Any post written by a man titled "What Women Want" is going to be suspect in my book. Bracing myself for a Maureen Dowd-style lesson on gender idiotics, I jumped in, but it wasn't quite as lame as I'd expected. Tierney makes this reasonable-sounding assertion: “You can argue that this difference [men seeking out competition more than women] is due to social influences, although I suspect it's largely innate, a byproduct of evolution and testosterone.” He may not have provided a shred of evidence for his position, and I may not agree with it, but at least he’s leaving the door open for a different view. That door shuts quickly with “Still, for all the executive talents that women have, for all the changes that are happening in the corporate world, there will always be some jobs that women, on average, will not want as badly as men do.” Well, except that if this apparent under-competitiveness of women is due to social influences, then it may not last as long (“always”) as Tierney expects. Nice try, but how many times do we have to hear about the “innate” inferiority of groups of people that have traditionally been subjugated?
Tierney casts it as a sensible lifestyle choice—women don’t go for the top spots because they have their priorities straight. I suppose he’d say the same if a woman ran for president. No sane person would go for that 80-hour a week, intensely stressful, life-shortening job, right? Sorry, Tierney, but your biases are showing.
My take on this guy is that he's aggressively staking out the political middle ground in a time of extreme polarization--admirable, but he's not nearly as adept at it as some (like David Brooks, in my view), and likely will end up getting shouted down by both sides.