Saturday, February 26, 2005

Feminism's self-inflicted wounds

Perhaps the very idea of George Bush as president so eats at the psyche of Liberals that it is presently decreasing their already tenuous hold on common sense, or maybe it’s just the silly-season. Either way, it doesn’t much decrease the entertainment value.

Recent stories about University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill and Harvard president Larry Summers offer an insider’s view of what free speech means to Liberal academics. This can be summed up as: “I can say whatever I want to. You shut up.”

But even beyond this salutary illustration, we are being treated to ever more insight into the mental processes of gender-Feminists (as distinct from equity-feminists, who simply and reasonably believe in equality of the sexes before the law).

Just as Ward Churchill has illustrated what is wrong with modern academia (and why we can hope his story continues), so the Larry Summers story is providing a good look into the inner workings of radical feminism. Summers’ recent remarks have unleashed the Feminist equivalent of a major friendly-fire incident. Here are two examples Powerline brought to my attention:

Fear and Intimidation at Harvard – by Harvey Mansfield, in The Weekly Standard:

It takes one's breath away to watch feminist women at work. At the same time that they denounce traditional stereotypes they conform to them. If at the back of your sexist mind you think that women are emotional, you listen agape as professor Nancy Hopkins of MIT comes out with the threat that she will be sick if she has to hear too much of what she doesn't agree with. If you think women are suggestible, you hear it said that the mere suggestion of an innate inequality in women will keep them from stirring themselves to excel. While denouncing the feminine mystique, feminists behave as if they were devoted to it.

Feminists Get Hysterical - by Heather Mac Donald, in City Journal:

[Fox News commentator, Dukakis campaign chairman and professor of law, Susan] Estrich’s insane ravings against the [Los Angeles] Times cap a month that left one wondering whether the entry of women into the intellectual and political arena has been an unqualified boon.

It is curious how feminists, when crossed, turn into shrill, hysterical harpies—or, in the case of MIT’s Nancy Hopkins, delicate flowers who collapse at the slightest provocation—precisely the images of women that they claim patriarchal sexists have fabricated to keep them down.

OpinionJournal points out a wonderful bit on The Women's Network titled “Give Nerds a Chance” – by Cathryn Michon, about the value of male nerds:

…I have advised my friend and fellow Grrl Genius club member Renata [a “successful college math professor”] to do what I have done and find herself a "hot nerd."


"Look," I whisper to Renata, "the thing about nerds is, they can't really talk to you on their own, but if you can just get them talking about some gizmo, well, that primes the pump, so to speak."

I think if Ms. Michon’s attitude was prevalent in high school, brilliant, if socially challenged, young men would have been “socially constructed” to want more females in the sciences. (Note: this is not necessarily the same as wanting more science in the females, though the practical result for female opportunity in science would probably be equivalent.) However, as I remember it, high school females don’t have much use for nerds, and the nerds know they are not going to get a date with the head cheerleader.

Could it be that gender-Feminists are right about socialization as the problem? Can females themselves can fix this by an aggressive “adopt-a-nerd” program early in their academic careers? Is it actually biology, operating though the dating preferences of nubile young women, which results in female under-representation in the Harvard physics department?

Is it possible that males with high IQ's do not want women around the lab because their gizmos have been insufficiently pumped in the past?

I’ll leave research on this speculation to Susan Estrich, most of Harvard's Feminist faculty (of whatever sex) and those intrepid Harvard undergrads organizing female-only ice cream socials for Chemistry 5 students.

In any case, thank you all. You’ve made a wonderful point.

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