via [ profile] daegaer:

Why women are poor at science, by Harvard president

...In a lengthy address delivered without notes, Dr Summers offered three explanations for the shortage of women in senior posts in science and engineering, starting with their reluctance to work long hours because of childcare responsibilities....

...A Harvard spokeswoman declined to comment yesterday, or to release the transcript of Dr Summers's remarks. Richard Freeman, who invited the Harvard president to speak at the conference, said Dr Summers's comments were intended to provoke debate, and some women over-reacted....

and, because I'm fair like that, his subsequent attempt at spin, because at no point does it resemble an apology.


Goddammit. You know, there is something seriously wrong with the world when the President of fucking Harvard sounds like my high school guidance councilor (Don't *worry* about the language requirement. You don't have to go to University anyway.).

I've heard rather disturbing things about Harvard before now, but this seriously worries me. I think what pisses me off the most isn't even that they gave an idiot like that the presidency of a university, but that other people are going to *believe* his BS, just because 'Harvard President' has that ring of authority.

If I was attending there right now, I'd put some serious thought into transferring. I wonder how many women who *are* feel the same way.

And no, I don't believe he meant to 'provoke debate' - after *how* many years in an academic setting he should have known that that is NOT how you do it.

So these are the options I can see. If he's serious about not believing his own words, that makes him either a troll, at the same level as someone who posts insults online and then steps back to laugh at the resulting 'furore', or someone way too inept to be running a university.

Or he really *does* believe it and is now backtracking for political reasons.

Guess which option I'm willing to bet on.

*seethes for a few minutes*

And now I'm going back to work on my &*%# cpsc assignment, even though an economist from Harvard believes I may not be biologically predisposed towards that sort of work. Maybe if I calm down later I'll send him a polite letter and some gender studies material and an outline of the proper way to do a sociological experiment, because "My daughter likes to play with dolls" a) says absolutely nothing about the population of little girls as a whole and b) has no bearing on her potential math skills.

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