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  • New Evidence Proves First Flag Made By Betsy Ross Actually Shirt For Gay Friend
  • Colbert Leads Huntsman in S.C.
  • Polish prosecutor 'shoots self after news conference'
  • Jim Rome leaving ESPN. Bonus: Footage of Jim Rome getting attacked by Jim Everett & crying like a baby
  • Broncos, Tim Tebow stun Steelers in OT, win 29-23 in NFL playoffs
       [ 2 comments ]
  • Video: Remember 2008
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  • Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop faces weapon and drug charges
  • Video: Green Bay anchorman loves lamp
  • Video: Rodgers & Raji in the new Discount Double Check ad
  • Jim Rome: out of The Jungle and onto the (horse) farm
  • New IL Law Requires Photo ID To Buy Drain Cleaner
  • Fawn Cuddles Kitten, Hearts Explode
  • The priest who changed the course of history for the worse... by rescuing four-year-old Hitler from drowning in icy river
  • Get Fit or Get Fined: Web Service Offers to Charge You for Skipping the Gym
  • Fine proposed for botching US national anthem
  • Why Best Buy is Going out of Business...Gradually
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  • Edina boutique takes heat for trashing $4,000-plus gowns
  • Law Student Goes 'Homeless by Choice' Touts Value of Gym Club Membership
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  • Your end of the season Vikings comment thread
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  • Kelly Clarkson criticized on Twitter after singer endorses Ron Paul for President 
  • Political Predictions for 2012
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  • Video Of Little Girl Getting Pissed Off About Pink Toys Will Make Your Heart Swell
  • The 10 best sports-related Hitler Reactions of 2011
  • Happy Endings on the housing crisis
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  • Newsflash! Men & Women are Different

       January 17, 2005

    Harvard's President, Lawrence H. Summers, is in trouble. In a talk last week Summers suggested that "innate differences between the sexes could help explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers."

    Michelle Malkin notes that:

    According to the Boston Globe, the first point Summers touched on was the reluctance or inability of women who have children to work 80-hour weeks. The second point was that fewer girls than boys have top scores on science and math tests in late high school years. Summers' third point addressed discrimination. Summers noted that if discrimination was the main factor limiting the advancement of women in science and engineering, then a school that does not discriminate would gain an advantage by hiring away the top women who were discriminated against elsewhere.

    This actually makes sense to me. Although, an 80-hour work for anyone is crazy, but especially for women with children, and even more especially if this statistic I found is true. It states that "only 7% of mothers aged 25-49 with children under the age of 18 work more than 49 hours per week outside of the home."

    The Harvard Crimson Online (which has by far the best coverage of this controversry, by the way), says:

    Summers referred repeatedly to the work of University of Michigan sociologist Yu Xie and his University of California-Davis colleague Kimberlee A. Shauman, who have found that women make up 35 percent of faculty at universities across the country, but only 20 percent of professors in science and engineering.

    Their analysis of achievement test results shows a higher degree of variance in scores among men than among women. According to Ascherman Professor of Economics Richard Freeman, an organizer of the conference, the research found that “there are more men who are at the top and more men who are utter failures.”

    Predictably, some people overreacted to this speech. Nancy Hopkins, a professor at MIT walked out of the speech when Summers offered up this personal example:

    He also cited as an example one of his daughters, who as a child was given two trucks in an effort at gender-neutral upbringing. Yet he said she named them "daddy truck" and "baby truck," as if they were dolls.

    Now, Hopkins is entitled to her hissy fit, but I suspect that she was motivated by more than pure intellectual distress. The Harvard Crimson reports:

    Hopkins said she mentioned the Summers speech in an e-mail exchange relating to another matter with Boston Globe reporter Marcella Bombardieri in an e-mail message Friday—but that she did not intend for her sentiments to spark the media circus that is already underway. Following a Globe article this morning, the story has appeared across the national media, and Hopkins said she has already received a request to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” as well as several other television shows.

    Yes, I think that the absolute best way to avoid sparking a media circus is to speak to the media, don't you?

    What actually bothers me from Summer's speech is this comment:

    after Summers’ mentioned the “innate differences” hypothesis, he explicitly told the audience: “I’d like to be proven wrong on this one.”

    Why? Why would it be so horrible if men are, on average, better than women at math & sciences? Why would it be so horrible if women are, on average, better than men at communication and nurturing a family? Wouldn't that be a better explanation than deciding that parents and educators from nursery school on up are in a conspiracy to prevent girls from learning math and science - all part of some sinister plot to keep women down? Do we all have to be the same?

    To my mind, equality doesn't mean that, for example, science professors should be:

    • 51% female
    • 49% male
    • 75% white
    • 12% black
    • 3.6% Asian
    • And so on

    Equality means that a talented individual, regardless of their race or gender, has the opportunity to rise to the top.

    Women are gaining in fields that were traditionally dominated by men. Half or even more of law and medical students are women now. However, I expect that women will never fill half of the top spots in these fields. One of the wonderful things about being a woman today is that you can choose the kind of life you want. You can have a high powered career. You can be a full-time mom. You can even do a little of one and a little of the other. One of the worst things about being a woman today is the lie that we "can have it all". You can't. Like most things in life, a choice also includes a sacrifice.

    And finally, Llet me say this: men and women are different. I've been around enough toddlers to know that there's a point in their lives when little boys like nothing more than "big trucks" (that's a shout out to my nephew Jordan ;-) while little girls the same age are obsessed with Mommies and babies. And we don't grow out of all of that. I don't know a single man who wasn't strangely fascinated by the Little Giant Ladder or a woman who was interested in it. Similarly, I know that no man will understand why I have 5 pairs of pink shoes, but I think I could justify it to another woman. Men and women are different, and viva la difference!


    Posted by at January 17, 2005 10:35 PM

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    Comments

    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Carlos at January 18, 2005 04:29 PM

    Little boys, around the age of five, notice that little girls (and/or Mommy) don't have a "pee-pee".

    Little girls, around the age of five, notice that little boys (and/or Daddy) DO have a "pee-pee".

    What is there about the liberal mind that thinks that such a small anatomical difference doesn't lead to even more significant internal differences?

    The wonderful and God-given differences between men and women, boys and girls, are spectacular only to those not blinded by years of
    "insensitivity training".

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Dawn at January 19, 2005 07:47 AM

    I think that it is time to accept each others strengths and learn to work with each others weaknesses. If men are naturally better at math and science then so be it. If women are better at nurturing and literature then so be it. You can not have it all or be it all and I think it is time we stop pretending and bickering about such petty controversies. Instead, let us focus on what we are good at individually and lets contribute those gifts to each other so that we can become better individuals and as a whole a stronger and more compatible society. Let us raise our children to accept the differences in each other and to learn to work TOGETHER. I am a stay at home mom and for years I plagued myself with guilt for not being in the "work-force" and being a productive member of society. I can say that looking back I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to raise my children with the ability to love and nurture them. I would not trade it for anything. I don't believe you can have it all but I do believe we should do what we are best at and give it our all.

     
     
    #  March 7th, 2005 6:48 PM      Converted_Comment
    Converted comment: Posted by: Dave at January 19, 2005 03:09 PM

    So basically equality is determined by the opportunity given, not the statistic attached to the outcome.

    if you are too concerned with equal outcomes, one (or more) group(s) will end up with better opportunities and will bring the value of the collective group down.

    If people don't want to take opportunities, thats their own damn fault provided the opportunities were equal for everyone.

     
     

     

     


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