Tuesday, March 22, 2011

this article explains so much

Very disturbing article in today's NYTimes - Gains, and Drawbacks, for Female Professors - not for the main focus of the article but for two other reasons.

First, the only link provided for the reference to the Laurence Summers "women are genetically inferior at math" controversy is one to an anti-feminist screed.

Here is a better article in Slate.

But the most disturbing was a little throw-away line in the middle of the article:
Despite an effort to educate colleagues about bias in letters of recommendation for tenure, those for men tend to focus on intellect while those for women dwell on temperament.

So men are recommended on the basis of intellect and women are recommended on the basis of temperament. And of course by temperament they mean - is the woman a team player, is she easy-going, is she nice. That is what is desired of women - to be nice. Any other attributes are much less important.

So if a woman's temperament is considered a more significant factor on which to recommend her than intellect - FOR A SCIENCE JOB - how much more is nice the critical factor in the evaluation of women for all other fields of human endeavor?

It's things like this which truly reveal just how pervasive is the kudzu of the Patriarchy.