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  Texas : Features : Humor : Column - "A Balloon In Cactus"

Harvard Strangles First Amendment

by Maggie Van Ostrand
Maggie Van Ostrand
Even for the president of Harvard, the cost of free speech is too high.

Larry Summers, Prez. of Harvard University and former U.S. Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration, can't even say what he thinks without a bunch of computer-slamming, lambasting women shrieking "Foul," and dropping a dime to the media ratting him out. And, according to the Boston Globe, his remarks were supposed to be off the record. So much for honor.

Little did Summers know that when he said women do not have the same natural ability in math and science as men, one woman in the audience would slam her computer shut and stomp out of the hall, and five other women would claim to be deeply offended.. Awww, what a shame. That's even worse than being shallowly offended.

These incidents were followed by Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences Standing Committee on Women lambasting Mr. Summers in a letter dated January 18, and stating that his efforts "did not serve our institution well.... Indeed, [his remarks] serve to reinforce an institutional culture at Harvard that erects numerous barriers to improving the representation of women ..." Without the word "erect," this would be quite a boring letter.

Does the media uproar mean that Summers was wrong, that women in fact DO have the same natural ability in math and science as men? Why do women insist they're equal to men anyway? Just because actresses now call themselves actors doesn't make them men, it makes them women without dictionaries.


In an effort to help the President of Harvard understand women better, Caffimage has authorized a list of what women really want, to wit:

  • We want men to be stronger than we are but in a gentle and tender way.
  • We want men to respect our whims of iron.
  • We want men to open doors, light cigarettes, and never accept our offer to pay the restaurant check.
  • We want man to take yes for an answer. We want men to take no for an answer.
  • We want man to leave us alone. We want men to pay us attention.
  • We want men well-bred, well-read, and underfed.
  • We want other men to look at us. We do not want our man to look at other women.
  • We want men to be sensitive as well as rugged. We want men to break broncos if they care to, but not try to break us.
  • We want men to ignore our frailties and praise our strengths.
  • We want to be partners, with one of us holding 51 % of the stock. We'll decide which one.


    ---------------------------------o0o---------------------------------


    These things are pretty much written, not in stone but in clay, so women can change their minds.

    If only the president of Harvard hadn't yellowed out and become defensive, he could've advised these women who want to be like men that they'd be better off emulating the strong, silent type.


    "A Balloon In Cactus"

    January 25, 2005 column
    Reprinted with permission, www.caffimage.com 2005 maggie@maggievanostrand.com
    http://www.maggievanostrand.com
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