Lazar Greenfield Takes the Fall

 

On Saturday, I posted a piece entitled Truths You Cannot Utter, in which I discussed the strange case of Lazar Greenfield – a renowned surgeon who devised a filter used in surgery to reduce the likelihood of blood clots; who went on to become chief of surgery at the University of Michigan, lead editor of Surgery News, and president-elect of the American College of Surgeons (ACS); and who got into hot water for publishing a light-hearted editorial regarding St. Valentine’s Day in the February issue of the journal he edited.

His crime? Intimating what everyone who has ever studied biology knows to be true – that within nature there is a teleology having to do with the survival of the species which underpins the distinction between the two sexes and produces between them a natural affinity for one another:

As far as humans are concerned, you may think you know all about sexual signals, but you’d be surprised by new findings. It’s been known since the 1990s that heterosexual women living together synchronize their menstrual cycles because of pheromones, but when a study of lesbians showed that they do not synchronize, the researchers suspected that semen played a role. In fact, they found ingredients in semen that include mood enhancers like estrone, cortisol, prolactin, oxytocin, and serotonin; a sleep enhancer, melatonin; and of course, sperm, which makes up only 1%-5%. Delivering these compounds into the richly vascularized vagina also turns out to have major salutary effects for the recipient. Female college students having unprotected sex were significantly less depressed than were those whose partners used condoms (Arch. Sex. Behav. 2002;31:289-93). Their better moods were not just a feature of promiscuity, because women using condoms were just as depressed as those practicing total abstinence. The benefits of semen contact also were seen in fewer suicide attempts and better performance on cognition tests.

So there’s a deeper bond between men and women than St. Valentine would have suspected, and now we know there’s a better gift for that day than chocolates.

 His punishment? First, as I reported on Saturday, he was made to resign his editorship. Yesterday, after a meeting of the ACS Board of Regents, he once again apologized and then resigned his position as ACS president-elect. “At this critical juncture for surgery and health care in America, it is important that the American College of Surgeons not be distracted by any issues that would diminish its focus on improving care of the surgical patient,” Dr. Carlos Pellegrini, chair of the group’s Board of Regents, announced.

The moral we should draw? If you value your career, you should not cross the feminist harpies. I think that we should give Dr. Greenfield the Larry Summers award. By failing to put up a public fight, he has reinforced the propensity for academics to self-censor.

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  1. Profile Photo Contributor
    @MollieHemingway

    Paul,

    What I found fascinating about the linked article was that no one even questioned his science. It also failed to explain how his editorial was “offensive to women.”

    It is so Orwellian that he should lose his job over this. What he wrote is not “offensive to women” — it’s offensive to a sexual revolution that denies reality.

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    @flownover

    Where do we sign up ? First, we ought to create a petition to alert the ACS Board of Regents that they have made a grievous error. That most of the public prefer a reality-based approach to medicine and are reconsidering the trust they, the public, should place with a body of their august stature. Before the backpatting mutual admiration society within academia closes ranks, we should try and show them who pays the bills around here !

    • #2
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    @MelFoil

    How dare he imply that a woman’s body is designed to cultivate desire for sex with a man. I’m sure there were women in history who didn’t have those traits. Of course their genetic lines died out, but I’m sure they existed…once.

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    @Pseudodionysius

    I can only assume that some surgeons are touchy about anything that may cut into the sex change operation trade.

    • #4
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    @PaulARahe
    Mollie Hemingway, Ed.: Paul,

    What I found fascinating about the linked article was that no one even questioned his science. It also failed to explain how his editorial was “offensive to women.”

    It is so Orwellian that he should lose his job over this. What he wrote is not “offensive to women” — it’s offensive to a sexual revolution that denies reality. · Apr 18 at 7:38am

    Edited on Apr 18 at 07:41 am

    Indeed. And the worst aspect of the whole business is that it serves as a warning to younger people entering the professions. “Speak in the approved manner, or we will get you.” That is the moral.

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    @KCMulville

    I’m a little scared by the justification: “it is important that the American College of Surgeons not be distracted by any issues that would diminish its focus on improving care of the surgical patient.”

    What a load of crap.

    Distracted? Tell the feminists not to cause the distraction by raising a storm over this nonsense. Diminish its focus? Do surgeons have so little discipline that a feminist complaint would thwart their thinking about improvements to healthcare? Gosh, can’t think while anyone is complaining!

    Translation: the American College of Surgeons is a pack of weenies.

    • #6
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    @TommyDeSeno

    Newsflash: Sex makes you happy.

    I actually figured that out without a medical degree.

    Leave it to radical feminists to oppose happiness.

    • #7
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    @RobertPromm

    Since Dr. Greenfield has decided to roll over and make major mea culpa, why should we defend him if he apparently does not have the courage of conviction to defend himself? He’s a renowned surgeon not a defenseless 10 year-old.

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    @rayconandlindacon

    Spineless academics. Surgeons, professors, politicians,lawyers. Every article like this further reinforces my decision decades ago to never see a doctor, hire a lawyer, send my kids to college, and never trust a politician.

    Flownover has the most frustrating of all positions… to think that we can change a bunch of self absorbed cowards into real men and women by threatening them. Our threats are minuscule compared to their built in fear of the pack.

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    @TeeJaw

    I believe every last profession in America has been taken over by the speech police. To change this the victims have to fight back and not capitulate as Lazar Greenfield did. Some sort of formal support for them needs to be established to help them.

    The hollywood blacklist during the McCarthy era was stopped in just his way. John Henry Faulk engaged attorney Louis Nizer, with financial help from Edward R. Murrow and several other prominent radio personalities, which ultimately led to a famous struggle between Nizer and Roy Cohn. In the final courtroom scene Louis Nizer said to the jury, “You must send the message with your verdict that this – thing – has – got – to – stop.”

    The jury awarded Faulk $3.5 million in damages for libel which at the time was the largest libel award ever given by a jury.

    Something similar needs to happen in the professions and the academic halls of America. “This thing has got to stop.”

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    @JustinC
    raycon:

    <SNIP>

    Our threats are minuscule compared to their built in fear of the pack. · Apr 18 at 8:15am

    That is so sad, but true.

    • #11
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    @

    He should have known better than to write something that would draw the ire of the “tolerant” crowd. And I’m waiting for the scientific rebuttal to this story. I’m sure it will be along shortly.

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    @SteveS

    I would like to know the makeup of the Board of Regents.

    Did he truly censor himself, (unlikely) or were there a bunch of “weenies” as KC Mulville states who felt the need to come to the defense of women, feminists, the college or themselves(God forbid).

    Is this what passes for chivalry these days….pitiful display gentlemen.

    I don’t think any of you Regents have enough of what Mr Greenfield speaks of to garnish even a sniff of attention at Valentines day or any other for that matter.

    I hope your all happy with yourselves for declaring the WORLD IS STILL FLAT.

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    @tabularasa

    Here’s what I don’t understand.

    You write something, completely true and backed by solid science, that “offends” the professional grievance-mongering class. The moment they call you out you should know from experience that no apology, no matter how abject or demeaning (e.g., Larry Summers), will suffice in the end. At that point you’ve lost whatever position you’re trying to retain.

    That being the case, why not tell them to pound sand, call them a bunch of PC weenies, and at least go down fighting?

    Until someone stands up to the bullies, the pattern will be:

    1. A makes completely true, scientifically sound, observation.

    2. Greivance-mongers claim that the observation is hurtful, insensitive, and demeaning (even though completely true).

    3. A makes abject, wussy apology in vain attempt to keep his position.

    4. After period of time in which A makes many more, increasingly demeaning, apologies, A gets whacked anyway.

    • #14
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    @Fredosphere

    You can get a sense of the local reaction by reading the comment thread on this article from AnnArbor.com. (That website is what’s left of the local newspaper–i.e., it’s as close to the local branch of the MSM that we’ve got these days.)

    The comments range from bemused to contemptuous regarding the doctor’s resignation. Ann Arbor’s townies are utterly failing to live up to their reputation. A glimmer of hope!

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    @AmishDude

    Who are the science-haters, exactly?

    I mean, it’s not like there aren’t a thousand social science “studies” that they can use to refute this, right? Shouldn’t you fight science with science? If his premise is wrong, shouldn’t it just be…wrong?

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    @rayconandlindacon

    Tabula Rasa; “”4. After period of time in which A makes many more, increasingly demeaning, apologies, A gets whacked anyway.” What you have overlooked is that “A” is a part of that same weasel class. He merely miscalculated when he made his initial “scientific” assertion.

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    @tabularasa
    raycon: Tabula Rasa; “”4. After period of time in which A makes many more, increasingly demeaning, apologies, A gets whacked anyway.” What you have overlooked is that “A” is a part of that same weasel class. He merely miscalculated when he made his initial “scientific” assertion. · Apr 18 at 10:25am

    You’re right. I’m just praying for some non-weasel to at least go down fighting.

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    @MargaretBall
    TeeJaw: The hollywood blacklist during the McCarthy era was stopped in just his way. John Henry Faulk engaged attorney Louis Nizer, with financial help from Edward R. Murrow and several other prominent radio personalities, which ultimately led to a famous struggle between Nizer and Roy Cohn. In the final courtroom scene Louis Nizer said to the jury, “You must send the message with your verdict that this – thing – has – got – to – stop.”

    The jury awarded Faulk $3.5 million in damages for libel which at the time was the largest libel award ever given by a jury.

    And he got a library named after him.

    • #19
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    @flownover

    What ? Do We have to hire some Ukrainian women to march, naked , into an ACS Board mtg ? You have any idea how beautiful Ukrainian women are and how our wives are so not going to let us go ?

    • #20
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    @Emerich

    Hey Jonah Goldberg–did you see the interesting side conversation about how the term “politically incorrect” has lost all meaning, in large part because the left has grabbed it and inverted its meaning? (e.g., leftist Bill Maher’s TV show “Politically Incorrect.”) A good column for you on the theme you brilliantly explored in your book, Liberal Fascism, i.e., how the left has twisted terms (such as Fascism) to mean their opposite. (Fascism is a form of leftism, but you’d never know it from the past 50 years of mainstream politically commentating.)

    • #21
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