Men Are Extreme (What Can We Say?)

Danny G’s post on Mr. French and his antiquated views is the entry that keeps on giving. Today, “Gay Like A Fox” chimed in with this:

I suspect the dearth of top-level women creatives is rooted in nature. Looking beyond the realm of advertising we see that, historically, very, very few of the top contenders in any field have been women. In other words, there are relatively few women among the world’s best chess players, chefs, mathematicians, composers, painters, bloggers, web designers, etc… People who say this is because of discrimination might want to explain why FEWER women won Nobel Prizes in Mathematics between the years 1950-2000 than between the years 1900-1950, despite the mass opening up of educational and vocational opportunites for women in the 60’s and 70’s throughout the very countries from which most Nobel Prize winners are drawn.
Maybe it’s because women really just don’t have the same capacity for work-obsession that men do. Maybe women are more interested in personal relationships than they are in their own selves and their careers. Maybe there’s something to what Camille Paglia once said about there not being a female Beethoven because there is no female Jack the Ripper (i.e. that men naturally embody the extremes of human behavior much more frequently than do women, and thus have a much higher chance of being geniuses and serial killers). However you look at it, the reality of female underacheivement relative to men is a long-standing and universal phenomenon. Non-p.c. explanations for it shouldn’t just be shoved down the memory hole because they hurt your feelings.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. This is a trick question, right. There are no, zero, nada, zilch Nobel winners of Mathematics.
    The Fields Medals are commonly regarded as mathematics’ closest analog to the Nobel Prize (which does not exist in mathematics), and are awarded every four years by the International Mathematical Union to one or more outstanding researchers. “Fields Medals” are more properly known by their official name, “International medals for outstanding discoveries in mathematics.” source:mathworld.wolfram (and my son told me that, too)
    I have to look at the similarities of the moms of the guys who do take that award. Well, that and there’s always Winnie from The Wonder Years to question.