June 23, 2012

Why don't more girls sign up for the automotive technology class?

Is that a difficult question? Females were once completely excluded from some things that very few of us wanted to do. That's the way it was when I went to junior high school and the girls were required to study sewing and cooking in the same class period where the boys were forced to do mechanical drawing and shop. Obviously, a few boys would have thrived in sewing and/or cooking (and there are serious careers, full of men, at the end of that line of education). And some girls could have benefited from access to the mechanical drawing/shop track.

It's good that Title IX changed that. But the now-clear wrongness of the total exclusion does not mean that a male/female imbalance is a problem. And yet that's how NPR portrays it in this piece titled "The Shop Class Stigma: What Title IX Didn't Change." See? The assumption is that if male/female balance doesn't ensue, it's because entering a male-dominated field makes females feel stigmatized.

"I think in some of the fields, just the nature of the work that kids see going on in those fields, isn't going to attract that many women. Automotive technology isn't a field that you see women in," [said says Tom Evans, the principal at Eastern Technical High, a magnet school in Essex, Md.]...

"We make a serious attempt at getting girls into engineering. We recruit girls from all over the county, and that's paid off a little bit," he says, "but engineering by itself is a field where I think women are starting to see female engineers."

Zoe says that's why her family tried and failed to get her to switch from automotive technology to the engineering program. "But I think it would be cool if I owned my own shop, like a car shop," Zoe says...

"I can see her owning her own shop as a business woman, but I can't see her out working on a car," says Elayne Digman, Zoe's grandmother. Digman is one of those family members who just can't picture Zoe taking car engines apart and getting all greasy....

Now, for the most part, schools don't discriminate or deny girls educational opportunities. Yet, the conclusion by a National Women's Law Center study a few years ago raised a different point.

Boys are still routinely steered toward courses that lead to higher-paying careers in technology and trades. Meanwhile, 90 percent of students in courses that lead to lower-wage jobs, like child care and cosmetology, are female...
But wait a minute! Isn't that what Zoe's family is doing? Steering her into engineering rather than working on cars? Working on cars isn't seen as a good enough job, so if you've got an ambitious and talented girl, you may prod her into a more lucrative field. A boy who only wanted to work on cars might be left alone, just as a girl might be allowed to indulge her love for makeup and hair-styling.

If you really want to know whether females are getting a worse deal than males and you insist on using Zoe as your example of a female, then you must compare her to a male who is challenging the norm in an equivalent way. Take a teenage boy who signs up for the child care classes and tells everyone that's what he loves and where he wants to spend his career. What would his grandfather say about that? Probably the equivalent of Zoe's grandma not being able to picture her taking car engines apart and getting all greasy. I just can't picture Joey changing diapers and getting all poopy.

And if so, there's your gender equity.

94 comments:

edutcher said...

The Blonde tells the story that, when she went riding with her best friend in high school and (the inevitable) car trouble arose, her friend saw it as the perfect way to meet boys.

Guys are still expected to do stuff like this and girls aren't.

Maybe it goes deeper in the genetics than the feminists can possibly imagine.

Ann Althouse said...

Take a teenage boy who signs up for the child care classes and tells everyone that's what he loves and where he wants to spend his career.

Said boy would automatically be taken into police custody as a budding pedophile after a long talk with the school psychologist.

Erika said...

Geez louise, the handwringing is getting nauseating.

Can the sixties gender warrior holdout NPR types just retire and shut up already?

I'm 32. My generation's got this under control. Really. Thanks, my parents' generation, for all you did to usher in equality of opportunity. Now stop squeezing the turnip trying to get equality of outcome. It's futile and you're just looking silly and sending kids hysterical, mixed messages.

I tell my kids--three girls and a boy, ages 10, 8, 6 and 2--that they can do whatever they feel passionate about. Some jobs are more attractive to women in general and some are more attractive to men in general. I tell them to think about that and whether that is important to them. They should do the work they're called to do, but go in with open eyes. Be aware that they may be in the minority, or they may be in such the majority that they feel like they're in a pink or blue ghetto. Make choices and live with them.

It's really not that hard to be at peace with this stuff. My observation is that people my age, people who are currently raising young children and thinking about how to direct them, are far less angsty and conflicted about gender roles than the sixties and seventies relics who keep trying to make a fuss about stuff like this.

cubanbob said...

Is there any governmental policy prohibiting or discouraging Zoe from being an auto mechanic? If not, then what is the problem? Not everything in life can be legislated.

pm317 said...

In this day and age, accessibility is not the problem. I hope there are enough of us that get into 'male dominated' fields to trigger a transition period where men and women in the field adjust and negate the effects of age-old tradition. It is not the stigma that we have to worry about but more like growing pains for all entities involved. It takes the less dominant gender to become trail blazers, pioneers and the more dominant gender to open their minds throwing out their preconceived notions out the window. There is a role for everybody in this process.

edutcher said...

Not to veer off topic, but I would imagine one reason girls would actually have been specifically excluded might have been the presumption that the few who wanted to do it were a little "odd" anyway, and they didn't want to encourage that sort of thing.

Bender said...

makes females feel stigmatized

Who makes them feel stigmatized?

It is the very people who want to perpetualize sexism, racism, etc.

Sexism, racism, bigotry, etc. are all to a large extent learned. That is to say, the belief in being a victim of sexism, racism, bigotry, etc. is learned. They were taught that they were victims. A child is innocent of such things and does not know that she is being oppressed until someone convinces her of it.

The generations of the 90s, 00s, and 10s, would not know what sexism, racism, bigotry, etc. are unless those people of preceding generations who have a vested interest in the continuation of victimization did not perpetuate the sexism, racism, bigotry, etc. Laws and institutions similarly perpetuate sexism, racism, bigotry, etc. by continually telling people that they are victims or potential victims.

But in truth, almost everyone in society has moved beyond sexism and racism (although other forms of bigotry are celebrated and even encouraged). It is the race-baiters and sex-baiters who keep these things alive.

Erika said...

negate the effects of age-old tradition. It is not the stigma that we have to worry about but more like growing pains for all entities involved. It takes the less dominant gender to become trail blazers, pioneers and the more dominant gender to open their minds throwing out their preconceived notions out the window

Why?

And frankly, this warmed-over rah-rah liberation stuff smacks of "preconceived notions" to me. Can you explain to me what is inherently bad and in need of fixing in the state of gender roles and relations, or is that just a piece of received wisdom that you just "know"?

Maguro said...

In this day and age, accessibility is not the problem. I hope there are enough of us that get into 'male dominated' fields to trigger a transition period where men and women in the field adjust and negate the effects of age-old tradition. It is not the stigma that we have to worry about but more like growing pains for all entities involved. It takes the less dominant gender to become trail blazers, pioneers and the more dominant gender to open their minds throwing out their preconceived notions out the window. There is a role for everybody in this process.

But why is it important to have more female car mechanics? What if women, on average, just aren't interested in tearing down engine blocks as men are? What's the problem?

Pogo said...

The Soviets had egalitarianism down to a rigid and enforced science.

It was, as is now widely known, a living hell. But there was genuine gender equity.

The trouble with leftists is that they really, really dislike how people actually are, and want to force them into behaving how they believe people ought to do.

jacksonjay said...

Ask Larry Summers about this topic!

elkh1 said...

What else are men good for, if not fixing cars, one of the last "masculine" thing girly men can't do? Besides, girls don't like to mess up their hair, smudge their makeups, and chip their finger nails.

ricpic said...

Let women be grease monkeys!

Ann Althouse said...

"Not to veer off topic, but I would imagine one reason girls would actually have been specifically excluded might have been the presumption that the few who wanted to do it were a little "odd" anyway, and they didn't want to encourage that sort of thing."

I don't remember the school giving the "tomboys" a hard time at all. I think the reason they wanted to keep the male environment all male was mainly that they thought having a girl in there would be really distracting for the boys and that it was good for the boys to get them into a single-sex environment (as in sports) where they could get something accomplished.

As for the girl, it was suspected that she might get into sexual interactions with all those boys.

I know that when I worked on school shows, I was excluded from working on the lighting crew, which I really wanted to do, because there were some secluded work spaces and the teachers worried that girls would end up kissing the boys and who knows where that might lead?

Keystone said...

Today's young men have little interest in mechanical things. Their interest in cars is limited to fancy wheels and sound systems.There is a shortage of car mechanics, welders, and machinists.

Shanna said...

Wait, are they talking about high school or just random schools? Because cosmetology school is generally not high school (and if that is a low paying job, why do they charge so much!)

Boys are still routinely steered toward courses that lead to higher-paying careers in technology and trades.

I don't think I was ever steered towards anything, at least by the schools. My high school had maybe 4 counselors for 2000 students, I think. If they're talking about parents, that has nothing to do with T9, does it.

MarkW said...

I have a woman friend who actually is an engineer, but she's just about as hopeless at solving basic mechanical problems as virtually all of the women I know. In her defense, she's not a mechanical engineer, but I still I do find it a little surprising.

An odd thing happened between now and when I was a kid in the 60s and 70s. Back then, there were all kinds of domestic "women's jobs" that our father never did (and at least pretended not to know how to do) -- cooking, cleaning, taking care of small children, etc. But all the men of my generation I know do all those things quite competently while our wives remain nearly as clueless as their mothers were about building, repairing, and maintaining houses, appliances, cars, bikes, computers, etc.

Kind of a rotten deal for the males.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Geez louise, the handwringing is getting nauseating

Seriously!!! If there is an imbalance in auto shop or whatever, it isn't discrimination or reverse coercion. Perhaps some girls and even some guys are just not interested in those activities.

People should be encouraged to follow their interests. If a boy wants to take cooking and sewing classes, good for him. If a girl wants to tear down engines and learn to repair cars, good for her.

I don't remember the school giving the "tomboys" a hard time at all.

Me either (class of '68). In fact I took mechanical drawing/drafting and wood shop as electives in high school. I was toying with the idea of becoming an architect. No one thought it was strange, or if they did I didn't notice and didn't care.

When I was 9 (or thereabouts) I helped my father rebuild his MG engine. I learned how to gap spark plugs. It was fascinating and great fun. I felt very important and it was kind of fun to be able to discuss the proper air fuel ratio in a carburetor with some of my guy friends who were into hot rods in high school.

samanthasmom said...

It was the 1960's, and I wanted to get into engineering school. Drafting was a prerequisite for two of the engineering schools I wanted to apply to.In my high school drafting was a course only open to boys. My dad wasn't a highly educated man, but he was smart. He went to the school board to tell them that they either had to let me into drafting class or pay the bill for me to take the class at the local community college - fully expecting them to let me into the class. He was bowled over when they decided to pick up the tab for the college course. They didn't want to set a precedent of letting a girl into drafting or a boy into home ec. They said that only "a highly motivated student" would push for payment for the course so they weren't as worried about it. While I was happily enrolled at the local CC, my dad ran for the school board, won, and kept pushing until the rules were changed. However, while access is the start, it that doesn't mean that the welcome mat is out.

Colonel Angus said...

It's a travesty they're allowed to drive. Who wants them working on a car?

Stan25 said...

The whole thing in a nutshell is the radical 1960-70s feminists are losing their grip on the women's movement and want to relive the glory days. Sarah Palin and other women have shown that women can accomplish their dreams by just being women and not toeing the radical feminist line the radicals want.

dreams said...

Title IX did a lot of damage to male sports especially wrestling because it became a quota system so be careful assuming that it was a positive. It was positive for females but negative for males and it didn't have to be that way.

Bottom line, males are into sports more than females and I won't even bother with mechanics. FYI more men watch women sports than women.

jimbino said...

I remember that boys and girls took both shop and home economics classes together in my 7th and 8th grade classes on the South Side of Chicago in 1956, way before Title IX.

While in college, I worked at Sunbeam Corp's Advanced Research Dept, where I ironed diapers, toasted bread, baked cakes in electric skillets, etc, sometimes for weeks at a time.

In my subsequent 40-year career as a programmer and computer engineer in the US, Scotland, Mexico, Argentina and Germany, I've worked beside very few women peers. Even now, I hardly ever meet a woman with whom I can converse about cabinetmaking, aerospace or medical device design, chess or economics.

Title IX seems to have done little more than teach women to play soccer, probably to prepare them for a life of driving their daughters around to play soccer.

pm317 said...

@Erika @Maguro..

I am not saying anything lefty here -- so don't jump on me. It is not so much pushing more women to become mechanics, it is about giving fair chance for success for those women who do want to become mechanics. Same for men for instance who want to become seamster/tailor assuming all seamsters are dominated by women. Just don't harass me if I am the only man or woman in my chosen profession.

jimbino said...

The sad truth is that women in general make very bad intellectual partners for many accomplished men, who end up pairing with them only in the early years when they're sex-crazed.

Smart men end up settling for what Einstein did: marry a reliable relative who doesn't pretend to have a clue as to what you do but in compensation is a great cook and housekeeper who obeys when you demand that she not speak to you for a couple days. Best, of course, if she's menopausal or sterilized.

dreams said...

"it is about giving fair chance for success for those women who do want to become mechanics."

I'm 67 years old and I've never met a woman that wanted to be a mechanic and I bet you haven't either.

pm317 said...

What is unacceptable is for lefty groups and the Democratic party and NPR, NYT, WaPO to keep harping on stigma and other such emotions for their own political gain. Their over protective attitude toward women (or any other minority group) is unacceptable. Their underlying message is that if it were not for us writing about stigma, you will forever be stigmatized. My point is that that thwarts the progress we make -- the smooth transition we would otherwise have in role reversals with the new found access to professions and occupations that were unattainable before.

pm317 said...

dreams said...
---------

heh.. my mechanic is a woman. Again, the point is not how many women want to become mechanics, but the one that does want it, should have a fair chance of success.

jacksonjay said...

Let's ask the lesbo who flipped off Reagan at the WH!

Rusty said...

pm317 said...
@Erika @Maguro..

I am not saying anything lefty here -- so don't jump on me. It is not so much pushing more women to become mechanics, it is about giving fair chance for success for those women who do want to become mechanics. Same for men for instance who want to become seamster/tailor assuming all seamsters are dominated by women. Just don't harass me if I am the only man or woman in my chosen profession.


It's often dirty, noisy, and you get sweaty. So it's no wonder girls, and more and more boys want nothing to do with it.

Keystone said...
Today's young men have little interest in mechanical things. Their interest in cars is limited to fancy wheels and sound systems.There is a shortage of car mechanics, welders, and machinists.


And there is a real shortage of intelligent candidates to fill those jobs.
I can get all the warm bodies I need to feed a machine. But the real work requires intelligence and creativity and a desire to want to learn.

Biff said...

I'm privy to the admissions statistics to an engineering school at a top tier university. I was surprised to learn that the school has been receiving significantly more engineering applications from females than males for the last several years. The women who are accepted tend to stay in the program all the way through graduation, so it does not appear to be a case of young women attempting to game the system by applying to a field where women are "under-represented" and then switching majors after admission. The surprising consequence: males are offered admission at a somewhat higher rate than females in order to keep the ratio of male students (now a minority in the incoming classes) within respectable distance of 50%.

dreams said...

"heh.. my mechanic is a woman. Again, the point is not how many women want to become mechanics, but the one that does want it, should have a fair chance of success."

Is your mechanic married to Ralph Macchio"s cousin Vinny?

Ann Althouse said...

@samanthasmom said... You got to learn drafting and -- as a bonus -- how effective and caring your father was.

Hagar said...

I am a man, I can fix that!

Ann Althouse said...

But I do feel sorry for the other girls, who didn't figure out how to get what they wanted and also didn't have as good a dad.

CWJ said...

This seems to be another area, like race relations, where society will be better off once we baby boomers are cold in the ground.

As noted by some here already, the subsequent generations have worked through this aspect of life more productively than we.

But like yesterday's "white privilege" thread, I fear that many of our generation are determined to bequeath our racial/gender demons to our grandchildren before we go. What a dreary legacy.

Hagar said...

and Professor,

You not only need to learn drafting, you need to be interested in what you are drafting!

rhhardin said...

I worked in a mathmatical physics ghetto.

Biff said...

Many towns offer evening auto repair classes as part of their adult education programs. I often sign up for those courses, as they provide access to the high school's auto repair garage and tools (including lifts and diagnostic equipment) at negligible cost. It's a great way to save money on car repairs and to learn enough that auto mechanics will not be able to take bamboozle you with jargon. Anyway, there are usually a few women in the classes, and I have long encouraged female friends and family members to sign up for these courses. I've even signed up with girlfriends over the years to give us something interesting to do together. Knowledge is a wonderful thing.

dreams said...

We don't don't need to feel sorry for girls. Our public school system is set up to favor girls. Lets not forget that there has been a REAL ACTUAL war on boys waged by the feminists for several years.

Krumhorn said...

It's impressive to me, and mystifying, that Ann routinely skewers the thought processes of libruls in post after post, and yet she still would vote for them.

Is this a journey? Or is it cognitive dissonance in living color?

rcocean said...

Remember that NPR's core audience is Plus 50 soccer moms and old ilberal baby boomers. That's why old crones like Diane rehm, Nina Totenberg, Terry Gross etc. will be on NPR till they die.

They've been hearing crap stories like for 30 years and they lap it up. To them its always 1968.

ken in sc said...

For three years I taught a high school industrial maintenance course. One year, at state competition, I met a home-schooled girl who not only won the competition, but was very pretty and could carry on an intelligent conversation—something most of the males could not do. I would not be surprised if she was an engineer or owned a business by now.

Rockport Conservative said...

Back when I was a senior in high school in 1954, to pass Driver's Education which we all had to take, we had to be able to change a tire. I did it and that was the only time I did it.
This was in Texas, don't know if it was a local thing or not, it was a very small school.

LordSomber said...

Next up: Classes on showing girls how to open pickle jars.

Joe said...

My oldest daughter took automotive maintenance. Her friends were baffled. According to my daughter, all they cared about were whether cars looked good and were cool.

On the other hand, my oldest son doesn't care at all about cars and is rather clueless as to how to maintain one, despite being taught.

Years ago, my former step-brother-in-law bought a gem of a car, never checked the oil and had the engine seize up near Palm Springs.

Then there's my former neighbor who either filled her radiator with oil or her crankcase with anti-freeze. Fortunately, she realized what she had done and called a tow truck.

Jose_K said...

I have never seen a woman among the victims of a coal mine disaster or collecting garbage or

Rusty said...

Nobody wants to serve an apprenticeship anymore.

leslyn said...

The assumption is that if male/female balance doesn't ensue, it's because entering a male-dominated field makes females feel stigmatized.

Well Duh. In the story even her grandmother vocally opposed what Zoe wants to do. Congrats to her (and the way her parents raised her) for ignoring it all and speaking strong.

It's lonely and difficult being a trailblazer. But the flip side is you get to know your own strength, understand you can do your chosen work well on your own, and develop deep personal commitment.
The world is the way the world is. The naysayers are out there, and here too. Keep on ignoring them Zoe. They don't matter. You're doing yourself and your confidence a favor. And it's no small thing that you're paving the way for others by your example.

leslyn said...

Jose K, "I have never seen a woman among the victims of a coal mine disaster or collecting garbage or"

What? Do you want too see women carried out in a coal mine disaster? Some passive-aggressiveness there? As for that and garbage collectors--you see what you expect to see.

Darrell said...

When I offered to teach women to fix cars, they most often responded with something like "Great. Then I'll teach you how to scrub the floor on your hands and knees." See, that's what men are for--shit work (from a woman's pont of view.) Luckily, I did get to teach some of their daughters and I was pleased when it saved them on a stormy night, miles from the nearest help. In one case the boyfriends dad had done a tune-up that day and the care was misfiring and stalling on a lonely road. I told her to check if the (distributor) rotor was seated all the way and she didn't have to ask for anything else. The boyfriend was impressed. And he admitted that none of that meant anything to him.

Conserve Liberty said...

IOWAHAWK

leslyn said...

Erik said,

It's really not that hard to be at peace with this stuff. My observation is that people my age, people who are currently raising young children and thinking about how to direct them, are far less angsty and conflicted about gender roles than the sixties and seventies relics who keep trying to make a fuss about stuff like this.

Thank you. You're like my parents, and I'm grateful every day for their words, support, and example.


CWJ said,

CWJ said... This seems to be another area, like race relations, where society will be better off once we baby boomers are cold in the ground. As noted by some here already, the subsequent generations have worked through this aspect of life more productively than we. But like yesterday's "white privilege" thread, I fear that many of our generation are determined to bequeath our racial/gender demons to our grandchildren before we go. What a dreary legacy.

How very well said.

Just look at jimbino and dreams, for example.

dreams said...

I think women should be allowed to work on steel beans 600 feet in the air on skyscrapers if they want to. What can we do to encourage more women to become construction workers on skyscrapers?

It obvious to me that there are a lot of jobs that even most men don't want to do because they are hard dirty work or very dangerous work. 93% of all occupational fatalities are men.

James Drake said...

A buddy and I were happy to take drafting in high school in the mid-60s with a couple of girls sitting behind us. I don't recall the overall mix of the class. Title IX wasn't even a glimmer in anyone's eye at that point.

Maguro said...

Well Duh. In the story even her grandmother vocally opposed what Zoe wants to do. Congrats to her (and the way her parents raised her) for ignoring it all and speaking strong.

Did anyone oppose what this girl was doing, other than her grandma who thought she should pursue a more lucrative career? I wish her the best in whatever she decides to do with her life, but let's not act like she's being oppressed by the patriarchy here.

wyo sis said...

Erika
You expressed it very well. Thank you. It would be a good idea to let things that have already happened go and worry about new more pressing problems. Feminism and racism are two that come to mind.

wyo sis said...

Two that come to mind to let go. Just to be clear. I messed that up.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We have to face it. There are just some jobs for which men (in general) are better suited. Physical constraints are the main limiting factor. The reason you don't see female garbage collectors or coal miners is the limit of upper body strength and gripping strength for most women.

There is no reason that a woman can't be an engineer, airplane pilot, (ahem)...stockbroker or even an auto mechanic. However an auto mechanic does require quite a bit of strength as well.

The desire to do something is always going to be limited by your ability to do it.

The reason that you don't see so many females in male dominated industries can also be brain related. The mathematically inclined woman or scientific minded female is rarer. Whether that rarity is a biological factor or a cultural factor is moot.....it just IS. Accept it. Trying to force females into those occupations that they are either not really suited or for which they aren't eager to do so that you can 'balance' the field is futile and really quite stupid.

On the other hand, there are very few jobs that are strictly suited for women only, even though that industry is female dominated. I can't think of any job that a woman normally would do that a man cannot.

Michael K said...

"I'm 67 years old and I've never met a woman that wanted to be a mechanic and I bet you haven't either."

Some of the women working with Mike Holmes on his TV show are his daughters but others seem to be interested in learning construction.

My high school girlfriend is a mechanical engineer but was never interested in mechanical stuff in high school. Nowadays to be accepted to medical school you have to have some experience around health care. Probably a good idea although easily gamed. When I was interviewing applicants for a medical school, I recommended one girl who had taken over and run her parents' ice cream store after her father had a heart attack. The medical school turned her down because she hadn't been a hospital volunteer or something. Typical leftist BS.

leslyn said...

@Maguro: you didn't read the link or listen to the story, did ya?



Who said anything about patriarchy except you?

leslyn said...

DBQ:

One city:
“Since women were first hired in 1986, we have had about 300 on the job,” (NYC Sanitation Chief) Mellis said. One has risen to the level of two-star chief, and we have another woman who is a one-star chief." They have to be able to drive AND throw.

Women make up 2% of miners in EG; but women and girls made up a major part of the mining workforce in Britain, particularly Corwall.


dreams said... I think women should be allowed to work on steel beans 600 feet in the air on skyscrapers if they want to.

That's nice, because they already do. But what's also cool is the first female high steel worker in the United Arab Emirates. Her name is Mariam al Hammadi.

leslyn said...

EG" should be WV = West Virginia.

Unknown said...

This question boils down NOT to the euphemistic/femenistic speak of "gender roles." IT IS BIOLOGY. Men and Women are differnet - period. We celebrate those differences in the social and domestic structures and relationships we build together. Men slaughter game and gather so that women can gestate, birth and nurse the young.

The fact that we accept "cross-roles" is a testament to technology. It gives us the indulgences of dreaming up issues like this because we do not HAVE to adhere to the biological demands as humankind once did. Yet I defy an 8 months with twins mother-to-be to remove a freeze plug from the left rear engine block of any American v-8. Furthermore, I demand that any young females withing my sphere of patriarchal influence KNOW exactly what a freeze plug is, and why she could not remove it in said state. And also how the change a flat.

Yes it is IMPORTANT women not forgo Automotive Technolgy because they DRIVE which is a dangerous proposition only compounded by their lack of knowledge and applied skill.

leslyn said...

Yes it is IMPORTANT women not forgo Automotive Technolgy because they DRIVE which is a dangerous proposition only compounded by their lack of knowledge and applied skill.

LOL.

Male v Female Car Insurance Rate Index:

According to information collected by InsWeb, the median car insurance rate for women is about 9% lower than the rate for men. The national median rate for women is $698 for a six-month policy. For men, it's $765. Why do women pay less on average for car insurance than men? The answer may lie in the differences between the men and women that shop online for insurance, rather than the way insurers actually view the genders.

Based on an examination of male and female drivers who request insurance quotes at InsWeb.com, several differences are noteworthy, including:

Women are almost 50 percent less likely than men to have a DUI/DWI on their driving record

Women are approximately 10 percent less likely to have a moving violation on their record

Unknown said...

Leslyn - I meant that as a personal saftey observation, not to open that can of worms comparing male and female drivers.

I want to be confident that a driver - male or female - can safely negotiate a dangerous automotive situation caused by a malfunction. Seeing a car on the freeway with a flat, and the driver inside waiting for help is that type of situation.

Driving is dangerous. Compounding that danger by ignorance (either male or female) jeopardizes lives.

DADvocate said...

I'm the same age as Ann, I have no idea if Home Ec was restricted to girls and shop/auto mechanics to boys in my old high school. Drafting wasn't. No boy would dream of taking Home Ec or Cosmetology, which was offered in my HS.

But, I enjoyed cooking because I enjoyed eating. I started cooking in the 4th or 5th grade. In high school the girls were surprised when I, known mostly for basketball, baked a cake for a bake sale fundraiser. I also convinced my Dad to buy a book and taught myself to tune-up my Dad's VW Bug before I was old enough to drive it. My Dad loved it. He had driven the car until the points completely burned out. and wouldn't run. He couldn't fix it and I saved him from paying for a tow truck and mechanic.

Synova said...

My daughter took wood shop this year and had a great time (and I only got called to the school to get her because of an injury once - just a bruise, no big deal, but they weren't positive her arm wasn't broken).

I tried not to discourage her, but I *wanted* to. Not because I think it's not a girl-thing, but because I assumed that teenaged boys still resent girls who are good at things that they figure boys are supposed to be good at, and she didn't need more social pressure. Also, this is New Mexico, and machismo is a huge part of Hispanic culture.

But from what I can tell, wood shop isn't a hostile place (auto shop might be) and one of the most popular classes for boys and girls is cooking class. Maybe it's because of Emeril and Bobby Flay but cooking doesn't seem to be seen as a girl-thing. Maybe sewing would be, but not cooking.

I was the only girl in my Vocational Agriculture class in high school (though there were several girls in FFA), and the only girl who took gun safety from the American Legion the summer after 6th grade. I feel like I understand a little bit what the issues are, even if it was 30 years ago, and as timid as I was, and I was, I have little sympathy for the theory that girls just need encouragement.

DADvocate said...

Geez louise, the handwringing is getting nauseating.

Can the sixties gender warrior holdout NPR types just retire and shut up already?


Erika - best comment by far.

CWJ said...

Leslyn, Thank you for your kind words @12:55.

I was thinking as much or more of the source of this story (NPR), than either Jimbino or Dreams. In many ways NPR is the Lawrence Welk of the Baby Boom generation.

Harold said...

Title 9 became law in 1972. I graduated HS in 1973. I waas taking cooking in my junior year, before Title 9, along with a few oher guys. And we took the cooking class much more seriously then the girls.

Which brings up another sexist point- why are there significantly more male chefs then female chefs if cooking is "feminine"?

I've never worked in a restaurant, but from the people I know who have, the majority of just plain old cooks are also male.

As far as I know, though girls were allowed in our district to sign ip for wood shop, metal shop, etc, none ever did.

Milwaukee said...

My daughter was in the 6th and 7th grades from 1999-2001. In both years she was the Tech Ed student of the year. In the 8th grade she had a choice, and picked an all year Spanish class. She didn't care about Spanish, but she didn't want to be in Tech Ed with a bunch of jerky guys. The Spanish teacher regretted the number of students, who, like my daughter, took Spanish to flee jerks. Many of them were horrible Spanish students. The Tech Ed teacher regretted not having students like my daughter. There are social forces operating which government can't legislate, they just happen. My daughter ended up majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science, and is working as a programmer. Not a lot of gals around.

She could drive a stick before she had her drivers license, and many of her friends, male and female, could not.

Roger J. said...

Although hardly automotive technology, it would seem to me that the ability to change a tire would be a necessary skill for any driver regardless of gender. Given the increasingly sophistication of cars, its damn near impossible to do things that might have worked 30 years ago were you to adjust points, change plugs, CV joints etc. But a flat on the interstate is something that any driver, irrespective of gender, should be able to take care of. And thats about as far as I am willing to go in this debate.

Larry J said...

Leslyn,

You're right about women often paying less for auto insurance than men. This is most pronounced during the teen years. This price differential based on claims experience is legal in most states and makes perfect sense. Likewise, since women tend to live longer than men, they pay lower life insurance premiums when all other things are equal (age, occupation, etc.).

So why is it considered illegal discrimination (at least here in Colorado) to charge women higher premiums for health insurance. As a group, women use medical services much more than men (as much as 30% more according to some studies. This legal form of discrimination hardly seems 'fair' or reasonable to me. It forces men to pay higher premiums to subsidize women's insurance.

I noticed this last week while studying for my life and heath insurance provider license (part of a career change).

dreams said...

"But a flat on the interstate is something that any driver, irrespective of gender, should be able to take care of. And thats about as far as I am willing to go in this debate."

Knowing out and being able to do it are not always the same. The last tire I changed was about 15 years ago, not having a four way lug wrench I didn't think I was going to able to get the lug nuts loose though I finally did with a lot effort. After that, I bought a four way lug wrench which I still have and I recommend everyone who is going to try and change their own tire do the same.

leslyn said...

Larry J,

I don't know why higher health insurance premiums for women is discrimination in CO. I hadn't heard of that, but there are lots of things I don't know.

Just speculation: Perhaps because women's plumbing and it's attendant care, including child birth, are natural facts that can't be changed; drivers have freedom over their behavior but women as a class (just a smidge over half of the human race) have no choice over how they were born, or having to be the child-bearing group. IOW, they don't have physical control over being the perpetuators of humanity and the physical conditions that attend that. So maybe they shouldn't have to pay extra for that too? Just a thought.

Yes, I know you guys have the other essential part in this whole "carrier of the human race" idea, but only Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movies knows what it's like to be a man and pregnant.

leslyn said...

Roger J said,

"Although hardly automotive technology, it would seem to me that the ability to change a tire would be a necessary skill for any driver regardless of gender."

I agree with you, with one caveat; in this world it is often safer to be able to stay in your car with the doors locked and call a tow truck.

That's why I always carry roadside insurance. If you add it to your regular auto policy, it's a tiny price to pay for peace of mind. It's also nice when the weather is bad.

That said, I have had to change many tires. I usually prefer to do what I can; right now I've got a battery waiting to be changed that I have to get the right sized socket for that one last nut; and before the weekend is over I've got to change a left rear turn signal bulb. But I will not change the oil. That's worth paying for.

Larry J said...

Just speculation: Perhaps because women's plumbing and it's attendant care, including child birth, are natural facts that can't be changed; drivers have freedom over their behavior but women as a class (just a smidge over half of the human race) have no choice over how they were born, or having to be the child-bearing group. IOW, they don't have physical control over being the perpetuators of humanity and the physical conditions that attend that. So maybe they shouldn't have to pay extra for that too? Just a thought.

Perhaps, or perhaps it's a "heads I win, tails you lose" situation. When I was a young driver, I had to pay higher premiums than the girls despite a clean driving record. As a man, I had to pay higher life insurance premiums than women in the same circumstances. If women have higher health care claims, then it seems only reasonable they should pay higher health insurance costs. Only, that isn't allowed. Heads I win, tails you lose. Perhaps to make things "fair", women should pay the same auto and life insurance premiums as men.

leslyn said...

Hey Larry,

The EU agrees with you, this year they said men and women pay the same for car insurance. But they're a bunch of socialists over there.

I also saw info about women paying higher rates than men for health insurance here--in general.

So maybe it all evens out on the balance scale of the universe. Who knows?

Rusty said...

"I'm 67 years old and I've never met a woman that wanted to be a mechanic and I bet you haven't either."

well. I'm 60 and I've met more than a couple.



"The desire to do something is always going to be limited by your ability to do it."


If you have the desire you'll find a way to do it.


But I will not change the oil. That's worth paying for.

Afraid to get you hands dirty?

Nathan Alexander said...

Shorter liberal ideology:
"Women are equal (or better) to men in any/every possible way. We need to adopt invasive rules/policies to hamstring men so that women are more able to demonstrate their inherent and undeniable equal abilities without having men show them up all the time."

jimbino said...

Yo CWJ,

I am no boomer, but a "Silent Generation" type, having been born in 1944. Birthrate jumped 25% in America between 1945 and 1946.

In my day, women were excluded from all but breeding, nursing, teaching, clerking and housecleaning.

Now, as then, the leaders in haute cuisine, haute couture, filmmaking, science, math, engineering, technology, chess, economics, plumbing, construction, electrical work, landscaping and politics are most all MEN.

Besides child-rearing, women are nowadays over-represented where socialism and affirmative action rule over merit: Public TV, NPR, gummint employment, education (including higher education: witness Elisabeth Warren).

leslyn said...

But I will not change the oil. That's worth paying for. Afraid to get you hands dirty?

HAHA. No, nor afraid to break a nail. I've been under a car enough. I don't need to go through the annoyance and oil splatter and disposal when I can sit in a nice air-conditioned waiting room while someone else does it much more sensibly.

Poor Woman's Exhaust Fix:

Take an empty can larger than the diameter of the exhaust pipe. Cut out both ends, then cut the can lengthwise. Place a hose clamp loosely on the exhaust pipe on each side of the hole in the pipe. Wrap the can around the pipe so that it covers the hole in the pipe. Slide a hose clamp over each end of the can and tighten. Do it all over again in a few months when the can wears out. The clamps will still be good. Continue until you get the money to fix it.

CWJ said...

Sorry Jimbino,

I had nothing to say to or about you. Leslyn quoted me and then invoked you and Dreams. I had no say about it, and tried to gently correct her.

But now that you've directly addressed me, I have no idea what point you're trying to make.

leslyn said...

Hey Larry,

I left you a reply but it didn't show up. I'll try to repeat:
The EU agrees with you. This year they made car insurance rates equal for men and women. Of course, they're all socialists over there.

I saw some info about women paying higher health insurance rates than men, but nothing about CO. Maybe it'll all even out on the scale of the universe.

AllieOop said...

Wow Jimbino, you're pretty old, I always thought of you as some young 30-ish hot studly type from Brazil. My vision of you is shattered.

leslyn said...

But I will not change the oil. That's worth paying for. Afraid to get you hands dirty?

No, nor break a nail. ;) I've crawled under enough cars. I'd rather wait in an air-conditioned waiting room while someone else does it much more sensibly.

Poor Woman's Exhaust Fix:

Get an empty can larger than the diameter of the exhaust pipe. Cut off both ends, then cut the can lengthwise. Take two hose clamps and place them on the exhaust pipe, one on each side of the hole in the pipe. Wrap the can around the pipe, covering the hole. Tighten a hose clamp around each end of the can. Repeat every few months when the can wears out, or until you have enough money to replace the pipe.


"The desire to do something is always going to be limited by your ability to do it." If you have the desire you'll find a way to do it. h/t to Rusty.

CWJ said...

@Jimbino

Let me restate my thoughts on this. As soon as you, or me, say "In my day" the conversation is over. It is no longer our day. That day is past. Likewise, it's irrelevant who most of any given profession might be. Today young people are far more free to pursue their dreams where ever they may take them, and to each of them the resulting percentages are what they are.

My point is that it seems to be the more "liberal" of the older generations that as a group are most obsessed with group results and strict proportionality.

jimbino said...

Yeah CWJ,

I'm as old as Mick Jagger and I still can't get no satisfaction when it comes to having intellectual conversations with women regarding physics, math, engineering, cabinetmaking, economics or politics.

I should have married, bred and learned baby-talk, I suppose.

JAL said...

All girls took shop in junior high school. Our summer 'camp" program at that age also had us hammering things out and cutting things and learning the basics on how to handle the basic tools. We took home ec also and each had to make a dress for ourselves. I can;t remeber what the boys made ... maybe they just took it in 7th grade. We all cooked.

The auto mechanics I learned from my dad. It didn't occur to me to take it in HS, and there wasn't any room in my schedule anyway.

Gene said...

I remember30 years ago Mt. Holyoke decided that not enough women were going into technology. They decided to help address the problem by offering engineering courses to the girls.

It didn't work. No one took the classes and eventually the option disappeared.

Why didn't it work? It wasn't that the students couldn't do the work. It was rather that they saw it as a downscale occupation, something that the sons of blue collar workers did, not the future alumnae of a seven sisters school.

Kirk Parker said...

LordSomber (@ 12:21pm),

That's evil! (And also very, very funny.)

Leslyn,

"Just look at jimbino..."

No, please.

SGT Ted said...

Women are almost 50 percent less likely than men to have a DUI/DWI on their driving record

Thats because HE was driving HER drunk ass home and got caught behind the wheel.

Women are approximately 10 percent less likely to have a moving violation on their record

Thats what being pretty gets you with an overwhelmingly male police force. I think that stat will change when theres a bigger ratio of female cops.

SGT Ted said...

There were very few females at Motorcycle Mechanics Institute when I attended. Literally a handfull of them in a sea of guys.

Of those, most were those who were attending because thats where lots of men of the type they prefer were. Biker/garage hound types. You could tell by their interactions with the males.

One was attending because her husband and she were going to start a shop together. They divorced and she isn't in the field anymore.

There was one who actually was there to work in the field. She had an Ironhead Sportster project in her garage. She was the hottest one in the school, with a dash of crazy.

leslyn said...

SGT Ted said... Women are almost 50 percent less likely than men to have a DUI/DWI on their driving record Thats because HE was driving HER drunk ass home and got caught behind the wheel.

Women are approximately 10 percent less likely to have a moving violation on their record Thats what being pretty gets you with an overwhelmingly male police force.

It's clear that you haven't worked the road.