Maybe Women Really Aren’t Good at Math After All

One of the most pervasive examples of gender profiling is the notion that “women aren’t good at math.” I have valiantly resisted this idea as I watched my daughters struggle with math while shining in other subjects, and I have tried to brush away the doubts that invade my mind as I witness my wife’s battles with her checkbook. After all, math was one of my weaker subjects (I never could figure out Geometry), and – for the record – I am not a woman.

I never had much trouble counting, though. And after hearing the television pundits explain Hillary Clinton’s claim to “winning the popular vote,” I am beginning to wonder whether it’s counting that women are deficient in. As I understand it, the Clinton math is based on the idea that votes cast illegally in Michigan and Florida should be counted. But not all the votes. About half of the Michigan votes were against Clinton – hers was the only name on the ballot and she managed to get only 55 percent of the total. So who gets the “against” votes? Apparently no one. Certainly not Barack Obama!

The Democratic Party’s legal experts have informed the rules committee that – because Michigan and Florida disobeyed a party order not to move up their primaries – no more than half of their¬† votes can be counted under the current rules. (The rules can be changed and the Clintons will doubtless try to change them, triggering a floor fight at the party convention.) No one has mentioned the votes cast against Hillary. I guess the party is having so much trouble with addition that it is afraid to attempt the more complex task of subtraction.

Hillary isn’t averse to subtraction in some cases, however. She blithely subtracts the votes in caucus states, where Obama generally won. Figuring out the caucus state totals would be complicated because there were several ballots. On the first ballot, any candidate that got less than 15 percent had to drop out and his or her supporters got another chance to choose – and so on.

Hillary has no problem including Puerto Rico’s votes (to be cast on Sunday) even though – I am not kidding – Puerto Ricans can’t vote in the general election. You see, Puerto Rico is not a state, and a lot of Puerto Ricans like it that way as they don’t have to pay federal income taxes. Anyway, be that as it may, a vote is a vote, according to Hillary (except when it’s against her or in one of the caucus states, or…)

A vote is especially valid in Puerto Rico because the polls show Clinton with a significant lead. But the same standard doesn’t apply to Washington DC. Those votes don’t count because DC has no delegates (and Obama won that primary).

So there you have it. There’s math, “new math” and “Clinton math.” Come to think of it, it’s not math that Clinton is weak in – it’s simple logic.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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