Liberal garbage. There are a few, mostly men on top. Then most women. With most men on the bottom of the pile. I'm getting tired of feminist whiners deciding that since most of the people on top are men, therefore all men are on top.
The problem (according to feminist doctrine, not sure I subscribe to it myself) is exactly that most of the people on top are men. Since the population is split 50-50% between men and women you should expect the same balance to exist at the top. In some very modern societies (Sweden, for example) this is, in fact, the case.
I'm not sure what it is you're tired of, exactly. Except for those few cases where the rights of men are compromised in the name of feminism, how could you sensibly object to a school of though that wants to gain equality for women?
Why? If getting to the top were pure chance, then sure. Otherwise you are assuming that men and women are, in all ways relevant to getting to the top, identical, and that's not established.
"[H]ow could you sensibly object to a school of though that wants to gain equality for women?"
Because people have widely varying ideas on what "equal" means.
However, there are complications. First, for a long time, the actual number of females in the world doesn't match the 105/6 to 100 number above. This has been described by Amartya Sen as the "missing women" problem. (That is, quite a lot more women should be on the planet than are.) Second, I've seen some more recent articles suggesting that the larger number of male births is shrinking. I don't know enough to say much about that.
I'm very much in agreement with your overall sentiment and arguments though. (There should be more women in positions of power. Who could argue with equality and why would they do so?)
Here's a link to a Sen article about missing women: http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/gender/Sen100M.html
Saying there ought to be more women in positions of power isn't equalitarian, it's sexist against men. There ought to be an equal way for anyone to get to said positions of power, but not to force the answer to come out any particular way all the time.
Who would argue against equality? Someone who doesn't think men and women are the same ( but without one being better or worse ) - see the below link for a discussion about how and why men and women are different - if men are better at wide and shallow relationships and business thrives on wide and shallow relationships then it's less surprising if men and business go together, and it's not a conspiracy by men against women necessarily. Equal pay for equal work? Yes. Equal chance to apply for jobs and the best fit gets it without gender prejudice? Yes. Forcing a 50:50 split to give a public image of equality? Maybe not.
When I say "There should be more women in positions of power," I mean that even if we assume a great deal of biological, inescapable, gender-based differences in psychology and physiology, the number of women in positions of power seems staggeringly low (and staggeringly low across time and space). Given that, and given what I know about history, I believe that another factor is at work here: sexism.
I also seem to be in the minority here insofar as I find most evolutionary arguments that attempt to explain modern-day human psychology to be entirely wrong-headed. I wont try to have that debate here, but for an idea of why I believe this, see this article by Jerry Fodor (nb: the link is to a pdf): http://ruccs.rutgers.edu/faculty/Fodor/Fodor_Against_Darwini...
Another link with specific reference to something by Tierney: http://slate.msn.com/id/2124503/
There are two types of equality. Equality of treatment and equality of outcomes.
You can't have both unless women are statistically identical to men (which they aren't).
Isn't that statement predicated on the assumption that men and women, in a general statistical sense, have equivalent ambitions and abilities as men?
Yes. Nobody has ever given me sufficient reason to believe otherwise. (The only argument I've ever heard that has any pull is simply the one that points to the world as it is. That is, someone will say "Women's ambitions and abilities must be different from those of men. Look at how few women are presidents." But of course that argument begs the question.)
Incidentally, even if there were no information showing that abilities/ambitions were different, it would not be reasonable to assume they were the same until proven otherwise.
I would have thought that would be the default assumption if there is no evidence to the contrary. Why do you think it's unreasonable?
Further, your inability to see a detectable difference might simply be due to a lack of a margin between the two groups. Humans are great at separating groups, they are not so great at detecting small differences between groups.
>Humans are great at separating groups, they are not so great at detecting small differences between groups.
Is this actually true? It seems like a bit of a sweeping statement, and I'd be surprised if you have any hard evidence to back it up. Also, the observed inequalities between men and women are currently quite large, so it seems unlikely that very small differences between men's and women's abilities could explain them.
You know a lot of men whose "ambitions and abilities" include dropping out of the workplace every few years to bear children, in what would otherwise be the prime of their professional lives?
Men do need to be more aggrandizing in professional life. Men do not carry a baby to term and nurse it for years. All they bring to the mating game is wealth, status, and genes. Thus, professional success is much more important in order for a man to attract a mate. Thus men are much more aggressive and do whatever it takes to rise the ladder.
On the flip side, when a women is self-aggrandizing it is quite a turnoff to a man. It much more actively harms her reproductive success. So women learn not to do it, and that rubs off in professional life.
Call it an anecdote or a small sample or whatever you want, but being more aggressive and boastful and jerk-like has clearly worked better for me, even if I feel kind of bad about it sometimes the next day.
Which doesn't even imply "your" strategy isn't more succesful, however you want to define that, but it's definitely not the only way.
So the end result is that a woman might date the high quality male even though he's a jerk and dump the nice guy, simply because she's looking for quality.
The alpha-male / hot bitch thing works okay when everyone is looking for a one-night stand. When you get a little older and thoughts turn to finding someone to spend the rest of your life with, that sort of behavior just seems idiotic.
For men, the late teens to mid-twenties is the period where most mate competition takes place. This is where testosterone rates soar, as do accidental deaths as a result of risk-taking behavior http://www.epjournal.net/filestore/ep026685.pdf
No one you knows fits that description because like you said, everyone you know is in a relationship. What I described happens when people are trying to compete over mates. When everyone has a mate, i.e. past their mid-twenties for most part, they become much nicer.
Well, except for the occasional 30+ yo that likes to make cheap shots about folks over the internet via an implied link between maturity and intelligence.
It's funny, another thing I vividly remember doing around that time was flying off the handle and insulting people who had no beef with me and meant no offense whatsoever :-) The follies of youth...
Anyway, I'm 24, and engaged.
That's how it was when I was getting towards thirty, too. Ten years later, most of the people I knew then have divorced at least once and are far more cynical and bitter, with lower expectations relationship-wise.
> When you get a little older and thoughts turn to finding someone to spend the rest of your life with, that sort of behavior just seems idiotic.
True, but then my office is full of people who've been divorced more than 3 times, and each spouse isn't significantly different from the preceeding one (or at least what the co-workers complain about). I don't think that most people are that logical when looking for a mate.
Perhaps it's careful selection of company, perhaps it's different circumstances (none of us are really the type for one-night stands; note the boy-/girlfriend theme of my post!), or perhaps we read events to fit our theories about how dating works; but I've very rarely read someone arguing the middle ("being a jerk can work with some women, but many other women ultimately prefer a caring partner").
The parent post said "Men need to be arrogant self-aggrandizing jerks to get women's attention" and you responded "it's definitely possible to find a mate without [being arrogant]".
The fact that there are exceptions does not argue against the generalization; if you want to attack his point you need to attack it in general.
The original statement, on a literal reading, is universal ("the only way for men to get women's attention is to be a jerk"). Clearly, this was not what was intended: you call it a generalization, and that's the only reasonable reading, I'll agree.
As a counterpoint, I offered my personal experience. Admittedly, the plural of anecdote is not data; however, the fact that I know of literally no case where being a jerk got someone a girl does suggest that a closer look may be in order.
This argument works as a counterexample against a universal statement, but that doesn't mean you can't argue a more statistical version of truth based on these observations.
Men are over-represented at both ends of the spectrum. A possible explanation for this is male productive capacity which varies greatly compared to women.
And yes, behavioral tendencies which are biologically based tend to have broad effects. Testosterone encourages men to be aggressive in all things. On average, it must turn out better for them.
But there is a direct effect on getting a recommendation letter on mating success. Women like successful men.
The author is comparing men's success in impressing an authority figure of an unknown gender against a woman's success in the same. Yet, you've at once implied that the authority figure is necessarily male, and that any male/female relationship is inherently framed by sexuality.
Not only do I think that's bullshit, it doesn't relate to the author's original argument.
As a result, men have evolved/learned to self-aggrandize in social situations (including professional ones), while women have not.
Rather, anything that threatens their own inclusive fitness.
Apart from that you may be in the right area. In the environment in which we evolved, a successful male can theoretically have more children by having more partners, whereas a female cannot increase her progeny in this way. It also seems that an unsuccessful male is less likely to have any children than an unsuccessful female.
In short, variance in reproductive success is supposed to be higher in males, and its theorised that there's been a selection pressure towards more risk-taking in males. Naturally, this sort of thinking has its detractors.
Looks very interesting but I'm without headphones on my computer in a cafe in Taipei. If you have the briefest of moments, would you care to give a short rundown of some of the more interesting points to you?
Anyone else guess female?
as a techie female, the change in culture that i've seen has been crucial and awesome. i've stayed away from rails in favor of the awesome python and django communities. i've had excellent mentors. i've taken my time to accrue skills and confidence, and i've come to terms with what ego-ism and arrogance i do encounter.
before i was pulled into my first startup i had so often turned away from the perceived negative environment of hackers and startups and mean people. i assumed i wasn't l33t enough. like hell! i'm not afraid to say i've had encouraging guidance along the way, nor that i'm a master of my limited domains.
very early on i saw that we were all of us somehwere on the same continuum trying to get better. our paths might diverge based on goals, but there is no point in static comparison.
i see hacker news as milestone in social tech news. reddit was unbearably self-centered and negative. coming to hacker news, where people wanted to be intelligent and amiable, share and listen, was what proved to me that the tech culture had truly changed. maybe it's the entrepreneur influence that makes people more cognizant of networking and bridges.
shirky might have some good advice, it's just taken to the extreme. there's no need to stoop to the lowest denominator. be authentic to yourself, but don't put yourself down. build yourself with the long term in mind. competence shows, confidence follows. anyone can be competent with enough man-hours.
everyone always says startups are a roller coaster of emotion, but after two startups and nearly 3 years, i have to disagree. sure, i'm as emotional as the next woman, and starting out did come with a lot of doubts and stress, but at this point very little phases me. but yeah, maybe my balanced view doesn't help someone who feels very emotional about work.
"It would be good if more women see interesting opportunities that they might not be qualified for, opportunities which they might in fact fuck up if they try to take them on, and then try to take them on."
This drips of sexism to me. It paints women as patently timid and naive, which is a costly mistake.
I think it's mostly because we have this pernicious idea that manhood is somehow related to dominating others.
Think in the animal world, is that pernicious that the best wolf leader is the only one that reproduce? Does it make (slightly) sense?.
Is pernicious that the best scientist, or athlete that dominates others in their field is somewhat more attractive to women? Does it make (slightly) sense?.
Maybe it is pernicious for those that are not that dominant.
I was referring more to domination in the sense of forcing your will on others, especially if it's done assholishly. A lot of people feel that you're a "real" man if and only if you're richer/stronger/getting more women/etc. than other men.
The author makes the point that selectively being a jerk can be effective, and that women might be more succesful if they obtained this ability.
That is, men being SAJ more than women is problematic because it means they will get more attention. If men reduced their level of SAJ-hood to equal that of women, then men would have no advantage over women. There would still be winners and losers, but they would be female and male in equal proportion (according to this theory).
Besides, it's not really good for women, per se, if the jerks are a bit less successful; it's equally good for everyone who isn't jerk-ish, which includes many men.
Coincidence? I think not.
true, but slightly more balanced than self-aggrandizing jerks. i hope people of both genders shoot for what you said rather than what shirky said. it's self-aggrandizing arrogant (mean, self-centered) jerks that are impossible to work with and quite frankly turned me off from programming for a long while.
think of what "hacker" used to mean and then think of what it means now. there's a way to have positive energetic confidence that doesn't demean others, and in fact helps others.
Current trends towards greater transparency are likely to mean that a career as a con-artist is not quite as profitable a business as it may have been in the past. People who make gross exaggerations about their abilities are likely to be uncovered sooner.
However, the value of saying "pick me" will still be high in many situations. Anywhere where the selection process involves talking to people or asking for volunteers, etc... will still require people to stand up to be seen.
Why not? Its well accepted in technology that there are far fewer women than men. Finding out why is of interest to people in technology. However, to discuss it openly, people do have to make statements that are "sexist" because we are talking about differences between genders.
you better back it up with data
Articles like this can be helpful. It makes people reflect on their experiences and maybe change their actions. Sure, having data would be nice (although it might be hard to quantify "being a SAJ") but as long as readers notice these conclusions come from the author's personal experience and not any study, we can add as much salt to the article as we want.
What's wrong with a good recommendation, as long as it comes off believable? I feel the whole point of a recommendation letter is so that the person you are recommending achieves the goal she/he set out to achieve. Don't agree to the recommendation at all if you think they are not qualified. Afterall, it's called a recommendation, not an evaluation.
This constant analysis of how Women are different than Men, whilst refusing to accept that they actually are different for reasons beyond anyones control, is just getting boring IMHO.
What makes you so sure that the reason that straight men avoid fashion is innate to their sex?
Women and men might be differently situated in our society for reasons beyond anyone's control, but there certainly seem to be some reasons that are manufactured. The real question is, why does your opinion on the matter get to be the definitive one?
Saying 'my drafting is fine' when it really isnt, is a risk, because you could fail the class. Putting yourself out there and saying 'Come look at my work, its awesome', is a risk, because it could get flung back in your face as not awesome. Giving yourself the positive assessment that you would hope for is a risk, again because it could be rejected.
But none of these things strike me as examples of being a jerk. They are examples of taking little risks that help to optimize the chances of a positive outcome. Sometimes these risks have no little-to-no-downside.