Saturday, August 07, 2010

" Unattractive men, meanwhile, earned 15 percent less than their attractive coworkers ....Unattractive women earned 11 percent less."

This is kind of interesting:

“Attractive men and women are often seen as more talented, kind, and intelligent and that can lead to promotions and raises,” says Gordon Patzer, author of Looks: Why They Matter More Than You Ever Imagined Unattractive men, meanwhile, earned 15 percent less than their attractive coworkers in a London Guildhall University survey of 33-year-olds. Unattractive women earned 11 percent less.

I thought looks mattered more in women. Apparently, not at work.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Palm Beach Economy (from my perspective)

I am still in Palm Beach at a law conference and spent part of the day walking around the shopping areas where things look pretty dead. There were only a few people in each of the stores around Worth Avenue and sales didn't look too promising. Of course, part of this might be because it is summer and many New Yorkers and others flee the area due to the heat, though from what I've heard, this might have been a mistake. There is also a lot of construction going on in front of the store fronts on Worth Avenue that may leave people deciding not to go to this particular shopping district (and it is rather expensive). A saleswoman told me that the construction is to widen the streets and the plan is to have more outdoor activities and seating to bring in more traffic to this area. So, eventually, the construction may be a good thing (or it may just draw more people to a free or cheap activity).

The restaurants with specials seemed to be more crowded then those without them. I went to an adorable cafe in a hotel with a three course meal for $20.00 that was delightful and full (though the maître d looked askance at my shorts and t-shirt but allowed me and my guest in). In another dinner place, we were almost the only ones there. At one of the local malls, the free outdoor concert was jammed but people did not seem to be going into the stores to buy things. However, the Cheesecake Factory (a chain) was packed. The emptiness of the stores and some restaurants here made me think of a recent trip to DC where most restaurants and shops seemed to be booming. I often think of all the tax payer money that is going to fund these federal "fat cats." If you have been in either of these areas recently, what was your take on the economies there?


Stuart Schneiderman: Some thoughts on courage.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

"I am not a Conservative..."

Yes, but I am, at least I am a right-leaning libertarian which is adequately different from liberal dogma that it counts as Conservative. Actually, anyone who does not toe the liberal line is considered a Conservative by some of these open-minded academics. Anyway, I went to yet another panel at the law conference I am attending in Florida and this time it was on the Fourth Amendment (search and seizure). One of the law professors was discussing an example of the Fourth Amendment and used a case which must have been rather conservative in its final decision.

He had to let the audience know, "I am not a Conservative" before discussing the decision, I guess just to make sure his colleagues knew he was in "their tribe." Another panelist was discussing another court case and had to make sure that everyone knew "this was not exactly a Conservative court" though apparently, they had reached a "conservative" decision.

I looked around the room at the law professors in the audience and wondered if any of them were conservative. I wondered what they thought of how these professors said the word conservative, as if they were saying something almost sinful. But most of all, I wondered what kind of hostile environment these paragons of diversity were creating for their students who do not have the safety of tenure to help them navigate the negative image these professors seemed to have of the conservatives who (gasp) may be attending their classes. Or worse yet, I wonder how many conservatives avoid the academic world altogether because of the hostility toward their political views. Law schools are better than most in allowing for different politics but if this is the most tolerant of the academic world, how intolerant are other graduate schools and their professors? I shudder to think about it.


Monday, August 02, 2010

What is courage?

I am at a law conference in Florida and attended a panel on "Masculinity and Manliness in the Law." Initially, I was a little wary, thinking that it would be some PC twaddle that would get me annoyed, but it was actually quite informative. The three panelists discussed their recent papers on the topics of men and courage, transsexuals in prison, and women wearing the veil in Turkey (how this last one related to masculinity, I am still not sure of, but it was an interesting talk).

The first presenter, Professor John Kang, of St. Thomas University School of Law in Florida, shared his work that was most up my alley as he talked about the burdens of being male and how the law reinforces stereotypes of gender roles in men (particularly in the military) and requires them to be courageous and punishes them when they are not. He seemed to have more questions than answers as he discussed how the law and society put the burden on men to be courageous. He used anecdotes from soldiers to show their level of conflict between being courageous and a "man" and being a coward. He shared an example of a soldier in the book, If I Die in a Combat Zone : Box Me Up and Ship Me Home, in which a soldier reflects on whether he was a hero during the Vietnam war or a coward.

Lest you think that the audience might have also been PC, you would be wrong (as I was). The members were law professors who asked great questions such as "do you think that encouraging courage in men is bad? Or are you saying that both men and women can be courageous and it is a trait that both genders share?" There was one woman who brought up the point that courage is important in men for evolutionary reasons: many women are needed to reproduce, many men are not. I asked Professor Kang how our society would be affected if we taught men to be cowards (it seems that is what we often do). He was smart enough to realize that his training did not cover the scope of this question and said so, which I greatly respected.

All in all, it was definitely worth the time to attend and got me thinking about the question of courage. What is it and why is it important to a society?

What do you think?


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Telegraph (via Hot Air): Women 'view modesty as sign of weakness':

Research suggested that females have found the rise of the “more feminine man”, or “metrosexual”, a big turn-off.

Women see modesty amonsgt men as a poor character trait that could adversely affect their employability or earnings potential.