I Think the IWF & Larry Summers Just Found A New Best Friend

Meet Dr. Farrell. He’s the asshole of the week that the NY Times Business Section decided to give in-depth coverage. He’s a pseudo-scientist that believes he’s finally figured out the gendered wage gap. His answer: women self-sabotage.
“Women, he believes, methodically engineer their own paltry pay. They choose psychically fulfilling jobs, like librarian or art historian, that attract enough applicants for the law of supply and demand to kick in and depress pay. They avoid well-paid but presumably risky work – hence, the paucity of women flying planes. And they tend to put in fewer hours than men – no small point, he says, because people who work 44 hours a week make almost twice as much as those who work 34 and are more likely to be promoted.”
Ummmm, yeah. But where is the analysis on how women are pushed out of partnerships and senior level positions when they become pregnant. Or how women are *still* left tending to the majority of childcare and house work. And how no matter how many hours we put in, we will still *never* be eligible for the boys club. I don’t care how you spin it, it is just plain *wrong* to blame women for their lower pay. (sigh).
Now I guess that because Dr. Farrell served on the board of NOW in the 1970′s we’re supposed to think that he’s not so anti-feminist after all. That he’s just presenting a new paradigm of economic analysis. Ummmm, yeah.
“It is O.K. to trade a fatter paycheck for more time with children and hobbies. Just recognize that society did not force the choice on you. ‘Feel powerful and happy that you have control over your own life,’ Dr. Farrell said. ‘It’s better than feeling like an angry victim of discrimination.’”
Well, you know what. I think anger is a pretty valuable tool. And rather than just accepting wage discrimination or blaming myself & other women for our low wages, I say that we keep giving the Dr. Farrells of the world hell.
One final thought–could the Times *really* not find anything better to publish than this propaganda? Well, hey, maybe in the post-Summers media climate, backlash is cool.

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  1. Jennifer
    Posted February 27, 2005 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    This guy was on C-SPAN last weekend. He was introduced as a “gender issues expert” and “the only man to ever be elected to the board of NOW-NYC for 3 straight years”, as if to tout his feminist creds. My interest was piqued, so I watched for a while. There were warning signs all over the place, though. The lecture was held at the Cato Institute, not exactly my definition of feminist-friendly. The title of the book he was discussing was “Why Men Earn More”. Previous tomes included: “The Myth of Male Power”, “Why Men Are the Way They Are”, and “Father and Child Reunion”.
    After listening to him for about 20 minutes, I had to change the channel. Something about him seemed to ring a bell, but I couldn’t remember what. I did some investigating and found that he’s a leader in the “father’s rights” movement. Then I pulled out my copy of “Backlash” by Susan Faludi and looked in the index. Yep, he was there. Nope, not as an example of male feminism; in chapter eleven “The Backlash Brain Trust: From Neocons to Neofems” pgs 300-304.
    A google search of Farrell sends you to some pretty interesting information. Basically, this guy is an ass, and is as much a feminist as Christina Hoff-Sommers and Ann Coulter.

  2. Posted February 27, 2005 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    This Farrell guy is much, much worse than you might imagine. Apparently, he’s been caught supporting not just fathers’ “rights” in child custody and support cases, but he also supports one’s right to inflict incest on your child.
    Fathers’ rights activists often support men in custody battles where the mother is attempting to keep her children from men who molest them. Apparently, if you can’t hide the rape, celebrate it as a positive development in a young woman’s life!
    Sometimes I am amazed at who sneaks into mainstream newspapers. Farrell goes to Trish’s blog occasionally and whines that she’s not nice to him about his pro-incest writing. He’s still bitter that his feminist friends from the old school just won’t understand his pro-rape point of view.

  3. Posted February 27, 2005 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    The worst part is that I agree with some comments he’s made about those who believe any rape or child abuse accusation, no matter how outlandish. But to say that some are misleading or even lying is not to side with those who actively abuse.

  4. Thomas
    Posted February 28, 2005 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I think this ought to be brought to the attention of the Times’ Ombudsman, Daniel Okrent. Does anyone have his e-mail address? If he gets a few letters asking why the Times left out his pro-pedophile positions when advertising his new book (umm… interviewing the author? Whatever it is they say they were doing), they might be more circumspect next time.

  5. elfy
    Posted February 28, 2005 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Hey, I’m all for trading a fatter paycheck for more time with my son, but that is SO IRELEVANT to what’s going on in oh, real life. I have not done extensive researches, I know that statistics can be twisted in so many ways to support claims (with exceptions, of course), but I do know that at my previous job, I was told by our office manager (a guy) to my face that I am a girl and therefore don’t know what I am talking about when it comes to fixin’ compooters. I did know, and I proved it to such a degree that the guy avoided me from then on. Of course, I became “a very angry woman” to him and I’m sure some others. It’s not that I had a right to be angry that my arguments were dismissed right off because I was a girl. I was a bitch. My co-worker, also a graphic designer, was told that she’s incompetent because she couldn’t fix her software problems (sorry, us designers are SUCH slackers, we expect to just do graphics and minor maintenance, and we just can’t do our own programming) while the men at that company got no crap for calling tech support.
    At my current job my designs get passed up for inferior ones from men designers. It’s not those designers’ fault. But my boss just can’t seem to even look at my stuff if there’s a man’s version avialable. Then, after production, my designs are the most sellable, and the guys’ stuff falls through, and you’d think he’d learn. You’d think that here he has the definite proof that maybe I do know what I’m doing. Just ’cause you’re a guy, doesn’t mean you can design tough tattoo clothing and be by default, great at it.
    But no. Maybe if I was a little more submissive. A little less out-spoken. A little less of, “I’ll get the job done, on time, no matter what, but you can’t tell me I can’t leave now to go pick my son up from school.” and more of “hey, let’s go hit the bars.” Right.
    I agree that sometimes some women cry wolf a little too often. And sometimes fathers do get screwed. I know a dude whose wife got into drugs and he still couldn’t get custody of the kids. I know that when me and my now husband went to get custody of his son from a woman who let a pedophile babysit the kid and who was extremely emotionaly abusive, we had to go to 3 lawyers to even find one who’d take our case. And the judge wanted to give the mother more visitation rights, and we were told to forget to try to get supervised visitations. All that does happen.
    But when someone comes out and tells me right off the bat that hey, we women should shut up and control our life by giving up and staying home with kids, ’cause it’ll make us happy, I say, FUCK YOU. And I wish really hard that those people could be in my shoes for a day. Or not necessarily mine, but possibly any working mom or working woman in general.
    The society doesn’t force us, my foot!

  6. Posted March 1, 2005 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Yes, Farrell is much worse than the NY Times has let on. He is a long-time supporter of the fathers’ rights movement and his views are very anti-feminist. Most troubling, he made statements supportive of incest in a 1977 Penthouse article.
    Here’s the article in full:
    Incest: The Last Taboo, by Philip Nobile for Penthouse, December 1977.
    Here are my pages about Farrell, feminism, and his incest comments. Farrell has threatened to sue anyone (including me) who discusses Penthouse in his attempt to keep news of that article quiet. It hasn’t worked.
    Warren Farrell
    Also remember that he did not serve on the board of National NOW. He served on the New York State chapter of NOW. He presents that brief service as if he had more national clout, when he didn’t

  7. Thomas
    Posted March 1, 2005 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    There’s no slimeball like a cowardly slimeball who tries to cover up his own past writings.
    For anyone who wants to complain to the Times about their poor vetting: Daniel Okrent is at

  8. Posted March 1, 2005 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Amanda, Farrell has never been to my blog. I don’t even know if he knows I have one. He knows who I am. I wrote about this NY Times article, so if he doesn’t know he’ll soon find out. ;) He has no credibility anywhere anymore, and I’m surprised that the NY Times even gave him a platform, but the Times is known for its anti-feminist screeds.
    He threatened me and other feminists who outed his Penthouse comments with a lawsuit, but nothing ever came of it. It’s no coincidence he makes these threats every time he’s on another failed book tour. He didn’t even have the courage to do this in person or by mail but he wrote to one of his men’s rights flunkies, who posted his letter on Usenet and some men’s rights mailing lists. The posts I have up on my web site are my fisking of his letters. I link to the web site posts in my Farrell post on my blog.
    I just might write a letter to the NY Times about his article. The man needs to be taken down a couple of notches.

  9. crella
    Posted March 1, 2005 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    I would like to ask this question as politely as I can: Did any of you actually READ the book?
    If not, how do you feel qualified to comment on it? Are you going to dismiss it out of hand because you don’t like what you imagine the summary to be?
    I thought you were supposed to be intelligent women, but many of you are looking pretty anti-intellectual right now. All this anger and resentment that you say is so useful– does it ever interfere with your rational thinking?
    Also, he makes this comment at the end-
    ‘I’m not recommending incest between parent and child, and especially not between father and daughter. The great majority of fathers can grasp the dynamics of positive incest ‘intellectually’. But in a society that encourages looking at women in almost purely sexual terms, I don’t believe they can translate this understanding into practice.”‘
    Anyhow, this book was published in 1979…anybody checked whether he has changed his mind since then?
    Just wondering.

  10. crella
    Posted March 2, 2005 at 4:53 am | Permalink

    So sorry . I was addressing both the recentbook and the Penthouse article and fudged my post.
    “And at the end he makes this comment”I am referring to the Penthouse article.
    I inadvertantly deep-sixed a paragraph along the way. I apologize for the error, as it makes the meaning of my post unclear.

  11. Posted March 2, 2005 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Crella, you left out an important part of that quote. Here’s the paragraph in its entirety:
    “If pushed to the wall, would Farrell urge incest on families? “Incest is like a magnifying glass,” he summarizes. “In some circumnstances it magnifies the beauty of a relationship, and in others it magnifies the trauma. I’m not recommending incest between parent and child, and especially not between father and daughter. The great majority of fathers can grasp the dynamics of positive incest ‘intellectually’. But in a society that encourages looking at women in almost purely sexual terms, I don’t believe they can translate this understanding into practice.”
    In talking about the “beauty of the relationship,” he’s differentiating between “bad” incest and “good” incest. The way I’ve seen “good” incest described by the positve incest crowd is that it is good because the father perpetrator has said that it is, and that his daughter victim agrees with him. It’s a means of promoting paedophilia. Incest isn’t good no matter what. This isn’t sex between consenting adults. It’s between a father and his daughter. There is the familial violation, plus the power imbalance. It isn’t good, yet “positive incest” is seen as good and something worth promoting. Sorry, but it just isn’t.

  12. crella
    Posted March 2, 2005 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Well, let’s leave that aside for the moment. I probbaly shouldn’t have tried to tackle two topics at once.I am not for incest by any means, I wondered if time has changed his views at all. The thread was originally about the book on wage gaps,and got side-tracked, as did I.
    And so I pose my question once again…
    Has anyone actually read the book? I never rely on reviews alone…

  13. Data Lists
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Great work guys, keep it up!
    Data Lists

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