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Should Nancy Hopkins be driving?

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Lawrence Summers is the president of Harvard University and an evil misogynist SOB who victimizes women and causes physical suffering. Somebody needs to do something.

Specifically, while speaking at an academic conference Friday (1-14-2004), this pig suggested that (along with other things) innate biological differences between men and women may be one reason for the paucity of women math and science professors.

MIT biologist Nancy Hopkins pointedly walked out during Summers’ talk. [Read Jonah Goldberg’s summary and analysis.] According to the Boston Globe, she explained that if she hadn’t left, ”I would’ve either blacked out or thrown up.”

Damn that Lawrence Summers! What kind of monster is he, making this poor gal ill? How can he go around just talking logically, without regard to how the facts might make women feel?

“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, I think we’re all agreed that Lawrence Summers is an evil knuckle-dragging neanderthal with no place in polite society. He probably thinks that she’s just a demagogue, faking a cheesy hysterical female reaction in order to intimidate into silence people who disagree with her. Hell, I bet he even voted for Bush.

Still, that’s no reason to get other people hurt. Somebody in the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles needs to look into suspending Dr Hopkins driver’s license. She obviously doesn’t need to be driving.

Now, I’m not saying that women can’t drive, nor am I implying that Ms Hopkins’ remarks are evidence in that direction. Republican women mostly seem to do ok at it, anyway.

However, given her self-reported reactions to Summers remarks, what would happen if she were driving down the street and accidentally punched up Rush Limbaugh on the radio, for example? Rush makes one of his “feminazi” jokes, and she throws up and blacks out.

When she then plows into a busload of innocent children, the blood will be on Rush’s hands, obviously. Still, that doesn’t help The Children.

So, then, until we civilize neanderthal conservatives, Ms Hopkins needs to stay off the road- for The Children.

I’ll be forwarding these remarks to the proper Massachusetts BMV authorities.

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  • JR

    I’m not sure she should even be doing science if she’s that threatened by controversial ideas. Particularly if she works in biology, she’d better be prepared for a lot more hostile challenges than this.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    One suspects Dr. Hopkins doesn’t exact welcome dissent in her classroom, especially if it’s of the non-PC variety…

  • http://www.morethings.com/senate Al Barger

    I’m sure that in her classroom, Dr Hopkins favors full and vigorous debate of all acceptable ideas.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>One suspects Dr. Hopkins doesn’t exact welcome dissent in her classroom, especially if it’s of the non-PC variety…<< There is no such thing as PC dissent. One mind, one voice, one truth. Dave

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Very enjoyable post, Al – in fact, I’m seing a trend. Perhaps you should get your screws loosened more often!

    I know there has been a lot of comment on this incident in the last few days. Her reaction does seem extreme, especially in light of what Summers actually said: his own daughter was raised in an (attempted) gender-neutral way, yet played with her toy trucks as if they were dollies.

    Good list of additional reading, BTW – I have to get a copy of Jokes Women Won’t Laugh at and try them out with my spouse.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    Al – if you’re ever down in Va Beach, look me up, I’d love to buy you a beer!

  • http://www.wallybangs.blogspot.com wally bangs

    Funny post, but Lawrence Summers is not a conservative. He’s a liberal who served in the Clinton administration.

  • http://www.morethings.com/senate Al Barger

    Yes Wally, I’d be very surprised to see Harvard picking anyone with known conservative tendencies as their president. This only makes Ms Hopkins silly faux hysteria look that much damned stupider.

  • http://web.mit.edu MIT

    There was another time when the questioning of popular thought was forbidden.

  • http://www.morethings.com/senate Al Barger

    MIT, please elaborate.

  • http://www.debfrisch.com df

    First of all Einstein, it was 2005, not 2004. Second of all, the reason Nancy almost lost her lunch was not because Larry Lardo said there are innate sex differences. It’s because the looney dismal scientist suggested that:
    a. discrimination plays NO role in the gender inequity, because of Ricardo’s law (sic) of “comparative advantage” and
    b. innate factors are likely to play a larger role than most people think. He provided anecdotal evidence about his daughter and a misunderstanding of behavioral genetics

    So Nancy wanted to puke because she’d never been up close and personal with the pseudoscientific, right wing propaganda that passes for “brilliant scholarship” in the truly dismal science.

    Get it? Doubt it.

  • person

    a. discrimination plays NO role in the gender inequity, because of Ricardo’s law (sic) of “comparative advantage” and

    post: well, if there is gender inequity perhaps there is a reason for it? Why not serve your due national service or actually accomplish something without demanding for more “rights” which you DONT deserve? get it, fem?

    b. innate factors are likely to play a larger role than most people think. He provided anecdotal evidence about his daughter and a misunderstanding of behavioral genetics

    Post: Isnt this true? Your point exactly?

    Get it? Doubt it, woman.

  • dor

    Why aren’t many black people in sciences? is it because of innate abilities of white men? Why are you getting uncomfortable, it’s just a logical argument…

    I doubt he could get away saying that though, but being sexist is apparently not something Harvard really worries about.

  • David

    The fact of the black white IQ gap where blacks are 1SD below whites is very well established. That explains why there aren’t many balcks in science. Seriously. And no discomfort here.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    David,

    How do you account for IQ differences–being a man of science and all?

  • http://www.morethings.com Al Barger

    Well, you have to question exactly what some IQ test is measuring – besides the fact that I haven’t seen these results. Plus, how much is the standard deviation? And who exactly is counted as black? Are high yellow individuals – who would certainly be considered “black” in most contexts – counted here and still coming in below average despite being perhaps, say, just 10% African? If so, that definitely would suggest nurture rather than nature as an explanation.

    For one thing, to what extent are IQ tests measuring native ability vs education? Bad social attitudes toward education might be a big part of different measurements in this area. That is, Asian kids might score better on the test than black or white kids because they study harder in general.

    Which is not to say that there might not be some differences in abilities or aptitudes between races or genders that are genetically based – but I tend to be skeptical of most of them most of the time.