Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A funny, but sad, take on the gender inequality issue

Here's Mark Perry's "fantasy editing"* of an article describing President Obama's concern about how poorly women are faring today.  It should make us think about which gender is experiencing more inequality.
"President Barack Obama said women men have made great some strides toward full equality with men women over the past 50 years, yet more progress is needed to close an economic, college degree, and labor market gender gap.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said women men are still more likely than men to live in poverty, are: a) are underrepresented in math and engineering education for college degrees at the associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s levels, b) are underrepresented by academic field for degrees in biology, communication, education, English, foreign languages, health professions, psychology, public administration, social sciences, visual arts, optometry, pharmacy, osteopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, osteopathic medicine, and naturopathic medicine, and c) earn, on average, 75 8 percent as much as men less than women for the cohort of unmarried, childless workers under 30 who live in large cities, and d) are 20 percent more likely to be unemployed than women (over the last year).   
“We have to work even harder to close the gaps that still exist, and to uphold that simple American ideal: We are all equal and deserving of the chance to pursue our own version of happiness, he said.  The facts that: a) 150 women will earn college degrees this year for every 100 men, b) young, single women earn 8% more than single men, and c) the negative effects of unemployment and job losses in the last recession disproportionately affected men, demonstrates that a lot more progress is needed before we achieve full gender equality.”
* Strike-outs and bold font text are Perry's edits.


  1. Given that I teach in a field where only 8% of our majors are women, I have a somewhat different perspective on this.
    However, I do agree there is a problem, which happens long before they choose majors. The problem is simply getting the boys to go to college or vocational school. Since the dino days of my childhood, and particularly my parents childhood, families and schools have expected less and less of boys while expecting more and more of girls. It is time for us to start holding our boys to the same high standards that we hold our girls to.

  2. I think families and schools used to expect more of boys relative to girls, and there has been a shift to expect more of girls now. But I view the schools as being a trigger in this change. I think they have become less boy-friendly, and have motivated parents to downplay the schools' performance expectations for their sons. For their daughters, too, but more often for their sons.

  3. I just don't see the boy unfriendliness at all. For example, my kid E is very fidgety. He can't stay still while he is working. He stands, he sits, he flops, he wiggles, all as he concentrates on his work. I think that is one of those official stereotyped "boy traits". Back when I was in school, he would have been in the principal's office all the time. Our teachers did not tolerate any movement in class. We weren't allowed to do things like go find a book after our work was done. We had to sit still and be quiet. We weren't even allowed to talk at lunch (and no, this was not Catholic school). According to all of current edu-hype on boys, this should be completely anti-boy. But yet, boys did well in that environment (or they got sent for paddling, pronto, lol).
    I am amazed when I see E's classroom because the kids are allowed to move around so much.

  4. I've read that today's unstructured classrooms can actually be a hindrance to learning for kids with attention deficit, which is diagnosed much more frequently in boys.