Re: Atlantic Monthly: Girls Rule

Date: Mon May 08 2000 - 10:57:36 EDT

Jody, thank you for bringing up this article! I've been a long time
admirer of Dr. Sommers and am waiting in great anticipation of her book
"The War Against Boys" which is due out in July. For the convenience of
other list members, let me provide an Internet link to Dr. Sommers'
There are also Parts 2, 3, and 4 which can be accessed from this page.

One of the reasons that I have such respect for Dr. Sommers is because she
questions the assumptions that underly actions. I suppose that comes from
being a philosophy professor. Too often today anything that might even
possibly remotely tend to maybe suggest that girls are underprivileged is
accepted unquestionably as Gospel by feminists, and the leaders in society
and government are afraid to question this blind acceptance for fear of
being labeled 'misogynist.' If Dr. Sadker were to come out with a report
that says "Grass is blue, and therefore, because blue is traditionally a
boy's color, girls are falling behind" it would be blindly accepted that
grass is, in fact, blue. Probably several government agencies and task
forces would be established to investigate why grass is blue, and at the
insistence of feminists in Congress millions upon millions of dollars would
be heaped upon genetic-engineering projects to color grass pink.

  Dr. Sommers does not accept that girls are falling behind just based on
blind following or fear, and
digs deeper to find what is really behind all of these reports. She finds
a great deal of jumping to conclusions, to invalid logical processes being
used, and in the case of Dr. Sadker finds the actual research missing. I
don't know how it was when Dr. Sadker was in school, but if I had told any
of my professors this semester when they asked for my research paper that I
did the research but didn't keep a copy or some other type of excuse that
Dr. Sadker has used on occasion, I would have received a grade of F. Maybe
the good Doctor had more lenient professors than I.

  I think Professor Kleinfeld (who probably would not accept that "the dog
ate it" either) did a thorough job of exposing the myths and unsound
conclusions contained in the AAUW's work, so any means by which Dr. Sommers
would address that would merely be reinforcing the Kleinfeld findings. The
AAUW reports contain nothing meaningful, rather a lot of unsound advocacy.
Nothing new there.

  I found this quote interesting: "Gender-equity activists like Sadker
ought to apply their logic consistently: if the shortage of girls at the
high end of the ability distribution is evidence of unfairness to girls,
then the excess of boys at the low end should be deemed evidence of
unfairness to boys." Who was it on this group who said "What's good for
the goose is good for the gander?"


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Apr 12 2002 - 15:15:40 EDT