Wait wait wait.
Yet another of the American Enterprise Institute’s anti-feminist “feminists” takes on “the conventional wisdom” about women in science.
It’s the conventional wisdom that women are held back in science because of sexism. A new paper by a research team at Cornell University reports that young women faculty members prosper in math-based fields of science. Statistically, women are less likely to continue on in certain science fields, but there are cultural conventions that need to be taken into account. Visiting Factual Feminist Sally Satel will discuss these factors in this episode.
But there are cultural conventions? Well of course there are – and those cultural conventions are part of what sexism is. Why would the presence of cultural conventions undermine claims that women are held back in science because of sexism?
But Satel says it does.
She says women and men without children have pretty equal rates of publication, but men with children have higher rates than women with children. But don’t go thinking that’s sexism – oh no, it’s something completely different.
More research is needed to fill in this picture, but you could speculate that this disparity exists because fathers are more likely to have a spouse who’s caring full time for the children than are the mothers. It’s not rocket science. It’s easier to have kids when there’s someone at home doing the childcare. This reflects cultural conventions, not sexism in science. [1:50 to 2:20]
I haven’t yet listened to how she explains that absurd claim, because I was so gobsmacked by it that I wanted to yell about it first.
Hello? The idea that women must or should do all the childcare while men do none of it (or share it only in leisure hours) is indeed a cultural convention, and that cultural convention is sexist. Defining people’s duties and tasks by what gender they are is indeed sexism. The fact that men are more likely to have a spouse who’s caring full time for the children than are women is indeed sexism.
Let me guess – Satel’s explanation will be that this pattern simply reflects people’s natural unforced preferences, now that we have totally eradicated sexism and thus made all preferences free.
Ha. Like hell we have.