I once make a joke aphorism that “if science ever proved the existence of God, humanity would stop believing in science.” Well… guess what’s been in the news.
A math education professor at the University of Illinois says the ability to solve geometry and algebra problems and teaching such subjects perpetuates so-called white privilege.
Rochelle Gutierrez laid out her views on the subject in an article for a newly published anthology for math educators titled, “Building Support for Scholarly Practices in Mathematics Methods.”
“School mathematics curricula emphasizing terms like Pythagorean Theorem and pi perpetuate a perception that mathematics was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans,” she says, according to Campus Reform.
She also says that addressing equity in mathematics education will come when teachers can understand and negotiate the politics outside the classroom.
“On many levels, mathematics itself operates as whiteness. Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as white,” she writes.
Further, she says mathematics operates with unearned privilege in society, “just like whiteness.” …
In the book Gutierrez points out that mathematics operates as a proxy for intelligence, but asks, “are we really that smart just because we do mathematics?”
“As researchers, are we more deserving of large grants because we focus on mathematics education and not social studies or English?”
Aside: her bio has the worst case of thousand-cock stare I’ve found so far.
This article was not an isolated example:
https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=10021 “Feminist prof says ‘traditional science’ is rooted in racism” 24 Oct 2017
Sara Giordano, who left the field of neuroscience to become a Women’s Studies professor at UC-Davis, opened up about her feelings towards the sciences in a recent essay for Catalyst, a journal of feminist theory.
Science, she worries, has “earned its epistemic authority through its co-constitution with colonization and slavery,” and therefore “relies on a colonial and racialized form of power.”
Not only is science rooted in racism, she alleges; it has been used to perpetuate racism and colonial practices.
“At the root of the justification for social inequality then is Western science,” she says, claiming that science’s distinction between “humans and non-humans” has allowed “capitalism [to become] justified as a natural economic system.”
However, Giordano is hopeful that feminists can work towards creating new approaches that don’t conflate science with truth.
And then there’s
College science classes are hostile to women and minorities because they use the scientific method, which assumes people can find reliable truths about the natural world through careful and sustained experimentation, concludes a recent dissertationby a doctoral candidate at the University of North Dakota.
Laura Parson, a student in the university’s education department, reviewed eight science class syllabi at a “Midwest public university” and said she discovered in them a hidden hostility to women and minorities…
Throughout her dissertation, Parson assumes and asserts that women and minorities are uniquely challenged by the idea that science can provide objective information about the natural world. This is an unfair assumption, she says, because the concept of objectivity is too hard for women and minorities to understand. “[N]otions of absolute truth and a single reality” are “masculine,” she says, referring to poststructuralist feminist theory.
Have you ever looked back on history and wondered why ancient men were so ignorant? Why it took so long just to invent efficient stoves, why medicine had trouble advancing beyond boiling weeds? There’s a variety of reasons, energy sources being the most dominant one, but it seems that one such reason for humanity’s longstanding ignorance about science & engineering is that Barbie thinks math is hard. Time spent making life efficient and pleasant was always time not spent on wifey’s feelings.
One cannot help but notice the bright exception, the one field of science/engineering that every culture in every era excelled at… making booze to get drunk with. A feature of a feminist society?
Surely the white knights & manginas cannot be so eager to help women feel better about themselves as to dismiss the existence of objective reality. They couldn’t possibly be that stupid… is a statement nobody should make in modern times.
Postscript, my research for this post turned up the most hilarious of hamster blogs: stemfeminist dot com. It’s a blog dedicated to feminists struggling in STEM fields.