A Festival Of Representation

     “Representation” – more specifically, statistical under or over-representation in various domains – is one of today’s major bugaboos. We all hear about aspects of this now and then, such as how women are “under-represented” in CEOs’ offices and corporate boardrooms, or blacks are “over-represented” among perpetrators of violent crimes. There’s often a lot of dissension about the causes. Sometimes, even though the causes can be known, the information is suppressed so as not to hurt some interest group’s feelings…or its revenues.

     Well, in this commentator’s opinion, we haven’t delved deeply enough into such things. I’m passionately interested in representation statistics. They make great argument fodder, and there’s nothing an overly opinionated (and superannuated) Web writer likes better than an interminable argument.

     (What’s that you say? The interminably argumentative don’t get invited to the best parties? Well, so what? All pastimes have their little downsides.)

     So here goes: The following table of three columns lines up various identifiable population cohorts with particular involvements. You, Gentle Reader, are invited to fill in the blank middle column with one of these words:

  • Under,
  • Properly,
  • Over,

     …according to your estimate of the cohort’s representation in the indicated activity. For example, if you feel that Sikhs are under-represented among Presbyterian pastors, you would enter “Under” in the middle column. If you feel that Mongolians are over-represented among Gender Studies researchers, you would enter “Over” in the middle column. And so forth.

     Let’s see what kind of Sturm und Drang we can whip up here. Don’t worry about being right or wrong according to the available statistics; the point is to excite a little outrage and have fun doing it.

This Group Is Represented In This Activity
Hispanics Cheese makers
Seventh-Day Adventists Oral surgeons
Inuit Indians Self-Help writers
Muslims Converts to Scientology
Quebecois Fiddle players
Iranians Pizza chefs
Filipinos Klezmer clarinetists
Transwomen Synthesizer virtuosi
Directors of Marketing Dilbert fans
Leftists The Gentle Readers of Liberty’s Torch


1 ping

    • Steve Sumner on March 30, 2023 at 9:52 AM

    Heh, I’m going with over represented in all cases.  Just on account of.

    • Amy on March 30, 2023 at 11:25 AM

    Well, the only trans woman I know who’s a synth virtuoso would be Wendy Carlos (one of my role models, in fact). I’m not sure whether that qualifies as “over” or “properly,” but it’s definitely not “under.”

    1. It would depend on how many synthesizer virtuosi there are, which is something I don’t know!

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