meep (meep) wrote,

Affirmative action for men in college

This has been bubbling around a lot of blogs I go to. And I made the same comments at all of them.

I'm going to link to the main three:

I'm going to be lazy and quote myself from the first:
I bet if you look at the majors selected by men and women [and what's offered at these colleges], the story tells itself. I bet engineering schools have no trouble at all attracting men.

Math is a liberal art, by the way, and if the math requirements are beefed up that might take care of the overrepresentation of women.

Also, cut the women's studies departments. Look into other useless majors as well. Film studies seem to fall under that. Critical studies in anything can be cut without much intellectual damage.

[I also make a comment on college sports and Title IX, because I see a hypocrisy there, but I'm not pulling sports into this discussion.]

The problem for one is that a lot of people are going to 4-year institutions that have no business going. They're doing it to be able to get jobs that filter by college degree, though the real knowledge needed for such positions doesn't really require such things, and much of which is going to be gained on-the-job as it is. So it's basically a waste of time and money for them, if only they could get into these jobs without the filter. It shouldn't require a degree to teach kindergarten. It shouldn't require a college degree to be a salesman. The problem is that a high school diploma signals absolutely nothing nowadays, other than you will put up with a certain amount of crap without getting into too much trouble.

The thing is some majors - math, chemistry, statistics, philosophy [depending on the university] - are a good filter for intelligence, diligence, critical thinking, and many other qualities one would desire from a new hire. But in the push for "college for all" the requirements had to be watered down. A lot. And the humanities sold out any rigor or standards when identity/group grievance was the cherished coin of the realm. A bunch of useless departments got created to satisfy collectives that exist to bitch and suck off resources for themselves -- you can pretty much slash classes or departments containing the phrase "critical studies in" without much intellectual damage.

So for a lot of these do-nothing [or overly padded] majors, you get a lot of women. Whoopee. Who cares? [well, the women should, to the extent they're wasting their time, money, and most fertile years to this boondoggle]

But people get their panties in a bunch because "not enough" women are majoring in engineering or physics. That should point out to you that people know what the "real" college disciplines are. No one worries much that there are few men in women's studies. Few people angst that men are extremely underrepresented in elementary education. Art history majors? Meh.

To be sure, I do have interests in many of the "useless" majors being dominated by women, but do we really require that many people to pursue those topics in such a focused manner? Educational productivity hasn't improved that much in higher education, though for adult education [i.e., outside of regular college] it has improved a lot with offerings such as The Teaching Company. In general, you still need to waste a lot of time to get that college degree.

Oh, separately, I need to save up this to test the kids on in a couple years:

Separately [I don't have a link to an example right now], I'm always annoyed at the "women with college degrees make less dough than men with college degrees!" as if college degrees were interchangeable. Note: an English degree from Harvard doesn't mean the same thing as an English degree from NC State. And an elementary education degree from State doesn't mean the same thing as a mechanical engineering degree from State.

Could we compare apples to apples, please? [and of course, one needs to factor in what careers they actually go into - if a woman with a math degree teaches high school vs. a man with a math degree goes to work for a hedge fund....]

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