Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Applebaum misses the point, too

Via Red and Blue, Anne Applebaum on the absence of women from hard-charging jobs:
It isn't ability or discrimination that hold women up most, in other words, but the impossibility of making a full-time commitment to work in a culture that demands 80-hour weeks, as well as to family in a society unusually obsessed with its children.

We all know this anecdotally, but research confirms it. . . . If these numbers hold there never will be a 50-50 split between men and women at the highest professional or managerial levels of anything: The ratio will always hover around 2 to 1.

Is this nature or nurture? I don't see that it matters.
But whether this is nurture or nature does matter. Why are women the ones making the choice to stay home? Why are fathers not similarly motivated to demand a mix of work and family? Dismissing the inquiry into whether lower levels of female participation in prestigious careers are the result of social conditioning is to accept the status quo and leave an overwhelming burden on women. Why is this not worth challenging?
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