Code Vigorous

Dustin J. Mitchell

More girls + math

31 May 2008

I’m watching the DNC’s Rules & Bylaws Committee meeting, discussing the fate of the Michigan and Florida delegations. This committee consists of the elite among the Democratic superdelegates. These are all powerful, intelligent, important people (including the wonderful Donna Brazile).

What has me upset is that I’ve now heard two women explain that they don’t have the “mathematical genius” to work out the proper representation for these states; no men have made such a declaration. First of all, that’s bull: anyone can work out what 33% of 128 is. The difficult part is in the politics, and everyone on this committee is an expert on politics.

More importantly, though: why is it OK for these women to brag about their mathematical ignorance? What message does this send to PoliSci students struggling through calculus? One of the women to mention this was Alice Travis Germond, who was a VP of NARAL – hardly an advocate of keeping women barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. What is she thinking?

[UPDATE] The other woman to brag about her innumeracy was Tina Flournoy – Gore’s finance director! Finance!