Harvard's new president is not just a woman

News & Politics

Most coverage of Harvard's new president, Drew Faust, has focused on the fact that she's a woman. An understandable enough angle given the inflammatory comments made by outgoing president Larry Summers in 2005, that women don't have a "taste" for science as a possible explanation for their underrepresentation in the field.

But Jon Wiener notes that there are more interesting things about her than her fallopian tubes.

For example, she's a historian who's written that more than any of the nuts and bolts precursors that lead to war perhaps its the lack of "authentic" experiences in the lives of many people that has us subconsciously yearning for the immediacy and intensity of war.

Wiener writes:

Faust's interpretation helps explain the way the US responded to the 9-11 terrorist attacks with a war on Iraq. "Even a war against an enemy who had no relationship to September 11's terrorist acts would do," she notes. People supported war not just because of the rational arguments offered by the White House, but also "because the nation required the sense of meaning, intention, and goal-directedness, the lure of efficacy that war promises." It was especially necessary to restore a sense of control after the terrorism of 9-11 had "obliterated" it. The US, she concludes, "needed the sense of agency that operates within the structure of narrative provided by war."
What. Ever. She's a CHICK!

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