Women Are Not Men

“Finally, Steve Levitt and sociologist Jennifer Schwartz talk about one of the biggest gender gaps out there: crime. Leave it to Freakonomics to wonder: if you’re rooting for women and men to become totally and completely equal, should you root for women to commit more crimes?”

Freakonomics » Women Are Not Men: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast.

I’ve been listening to the Freakonomics podcast at the gym recently but I might have to stop now. In many ways, Freaknomoics is bourgeois, reified, academic economics at its very worst. This is society being disguised as nature. The problem is their freakish adherence to a ‘disinterested’ point of view, which they seem to see as synonymous with the scientific method. In this issue, for example, they run up against feminist thinking (and progress) again and again but manage to avoid acknowledging it.

Feminism, of course, is by definition an ‘interested’ approach and so, the show suggests, not ‘scientific’ and ‘objective.’ Avoiding so-called bias gets them twisted in all sort of knots. They can acknowledge the existence of the patriarchy– and a matrilineal society– but they are unable to acknowledge that a patriarchy is by definition sexists and chauvinistic. This is like trying to talk about racism without mentioning the ideology of white supremacy. Apparently, that would be biased; this is science not politics.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and Smarthinking.com. I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol] writinginthewild.com

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