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« A spider's work is never done | Main | "The ladders are put away for the winter" »

September 28, 2007


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Unfortunately much of academia has sunk into such a swamp of ignorant selfesteem that they are now a danger to the survival of Western civilization.

I went back and read the original post and Miss Grimke's "non-response" to the arguments presented. Apparently we are not to question Ms. Faust or her fitness to lead Harvard because she is "a lady".

How odd, I didn't know Harvard was in the business of turning out "ladies". I thought they were in the business of educating students to successfully take their place in the world. (silly of me to think that was a goal of an educational institution)

As for the the rest of the comment, it is the usual inane "non-argument". She makes no point of telling us anything about Ms. Faust to show us how (in her opinion) the woman is fit to lead Harvard. No facts are presented. We, OTOH are derided for daring to look at what the woman has written to evaluate her skills for the job at hand. How silly of us! We should just accept her because... she's a LADY.

If Miss Grimke is a sample of those who support Ms. Faust, I feel for the woman. At least she could get a few people who took up Forensics in High School to argue her case.

Sissy, how funny: down South, where I'm from, and where etiquette is a full-contact sport, I have always heard the definition of good manners to be "never giving offense UNintentionally."


Egad, Barry. You're right. My misspelling gives the opposite meaning to that intended. I have corrected it and am washing my paw.

If that gal forgets to being me the lime slices, she's in big trouble.

Let's follow Ms. Grimke's inferences. Reading someone's writing to "pick it apart and try to show that [you] are smarter than [the writer"] is not ladylike. Ergo, reading someone's writing and accepting it unquestioningly is ladylike.

Apparently if one desires to be a lady - and methinks Ms. Grimke does - the key is not to think critically. Rather like the idea of being a lady means voting the way your husband/ authority figure tells you to vote.

Ms. Grimke, you've come a long way, baby.

Neither Ms. Grimke nor the female person pictured in your post in any way resembles a lady! You, Sissy, are a lady. You are also someone for young women to emulate (my opinion but I'm VERY smart).

As they say in the South, "Bless her heart! Ms. Grimke just doesn't know any better!"

Drew Gilpin Faust is qualified to lead Harvard (and more!), in my humble opinion, because 1)Girl Scouts are responsible, fair-minded, and strong (and clean in thought, word, and deed!) and 2)a lady would never use the kind of language I find myself reading here. What is a feminazi? Someone who forces you to wear stockings and high heels? Truly I have fallen in over my head! Also I cannot believe you said Mr. Summers did what you said. Good grief that's ugly!

How curious that Miss Grimke finds "the kind of language" she does here. Feminazi? I doubt we've used the Limbaugh expression even once in these pages. Fortunately for Miss Grimke, she knows all about sisu without reading past her cute little upturned nose.

"1)Girl Scouts are responsible, fair-minded, and strong (and clean in thought, word, and deed!) and 2)a lady would never use the kind of language I find myself reading here."

ROFL... Well at the very least Ms. Grimke is very amusing. Once again she spouts off how "wonderful" and "responsible" Ms. Faust is - yet once again I find my self saying... so what?

I was a Girl Scout (of course this was back when I was a girl - now I've grown up) . I am responsible. I am trustworthy. And I believe if you read my comments in reply to you Ms. Grimke, you will note that there is no language that will make you faint... well, except for the questions about Ms. Fausts credentials for becoming the President of Harvard.

Because if the ones you mention are the necessary credentials - I should be President of Harvard. As for you - I do believe your delicate sensibilities preclude you from arguing any point other than needle work. But it's fun watching you hyperventilate and fan yourself.

Quoting Miss Willis earlier in this post "...initial response in the deep dark gloom of a New England winter to the pc feminazi gal who rode in on the tattered coattails.,.." I wonder does Miss Willis read her own writing?

Drew Gilpin Faust is a deep thinker. To follow one of her thoughts one must read it from beginning to end. She immersed herself in the correspondence of the wives and daughters of the rich and powerful men who supported the Confederacy in the War Between the States. She found herself sympathetic to their trials. But she was taken aback when confronted with their inability to see Negroes as fully human. That prevented her from fully identifying with those ladies--"we are not like them," she said. And I hope y'all agree--we are not like the rich white antebellum ladies in that we do not believe one has to have white skin to be fully human. But in fairness to those ladies, she points out that had we been white Southern ladies of the 1860s (not a Grimke though!)it is highly likely that we would have shared their racial outlook. She goes on to say that attitudes we now consider acceptable may in a hundred years look dreadfully benighted. As example she cites the prediction of her daughter, a vegan, that our descendents may be horrified we ate animals. I personally hope that does not come to pass, because there are few culinary delights I treasure more than a nicely done chicken thigh!* But I do get her point.

DGF is a renown scholar of the War Between the States who has added significantly to our understanding of that war and its effects down through the decades. She is asking profound, difficult questions about why we fight wars. She is a talented executive and strategist (Girl Scout influence)who adminstrates with grace and elan, as a lady should. Harvard is fortunate to have her. DGF is redefining what it means to be a Southern lady, and for that I love her to pieces!

*Remove skin from thigh, lightly salt and pepper. Saute garlic in a little olive oil. Add thigh and a few leaves of fresh basil. Cook at medium heat, turning frequently. Prevent sticking by adding tablespoons of wine or lemon juice as needed. Enjoy!

Ah, she is a Civil War scholar? Historian? How lovely, I know a number of them. Now, I will ask yet again... in what way does this qualify her to be President of Harvard?

The President of a University has a completely different job than a scholar. It requires the skills of a CEO. Especially Universities like Harvard that have as much or more money at hand than many large corporations in this country. This is not just a "step up to the Principal's Office", this is running a very large business.

Although it is often said those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it, it is also true that the wrong person for the wrong job can have dire consequences.

But do press on Ms. Grimke. You have finally given me some hope that you know more about Ms. Faust than the fact she is a Girl Scout and a lady. However, this is the last time I will ask, because (and I know this may send you into palpitations) I don't have much patience and have exhibited more of it in the last few comments than is usual for me.

Her resume is on the Internets, sweetie, in several forms, demonstrating her executive experience and performance. Executive skill plus scholarly accomplishments equal qualified to run a university. I'm sure many people besides DGF would be qualified to run Harvard. I'm tickled pink she was chosen because she does so much to correct the misconceptions of what it means to be a Southern lady.
Meanwhile what is it with this "pc feminazi gal" of which Miss Willis speaketh? Sounds like she's mixed up DGF with Barbarella! Now that's an image!
Y'all keep on having fun! I gots to get back to my needlepoint!

Point conceded re my use -- in this very post, which I obviously haven't read -- of the word feminazi. It just didn't sound like me.

What bothers me about President Drew Gilpin Faust, taking over the helm of Harvard as she did in the wake of what Heather MacDonald in City Journal described as "Lawrence Summers's all-too-brief reign of meritocracy and academic honesty," was the patronizing tone I sensed in "A Conversation with Drew Gilpin Faust" by Ellen Marsh discussing DGFs Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War:

It is important to celebrate people but not to do so uncritically. By celebrating people in an uncritical way we only make them removed from ourselves."

As I commented in an earlier post ironically titled "I love watching Harvard sink into the swamp of mediocrity,"

Who but politically correct Marxist "thinkers" would ever dream of "celebrating" people uncritically? Doesn't that statement tell you all you need to know about how far away from common sense this woman and her fellow travelers within their Pauline Kael bubble of political correctness have traveled in their utopianist quest?

According to Heather MacDonald in that City Journal piece cited above:

Faust runs one of the most powerful incubators of feminist complaint and nonsensical academic theory in the country. You can count on the Radcliffe Institute’s fellows and invited lecturers to proclaim the “constructed” nature of knowledge, gender, and race, and to decry endemic American sexism and racism.

It's the Marxist lens, with its condescension towards certified victim groups that we can't abide. As Thomas Sowell writes in an appreciation of Justice Clarence Thomas today:

Clarence Thomas' own experiences shocked him into a realization that "affirmative action" and other policies being pushed by civil rights organizations and by liberals generally were doing more harm than good, both to blacks and to American society.

I have not made a study of Marxism so forgive me if I don't see the Marxist perspective in DGF's urging us not to celebrate uncritically. If she does swim in a cultural sea that supports uncritical celebration, then I would think you would want to celebrate her speaking against that.

"Her resume is on the Internets, sweetie, in several forms, demonstrating her executive experience and performance."

Sweetie... um sure... thanks.

As for "on the Internets" - a point of interest for you. It is always a good idea when saying this to give an actual link to a place that might contain the information you believe I would find on a search. It happens very often that search engines are notorious for NOT giving out the best of links.

I have found her Wikipedia entry - Wiki being notoriously unreliable in relation to posting about people, is not the best of sources. Therefore I always read with an eye to believing very little of it.

I have found a gushing article from Boston.com. I expected no less from a sympathetic media. There were other news articles listed, but the Radcliffe link was defunct.

And while I now know that she has been in academics and working in, what I assume was a lesser role at Harvard. None of these constitute a resume or even a coherent account of how she has progressed in her career.

From the newspaper article - she either handles the press well or they're willing to cut her lots of slack (probably both). Only time will tell if she can handle the position. We'll know in a few years.

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