Larry Summers and Yves Saint Laurent
June 11, 2008, 11:00 PM
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The storm of denunciation and the vast expenditures on affirmative action that followed former Harvard president Larry Summers' suggestion that one reason there aren't many female professors of, say, mechanical engineering in the Ivy League is because not all that many females want to be professors of mechanical engineering contrasts strikingly with the mostly uncontroversial lack of female representation at the highest levels of a job that many women really, really would like to have: fashion designer.

Yves Saint Laurent, who died last week, was among the first (but hardly the last) designers to be public about being homosexual. He became famous at age 21 in 1957 when his boss, the top French designer of the era, Christian Dior, another homosexual, dropped dead. The responsibilities of the House of Dior were divided up among four employees, three women and young Yves. But when the next show proved a success, he, not the three women, became the national hero who had saved French fashion.

So, why is there so much outrage over lack of female representation among math, physics, and engineering professors but not among dress designers? Money is the most obvious reason. Harvard has a $35 billion endowment and a world famous brand name largely immune to deterioration. So, when a desperate Larry Summers asked feminist educrat Drew Gilpin Faust to come up with ways to placate his critics, she returned with a $50 million wish list, which he quickly signed off on. But, that wasn't enough, and Larry was eventually shown the door, to be replaced by ... Ms. Gilpin Faust!

The value of the Harvard brand is basically immune to this kind of corruption, so the leeches have their sights set on Harvard.

In contrast, fashion businesses are much more ephemeral, so they are difficult for designated victim groups to exploit. It probably wouldn't be hard to prove in court that there's an old boys network of gay men who discriminate in favor of each other in the fashion business, but getting any money or quotas out of them would be much harder than with Harvard, since they can just dissolve their businesses and start new ones.

The other major difference is leadership. The feminists who demand more engineering professorships for women are typically led by hard-charging lesbians, like the late UC Santa Cruz chancellor Denice Denton, who stood up to "speak truth to power" to poor old Larry. These include some pretty psychologically intense people (not long after, Denton leapt from the 42nd floor of the luxury apartment building where her lesbian lover lived on the $192k salary Denton had arranged for her). Although they share many traits with men, they don't empathize with men well. The dominant traits in a Denton-type lesbian academic is ambition and resentment of anybody competing with her in clawing her way to the top, which manifests itself in anger toward men.

In contrast, the women who would like to design pretty dresses for a living tend to be much more feminine. They empathize and sympathize too much with the gay men who are blocking their rise.