But if Amanda thought that was bad, she should see some of the latest "reason" coming from our libertarian friends at Cato. David Boaz writes a post for Cato entitled "All Those Who'd Like to Live in Rwanda, Vietnam, or Cuba, Raise Your Hands" in response to a Parade article complaining about the lack of female representatives in Congress:
Parade magazine frets:
In the current U.S. Congress, women account for only 16.3% of the members: 16 of 100 in the Senate and 71 of 435 in the House of Representatives. Eighty-four nations have a greater percentage of female legislators than the U.S., including our neighbors Mexico and Canada, as well as Rwanda, Vietnam and Cuba.
It's not exactly clear that legislatures with more women produce better government. So why, then, as Parade notes, does the United States demand that emerging democracies have gender quotas that we would never accept in our own politics?
After the overthrow of the Taliban in Afghanistan and of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the United States made sure that when those two countries held elections, 25% of the seats in their legislatures would be reserved for women.
So what do we think people? Stupid? Sexist? Both?
No one in their right mind would read the quoted paragraph from Parade and make the idiotic leap that they were suggesting those governments are better. In fact, it's a sign of how pathetic it is that our government lacks women that these governments we consider repressive still manage to surpass us in female representation. It's a little bit like being behind Alabama in adult literacy. Gender quotas, further, are necessary to prevent countries that have deep problems with female equality from oppressing 50% of their population.
Why is Boaz playing stupid with us? He knows full well the purpose and reasoning in both cases. Is there no better argument sexists can use for the promotion of the status quo than the "duh" card?
It is pathetic we don't have more women in congress because after all these years, almost 90 now since women's suffrage, we still don't have anything approaching equal representation in government. We have never elected a female president. Why does it matter? Because as long as moralizing cranks are going to occupy office and make decisions impinging on women's health, and not men's we've got a problem. When Viagra gets covered by government health programs but contraception is cut, we've got a huge problem. When the best solution government can come up with for improving families is covenant marriage, and abstinence education in the face of higher teen pregancy rates, we've got a ridiculous problem. Other than just fundamental fairness, recognition of the equality of females, and human decency there are specific instances in which women are having decisions made for them that affect their health and their bodies by a majority male government, and I don't think that's a coincidence.
Surely these are arguments for advocating women in government that even an libertarian could understand. I hope we don't have to dumb it down even more.
The more I see of certain libertarians, the more I think that the only "rights" they're concerned with are those of white, male business owners.
Not all libertarians, of course, but still.
You just don't understand Libertarianism, Mark! It's about the princpiple of the thing! So what if our policies result in poverty, unhappiness, crime and oppression? It's the goddamn principle of the thing!
You misspelled "Bozo"...!
It is a travesty that there aren't more women in US government. What I wonder though it this, what is the ratio of women running for office versus men? I would bet that far, far fewer women run. And I think that thats what needs to be addressed first, that there are a lot of women out there who don't think that it's not a womans place* to be in the government or have similar attitudes. And like so many other things I think education is the key.
But I don't think quotas are the answer. From the admittedly limited experience I have with them they tend to ensure diversity, sure, but at the cost of competence in many cases.
"So what do we think people? Stupid? Sexist? Both?"
I vote for willfully obtuse. Sexist they may be (I haven't read enough of their stuff to judge) and possibly stupid, but it seems that they misunderstood on purpose.
*I want to appolgize for even using that phrase, I hate it no matter what accident of birth (race, gender, orientation) it is applied to. But it's the only one I could think of that got the appropriate attitude across.
The reason for making sure women are well-represented in Afghanistan and Iraq is no different from making sure all the ethnic groups are well-represented. The reason for this should be obvious to anyone with half a brain (which leaves out the Cato Institute, I suppose).
To spell it out: especially given the treatment of women in Taliban Afghanistan, it is vital that women have a role in how their society is set up. Afghanistan's infrastructure is a mess precisely because the Taliban were preventing trained women doctors, teachers, etc. from doing anything but faffing about in a black puptent all day.
More "enlightened" societies like ours can do without such quotas because legislatures aren't going to do insane crap like locking all women in bunkers 100 feet underground or forcing all Hispanics to eat ten pounds of bananas every day.
of course you have to dumb it down. you have to dumb it down for people like this pollyanna who seem to think that just because someone expresses bigoted views outside of the workplace they can magically set them aside when making workplace decisions.
From " Wikipedia"
"Deary et al. (2003) performed an analysis of an IQ test administered to almost all children in Scotland at age 11 in 1932 (>80,000). The average IQ scores by sex were 100.64 for girls and 100.48 for boys. The difference in mean IQ was not significant. However, the standard deviation was 14.1 for girls and 14.9 for boys. This difference was statistically significant. In the sample studied, 49.6% are girls and 50.4% are boys. Because of the difference in variance between the sexes, however, girls are in excess by 2% in the middle IQ range of 90115. At the extreme IQ ranges, 5060 and 130140, boys make up 58.6% and 57.7% of the population (gaps of 17.2% and 15.4%) respectively. That is, boys were overrepresented amongst the lowest and highest IQ groups. It is generally observed that males tend to hit the most positive and negative performance results of many tests."
Given that the tendency is to vote for more intelligent candidates on the average, there is an automatic bias towards electing males. Add to that the fact that
women are biologically different than men, and put a much greater effort into raising children, and you'll get substantially fewer women entering politics than that 57-43 ratio would indicate. While males are working on advancing their careers starting in their 20's, most women put some effort into raising children. Spending less time in the work force, that puts them at an additional competitive disadvantage in the workplace. When running for office, males will usually have an overwhelming advantage in experience, another factor in selecting candidates.- Alan McIntire
Alan, seriously off topic, but really, is that your argument? I'm wondering if we should give Alan a chance to retract out of kindness, or say that was a joke.
Given that the tendency is to vote for more intelligent candidates on the average
What country do you live in, and how does one go about moving there?
There's not much to say to someone like MarkH, who makes ridiculing remarks rather than concrete arguments.
Maybe MartinM habitually votes for stupid politicians, but he's an exception. Most members of the federal legislature, and majorities in state legislatures, are lawyers by profession. The average IQ of lawyers is around 127, so obviously elected politicians are more intelligent than the average American.
Ok Alan. Don't say I didn't warn you, I gave you a full opportunity to say that was a joke and instead you persist, so here goes:
To restate your argument, you are asserting that a functional difference in IQ is what is responsible for the differential representation of women in congress. Correct? Boys occupy the extremes, and those at the high range will end up being overrepresented in government etc. I think that is a fair summary.
Why is this a remarkably stupid argument? Well for one, as mentioned in the CATO article, multiple countries have better representation of women, including our neighbor Canada. Is that because foreign women are smarter? Is it because their governments elect people based on different criteria? Of course not. You argument doesn't even make it out of the gate. No one is doubting that politicians come from a higher-educated set of people, but the idea that a 0.6% variance in the standard deviation between men in women will result in a 9:1 ratio of men to women in government is absurd.
The fundamental error in your analysis, and it really is a pathetic one, is that it makes two false assumptions. (1) It assumes the choice between two candidates for office will go to the one with the higher IQ. Certainly with presidential politics this has not been the case. I think you would have to show me data to prove your assertion that in a competition between two people that on average it goes to the smarter. (2) The difference between males and females, if it exists, is so slight as it could hardly explain a 9:1 ratio of men to women in congress, or whatever it is now. It is frankly a frighteningly stupid point to make, I'm really sorry to say, to grasp at such a minor difference and suggest that the very smartest women and the very smartest men go head to head, and because of a 0.6% difference in standard deviation of IQ, in head-to-head matches (which aren't happening that often) women are losing out.
So to sum up, your argument makes no sense for three reasons. It is falsified by the experience of women in other countries, including close neighbors with similar population dynamics and genetic background. It is falsified based on the mistaken assumption that in political competitions the smarter candidates win more frequently (I think the opposite is likely). It is falsified by the tendency of cream to rise to the top, we're not talking about huge numbers of people competing for these positions, it's not an averages problem at all.
When one listens to the media coverage over Hillary you hear these jackasses ask questions like "Is America Ready for a Female President?" as if we should be worried she'll menstruate all over the constitution. I'm pretty sure Hillary is postmenopausal anyway, but the fundamental problem is sexism. Women aren't winning because they aren't smarter (I mean, have you met some of the idiots in congress?), they're not even running because they're seen as nonviable by a population that thinks women belong in the home, pregnant and cooking dinner.
I was not being facetious, I honestly thought that argument was a joke, and if not, you should be embarrassed by it.
"(1) It assumes the choice between two candidates for office will go to the one with the higher IQ." I didn't say ALWAYS, I said on the AVERAGE. People will pick the candidate who most closely mirrors their own political positions, but on the average, they'll tend to pick the more intelligent candidate.
"Certainly with presidential politics this has not been the case. "
Most politicians are not presidential candidates. I didn't say ALWAYS, I said on the average. I think you'd agree that most presidents were much more intelligent than the average American.
"(2) The difference between males and females, if it exists, is so slight as it could hardly explain a 9:1 ratio of men to women in congress, or whatever it is now. It is frankly a frighteningly stupid point to make, I'm really sorry to say, to grasp at such a minor difference and suggest that the very smartest women and the very smartest men go head to head, and because of a 0.6% difference in standard deviation of IQ.."
14.9/14.1 is a 5.67% difference in standard deviation, not
0.6%- you were off by a factor of 9.
"I think you would have to show me data to prove your assertion that in a competition between two people that on average it goes to the smarter."
If it didn't, the average intelligence of national office holders would be no greater than the average intelligence of city councilmen. You may generally vote for relatively stupid people, but most people don't.
"(2) The difference between males and females, if it exists, is so slight as it could hardly explain a 9:1 ratio of men to women in congress, or whatever it is now."
That would result in a 60-40 difference.
I said there were other factors, like experience. Women bear children, which puts them out of the labor force for longer periods of time than men. Women who have children have less seniority in the work force than men. People ALSO make selections based on experience, and men, on the AVERAGE, have more experience.
A third factor is MONEY. When you consider national politics, you've got to be wealthy to run. Wealth is related to IQ, and you're probably looking at the top 0.1% of the population in wealth when you're considering national office holders. Again, women who bear children are going to have less income on the average than men.
As the folks at CATO would say, nobody is holding a gun to women's heads forcing them not to run for office. Any
difference in the proportions of the sexes is due to the
factors of intelligence, and those biological factors which limit women's relative income and experience.
Look at lesser offices, like city councils, and I'm sure you'll find a somewhat larger proportion of women in office.- A. McIntire
difference in the proportions of the sexes is due to the
factors of intelligence, and those biological factors which limit women's relative income and experience.
Well, you keep on harping on the averages but you're still operating on a false assumption. Studies of what defines a political leader show that people do not respond to intelligence. Oddly enough, what people respond most to is the ability to lie, which is perceived as charisma. I guess we shouldn't be surprised. Show me this data that suggests even on the average more intelligent people win elections, maybe then I'd start to believe your argument. And in the end we're talking about very minor differences between men and women on a test, these do not demonstrate the big differences.
Second you are continually dismissive of the point that other countries elect women in far greater numbers than ours. Canada for instance. Does the intelligence gap stop at the border? Of course not.
I might buy the money argument, there are more men at the top of businesses and companies, although that is changing. It might just be a lag in time. But to say that money is an indication of intelligence, ha! Paris Hilton begs to differ. Excess wealth has a stultifying influence on intelligence and ambition. The entrepreneurs that make the money might be bright (more likely criminal, as they say behind all great wealth is a great crime), but wealth itself is not going to track with the peaks of intelligence. In fact I would say that the opposite is likely. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the smartest students in college or professional schools are not the business students. Much of the time intelligent people choose careers that are a financial disincentive.
Further, I am disturbed by this continual assertion that the way things are is because of innate factors and qualities of people. Are blacks inferior too because they are more likely to be poor and are underrepresented? Or are we going to acknowledge that social factors have retarded the progress of groups like minorities and women for centuries? It's very easy to sit at the top and say that things are the way they are because that's the way god intended, but it ignores the many ways people are exceedingly disadvantaged by minority status or female sex by society. Try educating yourself in SE DC sometime, or succeeding in the face of a decades-old old-boys network. We only desegregated schools about 4 decades ago, and at many universities, racial desegregation proceeded coeducation. The bigger problems are social, not the 0.6% variance on an IQ test, hardly the best or most objective measure of ambition, creativity, or success.
In Canada the upper house has 105 members compared to the US 100, the lower house has 308 compared to the US 435.
The populaton of Canada is about 10% of the US population, so each member of the upper house represents on average about 10% as many people as a US senator. Each member of the lower house represents about 435/308 * 10%, or about
1/7 as many people as the US. Women make up 65/308 = 21% of Canada's house, 70/435= 16% in the US. House, and 14% in the Senate. Once you factor in the fact that each American house candidate has to spend about 7 times as much as his or her Canadian counterpart to ensure the message gets to all voters, the 21 -16% difference is not that significant. The Canadian Senate is not comparable to the other 3, because that's an appointive rather than an elective office- A. McIntire