He then writes a follow-up piece in which he claims the first piece was "bait" to prove that we live in an age of political correctness in which ideas aren't based on merit:
Just as I had anticipated, and in fact spelled out in a veiled reference in the second paragraph, my posting was judged by almost every commenter and e-mailer, not on any merits or demerits of facts in evidence or syllogism used, but on the basis of my age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability, weight, sartorial choices, facial hair, writing ability, mental capacity, sobriety, sanity, political leanings and perversity — the very appellations the politically correct find so jaw-droppingly offensive.People—women—have died in this country to get the right to vote. Most among us have mothers and grandmothers who were born without the legal right to vote; some of us have parents or grandparents who stood on a line in the south facing cops and dogs and firehoses to fight for full enfranchisement. If I had been born only 54 years earlier, I would have been born without the legal right to vote.
...Without once addressing the fundamental postulate that men and women are delightfully different, I was called an idiot, an (expletive deleted) moron, an ignorant redneck male chauvinist, a racist, a sexist, a narrow minded and crude douchebag, unsophisticated, ignorant, a flat earther, a fool, a Neanderthal and a misogynist.
Advocating to repeal women's right to vote because "women are fickle and biased" is not a way of saying "men and women are delightfully different." It's a serious threat to women's autonomy and (ostensible) equality.
I'm quite obviously not condoning the behavior of people who responded to Mitchell with ad hominem attacks, but this guy said something deliberately provocative, and now he's tsk-tsking at people who were provoked—and arguing with a straight fucking face that people should have ignored the substance of his wildly offensive proposal in order to engage his "fundamental postulate that men and women are delightfully different."
All of which wouldn't matter except, as my friend Steve says, "Remember, this guy runs a major newspaper. The mind reels."
Indeed it does.