Liberalism’s definition of “equality” rests on a denial of reality. That is, a denial of real differences. Under liberal thought, “equality” means sameness, even amongst things that are obviously not the same. Why do liberals mark off as a no-go area the recognition of stark differences between men and women? Because to say the sexes are different is to threaten “equality.” Anyone wishing to enter polite liberal society must not merely say that men and women possess the same dignity; they must say that men and women are exactly the same, in every respect, even if that means ignoring something as basic as the fact that men and women don’t have the same chromosomes.
Woe to the public figure who doesn’t close his eyes to reality. Lawrence Summers, president of Harvard University, is the latest casualty of the left’s reality-denying definition of “equality.” Poking his head far too close to the buzzsaw of academic liberalism, Summers has been excoriated for stating in a speech last week that “innate differences” exist between men and women.
This was too much reality for professors in the audience to handle. “I would’ve either blacked out or thrown up,” said Nancy Hopkins, a biologist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who stood up and left Summers’ speech, reports the Boston Globe. “It is so upsetting that all these brilliant young women (at Harvard) are being led by a man who views them this way,” she added.
Summers was dimly aware that stating the obvious is a provocation on liberal campuses. So he girded his audience for comments about “differences” between the sexes with the preface, “I’m going to provoke you.” But his ginger approach to the subject was still “upsetting” to members of the audience. Not false, but upsetting. Notice that professors don’t even bother to formulate their criticisms in cerebral language anymore; they just express emotional hurts.
So what does the uproar mean for Summers? Obviously he’ll need to “adjust his attitude.” In other words, close his eyes to reality so as not to upset his tenured faculty. And if he doesn’t, then the man must be driven from campus. That’s what academic liberalism comes down to. Denying reality, liberalism can’t provide reasons for its positions; it can only cow people into accepting them. It can’t show conservative dissenters the truth of its claims — because they are so manifestly not true — so it falls back on the force of political correctness. You won’t accept our denial of real differences between men and women? Okay, we’ll hector you until you do.
Ideology is often used as a synonym for philosophy. It is not. At least not for sound philosophy. Ideology is not philosophy but the absence of philosophy. Instead of reasoning about reality, ideologues push ideas that do not correspond to reality, bullying and demagoging those who will not succumb to their fictions. Feminist ideology is exhibit A of this pattern. To convince people that all differences between the sexes are due to “socialization” — that is, a sexist culture — it can’t tolerate a Lawrence Summers saying as he did last week that his daughter, when barely out of the crib, immediately took two toy trucks and turned them into dolls. She called one truck “daddy truck” and the other “baby truck.” Summers concluded from this experiment with his child that the “socialization” theory is a crock.
How do ideologues prevent common sense from spreading? By turning common sense into an “offense” — a thought crime. Feminist ideologues understand this well. In due course, they will extract from Summers an apology for committing a crime against equality, and a promise not to acknowledge reality ever again.
The price of “equality” is severe, exacting equal mindlessness from both sexes as they turn off their minds and form surreal attitudes to keep destructive fictions afloat. As mothers have known from the beginning of time, male and female newborns — who have never been in society a single day — display differences. But this can’t be acknowledged lest the “socialization” theory explode.
The higher you go in education the lower the quality of thought. Summers made the mistake of telling the truth. Doesn’t he know that to be a great mind at Harvard you must never use your own?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?