That’s quite the hatchet job on Emily Grossman…she should be proud

It’s been a long time since I last glanced at VDARE, the racist website, and there’s a good reason for that — it’s a slimy sewer with a lot of incredibly bad articles, and, surprisingly, is used by racists as a justification for the scientific basis of their beliefs.

(Narrator: There is no scientific justification for their racism.)

Anyway, what caught my eye was this brazen hack job against Emily Grossman, the British science popularizer. I like her work, so it was strange to see an article titled Extinction Rebellion’s Emily Grossman Is A Type—As Nutty As You Would Expect. How “nutty” was I supposed to expect? I guess I’ll find out.

I did quickly discover that the author was a “nutty” science denialist who rejects the evidence for climate change and misrepresents the positions of those lobbying government to address climate concerns. OK, way to put your credibility worst foot forward, guy.

These “rebels”—motto: “Rebel for Life,” because, they claim, based on falsified climate science data, that a “mass extinction” will begin in twelve years—have vowed to continue their insurrection until their demands are met.

And then he launches into a long tirade against Grossman specifically with what he thinks are damning facts against her. It’s a strange assault because he keeps writing these things that are apparently supposed to make us hate her, but I’m just reading them and saying, “So?”

Grossman—who is 41, childless and has paid £10,000 to freeze her eggs because she can’t find a man she regards as quite good enough for her

Oh, well, what a horrible harridan, too good for us! Except…isn’t it true of everyone? We don’t just have children willy-nilly, but have some standards. It’s also possible that she’s had an awesomely busy career, and just doesn’t have time for kids. There’s nothing wrong with that.

She attended the prestigious, high fee-paying South Hampstead School, an all-girls school in North London

Yes, we’re about to get inundated with evidence that she had an incredibly privileged upbringing. I agree. It’s not a crime, nor does it incriminate her personally. We don’t get to choose our family.

Grossman went to Queen’s College, Cambridge, where she studied Natural Sciences

While privileged, she also made smart choices.

Emily’s father, Ashley Grossman, is professor of endocrinology at Oxford University and a Cambridge graduate and that her mother, Susan Grossman, is also an academic, lecturing in journalism

Children of academics have a leg up in pursuing academic careers, true. I guess she should have had different parents.

Emily Grossman went on to Manchester University to do a PhD in cancer research—and then decided she wanted to become an actress

She had the discipline and opportunity to complete a PhD in a complex technical field, and then made a change in her plans. This is all good. I advise students all the time to pursue what interests them, and not to feel trapped in a rut. It’s also the case that scientific careers are really tough to break into, are demanding and often not particularly rewarding, and if you ask any scientist about the cohort that they entered grad school with, they’ll tell you that the majority do not go on to strictly academic research careers. Those who pursue alternatives are not failures, they’re often happier and more successful than those who settle into the university rat-race.

Good for Grossman. Don’t be afraid to change your goals.

Dramatic career changes tend to correlate with such traits an anxiety and mental instability

(Narrator: No evidence is provided that Grossman was anxious or mentally unstable.)

Grossman’s parents had divorced when their then only child was four; being from a broken home…predicts mental instability

(Narrator: No evidence is provided that Grossman has mentally instability.)

How do all you children of divorced parents feel about being called “nutty” because of that?

she had a mental breakdown, so changed career yet again

(Narrator: No evidence of a mental breakdown is presented.)

Actually, what’s described is that she combined her background in science with her training in acting to become a science popularizer. Smart move.

In 2013, Emily Grossman got back into science, via a BBC scheme called “Expert Women” in which she effectively auditioned, as one of 2000 applicants, to be a female science presenter.

Does anyone else find it odd to express it as auditioning to be a female science presenter, as if she had to get in front of the BBC and demonstrate her skill at being a woman?

When in 2015, Nobel Prize-winning British biochemist Tim Hunt said that women in science were an increasing problem because “when you criticise them, they cry,”—this was joke, but reported out of context— Grossman went on the airwaves to declare: “We desperately need to encourage more girls into science careers, and the concern is this might put them off.”

Uh, what is wrong with her declaration? Hunt was a bit of a fool, and to say that we need to help girls get into science seems like an entirely appropriate comment. Unfortunately, then Milo Yiannopoulos started yapping at her and marshaling his mob of know-nothings to harass her, and…

But this simple criticism was so unacceptable to Grossman that, according to senior Labour Member of Parliament Yvette Cooper, Grossman “was forced to take a break from social media”

Sounds sensible. I know lots of women who take breaks from social media, because it is a terribly hostile environment for outspoken women especially. But that’s not a good enough twist for this author.

As with the dramatic career change, this inability to cope with adversity is a sign of high Neuroticism.

(Narrator: there is no sign that Grossman is unable to cope with adversity, or that she is Neurotic.)

But wait: there is one more sin that must be mentioned.

Emily Grossman…is ethnically Jewish.

<GASP> Shock. Horror. Jewish? No. How can this be?

The revelations aren’t over yet. Grossman’s partner is…a woman. She not only failed to find a male who could meet her high standards for fatherhood, but she doesn’t even have sex with men any more.

Thus it seems Emily Grossman exemplifies a trend observed by F. Roger Devlin in his Sexual Utopia in Power: highly educated women are unable to fulfil their evolved desire to find a higher status male, so they become lesbians, specifically “femme” lesbians.

I am trying to wrap my head around this logic. So women are evolved to find high-status males as mates, presumably with the assumption that “high-status” is a property of some subset of men. But attractive, wealthy, privileged, well-educated women can’t possibly find a higher-status partner who is male, so they settle for lesbianism? Is it because their chosen partner is higher status than any male? None of this makes any sense. Are they evolved to favor maleness, or status? So why do they abandon both?

I guess he hasn’t considered yet that many people choose their partners on the basis of love, and kindness, and mutual interests, rather than the grasping calculus of capitalism. But that wouldn’t fit with his thesis, that rich Jews are acting to destroy society.

Emily Grossman can be added to the list that’s been growing for a while now. Those who spearhead our destruction are a specific type: privately educated, extremely privileged—often with academic parents—ethnic minority (frequently Jewish) and usually evidencing mental instability. In case of Grossman and Ben Van der Merwe, one can add “broken home” and “homosexual.”

A question: what do extremely privileged people stand to gain by wrecking the source of their wealth? Why is gay and Jewish treated as a failing?

As usual, a VDARE article can be summarized as unabashed Naziism written by a spittle-flecked rabid racist. How dare gay, Jewish, and hypothetically mentally ill people exist?


  1. wzrd1 says

    About 1/3 through the gripe fest litany of non-issues listed, I found the source of the argument.
    The author of the gripe fest is an incel. End of story.

  2. PaulBC says

    i suppose the price tag of £10,000 is supposed to be a shock. It is certainly much less than the cost of raising a child. While Grossman’s caution is atypical, it’s far from irrational. The human population doesn’t need to grow for its own sake. She’s paying to defer an important decision. Ultimately, if she does raise a child, this price will look small compared to the total, and preferable to jumping in willy nilly because of fears about her “biological clock.” It makes perfect sense to me.

  3. raven says

    This Vdare rant is gibberish.
    I got about a third the way through and figured that out.
    It is a long winded, tedious ad hominem attack on someone.

    That Emily Grossman is gay, Jewish, highly educated, very intelligent, British and so on says zero about whether human caused climate change is happening.
    It is simply irrelevant.

  4. says

    “It’s also possible that she’s had an awesomely busy career, and just doesn’t have time for kids. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

    Could also be that she realises that bringing more people into the world is a terrible, selfish act given our impact on the planet.

    If you can’t suppress the urge to reproduce, at least consider adopting. The world already has millions of suffering and abandoned children your resources are better spent on. There is absolutely no need to bring in more until we can adequately care for the ones already here.

  5. raven says

    i suppose the price tag of £10,000 is supposed to be a shock. It is certainly much less than the cost of raising a child.

    The average cost to raise a US middle class kid to age 18 is around $250,000.

  6. kurt1 says

    I may be just a simple country lawyer, but isn’t it true, that your client is a well educated, probably neurotic lesbian jew?! I rest my case!

  7. Akira MacKenzie says

    No evidence is provided that Grossman has mentally instability.

    But she believes in global warming, climate change, and that were due for a mass extinction event! Since they dismiss those phenomenon to begin with, they think you have to be insane to believe any of them are really happening.

  8. says

    highly educated women are unable to fulfil their evolved desire to find a higher status male

    Wait, didn’t conservative people claim that it is wrong for a woman to marry a higher status man, because that makes her a gold digger, which is somehow bad? And then there was also some talking about how people needed to marry within their race and social class.

    Hmm. Looks like the odd minds of conservative people have come up with some new nonsense—women have evolved to desire higher status mates, which means that the society must prevent foolish and clueless young women from getting education, pursing prestigious careers, and earning money. If a young woman accidentally obtains high status for herself, she will spend the rest of her life lonely and without love and family. This is why diligent and well meaning people (read: misogynists) must protect ambitious women from making the greatest mistake of their lives by pursuing careers that will ultimately make them miserable. Oddly enough, loneliness and inability to marry is a problem only for women who obtain status through education and prestigious work, for some reason women who automatically obtain high status by being born in a rich family and getting some inheritance are exempt from this risk.

    Conclusion: conservative people will say whatever bullshit they need to justify misogyny or bigotry in general.

    Personally, I believe that it makes more sense to choose partners on the basis of love, and kindness, and mutual interests. I wonder what kind of twisted mind it takes to write such bullshit about how women have an “evolved desire to find a higher status male.” Presumably the author who wrote this doesn’t care about love and calculates the value of other people based on how much money and status they have.

  9. Zeppelin says

    This is also another nice example of right-wing reactionaries being completely ignorant of and uninterested in what their ideological opponents actually believe.
    No-one is claiming “that a ‘mass extinction’ will begin in twelve years”. They claim that we are in the middle of a mass extinction right now. Whereas twelve years from now is the (somewhat arbitrary) cutoff for the point after which it’ll be too late to keep warming below the (somewhat arbitrary) threshold of 2°C.
    This sort of ignorance is why they’re so bad at impersonating leftists. They tend to fall for their own bad-faith propaganda. (Compare also: creationists arguing decade after decade against the same confused strawman version of ‘evolutionism’ they themselves invented).

  10. kingoftown says

    “that a “mass extinction” will begin in twelve years”

    The 6th mass extinction is ongoing and has been since the end of the pleistocene. It isn’t normal that the only continent with a decent megafaunal assemblage is Africa.

  11. unclefrogy says

    This sort of ignorance is why they’re so bad at impersonating leftists. They tend to fall for their own bad-faith propaganda. (Compare also: creationists arguing decade after decade against the same confused strawman version of ‘evolutionism’ they themselves invented).

    just as true when it is about any of the favorite hobby-horses (wedge issues) of the conservatives, public health care, climate change, the whole collection of irrational BS that passes for conservative thought generally. It makes it very hard to discuss anything even slightly difficult.

    uncle frogy

  12. dma8751482 says

    They seem to have left out that F. Roger Devlin is ONE OF THEIR OWN WRITERS. Conflict of interest, anyone?

  13. cartomancer says

    So, you decided to read a screed on a famously racist website, by a known racist, and ended up surprised that it was full of racism.

    I can recommend some papers on the defecation habits of bears and the confessional leanings of the pope if you’re interested.

  14. Ishikiri says

    @Christopher Svanefalk, #4:

    Shaming people for having kids is a pretty shitty thing to do, especially given that the countries with the outsized negative impact on the environment are not the ones with high birthrates. You seem to have bought into bogus Malthusian notions of overpopulation.