Today’s universities are full of Tricoteuses.
Noah Karl contends that the Woke cultural shift that has swept through the Community of Fashion in recent years can be traced to the Civil Rights Movement and to the massive leftward shift of Academia.
The Professoriate used to be conventionally Liberal. Today it is conventionally Radical. One key reason for that shift is the dramatic increase of female academics.
I suspect that most of academia’s leftward shift was due to self-reinforcing processes: social homophily (conservatives not wanting to enter a profession where there aren’t many conservatives); political typing (conservatives feeling that an academic career “isn’t for them” in the same way that some women feel that a construction career “isn’t for them”); and discrimination (conservatives being discriminated against in hiring, research and funding).
However, one other possible cause of academia’s leftward shift, and of the rise of woke activism in particular, is the influx of women into that institution. …
[W]hy would the influx of women into academia have contributed to its leftward shift, and to the rise of woke activism in particular? As the psychologist Cory Clark notes, women are consistently less supportive of free speech than men, and consistently more supportive of censorship. Compared to men, they’re more likely to say: that hate speech is violence; that it’s acceptable to shout down a speaker; that controversial scientific findings should be censored; that people need to be more careful about the language they use; and that it should be illegal to say offensive things about minorities.
Clark argues, convincingly in my view, that this stems from women’s greater aversion to harm and conflict. They interpret various forms of speech as harmful to vulnerable groups, and wish to censor them for that reason. Whether these gender differences are cross-cultural universals remains a matter of debate. Women being more averse to harm and conflict would certainly make sense from an evolutionary point of view, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the differences are hard-wired. As with most traits that vary, I suspect there’s both a genetic and an environmental component. Whatever the precise mix, women’s greater aversion to harm and conflict does show up in many WEIRD countries, not least the United States.
Clark isn’t the only scholar to have noticed that women’s aversion to harm and conflict has profound implications for academia. Drawing on the work of psychologist Joyce Benenson, Arnold Kling notes: “Women have a social strategy that works well for protecting their individual health and the health of their children: emphasize safety, covertly undermine the status of unrelated females, and exclude rivals rather than reconcile with them.” This leads him to speculate that adding a lot of women to formerly male domains has made the culture of those domains more consistent with female tendencies. “The older culture valued open debate,” Kling notes. “The newer culture seeks to curtail speech it regards as dangerous.”
We know that, on average, women are less favourable to free speech and more favourable to censorship.
I think the key word here is “conventional.” While academics crave to be on the cutting edge, the vast majority are mediocrities who got to where they are by telling their betters (who were mostly mediocrities themselves) what those betters wanted to hear. If you understand that academia is populated with thousands of Mittens Romneys with no incentives to be productive or truthful, you will begin to get the idea. To paraphrase, they look good, but can they think objectively and independently? And the answer is nearly always a resounding “NO!”
Steve (retired/recovering lawyer)
Just think of the harm that would ensue if we ever extended the franchise to women!
Yet more confirmation that feminism is cancer.
Rome gave women the right to vote. Rome died.
Prove me wrong.
Women are obviously just as smart and capable as men are. But there are many psychological differences and I am happy that they are different. However it tends to make them unsuitable to deal with many things in life. Here is a simple example:
Our 34 YO son calls often needing $100 or $200 to pay a bill or put gas in the car etc. He gets a job and loses it by being late too many times or just not showing up at all. He prefers to party till 3:00AM and get up at noon, I tell my wife to let him suffer and maybe he will figure it out. She gets mad at me and insists that she doesn’t want him to suffer (fill in the blank for what ever excuse he came up with this time) so she sends him the money. This has been going on for 16 years since he went out on his own. She simply cannot bring herself to deal with the problem realistically.
RE: “Women are obviously just as smart and capable as men are.” One Guy
Not even close to being true*. No civilization in history believed it until the 19th Century when Western Civilization ran off the rails for sure but hints appeared with the Renaissance and festering increased at a pace until the boil of feminism erupted in the 20th century.
*H. Nyborg (Ed.) The scientific study of general intelligence: Tribute to
Arthur R. Jensen. Oxford: Elsevier Science, Chapter 10, Sex differences in g.
Look at all the horrid calamities visited on America since 1920 when they gave women the right to vote – a couple dozen [more than the 19th century] depressions/panics/recessions, destruction of the nuclear family, education apocalypse, world war, Korea, Vietnam, 9/11 GWOT, pandemics, Xiden and Obama, etc. –
Calamity on calamity!
After a hundred years voting, women persist as men without logic and responsibility.
I’m open-minded. Convince me otherwise.
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