Readers’ Forum: 10/8/19

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Gender disparity in religious education

Six out of 72, or if you reduce the fraction, 1/12, is a very small number. It comes out to about 8.3%. All numbers have the ability to represent something, and in this case, six of 72 represents the number of full-time female to male faculty in Religious Education at BYU. Especially for a university connected to a world-wide church that declares equality between men and women, this number is both abysmal and unacceptable.

One explanation for this disparity comes from student ratings of professors, which
help determine hiring ability, but a recent study shows that women are more likely to be
rated on their appearance and ability to entertain as opposed to teaching ability. Regardless of the explanation for this disparity, the female to male ratio of the Religious Education faculty sends the message that these professorships belong more to men than they do to women.

I remember taking world history in middle school when my male teacher asked the class what we wanted to be when we grew up. I responded that I would like to be president of
the United States and this teacher said something that has always stuck with me: “You can’t be president because there haven’t been enough female presidents.” While this statement has shady logic, the message remains clear: “You can’t be what you can’t see.”
Until BYU expands the number of female professors in Religious Education, we will
send female students the message that they are not welcome to teach in Religious Education because of their gender.

—Hanna Searic
Boston, Massachusetts

Trump’s tariffs are an economic terror

The current trade policy in the United States is a disaster. Donald Trump’s newly
imposed tariffs are hurting not only job growth, but also the nation’s gross domestic product. If the U.S. were to open up to all free trade, the economy would improve significantly, because there would be more jobs and our GDP would increase.

Trump’s strict tariffs are decreasing job opportunities for Americans. Because we now
have high tariffs imposed, we are less inclined to trade with other countries. Because of this decrease in trade, some industries now have less economic opportunity. These industries have less incentive to produce more goods because of the aforementioned decline in trade. They have to sell the goods solely in the U.S. rather than internationally, which decreases production of goods for trade. This decrease in production will lead to fewer jobs in America. Lowering the number of jobs lowers our human capital, which is a key factor of GDP.

Our trading with other countries has given the United States a greater amount of goods. One of the main goods we trade for is technology. China is one of our largest suppliers of technology. Because of the trade war, we have been receiving fewer technologies from China which lowers our GDP, as technology is also a large indicator of it.

If we open up to all free trade, then it will help grow our economy even more. Also, the number of jobs in our country will increase, which would decrease the unemployment rate. And finally, the whole issue of the trade war would be resolved, and President Trump could turn this economic blunder into a solution for America.

—Logan Spittle
Hinckley, Ohio

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