Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. Founded by Mark Kleiman (1951-2019)
Women and sports
A listserv I belong to had an admiring post about the Pacquiao-Cotto fight (you don’t need a link, one guy beat the sh*t out of the other one, and the ref had to stop the fight in the 12th), and I rose to the bait with some snark about people who get off on that kind of thing.Â The ensuing conversation was entirely predictable, we might as well just call out numbers.Â Anyway, apparently the fight was a big deal in boxing circles, so not a bad time to recall my last reflections on it and Mark’s observation that bare-knuckle fights would be a lot less savage and destructive.
Among the predictable features of the boxing back-and-forth was the near-total silence of the many women on the list.Â It’s hard to interpret silence when it doesn’t have a facial expression, but if it had a tone of voice, I think it was the one that goes with “oh God, there go the men bashing antlers and fanning out their tailfeathers again; let’s go to and fro and talk of Michelangelo.” I don’t know a single woman who knows or cares anything about boxing (please do not waste comments reporting exceptions, I’m not saying there aren’t any but that they’re few).Â More women football fans, but still very few.Â I don’t know about hockey, or bullfighting, or dogfighting. Men tend to be sports fans more than women generally, but the sports I mention seem to interest especially few women.Â I’ve repeatedly regretted not paying attention to women’s judgment, so they may be on to something worth attending to here. (These reflections by a woman soccer player are interesting.)
The women I’ve played poker with are maybe one in twenty, and it looks about the same when I drop in on TV poker for a mindless half-hour (I don’t think poker is mindless at all; I count the hours I’ve spent with a hand in my hand as golden, but watching other people do it?).Â What’s that about; why so few women enjoying this priceless, harmless, absorbing, congenial diversion? The cigars are long since banished from the table…
Author: Michael O'Hare
Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training.
He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.
Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at UniversitÃ Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs.
At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4Ã—5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.
View all posts by Michael O'Hare
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