(For the record, I might have had to look up how to spell likable…even dictionary.com wasn’t clear on the matter, but, since for “likeable” it just said “see likable”, I went with the latter.)
So we all probably remember how Larry Summers got himself in trouble at Harvard for reporting on academic hypotheses and findings that males and females may differ in terms of mathematical ability. (For details, scroll down to the “Sexism allegations” section in the previous link.) Summers was very clear on the fact that he was in no way expressing a viewpoint and was merely reporting on academic research. Nonetheless, there was an uproar both among female faculty members at Harvard and within the public overall. Hmmm…could it possibly be that people didn’t like the guy so much and were just waiting with baited breath for him to do something “wrong”?
If this is indeed the case, I suppose it is very fortuitous for Greg Mankiw that he is more well-liked than Larry Summers. To quote his latest blog post:
“According to new research from Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson:
The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness
By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women’s happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men. The paradox of women’s declining relative well-being is found across various datasets, measures of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries. Relative declines in female happiness have eroded a gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically reported higher subjective well-being than did men. These declines have continued and a new gender gap is emerging — one with higher subjective well-being for men.
I am not at all sure how to interpret this finding. It sounds like either the women’s movement was a mistake or subjective happiness is not the right objective.”
So he’s suggesting that the women’s movement was potentially a mistake. I am very curious to see if people get their panties in the twist over this.
P.S. On the subject of likability…I am watching Meghan McCain on The Colbert Report. Man, I really don’t want to like her, but she makes it hard sometimes…