Friday, July 14, 2006

Prove It

I am sick and tired of people pointing to tiny differences in averages between men and women, differences much smaller than the larger ones within either group, as evidence that men and women are different. I am sick of people doing the same thing with averages between racial or ethnic groups, or socio-economic groups, or religious or sexual-orientation or whatever crazy half-assed basis for segregating.

So, from now on, I'm not only going to assume bigotry, but I'm going to call people on it. You get nothing from me. You want to claim that Affirmative Action is unfair, you better find the evidence to demonstrate that position, and I'm not granting you anything. I'm sick and tired of someone proclaiming how "I'm not prejudiced, but..." You are. We all are. Part of human intelligence is pattern recognition, and humans are consequently prone to finding patterns where none exist. We are all susceptible to extrapolating from a few personal examples to sweeping generalities. We are all just as prejudiced as we can be, and it takes hard work every day to fight against that.

So, today I would like to praise Ben A. Barres from Stanford University, for an excellent article in Nature, Does gender matter?, calling out gender prejudice as demonstrated by some very privileged people.

Hat tip to Feministing

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