Carol Platt Liebau: The Tiger Lady

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Tiger Lady

Here is a Wall Street Journal interview with Princeton's President Shirley Tilghman. And as a Princeton alum, there's plenty in the interview that makes me uncomfortable with the University's leader.

Responding to the criticism that she's practiced gender-based affirmative action, Tilghman says,

Implied by such a criticism is an underlying assumption that there aren't talented women out there who would be extremely effective leaders in a university like Princeton. And given that 50% of our students are women, I would have thought this view would have disappeared from Princeton many, many years ago.

That's hardly what the criticism implies. What it implies is that the President of Princeton thinks she has to take special note of gender in making high level appointments. That would seem to mean one of two things: That women can't get the jobs without special consideration, OR that sexism is so ubiquitous everywhere else that it's the reason her choices of women for high level positions looks so unusual. Neither is a healthy message for young women students.

Note also that she has no problem continuing to charge students for full tuition, even though it could be provided free. Why? Because they (or, more properly, their parents) can afford it. Sounds a little "from each according to their ability," doesn't it?

Finally, it's amazing that Shirley Tilghman thinks that because no student has complained to her about liberal bias on campus, it can't be happening. Please. Just from what I read about her in Princeton Alumni Weekly and in interviews like this one, I'd know -- as a student -- that it would probably be at best useless to talk to her about political bias, at worst, potentially risky.

After all, Tilghman wasn't afraid to go after Lawrence Summers when he offended her notions of what's politically correct. Why, exactly, would a lowly conservative student have a chance for a fair hearing from her?

Update: The Manhattan Institute's brilliant Heather McDonald has commented on the article, as well, over at Powerline. (Thanks to emailer Dan for the heads up).


Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Carol, I know this stuff means a lot to you, but in case you haven't noticed, the Middle East is lurching toward a full-on regional war. And Iraq is sliding toward a level of destabilization that will make our first three years there feel like a picnic.

Despite all your WISHING the networks would show the good things going on in Iraq, the fact remains that the BIG story (or question) is where the country is headed. Yes, we have wonderful citizen soldiers doing great humanitarian things on a one-on-one basis with many of the Iraqis. They make me proud as an American.

But for you to continue to assert that the perception of what is going on in Iraq is one that has been "assiduously spread by the MSM" and not indicative of what is going on there is irresponsible.

Today at least 48 people were gunned down at a market in Mahmudiya (sp?) by Sunni gunmen. Yesterday, it was the Shiites turn; the day before that the Sunnis. Carol, this is the prelude to full-scale civil war, and contrary to what others around here claim, it is YOUR and THEIR heads that are stuck in the sand.

If you really do seek to be seen as someone with credibility and not simply a hack, you will at some point have to acknowledge some harsh truths and provide some "balance" to your own "coverage" of the landscape.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:10 PM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

Duke-Stir and Dittohead:

As you know, I have repeated again and again that you are welcome to post on this site. I have also repeatedly mentioned that I receive emails complaining about the tenor and content of your comments.

From here on out, I am specifically asking you to abide by the following rules: When you comment, please restrict your comments to the subject of the post to which they are attached. In addition, please refrain from calling me or any of the other commenters on this site "hacks" or "liars" or "fabricators" or any other insulting terms.

You are, once again, more than welcome to visit and participate here. But once again, that welcome is conditional on certain minimum levels of civility being observed.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:08 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...


You are going to receive complaints because we are not right-wing and it is uncomfortable for some readers, to read things that don't confirm his/her strongly held political beliefs.

I hope you'll be fair in your administration of this site. It appears those of the right can be abusive with insults and not even make a comment on topic rather just attack the other commenter but, you never call them on that misconduct. I've tried very hard to raise the level of discourse by reframing from using descriptive terms suchs as dumb, delusional, treasonous, wackos, crazies, etc.

I think both Duke-stir and myself meant to comment under your previous Katie Couric post. I noticed he caught himself and immediately posted the comment there. I did not catch the error. So I'll delete my orginal comment here.

12:17 AM  
Blogger amber said...

there rae other liberal commentors on this site who have posted in a respectful manner. I can not imagine that OSO, or even wrabkin have received many, if any complaints about their posts. You need to keep it clean and not personal. That is not too much to ask.

6:36 AM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Carol, when others refer to your liberal readers as "pathetic bastards" -- unprovoked, I might add -- and you remain silent, it undermines your credibility with regard to your stated desire to maintain civility.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

I will leave my original comment here for posterity, so everyone can see the "horror" of what I wrote that triggered the admonition. I do not retract any of it.

[Note that Carol does everything BUT address the gist of my post -- either here or at the "appropriate" thread about the news.]

8:12 AM  
Blogger Carol Platt Liebau said...

Once more for the record: ALL posters -- left, right, whatever -- are welcome here. But once again, everyone is put on formal notice: Profanity, name calling and other forms of insulting or juvenile behavior directed toward me or toward other posters isn't appropriate and won't be tolerated.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

Duke-stir, is correct. Everyone can judge for his/her self. My comment is far less insulting than things written by either Carol or Amber.

The truth is it is extremely dangerous for journalists to go out in Iraq - something the right wingers sitting in their basements covered in cheetoes like to attribute to cowardice.

The following video says it all about why the righties are not getting their spoon-fed good stories to support Bush, their beloved leader.

A few days ago it was reported (not on MSM), that a young girl’s body was found in the streets. Sewn to her body, where her head had once been, was a dogs head. War is not good stories.

Bush refused to listen to his Generals and sent less than half the troops needed to secure Iraq.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

And this is relevant to the Tilghman thread how?

8:53 PM  

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