Tag: Gender

I Am Not Embarrassed by Harvey Weinstein


WeinsteinAnne Bayefsky’s article on Fox News suggested: “Harvey Weinstein is an embarrassment — for Jews, for men, for Democrats, for Hollywood, for humankind…. Harvey Weinstein’s mug is literally the poster face of every anti-Semite’s favorite Jew. Fat, ugly, and unkempt. Not to mention greed, narcissism and gross over-indulgence written all over it. Hollywood makeup artists couldn’t have done it any better.”

As a Jew and a man, I am not “embarrassed” by Harvey Weinstein. He doesn’t represent me. Never did. From a distance he looked like someone I wouldn’t ever want to know.

Anne is very active and supportive in the Jewish community and I respect her work. But her concern over how some Nazi losers would use Weinstein to confirm their idiocy is misplaced. The bigger issue is why she would assume because we happen to be the same religion or gender, I should feel uncomfortable.

Traditional Gender Roles, a Garbage Disposal, and a Sexy Husband


I put lime peels in the garbage disposal and flipped the switch. In less than a minute the machine’s hungry growl had turned into an angry bark, had turned into a chastised whine, had turned into complete silence. I looked bemused at the water that was already backing up, the water that was tinged with the red of tomato pulp scraped from plates after a spaghetti dinner.

I’d clearly murdered the appliance.



Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” the memo written by Google’s now-fired software engineer James Damore, addresses a taboo topic in modern American life — namely, sex differences that relate to the abilities and occupational choices of men and women.

Damore’s critique of diversity and inclusion, which he supports in the abstract, hit the tech industry hard for this very simple reason: firms like Google and Facebook have tech workforces dominated by white and Asian men. As Damore observes, Google has spent millions on programs to recruit and hire more women and non-Asian minorities, with little to show for its efforts. He urges Google: “Stop restricting programs and classes to certain genders and races,” and to “de-moralize diversity.” In his view, this reverse discrimination drives Google’s rigid, ideological conformity, lowers overall production, and undercuts professional morale.

Richard Epstein responds to the controversy around Google’s decision to fire an employee for a memo criticizing the company’s diversity policy.

Harvard’s Assault on Freedom of Association


Whether you follow the work of my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) or not, you may be aware of the ongoing dispute over Harvard University’s single-gender social organizations (e.g., the “Final Clubs”), which the university has been trying to drive to extinction through increasingly unsubtle means.

Last May, Harvard announced that members of these social organizations would be ineligible for recommendation for prestigious scholarships, chief among them the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, and also be ineligible for leadership positions in student organizations. It’s been a dark comedy of errors ever since. Perhaps sensing the backlash to come from the recommendations of the policy’s implementation committee, which recommended making the policy even harsher, Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana announced the formation of a new review committee in January 2017. But Khurana then turned right around and said he would accept “nearly all” of the implementation committee’s draconian recommendations, and then appointed himself the head of the new review committee.

But even that obvious charade didn’t prepare us for the singular awfulness of the new committee’s recommendations, which aim to “phase out” single-gender social organizations entirely by 2022. Worse, they target not only single-gender organizations, but any social organizations whose membership criteria are in any way exclusionary. And students would be punished for running afoul of the new policy:



The Wall Street Journal’s news pages published an article last week accusing Facebook of systematically discriminating against its female engineers. After reviewing five years worth of data, a “longtime” engineer at Facebook, who remained unnamed in the article, found that the work of female engineers was rejected far more often than that of male engineers. Women also waited 3.9 percent longer to have their code accepted and got 8.2 percent more questions and comments about their work. The report added a disparate impact claim: “Only 13 percent of Facebook’s engineers are women.”

An analysis of this report by ThinkProgress concluded, “Facebook’s gender bias goes so deep it’s in the code”—and then drew the further inference that embedded discrimination against women by higher-ups in the firm explains much of the persistence of this disheartening pattern At least as of yet, there has been no effort to convert these charges of social insensitivity into a legal claim. Indeed, Facebook has made every effort to get out in front of the problem: It has climbed unequivocally onto the diversity bandwagon through committing to build “an employee base that reflects a broad range of experiences, backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and many other characteristics.”

Beyond that, Facebook offered a gender-neutral explanation for the differences. They are best explained, Facebook claimed, by the simple fact that engineers at the lower levels of the company’s hierarchy, where female engineers occupy a proportionally larger part of the positions, make more coding mistakes. But that explanation leaves the critics unhappy. It shows that Facebook has a latent bias in its refusal to promote its female engineers at the same rate as its male engineers. On the critics’ view, the quality of the work of the two groups of engineers is identical, so that all observed variations in promotions or code rejection rates must be attributable to some form of implicit bias or overt discrimination.

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Next month, I will be taking my daughter to a New Student Orientation program at the university she will be attending in the fall. I was looking at the website page that lists the orientation team leaders, who are current students, and I couldn’t help noticing that the pupils’ page proudly perpetrates the peculiar practice of picking preferred […]

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My genderqueer transmasculine FB friend (ok, don’t ask, she just graduated from college a year ago) made an angry status about her gender identity becoming a pre-existing condition under TrumpCare. Putting aside that blatant bit of misinformation, let us explore the interesting exchange in the comments section that inspired this post. Another person said that the same […]

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Trump and Clinton Genders Reversed


This piece out of NYU is absolutely fascinating. They had a female actor play Trump and a male one play Clinton in a reenactment of excerpts from the debates.

I love the honesty that these very liberal academics display. They expected to see the female Trump come off as less acceptable and the male Clinton to be more impressive. The opposite happened.

I don’t want to add too much to the piece, which is very thorough and insightful, but one thing struck me: the myth of sexism in actual daily life. The idea that it is more acceptable in 21st Century America for a man to condescend to and dismiss a woman the way Hillary did Trump as a matter of course in the debates.

The World Needs More Men


It’s OK to be a man. And it’s OK to act like a man.

Unless you go to college. College, it seems, thinks being a man is nothing more than a catch phrase for being an unrepentant rapist even if you’ve never had such a disgusting thought in your life, nor actually committed the violent act. In college, being a man means you’re unable to find love, incapable of dealing with your feelings, have (or one day will have!) contributed to the degradation of all women everywhere and, therefore, must be neutered in public and private.

College can be a nasty place.

Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for January 2, 2017, this is, my god I can’t believe it, our century mark podcast. Yep, podcast number 100! And as grandiose as that is, we have an equally grandiose theme, it’s the Back to Camelot edition of the podcast, brought to you by ZipRecruiter. If your business is giving you headaches because you can’t find the right candidates for the wonderful jobs you have to offer, take a look at ziprecruiter.com.

You can find us online at HarvardLunchClub.com and on twitter where our handle is @HLCpodcast; we are also on facebook, look for Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast. And of course we are here every week on Ricochet – the groovy center right clubhouse for intelligent talk and interesting perspectives.

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http://www.beamsandstruts.com/bits-a-pieces/item/682-the-female-gaze-and-male-shame In our universities we teach/indoctrinate students  that women have little agency, or freedom of action, and have internalized the impact of the ‘Male Gaze,’ that they are mere sexual objects. Preview Open

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The Tyranny of Pronouns


jack-sparrowWhen I think back on how prophetic Bob Dole was, I want to flambé a grammar book. You may recall that in the midst of losing the 1996 presidential election, he began referring to himself in the third person, as in: “Make no mistake, Bob Dole is going to be the Republican nominee.” But at least he had the good sense to use his actual name, and didn’t demand that we refer to him with inanities like “Ze,” or “Hir,” or “they.” And when he excused himself to go the men’s room Bob Dole didn’t say, ”Bob Dole has to go to the ladies room.” Dave Carter misses Bob Dole.

All of which is a far cry from Leo Soell, a fifth-grade teacher in Oregon who won a $60,000 lawsuit a few months back over her insistence that she be referred to as, “they.” Yes, you read that correctly. Want to read it again? It’s okay, I’ll wait. Let it sink in for a moment, and then let us pause briefly and pray that Soell doesn’t teach English, otherwise her fifth-graders won’t know the difference between third person plural and third person singularly ridiculous. Here, I disclose that I actually identify as a Lamborghini Owner (please contact Ricochet’s editors for instructions on how you can help accommodate my new identity).

Now comes news that University of Toronto professor is accused of hate speech for declining to address various students using “genderless pronouns.” Not only has Professor Jordan Peterson refused to refer to certain “transgender and black students” in genderless terms, but he delivered a two-part lecture on YouTube explaining his position:

Girls and Boys and Science


“But Miss Lenhart, that’s not true. Don’t you read Ricochet?”

One of the more irritating — and destructive — clichés we’re all forced to endure in newspapers, on television, and everywhere else is the idea that girls, somehow, need extra help in the classroom, or through special programs and more encouragement. Of course, women outnumber men in college, law school, and medical school. And now we know that girls outperform boys in technology and engineering subjects, too. From the AMI Newswire:

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Using the threat of withholding federal funds (that was sent by the states!) to force 99.7% of the school population to swallow their discomfort and allow ‘transgender’ persons to use any restroom/locker rooms at any time is going nowhere. Texas has already said, NO!, Indiana may have, and Limbaugh just read part of the letter […]

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Harvard’s Final Clubs Debacle


shutterstock_143473063Last week, Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust wrote a public letter on “Single-Gender Social Organizations,” which heralds a brave new social order at Harvard and perhaps elsewhere. The targets of her letter are Harvard’s so-called final clubs—those organizations that are the last, or final, clubs that undergraduates would join before leaving Harvard. These final clubs are not located on Harvard property and they receive no funding of any sort from the University, having been officially dissociated from Harvard in 1984. There are at present 13 of them—six accept only male members; five, only female members. Two formerly all-male clubs, Fox and Spee, are now co-ed after buckling under relentless pressure from Harvard. Some 30 percent of Harvard undergraduates are members of these organizations. It seems clear that there is substantial private demand for these clubs, and, for a period of many years, little or no demand for co-ed social clubs that served these same purposes.

These final clubs enjoy widespread acceptance among their members because some young people prefer to organize their social lives around single-sex organizations. To a classical liberal like myself, these revealed preferences count a great deal, for it would be foolish to insist that a large fraction of this nation’s future elites are so misguided about their own moral and social development that they would take steps to stunt their growth in both these dimensions. But in the eyes of progressives like Faust, these preferences should be dismissed as inconsistent with a bigger vision of a “campus free from exclusion on arbitrary grounds.” When an organization rejects “much of the student body merely because of its gender,” she writes, that “undermines the promise offered by Harvard’s diverse student body.” She then concludes on a paternalist note that these clubs “do not serve our students well when they step outside our gates into a society where gender-based discrimination is understood as unwise, unenlightened, and untenable.”

Faust offered no particulars for her indictment. Rather, she eagerly accepted the recommendations contained in a Harvard College letter, also from last week, by the college dean, Rakesh Khurara, which argues in harsh pernicious stereotypes that the final clubs are the “exclusive preserves of men” and create a power imbalance on campus, making it impossible for Harvard to move forward in the 21st century. He twists the knife in deep by insisting that any student who is a member of one of these clubs will be denied positions of leadership “in recognized student organizations or athletic teams,” and will not receive Dean endorsement letters that are needed when applying to prestigious scholarships such as the Rhodes and Marshall awards. Khurara only stops short of insisting that membership in a final club should be grounds for expulsion from Harvard.

First They Came for the Porkies


Porcellian-ClubHahvahd’s male-only clubs have forged life-long relationships. And that, of course, is the problem.

“Once a Porcellian always a Porcellian,” read a 1940 Time magazine article about the oldest of Harvard University’s secretive, all-male “final clubs.” “Porkies keep up their Porkie friendships all their lives, go back religiously to the annual Porkie banquet at which new members are initiated. … From the Pore’s clubrooms, non-Porcellians are religiously excluded.”

The Washington Post notes, with the usual thin-lipped expression of disapproval: “For the 225 years that the Porcellian Club has existed, this exclusion has applied to all women — a fact that has increasingly been condemned by the Harvard administration.” See, the relationships forged in this club gave the members privileges at odds with the desires of an egalitarian world, and while that had an effect on every non-Porkie male in the nation, it had a disparate impact on women, since not one could join.