The blogosphere’s been afire for the last day or so with reactions to an op-ed by Charlotte Allen that ran in the Washington Post, my hometown paper and former employer, this past Sunday. The headline and subhed pretty much sum it up: “Women v. Women: We Scream, We Swoon. How Dumb Can We Get?” Among the highlights: Allen suggests that we ladies make worse drivers, mathematicians, and philosophers because our brains are smaller than men’s.
Yeah. Anyway, I’ve posted about some academic-blog reaction over at the Chronicle’s blog Footnoted, including a nifty scientific takedown of Allen’s so-called evidence by Jake Young, an MD/PhD candidate at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. In a post on his blog Pure Pedantry (“WaPo Spouts Some Hooey About Sex Differences”), Young marshalls evidence of his own from the annals of neuroscience, psychiatry, and mathematics, then tells Allen to take her “data” and shelve it:
It is corrosive to the public’s understanding of fact to have demonstrable falsehoods repackaged as a genuine scientific discussion. If Ms. Allen would like to have a discussion on the intellectual level of The View so be it, but don’t try and cite data while you do it.
Meanwhlie, over at Bookslut, Jessa Crispin responds to the Post’s tepid assertion that Allen’s piece was “tongue-in-cheek”:
Dear Washington Post: If you want people to understand that your bullshit is “tongue-in-cheek,” you should not hire a woman who has written widely as an anti-feminist. Also, you might want to check with the author to make sure she was being tongue-in-cheek. xoxo, J.