Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ah, Patriarchy

So you've remember all those conservative panic columns and reports about how women are taking over the universities? I first started reading about it in 2002, I think. Oh! Oh! Women outnumber men in the college classroom. Oh! If this goes on, by 2007, 80% of our university class will be women! (The horror!)

Didn't happen. Do you wonder why?

This might be it:

Many colleges are rejecting women at rates
drastically higher than those for men

These days, the student body is 49 percent male and 51 percent female-a ratio that the college insists is determined by the availability of on-campus housing. Maintaining that equilibrium, however, has in the past few years meant rejecting many more female applicants than male ones. In practical terms, in the past decade, female applicants have faced an admissions rate that is an average 13 percentage points lower than that of their male peers just for the sake of keeping that girl-boy balance.


Better students. The schools that are most competitive-Harvard, Duke, and Rice, for example-have so many applicants and so many high achievers that they naturally maintain balanced student bodies by skimming the cream of the crop. But in the tier of selective colleges just below them, maintaining gender equity on some campuses appears to require a thumb on the scale in favor of boys. It's at these schools, including Pomona, Boston College, Wesleyan University, Tufts, and the College of William and Mary, that the gap in admit rates is particularly acute.

The reason for these lower admissions rates for female students is simple, if bitterly ironic: From the early grades on up, girls tend to be better students. By the time college admissions come into the picture, many watchers of the "boy gap" agree, it's too late for the lads to catch up on their own. Indeed, beginning in those formative K-12 years, girls watch less television, spend less time playing sports, and are far less likely to find themselves in detention. They are more likely to participate in drama, art, and music classes-extracurriculars that are catnip for admissions officers. Across the board, girls study more, score better, and are less likely to be placed in special education classes.

You won't hear the rich white males like Mr. Iggulden complaining about this one, I bet. No, in fact, as I recall, what we hear is the fellas suing the school districts, complaining that if their boys aren't doing as well as the girls in school (which they aren't, hmm, how odd) then it's not because the girls work harder, study more, watch less TV, nothing like that -- no, it's because the system is rigged and boys are being cheated.

And it surely can't be Mr. Iggulden's fault, can it? Because -- oh, maybe?-- because he taught his sons that group work was for girls and girls were losers? Because he taught his sons that only wimps and sissies did what girls did, so, you know, if the girls were studying, well, that must be a stupid thing to do? Because he taught his sons that competition was everything, so they couldn't ask for help?

Nah. Because that would mean the fault lay at Mr. Iggulden's door, and at the door of, well, men. Which that can't possibly be right. We all know it's the feminists and the girls to blame. They wrecked the world. Because back before them, (white) men had everything, which is how it's supposed to be, and Q.E.D.


No comments: