Seriously? I frequently read articles that make me upset or make me want to at least write a blog post, but then, more often than not, I don't write something, mostly because I'm afraid of sounding like the opinionated, judgmental person that I am, and it would take too long to write something that sounds well written and well thought out, and even though only two people read this blog, I want to sound good, and I don't want to be judged back. Well, today, I'm writing.
Yesterday, the New York Times had an article in the Sunday Style section (perhaps the only plus I'll give it is that it was in the Styles section), called The New Math on Campus: When women outnumber men at a college, dating culture is skewed. The source of this problem, it seems, is simple: "women tend to have higher grades; men tend to drop out in
disproportionate numbers; and female enrollment skews higher among
older students, low-income students, and black and Hispanic students." And kudos to the (male) reporter of the story for so respectfully recognizing the upside to this for a moment: "In terms of academic advancement, this is hardly the worst news for
women — hoist a mug for female achievement. And certainly, women are
primarily in college not because they are looking for men, but because
they want to earn a degree." But, at least for the women in this article, that last statement doesn't appear to hold true.
The article goes on to quote young women, academically successful women, stating obvious things like how, in addition to outnumbering the men, so many of the men available are not worthy, so the pool from which to choose is actually even smaller than it seems. The following quote was the clincher for me:
“A lot of my friends will meet someone and go home for the night and
just hope for the best the next morning,” Ms. Lynch said. “They’ll text
them and say: ‘I had a great time. Want to hang out next week?’ And
they don’t respond.”
Even worse, “Girls feel pressured to do more than they’re comfortable with, to lock it down,” Ms. Lynch said.
As for a man’s cheating, “that’s a thing that girls let slide, because
you have to,” said Emily Kennard, a junior at North Carolina. “If you
don’t let it slide, you don’t have a boyfriend.”
Really? Are we still here? Are we still, as a species, more worried about finding the right guy - at the young age of 18 - and so fearful that we won't that we're willing to be quoted in the New York Times saying things like this? Is this only a Western idea? And can we really blame men for keeping us down and holding us back and keeping that glass ceiling in place when we take something like being the majority of college educated people in this country and turn it into a weakness? Are most women still going to college with the ultimate goal of finding their husband and not getting an education and a degree? Can we draw a line between these attitudes and a future generation of embarrassed wives a la Sanford, Edwards, Woods, and countless, nameless others? Or is that going too far? When and how are we going to teach women to respect and worry about themselves as much as and more than the way we do about men and the love and affection we may or may not receive from them?
I know my questions aren't all really questions, but it's the only way I could get some of this out without losing my mind. And I am fully aware that in today's world I am considered one of the very luckiest of women, with a husband (who I did not meet in college) who makes the self-respect thing easier than most, with a family (his and mine) who (mostly) consider us equals, and support our "shared parenting" lifestyle, but when is that not going to be considered lucky?
I'm going to go do my best to do my part...raising a white male to know and understand that he is going to be given privileges because of his race and his gender for the rest of his life, but he must know why and to do his part to make that not the future for his kids or theirs. And, if #2 is a girl, the work will likely be harder, but I'll start by hoping she never feels compelled to be part of (or worse, write) an article like this.