Academics at the University of Oregon have determined that glaciers and the science that studies them are deeply sexist.
“Merging feminist postcolonial science studies and feminist political ecology, the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions,” reads the paper’s abstract. The research was published in the peer-reviewed journal Progress in Human Geography in January.
The study, by historian Mark Carey and some student researchers, was financially supported by taxpayer dollars. The National Science Foundation (NSF) gave Carey a five-year grant which he used to write his “feminist glaciology” paper. Carey has received $709,125 in grants from the NSF, according to his curriculum vitae.
“Most existing glaciological research – and hence discourse and discussions about cryospheric change – stems from information produced by men, about men, with manly characteristics, and within masculinist discourses,” Carey wrote. “These characteristics apply to scientific disciplines beyond glaciology; there is an explicit need to uncover the role of women in the history of science and technology, while also exposing processes for excluding women from science and technology.”
Carey concluded that glacier research is intertwined with gender relations, masculine culture, geopolitics, institutional power, and racism — these apparently led to to glacier-related academic and governmental jobs being predominantly filled by men. Damages from melting glaciers target women and ethnic minorities, who “are more vulnerable to glacier changes and hazards than are men,” according to Carey.
The study shocked many academics and real scientists, and several initially believed the study was a work of satire.
“Who knew there was such a thing as ‘feminist glaciology?’”Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “I can’t satirize it. The scientists do that in their own abstract.”
Cornell University chemist Phil Mason, took to Twitter Sunday to say the paper left him”dumbfounded.”
Carey attempted to link flooding from a glacial lake with an increase of sexually transmitted infections in women. The professor and his colleagues said the paper showed “how men’s voices have dominated the research” and complained that “power and colonialism have shaped the science” when discussing the research on the university website. The scientists blame “the era of Victorian Imperialism” for the lack of female glaciologists.
“Do we really need a study to tell us that glacier nerds are more likely to be men than women,” Marlo Lewis, an analyst at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, told TheDCNF. “Or that women in developing countries are ‘more confined to their homes and child rearing’ when sudden glacier melt causes local flooding?”
“Predictably, the authors fail to see the ‘sexist’ nature of today’s climate agenda, which seeks to restrict people’s access to the most affordable, abundant, and reliable forms of energy,” Lewis said. “Energy poverty is literally lethal, and in energy-poor countries, it is women and children who suffer most.”
Carey did not respond to requests for comment.
This report, by Andrew Follett, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.