While the feminist crack-up continues, the legendary Sally Quinn, one of the most influential liberal women in Washington, had something eminently sane to say about the Larry Summers flap:
“’Women need to take a good look at what is so threatening to them about this issue. ’He touched the third rail of science — the difference between the sexes,’ a female scientific friend said. ‘Naturally sparks are going to fly. It reminds me of all those feminists who insisted girl babies are just like boy babies. Until they actually had a girl baby.’ Summers himself used that as an example; his twin 2 1/2-year-old daughters, he said, ’who were not given dolls and who were given trucks,’ were heard to say, ’Look, daddy truck is carrying the baby truck.’
“Certainly there are individual women who excel in math and science and since they’ve only recently had a seat at the table at all, it’s still a little early to see how they’ll do. What we know is that there are many more male mathematicians and scientists than there are female, both in the worlds of science and academia.
“The question is why. We know too that women have been discouraged from studying these subjects. Until 50 years ago most women didn’t work outside the home and very few sought higher degrees. Today many professional women take time off to have babies. But all those cultural factors still don’t totally explain the science gap.
“I for one would like to know the truth. If it should turn out, after careful scientific study, that men are hardwired to do better in math and science, I can handle it. It would certainly ease my mind about my own shortcomings in these areas. I’m serious.”