Thursday, February 24, 2005

Quotes of the Day: The Lawrence Summers Controversy

From Debra Saunders in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Summers' third mistake was that he did not treat women badly. Take Summers' old boss, Bill Clinton, who was able to date while married, as his top female staffers (who considered themselves feminists) strove to protect him from nubile workers. In this politically correct era, words speak louder than actions: You can act like a sexist cad, but you can't talk as if you think a sexist cad conceivably might have a point.
The whole piece is spot on.

UPDATE: Peggy Noonan writes:

Tuesday he faced an angry faculty gathering where "his ears were pinned back," as one reporter said. Summers now seems to be saying he made a mistake in airing the idea of gender-related differences in the interests and aptitudes of scholars. But here is what he may be forgetting, for people under pressure often lose track of their lack of culpability: Summers did nothing wrong. He thought aloud about an interesting question in a colorful and un-defended way. That's what universities are for.
Well, yes.

Ms. Noonan also writes:

But what the Summers story most illustrates is that American universities now seem like Medieval cloisters. They're like a cloister without the messy God part. Old monks of leftism walk their hallowed halls in hooded robes, chanting to themselves. Young nuns of leftist deconstructionism, pale as orchids, walk along wringing their hands, listening to their gloomy music. They become hysterical at the antichrist of a new idea, the instrusion of the reconsideration of settled matter. Get thee behind me, Summers.
Don't you wish you had written that?


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