Tuesday, February 15, 2005


An email recently received:

A number of years ago my wife's business partner (who happened to be black) was a conservative who insisted on good behavior, sent his children to a conservative Lutheran parochial school, spanked them when they misbehaved through high school, insisted that his girls wear dresses and not jeans, preached premarital abstinence, had a zero tolerance attitude toward drinking and drug use (he never used alcohol, although he didn't condemn its moderate use), and had daily prayer and bible devotions in his home. He was faithful and kind to his wife, although it was clear that he considered himself to be the head of his family. He had a close friend (who was also black) who was a principal of an inner city school. This gentleman tried his best to move his school toward standards despite the interference of the liberal school board, etc.

One day his sixteen year old daughter defied him by seeing a boy she had been forbidden to see and staying out until the wee hours of the morning. When she got home her father gave her a sound bare bottom spanking with a hairbrush. In her anger his daughter called the police afterwards. Her father was carted off to jail, convicted of child abuse, and ordered to attend parenting classes.

During the trial the daughter said that she was profoundly sorry for having called the police, that she did it out of anger, that her father had never abused her, that she knew that she would be spanked if she disobeyed her father, that she deserved the spanking, and that she hoped that after the trial her father would be permitted to give her a much longer and harder spanking for having showed her ingratitude to him by calling the police!

Here is an example of how the court and social workers undermined the stability of an inner city black family by interfering with the commendable disciplinary decisions of an exemplary black family. The father of this family has been seriously wounded in his self-confidence and self-esteem. I would argue that the court and the social workers involved (all white) are morally inferior to the black family in their values. I think they are a great threat to everything that is decent about our society. The problem is not race but moral issues and values. Whites should be making alliances with blacks with solid values to resist the politically correct nonsense.

Swedish government bans science on gender differences

(Post lifted whole from Secular Blasphemy)

Columnist Carl Hamilton in Aftonbladet writes about a very troubling conflict between science and politics in Sweden. My translation:

The government bans opinions on men's and women's brains

In one respect Sweden's government is unique in the world. It has a definite opinion about a scientific controversy: whether women's and man's brains are different, or not. The first time i realised that the government had involved itself in neurobiology, was when gender equality minister [! - ed] Jens Orback in a speech about sexual deviations and living with horses [!!! - ed], affirmed:

- The government considers female and male as social constructions, that means gender patterns are created by upbringing, culture, economical conditions, power structures and political ideology.

Apart from taking a position on this scientific question, the government has deiced to side with the most extreme researchers: gene theoreticians who for ideological reasons state that biology can not have any saying in explaining why male and female behaviour differs.

This reminds me about the Soviet biologist Trofim Lysenko. Lysenko was by Stalin proclaimed a scientific genius and his "creative darwinism" was hailed as a huge step forward for genetic research. Lysenko argued that learned traits could be inherited and that by manipulating the environment one could easily cause fundamental changes in plants and animals. Career hungry politicians loved him. Ideology meant everything, experiment and science nothing.

The real scientists, who protested, were cleaned out (and executed).

One of the reasons I write this is that the county government (länsstyrelsen) in Norrbotten has banned the publication of a book about gender equality because it contains an interview with a scientist who argues that the difference between men and women is not only caused by the environment, but a combination of inheritance and environment.

According to professor Annica Dahlström, one of the world's leading neurobiologists, men's and women's brains are different. Thus she has entered an area where Sweden's government has already ruled what is scientifically true and false.

The result is that the book is being censored. The county government has demanded that the interview with Dahlström has to be removed, or there will be no money and no book.

The county government doesn't hide what this is about:

- Since our job is to execute Swedish policy, we cannot stand behind a book that expresses these opinions.

Thus, no deviating opinions about gender roles, especially not if they happen to be correct.

If the Swedish governent decided that the Earth is flat, all Swedes would fall over the edge.

PS: We remember the controversy around Harvard President Lawrence Summers.

Update: Those who read Swedish may want to read the concurring editiorial from Dagens Nyheter, which also gives the full banned interview with Annica Dahlström. From the editorial:

"Our Swedish gender equality policy is based on us being equal and being socialised into different gender roles," declared Britt-Marie Lugnet-Häggberg in the Wednesday DN. "Annica Dahlström is an essentialist feminist (särartsfeministisk) and believes that boys and girls are totally different. The county government cannot publish material with that opinion."

One should believe that the gender equality director is joking. But she is not.

The term I have chosen to translate "essentialist feminist" refers to feminists who believe that men and women are different biologically, and that gender equality can be achived by emphasising the strengths of the feminine nature. Many ecofeminists are in this category. I have no idea if this characterisation of Dahlström is correct, but it is somewhat amusing to see a book being banned not only for promoting a mainstream scientific opinion, but also for promoting a heretical branch of feminism.

PS 2: I have somewhat reluctantly used the term "gender" in this posting, even though I consider it a misnomer when discussing sex differences. "Gender" really refers to noun forms in grammar, where languages like Greek, Latin, German, Norwegian and many others have (especially) nouns separated into feminine, masculine and neuter categories. This term was then used by feminists to describe sex as a social construction (as opposed to a biological one). Since using "gender" avoids the term "sex," which easily brings our mind to think about sexual relations, this neologism has been a huge success. I know a lost philological battle when I see one, but I don't have to like it.

Feminine in grammar sometimes, but not always, reflects feminine in nature. Many are endlessly amused that the German word for girl, Mädchen, is neuter.


Another way for the children of well-off families to show how superior they are

"Students for Social Justice and Institutional Change (SSJIC) held a "Kick Coke Off Campus" party last Thursday, February 3, in the Campus Center. It was a casual event in the basement, with a DJ and plenty of food and Coca-Cola alternatives for students to sample. Some of the alternatives were POLAR seltzer, Cape Cod Dry and a few generic brands of cola. Students were also able to make patches for bags and clothing, while reading up on the recent activities of Coca-Cola as well as about the past relationship of Coke and Smith College.

The "Coke Off Campus" campaign began in response to the decision by SINALTRAINAL, a Columbian food workers' union, to make public to the international media the alleged human rights abuses of Coca-Cola last spring. The right-wing paramilitaries in control of the corporate branches there have recently threatened and assassinated several union leaders. The executive Coke office claims that it cannot be held responsible for the political situation abroad.

But from right on campus, some students are calling on Coke to assume more corporate social responsibility. "Instead of randomly going to rallies, students should realize that colleges are complicit in the global economy, and make the change here," said Emma Roderick '07".

More here

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