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August 15, 2007

Kerry Howley is a Good Writer

On Clinton:

“Rage Over Cleavage!” was the headline that turned me into a Clinton booster. Other than that typically understated summation from the Times of India, last month’s spat over the state of Clinton’s décolletage saw wave after peristaltic wave of pious vapidity, followed by the occasional spasm of outright misogyny.

Smart, too:

Lacking a Y chromosome almost certainly puts half the population at a disadvantage in the quest to signal competence and authority. Women are repeatedly judged as having performed better in blind assessments of their abilities, from thesis papers to orchestra tryouts, than they are judged when their gender is revealed. They respond by flocking to careers where competence is most directly signaled, like those in medicine and law. Implicit bias studies, though controversial, indicate that even the most progressive among us harbor stereotyped associations (pdf) about gender, family, and work.

August 15, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

She sure is articulate!

Posted by: rb | Aug 15, 2007 1:57:15 PM

If necessary, the obligitory [/sarcasm] end tag should be added to the previous comment, of course.

Posted by: rb | Aug 15, 2007 1:58:38 PM

Also, she's a knockout. Really, she looks great. [/Matthews]

Posted by: Gabriel | Aug 15, 2007 4:26:56 PM

I tried reading the piece... somehow, I didn't find it authoritative enough. I think I'd feel better if a man wrote about this. ;)

Posted by: weboy | Aug 15, 2007 6:04:55 PM

I shrewdly refused to check out the blog to figure out if s/he was a man or woman, in order not to affect my judgment.

So I can say without bias that the quoted bits were all very good, except this:
"They respond by flocking to careers where competence is most directly signaled, like those in medicine and law."

Hunh? First of all, women haven't historically flocked to these two fields unless you look only at a narrow subset of the fields (such as nursing). Second, it is not at all clear that competence is more directly signaled in these fields than in others where there are fewer women. Plenty of "male" fields such as airplane pilots signal competence pretty directly. Conversely, plenty of "female" fields such as grade school teacher or executive assistant don't signal competence directly.

A much better example would have been to point to women who are becoming small business entrepreneurs. I think I've read that women are now starting small businesses at a higher rate than men, and I know I've read surveys that indicate a big reason for this is that they don't have to deal with glass ceilings and other forms of intra-office performance bias.

Posted by: jd | Aug 16, 2007 12:09:41 AM

I don't know about the "smart" thing. Her parroting of the Abigail Alliance line recently has me deeply troubled.

Posted by: Cain | Aug 16, 2007 2:21:18 AM

I wonder if Hillary could be devious enough to have done this on purpose seeking just these kinds of reactions among Democrats in her favor.

Posted by: Ron | Aug 16, 2007 10:32:42 AM

I wonder if Hillary could be devious enough to have done this on purpose seeking just these kinds of reactions among Democrats in her favor.

Ah, the "devious Hillary" meme! Personally, I wonder if she could be devious enough to have done this on purpose so people like Ron would be impressed with her deviousness.

Posted by: rea | Aug 16, 2007 3:04:07 PM

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