I prefer aggression per se, myself, but apparently this is a big deal:
My favorite is “gender plays no part in who we hire,” a policy feminists have spent decades demanding from American businesses only to dismiss it now as aggressively sexist, a self-delusion promoted by the corporate world to disguise their bias against women.
By coincidence I received in my email while off on vacation an advertisement for this scholarship. "This scholarship is available only to women," the tenured (and female) faculty member wrote to the email list without any apparent sense of discomfort.

Well, why shouldn't it be? It's private money, after all. I'm sure we're all OK with the idea of private actors -- corporations and their hiring managers, for example -- acting on their preference for supporting the advancement of the right sex. Or if we are not, why not? It's their money, after all, whether paid out as scholarships or salaries.


MikeD said...

Private actors may spend their private money how and where they wish (leaving aside on blatantly illegal things, such as a hitman or other criminal enterprise). I actually DON'T have a problem with private scholarships. But it's not my disapproval anyone needs to fear. I'm not going to go out and protest the racism inherent in a scholarship that only allows one ethnicity to receive it, nor the sexism inherent in giving a scholarship to a single particular gender. But woe betide any individual or organization that attempts to set up a scholarship for men, or whites. Again, it wouldn't be me angry about it, but the vast crowds of perpetually offended who would decry such a thing.

What the University of California system is doing, however is not a private actor engaging in private activity. It is the State enforcing a de facto speech code upon its employees. I agree with the author over at hotair, that this is a signal that "if you want to keep tenure, you'll keep your mouth shut and not offend the children." Now I'm certainly not saying that State employees have a right to go throwing around racial slurs and offending what are ostensibly its customers. But at some point, someone needs to tell the perpetually offended class that there is in fact no right to not be offended anywhere in the Constitution.

And finally, I really do wonder at the thought process that "gender plays no part in who we hire" can be offensive when all employers are required by Federal law to be Equal Opportunity Employers (it always makes me laugh when I hear a business advertise that fact... it's like a restaurant bragging in an advertisement "we've not been shut down by the Health Department!" If gender DOES play a part in your hiring practices, then you're in violation of Federal law (unless you run a women's only gym or other single gender establishment). And while we're on the subject, how is it that it's totally fine to have a gym only for women, but don't you DARE have a barber who refuses to cut women's hair?

Anonymous said...


Just to take a tiny slice of what you mentioned, I was on an advisory committee for a homeowner's association that ran three gyms. Of those, two of them had separate, women's only areas. They did this because their survey data showed that, for many women, the gyms were intimidating, and a women's-only area would be an enticement to join (and pay for it).

The association took the position that having a women's-only area was no different from having a racket ball, basketball, martial arts, tennis, or golf facility, or a wheelchair lift, and in truth, the equipment was somewhat specific (puny weights, lots of floor mats, and an overabundance of aerobic machines).

It was interesting to me that the clientele at the oldest of the three gyms loudly rejected the entire idea of a sex-specific area. This was a gym that had women using all parts of it for about 20 years, by the time I first saw it.

I had little use for the women's-only areas. For one thing, the very few unpleasant experiences I had at these facilities were all in the women's-only areas. Apparently there were women who, inexperienced in true gym etiquette, felt perfectly free to let their bitch flags fly.


Grim said...

It's just interesting to me that we have this disparity in our approach. $15,000 is a lot of money for a grad student. Scholarships at that level are few and far between. To throw out a figure like that on an email list full of grad students is like throwing meat in a pond full of piranha. But then you tell half of them that they aren't fit to apply, because the world doesn't need more of their kind in grad school -- and yet, of course, an increasing majority of grad students are already female. Even so, nobody would accept for one second a massive scholarship aimed at making sure more men were involved in the higher levels of academia.

It's a weird mental structure. The goal is ostensibly inclusion of everyone, but it functions by outright exclusion of the disfavored, coupled with a ban on any attempt by the disfavored to rally up and create a 'safe space' of their own. One cannot avoid the conclusion that it's really about obtaining advantages for one's 'side' in power and wealth, rather than about inclusion, fairness, and justice.

J Melcher said...

"But then you tell half of them that they aren't fit to apply, because the world doesn't need more of their kind in grad school -- and yet, of course, an increasing majority of grad students are already female."

'Half' is the incorrect part here. Instead you unrepentantly tell the already oppressed minority group that has struggled to reach just so far up the ladder that the next rung is, for them, unavailable. Oh, and that they may not complain. After all, their grandfathers were sinners; so they must be burdened with the inherited consequences.

Because tolerance, progress and social justice, right?

Texan99 said...

I take the micro-aggression to be the crime of implying that any aspect of our national culture is successful or defensible by correct-thinking standards; it's like denying original sin, a burning offense.