Prez wrote on Dec 19, 2011, 16:49:
I appreciate you are concerned above all for equal treatment for all, but in my view you are letting easily manipulated stats give you a false sense of unfairness in the workplace that simply doesn't exist, and hasn't for a very long time.
Numbers are funny things. They could be made to dance a jig, and one set of data can be used to argue a point from both sides. Stats are worse - they don't ever tell the complete story, and are almost never represented honestly when used in discussions like these.
And the finger would point the same way, I would argue that the stats were being used to give a false sense of fairness. I've avoided using stats due to this particular weakness they can suffer from, I can only think of one stat I cited, and it was to prove a point, not provide evidence of privilege.
I will certainly agree with you. I've been very careful not to get too statistic heavy for that very reason,which is the same reason I was being critical of his post to begin with. I wasn't using stats as the basis for my argument, that was someone else. I can only think of one stat which I cited, My only point in showing stats was that things were being cherry picked, so while we can see a bunch of stats supporting someones argument, there are plenty of stats that don't support it, and when bringing in stats we can run into the problems you covered. When we look at a stat, or collection thereof, and then draw conclusion such as 'priveledge doesn't exist.' Then the statistics are not being used for their intended purpose. The only conclusion we could factually draw from the stats is (for example) More men serve in the military than woman. Numbers can be misleading, and aren't the only factors when considering issues such as these.
None of the stats listed were really produced in any meaningful way, and discusses nothing of the methodology when gathering the stats, or the samples used, and far from encompass all the issues that men and women are subject to, so they are moot.