Heather Mac Donald: 'Being female is not an accomplishment.'
Her opening statement in a debate on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (D.I.E.!)
I start from the following proposition: being female is not an accomplishment. My being female should play no role in my being hired for a job. Of course, my sex undoubtedly has made me the target of sex preferences on numerous occasions, thus casting doubt on any actual qualifications I might presume to possess.
My being female should be particularly irrelevant in a university. Until recently, universities were dedicated to the Enlightenment ideal of universal knowledge. A male Chinese engineer and a female Nigerian engineer may have no spoken language in common, but they can communicate through the universal languages of mathematics and physics. Whether the buildings they erect stand or fall depends not on their nationality or sex but on their mastery of engineering principles.
I will go further. Being black, gay, or gender-fluid are also not accomplishments, and should have nothing to do with faculty hiring or student admissions. The only thing that should matter when, say, a medical school hires a researcher in pancreatic cancer is whether that oncologist is the best in his field.
The diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) bureaucracy is the nemesis of the Enlightenment ideal of knowledge. It puts relentless pressure on every academic department to hire on the basis of race and sex, not on the basis of intellectual achievement. Every faculty search today is a desperate effort to find even remotely qualified minority or female candidates. Being female or a non-Asian minority confers an enormous advantage in the hiring and tenure process.
Read the whole thing here.