Daily Archives: December 23, 2011

* Rights Gone Wrong by Richard Thompson Ford

I was never able to grasp the point of  Rights Gone Wrong. The author gives a number of eminently ridiculous examples of how civil rights and other rights-related legislation has given rise to ridiculous lawsuits — but doesn’t seem to have much of a solution for the problem. So while I agree that high school seniors and their parents can exploit so-called learning disabilities to get the unfair advantage of unlimited time to take SAT tests, or that suing a baseball team for giving gift bags to women on Mother’s Day is a waste of taxpayers’ money, it’s not clear that we should (a) change the laws (b) give more latitude to judges or (c) raise our lamentations to the sky. And some of the examples are uncomfortable. Sure, it’s hard to prove that Walmart discriminates against women managers just by looking at the proportion of women in the management ranks, but surely if there are no more than a third at Walmart and over half at Walmart’s competitors that may well suggest a pattern of sexism that could be legitimately pursued in the courts, no?

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