Stephen Hawking may be an distinguished professor of mathematics, but he just schooled Piers Morgan on gender equality.
During an interview with the legendary British scientist on Monday, Morgan posited that the U.K.’s roster of high-profile women in politics points to “scientific evidence” of gender equality.
But Hawking’s response suggested the controversial TV host was overlooking a more important factor in the fight for women’s empowerment.
“It is not scientific proof of gender equality that is required, but general acceptance that women are at least the equals of men or better,” Hawking told Morgan on “Good Morning Britain.”
“If we factor in high-power women in Europe as well, such as [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel, it seems we are witnessing a seismic shift for women to exceed to high-level in politics and society,” he added. “I welcome these signs of women’s liberation. But there may still be a gap between those women achieving high public status and those in the private sector.”
Morgan has faced harsh criticism in recent months for his vitriolic comments about women. He frequently engages in Twitter tirades against what he calls the “feminazis” and the “creeping global emasculation of [his] gender.” In January, he railed against the historic Women’s March on Washington, deeming the event “absurd” and attacking its participants as “rabid feminists.”
Hawking offered a stark contrast to the controversial TV host’s views. When Morgan asked Hawking if he is a feminist, his response was resolute.
“Yes,” Hawking said. “I have always supported women’s rights.”
“I moved the admission of women to my college, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge,” he added. “The results were wholly good.”
Watch the full interview below:
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