The Ellen Pao case: a comment

My comment:

The Ellen Pao case gives me the opportunity to make another point. Namely, that this is what happens when girls and women get no real pushback, criticism, or experience of honest failure, as they are growing up. Eventually they reach a position where they really do have to stand on their merits and they fail.

Most men in positions of authority have flaws but one can usually assume that they have been “through the mill”, “paid their dues”, or whichever expression you like. They are known quantities and they have been given plenty of honest feedback. The problem for girls is that they only eventually discover, like some kind of Barbie doll, that “life is hard”, and by the time they do, it may be too late.

Nobody much gives women honest criticism, and then everybody acts surprised when they fail in the real world, or underperform. Men tend to get treated less kindly, but this, paradoxically, is better for them in the long run.

This comment was first made at this discussion at the Dalrock blog.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Of course the problem has deeper roots. One is that there is a massive general assumption that women are, on average, as mathematically, scientifically and technically gifted – and as interested in STEM – as are men.

    This is just taken as a “given” in the usual style of feminist fundamentalism.

    Any contrary view is, quite simply, punished. Cases of prominent male academics who have lost their jobs because they expressed even the slightest doubts about feminine suitability and ability in science now include the ex-President of Harvard, Larry Summers, and Nobel Laureate Sir Tim Hunt.


  2. Tim Hunt expressed no doubts. Indeed, he has a long history of mentoring women.

    …”The “Tim Hunt, misogynist scientist” narrative has been falling apart piece by piece over the past month; last week, it was finished off by a snippet of audio recorded by a female attendee and made public by The Times. Attention should now turn to the real scandal: irresponsible journalism magnified by social media frenzy.”


    • It seems that the Tim Hunt case was a genuine injustice.

      As for Larry Summers, all he did was express the possibility (among others he mentioned) that woman might not be as intellectually suited to science as men on average.

      The usual hysteria (literally) ensued in the Summers case. He got rehabilitated, but Hunt has yet to be. I know little about British law, but I would have thought he might have a Wrongful Dismissal case. (Of course, his big mistake was to apologise. People should remember the old adage: Never Explain, Never Apologise. It is one I live by.)

      What people forget is the damage caused to British science by this kind of dismissal of a highly productive scientist, whose lab probably had graduate students of both sexes working on projects under his tutelage.

      And this shit (there is no other word) will backfire on the trendies and feminists. That stupid girl at Goldsmith’s College (the SJW) is being charged now under “hate crime” laws.


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