Paging Lawrence Summers

On Monday, Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Newton wrote a piece in which he lamented that the L.A. city government’s 18 elected officials may soon be all males.  Yes, Wendy Gruel is in the May runoff for mayor, and women are competing for two city council seats, but Mr. Newton points out that not since 1968 have all 15 council seats been occupied by men.

“Does it matter?” Mr. Newton asks. But of course the reader is supposed to know it matters, a lot, else why write the piece? And indeed a voice speaks up to affirm this.

“Absolutely it makes a difference,” says Laura Chick, formerly the city controller and a member of the city council.  “Our brains are different. We have different perspectives…. There’s something terribly wrong with this.”

Ms. Chick’s assertion that women’s brains are different is well-grounded in science, but isn’t this the kind of talk that got Lawrence Summers neck-deep in the soup at Harvard back in 2005?

As best as I can understand this, it’s permissible to point out the differences between men and women as long as it serves the claim that women are better than men at a given activity or profession. But if you claim that men might be better at something than women are, owing to some inherent physiological difference between the sexes, then stand by, because here comes the mulligatawny.

  1. AUMom

    It’s a woman’s prerogative and all that…

    She says with tongue planted firmly in cheek. 

  2. Mark

    I always thought it was funny that for all the liberal complaints about conservatives being anti-science it was Larry Summers who lost his job for daring to talk about hypotheses regarding evolutionary biology at Harvard.

  3. GingerB

    Laura Chick- Ha!

  4. Tim H.

    So let me get this straight:  the city council is going to go all-male, and some Chick is complaining…

  5. SteveS

    If the gender diversity found itself in reverse would she demand a similar correction to increase the testosterone of the group or would she find things just ever so perfect?

  6. Rob Long
    C
    Tim H.: So let me get this straight:  the city council is going to go all-male, and some Chick is complaining… · 1 hour ago

    Duck!

  7. Indaba

    Well exactly! Hypocrites. Social engineers when it suits them. The Larry Summers situation was all the more foolish as the women did not tackle him and argue their points with him, they left his speech in a huff and then ran a campaign behind his back. That sounds quite typically female to me…

  8. drlorentz
    Jack Dunphy:

    Ms. Chick’s assertion that women’s brains are different is well-grounded in science, but isn’t this the kind of talk that got Lawrence Summers neck-deep in the soup at Harvard back in 2005?

    Yes, it is that kind of talk. For more details, see this post and others at this blog. Note the heavy dose of sarcasm in the post. The authors of this blog (Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending) are anthropologists. They actually understand evolutionary biology. They are also not afraid of being politically incorrect. Cochran positively delights in it.

    I harbor hope that eventually reality will triumph over leftist ideology, i.e., wishful thinking. On the other handeventually may be a long time; the Dark Ages lasted for centuries.

  9. drlorentz
    Indaba: That sounds quite typically female to me…

    Harsh. :)

  10. Indaba

    I went to all girls boarding school for ten years, i can read women, :>)

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