LGBTQIA is out at Brown University…

…. because TGQN is in.

I visited a group house in which the students attending this Ivy League university vow “We reject systems that create and reinforce inequality” as a “guiding principle”.

I visited the FBO at the nearby airport, whose ramp was groaning with private jets that had arrived for Parents’ Weekend. Sometimes it is only by spinning three turbojet engines that one can reject inequality…

I had a sandwich at U Melt, which welcomes everyone except those without money:

(The sign plus the absence of any kind of program to provide meals for the poor is more evidence for my theory that social justice causes that don’t cost more than the price of a sign are the most popular.)

Fun on the main student drag:

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Esther Duflo: Nobel-grade evolution in thinking about women as victims

An MIT economist, Esther Duflo, was a co-winner of this year’s Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. How has her scientific thinking evolved?

From a 2016 New York Times article:

Women aren’t particularly nice to women,” notes Esther Duflo, an economist at M.I.T. who has studied gender issues. She observes that in Spain, researchers found that having more women randomly assigned to a committee evaluating judiciary candidates actually hurts the prospects of female candidates. A similar study found that on Italian academic evaluation committees, women evaluate female candidates more harshly than men do.

From a 2019 CNN article:

She also said that she hoped the award would inspire other female economists to continue working, “and men to give them the respect they deserve, like every single human being.”

After three years, white women with PhDs in North America continue to be victims, but the gender identities of the victimizers have evolved!

[Duflo is also an expert on taxation. From “Should We Soak the Rich? You Bet!” (NYT, October 12, 2019):

Two M.I.T. economists, Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, demolish the traditional arguments against higher taxes on the wealthy in an incisive book coming out next month, “Good Economics for Hard Times.” While major league sports teams have salary caps that limit athletes’ pay, Banerjee and Duflo note that no one argues “that players would play harder if only they were paid a little (or a lot) more. Everybody agrees that the drive to be best is sufficient.”

“High marginal income tax rates, applied only to very high incomes, are a perfectly sensible way to limit the explosion of top wealth inequality,” Banerjee and Duflo write.

Does the example of sports stars make sense when considering, e.g., a 95 percent tax rate on the highest incomes? The Nobel winner fails to consider the possibility that the average American desk job is less fun than playing sports. People, including kids, will play sports for fun; very few people will do a desk job without the expectation of a paycheck.

In addition to the fun of the game, sports stars receive some non-monetary compensation. “The Drugs, Sex, and Swagger of the 1980s Lakers” (GQ):

In his autobiography, A View From Above, Wilt Chamberlain said he slept with 20,000 women. From the sounds of it in your book Showtime, it appears the 1980’s Lakers weren’t far off from that tally.

The Lakers were superstars in a hot city at a time when HIV awareness wasn’t there yet, and groupies were at their peak of popularity. There were women in hotel lobbies, women outside the arena, women in the arena. Everywhere. And they wanted to have sex. So Lakers players did—often. But. . . it wasn’t all that unusual in the world of pro sports. The Knicks, I’m guessing, had lots of sex. And the Cavs. And even the Clippers—well, maybe not the Clippers. But most teams.

What about generic business executives and Wall Street fund managers? If their spending power, after tax, isn’t very different from what a Medicaid dentist earns in Massachusetts, why would women want to party with them? Maybe Wilt Chamberlain would have continued playing basketball, winning games while the crowd cheers and then meeting the female groupies in the hotel. But why would a mutual or hedge fund manager want to keep sitting at a desk and staring at a Bloomberg terminal to take home 5 percent of his or her pre-tax pay? Why not quit and move to a beach resort to live off the savings?]

Related:

  • https://philip.greenspun.com/blog/2015/01/12/gender-equity-should-be-measured-by-consumption-not-income/
  • from a recent PR pitch: “Gender disparity in tech is a noted issue within the industry, and while the cannabis industry promised women an equal playing field, female leadership percentages have gone down in the past year. Would you be interested in speaking to a female coder and engineer who helped lead the development of a newly patented cannabis soil-to-shelf technology? Trace, a soil-to-shelf company utilizing block-chain technology have created a system tailor-made for the cannabis industry by experts in cannabis crop optimization and the cannabis supply chain. Current systems leave much to be desired.” (the company’s web site opens with “Speak Truth to Flower”)
  • CNN: “[Duflo] also said that she hoped the award would inspire other female economists to continue working”; yet Econ 101 says that a woman with a Ph.D. should continue working unless she can find some way of getting cash that does not require work
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Programs to raise female wages will secure a voting majority for Democrats?

Democrats advocate more low-skill immigration. This makes sense politically since roughly 80 percent of Americans on welfare will vote for Democrats (stats at end of this article; 88 percent of folks who benefit from public housing are loyal Democrats, for example). With 10-year waiting lists for public housing, though, it is unclear that low-skill migrants are a sustainable resource for the Democrats.

How about women? The Economist: “unmarried women are spectacularly loyal to the Democrats … The ‘marriage gap’ dwarfs the sex gap, by which women as a whole have long favoured Democrats.”

Is there a way that Democrats could increase the percentage of unmarried women and thereby secure permanent control of the U.S. political system? In general, it does not make sense for women to marry men who earn less than they do. So for every additional dollar that women earn relative to men, support for Democrats becomes more secure.

[See “Mismatches in the Marriage Market”, which notes a “shortage of economically attractive partners for unmarried women to marry” (if the economists who wrote this wanted a one-line summary, they might have said “Men see women as sex objects; women see men as success objects.”); see Real World Divorce for the ruinous exposure to alimony and child support lawsuits that a woman incurs by marrying a lower-income man (or having a child with one; see Sarah Palin’s daughter sued for child support by a Marine Corps veteran); see “Burning Man: Attitudes toward marriage and children” for a finance executive saying “I worked my ass off for 17 years for what I have. I am not going to risk losing it,” regarding the idea of marrying a man who earned less than her (way above average) salary. “Men from poor backgrounds ‘twice as likely to be single'” (BBC).]

Consider Melinda Gates, a supporter of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation (side question: are foreign governments still donating to this foundation now that Hillary Clinton is out of power?). She explains “Here’s Why I’m Committing $1 Billion to Promote Gender Equality”:

I am committing $1 billion to expanding women’s power and influence in the United States. I want to see more women in the position to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives.

Previously, in Harvard Business Review, Melinda Gates “We still aren’t earning as much” and “a stubborn 20% gap persists between men’s and women’s pay.” (Note that this might not be a reasonable measure; see “Gender equity should be measured by consumption, not income?”; Melinda Gates herself is a great example of a person whose income was negligible (went to $0 after marriage), but whose spending power is in the $billions (due to her sexual relationship with an older high-income man).)

Elizabeth Warren has been an advocate for increasing women’s pay relative to men’s (e.g., press release). She recently mocked men who don’t earn enough to attract a wife: “then just marry one woman … Assuming you can find one” (New York Times). If the typical woman in the U.S. earned more via wages than the typical man, Elizabeth Warren (or any other Democrat) would easily defeat Donald Trump.

Male Democrats are also passionate about increasing female wages to the point that marriage (and voting Republican) won’t make sense for them. Here’s a 2014 Obama Administration web page on the subject.

Readers: What do you think? Are efforts to boost wages by those who identify as “women” at least partly motivated by a desire to reduce the number of women who vote for Republicans?

(And, don’t forget that as long as this massive wage gap exists, a company can make crazy huge profits simply by hiring only women and thus having a big labor cost advantage over competitors with a mixed-gender workforce.)

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Teaching 5th graders who vs. whom in an LGBTQ+ world

Email from a 5th grade teacher to parents at our local public school (soon to occupy the most expensive, per-student, building ever constructed in the United States):

Just wanted to reach out to tell you about the conversation we had in class today. Our middle school (grades 5-8) has a group called SAGA that meets weekly. SAGA stands for “Sexuality and Gender Alliance.” Today was the first meeting of the year.

In preparing the kids for possibly joining SAGA, our conversation centered around LGBTQ+ vocabulary and terms. I am attaching the vocabulary list that was used with the students. These definitions come from Welcoming Schools. It was a good conversation and the students have a lot of great knowledge already!

The attachment (below) uses the phrase “Who you love” (contrast to Barack Obama: “No matter who you are or whom you love, celebrate #Valentines Day with pride. #LoveIsLove”). Also note that, presumably due to recent definitional problems with the word “woman”, “Gay” and “Lesbian” have the same definition. Finally, I wonder if defining “Sexual Orientation” (Merriam-Webster) by “Who you love” will cause some confusion, even if one accepts that “who” can be used for the object of a verb. Fifth graders are familiar with parents who love children. They may also be familiar with children or adults who love a dog and a dog who loves human family members. Can the fifth grader now assume that the dog is sexually oriented toward human family members or that a parent is sexually oriented toward children who are loved? If “love” and sexuality are equivalent, does that make the fifth grader’s world simpler or more complex?

[Attached] LGBTQ Vocabulary Words

Words associated with gender, gender identity, gender expression and sexuality

GENDER:

Cisgender: When your gender identity (how you feel) is the same as what doctors/midwives assigned to you when you were born (girl/boy or sex assigned at birth).

Gender: How you feel. Your internal felt sense of being a girl, boy, both or neither. 


Gender Binary: A way of seeing gender as two distinct and opposite groups—girl and boy. This idea doesn’t include all the ways we can have a gender identity and express our gender. 


Gender Expansive: Some people feel that the traditional ways of being a “boy” or “girl” do not fit for them. They live their lives showing that there are many ways to be a girl, boy, both or neither. 


Gender Identity: How you feel. Girl, boy, both or neither. Everyone has a gender identity. 

Non-Binary: People who do not feel like the words “girl” or “boy” fits. They may feel like 
both or neither. They sometimes use pronouns such as they, them, theirs. 


Sex Assigned At Birth: When a baby is born, a doctor or midwife looks at the baby’s body/anatomy and says they are a boy, girl or intersex. 


Transgender or Trans: When your gender identity (how you feel) is different than what doctors/midwives assigned to you when you were born (girl/boy or sex assigned at birth). 


WHO YOU LOVE:

Bisexual: People who love or are attracted to people of two genders. 

Gay: People who love or are attracted to people of the same gender. 

Heterosexual: People who love or are attracted to other people of the opposite gender.

Lesbian: People who love or are attracted to people of the same gender.

Sexual Orientation: Who you love or are attracted to.

GENDER AND WHO YOU LOVE:

LGBTQ: Acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer. 

Queer: People use this word as a way to identify with and celebrate people of all gender identities and all the ways people love each other. When used in a mean way, it is a word that hurts. 

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Domestic violence hotline for the polyamorous

Back of a city bus in Harvard Square:

I posted this to Facebook with “Helpful phone number in case identifying as polyamorous leads to a domestic dispute”.

From the sponsor organization’s history page:

the wording of our mission was changed to explicitly name and acknowledge our ongoing work with gay, queer, polyamorous and SM communities.

Who wants to test the theory that “Love means my partner respects my identities” by walking in the front door and saying to one’s partner “Starting tonight, I identify as polyamorous”?

(Also, are people who engage in sadomasochism a “community”? See “Partner Abuse In SM Communities” from the same org.)

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Evidence for theory explaining LGBTQIA promotion popularity

Back in August, I asked “Is LGBTQIA the most popular social justice cause because it does not require giving money?”

Here’s some evidence for the theory, from downtown Washington, D.C.:

The church is surrounded by begging homeless people and a McLaren automobile that costs roughly $150,000 per seat (perfect for sitting in D.C. gridlock!). Are the church and its parishioners concerned about poverty or inequality? Apparently not, since the only cause promoted with a sign regards LGBTQIA.

(In this cause, the church is competing with the D.C. government. City building a few blocks away:

“The District has a higher level of income inequality than any state in the country” and yet the “Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Affairs” has its programs featured in the taxpayer-funded building rather than anything to do with poverty.)

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Free coding class from Microsoft for 8th graders

From the email inbox of a reader-parent….

Meany Middle School was invited to an amazing opportunity at Microsoft on Thursday, October 3rd from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. This event is in partnership with Paramount Picture. The students will have an opportunity to experience a coding class with a surprise special guest.

There is space for 45 – 8th grade students who identify as female. The students must be 13 yrs. old to attend this field trip. Lunch will be provided. It has been described as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Only the first 45 students who return the permission slips and photo release form will be allowed to attend. Permission slips were sent home with students yesterday.

If Microsoft chooses to expose these young folks to C++, it would be interesting to know how many decide that coding is the best career choice.

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Silver Lining of the Ivy League Admissions Circus

A friend who is a passionate fencer, and a former Ivy League fencing team member, said “Twenty years ago, you could just send a kid to a few fencing lessons and he or she might get into Harvard. Now it is much more difficult and the kid actually has to be great for it to boost his or her chances.”

What’s the silver lining? “So many of these parents, most of whom are middle class, are pouring all of their time and money into fencing lessons for middle school and high school kids that the U.S. is beginning to win international competitions.”

[Separately, one of his friends is a fencing coach at a university. The most recent semester started with “going through the roster and he was being told which pronoun to address two transsexuals and one gender-fluid student on the team.” One of the students who was to be referred to with male pronouns asked to compete with the men’s team, but lost every practice match. He then switched to the women’s team, but continues to insist on being referred to with male pronouns.]

If the U.S. sweeps up medals at future Olympic games, can we thank the elite universities that have made it almost impossible for white/Asian kids to get in? (since being sued, however, Harvard has found that Asian applicants have more merit)

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