The Right Coast

March 27, 2005
Wisse on Sexual Correctness at Harvard
By Mike Rappaport

Harvard Professor Ruth Wisse has an interesting piece for Commentary on the Summers affair. She has a different take on Summers's motivation than most people do. She does not believe he capitulated:

Why did Summers feel it necessary to apologize, as he did repeatedly the minute the first newspaper reports appeared, and then again in facing the faculty on February 15, and then again and even more abjectly at a second faculty meeting a week later? Why didn’t he defend his views, or at least his right to express them?

I think that, had he considered himself innocent, he would have stood his ground. In my opinion, the truly ghastly aspect of this whole affair is that the accused man actually believed he had committed an offense.

Taking him at his word, then, I conclude that he was not sorry for having offended liberal orthodoxy; he was sorry, genuinely so, for having given some sort of offense to women, for sending them “an unintended signal of discouragement.” Having first done our sex the courtesy of treating us as peers, he was now determined to treat us as a victimized species. Henceforth, he would tailor his thoughts to the ability of women to bear the hearing of them.