Affirmative action for boys means perfectionism for girls

My piece at Jezebel this week looks at how “affirmative action for men” drives perfectionism for young women: Women Are The Real Victims Of The So-Called ‘Men’s Crisis’. Excerpt:

Young men… are collectively rewarded for their absence of academic ambition and community spirit. By the intensely competitive standards of college admissions, what might seem like a lackluster volunteer record from a high school girl (say, 5 hours a week reading to the blind) seems positively heroic when it belongs to a guy. The more time the mass of young men devote to the gym or to playing Call of Duty, the more the shrinking number of even moderately ambitious dudes benefit; they become the chance for a selective school to keep its gender ratio from becoming too female-heavy.

The traditional “stressors” in so many young women’s lives – the obligation to care for family, the burden of chasing an unattainable physical ideal, the pressure to be sexy but not sexual, the worry about “running out of time” — all these were present well before the current frenzy of anxiety over the end of manhood. These familiar worries have now been joined by the depressing reality that young women have to be far more accomplished than young men just to receive equal consideration in college admissions.

Read the whole thing.

11 thoughts on “Affirmative action for boys means perfectionism for girls

  1. I think that women’s “perfectionism” stems from the media because of the pressures they hold them to according to how they look and that in turn leads them to being unconfident in other areas such as their emotional attitudes. And if it is true that colleges hold women’s applications to a higher standard than that fact will certainly not help if a girl gets denied from a school that a guy of the same academic and extracurricular activity background. The only issue I have with this is that this hopefully will not lead to an affirmative action way of admissions for colleges.

  2. Most colleges are “open admission” – your community college certainly is, Hugo.

    You are busting your butt to find any reason why women are harmed. Have you ever asked yourself why you do that? Introspection?

    You should be absolutely thankful that you are alive at a point in time in the United States when absolute bullshit like what you peddle is actually a subject at school.

  3. Doesn’t this make sense though Hugo? For a long time we have had messages about how a gender imbalance in fields is bad (think Engineering, Computer Science, and yes the reverse Teaching, Health care) because mixed (or diverse) groups perform better generally because they bring different experiences to the mix. It surely then makes sense for a University or College to be selecting a 50/50 (or close to it) balance of men and women across all fields so that people are generally exposed to more mixed views even if they aren’t within specific fields (since the grade balance should be more manageable across the whole school than in one subject).

    GPA and extracurricular aren’t everything, for example boys seem to do better on standardised tests than girls (but worse on GPA). Perhaps we need to look into learning styles and find out why men are more likely to be ‘lazier’ as you see it than girls.

  4. I remember talking to a an admissions professor at a small, highly selective, Christian liberal arts college. This was several years ago and he basically said that if selection of students was based completely on merit about 60% of the enrollment would be female. It was his job to maintain a roughly 50/50 gender balance at the school. Students who were rejected were advised to enroll at a community college or regional college and apply as a transfer student. I knew several female undergraduate students who went this route.

    I will say that the campuses that I visited that had highly skewed gender ratios had interesting dating dynamics. It’s kind of fun for the average guy to feel like a rock star, but I’m not sure that it’s a healthy dynamic.

    It did seem that the campuses with 60/40 ratios had a lot couples where the the guy was a 30 year old + graduate/seminary student and woman was an undergrad.

  5. What’s news about this? Women always have worked harder. And I’d go to a women’s college now if I had to do it all over again, and have gotten a superior education.

  6. The entire college process for women is twice a taxing as it is for men. I have to listen to my father say every day how women are starting to take over the world because men are becoming more and more unmotivated. Then on the other hand I listen to my mother who is an executive in a large technology company of 400,000 people about how difficult for women to advance in the business world. For women, the competition and inequality starts from the beginning and only gets worse as we grow older. From teacher’s pets and who gets picked in gym class to who gets to make the speech at graduation, gender is always a factor.

    As far as college goes, you can look at some of the most competitive universities in the country and women’s scores and extracurriculars are incomparable to the men that attend that same university. While I was applying to college men were beating me into schools with C averages and no extra curriculars when I had worked my butt off for impressive transcripts, and the reason? Simply because they were men and the school wanted to keep a certain ratio. Men continue to land jobs over women who are more prepared and hard working but simply because they have a penis they are chosen. The worst thing is that men realize this, and they continue to do less and less, the bare minimum, because they know that they can continue to pass by on that. Abundant girls in high school put in the time and effort to get ahead while most guys are waiting for the next Halo or Fifa to be released. Men are most likely to cheat off of tests and less likely to follow through with their assignments. And yes these are generalizations and not correct in every scenario however, these are also proven facts!

    No matter how much we would like to think there is so much equality for women and men when it comes to education and occupation we are fooling ourselves. Men continually gain the advantage because of their gender, despite their qualifications.

  7. “While I was applying to college men were beating me into schools with C averages and no extra curriculars when I had worked my butt off for impressive transcripts, and the reason? Simply because they were men and the school wanted to keep a certain ratio. Men continue to land jobs over women who are more prepared and hard working but simply because they have a penis they are chosen.”

    So, has our society learned its lesson — that using affirmative action and quotas to benefit ANY group over another is not the way to address inequities?

  8. I recall reading article from a college suggesting that when their male to female ratio dropped below a certain threshold they would start to loose female applicants. Qualified female student would pick colleges with better ratios. Though I don’t think that really justifies it.

  9. This article has absolutely no basis whatsoever in reality, most universities and colleges are gender-blind or open enrollment with regards to admissions. There isn’t a single institution of higher education anywhere that has an official policy of affirmative action with regards to male student (though many do with regards to female students)

    Meta-analysis shows that on a nation wide basis male students aren’t receiving any special breaks as far as admissions standards are concerned despite all the unverified and questionable anecdotal testimony on the part of paranoid idealogues like Schwyzer. If anything the opposite is true.

  10. “The New York Times predictably buried the lede,”

    Earth to Schwyzer! They didn’t “bury the lede” because they saw that there was no lede(who still spells it like that anyway?) to bury. Let me give an example.

    From the article- “Half a decade later, this Inside Higher Ed study confirms that what was thought to be limited to a few elite colleges has now become a nearly universal practice.”

    FROM THE ACTUAL REPORT- “at undergraduate institutions, admissions directors (18 percent at publics, 14 percent for privates) reported that male applicants were beneficiaries of such policies.”

    Hardly seems like a “nearly universal practice”, the survey also states that this doesn’t apply to graduate schools nearly all of which maintain affirmative action for female applicants, and it certainly doesn’t apply in MY home state where undergraduate admissions are required by law to be gender blind and the department of education has gone out of their way to see the law upheld in that regard.

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