Elle’s Paul Ford: Nominee For Most Unethical Father Of The Year (Non-Criminal Division)

"We're giving one of you most of our money, because we already know the other one won't need it."

“We’re giving one of you most of our money, because we already know the other one won’t need it.”

Bias, as we say here often, makes you stupid, and social justice delusions unmoored from facts, ethics, common sense and reality make you spectacularly stupid.

A nauseatingly self-congratulatory feature by Elle writer Paul Ford was introduced by the women’s magazine this way:

“As Paul Ford’s twins grew, he couldn’t stand the fact that his daughter would always lag behind his son financially. Then he hatched a brilliant plan….”

Here’s the brilliant plan, in Ford’s own words:

Women are caregivers across the globe. Caring for children, or for sick parents, keeps them from paid employment. Around a quarter of American women quit jobs for family reasons; 10 percent of men do. It adds up: A woman on average will make $434,000 less than a man over her career, according to a Center for American Progress study. The gap is much greater if you compare men and women who went to college—$713,000.

Meaning if we raise our daughter as the “equal” of our son, we’ll still have come up 21.7 percent short. How do we give Ivy the same opportunities as Abe? Do we praise her 21.7 percent more? Hug her 21.7 percent harder?

….And then I realized, Maybe I can buy my way out of this one. How much difference, in hard dollar figures, will there be between my daughter and son? If they go to college, they’ll enter the workforce in 2032. Let’s say my daughter’s starting salary (adjusted for inflation) is something like $80,000. Further adjusted for inflation, getting out into 2070 or so, we’re looking at somewhere between $1 million and $3 million of lost wages for her, at least according to my spreadsheets. It’s a huge number and it bums me out.For a girl born in 2011 to have the same opportunity as her brother—for her not to have to repeat the challenges faced by her mother—I need to identify and contribute to an investment vehicle that can yield $3 million.

Won’t your son be jealous? I don’t know. Probably some days. Just because we’re doing this for our daughter doesn’t mean we’re done with our son. There are going to be college funds. If he needs money, and we have it, we’ll give it to him….If he were hurt in some way that required special technology to move around, we’d go all in. We’d sell the apartment to buy the technology if we had to. But we can’t predict that.

We can predict that, because of the systematic economic inequities, our daughter will not be on the same financial footing as our son. And so why not start now? If the wage gap is going to be there for the rest of our lives, and we know we want to help our children for the rest of our lives, it seems like the most ethical thing to do. (It’s odd to think that if we have grandchildren, they’ll be born into this same wage gap.)

I’ve been thinking of the right way to structure the fund. Perhaps it could be set up to disburse 25 percent on top of her salary, once a month. A nice bonus. I think that if we do a decent job raising our children, they will know and understand why we did this, why we gave one child more money than the other. …If my son needs money, I hope she’ll share it.

[W]e have to give her whatever money we can save to make up the wage gap—and back away. Because the whole point of this plan is to allow our daughter to take more risks, to schedule her own life, to find balance between her private and professional lives….But I don’t want control. I want the opposite; I want to know that I created freedom for another person, freedom that otherwise might be impossible.My daughter does not know yet that she is not as free and equal as my son. I would like it if she never has to learn that. I will solve the problem in an American way, by purchasing her equality and hoping for the best. This is a gift I can give to my family.


What an idiot.

I considered making this a jump ball, and letting readers list the astounding number of ways this is misguided, foolish, ignorant and a shining beacon of social justice-warrioring run amuck, and finally into a spilling propeller. How do people get this way? How can anyone who is able to write a coherent, if revoltingly self-involved, paragraph be this dumb? Maybe the challenge should be to pick what’s most wrong with his brilliant plan…

  • That it confounds gross statistics with individuals?
  • That the gender gap he is so concerned with is much, much smaller than he thinks, and that basing his distribution of assets to his children on a gender study by the ideological Center for American Progress is like using gun statistics from the NRA to argue that everyone should pack heat?
  • That almost all of what he is complaining about as unalterable fate are in fact based on choices women make voluntarily?
  • That his plan is sexist and unfair?
  • That it all but guarantees resentment between the siblings, if not thousands of dollars to be spent by one or both of them for psychiatrist fees?
  • That the disproportionate distribution to the daughter will place pressure on her to make different life choices than she would if she were really “free”?
  • That history, literature and case studies are overflowing with tales of such perceived parental favoritism warping personalities, minds and lives?
  • That despite his protestations, this is the signature of a pathological control freak?
  • That he may convince other pliable, brain-washed, progressive fools to inflict the same injustice on their children?

That’s enough to get you started.


Pointer: Althouse

Source: Elle


40 thoughts on “Elle’s Paul Ford: Nominee For Most Unethical Father Of The Year (Non-Criminal Division)

  1. He didn’t account for a lot of things. What if his son grows up straight and has to have the burden of a wife and what if he only fathers girls? His granddaughters will be in dire need. If his son grows up gay and marries a well off man, then I guess he’s off the hook, but then they’ll have to adopt and that can be expensive.

    Further, what if his daughter is a lesbian and marries a woman who is “equally disenfranchised”. Their house simply won’t be able to find financial solvency on the pittance he’s leaving her. Of course, she might be straight and marry well, deciding to quit the workforce voluntarily because her husband’s income is more than sufficient for the whole house. But it’s nice to be able to provide an upper class housewife with some walking around money, I suppose….

  2. How do people get this way?

    The inevitable result of an exclusively material view of the world is that everyone’s value in life and whether or not they are fulfilled and happy people can only be derived from material quantifies… Money.

  3. Too bad children can’t abort their parents. An even more sobering thought than the idea of someone writing this, is imagining how many thousands of people are reading this, and calling it good. I’d further bet that a good many are teachers and professors, with unfettered access to developing minds.

  4. Why is this Dad so peculiarly obsessed with getting his priorities right with how he spends his money on his kids? Making assumptions for the sake of making projections and plans is one thing. But a parent who presumes he has derived some infallible formula for “purchasing equality” is off the rails before his wheel spins. Besides, there are more females in colleges in the U.S. today than males – and I understand that disparity is growing. If I was raising a son today, that reality would drive me in how I raise him – and my spending on him (or, “investments” for his sake) just might amount to a larger dollar figure than my spending on my daughter. Is the guy just fantasizing about avoiding his obituary saying that he was a misogynist?

  5. I am confused about how to handle my family…I make double what my husband earns every year, and my older daughter will most likely follow a similar path. My younger daughter, if she gets her act together as far as post secondary education, will make at least as much, but possibly more than, my husband. Should I assume he benefits enough just from the privilege of living with us girls?
    Oh, and if my younger daughter doesn’t get her educational act together, she is destined to a life of minimum wage work, but that is her choice. She likes what she does, and she is happy doing it, and she feels she is contributing to the good of others.

  6. The whole premise rests on shaky studies, uninformed assumptions, unpredictable predictions, faith in the monetary system continuing to function, hope that the government won’t see all that money sitting there and confiscating it through special taxes, and the special liberal mindset that continues to look at reality and deny it because they are the special people who will get to dictate how everything is done.

    It’s a society that future generations will look back at and ask how we could have been so stupid. And we won’t have an answer any more convincing than the answers we get from former Soviet Russia, Socialist Germany and Fascist Italy.

  7. It’s also pessimistic, that issues with glass ceilings in some industries and harassment is going to be the same when they enter the work force in about 25 years. What if she invents facebook and his son becomes a social worker? This is compulsive/control freak territory and/or to show his commitment to feminism. Who says he follows through in this nutty plan? The plan may go by the wayside for more practical enrichment like travel and education or the disasters like your home flooding after a hurricane.

    If they follow through, and I were the kids, I would resent them at minimum that THEY reduced their love for the daughter to the money. Talk about penalizing the Y chromosome.

  8. Yes, women will earn less than men on average, generally because a lot of women live with a man who is earning money FOR THEM. And they generally enter into this arrangement willingly, and are quite happy with this.

    But let’s pretend that the “wage gap” is a big problem anyway. Because everyone is stupid. Maybe we can force women to work in high-paying jobs that they don’t want. For equality!

  9. This dimwitted, crooked man does not realize that his son will never have the option of finding a mate who will sacrifice and slave for him so he can spend time at home with his kids. His daughter will. This horrible, stupid man had decided to make life harder for his son than it needs to be, for no reason.

  10. I love how his assumption is that her starting salary will be $80,000! Starting salaries for college graduates are in the $30k-40k range. Even engineers rarely start much above $50,000. My brother barely makes this now with a master’s in EE. I think we should trade this family and people like them to Mexico to make up for our illegal alien (sorry, undocumented immigrant) problem. His kids are most likely going to grow up entitled and demanding a do-nothing government job outside the civil service grades (because they don’t pay enough) despite no experience and a pathetic education.

    Just think of the paradise their progressive policies could create in Mexico. They would revel in the vast corruption and thrive.

    • He did clarify that he adjusted for assumed inflation. (Which, given our government’s inflationary policies, is a reasonable assumption to make…of course, the writer gives no indication what he thinks cost of living will be…)

      • He’s still really high. Based on current wage growth, he is estimating a $60,000 starting salary for his little snowflake. Remember, cost of living is not the same as wage growth. Also CPI is a political statement, the formula is changed almost every year to make it say what the government wants it to say.

        • I know the 2 aren’t the same. However, I was merely adding a useful stat to consider given what he thinks to be a healthy and natural trend in markets (it isn’t and it isn’t at the rate it has been), may be meaningless if COLA inflates even faster.

    • Not only that, but if he is assuming his daughter’s starting salary is 80k, then by extension his son’s starting salary must be at least $100k.

      At age 21!

      I hope they’re able to scrape by on that.

  11. Besides the ethics fouls and favoritism, this guy has no business talking about finance and investments. He’s planning for a “certain” future years and years in advance with no flexibility. Just having more than one kid makes these decisions crazy complicated. We’re just a few years from choosing a school and even with projections, guesses at future income and interest, etc. we are unable to decide right now if it’s private or public to begin with; making this sort of decision decades in advance just reveals the hubris of the writer.

  12. I wonder if this clown is going to also apply other tools from the SJW arsenal, like reward for good behavior quotas, and lighter punishments with a higher triggering threshold? How screwed are these poor kids!
    We go to ridiculously painstaking lengths to avoid showing favoritism between our 3 and 6 year olds, and it’s STILL not enough! Its not just about action and words, but the most barely perceptible things we often realize we don’t do, right dwn to tone of voice. It requires great effort and constant vigilance, but is worth doing if you want to give your children one of the most valuable gifts you can help them obtain; a close friendship with their siblings.
    My kids are awdsome! They hold hands everywhere, read to each other (even when one was on the toilet recently) hug and kiss each other good night, and miss each other when they’re separated. That is going to be worth so much more than this fool’s money. He’ll be lucky if they don’t end up hating HIM most of all!

  13. How is this sexist mangina, Ford, going to compensate his SON, for the MOST EGREGIOUS gender discrimination, MALE ONLY, MANDATORY, military draft registration?! So not only is this jerk, wrong because so called gender wage gap has been proven to be a left wing, gynocentric media MYTH, but Ford also never mentions the very REAL gender gaps hurting MEN. The outrage of harsher, longer prison sentences for MEN, than for women, who commit identical crimes. Women walking, or getting slaps on the wrists for committing crimes, that land men in prison for decades. Men being executed routinely, while female murderers are almost never executed. Sexist moron Ford further fails to mention the disgusting life expectancy gap between the sexes, in which women still outlive men by an average of 5 years. Of course, if such a longevity gap was unfavorable to females, there would be calls for congressional hearings! There would be pink ribbons all over the place and a cultural obsession over breast cancer and women’s heart health. Oh wait, we already have that! So, hypocrite, false Ford’s money would be better well spent educating his daughter on the REAL gender bias — that against males — rather than creating another, all too common, entitlement princess. We don’t need any more females being brainwashed into believing that they are victims of sexism, when in fact, they are the most spoiled, privileged creatures ever to walk the face of the earth.

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