.
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JDN
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« Reply #323 on: September 08, 2010, 05:55:39 PM »

I too agree; although I question what does "default" mean?

If we have a check list; one item, albeit an important item should be "normal couple" or whatever PC sounds better.
But a lot of other factors enter into determining the "best" home for the child.  All need to be weighed, some more equally than others.

I bet one of my lesbian neighbors (One is the Head of ER at University Hospital and the other a serious $$$ Hollywood Agent) would offer a wonderful home.
Not a "normal couple" yet no question they are able to offer numerous advantages to a homeless child versus the average "normal couple" not to
mention significant advantages versus the average single parent.  All factors need to be weighed. 

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G M
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« Reply #324 on: September 08, 2010, 06:23:16 PM »

Default - a value that a program or operating system assumes, or a course of action that a program or operating system will take, when the user or programmer specifies no overriding value or action.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #325 on: September 08, 2010, 11:22:47 PM »

Other things being roughly equal , , ,
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JDN
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« Reply #326 on: September 09, 2010, 09:21:33 AM »

Th
Other things being roughly equal , , ,

Then we agree....
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #327 on: September 16, 2010, 04:12:21 PM »



http://www.theblaze.com/stories/obama%e2%80%99s-safe-school-czar-admits-gay-curriculum-is-the-ultimate-goal/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #328 on: November 07, 2010, 06:56:47 AM »

With exactly the political shadings that one would expect from the NY Times


In School Efforts to End Bullying, Some See Agenda
By ERIK ECKHOLM
HELENA, Mont. — Alarmed by evidence that gay and lesbian students are common
victims of schoolyard bullies, many school districts are bolstering their
antiharassment rules with early lessons in tolerance, explaining that some
children have “two moms” or will grow up to love members of the same sex.

Mary Decker, left, Michael Gengler and Tess Dufrechou are members of the
Helena High School Gay-Straight Alliance, which supported revisions to the
sex education and antibullying curriculum in the school district in Helena,
Mont.
The Curriculum
The school district in Helena, Mont., revised its new teaching guidelines on
sex education and tolerance, after parents criticized them as being too
explicit and an endorsement of homosexuality.

Among the original goals:

Grade 1: “Understand human beings can love people of the same gender and
people of another gender.”
Grade 5: “Understand that sexual intercourse includes but is not limited to
vaginal, oral or anal penetration.”

The final version eliminated those goals and added a vaguer one:
Grades K to 5: “Recognize that family structures differ.”

The final version also added language emphasizing that same-sex marriage is
illegal:
Grade 6: “In Montana, marriage is between a man and woman. Other states
allow marriage between adults of the same gender.”

A goal in the original and final plans:
Grade 6: “Recognize that acceptance of gender role stereotypes can limit a
person’s life.”

But such efforts to teach acceptance of homosexuality, which have gained
urgency after several well-publicized suicides by gay teenagers, are
provoking new culture wars in some communities.
Many educators and rights advocates say that official prohibitions of slurs
and taunts are most effective when combined with frank discussions, from
kindergarten on, about diverse families and sexuality.

Angry parents and religious critics, while agreeing that schoolyard
harassment should be stopped, charge that liberals and gay rights groups are
using the antibullying banner to pursue a hidden “homosexual agenda,”
implicitly endorsing, for example, same-sex marriage.

Last summer, school officials here in Montana’s capital unveiled new
guidelines for teaching about sexuality and tolerance. They proposed
teaching first graders that “human beings can love people of the same
gender,” and fifth graders that sexual intercourse can involve “vaginal,
oral or anal penetration.”

A local pastor, Rick DeMato, carried his shock straight to the pulpit.

“We do not want the minds of our children to be polluted with the things of
a carnal-minded society,” Mr. DeMato, 69, told his flock at Liberty Baptist
Church.

In tense community hearings, some parents made familiar arguments that
innocent youngsters were not ready for explicit language. Other parents and
pastors, along with leaders of the Big Sky Tea Party, saw a darker purpose.

“Anyone who reads this document can see that it promotes acceptance of the
homosexual lifestyle,” one mother said at a six-hour school board meeting in
late September.

Barely heard was the plea of Harlan Reidmohr, 18, who graduated last spring
and said he was relentlessly tormented and slammed against lockers after
coming out during his freshman year. Through his years in the Helena
schools, he said at another school board meeting, sexual orientation was
never once discussed in the classroom, and “I believe this led to a lot of
the sexual harassment I faced.”

Last month, the federal Department of Education told schools they were
obligated, under civil rights laws, to try to prevent harassment, including
that based on sexual orientation and gender identity. But the agency did not
address the controversy over more explicit classroom materials in grade
schools.

Some districts, especially in larger cities, have adopted tolerance lessons
with minimal dissent. But in suburban districts in California, Illinois and
Minnesota, as well as here in Helena, the programs have unleashed fierce
opposition.

“Of course we’re all against bullying,” Mr. DeMato, one of numerous pastors
who opposed the plan, said in an interview. “But the Bible says very clearly
that homosexuality is wrong, and Christians don’t want the schools to teach
subjects that are repulsive to their values.”

The divided Helena school board, after four months of turmoil, recently
adopted a revised plan for teaching about health, sex and diversity. Much of
the explicit language about sexuality and gay families was removed or
replaced with vague phrases, like a call for young children to “understand
that family structures differ.” The superintendent who has ardently pushed
the new curriculum, Bruce K. Messinger, agreed to let parents remove their
children from lessons they find objectionable.

In Alameda, Calif., officials started to introduce new tolerance lessons
after teachers noticed grade-schoolers using gay slurs and teasing children
with gay or lesbian parents. A group of parents went to court seeking the
right to remove their children from lessons that included reading “And Tango
Makes Three,” a book in which two male penguins bond and raise a child.

The parents lost the suit, and the school superintendent, Kirsten Vital,
said the district was not giving ground. “Everyone in our community needs to
feel safe and visible and included,” Ms. Vital said.

Some of the Alameda parents have taken their children out of public schools,
while others now hope to unseat members of the school board.

After at least two suicides by gay students last year, a Minnesota school
district recently clarified its antibullying rules to explicitly protect gay
and lesbian students along with other target groups. But to placate
religious conservatives, the district, Anoka-Hennepin County, also stated
that teachers must be absolutely neutral on questions of sexual orientation
and refrain from endorsing gay parenting.

Rights advocates worry that teachers will avoid any discussion of
gay-related topics, missing a chance to fight prejudice.

While nearly all states require schools to have rules against harassment,
only 10 require them to explicitly outlaw bullying related to sexual
orientation. Rights groups including the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education
Network, based in New York, are promoting a federal “safe schools” act to
make this a universal requirement, although passage is not likely any time
soon.

===============

In School Efforts to End Bullying, Some See Agenda

Published: November 6, 2010
(Page 2 of 2)



Candi Cushman, an educational analyst with Focus on the Family, a Christian
group, said that early lessons about sexuality and gay parents reflected a
political agenda, including legitimizing same-sex marriage. “We need to
protect all children from bullying,” Ms. Cushman said. “But the advocacy
groups are promoting homosexual lessons in the name of antibullying.”

The Curriculum
The school district in Helena, Mont., revised its new teaching guidelines on
sex education and tolerance, after parents criticized them as being too
explicit and an endorsement of homosexuality.

Among the original goals:

Grade 1: “Understand human beings can love people of the same gender and
people of another gender.”
Grade 5: “Understand that sexual intercourse includes but is not limited to
vaginal, oral or anal penetration.”

The final version eliminated those goals and added a vaguer one:
Grades K to 5: “Recognize that family structures differ.”

The final version also added language emphasizing that same-sex marriage is
illegal:
Grade 6: “In Montana, marriage is between a man and woman. Other states
allow marriage between adults of the same gender.”

A goal in the original and final plans:
Grade 6: “Recognize that acceptance of gender role stereotypes can limit a
person’s life.”



Ellen Kahn of the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, which offers a
“welcoming schools” curriculum for grade schools, denied such motives.

“When you talk about two moms or two dads, the idea is to validate the
families, not to push a debate about gay marriage,” Ms. Kahn said. The
program involves what she described as age-appropriate materials on family
and sexual diversity and is used in dozens of districts, though it has
sometime stirred dissent.

The Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, which runs teacher-training programs and
recommends videos and books depicting gay parents in a positive light, has
met opposition in several districts, including the Chicago suburb of Oak
Park.

Julie Justicz, a 47-year-old lawyer, and her partner live in Oak Park with
two sons ages 6 and 11. Ms. Justicz saw the need for early tolerance
training, she said, when their older son was upset by pejorative terms about
gays in the schoolyard.

Frank classroom discussions about diverse families and hurtful phrases had
greatly reduced the problem, she said.

But one of the objecting parents, Tammi Shulz, who describes herself as a
traditional Christian, said, “I just don’t think it’s great to talk about
homosexuality with 5-year-olds.”

Tess Dufrechou, president of Helena High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance, a
club that promotes tolerance, counters that, “By the time kids get to high
school, it’s too late.”

Only a handful of students in Helena high schools are openly gay, with
others keeping the secret because they fear the reactions of parents and
peers, students said.

Michael Gengler, one of the few to have come out, said, “You learn from an
early age that it’s not acceptable to be gay,” adding that he was
disappointed that the teaching guidelines had been watered down.

But Mr. Messinger, the superintendent, said he still hoped to achieve the
original goals without using the explicit language that offended many
parents.

“This is not about advocating a lifestyle, but making sure our children
understand it and, I hope, accept it,” he said.
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rachelg
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« Reply #329 on: December 24, 2010, 10:38:27 AM »



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIvmE4_KMNw

'Girl Effect' Could Lift the Global Economy
Training and supporting young women can transform countries' economic development
http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/apr2009/gb2009048_644459_page_2.htm
By Alyson Warhurst

There are 600 million adolescent girls in developing countries, but they are largely invisible to the world at large. Included among them are girls affected by armed conflict, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, sex trafficking, and internal displacement, as well as girls in child-headed households or locked in early marriages. To ignore them is to miss the "girl effect," which could be an unexpected answer to the global economic crisis.

Here's why: When a girl benefits, so does everyone in society, including business. Girls as economic actors can bring about change for themselves, their families, and their countries. Conversely, ignoring the girl effect can cost societies billions in lost potential.

• When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later, on average, and has 2.2 fewer children.

• An extra year in primary school statistically boosts girls' future wages by 10% to 20%, and every additional year a girl spends in secondary school lifts her income by 15% to 25%. The size of a country's economy is in no small part determined by the educational attainment and skill sets of its girls.

• Young women have a 90% probability of investing their earned income back into their families, while the likelihood of men doing the same is only 30% to 40%.

• A girl's school attainment is linked to her own health and well-being, as well as reduced death rates: For every additional year of schooling, a mother's mortality is significantly reduced, and the infant mortality rate of her children declines by 5% to 10%.

• If educated, girls can get loans, start businesses, employ other women, and reinvest in their families—when they're ready to have them. That means their children can also have an education.

Consider the situation in Kenya. Some 1.6 million girls there drop out of high school every year. If they finished their secondary education, they would make 30% more money and contribute $3.2 billion more to the Kenyan economy every year. Instead, many take their place among Kenya's 204,000 adolescent mothers and cost the economy $500 million a year.

According to Your Move, a toolkit on the Web site www.girleffect.org, girls in Kenya could, over their lifetime, lift the nation's economy by $27.4 billion through additional education, $25 billion if they delay childbirth, and $1.6 billion if they stay free of HIV/AIDS. Yet without policy intervention, staying HIV/AIDS-free is extremely difficult, and as a result, in Nairobi's urban slums a girl is six times as likely to be HIV-positive than a boy.

RUNNING THEIR OWN BUSINESSES
The girl effect is the same the world over. Yet even though this is well known, girls as a group still receive less than 0.5% of official development assistance. To unleash the potential power of girls on economic development, further action is needed, including protecting their security and meeting their basic needs. When we do this, girls could have the opportunity to create a ripple effect of positive social and economic change.

Some groups are beginning to act. In Bangladesh, for instance, where in some regions nearly 90% of girls are married before 18, the Nike (NKE) Foundation is a partner in a program that trains girls to build solar panels for their villages. At the same time, nongovernmental organization BRAC has pioneered a microfinance program that by 2007 had provided 40,000 adolescent girls with the capital (as well as the confidence and skills) to run their own farming businesses. That, in turn, allows many to pay their own and their siblings' school fees.

In Paraguay, girls participate in schools that pay for themselves as functioning farms. And in Liberia, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf recognized the potential of the girl effect, working with the World Bank, the Nike Foundation, and the government of Denmark to develop an innovative public-private partnership called the Adolescent Girls Initiative. The program ensures that adolescent girls—who suffered terribly in Liberia's past conflict—receive training and contribute to the country's reconstruction efforts.

A GOAT OF ONE'S OWN
In Ethiopia, if you are a 15-year-old girl, you have a 43% likelihood of being already married. A pilot program run by the Population Council gave families a $25 goat as an incentive to allow their daughters to go to school instead. Within two years, some 11,000 girls, or 97% of the participants, had stayed in school, gained confidence, and delayed marriage and childbirth.

The message about such successes is getting out. Girls were center stage at Davos this year in a plenary session that included Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, managing director of the World Bank; Ann Veneman, executive director of Unicef; Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Mark Parker, the president and chief executive of Nike. And at the U.N. in March, around International Women's Day, the interagency task force on adolescent girls promised to increase efforts to include girls in development programs.

First, adolescent girls worldwide need to be identified and counted. With this in mind, the Nike Foundation, the U.N. Foundation, and Maplecroft (a global risk-analysis company, of which I am a director) are working together on global data sets of adolescent girls to map their whereabouts (at a subnational level, where possible) and to understand their development status and prospects. Once adolescent girls are tallied, it becomes more feasible to advocate for appropriate policy responses and set targets that promote their greater participation in society.

SMART ECONOMICS
Why does this matter to business? Organizations such as Nike, the Gates Foundation, and Jennifer and Peter Buffett's NoVo Foundation are behind a growing number of new initiatives that target the improved health, education, and economic opportunities of adolescent girls. These organizations have seen the sustainability potential of the girl effect on development.

At Davos, Nike's Parker explained: "By providing real economic-based opportunities for girls, the potential impact they have on their family, village, community, and, ultimately, their country is transformative. This has the ability to affect social stability, stimulate economic development, and really be one of the most powerful things we could be doing."

Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE agreed, adding that "educating girls yields some of the highest returns of all development investments." So did the World Bank's Okonjo-Iweala, who said: "Investing in women is smart economics. Investing in girls—catching them upstream—is even smarter economics."

The human rights and security of adolescent girls are also linked indirectly to supply chains, as electronic companies have recently recognized. The mineral tantalum, extracted from coltan ore in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is used in the production of portable electronic equipment, including mobile phones.

ELECTRONICS INDUSTRY INITIATIVES
Last week I attended a Women of Influence lunch at Britain's House of Lords. The topic was sexual violence against women and girls, used as a systematic means by rebels in the DRC to destroy local communities and gain control over natural resources such as coltan. Again, there are no reliable figures, but the U.N. estimates that 27,000 women were raped in DRC in 2006 and 45,000 in 2005. This is continuing despite the presence of a U.N. peacekeeping force.

The electronics industry, for its part, is working together through such organizations as GeSI (the Global e-Sustainability Initiative) and EICC (the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition), in collaboration with the DRC government, to support the establishment of a regulated Congolese coltan industry and prevent the unwitting purchase of illegal coltan associated with human rights violations.

The past decade has seen advances in commitments to action, but the measures are still insufficient. Here are five recommendations for global business:

• Assess the implications for girls of how you source raw materials and other supplies. Do not turn a blind eye to human rights violations of women and girls within your supply chain and sphere of influence.

• If girls are old enough—above the International Labor Organization's stated minimum age of 15—to work in your supply chains, ensure they have identification, fair and just conditions of work, support in education and training, mentors, and safe places to associate. Ask your social auditors to look out for their interests.

• Ensure health facilities and educational materials are close at hand to reduce preventable diseases, such as HIV (many more girls than boys are infected in sub-Saharan Africa), protect maternal health, and support adolescent girls in their unique health needs.

• Address trafficking and sex work in supply chains because girls are more vulnerable to infection by the highest-risk carriers of HIV, soldiers and truck drivers. Indeed, the Northstar Foundation and Maplecroft, supported by TNT (TNT.AS), have mapped HIV/AIDS prevalence over time and found infections increasing along transportation routes in Africa.

• Use your influence to convince the development agencies and governments you work with that girls should get increased focus in development assistance.

• Put girls at the heart of existing and new philanthropy efforts and social investment projects.

(You can find other ideas on www.girleffect.org in the Your Move toolkit.)

Girls and young women could be an important centerpiece of sustainable economic recovery—one that is worthy of innovative policy making on the part of business and governments alike. There are 600 million girls out there, after all. They just need to be seen, understood, and given a chance.


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rachelg
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« Reply #330 on: December 24, 2010, 10:57:33 AM »




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18uDutylDa4

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions -- and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.

I don't agree with everything she has to say  but I thought she made some really interesting points.   
 

So for any of us in this room today, let's start out by admitting we're lucky. We don't live in the world our mothers lived in, our grandmothers lived in, where career choices for women were so limited. And if you're in this room today, most of us grew up in a world where we had basic civil rights. And amazingly, we still live in a world where some women don't have them. But all that aside, we still have a problem, and it's a real problem. And the problem is this: women are not making it to the top of any profession anywhere in the world. The numbers tell the story quite clearly. 190 heads of state -- nine are women. Of all the people in parliament in the world, 13 percent are women. In the corporate sector, women at the top, C-level jobs, board seats -- tops out at 15, 16 percent. The numbers have not moved since 2002 and are going in the wrong direction. And even in the non-profit world, a world we sometimes think of as being led by more women, women at the top: 20 percent.

We also have another problem, which is that women face harder choices between professional success and personal fulfillment. A recent study in the U.S. showed that, of married senior managers, two-thirds of the married men had children and only one-third of the married women had children. A couple of years ago, I was in New York, and I was pitching a deal, and I was in one of those fancy New York private equity offices you can picture. And I'm in the meeting -- it's about a three-hour meeting -- and two hours in, there kind of needs to be that bio break, and everyone stands up, and the partner running the meeting starts looking really embarrassed. And I realized he doesn't know where the women's room is in his office. So I start looking around for moving boxes, figuring they just moved in, but I don't see any. And so I said, "So did you just move into this office?" And he said, "No, we've been here about a year." And I said, "Are you telling me that I am the only woman to have pitched a deal in this office in a year?" And he looked at me, and he said, "Yeah. Or maybe you're the only one who had to go to the bathroom."

(Laughter)

So the question is, how are we going to fix this? How do we change these numbers at the top? How do we make this different? I want to start out by saying, I talk about this -- about keeping women in the workforce -- because I really think that's the answer. In the high-income part of our workforce, in the people who end up at the top -- Fortune 500 CEO jobs, or the equivalent in other industries -- the problem, I am convinced, is that women are dropping out. Now people talk about this a lot, and they talk about things like flex time and mentoring and programs companies should have to train women. I want to talk about none of that today -- even though that's all really important. Today I want to focus on what we can do as individuals. What are the messages we need to tell ourselves? What are the messages we tell the women that work with and for us? What are the messages we tell our daughters?

Now at the outset, I want to be very clear that this speech comes with no judgments. I don't have the right answer; I don't even have it for myself. I left San Fransisco, where I live, on Monday, and I was getting on the plane for this conference. And my daughter, who's three, when I dropped her off at preschool, did that whole hugging the leg, crying, "Mommy, don't get on the plane," thing. This is hard. I feel guilty sometimes. I know no women, whether they're at home, or whether they're in the workforce, that don't feel that sometimes. So I'm not saying that staying in the workforce is the right thing for everyone.

My talk today is about what the messages are if you do want to stay in the workforce. And I think there are three. One, sit at the table. Two, make your partner a real partner. And three -- look at that -- don't leave before you leave. Number one: sit at the table. Just a couple weeks ago at Facebook, we hosted a very senior government official, and he came in to meet with senior execs from around Silicon Valley. And everyone kind of sat at the table. And then he had these two women who were traveling with him who were pretty senior in his department. And I kind of said to them, "Sit at the table. Come on, sit at the table." And they sat on the side of the room. When I was in college my senior year, I took a course called European Intellectual History. Don't you love that kind of thing from college. I wish I could do that now. And I took it with my roommate, Carrie, who was then a brilliant literary student -- and went on to be a brilliant literary scholar -- and my brother -- smart guy, but a water polo playing pre-med, who was a sophomore.

The three of us take this class together. And then Carrie reads all the books in the original Greek and Latin -- goes to all the lectures -- I read all the books in English and go to most of the lectures. My brother is kind of busy; he reads one book of 12 and goes to a couple of lectures, marches himself up to our room a couple days before the exam to get himself tutored. The three of us go to the exam together, and we sit down. And we sit there for three hours -- and our little blue notebooks -- yes, I'm that old. And we walk out, and we look at each other, and we say, "How did you do?" And Carrie says, "Boy, I feel like I didn't really draw out the main point on the Hegelian dialectic." And I say, "God, I really wish I had really connected John Locke's theory of property with the philosophers that follow." And my brother says, "I got the top grade in the class." "You got the top grade in the class? You don't know anything."

The problem with these stories is that they show what the data shows: women systematically underestimate their own abilities. If you test men and women, and you ask them questions on totally objective criteria like GPA's, men get it wrong slightly high, and women get it wrong slightly low. Women do not negotiate for themselves in the workforce. A study in the last two years of people entering the workforce out of college showed that 57 percent of boys entering -- or men, I guess -- are negotiating their first salary, and only seven percent of women. And most importantly, men attribute their success to themselves, and women attribute it to other external factors. If you ask men why they did a good job, they'll say, "I'm awesome. Obviously. Why are you even asking?" If you ask women why they did a good job, what they'll say is someone helped them, they got lucky, they worked really hard. Why does this matter? Boy, it matters a lot because no one gets to the corner office by sitting on the side, not at the table. And no one gets the promotion if they don't think they deserve their success, or they don't even understand their own success.

I wish the answer were easy. I wish I could just go tell all the young women I work for, all these fabulous women, "Believe in yourself and negotiate for yourself. Own your own success." I wish I could tell that to my daughter. But it's not that simple. Because what the data shows, above all else, is one thing, which is that success and likability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. And everyone's nodding, because we all know this to be true.

There's a really good study that shows this really well. There's a famous Harvard Business School study on a woman named Heidi Roizen. And she's an operator in a company in Silicon Valley, and she uses her contacts to become a very successful venture capitalist. In 2002 -- not so long ago -- a professor who was then at Columbia University took that case and made it Heidi Roizen. And he gave case out -- both of them -- to two groups of students. He changed exactly one word: Heidi to Howard. But that was one word made a really big difference. He then surveyed the students. And the good news was the students, both men and women, thought Heidi and Howard were equally competent, and that's good. The bad news was that everyone liked Howard. He's a great guy, you want to work for him, you want to spend the day fishing with him. But Heidi? Not so sure. She's a little out for herself. She's a little political. You're not sure you'd want to work for her. This is the complication. We have to tell our daughter and our colleagues, we have to tell ourselves to believe we got the A, to reach for the promotion, to sit at the table. And we have to do it in a world where, for them, there are sacrifices they will make for that, even though for their brothers, there will not.

The saddest thing about all of this is that it's really hard to remember this. And I'm about to tell a story, which is truly embarrassing for me, but I think important. I gave this talk at Facebook not so long ago to about a hundred employees. And a couple hours later, there was a young woman who works there sitting outside my little desk, and she wanted to talk to me. I said, okay, and she sat down, and we talked. And she said, "I learned something today. I learned that I need to keep my hand up." I said, "What do you mean?" She said, "Well, you're giving this talk, and you said you were going to take two more questions. And I had my hand up with lots of other people, and you took two more questions. And I put my hand down, and I noticed all the women put their hand down, and then you took more questions, only from the men." And I thought to myself, wow, if it's me -- who cares about this, obviously -- giving this talk -- during this talk, I can't even notice that the men's hands are still raised, and the women's hands are still raised, how good are we as managers of our companies and our organizations at seeing that the men are reaching for opportunities more than women? We've got to get women to sit at the table.

(Applause)

Message number two: make your partner a real partner. I've become convinced that we've made more progress in the workforce than we have in the home. The data shows this very clearly. If a woman and a man work full-time and have a child, the woman does twice the amount of housework the man does, and the woman does three times the amount of child care the man does. So she's got three jobs, or two jobs, and he's got one. Who do you think drops out when someone needs to be home more. The causes of this are really complicated, and I don't have time to go into them. And I don't think Sunday football watching and general laziness is the cause.

I think the cause is more complicated. I think, as a society, we put more pressure on our boys to succeed that we do on our girls. I know men that stay home and work in the home to support wives with careers And it's hard. When I go to the Mommy-and-Me stuff and I see the father there, I notice that the other mommies don't play with him. And that's a problem, because we have to make it as important a job -- because it's the hardest job in the world -- to work inside the home for people of both genders, if we're going to even things out and let women stay in the workforce. (Applause) Studies show that households with equal earning and equal responsibility also have half the divorce rate. And if that wasn't good enough motivation for everyone out there, they also have more -- how shall I say this on this stage? -- they know each other more in the biblical sense as well.

(Cheers)

Message number three: don't leave before you leave. I think there's a really deep irony to the fact that actions women are taking -- and I see this all the time -- with the objective of staying in the workforce, actually lead to their eventually leaving. Here's what happens: we're all busy; everyone's busy; a woman's busy. And she starts thinking about having a child. And from the moment she starts thinking about having a child, she starts thinking about making room for that child. "How am I going to fit this into everything else I'm doing?" And literally from that moment, she doesn't raise her hand anymore, she doesn't look for a promotion, she doesn't take on the new project, she doesn't say, "Me, I want to do that." She starts leaning back. The problem is that -- let's say she got pregnant that day, that day -- nine months of pregnancy, thee months of maternity leave, six months to catch your breath -- fast-forward two years, more often -- and as I've seen it -- women start thinking about this way earlier -- when they get engaged, when they get married, when they start thinking about trying to have a child, which can take a long time. One woman came to see me about this, and I kind of looked at her -- she looked a little young. And I said, "So are you and your husband thinking about having a baby?" And she said, "Oh no, I'm not married." She didn't even have a boyfriend. I said, "You're thinking about this just way too early."

But the point is that what happens once you start kind of quietly leaning back? Everyone who's been through this -- and I'm here to tell you, once you have a child at home, your job better be really good to go back, because it's hard to leave that kid at home -- your job needs to be challenging. It needs to be rewarding. You need to feel like you're making a difference. And if two years ago you didn't take a promotion and some guy next to you did, if three years ago you stopped looking for new opportunities, you're going to be bored, because you should have kept your foot on the gas pedal. Don't leave before you leave. Stay in. Keep your foot on the gas pedal, until the very day you need to leave to take a break for a child -- and then make your decisions. Don't make decisions too far in advance, particularly ones you're not even conscious you're making.

My generation really, sadly, is not going to change the numbers at the top. They're just not moving. We are not going to get to where 50 percent of the population -- in my generation, there will not be 50 percent of people at the top of any industry. But I'm hopeful that future generations can. I think the world that was run where half of our countries and half of our companies were run by women, would be a better world. And it's not just because people would know where the women's bathroom are, even though that would be very helpful. I think it would be a better world. I have two children. I have a five year-old son and a two year-old daughter. I want my son to have a choice to contribute fully in the workforce or at home, and I want my daughter to have the choice to not just exceed, but to be liked for her accomplishments.

Thank you.

(Applause)
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #331 on: December 24, 2010, 11:57:42 AM »

What this woman doesn't know is a lot.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #332 on: December 24, 2010, 02:13:53 PM »

I had my own reaction to some of her points, but also wondering if Rachel might expand on: "I don't agree with everything she has to say", and Crafty's rather non-applauding reaction: "What this woman doesn't know is a lot."

Two people I know that would disagree with the thrust of her remarks are my mother and my daughter, both high achievers. Nothing holds either of them back, 70 years apart.  One that might disagree that "women are not making it to the top of any profession anywhere in the world" is Margaret Thatcher.

This point is interesting: "success and likability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. And everyone's nodding, because we all know this to be true."

What is the converse of that, women who are dull plain and going nowhere are more likable than those achieving, leading and accomplishing.  I don't think so and perpetuating that stereotype doesn't seem helpful.  I see it as very individual and personal more so than a gender matter.  Certainly she sees herself as both, a 'c-level' exec and extremely likable - they invented 'friending', didn't they?  I also think she wrote the 'everyone is nodding' in agreement line before seeing the reaction.  I recall hard driving career women I've run across who seem to lack likability, but that is a choice or a personality, not something crucial or helpful to their success.  In the world of girls sports where I spent a lot of my parenting time I run across up and coming players driving to be the best at their craft, in the state, or in the world.  When they step out of the intensity of the competition, some are likable, some are not. 

Her thrust seems to be that the numbers ought to be identical to men, even though she admits that is not the priority of most women.  Her story of a tiny daughter who she 'drops off' at day care pulling on her leg and begging her not to go away on a plane makes you wonder if she is the one making the right choice and the other women putting family ahead of career at least for that part of their life, never reaching COO, made the wrong choice?
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ccp
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« Reply #333 on: December 24, 2010, 02:49:02 PM »

In the medical profession it is well known that female doctors do aspire to achieve the same in their careers as the men.  They want fewer hours, they want to spend more with family.  Not all of course but more than with male colleagues.  But that is their choice!  No one is holding them back.  I believe the numbers of females in medical school is over a third now.  And aren't there more women in law school these days then men?

Aren't there also more women going to college?

We always hear how there are less women in science, engineering and so forth.  And we get countless females with phDs telling us from their latest studies that it is due to the way we bring up our children, the culture, socialization, etc.  Differences in male and female brains of course has nothing to do with it.

And in any case who in the world is stopping any female from becoming a mathemitician, a civil engineer, a hedge fund manager, coming up with their own internet company?

I guess it is the same people who are destroying the lives of all Muslims, gays, blacks and Latinos?  We all know this to be true wink nod smiley face etc.
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ccp
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« Reply #334 on: December 24, 2010, 02:56:27 PM »

"do aspire to achieve"

correction:

"do not aspire to achieve"

But I would add, that they can anytime they want.
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rachelg
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« Reply #335 on: December 24, 2010, 03:40:08 PM »



Doug read  Women in meaningful numbers are not making it to the top.   There are some female world leaders but I think there should be more.




Disagreements

She don't have the answer to work/life/family balance  and avoids the question
 I don't think the goal should be 50/50 equality because I don't think all women want the corner office. I  do think there should be more woman politicians and more women in the C-suite. I don't believe the lack  of women at the top is all personal choice for work/life balance.   

I strongly agree with her point that as a  society  "success and likability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women which doesn't mean  it is true for every person.    I have read and seen lots of research and experiments supporting that point and seen it personally   in how women  leaders are treated.

I  found  Sheryl's speech and Clays Shirky's  article something I needed to hear personally

 

I made a career change about a year ago because I was passed over for an internal promotion  by a guy who was a better self promoter than me.  Which actually makes sense  because it was  sales job and  he sold himself better.

However I am now working in sales (sort of)  and  the job did not work out for him.  He is bright,hard working, and a really nice guy who has been really helpful to me in my current job and at my previous one. The company kept neither of us.  It  actually ended being for the best for me because my job is better than the one I didn't get and I learned a very valuable lesson. I was upset at the time though.

I think both Sheryl and stay at home Mom's are making the right choice for their families but both choices have serious drawbacks.   If the child was clinging to the Father's leg telling him not to get on the plane should he not go?   Why are Dad's giving a free pass when they sacrifice family for thier job?   Also if she had lots of kids  the individual child would get less attention.   Should all small children get all the attention they want?   

I really like the advice especially don't leave before you leave because for some woman it way to avoid doing difficult things and the women and society as a whole loses on the making the best use of her talents.


Many woman who would like be stay at home mom's  have to work to support their families. Paretns of both sexes often would like more time with their family.   Also finding a husband and having children don't always follow your timetable.  It is better for some women not to limit their choices before it is necessary.     Jobs higher up on the food chain are ofter more flexible than jobs lower on the food chain. 


It will be a few days before I can respond again
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DougMacG
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« Reply #336 on: December 26, 2010, 02:13:01 PM »

Rachel, Thank you for expanding on that.  I am happy to know your view and I agree wholeheartedly that women deserve fair treatment and opportunity.  I would add my opinion that reaching the "c-level" in a big corporation is not the sweet spot in life or in business. I assume that term comes out of gender studies; I have never heard it in business.  The heart of the economy (IMO) and the sweet spot for movers and shakers, innovators and leaders is entrepreneurship, and I think women measure up much better there.  In that environment your abilities are judged less subjectively and rewards and accomplishments are more directly related to performance.  A c-level executive is still an employee, not an employer. At CIO, CFO, COO, even CEO you still have a boss, the Board of Directors, ask Hayworth at BP about that.  It is impossible to judge that statistic IMO because more of the best women than men work a partial career (by choice).  She seems to respect the other choice but is advocating taking her path.  But her path was not to work her way up the company; she came in the side door: (From Wikipedia)In late 2007, Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook, met Sandberg at a Christmas party and was impressed. He had no formal search for a COO but thought of Sheryl as "a perfect person for this role." (Only at Facebook is Chief Operating Officer a marketing position. An old boys network with a gender twist, lol.)

Her mentor at Harvard was Larry Summers who might have something to say about the heart of her subject that she skipped.

The best careers I think are obviously where you do something you love, but also where you can make not the most, but a boatload of money and success and still go home at a decent hour every night in my opinion.  The next million has less utility.

I don't trust statistics on likability either. I would like to see the data on measurability first.

Your story (Rachel) of someone else being a better self-promoter is interesting as well as her advice to be a bigger self promoter.  That is a very subtle skill or assignment.  I remember how terrible I have been at that in job interviews.  I rarely have been hired by someone who didn't already know my capabilities.  I clam up and get humble while someone else with fewer or smaller accomplishments is in there telling them a great story. I am visualizing most of those successful people with the likability problem, any gender, as being excessive self promoters. 

CCP wrote: "And in any case who in the world is stopping any female from becoming a mathematician, a civil engineer..."

That was my Mom's reaction when people see only one female in her I.T. class photo from 60 years ago.  She claims no one then kept women out of aeronautical engineering, and she got hired right away after graduation without any preference program.  It just wasn't something most women wanted to do.
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G M
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« Reply #337 on: December 26, 2010, 03:36:40 PM »

**Hey, it's just a lifestyle choice, right?

http://theothermccain.com/2010/12/10/palin-hating-columbia-professor-huffington-post-blogger-busted-for-incest/

**So, how long before the left adopts this as a political movement?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #338 on: December 26, 2010, 04:48:23 PM »

"Why are Dads given a free pass when they sacrifice family for their job?"

"Free pass" exaggerates it quite a bit, but yes the standard is, and should be, different.  It is built into both the philogeny and the ontogeny of the human species.
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G M
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« Reply #339 on: December 26, 2010, 07:08:57 PM »

http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2010/12/19/the-drunkards-progress/?singlepage=true

The Drunkard’s Progress
December 19, 2010 - by Richard Fernandez
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When Lady Gaga spoke at a rally in support of repealing the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy towards gays in the military, she said: “Our new law is called ‘If you don’t like it, go home!’” That kind of speech is described as a defense of tolerance. Today the New York Times narrates the case of a University of Nebraska astronomer who was denied a position at the University of Kentucky because he was “potentially evangelical.” The department voted to deny him the position because it would look bad for the university if it hired a religious nut. Both incidents highlight the new normal, whatever that is.

    … the smoking gun is an e-mail dated Sept. 21, 2007, from a department staff member, Sally A. Shafer, to Dr. Cavagnero and another colleague. Ms. Shafer wrote that she did an Internet search on Dr. Gaskell and found links to his notes for a lecture that explores, among other topics, how the Bible could relate to contemporary astronomy.

    “Clearly this man is complex and likely fascinating to talk with,” Ms. Shafer wrote, “but potentially evangelical. If we hire him, we should expect similar content to be posted on or directly linked from the department Web site.”

Just what is inappropriate in modern society is a matter of intense debate. Some people say that anything goes. Recently, Ann Althouse quoted Justice Scalia in connection with a case involving incest between a Columbia professor and Huffington Post blogger. She argued that morals legislation may effectively be dead. Scalia said where once there was a belief  “that certain forms of sexual behavior are ‘immoral and unacceptable’… the same interest furthered by criminal laws against fornication, bigamy, adultery, adult incest, bestiality, and obscenity,” those views were in his view increasingly untenable in view of recent jurisprudence. Scalia wrote:

    The Court today reaches the opposite conclusion. The Texas statute, it says, “furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual” … The Court embraces instead Justice Stevens’ declaration in his Bowers dissent, that “the fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice.” This effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation. If, as the Court asserts, the promotion of majoritarian sexual morality is not even a legitimate state interest, none of the above-mentioned laws can survive rational-basis review.

But a cursory glance around shows that moral judgments in some form refuse to go away. In fact, they are more pervasive than ever. Lady Gaga felt herself perfectly justified in asking those who objected to the repeal of DADT to “go home,” where they could presumably languish in their bigotry. And a university department believes that it may be unacceptable to hire someone who believes in the Bible as an astronomer. They were making moral judgments and felt perfectly entitled to do so.

Hate speech laws have been enacted by Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Council of Europe, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Jordan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Serbia, , Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. What you say and what you do, far from being your own business, is everywhere the public’s business. Recently, the head of the soccer federation FIFA warned homosexuals against engaging in sexual behavior in Qatr because they stood a good chance of running afoul of Islamic law. The FIFA head later apologized for offending gays. But whether that will help gays in Qatr is a different matter, because one may not criticize Islamic law either. So in all likelihood then, while Qatr may beat up the gays anyhow and not have any explaining to do, any European who simply mentions that Qatr might do it is engaging in offensive behavior.

Morals legislation appears to be as pervasive as ever. Nothing in the current environment suggests there exist opinions on which you may not be lectured. The extent of what is out of bounds is growing all the time. What has changed is the contents of that proscribed area. It may now be a crime to quote the Bible. For example, in May of 2010 a British preacher was arrested for handing out leaflets saying that homosexuality was a sin. A policeman appoached “to warn him they had received complaints and that if he made any racist or homophobic comments he would be arrested.”

    I told him homosexuality is a sin, and he told me “I am a homosexual, I find that offensive, and I’m also the liaison officer for the bisexual-lesbian-gay-transsexual community”,’ he said yesterday. ‘I told him it was still a sin.’

    Mr Adams last year represented Cumbria Police at the Gay Pride march in Manchester. On the social networking site MySpace, he describes his orientation as gay and his religion as atheist.

    After the warning, Mr Mcalpine took over preaching for 20 minutes, although he claims he did not cover homosexuality. But while he talked to a passer-by the PCSO radioed for assistance and he was arrested by uniformed officers.

    He was taken to a police station, had his pockets emptied and his mobile phone taken along with his belt and shoes, and was kept in the cells for seven hours where he sang hymns to keep his spirits up.

It is exactly the same process that might have occurred fifty years ago but with a policeman warning a homosexual he could not distribute leaflets advocating sodomy. What has changed isn’t that people are being warned off for their beliefs. What is different is which beliefs they are being warned against. The Ins and the Outs have changed places, but he door remains the same. Wikipedia writes that “views on public morality do change over time,” but whether public morality itself can ever be abolished is an open question.

One of the drivers of the new public morality is who can fight back. British policemen do not go around telling Muslim imams not to preach against homosexuality because such preachers may take strenuous exception to their warnings.  But the rules of the new morality are often capricious, unstated or simply arcane.

The offenses ascribed to Julian Assange illuminate what some publics regard as offensive and inappropriate. He is facing complaints from two Swedish women; both appeared to be ideological supporters of Assange. They have sworn out a complaint against him. Neither had problems with Assange’s practice of revealing classified information. “A fellow activist, she had invited Assange to stay at her flat while he was in Stockholm to address her political party, the centre-left Brotherhood Movement.” No, what deeply offended them was welshing on his promise to use a condom when engaging in sexual activity with them. The Swedish police described the crimes of the Wikileaks supremo. Miss A complained that:

    She tried to reach for a condom but Assange held her arms and pinned her legs, she stated to police. He then agreed to use a condom but, Miss A alleges, he did ‘something’ to it that resulted in it becoming ripped….

    Two days later, he slept with Miss W. She was a twentysomething who had attended his seminar and hung around hoping to meet him. After lunch and the cinema, she invited him to her apartment in Enkoping, near Stockholm, and he stayed.

    They used a condom the first time they had sex, but the next morning he allegedly had sex with her when she was still asleep, without protection. He maintains she was ‘half asleep’ and they joked about it afterwards.

    Either way, it was not long before the two women had learnt of each other, and were swapping notes. After taking stock, they took the drastic step of going to the police.

The hard part of living under the new morality is understanding what the rules actually are. Is it uncool to steal classified documents which may result in the death of hundreds of Afghans who’ve cooperated with NATO? Apparently not. Is it OK for Julian Assange to use his status as a “fugitive” to become a “babe magnet”? Why of course. Who ever said that being a fugitive meant not telling people who you were? You can be a fugitive only for public purposes and not to actually conceal your whereabouts. But it is apparently not ok not to use a condom in Sweden. This point of punctilo is apparently inviolable, and if it is not clear why to all of us, it is nevertheless evident to members of the relevant set.

Nothing so demonstrates plebeianism as the inability not to even know the rules. The real hallmark of membership in the new aristocracy is knowing all the etiquette without even having to ask — easy enough because they make the rules. What’s right is what Keith Olbermann and Lady Gaga say. Why? Well if you have to ask then  you must be immoral.  The new morality is above all the art of speaking in code and part of the power of political correctness springs precisely from its vagueness. The art of correct behavior today consists largely in sensing the prevailing fashion. It is a survival skill the Old Bolsheviks knew well. The important thing was to always to have opinions, but never to have opinions that were out of date.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #340 on: December 26, 2010, 09:03:56 PM »

["Why are Dads given a free pass when they sacrifice family for their job?"
"Free pass" exaggerates it quite a bit, but yes the standard is, and should be, different.  It is built into both the philogeny and the ontogeny of the human species.]

Very interesting and I learned a couple of new words.

Separate from which gender does it, there is a time when a parent must leave the house to earn for the family and each family needs to figure that out how to do that and meet the needs of the children. Now there are times when two parents must leave to make a living.  As that becomes more than full time and local for both I would start to question wisdom and priorities.  As a single parent I quit full time work but I couldn't leave all work.  Besides part time contracting and consulting I made it a point to keep up certain activities and sports that I treasured.  I included my daughter as much as I could and now those activities are hers and as a teenager with colleges starting to contact her, she has no idea where she got those interests and skills from.  I believed it important not to quit doing the things we love, to not let life become a completely child-centric universe, but also to not leave often or for long periods or without the care of a consistent loving family member.  Other important people like grandparents started to also treasure my time away and their own rituals started that benefited everyone.  Hired help of the highest quality still means a very young child is bonding and experiencing their first this and first that with someone who is not in the family and not a permanent bond.  In the COO example, she is married to a CEO so I don't think they are reversing roles.  Two careers are on steroids and neither gives up part of a career for the family (hypothetically, I don't know anything about them).  Maybe that works for them but I don't hold it out as an advancement or breakthrough over more traditional, less ambitious choices.

Now I face the gender reversed career re-enty that moms more often go through.  I am a complete expert in some very old technologies; I just need to find a great leading edge company still selling 1990s technologies.  In other words my old jobs are gone and for the position I would have otherwise have attained, I am not ready or qualified.  I will be fine financially and proud of my parenting work, but my corporate career won't compare evenly with someone who did not take the time off.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2010, 09:07:38 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #341 on: December 26, 2010, 10:51:16 PM »

Generally, but certainly not always, the work women do will tend towards allowing them to express and fulfill the maternal part of their being.  This is sometimes known as "gathering".  Men on the other hand, will tend towards analogs of going out on the hunt.  A society not in overall harmony with the primal rhythms of human life will tend to reproduce little, and educate/transmit its culture poorly.

@GM, that was a fine piece.  Would you post it in the Liberal Fascism thread as well please?

@Doug:  I first ran across those words in a Konrad Lorenz book.  If I remember correctly, "Ontogeny recapitulates philogeny".  After I looked up the words to see what the hell he was talking about, I was left in a state of wonder at the meaning of the thought. 
« Last Edit: December 26, 2010, 10:57:56 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
rachelg
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« Reply #342 on: January 09, 2011, 08:21:08 PM »

I have part of a response written but it will be a while before I can finish it.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #343 on: January 10, 2011, 12:51:41 AM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/07/AR2011010706741.html
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/07/passport-applications-soon-gender-neutral/#ixzz1Abs8dcgC

"Parent One, Parent Two to replace references to mother, father on passport forms."

  - I still don't think this will 'recognize' all the 'different types of families'.  Is anyone really ready to designate themselves as Mommy Two?  Sounds like a first alternate in case the first string mommy is not available. 

“We find that with changes in medical science and reproductive technology that we are confronting situations now that we would not have anticipated 10 or 15 years ago” - Brenda Sprague, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services.

  - No. Males are not impregnating males and females are not impregnating females. Are they? http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2008/feb/08020103  Plumbing and electrical supply stores understand gender distinctions better than our all-knowing, all-caring government.

“Changing the term mother and father to the more global term of parent allows many different types of families to be able to go and apply for a passport for their child without feeling like the government doesn’t recognize their family,” said Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Equality Council.

  - Why are we so narrow and judgmental to limit the relationship to a child with up to two parents?  Is this some outdated, animal/species tradition we are arbitrarily protecting?  What if 3 or more or an entire community want to adopt a child (it takes a village) and there is no form to accommodate them.  Not even a box to check and say 'additional parents listed on the attached pages? Discrimination!  And the child gets stigmatized for not having a place to designate Parent Seventy seven like he/she is not a parent at all.   If this is about medical possibilities, what about a designation for your up-line clone?  That is not a parent.  I try to be facetious but they probably have the rest of these possibilities already written for next year's form.

Are we still tracking gender of the applicant?  Why? With only two choices?  In 2011??  With medical 'advances' are there not more than two gender possibilities?  Aren't 'stigmatizing' in-betweeners and gender neutral people?

We have so far to go to ever become truly inclusive, but getting away from sexist terms like of mom and dad is quite a start.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #344 on: January 10, 2011, 01:05:01 AM »

OMFgG angry cry
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ccp
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« Reply #345 on: January 10, 2011, 12:40:45 PM »

Not surprising.

This is the next step after gay marriage in the ascendancy of the gay lifestyle as a choice and simply an alternative and just as normal as heterosexual marriage, child rearing, etc.

I mean we already have the rich gay celebs having children and becoming parents.  Elton John, the lesbian comedian (what's her name).

The MSM *celebrates* this as part of its progressive agenda.

Anyone opposed, is a homophobe, needs couseling, is mean spirited, a bigot and the rest.

It used to be gays told us what they do in the bedroom is none of anyone else's business.  I agree.  But now they tell us it is everyone's business.
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« Reply #346 on: January 10, 2011, 01:32:43 PM »

One of my 'moderate' friends always brings up gay marriage as the example to explain why he hates things the 'far right', the 'right wing' and 'Christian conservatives, though he is basically a conservative.  He asks, how does gay marriage hurt his marriage, which is a pretty good question. 

I have a few new friends through sports who are supposedly gay and we have thankfully not yet discussed preferences or politics. 

The Tea Party Republican Senate candidate of Colorado had some weird view that gayness doesn't really exist or that these people can be retrained.  People knew that was nonsense and it probably kept him out of a very winnable, crucial seat.

To my gay friends and  all the others out there, you deserve all the rights of liberty and pursuit of happiness of anyone else.  Westboro pretend church is wrong, God doesn't hate gays.  Ken Buck is wrong.  God created a predominantly hetero society with a minority of people with a gay orientation.  Whether atheist or Jew/Muslim/Christian, it is an observable fact of human existence. 

Procreation comes from heterosexual bonding, that is the norm and that is the survival of the species. That goes best for children,family and society when we strive for a lifelong bond.  Some of us haven't married yet.  Some never will. Some did and it didn't work out.  A few are attracted to the same sex.  If it is private and consensual, then it is your right to pursue happiness.  Not so for attraction to children, animals or corpses because of the consent issue.  We draw lines of morality and behavior hopefully for good reasons.

Everyone should be able to designate their sister, brother, neighbor or gay lover to inherit or handle their affairs if/when they are unable, if they don't have a spouse.

The problem arises when this gift or right of liberty for all or for some starts to take away something else of value and chipping away at our language, our meanings and the positive traditions of our society is a sign.  When we can't recognize that a child has its best shot at life with a married, loving mother and father (gender terms used intentionally) all living under one roof (and I say that as a single father raising a teenage daughter).  When we start muddying up or banning the terms man and woman, husband and wife, mother and father, intact family or the concepts of marriage and of parentage, then we have gone too far.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #347 on: March 04, 2011, 12:00:00 AM »

http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/christianity_is_so_yesterday_says_uk_high_court/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #348 on: April 13, 2011, 05:24:13 PM »

By CARRIE LUKAS
Tuesday is Equal Pay Day—so dubbed by the National Committee for Pay Equity, which represents feminist groups including the National Organization for Women, Feminist Majority, the National Council of Women's Organizations and others. The day falls on April 12 because, according to feminist logic, women have to work that far into a calendar year before they earn what men already earned the year before.

In years past, feminist leaders marked the occasion by rallying outside the U.S. Capitol to decry the pernicious wage gap and call for government action to address systematic discrimination against women. This year will be relatively quiet. Perhaps feminists feel awkward protesting a liberal-dominated government—or perhaps they know that the recent economic downturn has exposed as ridiculous their claims that our economy is ruled by a sexist patriarchy.

The unemployment rate is consistently higher among men than among women. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 9.3% of men over the age of 16 are currently out of work. The figure for women is 8.3%. Unemployment fell for both sexes over the past year, but labor force participation (the percentage of working age people employed) also dropped. The participation rate fell more among men (to 70.4% today from 71.4% in March 2010) than women (to 58.3% from 58.8%). That means much of the improvement in unemployment numbers comes from discouraged workers—particularly male ones—giving up their job searches entirely.

Men have been hit harder by this recession because they tend to work in fields like construction, manufacturing and trucking, which are disproportionately affected by bad economic conditions. Women cluster in more insulated occupations, such as teaching, health care and service industries.

Yet if you can accept that the job choices of men and women lead to different unemployment rates, then you shouldn't be surprised by other differences—like differences in average pay.

Feminist hand-wringing about the wage gap relies on the assumption that the differences in average earnings stem from discrimination. Thus the mantra that women make only 77% of what men earn for equal work. But even a cursory review of the data proves this assumption false.

The Department of Labor's Time Use survey shows that full-time working women spend an average of 8.01 hours per day on the job, compared to 8.75 hours for full-time working men. One would expect that someone who works 9% more would also earn more. This one fact alone accounts for more than a third of the wage gap.

Choice of occupation also plays an important role in earnings. While feminists suggest that women are coerced into lower-paying job sectors, most women know that something else is often at work. Women gravitate toward jobs with fewer risks, more comfortable conditions, regular hours, more personal fulfillment and greater flexibility. Simply put, many women—not all, but enough to have a big impact on the statistics—are willing to trade higher pay for other desirable job characteristics.

Men, by contrast, often take on jobs that involve physical labor, outdoor work, overnight shifts and dangerous conditions (which is also why men suffer the overwhelming majority of injuries and deaths at the workplace). They put up with these unpleasant factors so that they can earn more.

Recent studies have shown that the wage gap shrinks—or even reverses—when relevant factors are taken into account and comparisons are made between men and women in similar circumstances. In a 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30, the research firm Reach Advisors found that women earned an average of 8% more than their male counterparts. Given that women are outpacing men in educational attainment, and that our economy is increasingly geared toward knowledge-based jobs, it makes sense that women's earnings are going up compared to men's.

Should we celebrate the closing of the wage gap? Certainly it's good news that women are increasingly productive workers, but women whose husbands and sons are out of work or under-employed are likely to have a different perspective. After all, many American women wish they could work less, and that they weren't the primary earners for their families.

Few Americans see the economy as a battle between the sexes. They want opportunity to abound so that men and women can find satisfying work situations that meet their unique needs. That—not a day dedicated to manufactured feminist grievances—would be something to celebrate.

Ms. Lukas is executive director of the Independent Women's Forum.

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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #349 on: April 22, 2011, 04:51:46 PM »

There Is No Male-Female Wage Gap
A study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30 found that women earned 8% more than men.
By CARRIE LUKAS

Tuesday is Equal Pay Day—so dubbed by the National Committee for Pay Equity, which represents feminist groups including the National Organization for Women, Feminist Majority, the National Council of Women's Organizations and others. The day falls on April 12 because, according to feminist logic, women have to work that far into a calendar year before they earn what men already earned the year before.

Video: More on Women

In years past, feminist leaders marked the occasion by rallying outside the U.S. Capitol to decry the pernicious wage gap and call for government action to address systematic discrimination against women. This year will be relatively quiet. Perhaps feminists feel awkward protesting a liberal-dominated government—or perhaps they know that the recent economic downturn has exposed as ridiculous their claims that our economy is ruled by a sexist patriarchy.

The unemployment rate is consistently higher among men than among women. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 9.3% of men over the age of 16 are currently out of work. The figure for women is 8.3%. Unemployment fell for both sexes over the past year, but labor force participation (the percentage of working age people employed) also dropped. The participation rate fell more among men (to 70.4% today from 71.4% in March 2010) than women (to 58.3% from 58.8%). That means much of the improvement in unemployment numbers comes from discouraged workers—particularly male ones—giving up their job searches entirely.

Men have been hit harder by this recession because they tend to work in fields like construction, manufacturing and trucking, which are disproportionately affected by bad economic conditions. Women cluster in more insulated occupations, such as teaching, health care and service industries.

Yet if you can accept that the job choices of men and women lead to different unemployment rates, then you shouldn't be surprised by other differences—like differences in average pay.

Feminist hand-wringing about the wage gap relies on the assumption that the differences in average earnings stem from discrimination. Thus the mantra that women make only 77% of what men earn for equal work. But even a cursory review of the data proves this assumption false.

The Department of Labor's Time Use survey shows that full-time working women spend an average of 8.01 hours per day on the job, compared to 8.75 hours for full-time working men. One would expect that someone who works 9% more would also earn more. This one fact alone accounts for more than a third of the wage gap.

Choice of occupation also plays an important role in earnings. While feminists suggest that women are coerced into lower-paying job sectors, most women know that something else is often at work. Women gravitate toward jobs with fewer risks, more comfortable conditions, regular hours, more personal fulfillment and greater flexibility. Simply put, many women—not all, but enough to have a big impact on the statistics—are willing to trade higher pay for other desirable job characteristics.

Men, by contrast, often take on jobs that involve physical labor, outdoor work, overnight shifts and dangerous conditions (which is also why men suffer the overwhelming majority of injuries and deaths at the workplace). They put up with these unpleasant factors so that they can earn more.

Recent studies have shown that the wage gap shrinks—or even reverses—when relevant factors are taken into account and comparisons are made between men and women in similar circumstances. In a 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30, the research firm Reach Advisors found that women earned an average of 8% more than their male counterparts. Given that women are outpacing men in educational attainment, and that our economy is increasingly geared toward knowledge-based jobs, it makes sense that women's earnings are going up compared to men's.

Should we celebrate the closing of the wage gap? Certainly it's good news that women are increasingly productive workers, but women whose husbands and sons are out of work or under-employed are likely to have a different perspective. After all, many American women wish they could work less, and that they weren't the primary earners for their families.

Few Americans see the economy as a battle between the sexes. They want opportunity to abound so that men and women can find satisfying work situations that meet their unique needs. That—not a day dedicated to manufactured feminist grievances—would be something to celebrate.

Ms. Lukas is executive director of the Independent Women's Forum.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704415104576250672504707048.html#printMode
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