But yeah, most people do not do well in life there, they are stuck in a cycle of violence, drugs, and other destructive behavior that they never recover from. It makes absolutely no sense how I was able to make it out and end up doing very well in life.
I want to help others break free from the cycle of self destruction but it’s very hard unless you are with them daily.
Anyways, to this day I’m thankful for John Carmack for giving me that spark of interest in computers.
I also was inspired by developers like John Carmack and Chris Sawyer, and fortunately my dad had a Compaq Presario in those days, so I took a love for programming early. I can remember having to haul a bookbag full of programming books from the local library, through the ghetto to our apartment, nervous day that was.
I don't people really understand how much different it is living in the ghetto vs living in a middle-class area. It is night and day, and anyone can attest that once you make it out you never want to return if you can help it, and most fail to appreciate the incredible difficulty of "fixing" an area like that or even helping someone who refuses to leave
I went through similar things. I do alright now but my brother stayed on the same line and things aren't so good there.
If there is one difference I can point at, it was my friends and girlfriends (and now wife) that are the causative factor in my direction. They pushed me to be more than the sum of my past and circumstances. My brother's friends just held him in place. I was lucky.
It's absolutely, crushingly, depressing seeing how far you've come up, vs how others are staying down and the incredibly thin line of circumstance that seperates you both.
I hear you! this hits home hard with me. It is truly sad to see your family "stuck" in the same circumstances but at the same time I also think is very motivating to know that you "broke" the cycle from your family's "unlucky" past circumstances.
The American ghettos / projects are a solvable issue. It baffles me how such a relatively easy problem (compared to middle eastern wars) is so hard to fix for the richest economy on earth. Can you tell me why it is difficult to fix the projects and ghettos?
Meanwhile, a war just needs to end. The structure can always be rebuilt. The culture may not be the same as it was when it started, but it won't be in disarray forever, and the people in a warzone usually want the war to end.
Changing this perception is key to making progress on this and related issues of class and resource distribution. There's heaps of research out on the positive difference a slight increase in resources can make in terms of human development.
I never said anything about laziness or unworthiness, don't lump my experience or comments with some other group you have imagined.
And lastly, I will not change my perception on anything. I have first-hand experience of having my life threatened because I was on the wrong side of the street at the wrong time, or I declined to do something for someone who couldn't take no for an answer, or I simply walked a certain way. These experiences won't be diluted so that you can co-opt them to influence others on your ideology.
I am honestly glad you made it out, by the way. I'm not so presumptuous to think that a comment here would "change your perception" or "co-opt" anyone to serve my "ideology."
Not sure why you'd think your personal experience is representative of the average experience -- decades of social science research suggest the contrary.
Are you sure it doesn't just say that external factors created or create pressures against taking extant opportunities, rather than those opportunities don't exist in the first place?
Because “the projects and ghettos” aren't a statement of a problem, and to the extent that there is an agreement that there are problems around those things, there is not consensus on what the problem is, much less the solution, and the lack of consensus is not only about empirical fact, but includes a fundamental clash of ideological principles.
Further, various factions (there are more than two) seem to believe that the problem is exacerbated by what other factions believe to be a proto-mitigation. E.g. see discussion of rent control -- some people believe that rent control keeps people out of public housing, others believe that rent control forces people into public housing, still others believe that rent control has nothing to do with it.
Projects/ghettos are not simple to solve. It is a pretty complex problem.
Really not a good sign for our long-term growth potential.
It's dividing into "gangs". (With colors, even!)
Strong families are in short supply.
The culture doesn't value long-term growth (either human or economic). It's all short-term fix, or entertainment to help you ignore the problem.
Drug dealers destroy a lot of lives (looking at you, Purdue Pharma).
People don't trust cops.
It seems like there may be more to this. Anything I'm missing?
Because I'm willing to bet it's a world hunger solution: "Just give everyone food!"
Simple to say, difficult to do.
The main difficulty, as far as I can tell, is that most people are reluctant to pay to feed even the people that they share the streets with, let alone people in the third world. But I don't think you can really call a problem "difficult" if the only reason you haven't done it is because you choose not to.
And then you handwave away the infrastructure necessary to do so.
You literally did the thing I called out.
That sentence is one of the coolest and most hopeful things I've read in a while. When people can see the "other" as "just like me", despite the obvious difference, then maybe we can break down some of the walls that divide us.
The thing that really helped the both of us out were magnet schools. By taking us out of our neighborhoods and giving us friends and relationships from more walks of life, I think it helped us see that the world was larger than the blocks we grew up on and we adjusted for living in a world that didn't begin and end with things that were in our immediate surroundings.
Recently I've watched 'The Wire' for the first time and the season focused on education really hit hard. Having gone to 'inner city' schools where I wore uniforms and felt pressure to pursue... let's call them 'non-academic' goals, I really related to the outlook of the adults in that school. Particularly when the kid's mom was scolding him for not having the initiative to start selling drugs (this was my friend's mom in spades) and the retired police officer who explained to that kid's dad that he didn't have to live in the same world they grew up in. I got a similar speech from a vice principal who grew up in my neighborhood.
McMillan and Omaha North were my first introductions to computer programming. I fell in love. Met so many people of different backgrounds. And I don't know where I'd be today without those initial classes.
Question though: what do you mean with 'raised in projects'? I can't really Google it. Or is this a reference to the song I find?
In everyday American English, "the projects" often refers to a very dangerous urban residential area, or at the very least, a non-desirable one.
"The projects" on the other hand are owned and operated by government.
"Projects" and "Section 8" are two separate government programs, but they both wind up with similar demographics because it only attempts to solve one issue.
And in the case of Section 8, assumes best faith action of a third party. Which is hardly the case. Often, an apartment complex gets built as "Section 8" housing. And since the government is footing the bill, not the tenant, it's built to the least possible standard and service is usually poor. Because the incentive for the landlord is to spend as little as possible on it.
Is it synonymous with a Ghetto?
"The projects" strictly refers to the building developments themselves, but is often used informally to refer to a poor neighborhood in general.
"The Ghetto" refers to a neighborhood of an urban area and not a particular building or group of buildings. "The projects" are often in the ghetto but not necessarily.
Saying "I grew up in the ghetto" and "I grew up in the projects" are more-or-less equivalent. Both only refer to urban areas; there is no such thing as a rural ghetto.
The term rural ghetto can be used.
I didn't say that rural poverty isn't poverty. I'm simply saying that the word "ghetto" almost always refers to an urban context.
”the word "ghetto" almost always refers to an urban context.”
These are not the same thing.
Project refers either to public housing, or more generally any group of buildings where economically disadvantaged people tend to be segregated.
Because these very frequently overlap in the US, people often use them interchangeably.
If the government standard says you need to do maintenance on HVAC once every 6 months. You do maintenance once every 6 months, regardless of whether or not it needs it more often.
and also this youtuber (donoteat01) has some excellent commentary >> https://youtu.be/xqJbE1bvdgo
I support and train at a gym that employs at-risk youth and reformed criminals and trains them to become personal trainers with the appropriate certs. It's run by a guy who used to work with these kids in the hood and has devoted his life to this cause. Graduates of his training program enjoy significantly lower rates of recidivism. I feel great about being able to help out as a person with a good salary in tech (and the young trainees/formerly imprisoned youths I've met through the program are absolutely phenomenal people).
And inspired many others, myself included, to go from playing video games to making video games, and programming in general.
Somehow I convinced myself that because I introduced one level of adversity into my life (dropping out), that I was special and had completely earned all my success, and that people who weren't as successful as me just didn't work hard enough.
It wasn't until I met my wife, who is smarter than me an also a harder worker, but was born into a poor family, that I realized how silly my viewpoint was. Despite being very well-read and intelligent, she was working as a cashier at McDonalds to help support her mother and sister, living in a more impoverished suburb of Dallas, TX. It wasn't until we were married that she was able to go to college.
Even she had it easier than someone born in, say, Uganda, but seeing all this made me realize that while, yes, I have worked hard to get where I am, I shouldn't pretend that it was all me.
Do you think that's common for richer folk? That's just mind blowing to me tbh.
It has to be done. That’s how teamwork, works.
Before the widespread automation of many household tasks (in the rich world) starting in the 1950/60s, housework was more gruelling than most paid jobs. And if you go back further, to the proto-industry of the 18th century, then housework was just work (i.e. merchants putting out work to women and children).
I think this has led to a misunderstanding of why gender inequality exists today and existed in the past. Which is unfortunate because it mainly leads to poor recommendations (particularly when people who live in one context start telling people in another context they should be more like them).
Make that 10 miles.
Your anglocentric view severely overestimates the similarly between our standards of cleanliness and theirs. I doubt these women are washing loads of clothes daily, if they even have more than a handful of items of clothing, or mopping dirt floors with any frequency.
Cooking on charcoal isn't that much worse than cooking over a modern stovetop.
You also seem to imply that men are just sitting around all day, based on the context of the message this is responding to - but I don't know enough about the culture in these remote African areas to say if that's wrong.
I don't understand this habit of bending over backwards to show that women have it harder everywhere. Aside from hauling water from long distances, the work you describe is hardly grueling - and says nothing of what the men in these areas are experiencing.
If you want to talk about gendered violence and lack of rights as second class citizens, that's one thing, but there seems to be a tendency to exaggerate as a signal of virtue or something.
While it’s not my preferred arrangement, some families have one partner worry solely about money, and another solely about the housework.
You might think about how that's not the case where you live/according to your background. Congratulations on being born in one of the places where it's easy to succeed!
I personally know people who are in relationships with horrendous people because they have no exit strategies. This is a common thing people talk about in stay at home circles.
There is nothing wrong with one person in a couple doing all the housework, but there are problems if one is (by a variety of factors) partly coerced into it.
Frankly I believe that as a society we are quite hypocritical of how we treat this and what I would like is that people who find satisfaction in housework are free to focus on that and people who find satisfaction in career can focus on that with some intermingling of the two worlds.
Edit: in poorer households it's quite common for both partners to go out to work - the four hours a day housework is on top of that.
I've seen so many articles complain about this setup being somehow sexist, but it has always played to our strengths and weaknesses. My partners usually never liked bugs, I can garden. I also find vacuuming relaxing, and I'll take any opportunity to fix somthing to grease my skills. They are usually picky eaters, so my partners cook, they usually like the home kept in a certain way, so they clean and buy things for the home.
It is just the way things are, there is no deep-sexism inherent in any of my relationships, just a reduction of the commons
Do you think that women are naturally better at cooking, or do you think that societal expectations have made this basic life skill a necessity for her and optional for you? Your partners having opinions on food or household cleanliness are things that you should take into account as part of a relationship.
I recommend you figure out those issues on your own instead of projecting your views of the world on other's relationships
Examining your choices to align with morality is necessary.
If you don't want people to use their worldviews on your relationships, don't talk about them on a public forum. This isn't a validation group.
Some Douglas Adams supplementary reading: http://remotestorage.blogspot.com/2010/07/douglas-adamss-cow...
It isn't. My morality is not yours, yours is not mine. Additionally, I don't care if you project your worldviews onto me, it was a recommendation, which it seems you failed to follow. You do you.
That's enough time to keep an average castle with a garden up and running.
Once you amortize weekly things like laundry, vacuuming, shopping and washing the dog they come out to less than an hour a day. Cooking and cleaning up after cooking is also less than an hour. The real time sink is weekly tasks that take substantial amounts of time. There are basically two categories of those tasks, cleaning lots of things (e.g. making everything spotless because guests are coming) and property maintenance. These numbers are very household specific since the difference between "needs to be done" and "should be done" are very much based on personal preference.
Assuming a western lifestyle and a household size of 2(!!) 4hr/day of housework would probably require a high maintenance property (lots of hedges to trim and grass to cut) and/or lots of cooking from scratch and/or heating with wood (and splitting it yourself) and/or doing a lot of cleaning that is probably not strictly necessary.
A castle is stretching it but if it's a small castle, the landscaping isn't too opulent, you aren't a neat freak and have the money to spend on labor saving equipment it should be doable on 4hr/day.
Unless you're a neat freak and insist on ironing and starching your socks, one hour a day is plenty.
If you have a large family, then delegation is the answer. Laundry and dishes can (and should) be offloaded to the offsprings.
Interestingly there exists inequality still in Western world as well. I had some interesting discussions with my wife about that.
First random article about this, but there are many more:
Friends with the weird kid that just ate his boogers all day? You guys are probably working at McDonalds together. Hang around the stoners that never got their acts together? You might have ended up the same way.
But if you hung out with the kid who went to college? You might have decided to go to the same college and maybe got an internship as his dad's company. Maybe his name was Steve, and you guys took a shared love for electronics and started your own company.
So think about this when you decide to buy a house, if you have kids. Your kids neighbors might be the biggest influence on the rest of their lives. Imagine if you had grown up one town over, or on the other side of the tracks, but didn't because your mom liked the kitchen layout in the house you grew up in.
That is probably true. Which means that segregation likeley is a rational choice for the individual. If you are a rich person you should live in an affluent area and not in a project (ghetto) because you might be damaging your childrens' future prospects. Rich hippie parents who choose to live among the poor are statistically speaking not doing their children any favor...
Makes me think that it should be government policy everywhere to ensure neighborhoods are as mixed as possible. Easier said than done, because if you live in an affluent area you'll probably fight very hard to keep it affluent and the poor people away.
They tried busing, which is kinda like that but just for schools. My understanding is it was pretty effective, but also wildly unpopular (and not just among the well-off) and the actually-rich were already in private prep schools anyway so didn't have to participate, while those of moderate means could afford to switch to parochial schools, lower-end private schools, or to move out of cities (all three happened, a lot).
One addition to the above that came along with technology is the podcast. The long form provided by a podcast lets someone partially add another person to their average for better or worse.
Unlike your claim, Gates’abot where you are born (on the broad scale he refers to) is supported by data.
> Friends with the weird kid that just ate his boogers all day? You guys are probably working at McDonalds together.
Sure, who you are friends with is correlated with the same socioeconomic background factors that are known to be tied to economic outcomes.
OTOH, the claim that it is an additional influence that works in a predominantly attractive way such that friend-groups will usually vary from the average based on other predictors in the same direction is...well, a common speculation, but where's the data?
Not sure what is the situation in other countries/cities, but for all places that I have lived there is usually a 7 figure $ price tag difference on top of the mentioned kitchen layout as well.
I guess what I am saying it, why did person X end up being friends with the booger eater and not the chess team?
I'll be interested to see how much I can shape the direction and range of my kids friends - but I doubt they'll listen ;)
The friend pool at Phillips Exeter's got a higher top-end of friend quality and a higher bottom-end, generally speaking, than your average public school—the best and worst likely cases for your kids' friend groups are both "better", probably—to pick an exaggerated example.
We do the same thing when we choose where to live for the public schools. It's largely about finding better likely friend group outcomes. "Better" kids are easier to teach and their families are more likely to push them academically, so a proxy for that is how "good" the school is (test scores, college readiness, reputation) but it's kinda sorta mostly about the kids with whom your kids will be hanging out 7-8 hours a day.
Kids at average to bad public schools never meet people who own investment properties, don't learn how to pitch ideas, and don't treat their bank and insurance companies with the careless veneer of superiority that convinces them that whatever has happened to you is merely bad luck, a challenge on the way of better things, versus proof of your moral and genetic worthiness. Kids at average public schools think they can fail, and not merely that the world can fail them. Kids at average public schools think it matters that they be good, and not merely surround themselves with people and circumstances that are good to them.
You are spot on, and we did just that.
Gates didn't take a life in building his fortune, but now he is saving lives. He is a net positive.
It goes a lot further than that, and most mobsters never murdered anybody. It's just business, right?
Besides that, the comparison was made not to suggest that Gates murdered people but that a life full of wrongs can not be justified by charity at the end of it. And to this day Gates profits every day from a lot of their uncompetitive actions. See 'the Microsoft Tax', the way they are co-opting Linux nowadays to lure people to Azure, the way in which they tried hard - and to some extent succeeded - in tainting FOSS, specifically the kernel either directly or by proxy and so on.
- killing independent software providers in a very determined way
- Embrace, Extend, Extinguish
- The SCO Saga
- The Browser Wars
- Forcing manufacturers to bundle Windows with their computers
The list is long. Whether Google, Apple or Facebook are more uncompetitive and more monopolistic today has no bearing on what MS did when it did.
And yes, there is plenty wrong with Google, Apple and Facebook (and a bunch of others) but they are not the subject here. That's classic 'whataboutism'.
You could get a lot more PR per dollar spending on something more emotional, less abstract, and more visible to the people he's trying to influence than the kinds of issues he works on.
He seems to spend more coherently with what you'd do if you were trying to actually do good than if you were just trying to optimize PR.
Bill Gates is an American businessman. His values, identity, source of income, and entire way of life is derived from a particular culture - American, Western, market-based culture. A culture which, depending on your viewpoint, has certain good qualities and certain bad qualities.
The point I am attempting to make is: Bill Gates is in a position of power - defining power as the ability to harness forces. When the Gates Foundation, or any other powerful entity, gets involved with a particular less-powerful culture, it unquestionably affects the social structure and culture of that society. In the case of the Gates Foundation, it inevitably it becomes more of an American, westernized one. It is easy to see this from the shared link; it is written from an American worldview and frames everything in American terms.
I am simply asking if replicating American (broadly, Western) cultural values is necessarily the correct solution to solve poverty and other problems around the world.
Personally, I would rather see the diverse cultures of the world manage to develop technologically and socially in their own unique ways, rather than simply adopt Western social structures.
> Personally, I would rather see the diverse cultures of the world manage to develop technologically and socially in their own unique ways, rather than simply adopt Western social structures.
100% agree... in an ideal world. Income equality between where a lot of issues are centralised and where the money to solve them comes from isn't balanced.
Trying to solve issues on a global level will always mean one culture will have some form of dominance, otherwise you might compromise back to an ineffective solution.
It isn't ideal, but across the spectrum of Good, Better, Best - solving the problem in the medium-term in a ham-fisted American way is probably still "Better" than waiting on solutions. There are, of course, cons to that strategy - but there's an opportunity cost (a very real, human opportunity cost) in searching for the perfect solution.
(That is not a rhetorical question, but a genuine moral dilemma.)
They are also laying out the facts - anything in you don’t agree with?
Also think ‘the best is the enemy of the good’ applies here
What's much less clear to me are comments about this article that aim to diminish it, or one-off examples to supposedly refute it. Maybe you disagree with the article, and if so, provide data-driven sources to provide us with an alternate perspective that we can evaluate and discuss.
Perhaps you have read about some of the solutions that help accelerate the move towards equality, and you wish to share them here. Perhaps you have other suggestions for making the world a better place in our collective future.
On one hand I would like to agree, but on the other I would like to respectfully remind my western friends of the existence of eastern Europe(especially Moldova) and the Balkans, where let's just say that white privilege is not that apparent.
*dirty word for me personally. There's one race - the human race.
"race" in the US is just a proxy for "out group". It's the only country I know of in which "race" is an official term (as in you have to give your "race" to get a driver license, ID card, &c.) no wonder americans have such a big issue with racism.
I would argue that as long as one categorizes people by "race", they're still buying in to the racist mindset.
Humans are very diverse. The extent to which people are different or similar is not accurately captured by the race category. It is dangerously inaccurate.
I believe that even used to the definition of racism.
Or is it like with Tutsi and Hutu, where ostensibly these were ethnicities but in reality just labels given to people, and dependent on their status?
I don't like this narrative, because it gives credence to a discriminatory standpoint - which is, to me, the core problem here.
Healthy, mentally-stable parents are most likely to have healthy and mentally-stable kids which is the number one prerequisite for enjoying and succeeding in life.
Sure, but let's not try to pretend that those kids will have an equal start.
Do you think that people in Chad are inherently less healthy or mentally stable, or might it be a product of their environment?
Do you think Europeans have superior genes to Africans?
I haven't found anything conclusive for genetic differences in intelligence. The increased Jewish intelligence (at least, amonst Ashkenazi Jews, which is the subset most noted for their intelligence) could equally be ascribed to a culture of intense education. Nobody has ever done a cross-adoption study for Ashkenazi with non-Ashkenazi parents, and vice versa.
I'm not what you would call a "blank-slater". Obviously we are a product of our environments, both during our lifetimes and evolutionarily. I find it hard to believe, however, that one set of humans required vastly different skills than another set, to the point where cognitive abilities didn't progress as far. There is no "easy life" in evolution. Competition is the same everywhere. If anything, the social systems in the western world could have allowed weaker genes to thrive where once they wouldn't.
> you can hardly change the climate or the geography
You can introduce new technologies to make the most of what they have. For example better water management and improved crop strains.
Under the severe conditions in Chad, a European child would still overtake Chadian children in its overall development, but would be susceptible to many local diseases. If the child manages to survive these diseases, it will enjoy a considerably longer and healthier life in that same environment.
For example, there are plenty of African migrants in Europe. I've never heard anything about a vastly reduced life expectancy. There are some small dietary problems they might have if they switched to local food and drink, but I would have thought that their immune system would adjust over time.
The title of this HN post is the header of one section of this article. It should be changed to the article's title.
Nobody would ever thought that I will be one day (I who was a refugee for 4 years) an experienced developer working internationally... And the funny thing about all this is that it's UNICEF who gave me this chance .
As for the American women Vs Saudi women question check out Tara Westover's book Educated (which Gates has also recommended). We are all usually and blissfully unaware of things we don't see even if they are happening right next door.
Most parts of the world for most of history have lived at the Malthusian limit with diets ranging from lavish to starvation within the society.
Think about all of those people who immigrated to the US in the 60s-70s (born in the 1940-50s). A lot of them spoke almost no English and did it with almost no money in their pocket.
But they thrived. There's so many successful small businesses in the US ran by people of that generation who immigrated (and now their kids). At least in NY.
When you're put into situations like that there's no time to think negatively, be anxious, depressed or have other issues that plague so many people today. Your mental health is a big dictator of your future and there's for sure lots of chemical issues involved but I do think in a decent number of cases your environment plays a big role -- but in this case, being in an environment of change / non-extreme comfort from early on (teens and lower) might be an astronomically sized benefit because it sets you up to think in a different way for the rest of your life.
A lot of them also went straight from the army (forced enrollment) with no skills or higher education to coming over in their early 20s and then found their way in business without needing specialized formal education to be successful (doctors / lawyers, etc.). Lots of food related business, selling clothes, contracting work, etc..
What you know, what information you have, the network you have is more predictive of your future than any other factor. Most of my mistakes in life have been that of being ignorant, just learning bout something much later in life. Something that some people had passed on to them by their parents etc, but I had to discover for myself.
Information is the great equalizer. There are of course folks who get information but don't act on it. They haven't received the information that they can move mountains if they stay persistent and act.
It's like humanity is intentionally making the odds worse for their own children, and noone is intervening.
The marvel is that China broke the shackles.
We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the secret sits in the middle, and knows.
I agree that being a woman is a handicap in many situations, but saying that Melinda had to make more sacrifices to get where she is than Bill is laughable.
Take that sentiment. Now look at the Foundation, and think: Given that a lot of their charity work was her initiative, how many of the people she has to work with saw things from your perspective of "wife spending husband's money", instead of thinking about her in terms of an entrepreneur with strong financial backing? Overcoming that is part of the gender handicap at work.
The "patently absurd take" is that women are the disadvantaged gender in the US.
(Obviously the situation is very different in some countries.)
More? OMG that is about as self-serving a piece of false information as I've ever come across here on HN.
That is compared to 90,479 rape cases outside of prison."
Men are 92% of the prison population
This stat is skewed twice: first, by the larger percentage of men involved in bilateral violent altercations (barfights, gang violence, etc), and second, by the low reporting rates of domestic violence (women are more likely to be the victims, though there are male victims of domestic violence as well).
> more men are unemployed
This is only the case for a few age brackets (16-24, 55-64): https://www.dol.gov/wb/stats/NEWSTATS/latest/unemployment.ht...
That doesn't help much from age 25-54 or 65+. Assuming beginning work at 16 and retirement at 65, the man is likely to have the advantage in an arbitrary year of one's working life. The aggregate numbers shift the other way because population growth puts more people in the younger cohorts.
> more men are homeless
> more men commit suicide
> fewer men go to college
I'm not sure this stat is representative, but I don't feel like doing any more research so I will grant this one.
Gender inequality does exist in the U.S., though it’s now significantly lower than it was 50 or 100 years ago.
Your examples seem a bit cherry picked to me. More men are victims of violent crime are in part because men are more likely to have valuables, in part because more men commit violent crime, in general because men are more violent than women. Painting that as demonstrating that men are the victims seems pretty funny to me.
Every study that still claims that women have it worse make so many statistical and logical fallacies, they aren't even worth debating. Which is ironic, since feminists refuse to debate or acknowledge them anyway, and instead resort to shaming.
* Wage gap. We all know the reasons. Majoring in whatever you're 'passionate' about is a luxury that apparently only women enjoy in our society. There are no artificial barriers to entry for women in any fields, and instead, as we see in Scandinavia, the more artificial equality used to push women into higher paid and rigorous fields, the less they choose them. And why would they - if I were subsidized to earn as much as the average HN reader regardless of my job, I wouldn't be slinging code all day. Look at the percentage of women in computer science in India vs Sweden, for example.
* Women less represented in the top 0.1% as CEOs, senators, etc: For the 99.9% of men who aren't amongst these elites either, it is irrelevant. I might as well complain about the near zero men who are represented at the top of the super-modeling industry.
* Disproportionate work spent on child rearing: That's a choice women make, and men have no say, as enforced by the state. As men, we have no rights, only the responsibility to pay for children, both individually and societally.
Am I reading the data (1) wrong?
Further down that page you'll find:
where the unemployment rates are given: 4.8% for women and 4.9% for men. In a strong economy like we have now, the difference is minor, but in economic down times, the difference is striking. In 2010, the unemployment rates were was 11% for men and 8.4% for women:
If you're a stay-at-home parent then you would fall under the "not participating" category, no? I think that's part of the problem for women in that they are often pressured to raise a family and forego a career.
If you are so by preference, yes. If you are a stay at home parent because you can't, despite actively looking, find work that pays enough to be to be a net gain after daycare, you are unemployed.
Though you might argue even with equal unemployment ratios, this brings the number of unemployed men higher than the number of women.
Have you looked at the percentage of women who have experienced sexual harassment or assault in their life?
Do you understand what it is like to be a woman, to have to look over your shoulder so much of the time, the fear and anxiety that follows you or prevents you from walking alone at night or in a strange place?
How many women have you talked to?
The violent crime you speak of is male on male. The oppressive omnipresent threat of violence against women is by men. The population of male victims of violent crimes has a high degree of overlap with the population of perpetrators of violent crime (i.e. Your statement is like saying men are greater victims of war, when it is fact men exclusively who have perpetrated those very wars).
I like how women think this uniquely applies to them.
As if all men are just brimming with confidence, completely unafraid and always ready to do battle. As if they can walk past a hooded figure on a dark street and physiologically remaining completely unaffected.
Regardless, the parent is not saying that men don't also experience the fear of violence.
The parent said "do you know?" Implying that as a male I had zero knowledge of what it's like to feel that way. Which implies that I have never felt that way. Which implies that whenever I'm in a situation that makes a woman feel that way, it doesn't make me feel that way.
I'm sorry but it does. So,yes I do know.
Is it worse for women? My assumption is at least 2x ~ 3x. The difference being when I walk past a shadowy figure in the street I mutter to myself "please don't kill me" while they think "OMG, please please please don't kill me".
The vectors point in exactly the same direction. The magnitude is what's different.
The original comment implied the vectors didn't even point in the same direction or had zero magnitude for men.
You may make some female friends this way. Men who listen to women, who truly listen, are rare.
Besides, your statement about wars is outright insulting! You've degraded the male victims of war (of whom there are a lot more) entirely by shifting blame for violence on them. In most wars you'd get thrown in jail if you refuse to go and fight!
Do you understand what it's like to be a man? I was mugged five times as a boy and young man, including at knife point. Police have harassed me.
Are you suggesting it's more pleasant to be threatened with your life as a man than a woman?
If not, then I'll go with the numbers and not imply, as you do, that no man can understand about being a victim of violent crime.
If you get to use that as an argument, do I get to do the black on black crime thing?
Part of the problem is that this community is so male, so much so that even the men that get it tend to stay silent for fear of being losing status in such a male community.
Do you think he could have taken that hate without her support? Do you think she didn't feel awful because of the change it brought in her husband?
An equal and supportive marriage means that every sacrifice is made together. Don't trivialize how much she took on even though she wasn't the "face" of the company.
You're making marriage into a "competition" and it's not. It's two people working at a team, and no not every marriage is like that, my hope is that Bill and Melinda have that sort of marriage.
The gender part of that graph wasn’t trying to say Melinda herself has it very hard, it was only saying that Melinda is a woman, and statistically speaking on a global scale, being a woman is an obstacle. Both of those things are true, and the article discusses why.
I think it's important to add the concept of "financial," "independence," or "power" somewhere in here.
AFAICT, these are the only things that matter to people, so it's a pretty big deal to have your sex/gender be an obstacle towards them. But the overall equation of happiness has a bit more variables.
Ultimately, I meet (on average) about the same amount of unhappy men as women, so from a happiness perspective it would appear that neither men nor women are winning and focusing on money and power instead of well-being is short sighted.
Like maybe we should quit arguing which gender gets the most money and try to figure out what makes a human happy.
That's a bit of a straw man, I didn't argue money primarily, and neither does the article. The article is talking about self-determinism, education, and opportunity for women, not money or power specifically. These things are all well known to be of primary importance to happiness.
From the article: "the average woman spends more than four hours every day doing unpaid work. Men, by comparison, average just over one hour per day."
How do you feel personally about doing unpaid labor?
> I meet (on average) about the same amount of unhappy men as women, so from a happiness perspective it would appear that neither men nor women are winning and focusing on money and power instead of well-being is short sighted.
That's purely anecdotal and has no bearing on what is happening in the world to people outside your class & geographical region. Drawing a global conclusion about gender inequality based on your personal experience is a pretty bad idea.
How much of this is due to gender differences in orderliness and cleanliness? I know plenty of guys who don't care that much about living in a dirty environment. On the other hand, their partners vacuum every day, mop the floor, and sterilize every surface. Perhaps it's out of fear that their kids will get sick, but then you look at the growing rates of allergy and auto immune diseases and you have to question the wisdom of a sterilized home.
Calling this type of unnecessary housework "unpaid household labour" is doing everyone a disservice. You might as well call a man's tinkering with an old hotrod in the garage "unpaid auto mechanic labour."
I know lots of people, men and women, who don't care about being dirty. I also know lots of men and women who like things clean. The people I know in the U.S. have almost nothing to say about the cultural expectations on women in India or Turkmenistan.
How many domestic women do you know and talk to who are living in Africa, Saudi Arabia, or North Korea? Do you really think women in Africa are being clean freaks, and that explains the statistical difference in education and income?
> You might as well call a man's tinkering with an old hotrod in the garage "unpaid auto mechanic labour".
That might be true if globally women were culturally pushing the men to tinker with their garage projects to the point that it was expected they don't go to college and instead work on the jalopy for four hours a day, and if lots of men weren't allowed to vote or drive cars or have jobs.
You called it 'unnecessary' housework, based on your own assumptions and biases, having no idea whether it's even housework the article is talking about.
Those look a lot more like money and power than happiness. As a counter point, I might list "community" or "the right to express ones thoughts and emotions" if I was going for the happiness > money angle.
> How do you feel personally about doing unpaid labor?
I do quite a bit of community service, and offer help to anyone who's following their dreams. Unpaid labor is an important part of a functional society. Once again, not everything needs to revolve around money.
> Drawing a global conclusion about gender inequality based on your personal experience is a pretty bad idea.
Yeah, but drawing a conclusion based off data that doesn't equate to happiness is equally meaningless. Nobody is having a great time and we're fighting over breadcrumbs. It's like a bunch of homeless people infighting over panhandling inequality. As if panhandling is the way it should be, it's just not equal enough.
I'm struggling to understand what point you're making now. Nobody from here up the thread said everything revolves around money except for you, it's still a straw man argument.
> drawing a conclusion about gender inequality that doesn't equate to happiness is equally meaningless
First, there is no objective measure for happiness, so you're suggesting something that's impossible.
Second, I disagree that failing to boil down to happiness is meaningless, as do many world economists and social researchers. Economic measures absolutely do correlate with happiness at the poor end of the economic spectrum. https://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/IWP_2016_23.pdf
More broadly, oppression of women is a global fact of history. It's better now in the U.S. and Europe, and I'm glad it's improving, but I really don't get this argument you're attempting to make that it somehow doesn't exist, or that women are just seeking power and money. It's making your comments seem rather ignorant of history. Gender inequality is well documented, well known and widely agreed to exist, especially in Africa, China, the Middle East, etc.
I think it's a very important issue, but by not including context is vastly undermines the argument and any empathy you might have incurred. I was suggesting a way to improve your argument, but inevitably I digressed into the fact that the argument is (at best) a squabbling.
I can never help but feel like every form of infighting between the lower and middle classes, races, genders, etc is a waste of time as compared to maybe working together to end our collective oppression under the super rich... so I end up digressing every time.
Also, I know a lot of broke ass artists, and a bunch of tree huggers who are way fucking happier than pretty much everyone I know who really cares about money (no matter how much they make).
Do you consider your own high school education to be you striving for coveted money and power over happiness?
By talking about broke artists and tree-huggers and people you know, you're framing this against your personal experience, and not accepting that we're in a completely different world over here than Africa. People in the U.S. or Europe who (statistically) got to go to college, and had a house and stable family and enough food to eat and medical help when they needed it, those people choosing to pursue an art career, and/or choosing to care about the environment over money, those people don't even represent our own poverty, let alone the poverty in the third world and oppressed countries.
Your comments feel like a perfect example of a rich westerner living in a world so distant from the problem you're talking about that you don't have the context or experience to even understand what the problem really is. What makes you think the problems of women in Africa are even comparable in any way to artists and tree-huggers in the western world?
Do you think you'd personally be happy as a woman in Africa or Saudi Arabia or India? Please go read about and try to understand what's actually happening and imagine yourself in the same situation before you presume to summarize it in black and white as infighting between genders or that women need to seek happiness because life is about more than money and power.
Abuse is really, really bad.
I know exactly where you are coming from. But ponder this: what if women's suffering is just a drop in an ocean?
The reason I bring this up is because I'm a very empathetic person, and I know quite a bit about human rights violations, and every bit I learn pushes me further from being able to look at gender/race/nipple color/hair style arguments meaningful. There's no reasoning with it, no point in taking sides. At this point I've boiled it down to this:
Abuse is Bad.
It doesn't have to be about how your gender gets to wah wah wah, and my gender herpa derp doo. Abuse is bad, full stop. Doesn't matter who is doing it, or why, 99.9% of the time abuse is bad.
Every little bit of energy you put into trying to re-balance some shit like this, to try to make it fair, it all just becomes more fuel to the fire.
So please, if you're really trying to help the world, don't focus on what the gender or skin color is. Don't imply that suffering is a group thing, it's not. Don't hold onto grudges, nobody will win. Just focus on who's abusing who right at this moment and point out the fact that abuse is bad. That's all you have to do, and anything more (ie "typically women have faced obstacles") is just undermining the very act of trying to help.
IN CONCLUSION: Helping is really, really, really hard. Like, it's so much easier to make things worse.
> Your comments feel like a perfect example of a rich westerner
Fuck this statement. You're fine, but that statement is bullshit.
Unless you have actual insights into her life and personality that back up your statement, denying that she had to make more sacrifices could just as well be anything between ignorant, insensitive or plain mean.
She also conceivably had to work prior to retiring to start her family.
Not sure why you're convinced she had everything handed to her?
Not every male billionaire has a wife with the same level of power and prestige as Melinda Gates, so there is some statistical inequality here.
William Gates, III was already loaded. He took a leave of absence from Harvard to see if this software thing would work out, but his back up plan was to go back.
I don't think anyone is going to dispute that Bill Gates didn't work hard or isn't intelligent. The man was doing graduate level work as an underclassman.
But his risk for leaving Harvard and starting Microsoft was laughably low.
And I think Bill would recognize the vast amount of privilege he's benefited from in his life. I mean, that's part of what the article is about.
Yes, extraordinary luck can radically alter normal circumstances, but that's a meaningless outlier.
Also I don't know of any men who gets to open a charity with his wife's money or influence, but I know a lot of women who do. Even the first lady of USA gets a charity fund and a small crew of people to help her spend it, why do we do that? Because that is what we expect powerful husbands to do for their wives. Shouldn't such things get taken into account when we dole out privilege points?
I mean, men are more likely to earn a lot of money and influence, yes, but women are much more likely to marry into a lot of money and influence. So if your goal is to get a lot of money and influence but don't want to do the sacrifices required for it then you'd rather be a woman.
Or in other words, marrying into wealth and getting to spend said wealth on your pet projects is one of the most privileged roles you can have and the sex ratio for said role is extremely skewed in favor of women. Taking Melinda as an example of a woman who had to struggle due to her gender is very poor taste since she is basically the embodiment of female privilege.
Ok. Let's say that becoming a Fortune 500 CEO is like winning the lottery. Let's give that to you for a second.
It's a lottery that only a small section of the population has access to. Men overwhelmingly that lottery. White men especially. If it were truly a lottery, we'd see statistics that would more closely mirror the general population.
You also note that men are more likely to earn a lot of money and influence. Then try to contrast it with women marrying into that. You then lament that men hardly have the opportunity to marry into money.
You know why?
Because historically women haven't been afforded all the same opportunities men have to do the same. Women don't have the money to marry into.