Following the death of “genius” physicist Stephen Hawking Wednesday, feminists are lamenting that more women aren’t coined as geniuses and concluding that the term must be sexist.
Not enough women are described as “genius,” New Republic writer Emily Atkin whined in her Thursday article titled “The Sexism of Genius.”
Hawking’s death Wednesday marked the end of life for one of the world’s most brilliant scientists known for his work on black hole dynamics and gravitational singularity. In addition to making a number of famous discoveries, Hawking battled amyotrophic lateral sclerosis the entirety of his life.
He miraculously communicated to others and pioneered scientific advancement, despite being paralyzed and unable to speak.
Nearly every obituary of Stephen Hawking described him as a "genius," a word he didn't like, and one that contributes to gender disparity in STEM fields https://t.co/M1LFkqONpd
— Emily Atkin (@emorwee) March 15, 2018
“Women are at least the equals of men, or better,” Hawkings said in 2017.
Yet, Atkin managed to turn Hawking’s death into a feminist complaint about inequality, and pointed to a Social Psychological and Personality Science 2016 study that claims some people have a hard time associating “woman” with “genius.”
Atkin admitted that Hawking indeed deserves the title “genius,” but diminished his deserving title by noting that men deemed as such “tend to be excused for poor, even abusive, social and workplace behavior … [and] are often excused for abusive behavior toward women.”
She did not mention gifted mathematician Ada Lovelace who wrote the first computer program instructions in the 1800s, nor Nobel Prize winning chemist Marie Curie for her research on radioactivity.
Nor did she talk about acclaimed writer Mary Shelley who famously wrote “Frankenstein” and “Prometheus,” two of the most famous works in history.
Genius computer programmer and Navy Admiral Grace Hopper who created the first computer language compiler was not mentioned in the article either.
Atkin did not acknowledge the accomplishments of NASA mathematician Dorothy Vaughn or Mary Jackson who helped lead the launch of America’s first satellite into space.
Genius chemist Rosalind Franklin, who discovered information leading to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA, received no acclaim from Atkin, nor did NASA scientist Dr. Katherine Johnson known as a “human computer” by her peers.
Rather than name any remarkable achievements by female geniuses, Atkin remarked that “too many ‘geniuses’ are neither geniuses nor gentlemen,” and concluded that in order to save the meaning of the word “genius,” it should be applied more liberally to women and less to men.
“Another, simpler solution would be to retire it (genius) altogether,” Atkin wrote.
A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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