Sign Up for
Google Alerts!

content headlines
sent out every day
email us to sign up





Latest Column:
Stopping the Meltdown
What Beltway Republicans Need To Do

opinon in
Reagan country



Jon Fleischman’s
The premier source for
California political news


Michael Ramirez
editorial cartoon


Do your part to do right by our troops.
They did the right thing for you.
Donate Today




tOR Talk Radio
Contributor Sites
Laura Ingraham

Hugh Hewitt
Eric Hogue
Sharon Hughes
Frank Pastore
[Radio Home]



Sally C. Pipes - Contributor
[Courtesty of Pacific Research Institute]

Sally C. Pipes is President and CEO, Pacific Research Institute [go to Pipes index]

The Contrarian: Theme from a Summers’s Place
Liberals academic apartheid…

[Sally C. Pipes] 5/5/05

Some columns address issues then drop them forever. Not so the Contrarian, which turns again to Harvard, where engendered strife has made the venerated campus an even more hostile environment for president Larry Summers.

In a January conference at the National Bureau of Economic Research, on the subject of the progress of women in the academy, Mr. Summers referred to three theories as to why there might be a shortage of women in the upper echelons of science and math. He said they might face discrimination, that demanding 80-hour commitments might not be so appealing, and that certain “innate differences” between men and women might have something to do with it.

For the casual listener, even in the academy, there was nothing at all controversial about what Mr. Summers said. However, the remarks set off militant feminists, who do not like the concept of innate differences between men and women. For them, everything is culturally determined. Men and women are, in their view, “undifferentiated.”

As we observed, militant feminists assume that fewer women than men in any field means that women are “underrepresented.” The dogma includes the notion that, in every endeavor, job, school, or government department, men and women, along with ethnic groups, must be represented in equal numbers. If women are not so represented, according to the theory, the cause must be discrimination, to be remedied, of course, by government action.

President Summers wound up apologizing to a group of angry feminist professors. Press reports even hinted that Summers might be fired. He’s still in office, but has hardly remained unscathed.

In March, Harvard’s faculty of Arts and Sciences passed a motion of “no confidence” in president Summers. The vote, reportedly unprecedented, was 218 to 185. While that was bad enough, things soon got worse. Harvard professors voted 253 to 137 to criticize president Summers’s style of management. This puts him under obvious pressure to resign.

The injustice of this treatment should be apparent but let me also refer to comments in The Economist, a keen observer of such affairs and not a publication given to overstatement. Since there was nothing paranoid or “sexist” about his comments, the issue is the right of Mr. Summers “to express an opinion which (though quite plausible) appears to be unpopular with the faculty of Arts and Sciences. It beggars belief that a community of scholars, or people purporting to be scholars, wish to deny him that right.”

They do wish to deny him that right. Compare the treatment of Mr. Summers with Ward Churchill, the tenured University of Colorado professor who compared the victims of 9/11 – not the perpetrators – with Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann. While the addled Churchill has taken his lumps, deservedly so, the faculty pressure on him does not match the jihad against Larry Summers.

As we observed, the Harvard boss found out the hard way that “diversity,” supposedly the prevailing ethos on campus, does not include statements, or people, at odds with prevailing campus orthodoxy. That orthodoxy is driven by the dogmas of militant feminism. And it brooks no alternative to the politically correct line.

“People of either sex,” said The Economist, “who are so easily offended or discouraged might be better employed away from the battle of ideas.”

As it stands, unfortunately, a militant minority holds a veto, a kind of academic apartheid. Nobody at Harvard, one notes, is calling militant feminists on the carpet for their own dogmas and inflammatory statements.

That is why Ward Churchill is likely to outlast Mr. Summers, a man of great intellectual distinction. If he resigns, The Economist concluded, it would be “one of the blackest acts in the history of the university.” True, but it would not be surprising.

Meanwhile, those who aspire to attend Harvard now have a good reason, other than high tuition fees, to look elsewhere. tRO

copyright 2005 Pacific Research Institute




Blue Collar -  120x90
120x90 Jan 06 Brand
Free Trial Static 02
ActionGear 120*60
Free Trial Static 01
Applicable copyrights indicated. All other material copyright 2003-2005