It’s remarkable what women can say about women as a class, which would immediately be branded ‘sexist’ or ‘misogynistic’ if said by men. The start of an article about Professor Averil Macdonald and her thoughts on gender differences with respect to views on fracking, in the Mail:
Many women who are opposed to fracking are too emotional and just ‘don’t understand’ it, one of Britain’s leading female scientists has said.
Averil Macdonald, who is the new chair of UK Onshore Oil and Gas, believes women against the process, which includes Vivien Westwood, just go with their gut instincts and ignore the science.
More men will consider the facts but women who make up their minds ‘will not be persuaded’, the academic said.
A recent study by the University of Nottingham has revealed that only 31.5 per cent of women believe fracking should be allowed in the UK, compared to 58 per cent of men.
Professor Macdonald, who was handed an OBE this year for services to women in science, says a major problem is too few women study it after the age of 16 so lack the knowledge to ‘trust’ that fracking would be good for Britain.
She told The Times: ‘Frequently the women haven’t had very much in the way of a science education because they may well have dropped science at 16. [Why would they do that? Don’t all 16-year-old girls have a burning ambition to work in STEM fields?] That is just a fact.
‘Not only do [they] show more of a concern about fracking, they also know that they don’t know and they don’t understand. [My emphasis. It would seem that women knowing they don’t know and don’t understand a topic is no barrier to having a view on it. It’s almost as if feelings trump facts for them, isn’t it?]
‘They are concerned because they don’t want to be taking [something] on trust. And that’s actually entirely reasonable.’
She said that women are more likely to make to (sic) they (sic) minds based on ‘feel’ and ‘gut reaction’ and facts would not change their minds. [my emphasis]
‘More men on the other hand will look at the facts and be persuaded because ‘fair enough, (I) understand’, she said.