“The Great Feminization of the American university” is all but complete, a female scholar asserts in an intriguing new article that warns against the negative repercussions of such a direction. A trend that has been much commented on for years appears to be reaching a tipping point, and the implications go far beyond campus grounds.
Women now dominate both university leadership and student-body numbers. “Seventy-five percent of Ivy League presidents are now female. Nearly half of the 20 universities ranked highest by Forbes will have a female president this fall, including MIT, Harvard, and Columbia,” the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald noted in her March 5 piece at City Journal.
University Snapshot: Bureaucracy and Victimhood
“Mirroring the feminization of the bureaucracy is the feminization of the student body,” she continues. “Females earned 58 percent of all B.A.s in the 2019–2020 academic year; if present trends continue, they will soon constitute two-thirds of all B.A.s. At least 60 percent of all master’s degrees, and 54 percent of all Ph.D.s, now go to females.”
There are plenty of ways in which this development will have a profound change on American society. The impact on the white-collar job market will be substantial, but perhaps it is the cultural impact that is most fascinating to contemplate.
Mac Donald pointedly brings up two character traits currently thriving on US campuses: careerism involving staffers who are unaccountable to public scrutiny and the ever-growing sense of victimization by school officials and students alike:
“These female leaders emerge from an ever more female campus bureaucracy, whose size is reaching parity with the faculty. Females made up 66 percent of college administrators in 2021; those administrators constitute an essential force in campus diversity ideology, whether they have ‘diversity’ in their job titles or not….
“Female students and administrators often exist in a co-dependent relationship, united by the concepts of victim identity and of trauma. For university females, there is not, apparently, strength in numbers. The more females’ ranks increase, the more we hear about a mass nervous breakdown on campus. Female students disproportionately patronize the burgeoning university wellness centers, massage therapies, relaxation oases, calming corners, and healing circles.”
It’s disturbing to think that this is the higher-education environment that will be molding young minds in America today. But there may be another reason for the rise of women in college life today, one that is not about female power per se but that sees feminine sensibilities as more conducive to creating a desired educational climate.
‘Coloring Within the Lines’ Is the Education
“The bottom line of education today is not for a student to be able to contemplate the highest ideas, but for him to learn the skills of rule-following, coloring within the lines, and cooperating with other students. Skills, that is, in which women in particular excel,” another female, Carmel Richardson, writing at The American Conservative in October, observed.
“These are not bad skills to have. One should be able to think critically, and working together is a virtue as well as a skill,” Richardson states. “But these are social tools; they haven’t much to do with academia. When they are the measure of scholarly success, over and above intellection, the effect is not simply a more democratic education – something which measures all against the lowest common denominator – but also one which gives women, the sex that created and governs social norms, a clear advantage over men.”
This certainly would jibe with Mac Donald’s thesis that bureaucracy and victimization are soaring due to increased female dominance at American universities. While feminists undoubtedly will ridiculously label such statements as anti-women, what these two female writers are really saying is that the basic natures of womanhood are being manipulated and used to serve an agenda.
It’s hard not to notice that many of the most severe governing officials in the West during the lockdown madness of the coronavirus pandemic were female. Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became infamous for her nanny-state social curbs imposed on the unfortunate residents of that tiny island nation. In the US, female Democrat governors Kate Brown in Oregon and Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan were among most rabid zealots of similarly strict social controls.
A Gallup poll conducted in October 2020, during the height of pandemic fever, found a whopping 79% of women surveyed “always” wore a mask in indoor settings when unable to “maintain social distancing.” Only 64% of men who were polled did likewise.
Then again, the poll found relatively similar results for Democrat men and Democrat women, while Republican women were far more skeptical for the most part. However, 56% of Republican women surveyed, as opposed to only 40% of Republican men, were on board with the mask protocol.
Meanwhile, the changing face of university life is proceeding at a jarring pace. “At the close of the 2020-21 academic year, women made up 59.5% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40.5%, according to enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research group,” The Wall Street Journal reported in September 2021. “US colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students compared with five years ago, and men accounted for 71% of the decline,” the paper added.
It all makes for absorbing food for thought, especially since universities, and Ivy League institutions in particular, are the main pipelines to the ruling establishment elite. Will the feminization of higher education result in more social tyranny under a distorted guise of “cooperation,” “consensus” and an inordinate consideration for “safety”?
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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