Monday, September 30, 2013

Equality? I think you missed that exit about a mile back

Since I started actively blogging as an anti-feminist, I've seen a lot of feminists criticizing anti-feminism with variations of "How can you be against feminism? Feminism is about equality." We're told that a lot. The dictionary backs them up. But when you look at issues, you quickly see that equality is just not good enough.

For instance, we are told women need affirmative action initiatives in higher education in order to level the playing field against historical, systemic sexism in admissions. It's not enough to accept women, to treat them the same as men, universities and colleges must actively encourage and incentivize women to enroll, to excel, to graduate. The latest data shows that this approach seems to have been successful: women at all levels of higher education have been earning the majority of degrees since 2009. We were already out-graduating men at all levels short of doctorates since 1999, and I saw one article that women started outpacing men around 1982. So that's it, right? The women in education people can pack it in; they won. Set up a smaller watchdog organization to make sure there's no backsliding, and go celebrate.

Instead, in an inspired burst of goal-post shifting, the new complaint is that women are under-represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields. Meanwhile, all the incentives and scholarships and grants and benefits that were set up to correct the female under-representation in higher education are still going strong, even though women are no longer generally under-represented.

When women surge ahead of men in STEM fields, next year, or five years from now, or ten, or twenty, I wonder what the new goal will be? 

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