Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

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stillwater
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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby stillwater » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:00 am

omg, in this thread, TRUFFS!!!!!!

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dresden doll
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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby dresden doll » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:01 am

midwest17 wrote:I recommend "Delusions of Gender" by Cordelia Fine.


Excellent recommendation.

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patogordo
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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby patogordo » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:03 am

i recommend "Delusions of Grandeur," by Gucci Mane

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby 20141023 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:05 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby Kimikho » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:10 am

dresden doll wrote:
midwest17 wrote:I recommend "Delusions of Gender" by Cordelia Fine.


Excellent recommendation.


midwest, did you read this after I suggested it? :lol:

one of the best books on this topic though.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby Captainunaccountable » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:19 am

dresden doll wrote:
Captainunaccountable wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
Gucci Mane wrote:Interesting this that nobody in this thread is willing (or has the nuts) to point out that maybe women are usually inferior to men when it comes to a profession like law. I work in high finance and its the same damn thing, if you don't have high testosterone you won't succeed in the industry.


Thank God you came in to bust our PC-speak with the brave revolutionary insight that it takes special levels of testosterone to power through doc review like a champ.


I did a minimal amount of research to find this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12414881

This doesn't entirely prove my point that you referenced earlier but it correlates strongly with the fact that hormones do play a large part in the social/behavioral development of the each sex.


I never took the position that hormones are utterly irrelevant. I'm asking for studies that scientifically show that women are inherently more nurturing. What you linked to doesn't get at that at all.

The term "scientific fact" is reserved for clearly proven truths, such as the effectiveness of vaccination in protecting a child from certain illnesses. It wouldn't at all be an issue to locate plenty of studies who attest to the effectiveness of vaccination, so I expect it to be likewise easy to link to one of the many studies that have established women's inherently superior nurturing capabilities.


Here is a nice one that showed when young females were administered testosterone their social intelligence and empathy were reduced; later on they show how the vice versa scenario occured also. http://www.pnas.org/content/108/8/3448.full
I don't know if the other study was double-blind, sorry. The toys were construction oriented, building things. I remember when I was a child I liked to play 'cook' and now looking back I realize why it wasn't such a surprise to my parents that I exhibited some 'female' tendencies when I got older. This wasn't the only reason, but there were other such childhood behaviors that demonstrated this idea. I don't know my hormone levels, but I certainly was NOT raised with the ideal of neutral gender roles, moreover I have been consistently raised to be a 'man' on so many levels.
I'm a little curious as to why homosexuality is definitively a function of nature, yet basic, common themes most people see in females (empathy, etc.) are not. I think there's a lot of adaptability in both aspects, but to say that genes and hormones play a role in one and not in the other, seems to be unfair and fixed.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby midwest17 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:34 am

scoobers wrote:
dresden doll wrote:
midwest17 wrote:I recommend "Delusions of Gender" by Cordelia Fine.


Excellent recommendation.


midwest, did you read this after I suggested it? :lol:

one of the best books on this topic though.


No, actually, it was one of the good things I'd read on the topic before your recommendations. :D Which reminds me, I need to find those recommendations again. I'm not sure if they actually made it onto my reading list.

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patogordo
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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby patogordo » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:39 am

i find it hard to believe that any reasonable, objective person can look at a list of claimed innate characteristics attributed to males and females, compare that to a list of characteristics deemed requirements for success in a wide variety of fields, and say "hmm, nothing odd about this! thanks, science!"

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:45 am

Captainunaccountable wrote:I'm a little curious as to why homosexuality is definitively a function of nature, yet basic, common themes most people see in females (empathy, etc.) are not. I think there's a lot of adaptability in both aspects, but to say that genes and hormones play a role in one and not in the other, seems to be unfair and fixed.

Because homosexuality is about who you want to have sex with, not about your gender identity. There are hypermasculine gay men, hyperfeminine gay men, and everything in between, and the same with lesbians; it's not like being gay means you act "like a woman."

Also, as to your article: it's not talking about general empathy, but "cognitive empathic ability", or the ability "to infer motives, intentions, and feelings from bodily cues of others, especially from the eye region of their faces." That doesn't mean women are more nurturing than men, just suggests they can interpret people's bodily cues better than men can. Even if you connect that to social intelligence, it says nothing about how the person in question uses that social intelligence.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby lawschool22 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:46 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Captainunaccountable wrote:I'm a little curious as to why homosexuality is definitively a function of nature, yet basic, common themes most people see in females (empathy, etc.) are not. I think there's a lot of adaptability in both aspects, but to say that genes and hormones play a role in one and not in the other, seems to be unfair and fixed.

Because homosexuality is about who you want to have sex with, not about your gender identity. There are hypermasculine gay men, hyperfeminine gay men, and everything in between, and the same with lesbians; it's not like being gay means you act "like a woman."


Wait, are people trying to say that genes are hormones do not play a role in the personality traits of men and women? Obviously they're not definitive and "destiny," but of course hormones and genetics play a role in the general characteristics of genders, to the detriment and advantage of both sexes.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby midwest17 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:52 am

lawschool22 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Captainunaccountable wrote:I'm a little curious as to why homosexuality is definitively a function of nature, yet basic, common themes most people see in females (empathy, etc.) are not. I think there's a lot of adaptability in both aspects, but to say that genes and hormones play a role in one and not in the other, seems to be unfair and fixed.

Because homosexuality is about who you want to have sex with, not about your gender identity. There are hypermasculine gay men, hyperfeminine gay men, and everything in between, and the same with lesbians; it's not like being gay means you act "like a woman."


Wait, are people trying to say that genes are hormones do not play a role in the personality traits of men and women? Obviously they're not definitive and "destiny," but of course hormones and genetics play a role in the general characteristics of genders, to the detriment and advantage of both sexes.


One reason I recommend "Delusions of Gender" is that it challenges this line of thinking. At the very least, our baseline intuition about the degree to which genetics (rather than a multitude of subtle things about upbringing) impacts personality, etc is a VAST overestimate.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:56 am

lawschool22 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Captainunaccountable wrote:I'm a little curious as to why homosexuality is definitively a function of nature, yet basic, common themes most people see in females (empathy, etc.) are not. I think there's a lot of adaptability in both aspects, but to say that genes and hormones play a role in one and not in the other, seems to be unfair and fixed.

Because homosexuality is about who you want to have sex with, not about your gender identity. There are hypermasculine gay men, hyperfeminine gay men, and everything in between, and the same with lesbians; it's not like being gay means you act "like a woman."


Wait, are people trying to say that genes are hormones do not play a role in the personality traits of men and women? Obviously they're not definitive and "destiny," but of course hormones and genetics play a role in the general characteristics of genders, to the detriment and advantage of both sexes.

Personally, I'm just saying that hormones don't "make" women "nurturing." Whatever biological/genetic/hormonal differences do apply generally across genders (which seems pretty contested in the specifics), we don't interpret them in a vacuum, but in light of assumptions about gender. There may well be differences, but I think it's a lot harder to draw a straight line between any biological differences and contemporary gender roles than many people like to assume. (The cognitive empathy point above, for instance: if you believe that women are more nurturing, you might see evidence that women score higher in cognitive empathy as evidence for this. But it might equally mean that women are more manipulative. Or that that women would do better in business/law/politics/high stakes settings because they're better at reading people.)

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby iamgeorgebush » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:56 am

lawschool22 wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I agree that it's not just sexist biglaw partners in the sense that there isn't (I hope) a bunch of old white guys sitting round a table smoking cigars saying "I don't like that Jane Smith, she does/doesn't wear tight skirts, NO PARTNERSHIP FOR HER" or even just "that Jane Smith is such a ball-breaker, but John Jones really knows how to drive a hard bargain and I think he'd be a great partner." It is sexist biglaw partners to the extent that they (like all of us) live in a society that has certain gender expectations (and expectations about running a biglaw firm) that tend to make it harder for women to stay on the partnership track, and have absorbed a lot/most of those expectations.

As for fewer women setting out to seek biglaw partnerships or later deciding not to continue - it may well be a factor, in the sense that it's one of the mechanisms by which we end up with fewer women partners (as opposed to, say, women simply getting turned down/fired). I know a number of women who were doing very well at biglaw firms who have left, generally for government work, because the schedule is so much more compatible with the way they want to raise their kids. But again, that's not in a vacuum - it's not an alternative to the influence of gender roles/expectations, it's a career choice made by people only in the context of those gender roles/expectations. So if the implication is that women don't aim for partner because they're less competitive, or they don't value that kind of success - that's possible, but again, it's in the context of a society that (to generalize) values different things in women and men.

(Also, raising kids rather than chasing partner is great. Not suggesting it's a bad decision for anyone. It's just a weird conundrum that what may be the best decision for an individual ends up looking troubling in the collective. Or not, I guess, depending on what you value.)

I don't know, I wouldn't put it past the people making partnership decisions to view similar behavior differently depending on the gender of the person. They might not be smoking cigars (probably just playing golf), but I can very easily imagine two partners saying something like, "You know, Jane Smith and John Jones are both excellent attorneys, but I just don't think Jane has the potential for client development that John has. She's too aggressive, which I could see turning off a lot of clients. John, on the other hand, knows when to be assertive and when to step back. He has the right balance."

Chances are, the woman is just fine with clients, but because she interacts with clients in a different way from those male partners, the partners see Jane as somehow deficient compared to John, John whose way of interacting with clients mirrors their own. People power naturally assume that their way is the best way, even when there are are alternatives that are just as good...and sometimes even better!


I don't disagree that there can be biases. But now you're just imagining an whole scenario that you don't know to be true, and then arguing against it. This is classic straw man.

Also, by your logic, there could be women partners doing the exact same thing to men; that is, misinterpreting their client service skills into something negative, and displaying a bias towards women.

Uh, yes, I am imagining a scenario, but similar scenarios happen all the time. Access to higher-ups is frequently cited by women as a barrier to breaking the glass ceiling. Ask a high-ranking woman in BigLaw what sorts of obstacles she had to overcome, and she'll say the same. Take a look at some Q&As with women partners...I know there are some on Law360. Or just take a look at these McKinsey studies if you'd prefer: http://www.mckinsey.com/features/women_matter (check out the last one to start)

And either way, it's not a "straw man." A straw man would be me poorly constructing the other side's argument in order to more easily argue against it. Not at all what I was doing.

As to your last point: Yes, women partners could be doing the exact same thing to men, and some of the diversity literature I've read suggests that some women managers do in fact tend to favor women over men, in part because the women's behavior is more similar to their own. Fortunately for the men, men by and large tend to hold the power, and those women who have managed to obtain power have done so by adapting their behavior to that of the dominant group: men.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby patogordo » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:57 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Personally, I'm just saying that hormones don't "make" women "nurturing." Whatever biological/genetic/hormonal differences do apply generally across genders (which seems pretty contested in the specifics), we don't interpret them in a vacuum, but in light of assumptions about gender. There may well be differences, but I think it's a lot harder to draw a straight line between any biological differences and contemporary gender roles than many people like to assume. (The cognitive empathy point above, for instance: if you believe that women are more nurturing, you might see evidence that women score higher in cognitive empathy as evidence for this. But it might equally mean that women are more manipulative. Or that that women would do better in business/law/politics/high stakes settings because they're better at reading people.)

i can't think of any reason why we might interpret it to suggest that women are better at staying home and raising children!

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:03 am

patogordo wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Personally, I'm just saying that hormones don't "make" women "nurturing." Whatever biological/genetic/hormonal differences do apply generally across genders (which seems pretty contested in the specifics), we don't interpret them in a vacuum, but in light of assumptions about gender. There may well be differences, but I think it's a lot harder to draw a straight line between any biological differences and contemporary gender roles than many people like to assume. (The cognitive empathy point above, for instance: if you believe that women are more nurturing, you might see evidence that women score higher in cognitive empathy as evidence for this. But it might equally mean that women are more manipulative. Or that that women would do better in business/law/politics/high stakes settings because they're better at reading people.)

i can't think of any reason why we might interpret it to suggest that women are better at staying home and raising children!

Yeah, it's a shame men are so bad at interpreting interpersonal cues that their kids remain inscrutable mysteries to them, enigmas unriddled only by women's magical feminine intuition.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby patogordo » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:08 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
patogordo wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Personally, I'm just saying that hormones don't "make" women "nurturing." Whatever biological/genetic/hormonal differences do apply generally across genders (which seems pretty contested in the specifics), we don't interpret them in a vacuum, but in light of assumptions about gender. There may well be differences, but I think it's a lot harder to draw a straight line between any biological differences and contemporary gender roles than many people like to assume. (The cognitive empathy point above, for instance: if you believe that women are more nurturing, you might see evidence that women score higher in cognitive empathy as evidence for this. But it might equally mean that women are more manipulative. Or that that women would do better in business/law/politics/high stakes settings because they're better at reading people.)

i can't think of any reason why we might interpret it to suggest that women are better at staying home and raising children!

Yeah, it's a shame men are so bad at interpreting interpersonal cues that their kids remain inscrutable mysteries to them, enigmas unriddled only by women's magical feminine intuition.

that's why we just stumble around drunkenly, aimlessly smacking our children like they're malfunctioning toasters

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby Captainunaccountable » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:34 am

patogordo wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
patogordo wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Personally, I'm just saying that hormones don't "make" women "nurturing." Whatever biological/genetic/hormonal differences do apply generally across genders (which seems pretty contested in the specifics), we don't interpret them in a vacuum, but in light of assumptions about gender. There may well be differences, but I think it's a lot harder to draw a straight line between any biological differences and contemporary gender roles than many people like to assume. (The cognitive empathy point above, for instance: if you believe that women are more nurturing, you might see evidence that women score higher in cognitive empathy as evidence for this. But it might equally mean that women are more manipulative. Or that that women would do better in business/law/politics/high stakes settings because they're better at reading people.)

i can't think of any reason why we might interpret it to suggest that women are better at staying home and raising children!

Yeah, it's a shame men are so bad at interpreting interpersonal cues that their kids remain inscrutable mysteries to them, enigmas unriddled only by women's magical feminine intuition.

that's why we just stumble around drunkenly, aimlessly smacking our children like they're malfunctioning toasters


This is the last peer-reviewed academic study I'm going to provide. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/ ... 0.abstract
In sum: Dads with smaller testicles are better fathers.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:50 am

Captainunaccountable wrote:This is the last peer-reviewed academic study I'm going to provide. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/ ... 0.abstract
In sum: Dads with smaller testicles are better fathers.

In response to viewing pictures of one’s own child, activity in the ventral tegmental area—a key component of the mesolimbic dopamine reward and motivation system—predicted paternal caregiving and was negatively related to testes volume.

Wish we had the full text on this one, because I'd love to know how activity in a particular area of the brain translates to the quality of paternal caregiving in real life.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby lawschool22 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:59 am

iamgeorgebush wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I agree that it's not just sexist biglaw partners in the sense that there isn't (I hope) a bunch of old white guys sitting round a table smoking cigars saying "I don't like that Jane Smith, she does/doesn't wear tight skirts, NO PARTNERSHIP FOR HER" or even just "that Jane Smith is such a ball-breaker, but John Jones really knows how to drive a hard bargain and I think he'd be a great partner." It is sexist biglaw partners to the extent that they (like all of us) live in a society that has certain gender expectations (and expectations about running a biglaw firm) that tend to make it harder for women to stay on the partnership track, and have absorbed a lot/most of those expectations.

As for fewer women setting out to seek biglaw partnerships or later deciding not to continue - it may well be a factor, in the sense that it's one of the mechanisms by which we end up with fewer women partners (as opposed to, say, women simply getting turned down/fired). I know a number of women who were doing very well at biglaw firms who have left, generally for government work, because the schedule is so much more compatible with the way they want to raise their kids. But again, that's not in a vacuum - it's not an alternative to the influence of gender roles/expectations, it's a career choice made by people only in the context of those gender roles/expectations. So if the implication is that women don't aim for partner because they're less competitive, or they don't value that kind of success - that's possible, but again, it's in the context of a society that (to generalize) values different things in women and men.

(Also, raising kids rather than chasing partner is great. Not suggesting it's a bad decision for anyone. It's just a weird conundrum that what may be the best decision for an individual ends up looking troubling in the collective. Or not, I guess, depending on what you value.)

I don't know, I wouldn't put it past the people making partnership decisions to view similar behavior differently depending on the gender of the person. They might not be smoking cigars (probably just playing golf), but I can very easily imagine two partners saying something like, "You know, Jane Smith and John Jones are both excellent attorneys, but I just don't think Jane has the potential for client development that John has. She's too aggressive, which I could see turning off a lot of clients. John, on the other hand, knows when to be assertive and when to step back. He has the right balance."

Chances are, the woman is just fine with clients, but because she interacts with clients in a different way from those male partners, the partners see Jane as somehow deficient compared to John, John whose way of interacting with clients mirrors their own. People power naturally assume that their way is the best way, even when there are are alternatives that are just as good...and sometimes even better!


I don't disagree that there can be biases. But now you're just imagining an whole scenario that you don't know to be true, and then arguing against it. This is classic straw man.

Also, by your logic, there could be women partners doing the exact same thing to men; that is, misinterpreting their client service skills into something negative, and displaying a bias towards women.

Uh, yes, I am imagining a scenario, but similar scenarios happen all the time. Access to higher-ups is frequently cited by women as a barrier to breaking the glass ceiling. Ask a high-ranking woman in BigLaw what sorts of obstacles she had to overcome, and she'll say the same. Take a look at some Q&As with women partners...I know there are some on Law360. Or just take a look at these McKinsey studies if you'd prefer: http://www.mckinsey.com/features/women_matter (check out the last one to start)

And either way, it's not a "straw man." A straw man would be me poorly constructing the other side's argument in order to more easily argue against it. Not at all what I was doing.

As to your last point: Yes, women partners could be doing the exact same thing to men, and some of the diversity literature I've read suggests that some women managers do in fact tend to favor women over men, in part because the women's behavior is more similar to their own. Fortunately for the men, men by and large tend to hold the power, and those women who have managed to obtain power have done so by adapting their behavior to that of the dominant group: men.


We can quibble on straw man, but that's beside the point. The scenario you described, I just don't see how you can assume that is taking place. I agree with you that there are gender biases, but they are not as overt as you're depicting them to be.

There is a problem with the surveys of the type you cite, the women being interviewed are biased themselves. I'm not saying that they don't feel a certain way, but perception is not always reality. There may be some who felt they experienced sexism, but how can all of th really know? There could have been perfectly legitimate reasons for being passed over, but many times we are quick to assume sexism. I'm not saying all respondents fall into that category, but there is a certain portion that do.

Again please don't take me to be overblowing this point or oversimplifying. I agree that there are gender biases at play. But they are not as widespread, sinister, overt, or simplified as many ITT are portraying them. That's my main point. Moreover, I am trying to get across that there are other, non-sinister, non-sexist factors at play. But no one seems to want to consider or concede those. That's what bugs me a bit.

To your final point: so women who have achieved power are doing the very thing that powerful men are not supposed to do? Are you okay with that? To me that's sexism as well.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:03 am

What specifically are the "non-sinister" factors you're identifying and what do you mean by saying they're "non-sinister"? Do you mean they're women's own choices/fault? That doesn't prevent them from resulting from gender biases.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby dresden doll » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:24 am

midwest17 wrote: At the very least, our baseline intuition about the degree to which genetics (rather than a multitude of subtle things about upbringing) impacts personality, etc is a VAST overestimate.


Which is why Delusions of Gender should be required reading for everyone, everywhere.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby dresden doll » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:28 am

lawschool22 wrote: The scenario you described, I just don't see how you can assume that is taking place. I agree with you that there are gender biases, but they are not as overt as you're depicting them to be.


And I don't see how you can assume that the biases aren't all that overt.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby lawschool22 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:04 am

dresden doll wrote:
lawschool22 wrote: The scenario you described, I just don't see how you can assume that is taking place. I agree with you that there are gender biases, but they are not as overt as you're depicting them to be.


And I don't see how you can assume that the biases aren't all that overt.


If they were overt we wouldn't need to be speculating about them. They would be on display for everyone to see.

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby $alty » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:07 am

lawschool22 wrote:If they were overt we wouldn't need to be speculating about them. They would be on display for everyone to see.


lol

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Re: Why does being a woman/transgender/gay not count as URM?

Postby lawschool22 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:15 am

I think we are wading into the area of not being productive, so I'm probably going to bow out of this thread :). I just want to make it clear that I do believe there is gender bias which permeates many facets of our society. I just also believe that there are other factors at play, such as self-selection issues, initial percentage of women gunning for certain jobs in the first place, personal preferences, etc. My only point in the past few pages has been to say that we need to consider all factors, not just the factors that blame a paternalistic culture for being the source of all the disparity.

Also, just as cultural biases affect women, there are also those that affect men. As one example there are men who would love to give up a career to stay at home and raise his kids, but can't due to societal norms and expectations. It's important to remember that these biases can cut both ways. A lot of it depends on how you measure success. If you measure success as ratio of men/women in biglaw partnerships, then yes women have a disparity. If you measure success as amount of time spent raising your kids, then men are at a large disparity to women.

I say this to remind us that our natural perception of this issue largely depends on what we are measuring, what our perspectives and vantage points are, and how we have personally experienced these issues. But it is important to keep an open mind to any and all factors that could be causing an issue, as we are unlikely to solve it if we falsely assume that the source of the problem is simple and easily identifiable.




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