Friday, January 21, 2005

Heresy at Harvard
Harvard president Lawrence Summers recently dared to suggest that it is possible that innate differences between men and women may be part of the reason that there are many fewer women in science than men.(See here and here.) Feminists are outraged, and one went so far as to swoon.

1) Any attempt to explain the small number of women in science has to explain the much larger number of women in the (traditionally male and very time-consuming) areas of management, medicine and law.

2) Feminists very often declare there to be vast differences between men and women. Of course, women usually come off better in these comparisons: nurturing rather than violent, for example. If you read my selected articles from ACM TechNews (all of which are 100% feminist approved) about why there are few women in science, you'll see that the explanations in many of them involve the assertion that men are different from women; the articles are generally too incoherent to explicitly say whether or not these differences are innate, but since the differences make women superior and since no societal explanations for the differences are usually given, the implication is that they are innate.

3) This is not the first time that swooner Nancy Hopkins has been reported in the news as leading the Feminist Fight. In the nineties there were complaints at MIT that female scientists were being treated worse than male scientists. Dean Birgeneau appointed a committee to study the complaints. What was the role of Hopkins? She was the chief Complainant and she was the Head of the committee appointed to evaluate the complaints. ("Forget it, Jake -- it's Chinatown."). Birgeneau is an idiot, and he went on from this success to doing as much damage as he could as president of the University of Toronto; he has now moved on to bringing a much needed breath of fresh political correctness to Berkeley. But if Hopkins' complaints were well-founded, she is also an idiot for investigating them herself, and thus ensuring that no serious person would ever take them seriously.

4) If there are prejudices in Universities against women in science, they are remarkably subtle. The prejudices against men are institutionalized and overt. Concerning institutional restrictions against any speech the feminists don't like: these restrictions are massive, overpowering, and virtually 100% intimidating. On the rare occasion such speech is uttered by a professor in a prominent university, it tends to be national news.

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