College-Aged Men Are Failing Because We’re Spending Too Much Time Helping Women Succeed, Says ‘Feminist’

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shutterstock_112544996__1379261551_142.196.156.251College-aged women are beginning to succeed at a more rapid rate than college-aged men, so we better form a task force to see what the hell is going on, says Christina Hoff Sommers. She wrote an essay for The Atlantic this week titled, “How To Make School Better For Boys.” Her argument would be a lot easier to swallow if she didn’t frame it around blaming feminism and organizations that help girls succeed for the plunging success of the male college student. But then again, if she didn’t do that she wouldn’t have gotten all of the MRA page views, so I get it.

Women in the United States now earn 62 percent of associate’s degrees, 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 60 percent of master’s degrees, and 52 percent of doctorates. College admissions officers were at first baffled, then concerned, and finally panicked over the dearth of male applicants. If male enrollment falls to 40 percent or below, female students begin to flee. Officials at schools at or near the tipping point (American University, Boston University, Brandeis University, New York University, the University of Georgia, and the University of North Carolina, to name only a few) are helplessly watching as their campuses become like retirement villages, with a surfeit of women competing for a handful of surviving men.

Interesting argument. We better be concerned that men are attending college less, because less men on campus equals less women wanting to go to that campus because we all know that reason number one girls go to college is to meet boys. Oh, yes – I can picture school officials crowded around a window – looking out onto campus – saying things like, “not enough boys around!” and clutching their pearls like a group of Greek mothers talking about their still-single daughters.

She goes on to point out the usual arguments that men are handier than women, women succeed more in jobs that require empathy and she throws in a healthy dose of basic distrust of feminism. Where are the groups that help boys? she wonders. Feminism has created a network of organizations that try to improve the lives of girls – why don’t we have the same for boys?

Instead of spending millions of dollars attempting to transform aspiring cosmetologists into welders, education officials should concentrate on helping young people, male and female, enter careers that interest them. And right now, boys are the underserved population requiring attention.

She is expressing some valid concerns; it is alarming that boys are achieving less scholastic success. I’m just not quite sure why she thinks there is a direct correlation between women succeeding and men failing. There is an underlying – if we just realized that men were the more important sex and women’s sole existence was to support them and make sure they succeed – the scales would be tipped in the right direction again and we could all relax.

Yes, we should all be concerned with helping boys succeed more. But I don’t think we need to dismantle programs that encourage gender equality to do it.

(photo: szefei/ Shutterstock)