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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Dear Sir: Please let me addonemoreletterto the many youhavereceived as a result ofthe publication ofHenry E. Garrett's "The Equalitarian Dogma" (Vol. 4, No. 4, 1961). Ashley Montagu's letter (Vol. 5, No. ?, 1961) in response to Garrett's article expresses my views very well indeed. There is, however, one matter overlooked by Ashley Montagu and other commenters that merits attention. You, as editor, have been called irresponsible forpublishing an article that is not objective , misrepresents circumstances, and uses faulty reasoning. I charge you additionally with failing to recognize a most important instance of faulty reasoning in Garrett's article. I refer to Garrett's conclusion that "racial differences ... are innate and genetic." Surely no biologist or anthropologist would quarrel with this grand but unfortunately tautological observation. Since racial differences are by definition hereditary biological traits, could they be anything but innate and genetic? It does not seem unjust to say that both you and Garrett hopelessly confuse biological widi cultural considerations. Readers interested in the reception accorded to a similar but more detailed and revealing article by Garrett (TheMankind Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 1, i960) may refer to Juan Comas' "ScientificRacism Again?" andthe comments byJulianHuxley,J. B. S. Haldane, and other scholars in Current Anthropology (Vol. 2, No. 4, October, 1961). Edward Norbeck Department ofAnthropology and Sociology Rice University Houston 1, Texas Dear Sir: not science—expediency Just about fifty years or so ago, a similar controversy about the inferiority ofone group of Americans to another raised the same kind of storm. As in the present debate about Negro inferiority, scientific, sociological and even Biblical evidence—and there was plenty ofit—was adduced to prove what was patently obvious to everyone. Women were indeed inferior to men. There existed the same brick wall ofsolid facts: Six times as many men as women fell into the "gifted" category. Nine-tendis ofall advances in civilization were instigated and carried through by men. Women have inborn physical differences and character traits that set diem apart and make diem unfit for the highly tactical infighting necessary to govern society. Women have a smaller skull than 259 men and the brain weighs less. We lag in tests ofabstract reasoning. Many ifnot most prefer our dependent status. The Bible says God willed it thus. Every word ofit is true. If civic and educational opportunity had waited upon scientific proof of equality, we would be waiting yet. Instead, expediency and decency won them. And the nation and the nation's children have benefitted ever since. Little pockets ofprejudice remain to this day, it is true, but the determined enterprise ofindividual women are wiping those out one by one. Only very recently, the erstwhile unfit have attained vice-presidencies of banks, advertising agencies and manufacturing companies. They govern cities, sit in the Senate, practice medicine, teach in the world's great universities. It is also true that millions ofthe less enterprising are supported in idleness while they do nodiing more creative than bear children. Under the old system, when women were barred from voting, from membership in unions and professional societies, from attending the same schools as the superior male, fromholding allbutthe most menialjobs, andthoseforless moneythough equalwork,the personal relations between the sexes was most amicable. At least it was so reported with the same smug certainty as present reports, which would have us believe that the South was getting alongjust fine. There was some truth in it, especially for those women who were fortunate enough to have secured the protection of a considerate and well-to-do male. For those less fortunate—the widow and her orphans and the unmarried drudge—¦ life was plain hell from one Christmas charity basket to the next. Equally unfortunate were those whose welfare depended upon the whimful largesse offrustrated males who needed a handy scapegoat. Sweet subservience, instead of appealing to noblesse oblige, inspired only the temptation to abuse. Nevertheless, prejudice insisted that this way of life was foreordained, that it was satisfactory to all. Strident troublemakers only craved publicity and martyrdom. And they got it, God bless them. The parallel runs even deeper. Women who took the stump for equality were accused ofrejecting their sex...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 259-266
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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