Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Catherine Hakim

Catherine Hakim is a social scientist and a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Policy Studies, London. Her publications include over 100 papers published in British, European and American refereed academic journals and edited collections, four textbooks, and over a dozen books and monographs on the labour market, changing patterns of employment and working time, women’s employment and women’s position in society, occupational segregation and the pay gap, self-employment and small firms, social engineering, models of the family, work orientations and lifestyle preferences, changing social attitudes, voluntary childlessness, social and family policy, research design, social statistics and cross-national comparative research in all these fields.

Her latest book is Erotic Capital: The Power of Attraction in the Boardroom and the Bedroom.

From Hakim's Q & A with Jessica Grose at Slate:

Slate: In your book, the main argument seemed to me more geared toward women—how they should be using their erotic advantage over men more than they are. I wanted you to expand on that.

Hakim: Just to correct that understanding, the reason I focus at the end of the book on women exploiting their erotic capital is because of the evidence in chapter 7 that shows that men are getting a higher return on their erotic capital. The whole book is about how valuable erotic capital is for men and women, but the main problem is there's sex discrimination and that women are not getting the kind of economic returns that men are getting. They're getting lower economic returns. And therefore, the argument is women need to do some catching up, and women need to make sure that they get the kind of return that men are already getting. That's really the key point about this.

Slate: You argue that women don't get the same returns on their erotic capital as men do. How can women fix this?

Hakim: The key point is for women to be aware that there's a sex differential and a sex gap in returns and rewards, and to be aware that they should therefore not be holding back or feel embarrassed about seeking to get value for their contribution, for their attractiveness. As I see it, patriarchal men, but also to a larger extent, radical feminist women, which women seem to listen to more than men, say that beauty is only skin deep, it's trivial, it's superficial, it has no value, and you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to exploit it. And the whole purpose of my book is to say, for men and for women, there is absolutely no reason to feel ashamed of exploiting it and no reason at all for you to be embarrassed at saying this has value. Having erotic capital isn't...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Catherine Hakim's website.

The Page 99 Test: Erotic Capital.

--Marshal Zeringue