Claptrap at Harvard

Heather MacDonald eviscerates Harvard’s Diversity Grovel in City Journal.

Harvard University has just pledged $50 million for faculty “diversity” efforts, penance for President Lawrence Summers’ public mention of sex differences in cognition. The university would have been better off hiring a top-notch conjuror, since only magic could produce a trove of previously undiscovered female and minority academic stars suitable for tenuring.

. . . For connoisseurs of diversity claptrap, Harvard’s just released Report of the Task Force on Women Faculty is a thing of beauty, a peerless example of the destruction of higher learning by identity politics.

The report calls for doing what Harvard’s been doing for years, she writes, only with new bureaucrats and new terminology. The new senior vice provost will issue reports on “metrics,” not plain old “data.”

Harvard may be able to outbid other universities for female and minority science professors, but MacDonald fears the way to produce “diversity” and “equity” in the “metrics” will be to lower standards.

In one of his many groveling apologies for the “wounds” he had inflicted on delicate faculty sensibilities, (Summers) parrots the most left-wing, radical tenet of feminist constructivist ideology: that traditional standards of merit are merely white male ploys to silence female and minority “voices.” The “underlying . . . fact” of universities, he told the faculty at a February 15 meeting, is that they were “originally designed by men and for men.” . . . “That reality [of a male founding],” he said, “shapes everything from . . . assumptions about effectiveness in teaching and mentoring, to concepts of excellence.” In other words, there is a male “concept of excellence” in genome research, say, that may not be the same as a female or black “concept of excellence” in genome research.

I doubt female science professors want to be considered under a separate and feminine concept of excellence.

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  1. Richard Nieporent says:

    I have a modest proposal to make. Since the source of all evil in the US is white males, if we just eliminate all white men the US would become a utopia. Think of it, there will be no more racism, sexism or homophobia. All groups will live in peace and harmony. Everything will be perfect. And as an added benefit there will immediately be a large number of openings for female scientists at Harvard.

  2. BadaBing says:

    “Since the source of all evil in the US is white males…”

    Correction: white heterosexual males.

    What a fantastic social experiment it would be if suddenly all white heterosexual males were to be rounded up, imprisoned, tried and sent to an American GULAG. Then the rulers of the New Order could really celebrate diversity. The evils perpetrated by WHMs could be redressed. Females would no longer be held back by the glass ceiling. People of color would loose the bonds of culturally biased testing and expectations. Homosexuals would marry, raise children and practice their lifestyle openly and freely. I’m talking about Utopia here. I’m talking about social justice. I’m talking about the triumph of diversity and tolerance. I’m talking about the end of thousands of years of oppression. Women, homosexuals and people of color unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!

  3. Richard Nieporent says:

    Correction: white heterosexual males.

    I stand corrected BadaBing. How could I have missed such an obvious point? My humble apologies to all gays for lumping them in with evil white males.

  4. Of course, it’s always the Indigo Children of all races that have to suffer most from the tyrannies of both left and right.

  5. Steve LaBonne says:

    Summers should have demanded the full backing of the Harvard Corporation against the petulant faculty members, and then resigned if he didn’t receive it. I’ve lost all respect for him.

  6. elfcharm says:

    I wonder…how cool would it be, if we could get white males classified as an opressed class of people?
    I mean, the argument COULD be made, as long as you don’t have any feminists around to give false statistics. If it happened, then no groups would have the ability to denounce another one…in short, the world would end.

    I swear, I believe these groups become popular due to a popular enemy, so…why don’t we take away that popular enemy?

  7. Yes, straight white males are just the second largest minority (behind straight white females).

  8. nailsagainsttheboard says:

    The P.C. crowd at Hahvahd who villified the spineless Larry Summers should be ashamed of themselves.

    Hahvahd may have racial, ethnic and gender diversity, but it sure doesn’t allow intellectual diversity.

  9. It would be nice if they addressed the structural issues in the process of earning tenure that make it out of reach for most people who want to be parents. Most of the tenured women I know do not have kids or had them very late in life. Most of the tenured men got divorced and remarried younger women. As long as the bulk of the work for tenure comes when women are in their prime childbearing years they will be at a disadvantage getting tenure and establishing themselves at places like Harvard.


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