Monday, April 14, 2008

At the Macalester Honor's Reception

So tonight, at the honor's reception for soon-to-be Mac Econ grads, I got roasted.

One of my current Gender and Econ students is head of the Women in Economics group and prattled on a bit about trends of women in the profession and how Macalester is bucking the trend yadda yadda yadda.

She closes with "what I learned from Professor Blogauthor's class"

*grumble grumble grumble* from the audience. . . and then, the following:

1. Don't get married,
2. If you do get married, marry someone beneath your stature in intelligence and income*
3. Certainly don't have kids, and
4. Don't take even a minute off of work because every year you take off, you'll reduce your income by 10%.

SHIT!!! I thought.

I have them read EVERYTHING, as you know, in this class. From Linda Hirshman, to Nancy Folbre, to Lisa Belkin, and Echidne of the Snakes, and believe me, there are some extreme views out there. But folks, extreme or no extreme, the statistics aren't pretty for women out there. We earn 77% of the male dollar on average, we're more likely to be in poverty, less likely to get a graduate degree, more likely to do the vast majority of the housework, and are much more heavily penalized for taking time off of work (regardless of the reason). The wage gap has fallen, but not primarily due to gains for women, rather, due to wage losses for men. And yeah, the gap in household hours has fallen, but not because men are doing more (i.e. a more equal household) but because women are doing less.

Having said that, I do enjoy being a girl.

At the end the professors go around the room giving out their little pearls of wisdom.

Sara West got up and sang, quite eloquently, "don't worry... about a thing.... every little thing's... gonna be alright...."

I got up and, in my nervous banter, started by saying that my student was quite right. . . .

However, in order to live happily-ever-after, they should do what I DO not what I SAY.

As current federal law prohibits #1, I simply can only accomplish three of the four "things to avoid" on the list!

*I recently learned a term for doing the opposite of this: hypergamy!

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