A Special Place In Hell

NOW is Now Irrelevent

January 20, 2009
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I was just poking around the National Organization of Women website. There is a lot of talk about Hope floating around there lately, and a lot of puffery about how NOW has been “organizing and participating in various meetings with Obama-Biden transition staff.” They mention all kinds of requests they’ve made of the President elect, like putting more women on the cabinet (denied, by the way), including more jobs for women in the stimulus package (also denied, by the way.) What’s not detailed on the website is a single success that NOW has had in influencing the transition team. Nada. Zip. Nothing. The one thing that I’ve noticed that has come out of all that “participating” was in an interview last week about the stimulus package where an Obama spokesman expressed regret over the fact that most of the jobs created would be in areas traditionally dominated by men. Oh well, at least they’re sorry. Good on ya NOW!

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Kim Gandy Lies to Protect Larry Summers?

January 20, 2009
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Summers Remarks on Women Draw Fire

By Marcella Bombardieri, Globe Staff / January 17, 2005

CAMBRIDGE — The president of Harvard University, Lawrence H. Summers, sparked an uproar at an academic conference Friday when he said that innate differences between men and women might be one reason fewer women succeed in science and math careers. Summers also questioned how much of a role discrimination plays in the dearth of female professors in science and engineering at elite universities.

Nancy Hopkins, a biologist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, walked out on Summers’ talk, saying later that if she hadn’t left, ”I would’ve either blacked out or thrown up.” Five other participants reached by the Globe, including Denice D. Denton, chancellor designate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, also said they were deeply offended, while four other attendees said they were not.

– Excerpt Boston Globe, January 17, 2005

I encourage you to go and read the entire news article. It does seem Summers believes that innate gender differences explain the disproportionately low number of successful women in math and science, and that he doesn’t believe discrimination is in any way to blame for the paucity of tenured women in those academic fields. Please see this article as well, about the number of tenured positions offered to women at Harvard during Summers time there. The article outlines how the number of offers of tenure to women increased during Summers’ last year at Harvard, but that was after the uproar over his remarks. Interestingly, the year Summers took over, offers to women declined 10%, and then went on to decline a further 13% over the next two years, bottoming out at a miserable 13% of the total with only 4 positions being offered to women in ’03 – ’04.

“Yet Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, said her group’s research actually produced material that recommended him. “One good thing about Larry Summers,” she said, “is that he has written and spoken fairly extensively on the issue of women’s wage inequality and the impact that has on the country.””

– Excerpt November 24, 2008 International Herald Tribune

Quite a change of tune for NOW! Just 3 years ago they demanded Summers’ resignation in no uncertain terms. According to Gandy, in the interim Summers has become a champion of women’s wage equality. Problem is, there is no evidence that I can find to support Gandy’s statement. Recently, Summers has cast himself as a “New Deal” proponent concerned about the wealth gap between rich and poor, not the income disparity between men and women. I think Gandy’s “researchers” must have gotten their information from Summers’ PR group.

Oddly enough, 2005 wasn’t the first time Larry stuck his foot in his mouth. Here’s the “toxic memo” Summers wrote while he was Chief Economist at the World Bank that purportedly argues for more pollution in developing countries. I think Obama sees a kindred spirit.

H/T to the Reclusive Leftist, who found the Gandy quote about Summers.