Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Hopping into Bed With Somebody of the Same Sex Means You're Bad With Money

Oh, boy. Wow. I love professors.

I'm not even going to tell you how much better pretty much everybody I know is with money, compared to me: but let me tell you, who they go to bed with every night (or every year, or on a good weekend) has nothing to do with how well they spend their money or how much they put into savings. Like, at all.

I want to see this guy's scientific studies. I want your raw data, your control group, dickwad.

I could make up some "generalities" about dumb-ass, old white male professors, and how great they are at sticking their feet in their mouths and playing holier-than-thou, but I'm not going to to do it, because though it may be "generally" true, what kind of half-assed "studies" or "theories" do I have to go on?

Why, none. So I won't walk into a classroom and tell them you're an asshole cause you were born white, male, and mostly straight.

via Positive Liberty, who talks more about it.

6 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I especially love how the article shows how well-respected this guy is, and then he has the audacity to say, "Well, nobody spoke up in class complaining," as if he compeltely ignores the power dynamic involved in teaching (especially if you're a world-renowned economist who has been teaching for 20 years, and you're responsible for my GPA tanking or not. Geez.).

I'm all for academic freedom, however--and I'm actuallyglad the aclu got involved on his behalf, just to keep things out in the open, but that doesn't mean that students and the university can't press him about his wrong-headed ideas. 

Posted by jpjeffrey

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I think this one is tough. Reading this guy, I don't get "horrible homophobe with evil tendencies". I get "guy who's been living an unchallenged life in his ivory tower and has had someone take offense at sloppy thinking".

While his "Italians eat more spaghetti than Germans" argument is simplistic, it's also true. I don't have a study on that or anything, but I'm willing to run with it.

And I would probably not disagree with the assertion that people without children, and who are not planning to have children in the future, generally do not put as much away in savings or long-term investments as people who do have children. (Although at this point, as Kam says, he needs to have a study to support him on this.)

And, assuming he does have a study to support that, he could then use a study noting the percentage of same-sex couples who have children and, assuming (safely, I think) that the percentage is lower, conclude that gays generally don't plan for the future quite as much -- although it's correlation, not causation. The factor isn't who the people in question want to go to bed with, it's whether they're trying to save up for their kid's college education. I'd be extremely surprised if gay people with kids were any less financially responsible than straight people with kids.

I can easily see a long-time academic spending so long in his ivory tower that he misses the distinction between the two and states a correlative fact as an implied causative. He does need to be called on it, but more for his lazy thinking than for homophobia -- unless he actually starts bringing up "gay people are too flighty to save for the future" garbage. 

Posted by Patrick

Anonymous said...

The wierd thing here is that I totally agree with the ACLU. Ok, that's not really all that wierd. I am a fan of the first amendment (all of the damn first amendment) after all.

This professor is a dick. He's judgemental, wrongheaded and simpering. He's that ivory tower, elite bigot who pretends to be shocked and appalled when a "scientific" study indicates that stereotypes may be true. Shock and awe! Men and women really do have inate differences (that cause men to be better at math than women), straights and gays do have different lifestyles (that make straights inherently more responsible fiscally and otherwise) - who would have guessed? What do you mean these "studies" and "findings" are anecdotal and flawed? What do you mean - "scientific" studies may be influenced by preconcieved notions? Really? Are you sure you're not an evil liberal bent on limiting the scope of science?

I hate people like this, because they're not just bigots, they're well respected, hidden bigots and they do more to slow progress than any asshole redneck standing outside a bar and yelling at all the queers he sees. Professors have a certain amount of respect and credibility and they are so often irresponsible with it. (Obviously, a lot of these comments are aimed at Larry Summers as well.) They are very rarely taken to account for their theories or to list the assumptions that inform their theories. Everyone just assumes that tenure = infallibility - hah.

However, I don't agree with the institution taking measures against him - at leat not ones that affect his salary. That's too much like silencing, censoring someone for my taste. So long as he's not doing anything improper - ie. discriminating against his gay pupils - I think there are better methods to dealing with this. First of all I'm shocked that none of his students spoke up, either in class of thereafter (and I realize that not everyone is as aggressive and outspoken as I am - girlygirl that I am).

Questioning his ideas and assumptions outright and in public would have been my first choice. His ideas need to be challenged, by his students and his peers. The University is just trying to settle everyone down as quickly as possible - and I don't think that that's going to have a particularly positive outcome. There needs to be dialogue on this issue (not on gay fiscal responsibility but on how gays are stereotyped in "science") in order for there to be progress.

As a bisexual woman less than two years out of college who has credit card companies begging at her door and a savings account growing nicely (to pay for law school) I just roll my eyes when I hear stuff like this. I hit nearly every stereotype for fiscal irresponsibility that exists and I'm one of the most insanely responsible, tightfisted people you'll ever meet. Those earings you posted about have been calling me for weeks - but I refuse to buy them even though I'm making over a thousand dollars a week in overtime, I may need that $75 some day - how's that for thinking ahead and planning for the future? 

Posted by Rebecca

Anonymous said...

Rebecca - I think I feel pretty much the same way you do about this.

Somebody really needed to speak up in class, though I can understand that s/he may have feared being "outted" or discriminated against for doing so ie "Why are you defending queers? Are you queer?"

There seriously needed to be a discussion - preferably in class - about such a comment delivered so flippantly. Somebody needed to ask where his studies came from, how straight couples who didn't plan on having children vs. gay couples of the same age fared, and how straight singles and gay singles of the same ages compared.

The impression I got, reading the article, is that all this guy had to offer them were "his theories" and he had very little to back himself up with except for some vague notions about the few-to-none people he'd met who were open about their orientation. And "personal experience" does not a scientific study make.

Re: the earrings. They are damn fine earrings, you know. I will get mine this week....

Yes, I am one of the most fiscally *irresponsible* people you will ever meet. It must have something to do with my attraction to men. ;) 

Posted by Kameron Hurley

Anonymous said...

The guy's simply mistaken. There ARE studies about the disposable income of gay couples and they compare very favorably to marrieds of similar vintage. Lesbians come out a bit behind though (it's always hell being a woman, right)? In almost every instance I know, young marrieds with kids have Less disposable income than those w/o. As far as how they manage their respective finances, if you don't have kids, you're not saving for their college either, right? Different couples will buy different things depending on their situation in life. Is this difficult to understand?

The economic people most likely to have some obscure papers directly addressing the topic are these guys: [Http://www.nber.org]. Like I said, obscure, but it'll be there somewhere for someone to pick up on. I can post back later with any findings if anyone is interested.  

Posted by VJ