Saturday, February 14, 2009

Unreported stalking

Read Elizabeth Olson's report in the New York Times.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Don't miss Kristof's "Mistresses of the Universe" column

There he argues that Wall Street (and therefore the nation!) would be much better off with more women. Here's a brief excerpt:

Wall Street is one of the most male-dominated bastions in the business world; senior staff meetings resemble a urologist’s waiting room. Aside from issues of fairness, there’s evidence that the result is second-rate decision-making.

“There seems to be a strong consensus that diverse groups perform better at problem solving” than homogeneous groups, Lu Hong and Scott E. Page wrote in The Journal of Economic Theory, summarizing the research in the field.
Read the entire column to learn more about some of the interesting physiological evidence that supports the argument.

If tongues are wagging about Michelle Obama's engagement with policy, it is hardly unprecedented

A story by Rachel Swarns in today's NYT reports that Michele Obama is raising eyebrows in Washington by weighing in on some policy issues. The headline is "'Mom in Chief' Touches on Policy, and Tongues Wag." Swarns characterizes Mrs. Obama's plan to visit all cabinet-level agencies as "a notably different approach" than Laura Bush's, who tended not to discuss legislation and policy, like most First ladies before her. Yet, Swarns reports:
Some observers praised Mrs. Obama’s foray into the legislative debate, saying the new first lady, who is a Harvard-educated lawyer and a former hospital executive, was eminently qualified to promote the president’s policies.

Others expressed surprise, saying they had expected Mrs. Obama to focus on her daughters and on the traditional issues she had emphasized in the presidential campaign, like supporting military families and working parents.
Swarns quotes a scholar who studies first ladies, Myra Gutin:
"She went to some lengths to say she was going to be first mom in chief . . . . I don’t think we ever really imagined her edging toward public policy like this. It’s not like she’s making public policy. But it’s a little less neutral than some of the other things she’s talked about focusing on.”
Swarns suggests that Mrs. Obama's recent forays into policy still don't rise to the level of the role Hillary Clinton played in her husband's administration, and she may be right. But tongues certainly wagged about Mrs. Clinton's role as something other than White House hostess.

Perhaps Mrs. Obama will evolve into a more HRC-esque role, which wouldn't bother me. After all, we are often reminded that Mrs. Obama is a Harvard-educated lawyer coming off a high-powered career as a hospital executive. Why would we want that intellect and experience to go to waste?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Work-life balance in peril as associates struggle to keep jobs

Read the ABA Journal story here. Of course, this really comes as no surprise.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Children and marital happiness

Read Stephanie Coontz's op-ed discussing a new study here. A brief excerpt follows:

The [study] found that the average drop in marital satisfaction was almost entirely accounted for by the couples who slid into being parents, disagreed over it or were ambivalent about it. Couples who planned or equally welcomed the conception were likely to maintain or even increase their marital satisfaction after the child was born.

Marital quality also tends to decline when parents backslide into more traditional gender roles.
Be sure to read what follows on why traditional gender roles are bad for marriage with children . . . it should not surprise us.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Two recent stories about females living together--without men

This one by Sarah Kershaw is about lesbian separatist communities. It appeared in today's NYT.

This one is about women raising daughters--without men. It is by Emily Bazelon and appeared in the NYT Magazine today.