“Only stupid women are breeding” – academipanic from New Zealand

Jim Flynn, Emeritus Professor of Political Studies at a New Zealand university, has pronounced himself the arbiter of which women should be allowed to breed. Note that fathers are completely invisible in his genetic-decay worldview, what could just as easily be an Onion article set in a parallel parthenogenetic society.

The Stuff.co.nz article is here – “Put the pill in tapwater – top prof “.

“New Zealalnd risks dumbing-down its future population if it does not act to boost the birth rate of its most highly educated women, says a world-ranked expert on intelligence. Otago University emeritus professor Dr Jim Flynn said easier methods of contraception, or even contraception in the water supply, could be used to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies to less educated women. “The lower down the educational scale you go, the less people are in control of their lives, and less in control of planning for children,” he said.

Flynn argues vigorously that race is not a determinant of IQ, but that class can be. “There is no genetic difference between Maori and Pakeha in terms of genes for intelligence,” he said.

Flynn, an expert on the interaction of class, race and IQ, said in a socially mobile society such as New Zealand’s, those who remained uneducated had poorer genetic material in terms of IQ. Over time poorer genes would take their toll, leading to a “decay” in genetic quality.

“I do have faith in science, and science may give us something that renders conception impossible unless you take an antidote,” he said. “You could of course have a chemical in the water supply and have to take an antidote. If you had contraception made easier by progress, then every child is a wanted child.”

I’ve picked out just a few assumptions in this article – add your own:

1. Women get pregnant because they’re too stupid to use contraception.
2. Poor women are poor because they’re stupid.
3. Stupidity is genetic – you get it from your mother.
4. We need to act urgently to stop these stupid women from destroying the intellectual qualities of our race.
5. Stupidpoor women are out of control.
6. Men need to force contraception on all women to prevent imminent disaster- hordes of poor, stupid people taking over the world.
7. The best way to do this is to poison the entire population, and provide an opt-out only for smartrich women who can access it.
8. Smartrich women never have unplanned pregnancies. (If they do, it’s a blessing, unlike the social crime of unplanned pregnancies in stupidpoor women.)
9. Oh, it’s not about race. Jim Flynn isn’t a racist.

I’m just going to go back and check it isn’t an Onion article. Nope, it’s real.

Categories: culture wars, gender & feminism, Politics, social justice, Sociology

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

15 replies

  1. And it follows that men and women will have separate water supplies as we wouldn’t want the men’s little swimmers to be compromised.

  2. Flynn, an expert on the interaction of class, race and IQ

    So, does this mean there are universities where Social Darwinism hasn’t been discredited yet??

  3. Flynn, an expert on the interaction of class, race and IQ, said in a socially mobile society such as New Zealand’s, those who remained uneducated had poorer genetic material in terms of IQ. Over time poorer genes would take their toll, leading to a “decay” in genetic quality.
    He appears to be a Lamarckian.

  4. Holy crap will eugenics never die?

  5. These sets of ideas seems to me to have quite a bit of currency in the grievance politics crowd, without a lot of regard for age: white comfortably well-off Hansonites who fancy themselves “battlers”, and who think that everyone but them is getting undeserved “special treatment”. Alongside the special-treatment whine comes a hefty dose of contempt and bigotry.
    Threatening Grievancers with any restriction of their reproductive freedoms is a heinous sin against them as individuals; them threatening others with sterilisation and breeding-licences is their necessary step to a brighter future. It’s an impressive feat of cognitive dissonance, only made possible by their assumptions that people who Just Aren’t Our Kind, Dear are subhuman.

  6. I’m surprised he hasn’t suggested buying them all TV’s. Of course improving educational opportunities for the children wouldn’t make any difference at all now would it. I wonder what he would say if all the women who think he should be immediately stopped from fathering children told him so.

  7. What I love most is the assumption that poor women have lots of children by accident. My Nanna had ten kids, at least the first 8 were deliberate (and the last two were joyful surprises – they were also the two who went to Uni).
    She (and her sisters) had lots of children because she liked children, because she identified strongly as a mother, and because there was nothing else she wanted to do.

  8. And then at the end of it all, even if you grant Flynn all his dodgy, sexist assumptions, you should still be asking why the fuck anybody even cares.
    The best estimates of any decline in intelligence (if you believe them) are -0.9 IQ points per generation. Meanwhile, we have had an increase of 3 points per decade over the course of the 20th century thanks to environmental factors (this is known as the Flynn effect – yup, same Flynn). So, even if you grant Flynn everything in his argument, all he’s saying is that in a hundred years time, we’ll be as stupid as we were in the late 1990’s. OK, so we were pretty stupid then – NZ had Winston Peters in Cabinet (sadly, we still do) and Australia elected John Howard – but I don’t think the threat of such a “regression” is worth losing sleep over, let alone implenting the sort of drastic, draconian policies Flynn suggests.

  9. Today’s update: It’s the big ol’ middle square. Flynn has pulled out ”Can’t you take a joke?”
    He was just trying to “illustrate a point”.
    Flynn goes on to make it clear that he really wasn’t joking at all.

    Considering the opposition to fluoride in the water, such a scheme would never go ahead, he said.
    But to have a contraception device that meant women had to take action to get pregnant instead of having to take a pill not to get pregnant, “would be wonderful”.
    “It doesn’t seem to me too controversial at all.”

  10. Yes – he resiles from the arguably infeasible solution, but not from the core claim that there is a problem and the government should so something about it (and all the assumptions that that entails).
    And this guy calls himself a liberal social democrat?

  11. And this guy calls himself a liberal social democrat?

    Sadly it’s just yet another example of a supposedly “liberal” man being a sexist, authoritarian pig.

  12. Hi,
    Not to pick, but I’m pretty sure there’s some evidence to support number 3 (you get your intelligence from your mother).

  13. It seems Flynn’s views were seriously misrepresented by the Sunday Star Times, and that we owe him an apology.

  14. I watched the Close Up interview. I’d like to hear back from the author of the original article, Ruth Laugesen, as to how much of her article was mis-quote, or how much of the Close Up interview was damage control.
    He has offered a reversal on some issues (the importance of the “dumbing-down” effect, for example – though he still seems to think it exists), and has offered some non-misogynistic thinking on some other issues. However, he hasn’t addressed the original allegation of poor women lacking control over their lives and their breeding, and he certainly hasn’t reversed on his advocacy for universal contraception, nor has he separated the contraception issue from the poor-people-breeding issue. The only reason he offers for not outright advocating contraception in the water supply is political opposition – he somewhat contemptuously compares any possible opposition to tap-contraception to the groups opposing fluoridation.
    He appears to have no insight whatsoever into the intensely problematic nature of any universal preteen contraception programme, either ethically or practically, instead preferring to think that science will magically overcome all side effect, dosage, and idiosyncratic reactions sometime in the next few decades. For a social scientist, he makes a bloody awful biomedical scientist. Perhaps he thinks that superintelligent nanotech is coming to our rescue?
    So while I can offer an apology for taking all of the original article at face value (having checked a couple of other sources for debunking before posting it here), I’d really like to know more. Because watching him in person (as opposed to reading his political allies’ print interpretations), I have to say, I’m still finding him unconvincing at best on the core issue here.


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