Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Reader’s comment: Of maths and men


In response to Laura Perrins: Feminist commuters do the headless chicken,

Peter Evans wrote:

I came across a book the other day by an outstanding feminist thinker named Sara Hottinger, who no doubt is well versed in the arts of Patriarchy Chicken. It’s intriguingly entitled Inventing the Mathematician: Gender, Race, and Our Cultural Understanding of Mathematics. Courageously, Ms Hottinger takes issue with a deeply oppressive entity that she calls ‘mathematical subjectivity’, which she proceeds to dismantle valiantly. The capacity to reason mathematically, apparently, is ‘constructed within Western culture as masculine’.

See? The evil patriarchy is at work everywhere, oppressing well-paid, privileged feminist gutter academics like Ms Hottinger at every turn. Thankfully, she has the solution: ‘normative, white, masculine subjectivity’ must be deposed and replaced with feminist subjectivity.

So, when bridges collapse, aircraft fall out of the skies like darts, rockets plummet, budgets implode, computers crash and polynomials migrate to a different galaxy, we can breathe a sigh of gratitude that the gynocracy has at last torn down the oppressive patriarchy.

Ms Hottinger femsplains:

‘In our culture, femininity and mathematical talent are discursively incompatible. We simply cannot reconcile the cultural construction of femininity with the construction of mathematical subjectivity.’

It should come as no surprise to discover that, once she’d uncovered the sinister patriarchal truth of mathematics, Ms Hottinger chose to pursue a graduate degree in women’s studies rather than mathematics.

It appears never to have occurred to fake academics like Ms Hottinger and her privileged femimen enablers, both of whom know as little about the lives of working-class men as they do about mathematics, that the entire infrastructure they take for granted, as the conservative thinker David Solway (husband of the superb Fabrice Fiamengo) eloquently puts it:

‘ . . . the electrical grid that lights their libraries and offices, the buildings in which they sit and type their treatises, the roads they drive on and the planes they fly in, the Twitter feeds and Facebook posts that facilitate their frenzied denunciations of those they deem beyond the pale, the medications that keep them going, the food they put on the table, the table they put under their food, the vintage wines they sip in the faculty lounge, the plumbing on which they rely, the physical and technical maintenance that enables them to survive, the accessories of any given sort they assume as given – indeed, just about everything is due to the labour, ingenuity, risk and entrepreneurial innovation of mainly straight white males of European and American provenance.’ 

(In case anyone was wondering, I didn’t purchase Ms Hollinger’s book.)

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