Here comes the mail! First, S.S.:
“You had a post with the title ‘When Was the Last Time You Laughed at “Doonesbury?”‘ [March 13]. I’m having a hard time seeing what your getting at here? The title seems to imply people still read Doonesbury. Who would waste their time that way?”
C’mon, lighten up, S.S. You mean you didn’t find this a barrel of laughs? What–you found it a labored, unfunny, tired liberal dig at bloggers? Have you no sense of humor?
Now, K.H. on my home-page article “Maneaters” analyzing the Larry Summers debacle (it’s also on National Review Online):
” I agree with you that stifling discussion on sex/gender differences for political differences is problematic. However, I also wanted to point out that harm is done as well by arguments over men’s or women’s genetic makeup, which may predispose them to certain careers or certain aptitudes.
“Ideally, the world could debate these matters and still give equal opportunity in terms of jobs, but frankly, I don’t think we live in that world. Debate over women’s innate abilities in engineering, for example, would be more tolerated if women weren’t afraid that findings would inevitably lead others to unfairly underestimate their skills and accomplishments in their fields–and vice versa–if a study comes out saying men have less innate ability to be caregivers, why should they try to enter the nursing field?
“Maybe I’m jaded, but it’s already hard enough to have your work and accomplishments judged only as such apart from gender, class, race, what school you went to, whatever. From my own experience, two of my best friends- one the maid of honor in my wedding–are intelligent, beautiful, strong women–who also happen to be first-rate engineers, one who had a patent to her name at 23 as an undergrad. I cannot count with the fingers on my hands the number of times people have expressed shock and surprise at their chosen field (or the idiotic ‘you don’t look like engineers!’ comment).
“Questioning innate gender differences is fine–just keep in mind people in fields dominated by the opposite gender deal with a lot of c— they shouldn’t have to already.”
Actually your friends are being paid a compliment when people tell them, “You don’t look like engineers!”–they mean your friends don’t look like this. It’s a well-known fact that engineers, who notoriously lack style sense, are among the dorkiest-looking people on earth.
I’m completely opposed to workplace gender-discrimination, but are you really saying that we should shut off all discussion of possible genetic predispositions for certain lines of work just because some troglodytes still practice discrimination?