Super unfair stuff

Dear President Trump,

I’m not finished with the Quadlin study yet so you aren’t either. Yesterday’s letter was already on the long side so I didn’t get into the finding that among men there wasn’t a significant effect of grade point average on likelihood of being called in for an interview. Well, it’s still bugging me and what’s more, when I went back to the paper and looked at the graphs again I saw that more of the lowest achieving men were selected for interviews than the highest achieving women.

In fact, except among the Math majors, where the lowest grade women fared the worst, the highest grade women were the least likely to be called back for interviews of anyone. Quadlin didn’t test all these comparisons so I don’t know whether they would show statistically significantly differences, but the overarching take-home is pretty stunning – high achieving women are penalized in virtually every possible match-up when compared to men of all achievement levels and to most other women. Shit.

Like I said yesterday, we need this study to be replicated quickly. You (or someone with critical thinking skills) might ask why this matters. Well, first of all that’s how good science works– we don’t take the findings from one study to be the gospel (or The Gospel) and we need different groups of people to look at the same problem from their own angles and find similar results before we trust that whatever was found is likely valid. Also, in this case, replication is imperative because the findings fit an aggrieved-smart-woman pattern and a smart woman who may well be aggrieved did the study. Thus, for the findings to be taken really seriously, we need others to come up with the same patterns using the same or very similar methods.

And, in light of the real-life, everywhere-we-look, instantiations of these patterns, it would be pretty dang shocking if the results don’t replicate.

Before closing, I just want to note that it looks like you got your new AG installed in the nick of time with the Mueller report set to be filed next week. Apparently no matter what’s found, you won’t face criminal charges, and given the DOJ rules about not disclosing anything that doesn’t lead to criminal charges, the report may be full of incriminating stuff about you, but on a technicality (i.e., you are a sitting president), the public won’t ever see it. If this happens, you’ll no doubt crow about the report vindicating you, but given this ultimate NDA loophole, your legitimacy will be forever doubted.

May we be safe and free from harm.
May we consciously make space for happiness.
May we all cultivate our strengths.
May we keep breathing through whatever comes next.

Tracy Simpson

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