I get asked that question all the time, since I’m at a liberal arts college, and face it, the women are taking over. So here’s an article wondering about those poor suffering men.
“I actually feel like women are taking over the world,” says Ishwar Chhikara, a 36-year-old investment officer at an international development bank, citing statistics showing more women now have college degrees in the US than men. He says this laughing, but with no audible irony.
“I feel bad for men, especially those who don’t go to school, or study. The whole system is changing drastically with the coming of the information age. It’s not about strength anymore, it’s about the brains.”
While muscles at the center of an economy made the physically stronger sex have more power, Chhikara isn’t so convinced with the switch-up.
“It is a positive thing from a woman’s perspective, from a man’s perspective I don’t know.”
The statistics are true, and I consider them kind of inevitable. Here’s my explanation: as we generally improve opportunities, the people who have historically had less than satisfactory outcomes are more eager to improve their situation, and are more likely to take advantage of those opportunities. The groups that have historically had an advantage are slower to recognize that they need to work to keep up, and in fact may resent that they have to jump through a hoop to earn what they used to be simply given. So the current situation is actually a consequence of past inequities and men’s sense of entitlement.
There’s another factor, too: the social stigma of feminization. Look at what happens to occupations associated with “women’s work”, like nursing and teaching. They get paid less, and men actively avoid taking up the occupation. I worry that some of that is happening to universities, as well — we see, for instance, that liberal arts colleges are particularly attractive to women, so why would a man go there? Too many of them are looking at the performance of those manly athletic teams in order to determine where to go.
You find it hard to believe that a winning football season could influence people’s decisions to make an academic commitment? Look up the Flutie Effect, and be horrified.