Recently I’ve had several conversations about the costs of Feminism. I wasn’t arguing that feminism wasn’t worth the costs, only that costs did exist. We can’t do a cost/benefit analysis without properly identifying the costs. There seemed to be two major misconceptions. First, that by identifying costs, any costs I was arguing that Women’s Rights cost to much. Second, that by identifying costs, any costs, I was denying the benefits.
I’ve come to the realization that this is because of how emotionally bound up in feminism people are. It was not a weakness in my argument. It was because we where talking about feminism. There where assumptions that I was arguing against the progress of women’s rights. So I’m not going to attempt to identify the costs and benefits of feminism now. I’m going to talk about the costs and benefits of winning the lotto.
So, the situation is You have the winning Mega Millions Ticket for a 100 million dollar jackpot. Do you cash in the ticket, or is it just not worth the costs? I think the answer is clear, cash in the ticket. The benefits are clear 100 million in cash. This is a huge benefit, but it does not negate the existence of costs. To claim the cash you need to drive to one of the big offices, taking 10 in gas. You need to spend a full day filling out paperwork. This means skipping out on a day of work costing 200 in lost wages. You need to pay taxes on the winnings. Combined State Federal and local Taxes comes to about 50% or 50 million. You will become a high profile individual targeted by people seeking venture capital. You will quickly become surrounded by people that don’t care about you, but just want the money.
So now that we have identified costs and benefits we can do a cost/benefit analysis. The benefits are clear 100 Million dollars. The costs are a little over 50 Million and a loss of privacy and a harder time identifying real friends. Is the 50 million net gain in money worth the loss of privacy? I say HELL YEA. The existence of costs does not negate the benefits. The existence of costs does not mean it’s not worth the costs.
The existence of benefits does not negate the existence of costs. It is worth it to me, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth it to everyone. David Koch would probably loose money spending the time to claim the ticket. The 50 mil in gains is just not worth the cost to him of 60 mil in lost productivity and the greater media attention.
Every action, inaction, choice and decision has costs. Every action, inaction, choice and decision has benefits. We can not even start the cost/benefit analysis without identifying both the costs and the benefits. It is every action AND inaction that has costs. It is not just “Women getting the vote” that has costs and benefits. Continued inaction in 1918 of maintaining the status Quo has costs and benefits. Women in the Workforce has costs and benefits. Women excluded from the workforce has costs and benefits. Women in school, women excluded from school. Women in board rooms, women excluded from board rooms. Men in classrooms, men excluded from classrooms. Men in nursing, men excluded from nursing. Equality in board rooms, gender blind board rooms. Every action, inaction, choice and decision have costs. Identifying these costs is not sexism, but gathering the information needed to make rational choices.