Thursday, September 20, 2007

More Intolerance from Academic Feminists

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
(09-15) 16:10 PDT -- Lawrence Summers, the controversial former president of Harvard University, has been replaced as the planned speaker at a UC Board of Regents dinner next week after complaints from faculty members.

“(UC Regents) Chairman Richard Blum and Dr. Summers talked last Thursday and agreed that the regents would have a different speaker,” Trey Davis, director of special projects for the UC system, said Saturday.

Davis was unable to say whether a protest letter signed by more than 300 people from the university system had any effect on the decision to find a different speaker for the regents’ dinner in Sacramento on Wednesday. He referred those questions to Blum, who is out of the country.

Summers, who was Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, resigned from Harvard last year after a long-running clash with some faculty members over his questioning whether women might not have the same innate ability as men in disciplines such as science, math and engineering. He also had thorny relations with minority faculty members during his time at the university.

While Summers later apologized for his remarks, which he said were misinterpreted, it didn’t slow the criticism, which continues to this day.

“I was appalled and stunned that someone like Summers would even be invited to speak to the regents,” said UC Davis Professor Maureen Stanton, who helped put together the petition drive. “I think many of us who were involved in the protest believed that it wouldn’t reflect well on the university that he even received the invitation.”

The petition called Summers’ invitation “not only misguided but inappropriate” at a time when the university is working to diversify its community.

“Inviting a keynote speaker who has come to symbolize gender and racial prejudice in academia conveys the wrong message to the University community and to the people of California,” the petition said.

The decision to dump Summers as the speaker at the dinner was abrupt. His name was on the dinner invitation that went out Aug. 31, along with other information about the three-day meeting at UC Davis, Davis said.

“The dinner is an informal, social occasion, with more of a conversation with the speaker than a formal talk,” he added. Blum, who is the husband of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, made the original decision to invite Summers.
Summers, at Harvard, attended a conference discussing the underrepresentation of women in the sciences. He was told to be “provocative.” After discussing the standard politically-correct notions, he suggested that women may be inherently less likely to be among the tiny group of the highest math achievers.

The feminist banshees went ballistic.

Interestingly, it’s perfectly acceptable among feminists to believe there are inherent differences between men and women. But there is a catch: you have to believe that women are superior!

You also better not say anything that undermines the interests of academic feminists in affirmative action preferences for female academics.

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