A Special Place In Hell

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.


What Does Obama Have to Say About Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya?

January 19, 2009
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Nothing, as far as I can tell.

In case you aren’t familar with female genital mutilation, it is a barbarous practice sometimes called “female circumcision” whereby parts of young girls’ genitalia are removed. It is unnecessary, cruel, and often performed under unsanitary conditions leading to all kinds of horrid complications. It is widely practiced in Kenya.

You’d think a father of two girls would have something to say about it, especially as he is an enormously popular and influential figure in Kenya. Just a simple statement would almost certainly be enough to save at least a few children from this dreadful form of child abuse.

Just for the heck of it, here’s what Hillary has to say about it.

Posted in Feminism, Sexism

CNN asks the wrong questions, as usual

January 17, 2009
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“Can a man be a feminist?” Well, duh. The real question is “what is the evidence that this man is a feminist.” CNN is just sad. This piece is pathetically shallow and obvious. It takes for granted that Ms. magazine’s claim on behalf of Obama is justified, and then fails to challenge Ms.’ Executive Editor Katherine Spillar’s claim that the controversy was simply due to having a man on the cover. None of the featured comments from the Daily Beast mention the many valid reasons to object to the cover, like Obama’s willingness to reach out to neanderthals like Warren and Summers or his paltry 25% female cabinet representation. To cap it all off they allow Naomi Wolf to smear The New Agenda as a front for right wing political operatives, or some such paranoid bullshit.

Can we please have some rational people representing feminists instead of someone delusional enough to produce this tripe.

By the way, here is the full version of one of the comments shown in the video:

“Obama won because he was not a woman. Hillary lost because she was. So why does Ms. have to rub it in our faces? Is the new Cabinet reflective of the 52% gender majority in this country? Are women getting equitable treatment in the workplace and at home? The day that happens, I will call Obama a supporter of feminism.”

Notice the really relevent bits are conveniently left out. No bull, no bias, huh CNN?

It’s a bird, it’s a plane… no wait, it’s just another politician

January 16, 2009
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On it’s special edition inaugural cover bastion of old school feminism Ms. magazine proudly proclaims that SuperO is here to save us womenfolk. Somehow I just don’t buy it. In the first place, whatever wave of feminism we’re on now, I’m pretty sure most feminists would object to the inherent suggestion that women need a male superhero to save them. That aside, let’s examine SuperO’s feminist credentials, shall we? This is the guy who dismissed a female reporter’s question with “Hold on one second, sweetie” when she asked him about the future of American autoworkers in Michigan. The is the guy who still employs gropin’ Jon Favreau as his speechwriter. The guy who chose Larry “them wimmens is just born stupid” Summers as his top economic advisor. The guy who chose to have Rick “a good beatin’s no excuse for divorce” Warren to officiate at his inauguration. The guy who chose to fill just 25% of cabinet positions with women, who make up 51% of the population by the way, and yet according to the Minerva’s at Ms. this is the guy who is going to save us.

Never mind that SuperO has never, ever paid more than minimal lip service to women issues. Never mind that his campaign website did not even have a women’s issues section until the last few months of the campaign. Never mind that he has waffled on choice, the only thing that seems to matter to the self-annointed “feminist leaders” of today. Never mind that his new head of the DNC  has a “faith based opposition to abortion” and pushes abstinence education. All of this has ceased to matter now, because Ms. has proclaimed SuperO to be a feminist. All is forgiven.

I guess Ms. has forgotten that SuperO remains stubbornly silent about the mountains of sexist insults heaped on rival Hillary Clinton and then later on Sarah Palin by his own followers. I guess Ms. has also forgotten the times he appeared just a teeny bit hostile and sexist himself, equating our soon to be Secretary of State’s foreign affairs experience with having tea on the lawn, describing how “the claws come out” and how  “periodically” when she’s “feeling down,”  she “launches attacks.” No, if they ever were paying attention, all is forgotten and according to Ms., their justification for putting him on the cover was that he admitted privately to one of their editors that he was actually a “feminist.” Whoa, what a groundbreaker! Stop the presses!

Of course, it has not escaped the notice of real life, in the trenches, feminists that SuperO will likely get to sign the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law as one of his first acts of office. No doubt his pen strokes will be lauded as SuperO’s first victory for women, when of course he had nothing whatever to do with it beyond affixing his name. The one silver lining is that hopefully the act he signs into law will force him to pay his future female campaign staffers more than the 83 cents on the dollar he paid them during his recent campaign, if he hires any women at all that is. So Ms. all I have to say to you is if that’s what you think a feminist looks like, you obviously haven’t seen any real feminists for a long, long time.