Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Very carefully, and I fail to see anything enlightening, frankly.

You say choices are constraint and that medical profession puts a lot of pressure. Do you have any proof that those choices are constraint by the society? The medical profession puts a lot of pressure on everyone, not just on women. That is no reason for women to choose caretaking specialties. Let alone that we're speaking about highly educated, emancipated women.
Those are their own, personal choices. You don't seem to have much respect for those free choices and your rhetorics lead to moulding the society according to your extreme views.
It is not for me to tell you what are the reasons behind women MDs' choices. It is for you to prove that those choices are a direct consequence of sexism or discrimination.
I'll take as proof any serious study or logical line of thought (your own included)  - but I'd rather be spared more extremist sloganeering.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 02:36:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I said, start by reading Bourdieu.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 07:25:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I don't need any proof that "choices are constrained by society". All choices are, in a way or another, under some constraint by society. Society puts different constraints on men and women, if only that of pregnancy. I don't say these constraints are absolute ; but finding statistics that show women doing most of the housework, and various form of discourse encouraging women to do so, much more than men, is extremely easy to do. These pressures mean that women are more willing to work in more flexible ways than men - because they are supposed to spend more time working at home. Since the medical professions values people willing to dedicate all their time to their profession, women end up with slower careers ; ultimately, because of social pressures to do more at home. More discriminating, employers, because of social expectations that women will have to be less committed to their career, are more reluctant to promote women.

What is the part of this reasoning you can't follow ? What part is "illogical" ?

As for "serious" studies, an interesting statistic : all other things equal, married men are paid more than single men, and married women are paid less than single women. Unequal shares in housework (and perceptions and expectations, by employers, of these unequal roles, which means that even "emancipated" women will face those discriminations) explain this...

As for your name calling about "extremist sloganeering" - I could point you to actual extremists. The views I'm expressing here are barely to the left of the French political spectrum.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Nov 13th, 2008 at 08:56:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Knowing Bourdieu, I would definitely not put him forward as a reference. He represents precisely the kind of approach to society and philosophic stance that I deeply feel in disagreement with. Bourdieu, in what concerns me, is the Marx of the sociology, one of the apostles of social engineering as a science, no better in that respect than the structuralists he criticized, and I do believe this way of thinking belongs to the same category as those responsible for the advent of nazism and especially communism in Europe.
The idea that individual's life is largely predetermined by the economical and social environment, the simplist manner, indeed the reductionism -- I warmly recommend you the excellent book of Professor Jeffrey Alexander as a very good way to understand the numerous flaws in Bourdieu's theory.

We are all under the influence of what surrounds us, be it family, friends, local and national culture (weather, for some, and I won't even mention moon and stars, for this will most certainly stir your ire! :) ). But the free, educated adult individual will always dispose of something called Reason, critical thinking, ability to make his own opinion and decisions.
You see people's similar attitudes and choices as a proof of conditioning. I see it as a proof that we're all related in the end, we don't differ that much. What you see as imposed, describe in terms of classes, categories, and stereotypes, I see as proof of the essential brotherhood of all humans, ancient wisdom, product of centuries of evolution. What you plan to deconstruct by activist laws, to me seems an absurd and dangerous attempt at moulding the society according to superficial views of proud minds, as if it was a small animal that we stretch and extend to fit our little wooden box.
Mark my words: many philosophers and savants believed to have penetrated the misteries of life. Society is far too complicated for a limited mind, no matter how brilliant that is. Be careful about people that pretend to explain life in a book, as tempting and appealing as it may be.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 03:50:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You point me to a statistical study, and you don't even seem to have read it well.

Here's what it says, in conclusion:

To conclude, the earnings of married men and married women are determined in distinctive ways, with married men obtaining a net advantage in terms of the coefficients on the independent variables, even ignoring the intercept term.
This means that not only is there a large, unexplained, discriminatory element in the wage differential for married men and women but that the relevant variables affect earnings in different ways for each group.
The difference in the intercept term could represent discrimination, an unmeasured link between marital status and productivity, or differences in preferences or opportunity costs between sexes.

This is exactly what I meant all along in this discussion, and I am glad that in the end it is a statistical study that shows I was right all along. Thank you for this link.
I really have nothing more to add on this.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Fri Nov 14th, 2008 at 04:03:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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