Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Consequences of Feminism

Gender equality is an honorable thing, but unfortunately it just seems to be about the most unreachable thing out there. Reading through the scores of literature on the global gender performance gap (with boys behind across the board) might just make you forget about the fact that relatively no one is concerned with the much larger and statistically significant gaps between races and classes. That's an unforeseen legacy of feminism in and of itself, but as vigilant as education has been in the past in "evening out" the gaps, they can never seem to "manufacture" equality just right.

Back in the early 1990's, it was assumed that if they simply curved testing methodologies and teaching to include more contextual, cooperative, and figurative thinking exercises that they'd eliminate gender inequity by intentionally designing a system that favored girls. Over a decade later, after they've ridden high on the great success that was this flawed educational experiment-turned-political-weapon, now the feminists want to unfortunately derail progress toward gender equity by failing to realize what this unforeseen legacy of theirs is producing. After creating a system that favors girls, they boast great success at causing girls to close and reverse the gender gap but don't want to take any responsibility for at who's expense it was achieved (as does anyone); the other half.

Now it is these very groups who, now in the upper hand, cry out from their pulpits to defame the calls for equality in the system. It was the AAUW who put the call out originally to make the case for better equality control for girls, and now it is the AAUW making the case that no gender gap these days is a result of a girl-advantageous system they helped advocate for decades back. Their current point is very simple and not so surprising giving this turn of events: There is nothing wrong, we're making progress.

Of course, there's no reason to be "blaming" girls for their sucesses. A success in an educational policy is rare, but it depends on what your original goal was. If the original goal was the eliminated the gender gap, it's a failure, but if it was to improve the academic respect, motivation, and test scores of girls, then it was a success--a success with an inevitable downside that seems all too clear now in hindsight.

Recently, an Equal Opportunities Commission has made the argument that we ought to ignore the new gender gap, the new inequity, simply because they too fail to acknowledge the existence of it. They then carry on with vain statements about "increasing the performance of all children," but don't take any time to put any meat on those flimsy bones:

“The strategies recommended have been divisive and often counter-productive in terms of their emphasis on gender differences and give the impression that all that was needed was to treat the two sexes as separate, homogenous groups.”
First of all, the newsmedia never misses a beat pepping up this story to make it seem like this commission is saying "Stop Helping Boys," which of course is not what they're saying at all, but it's not the first time the media has reported on its own shameful page-turner practices.

Secondly, one commentor elloquently points out this obvious double-standard: "If girls underperform the system gets changed. If boys underperform they are told that they must change." The strategies to decrease gender inequality for school children seem to only apply when girls are being shortchanged, it seems. It's then easy for them to avoid this double-standard by not saying otherwise, but by simply not acknowledging the problem. Out of sight, out of mind, as far as feminist "progressive" politics is concerned.

The other side has their say as well:

Nick Gibb, the Tory schools spokesman, blamed 40 years of “progressive” teaching methods for the underachievement of boys, disadvantaged children and certain ethnic groups.
And the lesson learned today, class? This is what happens when education is used as a political weapon. We get back and forth bickering and tampering that serves no one any good in the long or short run, and unfortunately does nothing to decrease the size of the new gender gap. Hopefully these kids can stop this back and forth nonsence their parents were so entranced with provoking and get to actually working on "improving the education of ALL, at the expense of NONE" once and for all.

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