Gini Nelson\’s Engaging Conflicts

March 9, 2007

Women in Science and International Women’s Day —

Filed under: Theory To Practice — Gini @ 7:40 am

dramatic womanBelated Happy International Women’s Day (it was yesterday)! Omni Brain at Science Blogs used the day to highlight the 4000 Years of Women in Science site, and the Women in Science site. Omni Brain’s post contrasted these women’s real achievements with:

Louann Brizendine, author of best-selling book The Female Brain, which Nature described as “riddled with scientific errors”. In an NPR Fresh Air radio broadcast, linguist Geoff Nunberg announced that Brizendine was the unanimous winner of the first annual Becky Award for “the single most ridiculous or misleading bit of linguistic nonsense that somebody manages to put over in the media.”

Mark Liberman of Language Log disproved her claim that women use 20,000 words per day, and speak faster, compared to men averaging 7,000. (Turns out she referenced a 1970s self-help guru who simply made it up.) But despite his efforts and the bestowing of the 2006 Becky Award, the stereotyped fictitious claims are still being propagated: Elle Magazine wrote about it in their February issue.

EngagingConflicts previously posted about Brizendine’s book here.

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