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Re: Germaine Greer on women's art at the pompidou

From:     CAP
Category: Art
Date:     21 January 2010
Time:     06:55 AM


When does 'positive discrimination' become just as much a problem as negative discrimination? 
How is any one ever to judge merits impartially, objectively? 

In Amerika, positive discrimination ended up as mere tokenism. A given percentage of a specified 
race and social strata are awarded academic positions, regardless of actual academic results. So 
borderline students who miss out on the positive discrimination window, miss out, even if legitimately 
their academic scores are better than the lucky tokens. Since this can make or break a career, it 
hardly dispels negative discrimination, if anything sharpens it. 

And the same double standard persists throughout academic ranking and placing, subtly reinforcing 
an inherent racism, class and sexual stratification. This is unsurprising in Merika which is built on 
slavery, oppression and treachery of course, but once you allow a little corruption of standards, it's 
hard to stop. Soon there are special courses, qualifications and career paths for the token underdog. 
Tokenism is implicit, but tacit. No one need point to the double standards, but eventually the 
dissolution carries through to facts. Science departments have their quotas to fill and the poor but 
worthy token must be ushered through, even when results sadly fall short of actual, rigourous science. 
At this point we're not just talking about careers or qualifications, it's knowledge and facts that suffer.

You think not? Ask any tertiary level teacher about falling standards for courses in the past 20 years, 
look at the quality of literature on required reading lists. 

The righteous egalitarian will insist on equal opportunities, even when equality is perverted, 
opportunites prove incommensurate, in the hope that at some point society acquires a suitably even 
distribution of talent and favours. But this is a mirage. For every token opportunity, new and more 
ingrained prejudices spring up. 'Robbing Peter to pay Paul' won't make Peter like Paul any better, 
won't make Paul any more generous or talented. 

Like the dream of a classless society, the players can change costume but not character.

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