Professor Tim Hunt is back in the news, after his forced resignation last week from his position at King’s College London. Lo and behold, he’s got some unlikely supporters.
Boris Johnson has said that Sir Tim should be reinstated. Any endorsement by Mad Boz is a bit of a two edged sword, but there you go. Then no less a personage than Richard Dawkins shoved his head over the parapet, managing to use the word schadenfreude properly and applying it to Professor Hunt’s critics. He said categorically that he didn’t like the joke, but ‘I loathe and detest mob rule and witch hunts.’ Good for him is what I say.
As it happens it turns out that there may be some truth in what the beleaguered professor said. Research from Belgium, reported by Professor Ad Vingerhoets (crazy name crazy guy) has found that women are three times more likely to cry than men do in the course of a year. Moreover, women are more likely to cry when criticised, so maybe old Timbo had a point.
On a separate front, weird goings on at the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People in the US. Rachel Dolezal (crazy name crazy woman), one of NAACP’s leading lights, has had to step down. For years she’s been living as a black woman, describing her fear of white supremacists. Turns out she was born in Montana, and her birth certificate clearly shows her background is Caucasian/European. Even so she’s been a staunch advocate for black people in Spokane where they form a tiny minority of the population.
It’s an odd one, this. I know that there have been cases of black people masquerading as whites to avoid oppression, but the other way is a rarity, I suspect. Hard to see the reasoning here, unless it was to experience discrimination first hand, but even that makes little sense given the power she wielded. If she’d taken to living in a dumpster, yes, I get it. But to simply proclaim as she did, that she considered herself to be black, doesn’t do much for the situation when she palpably isn’t.
I’m not sure what to make of this. It seems to me this is not much better than being one of the Black and White Minstrels. At the same time I have an admiration for her wish to help people, but lying to them seems a less than ideal modus operandi. Lots of people have fibbed at a job interview, but this is a whopper of a lie.
Nope, I can’t decide on this one.