April 5, 2005

The reverse gender gap iceberg.

In an update to that last photo essay, I wrote:
An emailer writes, "What, no lovers?" And I answer, "Actually, we were talking about the solitariness of the 'hill people.' There were no lovers!" In fact, at lunch, we were discussing the way the way primary and middle school teachers appreciate the behavior of girls (and don't see their misbehavior) and punish the boys for not acting more like the girls. Girls end up more accommodated to academia and flock to college, which may need to do affirmative action for males to keep the male-to-female ratio in balance. Does this mean that in college, males end up with lower GPAs? What effect does this have on law school admissions? What is going on?

This is one of the main things we talked about at lunch. I described my heartfelt opposition to the way schoolteachers treat young boys, but at the same time, I am utterly opposed to affirmative action for males! There are some big problems that we are barely beginning to notice. The seeming loneliness of the women on the hill is, perhaps, just the beginning of a huge problem.

That brought this email:
I agree with your asessment of boys being penalized for not acting like girls. I live in NYC but grew up in Nebraska and Texas in the 70's and 80's and I experienced it even then.

As for the education gap and marriage, it might interest you to know that NY has a seemingly huge supply of beautiful, accomplished, and single professional women in their mid-to-late 30's. Doctors, lawyers, business owners, you name it. I see them on nerve.com's singles site and meet them in person. Generation X must be just the tip of that particular iceberg.

[Name Omitted]

PS- I'm a photo editor, overeducated for what I do, but I would NEVER date a lawyer, much less a doctor. Career imbalance in relationships is largely a one-way street.

Yikes! Well, this is kind of what "Sex and the City" was all about, except that in "Sex and the City," the women kept finding men who were reasonable prospects.

For you men who are lawyers, though, and are therefore equally matched, NYC is, apparently, full of beautiful women for you. And the photo editor guys have voluntarily removed themselves from competition.

UPDATE: Richard Lawrence Cohen (AKA my ex-husband) makes this contribution:
Just a couple of quick thoughts on that gender post:

1. Nifty jab at that photo editor fool!

2.. The "no lovers" phenomenon may have something to do with my old bugaboo, the repressive culture of the Midwest. When I moved out there (MI-WI) from NYC, I was surprised at the absence of two things: 1. people showing affection in public; 2. street fights. I remember walking on South U. in Ann Arbor in Oct. 1969 and thinking, "Wow, I haven't seen a street fight in a month!"

(Also no dogs running around the campus in Madison, as opposed to many in Ann Arbor.)

"In France they kiss on Main Street."--J. Mitchell.

3. I'm glad women are becoming aware of the problem of the anti-male ethic in schools. (Probably because many ex-feminists have become the mothers of sons.) As a father of four boys, some of them rather exuberant, I have carefully chosen elementary schools for my sons where the effects are somewhat ameliorated.

4. One reason there are all those brilliant lonely beauties running around loose in New York is that for a generation American college women have been trained to assume that men are their enemy and oppressor, that any man they date will be inferior to them in intellect and sensibility, that husbands are buffoons, etc. Sleeping with someone you think is the enemy doesn't really work. The putative enemy doesn't want to be treated that way. The result is the Maureen Dowds of this world writing whiney columns in which they bemoan the absence of men in their lives -- men whom, as a group, they never miss a chance to insult.

Ciao, Richard
I don't necessarily agree with all that. For one thing, I don't think standing up for boys makes one an ex-feminist. But since you quote Joni Mitchell and fondly remember the dogs in Ann Arbor, I'll do a Bob Dylan quote from that album we used to listen to all the time:
If dogs run free, then why not we
Across the swooping plain?
My ears hear a symphony
Of two mules, trains and rain.
The best is always yet to come,
That's what they explain to me.
Just do your thing, you'll be king,
If dogs run free.

No comments: