Monday, August 20, 2007

The gender gap that's ignored

Post below lifted from Don Surber. See the original for links

The "gender gap" is an urban legend that holds that women do not make as much money as men because of sex discrimination. Dr. Helen took a swipe at that today, posting:

The article stated that only 32 percent of women ages 25-34 clock 35 or more hours per week. Apparently, part-time work and flexible work are important to women as 80% of women polled say they'd take extended time off to care for family in the future. Perhaps some of what we call unequal pay, particularly as women get older is the choice of many women to take off time to raise families, a noble endeavor.
Another factor is danger. Risk is rewarded in America. Men dominate the occupations with the highest job-related fatalities. They pay better. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that on-the-job fatalities fell from 4.0 per 100,000 workers to 3.9 in 2006. But

Fishermen died at a rate of 141.7 per 100,000 workers.
Pilots died at a rate of 87.8.
Loggers 82.3.
Structural iron and steel workers 61.0.
Refuse collectors 41.8.
Farmers and ranchers 37.1.
Power linemen 34.9.
Roofers 33.9.
Drivers 27.1.
Agricultural workers 21.7.
Even after losing a dozen men at Sago, mining did not make the top 10. While there are women in these occupations, 92% of the people who died on the job last year were male. 92%.

In short, men are nearly 12 times as likely to die on the job as women are. That is a gender gap no one talks much about.

Nipple Nazis strike again

Post below lifted from JD Tuccille. See the original for links

Says ABC News:

New York City's hospitals have banned infant formula from their gift bags for new mothers - a policy that they hope will encourage nursing and healthier babies. ...

In New York City's $2 million plan, new mothers will each be given a breast-milk bottle cooler, disposable nursing pads, breast-feeding tips and a baby T-shirt with the slogan, "I Eat at Mom's."

Coaches will work with mothers to begin breast-feeding within the first hour after birth. Mothers will also receive free breast pumps and, for those whose babies remain in the hospital, electric breast pumps.

My initial reaction to this is a rush of sympathy for all of the exhausted and overwhelmed new mothers subject to a hard-sell official campaign to get them to breast-feed. My wife tried breast-feeding our son at the beginning, but she couldn't get him to latch on properly and she had a pediatric practice screaming for the return of her administrative attention and medical skills. Pretty quickly, we opted for formula. Wendy felt guilty enough about the decision without other people laying a guilt trip on her.

Even so, some of the lactation evangelists tried to lean on her; as a local pediatrician, she was able to shut them down with a glare. Ever since, she's been supportive of whatever feeding options parents choose, so long as the kids get the nutrition they need to keep going. Sometimes that means breast milk; other times it means formula.

But through my wife's experiences, and the experiences of many of her patients' mothers, it's clear to me that some people adhere to breast-feeding with a nearly theological zeal. They're perfectly willing to go beyond touting the benefits of breast-feeding and actually attack parents who choose to feed their kids formula. They'll tell outrageous scare stories and question moms' and dads' love for their children if they don't agree that "breast is best" and, in some cases, keep the kids on the nipple until they're ready for school.

I'm not kidding. Now the Church of the Tit has become a state religion for some government-owned hospitals. That's unfortunate news for mothers who find breast-feeding too difficult or impractical given the demands of work and life. They'll be subject to the attention of missionaries who have little tolerance for free-thinking when it comes the core issue of their religion. In the name of constructive heresy, I hope somebody smuggles a few cases of formula into those hospitals.

Leftist fantasies about Australian blacks finally slide into irrelevance

By Christopher Pearson

LAST year, some of The Australian's commentators contributed essays to a book called The Howard Factor, published by Melbourne University Press. I wrote a piece on the culture wars. Its main focus was on the ways John Howard's opponents have - with varying degrees of success - deployed the zeitgeist and its values against him and how he, in turn, has defied, neutralised or harnessed the spirit of the age to his own advantage and, in doing so, helped to change it.

The spirit of the age is fickle and ever-changing. How politicians manage to position themselves in relation to it and contribute to the dynamics by which it changes are not simple matters. But it seems to me that one of the most useful markers in the ebb and flow of Australian politics is the contest for the high moral ground on Aboriginal policy. In the book, I argued that the Hindmarsh Island affair had been a significant paradigm shift. Labor, under the leadership of Paul Keating, had committed itself to a brand of symbolic politics: backing without question a sacred site claim based on "secret women's business" that couldn't be divulged to any man. The Coalition realised the claim was not based on any ancient tradition and, as the Stevens royal commission in due course found, had been fabricated for political convenience in the mid-1990s.

The ACTU, the ABC, the Fairfax press, the Australian Council of Churches, the minor parties and the conservation movement all strenuously asserted the unquestionable validity of the claim, at vast but largely unconsidered risk to their own reputations. Then four female elders of the Ngarrinjeri tribe came forward to support the anthropological record, denying the claim's authenticity and testifying that the story had originally come from a group of men, some of them white.

It was immediately apparent that the high moral ground belonged to the dissident women and that the claim's supporters, long accustomed to hegemony on indigenous issues, had forfeited it. This only made them shriller as they went into a protracted state of denial, while public opinion turned against a government reckless enough to accept on trust an obviously problematic claim that couldn't, viewed on its own terms, be properly tested or falsified.

There is a perennial tendency for suburban Australia at large - and the soft Left in particular - to romanticise Aborigines and their cultures. Many of the same people also tend to pride themselves on being pragmatic and sceptical and to resent any perceived attempt to trespass on their good nature or dupe them. During the Hindmarsh Island saga, the claim's supporters continually insisted that Aboriginal people would never lie about sacred traditions and for anyone to say otherwise was racist and an assault on indigenous culture. Because in this instance the accusations of racism and cultural insensitivity were rhetorical strategies for evading the crux of the matter - a fabricated claim - the charges suddenly lost a lot of the force with which the zeitgeist had previously invested them.

Two other Aboriginal issues, the report into the so-called stolen generations and the Peter Gunner and Lorna Cubillo case, characterised the changed landscape of the Howard ascendancy. The report was an exercise in advocacy research, designed to create a climate in which a large class of claimants could expect automatic compensation for having been removed from the care of their mothers by the state. It didn't clarify the various categories of removal, from benign welfare intervention at one extreme to draconian enforcement of assimilation policy at the other, and most of the evidence it gathered was untested and anecdotal.

None of these flaws might have proved fatal had it not been for its authors' ill-considered use of the term genocide. Perhaps every generation is susceptible to being flattered into imagining that it is more enlightened than its forebears. But most of us are also level-headed enough to know that we aren't the repositories of all wisdom and can remember enough about our grandparents and their cohort to know that they weren't monsters. The invitation to agree that policies in force as recently as the early '60s could reasonably be described as genocidal was a counterproductive affront to the common sense of the general public, and was widely resented as such.

Having lost the battle in the court of public opinion, the white activists espousing compensation for separated children proceeded in slow motion to lose the two court battles that were meant to be test cases. Normally, such cases would be chosen on the basis that they exemplified the problems associated with child removal and the justice of claims on the state to compensate victims of bad public policy. The Gunner-Cubillo case didn't succeed. Few observers expected it to do so because both instances were easily justified as welfare interventions and there was clear evidence that Gunner's mother had consented to his removal.

By way of an overview, what was happening in Aboriginal policy debate was that there was an increasing disparity between the grand narratives put forward to embody the old rights, reconciliation and self-determination agenda on the one hand and, on the other, the facts in the actual cases. There had always been gaps between the rhetoric and the reality, but they grew to the point where the oratory was no longer sustainable.

Not surprisingly, the first people to understand that dilemma were the younger Aboriginal activists who intuited that, while some people would accept at face value almost anything they were told, rhetorical incoherence was a disaster when it came to persuading middle Australia. Noel Pearson and Warren Mundine in particular saw that a conservative critique of passive welfare and the rights agenda, which focused instead on individual and collective responsibilities, was long overdue, as well as a way of regaining the attention of a federal government and an electorate that were increasingly sceptical and conservative in their thinking.

Although Pearson and Mundine are in some sense men of the Left and Mundine is a former national president of the ALP, both have recognised the damaging consequences of the Left's capture of indigenous issues. They see land rights as important, but want individuals as well as collectivities to hold title to land. They want their people to participate in the real economy and children to get a regular education, neither of which are high on the Left's wish list. Their most urgent priority is effective intervention in those dysfunctional communities where normlessness, violence and the rivers of grog hold sway. The emphasis has moved from self-determination to revisiting the fundamentals of self-control and adult responsibility.

Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott, a long-time supporter of Pearson's work on the ground in Cape York, began a rhetorical bridge-building exercise by calling for "a new paternalism" that addressed problems such as the epidemic of physical violence and sexual abuse involving Aboriginal children. Although commentators on the Left were predictably dismissive, Pearson responded by saying he had no doubt that the terrified kids, huddling in corridors during all-night binge-drinking parties and then too tired to attend school, were entitled to a little more paternalism in their lives.

Two months ago, the federal Government finally lost all patience with Northern Territory Chief Minister Clare Martin's dilatory response to the Little Children are Sacred report and decided to implement a planned intervention in the NT that had been under longstanding consideration. The passage of 500 pages of legislation through the House of Representatives in a day, with barely a dissenting murmur from the political class, shows how comprehensively the zeitgeist has changed.

Pivotal to the passing of the bills were the cumulative effect of Pearson's columns in Inquirer and Mundine's last-minute interventions to stare down a number of Aboriginal spokesmen and the Left of the ALP. Mundine noted, on the eve of the debate, that "many of today's outspoken indigenous leaders had held positions of responsibility while widespread child abuse was taking place and the first task of leadership was to accept responsibility". He also said that he was disgusted by those who described the Government's intervention as an invasion and called on Labor's Left to get real and support the plan. "Some people are caught up in the politics of the past. Everything we've done in the past hasn't worked. I like the intervention because we are putting people's power bases aside and ensuring infrastructure is going in there. We need to ensure these communities are functioning. There's nothing human rights about living in poverty."


Another un-Catholic school district

The recently approved Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace regulations for the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) include the protection of same-sex partnership despite the fact that such relationships expressly contradict Catholic Church teaching. On May 2 the TCDSB approved the new regulations against discrimination and harassment, stating at the same time that the board is committed to "providing a safe and welcoming environment that is an example of Christian Community". In addition, the board "gives pre-eminence to the tenets of Roman Catholicism."

Discrimination is defined as "unfair treatment" based on a list of qualities such as race, sex, colour, ancestry, place of origin, ethnic origin, marital status, age, disability, citizenship, family status or religion. The list now includes "same sex partner status" and "sexual orientation." The regulations apply to all "Board employees, contract employees, volunteers and trustees who are employed by or perform functions for the Toronto Catholic District School Board."

Commenting on the 2007 Discrimination and Harassment policy, Fr. Alphonse de Valk, editor of Catholic Insight Magazine, told, "The school board should immediately reverse itself and reject this document. Homosexual activists should never be teachers in Catholic schools. It's as simple as that. Now, if the board will not change its stance on active homosexuality, it will mean the end of Catholic schools." "The justification of homosexual marriage and thereby also the justification of homosexual activity is a huge threat against the Catholic schools. They are both directly contrary to Catholic teaching. The bishops must step in. The trustees as well must meet immediately to take steps to help reverse this decision."

Neil McCarthy, spokesman for Toronto Archbishop Thomas Collins, said that he could not officially comment on the new harassment policy until the TCDSB had been contacted. TCDSB Chair Oliver Carroll, however, did not reply to phone calls. Trustee Angela Kennedy told LifeSiteNews that she would look into the matter, but she did not reply by press time.

Also published on the TCDSB website, is a 2006 protocol agreement between the Toronto Police and the TCDSB for "Bullyproofing" schools. The protocol defines "Hate-and/or Biased-Motivated Incidents" as including "literature, leaflets, posters, graffiti distributed (or sent by electronic means) to incite violence or hatred against an identifiable group and/or their property." These groups may include "persons distinguished by their race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or other similar factor." Such "hate incidents" are numbered among the list of offences that require police response.

The protocol and the new board policy are both part of a growing tolerance in Canadian Catholic schools towards active homosexuality. The approval comes shortly after a series of discoveries that certain Catholic schools in Ontario were stocking their shelves with books and videos that advocated an active homosexual lifestyle. It also follows on the heels of the BC government's approval of a new, gay-friendly curriculum that will be implemented this fall.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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