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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.
Cheers,
Nancy

>>> [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
>     http://www.president.harvard.edu/speeches/2005/nber.html
>
> Regards,
>     Rick Parke