His remarks included the following:
Let me tell you about my trouble with girls … three things happen when they are in the lab … You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry.The next day, according to Wikipedia, "numerous media outlets reported the story and criticized Hunt's remarks as sexist."
So what's sexism? Here's Wikipedia's description of Hunt's alleged crime:
Sexism or gender discrimination is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex or gender. Sexism affects both men and women, but primarily women. It has been linked to stereotypes and gender roles, and may include the belief that one sex or gender is intrinsically superior to another. Extreme sexism may foster sexual harassment, rape and other forms of sexual violence.So where's the discrimination in Professor Hunt's remarks? Where's the incitement to rape?
Obviously, you have to be a total idiot or a contemptible liar to say that Professor Hunt's 37 words were sexist.
Hunt merely stated something about the sociology of a research lab. If you do a regular thirty-five-hour-a-week job, taking your yearly vacation allowance, a few sick days, maybe some flex days, etc., it is nevertheless likely that at some time in your career you will have taken a more than purely professional interest in one or other of the more attractive people of the opposite sex with whom you worked.
Well such a work environment as you are probably familiar with is nothing like that of a high-powered research lab. There you're likely to find people work twelve-hour days and seven-day weeks, and who will pull an all-nighter if that's what the experiment demands. There you will find people who have taken no holiday in years. And these are people trying to solve a real puzzle: they will likely be engaged in an unending conversation with co-workers, students, and technicians: how to tackle the problem experimentally, the innumerable technical snags and glitches whatever the approach, the evaluation of the data, the public presentation of the findings, the rebuttal of criticism, etc.
Now decide whether what Professor Hunt said makes sense, whether in fact, he was merely stating the obvious. Where men and women engage together in such intense effort as productive research requires, sexual tensions are inevitable and and can be powerfully disruptive. There's nothing discriminatory in saying that.
But what about the last bit: "and when you criticize them, they cry."
First, is it true or not? Here's what my wife, with over forty years of administrative experience, from running a high-powered research lab to editing journals to university administration told me: when a woman asks me for an evaluation of her performance "I ask whether they really want a candid appraisal or if that will make them cry."
So what's discriminatory about noting that female psychology, or is it physiology, can militate against effective discipline? Nothing, obviously.
So how is one to characterize the response of the Royal Society, which "acted to distance itself from the reported comments by Sir Tim Hunt."
Here's what they said:
The Royal Society believes that in order to achieve everything that it can, science needs to make the best use of the research capabilities of the entire population. Too many talented individuals do not fulfil their scientific potential because of issues such as gender and the Society is committed to helping to put this right. Sir Tim Hunt was speaking as an individual and his reported comments in no way reflect the views of the Royal Society.Does that have anything to do with what Professor Hunt said, or what? Well actually nothing at all. But they're distancing themselves from Professor Hunt, anyhow.
Professor Hunt expressed no objection whatever to the employment of women in science, which is hardly suprising since his wife is a distinguished scientist whose graduate studies he supervised.
But the irrelevantly offensive stupidity of the Royal Society's "distancing" of itself from one of its most distinguished members was nothing compared to the actions of University College London, where Hunt held an honorary, that is to say unpaid, position. They got him to resign by bullying his wife, Professor Mary Collins who, speaking with the Guardian, said:
I was told by a senior that Tim had to resign immediately or be sacked – though I was told it would be treated as a low-key affair. Tim duly emailed his resignation when he got home. The university promptly announced his resignation on its website and started tweeting that they had got rid of him. Essentially, they had hung both of us out to dry. They certainly did not treat it as a low-key affair. I got no warning about the announcement and no offer of help, even though I have worked there for nearly 20 years. It has done me lasting damage.How is one to characterize people who act so despicably? Morons? Arse holes? Nazis? Well, actually, I think "Sexists" is the right term. What we are seeing in the triumph of political correctness over sanity and decency is the rise of something like the mentality of ancient Rome, where people were thrown to the lions for the amusement of the masses.
Here we have a case of a distinguished, old, white guy being publicly humiliated for no better reason than that he is a distinguished, old, white guy, i.e., exactly the sort of successful, racially unmixed, hard-working, responsible person most hated by the mis-educated, multi-culturalized, self-hating British moronocracy. And the elite at the Royal Society, the University of London, and the folks at the European Research Council, who also fired Hunt, are right behind the mob: a mob of sexist, racist, anti-intellectualist British yahoos.
But then where are the Brits? To judge by some press reports, the Brits seem to have been entirely ethnically cleansed:
|A greeting for Michelle Obama during a visit to a London school. Source Daily Mail. Nice-looking kids. But they're NOT ENGLISH.|