Thursday, June 25, 2009

Off topic: affirmative action for boys in education is necessary

When females were behind males in almost every indicia of educational achievement, everyone's reaction was "there must be something wrong with the schools," and we all worked to fix it. Now that males have fallen behind females in almost every indicia of educational achievement, the reaction of a lot of people is, "there must be something wrong with the boys," and they advocate leaving it alone lest the boys gain equality with the girls.

A college admissions examiner recently said this: "Colleges are trying desperately to maintain gender balance on campus, and that means turning down female applicants who are far more qualified than the males who get accepted. There are many theories floating around about why girls are better students, why their dropout rates are lower, and why they are applying to college at a higher rate than boys. But whatever the reason(s), the result is 'gender balancing' that makes it harder for highly qualified girls to get into college than their less qualified male counterparts. If you’re male and getting ready to go to college, or you’re male and want to be part of the affirmative action/legacy discussion, take a breather."

This is consistent with Audrey Kahane's take on the gender divide in higher education earlier this year: "To avoid ending up with a campus that is 75 percent female, admissions officers at a number of schools are practicing affirmative action for men. Men are admitted if they are qualified, but women need to be more qualified and have a 'hook' to set them apart."

I don't know if these authors intended us to be outraged by these revelations or merely startled. I suspect they are simply beating the feminist tom-tom to highlight yet another area where females supposedly are "victimized."

At this moment in our history, boys need more help when it comes to education than girls, period. That is a fact beyond dispute, despite the spin often put on the issue by financially interested radical feminists who refuse to acknowledge that there is no female monopoly on victimization.

Heaven knows there are a cavalcade of programs promulgated over the past several decades affording females special treatment in areas where it is felt they are held back by their gender. Why should this be different? Or do we subscribe to cafeteria-style affirmative action -- where the only boost is for women and racial minorities, and the minute white boys need a boost they are told to go to hell?

There are plenty of people who think this affirmative action is somehow different, and that it's a bad idea -- because, they surmise, it somehow will hurt girls. To hell with the boys, is their implicit message. Boys do not belong to an "historically disadvantaged class." (A topic for another time.)

In fact, helping the boys keep up with the girls won't hurt the girls. It seems to have escaped the the notice of the gender-divisive matriarchs who view the world through a simplistic male/female lens and who are intent on girls "winning" the gender war at all costs, the genders are so terribly interwoven that when one falls behind, we all fall behind. In the college setting, it is young women who want a significant portion of the student body to be male for social reasons, and this -- truth be told -- is probably the reason for this affirmative action push.

In any event, something is going on with males that is holding them back when it comes to higher education.

Is it the feminization of our educational system from the earliest grades, where boys exhibiting typically rambunctious male behavior are punished and drugged with Ritalin?

Is it that the push to get girls to do better in school has worked so well we've completely ignored the boys?

Is it that guys find the college setting pointless, with a multitude of courses that don't play any real role in acquiring skills needed to earn a living -- a fact more obvious to young men than young women given that the former are still told they must be the "breadwinner"?

Is it that the guys find the college setting downright inhospitable, with sexual assault indoctrination that paints their entire gender as predatory, and with women's studies programs teaching students that men are the primary exponents and beneficiaries of an evil system that oppresses women?

Maybe it's a combination of all these things?

Regardless, isn't it a shame that when young guys are the ones now getting a little bit of help -- because they need it -- the first reaction of a lot of supposedly enlightened people is to be outraged?