Note: This article is also available in Italian.
The latest complaint du jour from gender ideologues, especially those in academe, is that there is a shortage of women in STEM fields. I note with irony that most of the bitching is coming from people with arts degrees that, judging by their other common rhetoric, can not manage statistics any more than they can manage physics or engineering. These are generally the same people whose investment in rocket science is to critique the fashion choices of a man who helped land a spacecraft on a comet. For the moment, I will set aside that show-stopping bit of reality and focus more on the subject at hand.
Science does not need women at all. Having a vagina will not help us produce cold fusion energy any more than having a vagina will take physicists closer to understanding quantum mechanics. Of course, having a penis does not solve those problems either. What science needs is more scientists, and prescreening them based on genitalia isn’t very, well, scientific. As a matter of fact, it is unscientific enough to call stupid and stupid enough to call feminist.
And that brings us to what we are really talking about here. Feminists don’t want more women in STEM for the sake of science. They want more women in STEM because the historically consistent lopsided numbers of men to women in STEM make it appear that women are either A) not generally as apt as men in hard sciences or B) not near as interested as men in hard sciences.
Unfortunately for the unscientific ideologues crowing about getting more women in STEM, both of those statements are true. Indeed, I would bet that “A” has a great deal to do with “B.” In other words it makes a lot of sense that there is a strong correlation between women’s aptitude and their interests. In the old days we used to call that insight and self-assessment. In postmodern times we call it patriarchal oppression.
As a species, we seem to be getting dumber all the time.
I will beg the indulgence of any ideologues reading this and ask you to pretend you are in the real world for the next few paragraphs.
STEM requires a higher level of intelligence, generally speaking, than being a receptionist or cleaner of sewers. That is not to say there are not some very bright receptionists and sewer cleaners out there. After all, Einstein started out as a patent clerk. It is evident however, that intelligence, particularly in the range approaching genius, plays a role in both aptitude and interest in very difficult subjects.
Accepting that means you accept there is and always will be a lot more men in STEM than women. You can have STEMwalks, Take Back the STEM rallies and any other form of nonsense you want. It won’t change a thing.
Let’s examine this using a graph. I have selected a very simple one for the gender studies majors, so they too will feel included.
As you can see here, the distribution of general IQ is different for each sex. When you look at the extreme ends of the bell curve you notice that men dominate, both in high and low intelligence, while women’s IQs are grouped more toward the average.
That means a lot more men than women with the intelligence to do things like design rockets. It also explains why you see so many more men at the helm of Fortune 500 companies, leading governments and doing all other sorts of things ideologues like to blame on sexism. It is not sexism. Let’s call it smartism, because that is what it is. Science, technology, innovation and leadership are predominately driven by men because they are the ones more likely to possess the intelligence to excel.
That is not being smug. The bell curve also demonstrates that men dominate at the lower end, which partly explains why our prisons are clogged with men of low intellect. It is just a reality that we have to face until someone, likely a man, figures out a reliable way to raise IQs in human beings.
In the meantime ideologues with lower IQs are dominating the discourse on why there is a dearth of women in STEM. To put it less kindly, people with insufficient intelligence to handle hard sciences are trying to lead the discussion on how to attract talent.
Precisely what I would expect from people whose intelligence is limited. I know, that is ableist, and I don’t care. If you don’t mind I will pass on the idea that we can improve science and the society it serves by seeking anything but excellence.
Right now any woman in western culture with the intelligence, aptitude and interest can enter STEM education with no barriers that anyone else does not face. Nothing is or should be in their way to a future in STEM and indeed there are some brilliant women who have done so and been great contributors.
I can’t imagine that they are pining to work alongside incompétents simply because it puts another vagina in their workplace. If they were that stupid they would not have been able to earn the right to be where they are.