Monday, March 7, 2011

Feminists: “Pay No Attention To The Tiger Mom”

I have long had a problem with liberal feminists. I make a distinction because I know many conservative women who consider themselves feminists and I think they get it about right. Their goal is equal opportunity and respect. That’s fair. But liberal feminists are something else, as their response to the Tiger Mom demonstrates. . . once again.

Liberal feminists are a disgusting species. Ostensibly, they want “equality” for “womyn.” But their version of equality is pretty skewed. For one thing, it involves a lot of oppression theory, and like all oppression theorists, their goal is to replace the oppressors rather than ending the oppression. Secondly, the only thing they despise more than male oppressors are women who chart a “traditional” course of motherhood -- the derision they pour out on stay-at-home mothers is truly vile. Third, their view of equality isn’t about equality of opportunity, it’s about equality of result. Thus, for example, they are offended that women don’t earn as much as men, regardless of the fact women make choices that harm their income potential.

Moreover, because they equate income with power, their entire philosophy is premised on forcing women to become Alpha Males. Thus, they disdain the hallmarks of femininity and they aim their philosophy at making women enter and remain in the work force. Indeed, this is why feminists are so obsessed with abortion: according to feminist literature, children are an obstacle to women achieving their full economic potential, so we must eliminate children. Thus, even when they can’t convince women to have abortions or avoid sex with males (in college you hear: “all sex is rape” and “the phallus is a weapon”. . . sure, try robbing a bank with one), they push for things like government sponsored day care, with the idea of getting women back to work as quickly as possible.

Many women find this troubling because they don’t like being separated from their children, and there is a vast amount of data showing that such a separation is bad for children. But feminists will not be deterred. Thus, they routinely put out intentionally flawed studies to try to con women into thinking their kids are better off in these environments. That’s where the Tiger Mom comes in.

The “Tiger Mom” is Amy Chua (above left). She’s a Chinese-American lawyer who wrote a book explaining why Chinese mothers are “better” than Western mothers. Her reasoning comes down to permissiveness and laziness. According to Chua, Chinese mothers push their kids to the edge of insanity. They control every aspect of their kids’ lives, from imposing three hours of homework a night to keeping them from participating in wasted classes or activities in schools to forcing the appropriate hobbies upon them. Naturally, this caused an uproar. But she also caused a good deal of introspection because many modern parents fail to place any expectations on their kids or impose any sense of discipline.

Liberal feminists were not amused. Although few women want to emulate the Tiger Mom’s parenting, the vast majority of mothers apparently concluded they should at least be a little more like the Tiger Mom. But this runs directly counter to the efforts of liberal feminists. Clearly, something had to be done to defuse this, and fast.

Enter Rahna Reiko Rizzuto (above right), a Vermont college professor. She’s been making the rounds of day time television, e.g. the Today Show, etc., where she’s being presented as the Western response to the Tiger Mom. Rizzuto says she never wanted to be a mother because “I was afraid of being swallowed up by that.” So when her sons were 5 and 3, she decided she didn’t want to be a parent anymore. She divorced her husband, moved to Japan and chose not to be the custodial parent. How did that turn out you ask? Well, you wouldn’t believe how great it was! Everyone should dump their kids. In fact, she’s a better mom for it, and her kids love her and turned out way better than they possible could have if she had stuck around like the oppressive Tiger Mom or those stupid stay at home slave women.

In an article at Salon.com, she said: “I had to leave my children to find them.” How Zen. And by being a part-time mother, she “get[s] concentrated blocks of time when I can be that 1950s mother we idealize who was waiting in an apron with fresh cookies. . . and wasn’t too busy for anything we needed.” Isn't that great? That's why kids are always asking parents to divorce, so they get to spend concentrated days with each parent. By the way, note the disdain for 1950s mothers, that’s a common theme in feminism.

Backing Rizzuto up is Talyaa Liera, a “spiritualist” and author of a parenting book. She moved 3,000 miles away from her kids. Sure, she felt conflicted at first, but then she “realized that by being so nurturing, I was in some ways keeping my children from growing to their potential.” Gee, no wonder all the best and brightest people come from orphanages or foster homes, they weren't hindered by being nurtured! According to Liera, she doesn’t regret abandoning her kids because she had the opportunity to grow personally:

“I have the unique opportunity most women don’t get to have, of being able to truly create the life I wish to have, do something in the world that makes a difference, and model this kind of independence for my children.”
Let me translate. First, her business opportunities are more important than her kids. Second, other women are suckers. Third, raising kids is not important nor does it make a difference. Fourth, “my being important is enough to inspire my kids.” What a selfish as~hole!

And of course, no liberal feminist diatribe would be complete without an assault on "the double standard that lets men do what we're doing." Right, that's why we celebrate absentee fathers rather than condemn them for abandoning their families.

But in the end, none of this is aimed at you. It's aimed at women who are doing what they've been told by feminists and are starting to have doubts. Make no mistake, the reason these absentee-mothers are getting play right now is that feminists are concerned the Tiger Mom has struck a chord that will revive the maternal instincts of womyn and will irreparably harm the feminist cause of turning women into economically-powerful oppressors. The idea here, just like with the fake studies that claim day care is good for kids, is to trick women into thinking they don't need to act like a parent to be a parent.

That’s what’s wrong with liberal feminists.

42 comments:

T_Rav said...

Andrew, I bet that Rizzuto woman's kids did very well in college, probably with degrees in "Art Appreciation" and "Advanced Psychology," etc. You know, really deep stuff.

I don't often bring up "Family Guy" in a positive sense, but in the years before it went entirely off the rails, it had a pretty good episode riffing on the feminists. Peter (the lead) was brainwashed by a bunch of them, led by Gloria Allred, which led to a confrontation between her and his wife Lois. Gloria started berating Lois for being a stay-at-home mom and not seizing the opportunities women before her had worked so hard to get. Lois' response: "I do appreciate having the right to choose. And I used that right to choose to stay at home and raise our children. And now, I'm choosing to end this conversation." Probably the single greatest thing that show ever did or will do.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I have little (nothing) good to say about Family Guy, but that is a good line! And it definitely captures the core of liberal feminism as I've seen it, either in person or in their literature: "you have a choice.... and you better make it the way we tell you or else."

It's actually pretty stunning how nasty feminists can get at women who don't do what they're supposed to. I'm particularly amazed at the downright vile off-the-cuff type shots they take at stay at home moms.

In terms of Rizzuto, you're actually overstating her proof. She offered none that I've seen -- just that they are happier and better kids than they would have been. Proof is irrelevant in these cases, it's enough that we have a heroine to hold up as an example. Moreover, when they try to bring proof in these situations, they lower the bar to almost zero... suddenly "not in jail anymore" becomes equivalent to "happy, successful brain surgeon."

Ed said...

Wow! They are actually advocating abandoning kids. Using their logic, crackhead fathers who disappear after conception are the best fathers.

I guess it takes a village, but it doesn't take parents?

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, That is the logical extension of the argument they are making -- that kids are best raised through rare "quality" contact with parents. Of course, there are decades of experience and study that contradict that, not to mention logic and instinct. But hey, what's all of that weighed against replacing the oppressors without our own oppression?

Speaking of Hillary and it takes a village, she got caught in the disdain for 1950s moms herself when she attacked women who bake cookies.... which eventually forced her to pretend to be a cookie baker herself.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I too am constantly amazed at the vitriol that radical (I assume the same thing you call liberal) feminists aim at mothers and motherhood. I can understand a woman making a conscious decision not to have children and/or having a career, but I don't understand why that requires that mothers have to be defamed as if they were mere brood mares.

Many people who would never call themselves feminists (in its original meaning) truly are. Those of us who believe in equality, recognition of biological differences but see neither as an advantage or a disadvantage, believe that men and women are equal but not the same, and that there are seriously important reasons for society producing ladies and gentlemen rather than mere men or women, and the obligation of the physically stronger sex to respect and defend the physically weaker sex fit into that category. I've lived with or in close connection to strong women all my life, from my mother to my wife to my two daughters, not to mention my professional contacts. I've thought more than once that I'd like to be as tough as they are. But each was or is a lady, and that requires that I be a gentleman. None of them are radical feminists.

My favorite bigtime feminist has always been Camille Paglia, even when I disagreed with her. She won me over when there was the big debate about how feminists should view the multiple alleged rapes and sexual liasions at the Kennedy compound. Said Paglia: "I don't intend in any way to suggest that the women were or were not raped at the compound. But I have to say, they're Kennedys, so don't be surprised if sex is the major issue when you voluntarily visit them."

Tennessee Jed said...

liberal feminists: don't like'em, never did. I found the subject borderline disgusting (not your article, just the NOW gang.) There seems to me something horribly trendy about the Tiger Mom (Chua), but Rhanna Rizzuto is, well, off the charts dumb. These are the people that stayed silent while Clinton was performing sexual harrassment on a young intern. I just feel kind of unclean after reading this. (l.o.l)

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I suspect the hatred of mothers is psychological. But by the time I got to college, they'd turned it into an economic theory that basically said: money equals power, to get power we need women to out-earn men, any women who won't cooperate are traitors. That's pretty much what the feminist literature is about these days -- though they aren't as honest in their terminology.

The non-liberal/radical feminists I've met or read take a much more sane, and I think proper, take on the relationship between the sexes. They tend to want choices and equality of opportunity. They don't want to obliterate the differences between men and women -- which is what the radical feminists rely heavily on. The liberal feminists go with the fiction that there are no difference and thus everyone should be treated the same in all instances -- yet, they then push girls hard to behave like the most aggressive, nastiest examples of male-hood.

I like Paglia as well. I don't agree with her very often, but she raises good points and she seems unafraid to speak her mind rather than just mirroring the feminist line.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Sorry about that! LOL!

Liberal feminists, just like the other race/gender lobbyists are deeply hypocritical. To them, there is only one type of good woman -- and she's not conservative. It's the same thing with the black lobby and their disdain for "Uncle Toms" like Clarence Thomas.

On the Tiger Mom, I am NOT suggesting that her methods of raising kids is good. I saw a good deal of that in Engineering School and it didn't surprise me that Asia has a high suicide rate. But between pushing your kids too hard and letting them free range, there is far too much free ranging in our country.

And then the parents try to blame the teachers, the kids' drug dealers, the cops, society, and everyone else for the kids' failures.

Writer X said...

Love how liberal feminists also jump on a bandwagon when there's money to be made. Amy Chua (and/or her publicist) did an A+ job promoting her book. It figures that the dregs like RRR-Whatever-Her-Name-Is and Talyaa Liera jumped into the fray to promote themselves too. And is it possible for a liberal feminist to have a name without 26 consonants and vowels?!

I don't agree with all of Chua's parenting methods but at least she took responsibility for her children and did not abandon them when the going got tough.

P.S. Andrew: Best line I've heard all day: “the phallus is a weapon”. . . sure, try robbing a bank with one...

I couldn't stop laughing after I read that. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, Thanks! It struck me as a pretty good way to explain the flaw in the theory that this particular item can be a weapon. ;-)

I agree entirely about the marketing aspect of this. In fact, I would bet that Chua probably even overstated her case just to cause controversy -- and she absolutely achieved that. She's been everywhere and everyone has been talking about her book. So bravo on the selling ability!

In terms of parenting, I've always felt that kids tend to live up to whatever expectations are set for them, but there comes a point where the desire of the parents to relive their lives takes over -- and that's too much. So I believe firmly in expecting a lot from kids, but not pushing them to choose a particular course -- other than making sure they have enough tools to make up their own minds.

As for RRR and her ilk, the idea that you can raise kids by abandoning them is not only ridiculous to me, it's child neglect. That's the surest way to ruin the kid's life. And even though some will still do quite well, the vast majority end up in the criminal justice system. And to counsel parents that this is a great way to raise your kids with no consequences is criminally irresponsible.

DUQ said...

Anyone who says that kids are better off with their parents 3,000 miles away is full of it. One look at inner cities tells you how wrong that is.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, You're not supposed to point out how reality works to these people. Instead, you're supposed to take it on faith that because this woman claims everything turned out great in her mind, that it would be the same for everyone. Thus, forget that it's worked out disasterously for 99% of the people who've tried it and that only the most irresponsible will be inclined to follow her lead. This is feel-goodism about being selfish. It's intended to allay fears that feminism is wrong.

JG said...

When those articles first started coming out about the Tiger Mom book, I had some serious flashbacks. I used to tutor the kids of Chinese/Taiwanese immigrants, and it totally took me back there. Now, I have to add, Chua has said that the articles representing the book don't give a clear picture of her story (as in, she claims she now sees she went a little too extreme, even for a Chinese mom - which is saying something.) I loved working with the Chinese parents because they demanded excellence for their kids, but I still felt sorry for the kids. Not every human being is made to excel at everything.

Anyway, it doesn't surprise me at all to read an account of the opposite extreme. I have a cousin who takes great pride in her liberal feminism, and one of those concepts she highly embraced was a lack of capital punishment for her kids. As toddlers, they were reasoned with, not really punished. Later she said she couldn't wait till they got to school so "some bigger kid could bop them on the head once or twice and get rid of that smart-alecky attitude." Yes, because it's better to have your obnoxious child bullied than to be the hammer from time to time.

T_Rav said...

Andrew, it's a case of radical feminism combined with vague New Ageism, in this case the notion that a two-parent home, with one of them (preferably the mother) at home with the kids at least some of the time, is far less important than letting the parents and the children all "find themselves," whatever that means. Okay, hold on...all right, I've found myself. I'm sitting a desk in a library, typing at a computer, and probably about to get thrown off for using it for non-library purposes. There, that was easy, and I didn't have to go to Indonesia or get stoned or anything! I've really accomplished something today! I wonder if Obama would classify this as "winning the future"...

T_Rav said...

JG, good point, but "lack of capital punishment for her kids"?? I'm hoping you meant "corporal punishment"?

AndrewPrice said...

JG, I saw the Chinese attitude in college. For the most part, it turned out pretty motivated kids. But in some cases, it was really too much. I actually saw one mother who was upset that her son got a 4.0 because he "failed to get extra credit" -- which wasn't even possible. But in general, I take the same position you do, the strictness turns out pretty good kids, though it clearly goes too far in ways.

The story about your cousin doesn't surprise me in the least. I've know several parents who fall into that category and their kids almost always ended up out of control. And the parent didn't know how to deal with it and they hoped it would just get better. Then they usually blamed the schools for not instilling discipline in the kids -- when the failure was their own.

When I went through school, the big thing was parents who wanted to be "friends" with their kids rather than parents. And what was pretty obvious to all of us in school was that the kids in the honors classes all had traditional type parents who viewed their job as being parents, and the kids in the lower track classes mostly had the parents who wanted to be friends with their kids rather than parents. And the kids with the most trouble were almost always the latch-key kids who got left alone. These patterns weren't always true, but usually.

The thing that the feminists and the advocates of trendy education always forget is that kids aren't adults -- they don't come with a full blown set of morals, sense of responsibility or sense of discipline. They need to be taught all of that. And the way kids learn is both by what we tell them and what we show them. And when we show them that we take no responsibility for them, that's a huge lesson that will taint everything else they ever come to believe.

CrispyRice said...

Wow. Just wow... I don't think the Tiger Mom is right, but abandoning kids like these two feminists are saying is incredibly selfish and I think they are just trying to justify their own bad behavior to themselves by getting others to follow their example.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, What's funny is that if you ever talk to people who come from the Far East, they are actually rather offended at the way Americans (liberals) have taken their beliefs and misapplied them to form New Ageism. From what I understand of this, our liberals are basically taking buzzwords out of their beliefs (like "find yourself") and then building a religion around those, rather than adopting the religion that created the thought.

I once heard this called "cafeteria style religion" where the follower picks and chooses the parts they like from different religions and then uses those to reaffirm their own beliefs rather than grasping what the individual religions are trying to teach.

Not surprising this almost always ends up with a "religion" that condones rampant selfishness and self-centeredness of the "if it feels good, do it" school. And it shouldn't surprise anyone that this merges will with liberal feminism or environmentalism.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I think that's very perceptive. One of the worse parts of human nature is that when we mistakes, many of us seem to believe that we can turn those into non-mistakes by pretending they weren't mistakes and then getting others to follow our lead.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. T_Rav, I love that "Winning The Future" slogan. It really sums up all of liberalism.... W.T.F.

JG said...

Thanks Rav. Typing faster than I'm thinking. :)

JG said...

Andrew, when I was in college we had a group of Japanese students who came to our Sunday School class, as well as a couple of Chinese students. The difference in mentalities was very interesting. The Chinese students were definitely more serious, "failure was not an option." The Japanese students, the ones with the extreme parents, had the mentality that sure, failure was an option, but so was hari kari, and don't bother coming back to the island unless you have conquered the world.

I agree, kids are not simply mini-adults. There's a flip side to that, too. I know people who also seem to have the idea that children are somehow born already knowing what the rules are, and so they get punished like they were teenagers or young adults with higher reasoning skills, rather than trained into right concepts of right and wrong. Gosh, it's a fine line. Maybe I don't want kids after all. ;)

wahsatchmo said...

I always knew that "free range" kids were the wave of the future. Just stick 'em in a pasture somewhere and let them raise themselves while grazing on hearty grasses. Nothing like guidance-free, adolescent self-determination until they get eaten alive once they reach reality.

Cruelty-free!

CrispyRice said...

Hey wahsatchmo, did you know there really are "free range" kids?

http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/

They're a really great backlash to the hyper-protective mommies we have going. You know, the ones who won't let their 17-year-old star-of-the-football team walk to school because he might get kidnapped. >>eyeroll<< It's a whole different insane side of control with those parents.

AndrewPrice said...

JG, My first experience with a large number of Asian students was in engineering school. These were real Asian-Asians, not American-Asians. They came from China, Korea and Japan, and they were a real eye opener. You almost never saw them except in class or Saturday night when they gathered in the student union to play pool. You also never saw them without books.

They blew everyone away grade-wise. But they weren't very happy kids. So there was definitely that trade off there -- they were great students, but not very happy people. Also, they lacked creativity because of the rigid structure they had been exposed to stifled that.

But on the other hand, I switched schools at one point to a not-nearly as good state school and I ran into the opposite -- kids who loved themselves and thought the world of their abilities, but were total idiots. They were happy at the time, but were setting themselves up for failure because they just never expended the effort to make themselves successful. So that's not good either.

Personally, I think the middle path is the best -- seting strong expectations for kids, but recognizing their limits, encouraging them but not deluding them about their abilities. It's a fine line and it's different with all kids, but I think if you are patient and thoughtful and recognize that everyone is different, then you can find that line with your kids.

Which is the long way of saying that I agree with you that people shouldn't let their kids free range nor should they expect their kids to not be kids. Kids need to learn to become adults and that means teaching them. And people who assume they either come fully trained or those who assume it will happen on its own are wrong.

AndrewPrice said...

JG & T_Rav, I understood the typo, but I enjoyed it too. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

wahsatchmo, I see free range kids as the wave of the future. We can raise them in convenience stores.

But as you point, it will be quite sad when reality strikes and they re-enact Lord of the Flies before getting eaten by wolves.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy,

Here is your link: LINK

I have heard about this -- I think I saw her on Penn & Teller. I actually share her concerns. We're getting to the point that people are treating kids like priceless antiques that need to be put into bubbles. How's that living when you're afraid of everything? And how does it help to be shielded from everything? How does that help people become adults and learn to deal with life's difficulties?

wahsatchmo said...

Crispy, I am dumbfounded, and more than a little saddened.

Mainly because I couldn't copyright the name first. I had a line of products in mind already.

But yeah, I certainly have seen hyperprotective parents, and they certainly aren't preparing their kids for the future, either.

If I were allowed to spout idle conjecture lacking any proof without challenge, I would say that parents who are disengaged from their kids raise the worst kids, and those who overprotect their kids generally raise decent kids, but who're in for a shock when they find self-esteem doesn't necessarily win a paycheck.

Frankly, I was just picturing children left to graze in the fields and started giggling, which shows the general extent of my intellectualism.

Ed said...

I remember the cookie incident too. "Free range" kids huh? Are they gluten free too?

StanH said...

I came from a broken home, my parents divorced in 1962, and I was raised by my grandparents, and in retrospect I now know I was in the right place, great childhood. However, at the time not having your mom, or dad around when you’re kid can be tough, especially in the early ‘60s, there was a stigma related to divorce. Without reservation I can tell you that RRR caused those kids unnecessary hardships and pain, and as we all know growing up is tough enough without any added crap…gee thanks mom! …or dad, yeah…thanks a pant load. The condensed visitation thing sucks, in fact it made things worse, psychologically.

Nothing is as big a put-off as a liberal sanctimonious Femi-Nazi, except maybe their liberal counterparts, the effete metro-sexual Birkenstock wearing, sanctimonious, maggot infested, thumb sucking, bedwetting, waste of oxygen dweeb, Girly Man. It’s particularly nauseating when these two party’s decide to get married. You have a seething bitter duo, that are about as much fun as a root canal. We live in crazy times indeed.

AndrewPrice said...

wahsatchmo, That was what I was thinking too -- a bunch of kids hanging out in the field, scrounging for food in the Twinkie fields.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, It was a big deal at first because people took it as the insult it was intended and she had to backtrack fast.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, Your story fits with lots of the kids I went to school with. None of them who had divorced parents were happy about it and most of them had issues because of it. The idea that "concentrated" visits makes up for not seeing your kids every day is just false.

T_Rav said...

To echo Stan, I was raised in a one-parent household myself--mom and us kids ever since I was eight. It's not something I dwell on much because it was so long ago, but looking back, it's very clear that this was a very destabilizing event for our family. My mom is very good at being a parent--after all, I turned out awesome!--but when you have to do that and bring home the bacon all on your own, you're inevitably going to come up short in one or both obligations. My siblings had some very difficult times as teens as a result. So in all honestly, I find what this Rizzuto woman's saying extremely disgusting if not downright offensive. Sure, it sounds nice to go the "Murphy Brown" route or heck, even stand it on its head and liberate yourself from the bourgeois family. But you have obligations, and not of money but of your own flesh and blood. One-parent families are sad but sometimes necessary; but to impose that system on your husband and children is reprehensible. Figures this would happen in Vermont.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I understand that often times there are good reasons for divorce, though Americans seem to do it far too often compared to the rest of the world. But there are very nasty consequences to divorce and they've become very obvious over the past 40-50 years as kids from single parent families work their ways through school. And if you look at what it's done to the weakest families in the inner cities, the results are just stunningly horrific.

So to advocate abandoning your kids and then claim that somehow this made them better off is truly asinine. Is it possible her kids were better off in this particular case? Sure, it's possible. But that doesn't make it a good thing to go around telling people to do.

And I think the fact that feminists would promote this kind of thing really exposes once again that they don't care about women or kids, they only care about political power.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

I don't think you are reading between the lines.

This woman is confessing that her children are better off than with a selfish vain uninvolved childish vicious flighty flaky irritating horrific bitch of a harridan. In this case she is right. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I'll tell you, that thought has occurred to me -- that her kids are better off without HER in their lives, but I don't think that's the point the MSM is trying to make by introducing her. LOL!

BevfromNYC said...

Here's another interesting article by Adam Carolla from the NY Post on Sunday. I meant to post this earlier, but couldnt find it. Anyhoo

Nature v. Neuter

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/books/nature_vs_neuter_T39eg8qogTgxMuF4Dmwf0O

If you think it's hard being a man with Feminazis, imagine how it is being a Woman with refuses to join the man-hating Feminazis! Don't get me wrong. I believe very strongly in equality, but for ALL, not just women. I fought my own battles with discrimination in the workplace. It wasn't easy. But on the flip side, I saw a lot of women who used the "I am a woman, so that's why they didn't [fill in the blank], when it was just they weren't competent.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Thanks for the link. I'll check it out! Here's your link: LINK

I agree with you, I'm for equality for all, not a favored few. Unfortunately, there are many people who don't belief that -- on both sides. Indeed, I've seen blatant sexism and racism in the world place, but I've also seen it the other way. In fact, by now, I've seen it all -- nepotism, tribalism, sexism, reverse sexism, racism, reverse racism, ageism, reverse ageism, favoritism, school-ism, incompetence surviving while competence fails, etc. etc.

But I don't think any laws can change this. I think the only solution is to change attitudes.

But you can't change attitudes the way these groups go about it. For one thing, arguing equality of result rather than equality of opportunity is a complete turn off.

Secondly, this does become an excuse way too quickly -- and I'm talking all around.

For example, I've seen dozens of young female/black/gay/religious attorneys, barely a year or two out of school, with no accomplishments to show and no obvious talents whine that the only reason they haven't been made partner yet was their race/sex/sexual orientation/religion, etc. Even though the partnership track was ten years, even though most firms have a 95% washout rate, and even though they didn't work anywhere near as hard or as well as everyone else.

But I've also seen incompetent white males use the same argument -- they haven't promoted me because of affirmative action.

And, at the same time, I've seen firms either keep incompetent minorities much longer than they should for fear of getting sued if they fire them, OR make them jump through more hoops. And no one is ever willing to tell them the truth -- "you don't work hard enough" or "your writing stinks" because they see these people as hot potatoes. So how are they supposed to succeed if the employer is afraid to be honest?

(continued)

AndrewPrice said...

(continued)
To me, the answer is not laws or lobbying, but to instead push the morality of this. When people are confronted straight up with the question -- is it wrong to treat someone differently because they are a ____, all but a few will answer NO. And if society changes (and I think it already largely has) so that such behavior is viewed as morally wrong, then business must follow or it will find itself ostracized. But if you keep these groups pushing special rights and special results, all you do is provide ammunition for people who (1) see this being forced upon them rather than being the right thing and (2) you muddy the waters by allowing the truly unworthy to hide behind the claim of discrimination and thereby discredit those who actually have legitimate claims.

It's the same thing with plaintiffs. The few bad apples tarnish all plaintiffs and it's very hard to convince people that someone is actually hurt because of the fakers.


Sorry to hear about your issue. I hope it worked out for you! :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Great article. I've run into this a lot too. There are a lot of males out there who are utterly useless. And I think we're growing a whole generation of them with the over-protectiveness going on right now.

When I and my friends grew up, we learned to fix cars, we played contact football, we road bikes without helmets (I've got the scars to prove it). We didn't live in bubbles. Then today, I meet high school kids whose parents drive them 500 yards to the bus stop and wait to make sure they get on the bus! What the heck?

Talk about a life half lived!

And I'll tell you, those skills have come in very handy in the past when my car broke down in an alley in Massachussettes 100 miles from my home on a Sunday night and at various other times. Life expects you to be prepared for a little hardship!

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