The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Stirring the Feminist Cauldron

Posted on | July 14, 2011 | 30 Comments

“Potential Rapist Syndrome is a mind virus infecting the brains of put-upon feminists all over America and Sweden. The slightest effrontery by a man not immediately deemed a charismatic alpha male by the woman victim causes the virus to multiply rapidly, resulting in flawed reasoning that imputes the worst possible motives to innocuous, if unattractively nerdy, male behavior. Using the illogic of this mind virus, any action that a man takes in attempt to pick up a woman is potential rape as long as she feels it is.”
Heartiste,” at Roissy

Let’s begin by pointing out that slamming feminism from behind a pseudonym is easy. Slamming feminism under your own name — as I do routinely — is to pre-emptively disqualify yourself from employment in any sort of managerial capacity.

If you’re a man, that is. Because “sexual discrimination” is always and only a crime alleged against men, and a man who disparages feminism will have no presumption of innocence if he’s in a managerial position and any woman in the company ever breathes the word “discrimination.”

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

Feminism is not about equality, but rather a strategy aimed at achieving female hegemony — at least within the bureaucratic organizations where “equal opportunity” can be used by women as a weapon to gain professional advantage for those willing to threaten lawsuits against their employer. And the threat is always there, tacitly, which is why there is such an otherwise inexplicable silence about the “equality” scam.

Everything you ever need to know about feminism could be learned by a careful study of what happened to Lawrence Summers at Harvard.

An academic coven had been convoked to discuss the relative paucity of women as leading scientific researchers. It is the settled orthodoxy of feminists that any apparent disadvantage to women is somehow to be blamed on male patriarchal oppression. This egalitarian dogma was the implicit theme of the January 14, 2005, conference at Harvard, “Diversifying the Science and Engineering Workforce: Women, Underrepresented Minorities, and their S. & E. Careers.”

Summers, a liberal economist who served as Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration, had become president of Harvard. He spoke without notes at an informal luncheon meeting of the conference and, in the course of his remarks, suggested that they consider the possibility that the underrepresentation of women among top scientific researchers might be attributable to “innate differences” between men and women. What ensued was reported by the New York Times:

Several women who participated in the conference said yesterday that they had been surprised or outraged by Dr. Summers’s comments, and Denice D. Denton, the chancellor designate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, questioned Dr. Summers sharply during the conference, saying she needed to “speak truth to power.”
Nancy Hopkins, a professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who once led an investigation of sex discrimination there that led to changes in hiring and promotion, walked out midway through Dr. Summers’s remarks.
“When he started talking about innate differences in aptitude between men and women, I just couldn’t breathe because this kind of bias makes me physically ill,” Dr. Hopkins said. “Let’s not forget that people used to say that women couldn’t drive an automobile.”

So the mere mention of “innate differences in aptitude between men and women” was enough to induce an overwhelming nausea, because to suggest such a thing is “a kind of bias.”

But does anyone deny that there are “innate differences in aptitude between men and women.” at least when comparing group averages? Consider three statements:

  1. Men on average are taller than women.
  2. All men are taller than all women.
  3. There are no tall women.

The first statement is self-evidently true, and the other statements are self-evidently false. Now three more statements:

  1. Men on average are better at science than women.
  2. All men are better scientists than all women.
  3. There are no good women scientists.

It can be demonstrated — by reference to standardized testing and other objective measures — that the first statement is true, while the other statements are obviously false. One may believe that on average, one group of people has a superior aptitude in some specific area when compared to a second group, without making any invidious disparagement of the second group.

Yet a woman was overcome with physical illness and attributed “bias” to Summers, merely because he suggested “innate differences between men and women” might explain why there were relatively few women in the fields of science and engineering. Please note that, beyond this problem, the Harvard conference on “diversifying”  the scientific workforce devoted its efforts to increasing the number of “underrepresented minorities.”

Why that adjective “underrepresented”?

Of course: Asians!

Anyone who knows anything about modern American academia knows that Asians — both native-born and immigrant — are statistically over-represented on the campuses of elite schools, and especially in the fields of mathematics, science and engineering. While there are those who explain this phenomenon in terms of culture (all those “Tiger Mothers,” for example), there are also those who suggest that some sort of “innate differences” explain the influx of Asian overachievers into top schools.

One thing for sure: It’s pretty damned hard to Blame Whitey for this situation, and because the Asian overachievers can’t be used to guilt-trip anybody, instead the diversity-mongers devote their efforts to the “underrepresented.”

We might imagine that these egalitarian fanatics won’t be happy until every field of endeavor — from Ph.D.s and corporate executives to truck drivers, ditch-diggers and janitors — has a workforce that exactly mirrors the national demographic.

We might imagine that, I say, although this isn’t at all how it works out. Nobody gives a damn, for example, about the “diversity” of the student body at your local community college. It’s a non-elite institution where anyone can be admitted, and so there are no quotas to fight over. Likewise no one bothers themselves about the ethnic and gender composition of the workforce at your local fast-food joint or grocery store. It’s only at the elite level — the executive suites at corporate headquarters — where the Argus-eyed watchers of “diversity” do their nose-counting quota calculations in quest of evidence for a discrimination lawsuit.

So back to Lawrence Summers and the Harvard diversity coven: Scarcely a year after his remark about “innate differences,” Summers announced his resignation and the Boston Globe said his ouster was mainly because of his “aggresssive management style,” reserving mention of the diversity controversy for the 27th paragraph:

Last year, Summers sparked international outrage by speculating at an economics conference that innate differences between men and women might be one of the reasons women lag behind in science and math careers.
This led to an apology and a no-confidence vote in the faculty of arts and sciences in March of last year.
Asked in an interview with the Globe about regrets about specific actions he took, Summers mentioned only one: his speech about women and science. ”I would not have spoken the way I did” at the conference, he said.

Moral of the story: You cannot be president of Harvard and believe in “innate differences between men and women.”

Whatever else Summers had done, it was his expressed doubt of feminism’s egalitarian dogma that led to a “no-confidence” vote by the faculty, and thus to his eventual expulsion from the groves of academe.

Cultural trickle-down from the elite pinnacles of our society results in these attitudes gradually suffusing every institution, including the gathering of atheists at which Rebecca Watson first gave a panel-discussion lecture about the evils of “sexualizing” women, and then encountered this evil in the hotel elevator at 4 a.m.:

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but I find you very interesting, and I would like to talk more. Would you like to come to my hotel room for coffee?”

What Watson’s elevator incident shares with the plight of Summers at Harvard is that, in both cases, the offending man was condemned for how his words made the woman feel.

The Roissy “game” theorist says the atheist elevator propositioner was chiefly guilty of ineptitude. And we could say the same for Lawrence Summers: There might be a safe time and place to discuss “innate differences between men and women” — even at Harvard — but that conference obviously wasn’t it.

Feminism is, above all, utterly merciless. The offending man must not be merely criticized or rebuked, but destroyed. And the seemingly random way in which feminist wrath selects its victims is essential to its power, part of its totalitarian terror strategy to intimidate all men by the spectacular destruction of its chosen targets.

Probably neither Lawrence Summers nor the Inept Elevator Nerd ever thought of himself as an enemy of feminism, but part of the hegemonic prerogative of feminism is the unquestioned authority to choose its own enemies. And thus there is no safety in silent cooperation with feminism, because a man can be an acceptable feminist ally one day and then — by doing or saying something that makes a woman feel offended or victimized — suddenly he is Zinoviev at the Show Trial.

It was Instapundit who put me onto this Roissy post and, unlike a mere university president, Professor Glenn Reynolds has tenure, so he’s probably safe from whatever campus covens conspire around bubbling cauldrons in Knoxville.

But is any man ever truly safe from feminism on a university campus?

The professor would be well advised never to talk about “innate differences” — and to avoid elevators whenever possible.


30 Responses to “Stirring the Feminist Cauldron”

  1. Finrod Felagund
    July 14th, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

    What, did the Zinoviev reference sail right over your pretty little head?  Too bad for you.

  2. Finrod Felagund
    July 14th, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

    If that was too long for you, how do you ever manage to read any books?