David Thompson


Blog powered by Typepad

« Your Host’s Idea of Hell (2) | Main | Louder Than a Speeding Bullet »

June 13, 2013



Likewise, women appear overrepresented in the staff positions of the relevant campus offices,

But the only people who can ever be 'overrepresented' are white men, obviously. ;-D


"But the only people who can ever be 'overrepresented' are white men, obviously. ;-D"

Be careful there svh, poor Dr. Käs thought he was joking and now he's stuck referring to all professors, in official department documents, as women even though I'm sure the majority in Physics will be men.

As for the overrepresentation of women on campus, I work for a largish university and I've noticed that some departments, Human Resources springs to mind, are exclusively female. In other departments the majority of staff, and sometimes students, are women although the top jobs still seem to be held by men. On the rare occasion when I've broached the subject, "Gosh, there are a lot of women in that group." I'm reminded rather snappishly that the head is still a man so equality has not been achieved. Were the head and the majority women there would be no problem.

In a slightly related area the free paper given away at train stations here in Dublin had a small piece about more men than women dying of cancer in Ireland. Strangely the incidents of diagnosis were roughly equivalent but the deaths were higher for men. This is of course not a problem. Were it the reverse we would be told that we are lacking as a society to care for women.


But the only people who can ever be ‘overrepresented’ are white men, obviously.

Double standards aside, there’s a begged question, one we’ve seen before (see this or the discussion following this.) The word equity implies that a fair and impartial arrangement should – must – result in a 1:1 gender ratio in almost every area of campus life - and by extension, life in general - and that any deviation from parity or demographic proportion is, in itself, proof of unfairness.

Except where the deviation favours Designated Victim Groups. Obviously.

carbon based lifeform

Speaking of double standards...


Bandit 1

Wonder what the male-to-female ratios are in employment areas like waste disposal, oil rigs, steel mills.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

New Zealand professor whines about... frowny faces on Legos. Unsurprisingly, the Guardian is concerned.


Breaking news.


Legogate is pretty much the definition of a First World Problem.

Torquil Macneil

I don't see the problem with the gendered noun story from Germany. Surely if a gendered noun has to be used to describe a mixed sex group, there is no reason why we shouldn't prefer the female to the male? This bit of pc-gone-mad is double edged, surely.


Torquil Macneil,

I'd be inclined to agree except that I have a feeling that there was already a convention that invlolved using the male form and that the convention has been changed to satisfy an imaginary problem. If so then I find it as ludicrous as Jennifer Kabbany and well worthy of comment.


Hold on.

I heard yesterday that The Eleventh Doctor will be the last of the franchise. I get that the link is a parody, but, really? I thought The Doctor got at least 13 regens.


I thought The Doctor got at least 13 regens.

I’ve never managed to like Doctor Who. Not since I was six, anyway. It’s one of those programmes where the idea of it, the premise, is more interesting than the actual thing you see on TV. And I don’t think the series has gotten any better with age.



I wasn’t suggesting any particular reaction, beyond noting the problems raised by gendered nouns. If nothing else, they’re a bugger to memorise.


I love the reboot (Tennant!) but because I don't have cable, I don't have BBC America, so I'm at least 2 series behind.

It's been fun trying to avoid spoilers.


Dicentra, sorry to spoil it for you but in later seasons Doctor Who is assimilated into a left-wing universe where corrected-thinking runs riot and the concept of personal responsibility and objectivity are much removed.

Dr Who, is, of course, made by the BBC.


Double standards aside…

Mark Bauerlein:

"When white male President Mills pledges to press for race-based affirmative action, the right reply is this: "Well, then, sir, you must resign your post immediately and call for Bowdoin to hire a racial or ethnic minority in your place." Keep it simple and direct. Every white male board member of the ACE should receive a message to step down. Let's ask white male campus leaders to stand up for their own principles and do the thing they want everybody else to do. When white women acquire a disproportionate number of jobs in campus leadership, yet still call for more diversity, they, too, should be asked to withdraw. This is the logic of affirmative action, and if diversity proponents who are white follow it to its conclusion, they should relinquish their positions as soon as possible."


h/t Instapundit.


When white women acquire a disproportionate number of jobs in campus leadership, yet still call for more diversity, they, too, should be asked to withdraw.

Heh. Quite. Of course a great deal of “diversity” rhetoric is disingenuous; it’s basically rhetorical chaff. It isn’t meant to be taken as a serious statement of reciprocal principle; it’s meant to signal the speaker’s status, i.e., as higher than yours, and applies only to other, inferior beings.

[ Added to post. ]

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Regarding the German gendered nouns, it could be worse: there's another, much more obnoxious PC convemtion.

Consider a word like Student (male), male plural Studenten, female singular Studentin, female plural Studentinnen. Some publishers actually used a mixed-gender plural StudentInnen, with an extra capital I in the middle. Ugly and as politically motivated as all those Newspeak-style joined-up words. And like the Newspeak imitations, my immediate thought is to resplit the word in a different place to force people to stop and think: Studenti Nnen; Fa Irt Rade; Jobce Ntre.


"professorin": See "sitzpinkler".


On the Dr Who notion, why have all the Doctors so far, since time immemorial, been MALE?? Does this make the BBC one of the most grossly, egregiously sexist organisations around? It is time for this vicious sexist demeaning of women to be put right.

I call for Raquel Welch to be the next Doctor! As this:


shows, she has already had experience of time travel. Yes, I know she is, in our current space-time continuum, a little aged, but run her through the TARDIS in reverse gear a few times, and she will scrub up fine.


Mmm...Rachael Welch. That reminds me...


David you never let on that there was a director's cut. Selfish b*****d.



"History has shown that reasoned arguments against affirmative action make no difference to the people who support it. They are committed to it for reasons that often go beyond empirical and logical grounds, including liberal guilt and white guilt, and guilt that searches for expiation through policy is never going to be satisfied."

It isn't really about guilt. It's power. They want to hire brown people who think like them.


It isn’t really about guilt. It’s power. They want to hire brown people who think like them.

Yes, I think that’s often the case. Power and self-flattery; it’s a win-win situation. It’s rather like how the Arts Council’s publicly-subsidised racial preferences policy - and the people it can attract - led to the coinage of the term LETELU, or Looks Exotic, Thinks Exactly Like Us. Which in turn may explain why people who do resign are more likely to be brown-skinned employees who’ve been hired on this basis and grown tired of being treated as props or furniture.


David @ 14/6, 07:55. I love the acronym "LETELU", but doesn't it really mean, albeit in a different context, "Uncle Tom"?


I love the acronym “LETELU”, but doesn’t it really mean, albeit in a different context, “Uncle Tom”?

Well, there’s something about the dynamic…

In the Arts Council example linked above, Mr Kholeif does seem willing to be, as it were, professionally ethnic and oppressed, though oppressed by what he doesn’t say. He’s also learned to mouth the obligatory ridiculous statements in order to fit in with the dominant group. The dominant group in this case being the bien-pensant leftists in our arts establishment.


Sounds like Uncle Tom to me

Another John

It's official. The Groan's Will Hutton is off his rocker.


Stephen Fox

'Doctor Who is assimilated into a left-wing universe where corrected-thinking runs riot'
Watcher, yes I think that, but I did see one about 10 years ago (counts as recent for me) where the nasties were all very fat and kept burping and farting. Doesn't sound too pc, but I suppose as long as you don't call them fat gits and instead set about bitchslapping soft drinks and fast food suppliers then you're pretty well on message.
What do you mean, I can't say bitchslapping? One of my favourite words, bitchslapping. There I said it again. Twice.


Dicentra, sorry to spoil it for you but in later seasons Doctor Who is assimilated into a left-wing universe

I thought that was Torchwood.


Why the humanities and social sciences are disreputable, part 3,064:

Most animals portrayed in children’s books, songs and on clothing send a bad message, according to academics Nora Timmerman and Julia Ostertag: That animals only exist for human use, that humans are better than animals, that animals don’t have their own stories to tell, that it’s fine to “demean” them by cooing over their cuteness. Perhaps worst of all, they say, animals are anthropomorphised to reinforce “socially dominant norms” like nuclear families and gender stereotypes. Much of young children’s media reproduces and confirms racist, colonial, consumerist, heteronormative, and patriarchal norms.”

Years of study and tens of thousands of dollars well spent, then.


Why the humanities and social sciences are disreputable, part 3,064:

The nuclear (stable) family is a "bad message"? Are they just giving PhDs away now?


It's a pity they couldn't get Buzz Aldrin for that Rachael Welch Space Dance video.

Steve 2

David - "It’s one of those programmes where the idea of it, the premise, is more interesting than the actual thing you see on TV"

It's like you read my psychic paper or something. I watch Doctor Who off and on. There are some good things in it and I enjoyed the performances of David Tenant and Matt Smith. Stories with the Cybermen or the Daleks are usually fun. The writing has taken a turn for the worse in the past couple of years though, with more nonsensical and tedious episodes than good ones.

Bad writing and forgettable plots make the mandatory politically correct elements shoehorned into the dialogue even more nauseating, like someone playfully poking your uvula with a rolled up copy of The Guardian.

For example, in a recent episode set in the 19th century the Doctor spent a lot of time sneering at "Victorian values" and the awful top-hatted capitalist exploiters who espoused them.

Now, one might think that a 900 year old time travelling alien who has fought and survived genocidal interstellar wars would have a slightly more mature perspective on socio-economic conditions in late 19th century Britain than would a bien pensant upper-middle-class Islington leftie BBC employee living in the early 21st century. But one would be wrong.

Never mind that poverty and exploitation were no doubt much worse elsewhere in the world at that point, or in 16th century England, or on Skaro, or any of the countless other wheres and whens the Doctor has visited without feeling the need to make similarly extravagant sociological observations. "Victorian values" stands, in the minds of the achingly right-on BBC drones who write the show, as a proxy for capitalism/Thatcherism/traditional sexual and gender mores (take your pick), and must therefore be condemned even though it made little sense for the character to do so.

At this rate of decline into bum-puckeringly left-wing agitprop in place of story it can't be long till the Doctor shows up on Question Time to denounce Michael Gove as a Slitheen agent.


"Are they just giving PhDs away now?"

Oh goodness no. Nowadays you have to incur a lifetime of debt in order to learn this sort of thing at university.

For your money you will, however, be privy to gems of intellectual brilliance not typically found in the outside world. Ms Zimmerman, for example, teaches us that cartoon animals reproduce and confirm colonial norms. Where other than university could you learn that colonialism is part of normal contemporary life, much less that anthropomorphic animals are justifying the existence of all those colonies that so many of us apparently live in?

Then there's insights such as "What I’ve noticed in particular about animals is the cultural stereotypes that we have in our society". This is particularly significant coming from a woman who is herself a cartoonishly two dimensional cultural stereotype.

And finally, "animals themselves may have lessons to teach us." She notes the example of the ant. Now, you'd hope, in light of her previous comments, that she'd have enough self-awareness to avoid using an animal that lives in colonies, but Ms Zimmerman does point out that ants can teach us all about the joys of communal effort without the need to antrhopormophise them. Of course, the non-anthropomorphised ant is a unit of disposable, anonymous drudge labour existing in a rigid caste society serving in a role defined for it at birth, in service of an all-encompassing, absolute central power. And who wouldn't want that for their kids?


The writing has taken a turn for the worse in the past couple of years though, with more nonsensical and tedious episodes than good ones.

Perchance the exit of Russell Davies?

(Anyone who takes a swipe at the two-parters "The Family of Blood" or "Silence in the Library" shall find themselves at the pointed end of an insult.)

Funny, though: the departure of Russell Davies spoiled the Doctor Who reboot, but the death of Gene Roddenberry improved the new Star Trek.

In both cases, the inferior episodes were chock-a-block with tedious left-wing idiocy and the better ones just tried to spin a good yarn.

Jeff Guinn

Students need further re-educationing:

ANDOVER, Mass. — When the elite Phillips Academy here went coed in 1973, some worried that women would quickly take over this venerable institution, the alma mater of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Samuel Morse and Humphrey Bogart, not to mention both Presidents George Bush.

In short order, the number of girls in the student ranks did roughly equal the number of boys. The faculty today is more than half female. And until her retirement last summer, the head of school was a woman, for nearly two decades.

And yet some of the young women — and men — at the 235-year-old prep school feel that Andover, as it is commonly called, has yet to achieve true gender equality. They expressed this concern several weeks ago in a letter to the student newspaper, The Phillipian, and like a match to dry tinder, it set off a raging debate that engulfed the campus.

The proximate cause of concern was the election, held Wednesday, for the top student position, called school president. Since 1973, only four girls have been elected, most recently in 2003. (The other top student position, that of editor in chief of the newspaper, has had nine girls and 33 boys.)

The letter writers said this was an embarrassment, especially at a school considered so progressive. The paucity of girls in high-profile positions, they said, leaves younger students with few role models and discourages them from even trying for the top.

Never mentioned is the fact that girls themselves must prefer boys for these positions. Time to mobilize the false-consciousness brigades.


It’s like you read my psychic paper or something.

It’s much too ‘panto’ for my taste and, as you say, clumsily pc. The last episode I saw had Matt Smith rushing around a department store with a hapless chubby human guy and his baby - which, inevitably, led to the two men being mistaken for a gay couple. Cue faintly amusing situation and heavy signalling that THIS IS OKAY, THIS IS A GOOD THING. AW, BLESS. Then, just to make sure we, the audience, felt warm towards the idea of a mismatched gay couple with a baby, they did exactly the same joke again, and a third time, minutes later. Even when the social message is one you don’t object to, the writers manage to make you cringe or resent the attempt to manipulate. It’s that smug and ham-fisted.


Luckily for us, the Groan have 5 journalists ready to fearlessly - nay recklessly - bring you the news that our spy agencies may have been spying on Russians. The blood drained from my face as I read this new outrage...or so I'm told.

It reminds me of a story in the leftwing press a year or two back about a PR company called Bell-Pottinger, whose managing directors were caught boasting of connections and using "dark arts" like SEO (a concept any web developer knows about) to improve their clients' online image.

The story was more or less "Fury as a PR company does what they do!" Questions were asked about wether this should be allowed.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Amazon Link