Interesting data in a WSJ story (though, I have not read the study itself) about the effects on worker pay when a male CEO becomes a parent, and the difference depending on the sex of the child:
First, the bad news. In general, when a male chief executive has a baby, his workers’ salaries shrink by 0.2%, or about $100, per year. That decline is driven by a 0.4% drop if the child is a son, according to the study of almost 1,600 births to more than 18,000 male CEOs at 10,655 private companies in Denmark between 1996 and 2006.
But there is good news for workers: The dynamics change if the CEO and his wife have a daughter, particularly if she is their first child. Employees’ wages actually go up after the delivery of a first-born daughter. And in that scenario, female employees get the larger boost, with their salary tending to grow by 1.1%, compared with a 0.6% gain for male employees.
I’m usually a fan of longtime Guardian favorite Hadley Freeman, so I was surprised to read the following, written in support of her assertion that parents shouldn’t let their daughters choose to become vegetarians.
When Lena Dunham announced that “a lot of times when you are a vegetarian it is a just not very effective eating disorder” she was duly pilloried. But speaking as someone who has been a vegetarian for 30 years and has a certain amount of knowledge about eating disorders, I’m going to defend Dunham here, even though she slightly missed the real point. Vegetarianism is not an ineffective eating disorder – it is a potential gateway to eating disorders.Obviously not all vegetarians become anorexic and not all anorexics are vegetarian (although in my experience, in regards to the latter part of that sentence, there is a heavy overlap). But vegetarianism encourages people to divide foods between the good and the bad, and it then becomes a legitimate means of limiting one’s diet. Your daughter has a whole lifetime ahead of her to think of food as something other than a pleasurable physical necessity. Why let her start early?
I really don’t know where to start with this. First, the suggestion that vegetarianism is “a potential gateway to eating disorders” seems to come out of nowhere (and has no evidential support, as far as I can tell). The thought that careful ethical consideration about food choices is the sort of thing that might lead to an eating disorder seems both to woefully misunderstand the pathology of disordered eating and to insult young women’s capacity to handle ethical decision-making. I’d have thought that a young woman who makes, for whatever reason, a conscious decision to avoid meat might be lead to, I don’t know, careful ethical consideration of other parts of her life. But apparently young women are just too delicate and fragile to handle the way in which “vegetarianism encourages people to divide foods between the good and the bad”. That’s just too much for girls. They’ll end up with an eating disorder, the poor things!
The idea that vegetarianism is “a gateway” to eating disorders manages to be disrespectful both to young women with eating disorders and young women who choose to become vegetarianism. It suggests of the former that their complex, multifaceted disease might be little more than the side-effect of confused thinking about food. And it suggests of the latter that they need to be protected from their own ability to consciously, deliberately think about the ethical implications of the food they eat. What nonsense.
(You can read Freeman’s article – on “How to Parent Girls” – here.)
Uganda: The Fight for Women’s Land Rights
“In 2001, after the death of her husband, and her son shortly afterwards, Helen Kongai was left with no money and the threat of losing her land – the land on which she had long lived and farmed. But while Ugandan culture dictates that a husband’s family take back any land after he dies, Helen fought successfully to keep it.
“Now, at the age of 50 and a successful farmer, Helen runs a residential training centre from which she has trained thousands in sustainable organic agriculture and offers gender studies lessons in an attempt to bridge the gap between men and women, overcome customary discriminatory practices, and help women gain equal access to land…”
Send a Cow: Supporting African families out of poverty
Helen Kongai – Ugandan Farmer: How small scale agriculture transforms the lives of women in Uganda
Recognizing the African woman farmer
Sociological Images has posted some interesting postcards that were campaigning against women’s suffrage.
I find it fascinating that the implicit argument in these images is something like, “We can’t give women the same rights and privileges that we have, because then they might try to do to us what we have been doing to them, and that is just INHUMANE.”
I know the last bit doesn’t follow unless you have an essentialized view of gender where somehow it is natural and proper for women to wash clothes and babysit, but it is improper and dehumanizing for men to do it.
I just find it funny, especially with the postcard of the three women sitting around a table play cards, smoking and complaining about their lazy husbands. There is an admission here of, “Yes, we men sit on our asses while our wives do all the work, but that is our RIGHT as men and husbands. When THEY do it, it’s NOT FAIR and UNNATURAL.”
It’s amusing (in a sad way) to realize that the whole “equality for everyone!” slogan is so easily amended by the exception: “well, not for those people whose natural place is somewhere lower on the hierarchy.” Or nowadays, it’s more “Equality for everyone–except for those who haven’t really earned it.”
American University professor Adrienne Pine speaks out about breastfeeding her daughter in class here. American University response here.
So here’s the story, internet: I fed my sick baby during feminist anthropology class without disrupting the lecture so as to not have to cancel the first day of class. I doubt anyone saw my nipple, because I’m pretty good at covering it. But if they did, they now know that I too, a university professor, like them, have nipples. Or at least that I have one.
From Inside Higher Ed: “Male Scientist Balancing Act”
Numerous studies have focused on how women in academic science balance their quest for career advancement with their family responsibilities. A study released here at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (by researchers who have done considerable research on women in science) turns to male scientists, and asks how they balance work and home responsibilities.
The scholars conducted in-depth interviews with 74 physicists and biologists who are graduate students or faculty members at prestigious universities, and the results illustrate options that male scientists have that many female scientists who have or want children lack.
Some of those interviewed expressed awareness of how they benefited [from having stay at home wives]. “For me it’s a little easier because I have a wife that has stayed home and taken care of [the children]. I imagine it would be much much more challenging if I didn’t have a spouse that was planning on staying home,” said one.
But others seemed decidedly less sympathetic to the impact of their choices. Asked, “Do you think that having children then is difficult to manage with being a scientist?” one physicist said, “No, absolutely not. That’s why you have a wife.”
P.S. The title of this post contains at least 25% snark.
Really interesting article in this month’s Atlantic magazine by Anne-Marie Slaughter. I look forward to hearing our readers’ thoughts. Here’s a quick excerpt:
Women of my generation have clung to the feminist credo we were raised with, even as our ranks have been steadily thinned by unresolvable tensions between family and career, because we are determined not to drop the flag for the next generation. But when many members of the younger generation have stopped listening, on the grounds that glibly repeating “you can have it all” is simply airbrushing reality, it is time to talk.
I still strongly believe that women can “have it all” (and that men can too). I believe that we can “have it all at the same time.” But not today, not with the way America’s economy and society are currently structured. My experiences over the past three years have forced me to confront a number of uncomfortable facts that need to be widely acknowledged—and quickly changed.
The clip below is actually a documentary that looks at the difference between two kinds of treatment of children diagnosed as autistic. One is receiving “American” interventions and one receiving the standard (in France) psychoanalytic approach.
The film has been the subject of lawsuits, with some analysts interviewed claiming that they are misrepresented. For more, see the NY Times.
When you watch it, don’t miss the alligator as the mother, apparently a la Lacan. The discussion of what the pencil represents is wonderful. One would love a psychoanallytic account of who arrived at the idea of the father’s putting his penis in the alligator’s mouth. Hmmm. New paper: why Freud hated men.