Spar on “One Gender’s Crash”

Reflecting on a risk-mad Wall Street, Debora Spar argues that a finance sector less dominated by men would have been more responsible: “Whether it be from a protectiveness born of biology or a reticence imposed by social norms, women may be less inclined than men to place the kind of bets that can get them in real trouble.” Her insightful piece reminded me of conservative thinker Reihan Salam’s proposal that gun laws recognize differing propensities for violence among men and women:

The idea of treating women and men differently offends our understanding of gender equality at a deep level. But treating women and men as though they are identical—as though women are as violent, dangerous, and abusive as men—isn’t treating them equally. Rather, it is pretending that ignoring their deep differences is the best policy, even if that means that people will die or suffer as a direct result.

Given that “women . . . account for only 17.9 percent of corporate officer positions and none of the chief executive positions . . . at Fortune 500 finance and insurance companies,” the recovery could be a long way off.

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