From The NY Times: ‘Harvard Business School Case Study: Gender Equity’

Full piece here.

‘The country’s premier business training ground was trying to solve a seemingly intractable problem. Year after year, women who had arrived with the same test scores and grades as men fell behind. Attracting and retaining female professors was a losing battle; from 2006 to 2007, a third of the female junior faculty left.’

If you can’t control risk, probability, nature, and biology, you can try and control other people, the ‘culture’, and get all up in their business schools:

‘He and his classmates had been unwitting guinea pigs in what would have once sounded like a far-fetched feminist fantasy: What if Harvard Business School gave itself a gender makeover, changing its curriculum, rules and social rituals to foster female success?’

American Power link here.

If we go by what the gender equity crowd does, rather than by what they say, the lesson seems how to take an abstract idea like (E)quality, form some sort of organizational/ideological structure out of it, then eventually affix that structure to institutions with deep pockets like the Harvard Business School, and/or the government to achieve desired outcomes.

That’s good business if you can get it.

This blog still predicts that gender feminism is doomed to failure.  Perhaps just as intractable a problem is how many such people have come to run many of our institutions without serious pushback.

Addition:  I always get email on the equity topic.  No, I don’t support douchebaggery, but it’s there, and I try and focus on my own behavior, not on controlling everyone else’s.  No, I’m not anti-woman, I’m anti-forcing the sexes to be the same.  I’ve seen little to no evidence that they are.

Related Links: Christina Hoff Sommers (wikipedia) is trying to replacing gender feminism with equity feminism. She also wrote The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.

Are You Man Enough? Nussbaum v. MansfieldFrom The Harvard Educational Review-A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’

A very Harvard affair: The Spelke/Pinker debate-The Science Of Gender And Science

Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?

Harvey Mansfield At The City Journal: ‘Principles That Don’t Change’

Bing West At The American Interest-’Women In Ground Combat’

Update And Repost- From YouTube: Leo Strauss On The Meno-More On The Fact/Value Distinction?’

Ron Unz At The American Conservative: ‘The Myth Of American Meritocracy’

Gender feminists are what I take Thomas Sowell to mean by ‘intellectuals:’


These are pretty much the kinds of ideals and policymakers we have in the White House right now:


Harvey Mansfield, Harvard professor and Straussian discusses feminism:


***Straussians see America as sliding inexorably into hedonism, backing our way into radical individualism and excessive freedom, drifting towards European nihilism, or the belief in nothing [no possibility of objective knowledge]  Atop this process will pile up the products of reason, or fields of knowledge which claim reason can do much more than it may be able to do.  He includes many of the social sciences, and much of ‘modern’ philosophy.  Here’s the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s Entry:

‘Strauss especially worried about the modern philosophical grounds for political and moral normativity as well as about the philosophical, theological, and political consequences of what he took to be modern philosophy’s overinflated claims for the self-sufficiency of reason.’

According to Strauss, this same process led Europe into fascism (he was a German Jew who emigrated during the rise of the Nazi party).  This can perhaps be highlighted in the difference between political science, and political philosophy, as he saw them.

Political science assumes that the study of politics can be like a science, or a least quantified like one:  Statistics, modeling and analysis, polling data, voting habits and voting records, historical trends and party affiliation;  All of these can be guided by political theory and experience and synthesized to help us understand what politics is.

Perhaps, as we have seen recently, we can even use statistical modeling to predict elections.  Politicians, wonks, pundits, and aspirants to power all see use in more data and greater predictibility, and many naturally see clear political advantage in such thinking.

Strauss’ critique of this approach suggests that it also shapes to some extent who we think we are, and who we ought to be.  It is reductionist, and ultimately pits political groups and parties against one another, as though itself and everyone in its care were a neutral observer.

For Strauss, this approach ought to be countered by asking questions in a deeper tradition of political philosophy, his own neo-classicism:

“What is the good society?”

“What is the common good?”

On his thinking, modern political philosophers have also acted as revolutionaries, from Machiavelli onwards.  They’ve fallen from grace in a way, or at least from his reason/revelation distinction. We moderns are lurching forwards, stumbling forwards through the dark corridors of the modern age.  We need return to classical philosophy, back to Plato and Aristotle:

‘Strauss employs the term “theological-political predicament,” to diagnose what he contends are the devastating philosophical, theological, and political consequences of the early modern attempt to separate theology from politics. However, Strauss in no way favors a return to theocracy or, like his contemporary Carl Schmitt, a turn toward political theology. Instead, Strauss attempts to recover classical political philosophy not to return to the political structures of the past but to reconsider ways in which pre-modern thinkers thought it necessary to grapple and live with the tensions, if not contradictions that, by definition, arise from human society. For Strauss, a recognition, and not a resolution, of the tensions and contradictions that define human society is the necessary starting point for philosophically reconstructing a philosophy, theology, and politics of moderation, all of which, he claims, the twentieth-century desperately needs.

Perhaps non-Straussians can begin to ask such questions of feminism, too.

Do the moral laws make the people, or do the people make the moral laws?

Feel free to highlight my ignorance.  Any thoughts and comments are welcome.

Addition:  Allowing way for ‘revelation’ also may leave the door open to those claiming divine intervention when seeking earthly power.  Strauss tried to avoid that possibility

Bing West At The American Interest-‘Women In Ground Combat’

Full piece here.

‘In sum, the Joint Chiefs have taken a clear long-term risk for an unclear near-term political gain, perhaps hoping to diminish budgetary cuts. The question is whether increasing the individual rights of the female soldier decreases the combined combat effectiveness of the killing pack. We won’t know the answer until we fight a hard ground war sometime in the future.’

Our politics is extremely polarized and there’s rarely middle ground.

Does allowing women into combat situations make us more combat ready?  As someone who’s non-military, I’ve heard these arguments made, which I find persuasive, but they’re up for debate:

Allowing women into combat necessarily invites sexual tension into the close-knit, cohesive, adrenalin-fueled environment of combat units and infantrymen.  There’s nothing like shooting and being shot at, killing up close, and the brutal conditions that occur in combat operations.  It’s animalistic.  You truly don’t know unless you’ve been there, I’ve been told.  Men and women are both changed by the presence of women, and they get up to what nature intended with all sorts of repercussions.

Only a very few women may even physically qualify to serve in combat, often at great physical cost, including later infertility in some cases.  Many men fail to qualify, for various reasons, and failure out in the field can mean death, or the death of your brothers.  This can cost us an operation, a battle, or a war.  Inevitably this will lead to two different standards, and lowered standards all around.  As West points out, some people pushing this change want equal access, but not equal obligation (no draft for women).  It’s Title IX writ large, one more boys’ club to equalize, one more situation in which to extend the gender equity logic, often with some ideological hostility for the very organizations they want to alter, often wanting to simply extend their own political and institutional influence without always having the best reasons to do so.

Our enemies, after capturing female infantry, will not only be torture and brutalize them, hold them as hostages and POW’s as they’ve done our men, but they could also rape them, and use our obvious attachment to a young woman service member to leverage their aims and which could lead to altered outcomes.  Fewer young women serving may be willing to accept such scenarios.


Here’s General Robert Barrow, 27th Commandant Of The Marines testifying back in 1991 (Clinton administration), whose testimony was referred to in West’s piece:


Here’s a quote by Samuel Huntington (wikipedia).  The quote is from The Clash Of Civilizations and is fairly well known.

“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”

Do we get to extend the values of gender equality, humanism, and human rights without our military superiority?  Do we ignore violence at our peril, either organizing it or being consumed by it?  Are we inevitably drifting Europeward, accelerated under this administration?

Related On This Site:   Can you see limited government, life, liberty and property from here?:  From The Atlantic: Samuel Huntington’s Death And Life’s WorkFrom The American Interest Online: Francis Fukuyama On Samuel HuntingtonFrom Foreign Affairs Via The A & L Daily: ‘Conflict Or Cooperation: Three Visions Revisited’

Do we try and invest in global institutions as flawed as they are…upon a Kantian raft?:  Daniel Deudney On YouTube Responding to Robert Kagan: Liberal Democracy Vs. Autocracy

Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?

Democracy as we envision it requires people to constrain themselves within laws and institutions that maintain democracy…through Mill’s utilitarianism?: Thursday Quotation: Jeane Kirkpatrick – J.S. Mill  Is Bernhard Henri-Levy actually influencing U.S. policy decisions..? From New York Magazine: ‘European Superhero Quashes Libyan Dictator’Bernhard Henri-Levy At The Daily Beast: ‘A Moral Tipping Point’