Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Choices, choices, choices

My entanglement in the Summers' fiasco was probably poorly timed as I'm in the middle of reading The Paradox of Choice (nearly finished). I'm hyper aware now of making choices. While I believe that, according to Schwartz, I'm a satisficer and therefore, settle for the good enough, I also believe that I don't make choices in a vacuum. My choices--the big ones mainly--are affected both by very obvious constraints, but also subtle ones. The subtle ones are the ones that became more obvious during the whole Summers debate I found myself in.

Elizabeth, at Half Changed World, is discussing Family-Friendly policies based on reaction to the Brooks article in the NYT (which I read) and linking to all kinds of resources. She is very intelligently discussing the issue of providing more options to women in terms of policies that make it easier for women to make choices about entering the workforce. Interestingly, as she points out, in both Brooks and Gilbert (the specific response she is discussing), men are left out of the equation. No one is pondering policies to make it easier for men to choose to stay at home. Yes, these are all phrased as "parent" but the policies are based on trends among women in the workforce.

I have a post in my head that will have to wait about my own choices and what they were shaped by. I have little regret, but I do think about the ways my choices were affected by things totally out of my control and so subtle I did not recognize them at the time.