Sexist Myths and the Injustice of Identity Politics

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Here, from Robert Franklin in the Washington Examiner, is an interesting data point that somehow never makes it into news and commentary about sexism in politics:

Back in 1997, three scholars, Richard Seltzer, Jody Newman and Melissa Voorhees Leighton examined every state legislative race from 1986 to 1994 and every governor’s race, U.S. House race and U.S. Senate race from 1972 to 1994. Combined, they analyzed almost 62,000 candidates. They divided the races into three categories: Male incumbents vs. female challengers, female incumbents vs. male challengers and male non-incumbents vs. female non-incumbents.

The results were unambiguous: When women run, women win just as often as men do.

Add this research to fair-minded reason, as I touched on while addressing the concept of “moral self-licensing,” and one begins to get the sense that progressive talking points that push for equality of outcome, rather than opportunity, require a great deal of selective information.

Think about it.  Picking nice round numbers, if women were only half as interested as men in entering politics, we’d have to disadvantage men — through rules, culture, and rank-skipping appointments — by half in order to ensure a completely even outcome.  Even where the gap is less than half, how can that reasonably be called fair?  For the sake of identity politics, progressives are piling injustice upon real people striving to get through life. As Christine Hoff Sommers writes in the Washington Post (via the Chicago Tribune):

It is men — especially working-class men — who are disproportionately crushed, mutilated, electrocuted or mangled at work. Activists lament the dearth of women in the Fortune 500, but they fail to mention the Unfortunate 4,500 — the approximate number of men killed on the job every year.

Men are also the have-nots in education. Hispanic and Native American women are now more likely to attend college than white men. Unless we find ways to help them, a large and growing cohort of young men — white, black, Hispanic, you name it — are unlikely to find a place for themselves in the modern economy. When men languish, so do the women who love them.



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