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.