Tag Archives: Political Correctness

Is Google right to say that sex differences don’t exist?

Radical feminists complain a lot about sexism, but damage is self-inflicted
Radical feminists complain a lot about sexism, but damage is self-inflicted

Google recently fired a software engineer who asked them to do a better job of promoting diversity by actually appealing to women’s different needs and desires. He suggested more collaborative coding (“pair programming”) and more part-time work options. Google responded to his suggestions by ejecting him forcibly from their left-wing politically correct echo chamber. Google executives claim that their company is rooted in science. Well, is there a science of sex differences? Who is right?

This article from The Globe and Mail, which is the more leftist of Canada’s two national newspapers, is written by a PhD in the field of sexual neuroscience from York University.

She says:

Despite how it’s been portrayed, the memo was fair and factually accurate. Scientific studies have confirmed sex differences in the brain that lead to differences in our interests and behaviour.

As mentioned in the memo, gendered interests are predicted by exposure to prenatal testosterone – higher levels are associated with a preference for mechanically interesting things and occupations in adulthood. Lower levels are associated with a preference for people-oriented activities and occupations. This is why STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields tend to be dominated by men.

We see evidence for this in girls with a genetic condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia, who are exposed to unusually high levels of testosterone in the womb. When they are born, these girls prefer male-typical, wheeled toys, such as trucks, even if their parents offer more positive feedback when they play with female-typical toys, such as dolls. Similarly, men who are interested in female-typical activities were likely exposed to lower levels of testosterone.

As well, new research from the field of genetics shows that testosterone alters the programming of neural stem cells, leading to sex differences in the brain even before it’s finished developing in utero. This further suggests that our interests are influenced strongly by biology, as opposed to being learned or socially constructed.

Her article is filled with linked to peer-reviewed papers, although I removed the links when quoting her article.

She even links to peer-reviewed papers to refute the Google science-deniers:

Many people, including a former Google employee, have attempted to refute the memo’s points, alleging that they contradict the latest research.

I’d love to know what “research done […] for decades” he’s referring to, because thousands of studies would suggest otherwise. A single study, published in 2015, did claim that male and female brains existed along a “mosaic” and that it isn’t possible to differentiate them by sex, but this has been refuted by four – yes, four – academicstudies since.

This includes a study that analyzed the exact same brain data from the original study and found that the sex of a given brain could be correctly identified with 69-per-cent to 77-per-cent accuracy.

[…]Contrary to what detractors would have you believe, women are, on average, higher in neuroticism and agreeableness, and lower in stress tolerance.

I think the key point in this debate is one that the author makes herself: women ought to be able to find ways to study and work on things that are interesting to them. Of course some jobs pay more than others because they are more productive, and of course we should make women aware of the consequences of studying nonsense subjects that don’t pay. We don’t want women running up student loans they’ll never pay back, then defaulting on them and passing the costs off to taxpayers. But we shouldn’t try to push women into STEM jobs by watering down the requirements of those jobs – that just treats the people who can do the jobs very unfairly.

In my own case, I prefer women who do have STEM degrees and STEM work experience, but that’s because I think that STEM education and work experience grinds out some of the characteristics of women that make them bad partners for goal-directed men like myself. I have every reason for wanting more women in STEM, but I want them to do it honestly. I want them to be treated fairly, and not get a whole bunch of advantages in education and the workplace just because they are women.

Sociology professor orders students to only use feminist sources for assignment

College tuition is rising: are you getting more for your money?
College tuition is rising: are you getting more for your money?

The Toronto Sun reports on a sociology professor who gave her students an assignment – an assignment with some very peculiar constraints.

Excerpt:

A Ryerson University student who wanted to write a paper on the “myth” of the male-female wage gap was told by her prof that not only was she wrong, she should only rely on feminist journals for her assignment instead of business sources which “blame women,” her sister says.

Josephine Mathias, 21, a fourth-year political science student at University of Toronto, took to YouTube Wednesday to criticize the assignment given her twin Jane for a sociology class.

[…]After Jane sent an email describing her intention to write about the wag gap, her instructor replied that her premise was wrong, Josephine said.

Here’s what the professor said:

“Perhaps you want to write your paper on the glass ceiling. You need to look at feminist sources on this issue…Do NOT use business sources. They blame women. The reality is patriarchy,” says the instructor’s email, posted online.

In a copy of the assignment provided to the Toronto Sun by Josephine, the instructor also notes that Ontario and Canada government websites and Statistics Canada will not be considered scholarly sources.

“Government websites state government policy that is devoid of analysis, and usually reproduces mainstream stereotypes, assumptions and misconceptions,” the assignment says.

So, that’s what you get when you enroll in non-STEM courses in a non-STEM program. What is interesting is that the professor makes about $167,000 a year. That’s more than I make, and I actually do useful work! It’s also higher than the average professor’s salary.

Here’s a video Josephine made about the assignment, and the so-called wage gap:

This is not the only political correctness going on in Toronto. A professor at the University of Toronto is also in trouble for refusing to use gender-neutral pronouns.

The Toronto Sun reports:

Dr. Jordan Peterson was bemused at my surprise. “I know, when you first discover it, you say ‘What the hell; what’s going on here?’” he acknowledged. “Unfortunately, it’s pretty par for the course. This is standard practice.”

He should know. The U of T psychology prof ignited a firestorm of criticism last fall from trans activists, faculty and students when he ran afoul of the PC police by posting a video on his YouTube channel saying that he wouldn’t use gender-neutral pronouns such as “they,” “ze” and “zir.” Protesters called for his dismissal and someone poured glue into the lock of his office door.

Where’s the intellectual discourse, the room for contrary views?

“This is the thing people don’t understand about postmodernism: postmodernists don’t debate. They don’t believe in debate, it’s not part of the creed,” Peterson argued.

“All these ethnic studies, gender studies, most of the humanities, a good chunk of the social sciences, it’s all gone down the postmodern rabbit hole. There’s no debate. It’s a political war. You don’t talk to the other side.”

Dialogue with those you don’t agree with would be giving them a platform — and respect — they don’t deserve. Instead, you just shut it down. “This is how it is. This is a university,” he sighed. “It sure would be nice if was unbelieveable, but unfortunately, it’s how it is.”

This is why I keep telling young people that they need to avoid non-STEM programs at secular universities. You’re borrowing a ton of money to become less intelligent. The professors tell you what to believe and you believe it and repeat it like a trained parrot, and then they give you a diploma and you’re $40,000 in debt with no job prospects. Don’t be stupid – understand that there are a lot of people at the university who have no business being there. They have no useful knowledge to give you. Pretty much every non-STEM professor or instructor at a secular university is an imbecile.

This is what college does to students:

You’re not learning anything from an imbecile, except how to ape an imbecile yourself.

This problem is only going to stop when we cut off the funding for universities and cut off the per-pupil funding from government as well. Funding for universities should come from loans made by companies to the individual students, who then promise to work for those companies for a certain number of years at graduation. The money should not be handed to students to go party, with no strings attached.

Carmel High School censors and destroys poster from pro-life student club

Carmel Teens for Life poster destroyed by left-wing Carmel High School fascists
Carmel Teens for Life poster destroyed by left-wing Carmel High School fascists

Another post in our continuing series analyzing why you should never send your children to public schools.

The story comes from Fox local news in Indianapolis:

Excerpt:

Administrators at Carmel High School are facing the threat of a lawsuit after removing a pro-life poster from the building.

Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to advancing religious freedom,” says administrators removed the poster display created by Carmel Teens for Life after another student complained that it was “offensive.”

The club reportedly spent over 25 hours painting the display which included 300 hearts, each representing 10 lives, to symbolize the written statement “3,000 Lives Are Ended Each Day.”

When they were caught red-handed, the fascist administrators tried to threaten the students to stop them from seeking legal advice about their first amendment rights:

In addition, administrators reportedly asked members of the club sign an agreement, which prohibits the club from using the word “abortion” in future displays or other forms of communication. The agreement reads “I will not have communications with outside agencies as a representative of the Teens for Life Club without prior approval from the Sponsors…” and “Prior approval for all communications regarding the Teens for Life Club will be requested from the Teens for Life Club Sponsors…”

The organization says members were threatened that if they did not sign the agreement immediately, the club sponsors would be forced to resign.

Liberty Counsel has more on the strong-arm bully tactics of the radical feminists:

The School District summoned the club’s leaders, demanding that they sign an agreement that they would not seek outside legal counsel or parental input, that they would have to receive prior approval for “all communications,” and that they not use the word “abortion” in any communications, including Facebook. There was also a threat to withdraw teacher sponsorship if the teens did not sign the “Agreement.”

[…]It is highly improper for school officials to demand students forgo their rights and promise to not seek legal counsel or parental input.

That was their response to destroying the poster – cover it up, threaten the teens, don’t tell your parents, don’t tell the lawyers, don’t tell the media. These are the kinds of people who run public schools – little left-wing dictators who hate the values of the parents who pay their salaries. They are more interested in lobbying for pay increases than providing children with an education that allows all points of view to be heard. Zero critical thinking from these secular left education school graduates. They can’t get jobs in the real world, but they are good at bullying children in a government-run monopoly.

Leftist Indiana news station RTV6 reported on the story:

Carmel Clay Schools

Carmel Clay Schools denies the rights of students to express their opinions, except if they agree with the secular leftist fascist school administrators. They are trying to cover up the way that they censored the free speech rights of the students. Their response was to threaten the students, to make the problem go away without having to admit fault. The school district allows posters from young Democrats and LGBT activists, just not from pro-lifers.

It’s important to understand that school adminstrators and their government allies are generally not moral people.

Consider the architect of Ontario’s sex education curriculum:

Ben Levin, the man who “appeared to have it all,” was today sentenced to three years in prison for three child pornography offences.

[…]The once-tenured professor at Ontario’s Institute for Studies in Education had a “hidden, dark side” in a “depraved on-line world” as a “deviant mentor” who made “insidious attempts to normalize the sexual exploitation of children,” McArthur noted in her 23-page reasons for sentence.

[…]A member of Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne’s transition team, Levin was deputy minister of education in 2009 when he and then-minister of education Wynne developed the “equity and inclusive education strategy,” part of which was the 2010 radical sex-ed curriculum shelved by then-Premier Dalton McGuinty after parental backlash. The 2015 sex-ed curriculum is virtually the same as the 2010 version.

[…]Levin himself claimed in a 2010 interview: “I was the deputy minister of education. In that role, I was the chief civil servant. I was responsible for the operation of the Ministry of Education and everything that they do; I was brought in to implement the new education policy.”

[…]Levin pled guilty on March 3, 2015, to three of an original seven child pornography related charges.

Many people go into the education system to normalize immoral behavior, and naturally they teach students to feel offended at any sort of judging of their immorality. When one student is offended by a pro-life viewpoint, the teachers and administrators naturally side with the pro-abortion student. They don’t side with the moral person, they side with the immoral person. Often, they are acting to protect their own immorality because they are sensitive about being judged by those who are moral.

How are we going to solve this problem of administrator discrimination against moral people? We can’t fire the administrators, it’s almost impossible to get education officials removed from a government-supported monopoly. But there is a way to solve it.

School choice

The first thing to understand is that parents really need to be promoting school choice as a public policy. When parents pay money to the government, it is handed out to schools willy-nilly, and not tied to school performance. There is no accountability to parents, and that favors the misconduct of the administrators. The simple fact of the matter is that increased spending on education does not result in improved student performance. The money is often eaten up by hiring far left school administrators whose job is to indoctrinate the students with secular leftist propaganda, not to teach them marketable skills. Parents want their kids to get jobs that will pay well.

The right way to achieve this goal of student-centered education is to stop the mandatory collection of taxes for education by the government, abolish the federal Department of Education, and put the money earned by parents back in the hands of the parents, so that they can purchase the education from the school that is focused on teaching children to invent products and services for customers. Indoctrination in global warming, Marxism and LGBT activism is not what parents want for their kids. It doesn’t make the child independent and self-sufficient.

Canadian professor warns Americans about conflict between gay rights and free speech

Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties
Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties

This editorial by a Canadian university professor from the far left University of Toronto appeared in the non-partisan The Hill.

He writes:

Two weeks ago I posted three YouTube videos about legislative threats to Canadian freedom of speech. I singled out Canada’s Federal Bill C-16, which adds legal protection for “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal code.

I noted that the policy statements surrounding similar legislation — most particularly those on the Ontario Human Rights Commission website — were dangerously vague and ill-formulated. I also indicated my refusal to apply what are now known as “preferred” pronouns to people who do not fit easily into traditional gender categories (although I am willing to call someone “he” or “she” in accordance with their manner of self-presentation).

These videos attracted a disproportionate amount of attention — online, in the Canadian national media, and beyond. A demonstration at the University of Toronto protested my statements. Another was held in support of free speech. The latter was met by counter-demonstrators who drowned out the speakers with white noise and assaulted a young female journalist — an act now viewed by half a million people on YouTube overall.

Here is the video:

He continues:

If you are wondering, reasonably, why any of this might be relevant to Americans, you might note that legislation very similar to Bill C-16 has already been passed in New York City.

Authorities there now fine citizens up to $250,000 for the novel crime of “mis-gendering” — referring to people by any words other than their pronouns of choice (including newly constructed words such as zie/hir, ey/em/eir and co).

The issue is government forcing us to use words that do not reflect reality:

Bill C-16, and its legislative sisters, are particularly insidious constructions.

[…]There is… a crucial difference between laws that stop people from saying arguably dangerous words and laws that mandate the use of politically-approved words and phrases. We have never had laws of the latter sort before, not in our countries. This is no time to start.

So, a note from a Canadian friend. The citizens of your great country, and ours — and of our allies across the Western world — are at risk.

Careless, ideologically-addled legislators are forcing us to use words we did not freely choose. We have to draw a line in the sand. That’s why people are watching. It’s a vitally important issue. We cannot afford to get it wrong.

This is actually the mainstream Democrat view. We should expect this view to become federal law whenever Democrats are elected (often with the votes of Catholics and liberal Protestants). This is what Democrats mean when they say “tolerance” and “equality”. They mean an end to free speech. You don’t have to be a conservative to be alarmed by this, especially when we have so many other more pressing problems, e.g. – the national debt, national security, the dangerous foreign policy situations worldwide, etc.

For those looking to science on the transgender issue, I recommend this peer-reviewed paper published in The New Atlantis journal. It’s balanced, and I disagree with some of the conclusions, but you have to at least know what science says about this issue right now.

Society of Christian Philosophers shames invited speaker for expressing Biblical views

Anti-marriage gay activists vandalize church
Anti-marriage gay activists vandalize church

Something interesting happened at a recent meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers, which is a group of left-leaning philosophers who are (apparently) neither Christian, nor Philosophers.

How so?

Rightly Considered blog explains what happened:

[A]t the latest Midwest meeting of the SCP, Richard Swinburne presented a paper in which he argued for the view that homosexual acts are immoral and that homosexuality is a disability that should be cured. The response from some quarters was predictably hysterical and unremarkable. What is remarkable is that the President of the SCP, Michael Rea, shamefully acquiesced to the leftist hysteria by issuing an ingratiating public apology, accusing Swinburne of causing pain and undermining the SCP’s mission of ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion:

I want to express my regret regarding the hurt caused by the recent Midwest meeting of the Society for Christian Philosophers. The views expressed in Professor Swinburne’s keynote are not those of the SCP itself. Though our membership is broadly united by way of religious faith, the views of our members are otherwise diverse. As President of the SCP, I am committed to promoting the intellectual life of our philosophical community. Consequently (among other reasons), I am committed to the values of diversity and inclusion. As an organization, we have fallen short of those ideals before, and surely we will again. Nonetheless, I will strive for them going forward. If you have thoughts or feedback you would like to share with me, I would welcome hearing from you via email or private message.

Ed Feser had an interesting point-by-point response to that the SCP did the Swinburne.

I thought this part was the most interesting:

[W]hat is this business about the “hurt” Swinburne’s views allegedly caused?  Philosophers discuss and defend all sorts of ideas that some people are bound to find offensive.  So what?  If, to take just one example, a philosopher defends the moral legitimacy of abortion, he may well offend those who regard abortion as a species of murder; whereas if he argues instead that abortion is a species of murder, he may well offend those who have had abortions.  Still, philosophers discuss and debate abortion all the time, and no one regards this as noteworthy or in need of some disclaimer.  So why are things different in the case of Swinburne’s chosen topic?

[…]If the arguments for the side you disagree with in the abortion debate are not good arguments, then that is what you should be trying to show.  Going on about hurt feelings doesn’t add anything at all to the philosophical critique.  On the other hand, if the arguments for the side you disagree with are good arguments, then you should stop disagreeing with them and stop being offended by them.  In either case, hurt feelings are neither here nor there.  And every philosopher knows this where other topics are concerned.  Why are things any different in Swinburne’s case?

Apparently, if you attach the word “Christian” to the name “Society of Christian Philosophers”, it seems to mean as much as attaching the word “Affordable” to the “Affordable Care Act”. Unlike the Evangelical Philosophical Society, the SCP has no requirement for a statement of faith, and boy, does it show.

More Feser:

Fifth, Rea speaks about the SCP having “fallen short” of the ideals of diversity and inclusion and of his resolve to “strive for them going forward.”  Well, what does that entail exactly?  Evidently he thinks that letting Swinburne say what he did amounts to having “fallen short.”  So is Rea saying that, “going forward,” he will work to make sure that views like Swinburne’s are no longer expressed at SCP meetings, or at least in SCP keynote addresses?  How would preventing views from being expressed amount to the furthering of “diversity and inclusion”?  And how would that square with the free and open debate that philosophy is supposed to be all about?

Philosophy USED to be about free and open debate, now it’s just a bunch of crybabies silencing those who don’t celebrate their views.

Feser:

Civil and reasonable discussion about questions of sexual morality is increasingly difficult today, and it is precisely those who are most prone loudly to express their “hurt” feelings who make it so.  Even the most polite, reasoned, and carefully qualified objections to homosexual acts, transgenderism, etc. are routinely dismissed a priorias “bigotry,” fit only to be ridiculed and shouted down rather than rationally engaged.  In extreme cases those who express such views face cyberbullying, loss of employment, and the like.  As Justice Scalia pointed out in his dissenting opinion in United States v. Windsor, such views are now widely treated as “beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement” and their proponents shunned as if they were “enemies of the human race.”

To pretend (as some Christian philosophers I know do) that this sort of thing is essentially just a regrettable but understandable overreaction on the part of wounded souls who have had some bad experiences with obnoxious religious people is naiveté.  It is often rather a calculated political tactic aimed at making public dissent from liberal conventional wisdom on sexuality practically difficult or impossible.

Feser actually quotes several gay activists to prove that their goal is to shame opposition to their agenda at a non-rational level.

And that non-rational level seems to be the level that most left-wing philosophers are at. Rod Dreher quotes the response of one of the Yale philosophers to Swinburne’s views. It’s just name-calling and vulgarity. But maybe that’s all that philosophy is now. Sad to see that this is the case even with the Society of “Christian” Philosophers.

Philosophy, which used to be as rigorous as my own discipline of computer science because of its roots in symbolic logic, now appears to be as rigorous as any other far-left politically correct indoctrination on the modern university campus.

I’m a software engineer, I work for a living in the competitive private sector, where results matter. If I acted like philosophers do when confronted with opposing views, I’d be fired on the spot. But in the modern secular university, apparently sub-rational thuggery is a viable career alternative. I didn’t think that my opinion of philosophers and philosophy could go any lower, but it just did. No one should be paying money for a philosophy degree, and not one dime of taxpayer money should be funding these adult children.