Golly, I never thought I’d live to see the day that I’d be defending Lawrence Summers, the former Clinton Treasury Secretary who is now president of Harvard University.

However, Mr. Summers’ comment that the paucity of female scientists at the top universities may (repeat: may) be the result of “innate” differences between men and women has riled the feminist establishment which is baying for his resignation.

Summers, it should be noted, didn’t say that Madame Curie should have been kicked out of her lab–he just suggested that the percentage of women who want to pursue careers in math and science is different from the percentage of men who want to pursue careers in math and science.

But you’re not supposed to entertain such notions.

Summers’ comments so upset Nancy Hopkins, an MIT biologist and ’64 Harvard grad, that she later said she felt so physically sick that she had to leave the room. Will it be okay if I suggest that the percentage of women who respond to ideas with which they disagree by getting physically sick and leaving the room is larger than the percentage of men who respond this way?

NOW is also pitching a hissy fit:

“The National Organization for Women calls for the resignation of Harvard University President Lawrence Summers, who has failed to lead the prominent (and previously all-male) university toward true inclusion of women. His recent comments generated a firestorm of response from Harvard/Radcliffe women who were outraged that he would embarrass Harvard with such a public demonstration of sexism and ignorance.”

Don’t you love that that “previously-all male” bit?

Summers did nothing more egregious than wonder aloud if men and women might be different–he didn’t say women can’t be great scientists or whizzes at math. He didn’t even say that he is certain that talents are distributed differently between the sexes.

But don’t expect the President of Harvard to stand up to the feminists–he’s already in full-grovel as his I-Was-Misconstrued letter of apology makes abundantly clear.

It’s not too late, Larry: Be a man. Stand up for free inquiry.

P.S. William Saletan of Slate is acting like a real man.