When I see serious discussion of whether men are scientifically less
able than women to write poetry, and should, therefore, perhaps not try,
I will belive that there is a "scientific" discussion of gender and not
a politically charged reconstruction of discriminatory myth.
>>> [log in to unmask] 02/25/05 7:59 AM >>>
I am always struck by the analogy between this topic
of discussion and that of the teaching of evolution in
biology classes. In the case of evolution, Christian
fundamentalists are severely criticised for bring
external religiious and political concerns into a
scientific discussion. There seem to be other topics,
and this is one of them, for which such inclusion of
other considerations is considered desirable.
--- Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> All that being said, it is true, is it not, that
> women have active speech
> centres in both hemispheres while men have only the
> left hemisphere
> speech centre active. The right one is vestigial.
> Surely that could account
> for some differences in awareness, preferences,
> skills and interests.
> (I have had this fact confirmed by a number of
> psychologists. It's
> not just a theory or somebody's fanciful invention).
> Nancy Gish wrote:
> >Dear Jennifer,
> >Well, it was just my university, but a few years
> ago I was on a
> >committee to study just that, and the results were
> not encouraging
> >despite clear improvement in humanities. In
> science it is quite
> >different, and it takes little more than a skimming
> through the lists of
> >faculty in departments to see how few there are.
> >His remarks were only taken out of context in the
> sense that he framed
> >them with the general caveat that we should
> consider all possible
> >explanations. With all due respect, that is crap.
> We used to consider
> >the possibility that slaves preferred being slaves,
> that black people
> >were descended from Cain and so cursed, that Jews
> killed Christ, that
> >the Irish were all barbarians. We all now see such
> blind self puffery
> >and discrimination against others for what it is.
> But it is still
> >thought ok to be just so thoughtful about whether
> women are not quite up
> >to what men can do.
> >In any case--EVEN IF IT WERE TRUE that there is a
> larger percentage of
> >men who are good at science (for which there is no
> evidence), it would
> >be meaningless because most people are not
> brilliant at either poetry or
> >science, and the women who are should not be
> defined by those who are
> >not. Most men are, as a group, stronger than
> women, (so are gorillas),
> >but that does not mean a small, thin man is a match
> for a tall strong
> >woman with a black belt.
> >Summers took the discussion back to a trivial and
> vicious notion of
> >innate ability based in gender. All history denies
> it. Was George
> >Eliot a lesser writer when they found out her name
> was really Marianne?
> >Does the better performance of girls on verbal
> tests mean we should at
> >least consider that there are far too many men
> getting tenure in
> >English? That is the absurd context he set up.
> >>>>[log in to unmask] 02/24/05 11:22 PM >>>
> >Hi Rick,
> >Thank you for the link . To add my 2 pence or
> cents, I think Summers's
> >comments were taken quite out of context--far out
> of context--, nor did
> >almost anyone concentrate on the original context
> surrounding them.
> >(However, I do not admire the man, finding his
> argument on why the
> >developed world ought to pollute the undeveloped
> world much worse than
> >the present fray.)
> >But the tea-storm which ensued was rather
> illustrative. There are, it
> >appears, whole panels devoted to studying the
> progression of academic
> >science careers. As someone who works with academic
> scientists, I am
> >amazed to find in an area that is richly funded by
> publicly and
> >privately, where most graduates are able to find
> some related and
> >relatively well-paid employment, that there are
> whole groups devoted to
> >studying how many PhDs in sciences proceed to
> tenure, etc.
> >When is the last time someone studied how many
> humanities PhDs even got
> >academic jobs, or related non-academic jobs, never
> mind tenure and
> >well-paid? And irrespective of male or female?
> >Yours, Jennifer
> >On Thursday, February 24, 2005, at 04:37 PM,
> Rickard A. Parker wrote:
> >>Nancy Gish wrote:
> >>>Even the arrogant stupidities of Lawrence Summers
> are not
> >>>forbidden, just stupid and arrogant. (yes, yes,
> he was being
> >>>provocative and academic, etc.,
> >>Have you actually read Summers' comments? For
> those interested the
> >>transcript is at
> >> Rick Parke
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