Silas wrote:In the first place, it's a predicate claim: for any institution, X.... Saying there's no empirical evidence just doesn't compute, unless you specify an institution.
Right, but it's completely irrelevant to the current thread, as we don't have such an institution. Arguing that the patriarchy might not exist in some imaginary land--even if perfectly true--does not say anything about whether it exists in reality. Unless there's evidence that such a system exists, then you aren't talking about reality.
Also, X has A quality implies X has B quality does not imply that X exists or can exist (Unicorns have horns implies that unicorns have something sticking out of their heads may be true, but that doesn't mean that unicorns exist). You are assuming that an institution that is both fair and just and substantially slanted towards one sex can exist. There needs to be evidence that it exists or can exist or else we are talking about an impossiblity, which gets us nowhere.
In the second, I didn't propose a segregation or discrimination (you're not using those words the way I do, so we may be miscommunicating). What I said was that if an institution (say, the financial staff of Goldman Sachs) can say, "look, we know that nearly all of our brokers are men, but the reason for that is that we get very few women coming in who do well in the monopoly-money trials, which we base our hiring on," then they've presented a valid refutation of charges that they're a bad company and they should feel bad.
There's two different ways I can see what you mean "institution", so I'll address each:
1, if you are talking about society as a whole, not just one component (which is what I originally thought you were talking about, but am now not sure), then refer back to my older post about how such a society could not be justifiably equal or just.
2, if you are talking about individual institutions in society, then why are fewer women coming in who do well? If it is just the individual institution that is nonsexist, then the rest of society can still be sexist. So sexism within society but outside of that institution can effect how many women can excel in that financial staff. For example, a sexist education system that enforces the idea that women can't do well at banking, and so shouldn't even try would affect how many women succeed in Goldman Sachs, even though Goldman Sachs may be perfectly nondiscriminatory by itself.
Re discrimination and segregation: you didn't purposefully propose segregation and discrimination, but that is what what your proposed institution leads to. 80% of the staff is men, subconscious biases show up in hiring, since most of the people doing the hiring are men, they hire more men than women, soon the percentage of men has gone up some, over time this percentage increases even more. More and more discrimination against women comes to exist.
I was referring to de facto
segregation, not de jure
, so that might account for the misunderstanding on that term.
they've presented a valid refutation of charges that they're a bad company and they should feel bad.
I think that looking at cases of societal structures reinforcing the patriarchy to say that they are bad and should feel bad is the wrong way to come at things. The point shouldn't be to say that everyone involved is a bad person, but to show they are harmful and should be changed. Especially since it's society as a whole that pushes the sexist memes, not just any one group. Scapegoating the problem onto a few is not going to solve anything.