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2011 MIT feminist women's status report

The Daily Beast has pointed out that after a decade, an MIT committee has released a brand new report on the status of women at the technological institute:

A Report on the Status of Women Faculty in the Schools of Science and Engineering at MIT, 2011
The key person behind similar documents at the MIT is Nancy Hopkins, an MIT biologist and the main assassin of Lawrence Summers as the Harvard president. In January 2005, when Lawrence Summers began to explain how his twin daughters played with the daddy truck and the baby truck, she was going to commit the most important achievement of her life.




Nancy Hopkins left the room, called a friend in the Boston Globe, and threatened Harvard University, the American newspapers, and the global Academia that she would vomit if she stayed in the room as a polite participant of a conference whose very purpose was to discuss how women play with the trucks. She demanded Harvard and the U.S. media to start a hysterical witch hunt against all sane men in the system in general and Lawrence Summers in particular and they obeyed.

At that time, I decided to leave the U.S. Academia and President Summers was forced to resign after a year of continuing harassment by the feminists and various groups of their PC friends.

What does the new report say? Well, it celebrates the "progress" i.e. the increased amount of funding and advantages that goes to the women just because they are women. It is inevitable that the main message of the report has to be a positive one. It if were not, the text could also be understood as a criticism of the current MIT president, Susan Hockfield, who is also a female.

However, on pages 13 and 14, they also list "remaining and resulting problems". They quote a few women who are dissatisfied that they were not invited to a conference - and who are also complaining that feminism is not as rampant in some Western European countries as it is in the contemporary U.S. Academia.

More importantly, on page 14, they discuss "perceived preferential treatment of women". What's the problem? Their problem is that they notice that people notice that women are being given advantages because they are women. This fact can be decoded from the lower relative abundance of references to "brilliance" in recommendation letters for female candidates and in the persistent questions of new female faculty: "Was I hired because I am female?"

Well, if you ask me, I can't tell you a universal answer because there's no universal answer. And I can't give you a specific answer for your case because I don't know your name, your achievements, and your talents, and it's very likely that I haven't attended the meeting that was deciding about you. However, I can give you a statistical answer. Approximate yourself by an average MIT woman who has gotten a tenure in recent years. What are the odds that you got it because you are a woman?

This question is easy to be answered. Just look at the percentage of tenured MIT women in the mid 1990s, before the feminist bias became aggressive and substantial. At that time, the percentage of women among new tenured faculty was about 8.5%. It's 17% today. (In all these figures, I only mean the two schools of science and engineering by "MIT" - the institute has three more schools.)

It shouldn't be hard to do the maths. The logic and expectations of the fields - and the relative people's ability to excel in them - hasn't changed much in the two decades so about 8.5% of the tenured faculty would be women if almost no one tried to give women much advantage, just like it was the case in the early 1990s. However, the percentage has doubled.

Chances are therefore 50% that if you are a recently tenured female professor at the MIT, you were tenured because you are female. Try to talk to another MIT female tenured professor: it is more likely than not (75%) that at least one of you got tenured because of her sexual organs. This percentage makes it unreasonable to expect that the discussion between the two of you could have anything to do with the meritocracy. Fortunately, most of you don't care why you were hired.

Note that these effects of feminism are strong and "highly concentrated" if you focus on the female subgroup; they're not as large when you look at the whole MIT because the female professors are still a minority which reduces the impact of all effects that only influence the females.

It's kind of honest that the authors of the report chose the title "remaining and resulting problems" because this problem is clearly a "resulting problem" that is guaranteed to increase with the influence of the feminist ideology, not a "remaining one" that is expected to fade away. The more often the feminist ideology with all its crap about men's and women's being equal in all fields and about men's everlasting discrimination against women influences the hiring process, the greater numbers of inappropriate women will be hired, and the more more often their male and female colleagues will notice that it was the case.

It's that simple.

In the unlimited feminism scenario, the MIT will effectively be composed of the male and female portions. The male portion will resemble the MIT as we have known it; the female portion will be primarily composed of people who don't know much about technology and who use the MIT as a source of free money and a charity paying for daycare centers and kindergartens. Correspondingly, about 1/2 of the money from the donors will go to welfare for the women who marketed themselves as technological scholars.

Most likely, the reality will be somewhere in between the meritocratic MIT we have known decades ago and the MIT from the unlimited feminism scenario. You may think that it's not too bad if 50% of the resources are wasted. But the percentage is only 50% because we haven't discussed the affirmative action for ethnic groups and other groups. In the extreme scenario, about 80% of the resources may be spent just for the affirmative action. Of course, within the remaining 20%, most of the amount is being wasted for other things, too.

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reader Wesley said...

You're obviously trying to bait the feminists, which hey ... it's your blog, do what you want.

However, if you want to make a spurious argument about the % of faculty that are female, you need to scale it by the percentage of STEM PhDs granted to women by year. If the % of PhDs granted to women goes up, then so (presumably) should the % of faculty positions awarded to those same women.

A world where 9000 men and 1000 women get PhDs in STEM fields, and 92.5% of the faculty positions go to men, and 7.5% to women is not that unbalanced, especially at a meritocratic institute like MIT.

However, a world where 6000 men and 4000 women get the same PhDs in STEM fields for a given year, where the ratio is 82% and 18% is obviously biased.

It's actually a stronger argument the second way. If a woman is qualified (I should say, more qualified) than her male counterparts, she deserves the job. If she isn't, she doesn't. If it's a true meritocracy, that's the end of the story.


reader Luboš Motl said...

Wesley, you wrote:

"If the % of PhDs granted to women goes up, then so (presumably) should the % of faculty positions awarded to those same women."

However, 1) the percentage of female PhDs is going up for the same reason but to a different extent because 2) it is an elementary mistake to assume that the natural percentage of women among professors in the field is the same as among the PhDs.

The professors are a more selective group, and the percentage of women will therefore be smaller than among the PhDs because more selective groups are more sensitive to the tail of the Gaussian.

See e.g. La Griffe Du Lion for a calculation of the percentages in various groups with different levels of selection. He cites examples with increasing requirements and ends with the Fields medal where a female winner should occur every 103 years or so (of course, he can't calculate it that exactly, and it's not regular, but the central value calculation based on the error is self-evidently valid).

"However, a world where 6000 men and 4000 women get the same PhDs in STEM fields for a given year, where the ratio is 82% and 18% is obviously biased."

Such a world would be obviously biased, indeed, because the right percentages are about 70-30 for the STEM PhDs, 90-10 for the STEM professors, and 95-5 in National Academy of Sciences. It's 98.7-1.3 for Fields medalists. A significant deviation from *these* figures is a proof of bias.


reader Luboš Motl said...

A crisp and rather extensive introduction to the theory (click) of sex gap differences in maths was given by La Griffe du Lion, too.