Discover more from In My Tribe
Stories to Watch: Emerging Matriarchy
Because the war on patriarchy has no endpoint
Here is a thought-experiment. Imagine you filled a room with a representative sample of people in elite occupations. Include law, medicine, academia, management in business, government, and non-profits, etc. Then ask the people over 40 to leave the room, and examine the demographics of those remaining.
My bet is that the ratio of females to males remaining in the room will be more than 1:1. It might be close to 2:1. Yes, you can imagine some subsets where there will be more males than females. Presumably software engineers. But those will be the exceptions.
The next time you hear that we live in a patriarchy, and that another bastion of male dominance must be made to fall, ask what the endpoint is. At what point will the opponents of the patriarchy declare that the war is over and they have won?
in 2015, before DEI initiatives reached current heights, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed a two to one preference for female candidates for tenure track positions in STEM.
New faculty announcements suggest a similar bias. For example, in 2021, UCLA announced the following new appointments in the physical sciences: Abigail Doyle (Chemistry and Biochemistry), Alvine Kamaha (Physics and Astronomy), Courtney Shelly (Statistics/Mathematics), Qianhui Shi (Physics and Astronomy), and Hong Wang (Mathematics). It did not appoint any new male faculty. Similar examples abound.
If the female takeover of elite occupations were taking place in the context of a pure meritocracy, there would be little cause for concern. If the natural state of affairs is that women are more qualified than men in these fields, then so be it.
And I should be clear that if there is active discrimination against women in an organization or an occupational niche, that is wrong. Women are entitled to equal opportunity.
But we are creating special privileges for women and engaging in affirmative action on their behalf at a point where if you look at the big picture they have already achieved parity or exceeded it. Again, if we look at the population under 40 there may be some particular areas that are not majority-female. But when can we say that we are past the point when society needs to take extraordinary measures to promote women? Will we only stop giving preferences to women when literally every high-status occupation is female-dominated? Or not even then?
Is the war on patriarchy a war that has no victory condition?