Objective fact is sexist?

From Tyler O’Neil at PJ Media:

Real misogynists used to argue that women couldn’t understand things as well as men could. This patronizing view is both insulting and false, but now it has reemerged in a new way — so-called feminist professors arguing that science itself is misogynist because it deals in objective truth.

That’s one of the daft arguments in “Are STEM Syllabi Gendered? A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis” by the University of North Dakota’s Laura Parson, published in The Qualitative Report at the beginning of this year. While Parson admits that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) syllabi do not have “overt references to gender,” their language “reflects institutionalized STEM teaching practices and views about knowledge that are inherently discriminatory to women and minorities by promoting a view of knowledge as static and unchanging.” More.

Here’s the study by Laura Parson.of U North Dakota:

This study explored the gendered nature of STEM higher education institution through a feminist critical discourse analysis of STEM course syllabi from a Midwest research university. I explored STEM syllabi to understand how linguistic features such as stance and interdiscursivity are used in the syllabus and how language and discourses used in the syllabus replicate the masculine nature of STEM education. Findings suggest that the discourses identified in the syllabi reinforce traditional STEM academic roles, and that power and gender in the STEM syllabi are revealed through exploration of the themes of knowledge, learning, and the teaching and learning environment created by the language used in the syllabus. These findings inform and extend understanding of the STEM syllabus and the STEM higher education institution and lead to recommendations about how to make the STEM syllabus more inclusive for women. (public access)

It’s not really hard to figure out what is happening here: Now that there are lots of women in the STEM subjects, professional feminists are hurting for work. That sort of person often responds by undermining the fundamental strengths of the discipline, to maintain a small, select grievance group whose main problem is that they neither qualify nor show much interest in doing so, but feel entitled.

That said, this type of situation is downstream from problems at the highest level, for example, the war on falsifiability and the new craze that we did not evolve so as to perceive reality. The assault on objectivity is being waged on a number of fronts and the results bode no good for science in our century. .

See also: In search of a road to reality


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