In the Tim Hunt Affair, Where Have All the Grown-Ups Gone?

Daly, who developed her reprehensible vision in her 1998 book Quintessence, had no ground to stand on, except a youthful slight from a silly altar boy about how a mere woman could never “serve mass.” The remark “burned its way into my brain and kindled an unquenchable Rage.” Her “Rage” culminated in the theory of “rapism,” defined as “the fundamental ideology and practice of patriarchy” -- which makes Tim Hunt an ideological rapist, a member of a “male-controlled organization” responsible for a species of “gynocide.” Oh, what a piece of work was Mary Daly. Such are the PC denizens of a powerful but factitious pseudo-cognitive realm offering rich hospitality to their glandular compulsions and constitutive lack of basic decency and intellectual probity.

Even authentic scientists are not proof against the depredations of political correctness. Renowned biologist Richard Dawkins, for example, who supported Hunt, tweeted his hopes that “no reverse witch hunt against Tim Hunt’s accusers” will occur. Seriously? Allow false witnesses like Connie St. Louis who destroy a man’s career and reputation without the slightest compunction or regret to escape without reprimand?

Consider, too, that the president of the Royal Society, Hunt’s long-time friend and Nobel Prize co-winner Paul Nurse, actually believes that Hunt’s flippant comments should be taken at face value: “He said he was a chauvinist and that is not acceptable.” Hunt referred to “a chauvinist monster like me,” but this was merely a jocular, self-denigrating quip. Perhaps a kindergartner might not get it -- but a notable scientist and a fully mature adult who cannot read between the lines, who cannot even read the lines in the context of the published transcript of Hunt’s introductory remarks, is simply beyond credibility. (It is also worth noting that women make up half the Council of the Royal Society.

Nurse also shows the extent to which he has succumbed to the travesty of moral equivalence. The “hate mail” he received, he informs us, divides into two categories: one consisting of correspondents who insist that Hunt should be further punished and who go so far as to threaten Nurse with bodily harm; the other comprising pleas for clemency and reinstatement, including many eminent scientists and at least eight Nobel laureates and 21 honorary fellows. (More recently, hundreds of brave young female academics and scientists have testified on Hunt’s behalf. “It has also been of great comfort to me,” he said, “to see many women at the top of science testifying for my record in supporting women scientists.”) Yet Nurse appears to regard his two categories as equally “hate mail” -- “These are the extremes,” he opines. As Clarice Feldman (NB -- not Feltman) writes, “Smug, elitist faculty gravitate to the easily mouthed clichés of feminism and other forms of political correctness to give them a false veneer of enlightenment.”

How different is this, ultimately, from the outright distortions and fact-twisting of the overwhelming majority of our blogs and news organizations: “Tim Hunt’s gobsmacking misogyny” (Salon); “Tim Hunt's speech proved sexism is alive and well in science” (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation); “it would be a mistake to listen to the foghorn of Hunt’s comments and ignore the boat it’s signaling” (The Atlantic). These instances are merely a drop in the proverbial bucket. The pathetic litany of disinformation, the blind or deliberate skewing of truth, the misuse of graphs and charts, is virtually endless. Indeed, many of these carpers depend on graphs and charts, as does Julie Beck in The Atlantic, that apparently prove an unfair salary discrepancy and approach to hiring between women and men with identical university accreditation.

The problem here is that we are dealing with crucial variables like motivation and life/work goals that are hard and often impossible to control for and are simply left out of official-looking schematics.

What these instruments do not show, as Thomas Sowell demonstrates in Economic Facts and Fallacies, are the personal, domestic, and temporal factors that frequently differentiate the two groups. Male scientists tend to dedicate more consistent time to their work spanning the years of their careers, a factor also taken into account in hiring policies. “When you correct for all the various factors,” Sowell points out in an interview with Peter Robinson, such as numbers of hours worked and continuous employment, “the differences become quite trivial.” Further, women who worked “continuously” in academia enjoyed higher incomes than men.

Indeed, both Statistics Canada and Canada’s leading public affairs magazine MacLean’s, among many other sources too numerous to mention, provide evidence for significant gender bias in education favoring women -- e.g., two-thirds of medical degrees are currently earned by women, 75% of degrees in pharmacy are held by women, women account for 59% of young adults aged 25 to 34 with a university degree, etc. And we know that the overall majority of undergraduate students are women, by a 60-40% (and in some case 70-30%) differential. In the Humanities, the asymmetry is even greater.

Interestingly, older men entering a particular trade or discipline, or reapplying for a job after having left a particular profession for an extended period, suffer real hiring stringencies of the sort that feminists like to whine about.