Larry Summers is a 90% feminist. In fact, he was giving a proof of these "credentials" right before his conflicts with that movement began.
During his January 2005 speech about women in STEM fields, he was just talking about his two twin daughters. He was educating them in a "gender neutral" way so he bought them trucks. (Enough for 99% Czechs to consider him a victim of a craze.) One girl placed a smaller truck on top of a bigger truck and told the other one: "Look, the daddy truck is carrying the baby truck." Even for a feminist of Summers' caliber, that may have been enough to learn a potential message. When he offered that summary, a hardcore MIT feminist named Nancy Hopkins immediately left the seminar room and called her equally obnoxious friends in the New York Times and the Boston Globe. She would later explain that she would vomit if she didn't ignite this nationwide "scandal" which was the main reason why I decided to leave the utterly screwed Academic environment.
Leftists love to destroy their less radical fellow leftists. Stalin has murdered tens of millions of leftists (aside from other people). Even the last Czechoslovak communist president, Dr Gustáv Husák, had escaped from a life-in-prison sentence by his comrades in the 1950s. The feminists boast the very same DNA so they are doing the same thing. Prof Emeritus Walter Lewin has been serving female students for decades. The feminists – of both sexes – decided to destroy him after he used a tweet saying "queefing is yours" in a playful conversation that two fans/students started with him. Not really a big deal. If "queefing" had a good Czech translation, it would become another favorite word of the current Czech president whenever he would be talking to annoying and stupid female journalists. ;-) The Prague Lumpencafé would give Zeman a hard time but unlike MIT, they wouldn't be able to fire him. If the PC folks at MIT could rewrite the memories of everyone in the Universe and make them think that Lewin hasn't spent a life as a successful MIT instructor, they would do it, too. In fact, they apparently think that they have actually done that (and made Lewin "not being an emeritus professor")!
Scott Aaronson, an MIT computer scientist, is a self-described 97% feminist. Note that the figure is higher than Summer's value. He doesn't just bombard his daughter(s) with trucks. In his notorious comment #171 under his first article about Lewin (where he supported feminism but also dared to mention that he at least opposed the removal or Lewin's lectures), Aaronson informed us that a decade ago, he was begging his psychiatrist to chemically castrate him (Aaronson) because he decided that with his penis, balls, and hormones, he is a threat to billions of women in the world!
You might conjecture that Aaronson must have read a feminist book. In fact, Aaronson openly admits that he has read "dozens" of this stuff. He seems to be proud of having been mentally castrated.
One may have various unusual or idiosyncratic fantasies. Even your humble correspondent may have (and may have had) various fantasies that not everyone shares. But I would still argue that Aaronson's state-of-mind was a psychiatric illness. It may have been energized by his environment and the feminist toxic trash that has contaminated his environment but a nontrivial inclination for sick thoughts inside Aaronson's mind was a necessary condition, too.
Just to be sure, billions of years ago, when Nature invented sexes for the first time, the desire of one sex to assertively combine itself with the other sex became the very point of that invention. Sexual reproduction has represented evolutionary progress because it allowed to combine genes in a more creative way. In fact, the main advantage was the vastly strengthened immunity of the kids. Each parent is giving you a "conceptually different antivirus software". With two programs like that, you are likely to catch pretty much every dangerous germ.
There are lots of natural analogies and symmetries between the sexes. Almost everything works in both ways. But there are also lots of subtle and sometimes obvious asymmetries. It's simply a fact that the males generally represent the more "active" element while the women represent the more "passive" element. The symbols of the sexes, Venus and Mars, make this point equally clear. Venus is an egg buried in the soil via an upside-down cross while Mars is a sperm-arrow that is flying around. We rarely talk about women who rape men. It's not just because women's upper-body muscles are 1.5 times weaker in average. It's mainly because when the man doesn't really want it, doesn't "stand up", it's hard for the woman to act (because it is soft for the man to act).
The passive-vs-active dichotomy has implications at many levels (including the social and intellectual levels – although in some cases, it is not 100% established that the correlation is unavoidable). For example, when we talk about promiscuity, it's sometimes being wittily yet wisely said:
The man is like a key; the woman is like a lock.Well, maybe it's unfair that the promiscuity of men and women is often interpreted so differently. But this "unfairness" isn't a purely social construct. It boils down to Nature and the passive-vs-active difference.
A key that opens many locks is a master key; a lock opened by many keys is a dodgy lock.
I am not saying that I totally agree with that witticism. It's just a slogan whose truth value can't be evaluated rigorously. I sometimes want this asymmetry not to exist in this way. But this asymmetry still exists and has always existed at some level. The "active male element" can't be criminalized or eliminated because the higher life forms – and their evolutionary progress – have totally depended on this element for billions of years.
Aaronson opens the question whether women or nerdy men are more "discriminated against". Of course I think that the whole idea that women are "discriminated against" in the West of the early 21st century is a self-evident preposterous lie. They are one of the officially privileged groups. By constant bullying, whining, blackmailing, and intimidation, they have "earned" lots of special rights and advantages, affirmative action, and all this outrageous stuff.
Nerdy men – and, less typically, nerdy women – get a bad treatment. One must understand that to some extent, this bad treatment is natural, too. Even lame forms of bullying reflect "evolution in action". And nerdiness isn't the same thing as intelligence or creativity so you can't really argue that it is an unambiguously positive feature. But no one has ever wanted to legally protect nerds against the bullying. One reason is that nerds are not aggressive bitches and bullies like feminists who love to abuse their power. Another reason is that the supposedly vulnerable group, the nerds, can't even be well-defined. Being a nerd is a much less binary characteristic than having XX chromosomes. Am I a nerd? It depends how you look at it...
I recommend you a long essay by nerd Scott Alexander who convincingly argues that almost all the world's evil is caused by feminists and who compares the status of these two groups.
Comment threads under those blog posts tend to be extremely long, redundant, and containing way too much feminist nonsense. The feminist ideology is often being applied to situations that are so mundane that you wouldn't believe that someone is capable of viewing them ideologically. But some people are completely obsessed with this junk. For example, an obnoxious feminist troll named Amy has contaminated most of the discussion under Aaronson's first article; her name appears 200+ times over there. But in this talkative cesspool, you may find some slightly sensible thoughts, too.
Aaronson also wrote his second reaction to the Lewingate, What I Believe. The comment #62 by the "Anonymous Berkeley Professor" is very reasonable and insightful and there may be a few others.
Generally, Aaronson, despite his being a 97% feminist, was treated badly by many feminists, such as one of the most influential feminist bloggers in America Amanda Marcotte. An annoying bitch. Laurie Penny showed the attitude of "feminism with a human face" if something like that may exist at all. Way too many things have been said and I don't want to react to them. Of course, I don't claim that I have read the whole comment threads – and I won't promise you that I will. There's way too much worthless boring nonsense over there. Instead, let me react to the nine principles "what Aaronson believes":
1. I believe that women are authors of their own stories, that they don’t exist merely to please men, ...Women have been authors and main heroes of various stories for quite some time. Some of the stories were stories of rulers such as Cleopatra; Isabella of Castile; Joan of Arc; Maria Theresa; Josephine; Elizabeth of England; Mary of Scotland; Catherine of Russia; Marie Antoinette; and Madame Roland (my thanks go to Mr Clipboard). Behind the scenes, women have often played the key role even if we don't remember them in this way.
But many women also prefer to pick the rather natural attitude of being the complements to their male partners – the position that the 97% MIT feminist denounces. I think that Aaronson's view that each woman should be a feminist bitch is potentially dangerous for his daughter. Maybe like most women in the world, his daughter will want to be a non-feminist and a rather typical self-described housewife similar to Kaley Cuoco (Penny from The Big Bang Theory) who just talked about her non-feminist philosophy and the breast implants that she needed not as a cosmetic improvement but in order to have anything non-flat – anything that may be called boobs without feeling painful – at all. They did an excellent job. If that enhancement works (and if Cuoco avoided boob contests – which would be cheating), I would probably still prefer not to know that they aren't quite natural. (Update: Incredibly enough, Cuoco was later forced to apologize for the very statement that she isn't a feminist!)
I've had a male colleague (a European natural scientist, in the U.S.) whose wife (a European scholar in humanities, a different, more Southern nation) wanted to become a housewife of a sort as soon as they married. He was shocked and he felt betrayed. I don't want to tell you how it ended.
Women should have the opportunity to write their independent stories and even to become "bosses of all available sorts" – and legally speaking, they have everything that is needed for such an opportunity. But they shouldn't get the duty. Most women aren't feminists obsessively dreaming about their key role and their own stories that are independent of any important men, and I assure you that if you try to impose this stereotype on all women, you will hurt many more women than the women you will help.
2. I believe everyone’s story should be listened to—and concretely, that everyone should feel 300% welcome to participate in my comments section...Some people may be said to be 300% welcome but people like your humble correspondent are strictly banned at Aaronson's blog. This kind of declared perfect tolerance is always bullšit, a silly exercise in hypocrisy. One can never be 300% welcoming for everyone because this tolerance would be tested and abused sooner rather than later and the system would collapse.
I am an extremely tolerant person but I am grateful for the possibility to ban commenters, too. Turning the the TRF comment threads to unreadable infinite litanies by the likes of Amy would be too much of a good thing. Of course that she would be banned after her 10th comment or earlier than that. The moderation is a part of the blogger's work and to make it possible for various "Amies" to write hundreds of copies of a misandrist rant in a comment thread means to fail as a moderator. Amy's comments may be "technically polite" and obey almost any objective decency criterion you could think of. But she is still brutally lowering the quality and readability of the discussion.
3. I believe no one has the right to anyone else’s sexual affections. I believe establishing this principle was one of the triumphs of modern civilization.I think that this change has meant progress but I wouldn't use this fanatical language to evaluate it. First of all, the question isn't about a "right [of the aroused party] to someone's sexual affections". It's about the right of the attractive party to protect her or his intimacy and integrity against everyone – if she or he doesn't want the same. The latter right has to be enforced. The modern Western society enforces it. I think it's a more civilized arrangement than what some other cultures have.
On the other hand, one should always understand that a society may survive – and even flourish – with social arrangements that differ from ours in many key aspects. (And when I say "ours", we shouldn't forget that our respective environments differ in some respects, too.) Some rules in the Muslim or Eastern societies or the societies of our ancestors are/were linked to their being less wealthy etc.; others are not. We should always analytically think about the actual advantages and disadvantages of one setup or another. The right of the first night could have been a good idea to spread the fancy aristocratic genes through the society. (This right has never officially existed and the claims to the contrary are a myth but that changes nothing about the point that the setup could have had many advantages.)
We should be proud and protective about our culture but not to the fanatical point of mindlessly talking about "triumphs" and instinctively bashing everyone who differs in any way.
4. I believe women who go into male-dominated fields like math, CS, and physics deserve praise, encouragement, and support. But that’s putting the point too tepidly: ...It's just harmful to distort the equilibrium in various occupations by skewed or selective or ideologically motivated praise, encouragement, and support. What Aaronson writes above may sound OK – there is nothing wrong about praise, encouragement, and support – but the actual point of this seemingly innocent proclamation is that he wants some groups to be praised, encouraged, and supported more than others. And that's wrong, wrong, wrong.
Trying to push a greater number of women into a field than what would follow from their innate skills and desires is hurting the efficiency of these occupations; but it is hurting the employees' satisfaction with their life, too.
The percentage of women (and other groups) in math, CS, and physics (and any other activity) differs from their percentage in the general population. These differences are natural, omnipresent, inevitable, and ultimately good for everyone. It is pathological to demonize these differences ("overrepresentation").
5. I believe there still exist men who think women are inferior, that they have no business in science, that they’re good only for sandwich-making and sex. Though I don’t consider it legally practicable, as a moral matter I’d be fine if every such man were thrown in prison for life.The only reason why it's not "legally practicable" to destroy lives of people whose only sin is to state the obvious (by accurate words, or in an oversimplified way as the quote above shows) is that Aaronson-like extreme fringe radicals haven't been capable of hijacking the total power over the society.
Aaronson's predecessors in Germany of the 1930s realized that they had a "moral consensus" about the Jews which is why it was possible for them to start the legally kosher process of extermination of the world's Jewry.
It is obviously incorrect to say that all women are good only for sandwich-making and sex. But if we realize that these words are meant to represent certain rather mundane activities, it is simply the case that the percentage of women whose life mission may be captured by these words is higher than the percentage of men.
In many or most cases, men and women tend to play different roles and Aaronson's "blasphemous proposition" is an oversimplified description of something that is true and important. If Aaronson wants to throw people for noticing this fact, it shows that *now* it is the right time for him to beg his psychiatrist to chemically castrate him.
Aaronson, you are just completely unhinged. While I often feel some compassion when a less radical feminist (or communist) is being tortured by a more radical one, now I must say: You deserve to be flattened by your fellow feminists.
6. I believe that even if they don’t hold views anything like the above (as, overwhelmingly, they don’t), there might be nerdy males who unintentionally behave in ways that tend to drive some women away from science. I believe this is a complicated problem best approached with charity: ...People of various kinds may drive people of other (or the same!) kinds away from various activities, and so on. No doubt about that. It's great to improve the lives and dignity of as many people as possible. These are great clichés that may satisfy a superficial person who wants to "look nice".
But the devil is in the details. What Aaronson and other feminists is missing is that "nerdy males" are naturally more important for certain activities, namely the STEM fields, than women. That's why they have a greater influence over the atmosphere in these fields, their fashion styles, the expected moral etiquette.
And if some other people (e.g. women) don't like this atmosphere, fashion style, etiquette in the field etc., they may be repelled and it is absolutely legitimate and right that they are repelled because they are repelled by something that the discipline actually represents. "Nerdiness" has many aspects but some aspects of nerdiness simply are almost equivalent to the virtues that make one a good computer scientist (it applies similarly, to a lesser extent, in the other disciplines).
So if there is a tension between two fashion styles (and other values) preferred by two groups, it's natural that the group that is more important for a discipline will have a greater influence. It would be absolutely counterproductive to force the outsiders' fashion styles (and other things) on the insiders!
This European Union's video, "Science, it's a girl thing", has hopefully explained to many previously clueless people that science is not a girl thing, especially when it comes to the choice of (and obsession with) the lipsticks, shoes, and bras. You can see that the video doesn't show what science actually looks like, can't you? Science is largely a boy's game – and, to a disproportionately large extent, science is a nerd's toy, too. Women scientists and other scientists must simply accept this fact and like science for what it really is.
Women in Christian churches usually don't like to wear burqas which may repel the women in burqas from the Christian churches. Does it mean that the women in Christian churches should sometimes wear burqas in order to be less repulsive for the Muslim women? I don't think so. Their not having a burqa is a part of their identity.
In a completely analogous way, computer science is the "church" built and held by the nerdy males (or to say the least, the nerdy males are important stockholders from both viewpoints: they punch above their weight). It's (partly) their church. It's where they should feel well. Whether some groups that are not equally represented feel equally well in the environment is simply less relevant. Some women may be used to determining everything so that it suits them (and used to sycophants everywhere) – but you know, computer science is not about you, OK?
Even though it may sound dramatic, it could be possible to change the fashion styles and convince Christian women to wear burqas in the church. However, if the nerd-hating women's ideas about the ideal lifestyle were forced upon the field of computer science, if the EU lipsticks replaced some sleepless nights with the machine code, the field would probably break down or at least become much less effective.
So this whole concept that occupations should be made "more welcoming" for groups that are underrepresented is completely wrong. Occupations, companies, churches, societies should be representative of those who are actually in, not those who are out. It's the insiders' living space where the insiders should feel good. And these occupations and living spaces have some purposes – and the purpose surely isn't to make the sexual or ethnic composition of the interior uniform. If others are legally allowed to join, it's simply enough. If and when many people from a group A join another group U, the atmosphere in U will change in the direction of the atmosphere in A. If it won't, it won't.
7. I believe that no one should be ashamed of inborn sexual desires: not straight men, not straight women, not gays, not lesbians, not even pedophiles...I originally wanted to write "I agree" and nothing else. But if I think about it for a little while, it seems to me that the goal of this comment by Aaronson is some unlimited egalitarianism again. I disagree with this egalitarianism among the desires.
Many people are not ashamed of being gays and lesbians. Some other gays and lesbians are ashamed. A much greater percentage of pedophiles is ashamed. They have to be because the pedophiles face a harsh treatment when they "come out of closet" because their sexual desires are being automatically equated with some crime.
Being a gay, a lesbian, or a pedophile isn't a lethal disease. And every characteristic that isn't a lethal disease may be said to be just a condition that is as good as any other. But an alternative attitude is that some non-lethal conditions may still be considered diseases or pathological conditions of a sort. It is always a matter of social conventions whether we do so.
While I think it's barbarian to stone someone to death just because he is a gay – and even if he has pedophilic desires – I would agree that being a gay is "less healthy" than being straight. And being a pedophile is even less healthy. The deficit of health isn't really about the "individual health"; the deficit may only be seen if we imagine that a whole society suffers from that and think how the society would evolve.
When Aaronson wrote that a woman has to write her story, I wrote that it was important that she didn't have this "duty". A woman should still be allowed to be a the source of support, love, sex, and sandwiches for her beloved spouse, to be a supplementary character in someone else's story. Many women demonstrably imagine this outcome to be their dream.
Analogously, here I must say that while people should be allowed to reveal that they have unusual sexual desires, they should also have the right to be ashamed of them, especially because many of them realize as well as the straight folks that their sexual deviations are unhealthy from some point of view. It's fashionable to celebrate gays who come out of closet. I think that the gays who keep their orientation secret because they believe (or "realize") that it is nothing to boast about deserve at least as much respect as the "proud gays"!
8. I believe that “the problem of the nerdy heterosexual male” is surely one of the worst social problems today that you can’t even acknowledge as being a problem..."Nerdy heterosexual males" may be a truly despised group – by the bulk of the society. They don't even dare to have organizations that would fight for their dignity and so on. In many environments, people wouldn't even dare to defend "nerdy heterosexual males", and those are the signs of a real discrimination.
As I have already said, "nerdiness" has several inequivalent aspects. In the case of some of them, one may say that there is nothing to be proud about. In others, "nerdiness" surely is something to be proud about. Of course, computers are everywhere so people have learned to discriminate between different kinds of "nerdiness". If someone likes computers, it doesn't mean that he can't earn lots of money. Ask Bill Gates. Is he still a "nerd"? Well, even in his case, it depends how you look at it.
Even though I think that the "nerds" are a truly bullied group – and I believe that in most cases, they are those who are the "more right" side of the tension – I don't really believe that it is possible to reprogram the society so that it doesn't bully them. Such bullying often has reasons that are similar to other types of bullying that are "more understandable" and what is "bullying against a nerd" can't really be defined too accurately.
Moreover, my comments about the burqas in the church still apply – but lead to the opposite outcome here. The broadest society simply doesn't belong to the "nerds". If many average people find it natural and pleasing to humiliate nerds in various subtle and not-so-subtle ways, if that really makes them happier, they should probably be allowed to do so. Some acts – against "nerds" or anyone else – may still be considered crimes. But if they are not, well, just get used to it. The society is whatever it is.
9. I believe that, just as there are shy, nerdy men, there are also shy, nerdy women, who likewise suffer from feeling unwanted, sexually invisible, or ashamed to express their desires...Right, there are "nerdy females", but it is a vastly less widespread species, thanks to the many male-female asymmetries, including the larger male standard deviations (in almost any quantity you can think of).
But when Aaronson talks about "sexual invisibility", it really becomes ludicrous. One can't really protect "sexually invisible" people against some kinds of discrimination. "Sexual visibility" is an important quantity that is deciding about the availability of mates. In principle, it's the same meritocracy that leads mathematics departments to hire better mathematicians – just applied in a different context that requires different virtues.
One simply can't and shouldn't completely eliminate the unequal society's treatment of people who are "visible" and "invisible", or "better" or "worse", whenever they can be described in this way from a certain perspective. Some people are more visible, attractive, stronger, taller etc. than others. Get used to it. It's nonsensical to say that this fact is "evil". It's a basic law of Nature. Nature couldn't exist without differences.
"People are different" is a very simple and self-evidently true observation about the real world. But almost all of Aaronson's feminist talking points – and other talking points – seem to be about the denial of this basic fact. Instead of the blue pill and pills for chemical castration, Aaronson and others should swallow a red pill and start to see some basic and unchangeable facts about the reality.