Stop Counting Women
The New York Times Company · Katherine Mangu-Ward · 2/23/19
The New York Times Company
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9 min read


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  • erica - 3 weeks ago
    I agree with the main point this article makes, which I interpret as, it's not ENOUGH to count women. However, I think we're still so far from gender parity that we need to do things (like the California bill) to keep moving the needle.

    > The absolute best way to ruin the gradual organic process of moving toward a society where men and women can both pursue the work they want — safely, with fair salaries and equal opportunities for promotion — is to freeze and polarize the conversation by imposing a bunch of rigid laws and policies.

    The problem with this sentence is that it's NOT an organic process. This is not something that's going to occur naturally. It's something we have been and must continue to claw our way toward and fight for. Also, why should we accept that this process has to be gradual? Women have waited long enough.
    • courtney - 3 weeks ago
      Couldn’t agree more with this comment! We haven’t reached the equilibrium that she’s describing. If we’re using her calorie counting analogy, we’re still not at a point where we know how to eat healthy. Counting calories (or the number of women in the room) is a first important step until gender parity becomes a natural behavioral change.
      • turtlebubble - 2 weeks ago
        Wow yeah it’s actually a really great analogy and it perfectly disavows her eagerness to move ahead with the diet before the first step has served its educational brain/training function.. I just said what you said again basically but it’s just really making me think! I originally found myself leaning more towards the author’s perspective and also just feeling less interested in counting and genitalia and more interested a gender-less society BUT living with where we’re at maybe the counting is exactly what we should be doing..
    • bill - 3 weeks ago
      Great points.

      What’s the California bill?
  • bill - 3 weeks ago
    Just changed my rating from 10 to 9. I’ve read this twice, first in print, and had a full day to think about it. It’s exceptional, but not perfect (for the reason that @erica says)

    I believe that it’s possible to support the goal and spirit of affirmative action, but not the way it’s (1) talked about or (2) implemented. And that we all have some hard inward-facing work to do. So we might as well focus on ourselves instead of trying to fix everyone and everything else.

    I haven’t watched The Oscars in a decade, but I was glued to the whole thing last night. I’m glad I did the reading beforehand, and I regret that I haven’t seen a single one of the movies, except Black Panther which I thought was a below average movie with above average visuals. Parts were beautiful. And I thought it was wonderful that it exploded in the box office. That’s the real way to win Hollywood.

    The award is trivial, but the award show is not. It’s an awkward public reckoning that accomplishes more than I initially realized. My next step: read Baldwin.