Saturday, May 17, 2008

More Unfair Male Bashing

I was watching a PBS panel discussion among four women (nary a man) about why newly hired women scientists get strong evaluations yet half of women scientists stop working within the first few years. They offered only three explanations: machismo, sexual harassment, and employers not accommodating to employees' motherhood.

Why did none of the panel members mention any of these, which I have heard again and again from my women clients:
  • Many women soon tire of the rigors and isolation of scientist work. Indeed recent research finds that women, on average, just aren't interested enough in science to make a long-term career out of it.
  • They end up valuing being a mother more than working outside the home.
  • They find it easier to be a stay-at-home mom.
As always in the mainstream (read "liberal") media, it's easier to just blame men.


Anonymous said...

I can't help but wonder: if these women (or the majority of women in the workplace) were questioned one on one, would they be honest about this subject?

I'm a woman, and I can only speak for myself, but I have not experienced any sexual harassment or machismo after spending half my life in the workplace. And that includes 8 years working in a male-dominated workplace. Most of the time, I got along better with the men than with the women.

In my experience, it was probably working with men so much that gave me a deep appreciation and respect for them. When I did the work I was supposed to do, I got the same respect from the men that they would have given to another man in the same position.

This isn't to say there aren't jerks amongst the male species. There are, and I've seen my share. But they are not representative of all men in my experience, or even most men, just like the PBS women are not representative of all women.

Most people of both genders are just trying to live their lives. Most people are not spending their valuable time trying to make life miserable for somebody else. But that will not make headlines in the media anytime soon.

Fred Hosea said...

I'm astonished that Marty is so uncritical about endorsing the validity of the workaholic business culture while dismissing so cavalierly the societal importance of childrearing that is done mostly by women. The mocking tone of your opening statement was appallingly disrespectful,snide and demeaning. Why is the insane, arbitrary, vicious, and often vapid culture of the business world somehow considered to be inherently a more valid and unquestionable way of investing one's life -- as if childrearing were some relatively trivial entertainment that women opportunistically choose as the "easy way out"? In my experience, a good 50% of the work invented in the men's business world is truly bogus, useless, destructive, and contemptuous of true human progress. Women shouldn't be demeaned because they choose to do work at home that is truly the heart of any society. "Getting ahead" typically means defining and adopting "success" in male-defined terms -- relentless growth, acquisition, and control regardless of quality or integrity. The work/life "balance" that Marty sneers at is a heresy because it asserts that there are other values besides business values that are at least as important as doubling sales of Chia pets or imposing corporate dominance in developing countries through dictatorships and military invasions.... which are direct extensions of male business values. Thank god there are some people with the conscience to repudiate the exploitive, demeaning, and destructive culture of the business world. I would argue that a woman who returns to the workplace after some years of childrearing might well have more relevant values, sensibilities, judgement and moral character to offer than the workaholic male who has a 6-sigma blackbelt but whose soul has been killed by his uncritical acceptance and internalization of insane male business values.

Anonymous said...

i'm listening to the marty nemko show right now, and this comment is more in response to the show than this post..

while i appreciate marty's honesty, and am against unfairness or discrimination of any form, i resent his comparison of women's struggle for equality over the years to a minute segment of the population favoring minorities over white males. such a comparison invalidates women's struggle.

let's keep in mind historical context. to claim that the discrimination that white males face is comparable to or even worse than the discrimination that women and minorities have faced throughout history is extreme and false. unfortunately, it also makes it harder for me to take all of his valid points seriously.

i wish that we didn't have to compare, and say that one experience is harder than another. i wish that we could just understand one another's experiences in order to build bridges between us, rather than say, "my life is harder than yours, i face more discrimination, i work longer and harder hours, and your have an easy job". such antagonistic language is destructive and puts me (and many women i'm sure) on the defensive!

Anonymous said...

People, Get a grip!

Business is competitive. Business success is measured in dollars, not working hours or the amount of time you spend with your kids. It's up to each person (male or female) to choose whether or not they want to put in the hours required to succeed in business.

The point is: Don't whine to me about the choice YOU make. And don't expect me to feel obliged to make up the difference for your choice. I make my choices and live according to my choices, which means that I adjust my living standards to the level/amount of work (and resulting income) I decide to do.

If a married woman wants to stay home and raise the kids, fine. But do not try to force your husband to earn the same amount of money it took both of you to earn before. And that works the other way too. Sometimes, a man wants to stay home while the woman works, but the same rules apply.

Women, if you want the lifestyle of a wealthy person, then put in the hours and EARN it. Otherwise, shut up.

Men, stop making concessions for lazyiness and the princess syndrome. Women are strong enough to do whatever they CHOOSE to do. And your coddling of the lazy ones makes it very difficult for men to be proud of being men. And that makes it hard for women like me to find a man who enjoys being a man.