One of the most accomplished scientists in his field, a Nobel Laureate for Pete’s sake, has, obviously under duress, resigned his post because of some very un-PC things he said about women in science. Even a neanderthal like myself recognizes the lack of wisdom in what he said in the current environment, but I can most certainly cite examples in my own experience that both support and refute his statements. Therefore, when measured by the standards of truth, his statements are at best overly generalized, but they most certainly do not rise to the level of untruth, or any other objective standard that would warrant his removal. This is political witch hunt of the purest and most ugly kind.
Those that have driven this man from his position no doubt claim to be “victims” of this man’s “bias and prejudice;” however it seems quite plain to me that they are using the claim of victimhood as a justification for victimizing. The man may be a misogynistic ape-man, but that does not change the fact that he is an extraordinarily good biologist and that any student that could bear to be in his presence would not help but benefit from being there. If no woman ever again studied under him, biology is still better because of his work and the men that would continue to work under him.
Given enough time, I might be able to list all the college professors I had with whom I had substantial disagreement on matters unrelated to the specific topic of the given class. Most especially with my religious faith. I cannot think of a single professor I had in college that shared my faith. Not one. I can think of several that attacked it routinely. There were a few that quite plainly looked down upon me because of it. I still managed to perform in their class.
There are two trends here that are obvious. The first is the notion that a sense of victimhood entitles one to victimize another. Just how far do we carry that notion? Could victimization eventually be justification for homicide? Is this not the “cycle of violence,” that liberals so often decry when it comes to Middle East relations? Areligious liberals are often fond of quoting Christian teaching on about not returning evil for evil. I guess such quotes only matter when the “victim” is someone else.
The second trend is that people are crying “foul” at this guy instead of just proving him wrong. It seems to me that while there are no tears involved in this mess, what this guy has gone through is the rhetorical equivalent of, “when you criticise them they cry.” (Yes, that is one of the things he said.) In some ways, prejudice is the easiest thing in the world to overcome. Ask any professor that begrudgingly gave me an “A” in college when they thought my faith indicated a lack of rigor. They still were not ready to profess Christianity, but they gave it more respect than they did a semester earlier.
Is there a remedy for these trends? Sure! Commonsense. Here’s hoping it returns one day.