Beyond its ostensible purpose-- educating the young-- college these days has turned into a massive social experiment.
In the classroom women excel. After teaching a course at Princeton, Lisa Belkin observed that: “women ... were outspoken, self-confident and unapologetic about running rings around their male cohorts in the classroom.”
And yet, to Belkin’s chagrin, once they step outside of the classroom, when men invite them to dress and act like tramps, too often they accept the invitation.
Belkin see this as evidence that equality has stopped at the schoolhouse door.
In her words: “As parents around the country send their children to campuses for the start of another academic year, what are we to make of the fact that lessons of equality, respect and self-worth have been heard when it comes to the classroom, but lost somewhere on the way to the clubs? Why has the pendulum swung back to a feeling that sexualization of women is fun and funny rather than insulting and uncomfortable? Why are so many women O.K. with that?”
We need to look at this more closely, because Belkin is not on very good terms with reality.
I recall a pre-feminist time when women attended school and classes with men. I know because I was there. Women were not an oppressed minority. They were not being beaten into intellectual oblivion by the men in their classes. They were respected as students, even when they got better grades. And they were respected outside of the classroom.
True enough, men still organized most social activities. They invited girls on dates and ran parties in frat houses and other venues. They were hardly angelic. They did not always have the best of intentions.
But they did not invite girls to dress like sluts and did not expect them to behave like sluts.
Today Belkin bemoans the fact that a Duke fraternity invites girls to come to a Halloween party dressed as sluts. Feminists protest the indignity of it all, but many girls are more than happy to answer the call.
Surely, in a world where there are more women than men, women are obliged to go an extra mile in order to be noticed and in order to have a relationship.
Still, back in the old pre-feminist days, men respected women and men liked women. Apparently, this is not longer the case.
Belkin is correct to observe the gross disparity between the way women act in class and the way they act in clubs.
She does not, however, give enough weight to her own observation: women in college are “running rings around their male cohorts.”
Are women really that much better or has the American educational system decided, as a matter of policy, to favor girls over boys? Has it systematically praised girls beyond their merits while demeaning and diminishing boys? Has it chosen to make girls successful at the expense of boys?
If women are that much better than men, perhaps the game is being rigged in favor of women. Surely, there are more than a few boys who believe this.
What happens to a group when it feels that its best efforts will never be acknowledged, that, no matter what it does, it cannot win? It becomes demoralized. It does not work as hard and does not participate as much in class.
From what Belkin reports, this is the case at Princeton. Like many other colleges and universities, it has become a female-friendly, male-unfriendly place.
What happens when the women who shine in class, who are favored and sheltered and protected by their professors, step outside of the classroom and want to develop relationships with men?
It sounds to me, from what Belkin observes, that they are going to be receiving payback.
If men are systematically subjected to discrimination, they are going at some point to feel anger at those who are favored over them. And they are going to want to diminish and demean those in whose name they themselves have been diminished and demeaned.
Given the fundamental prejudice that is built into this environment, it is not surprising that men come away not liking women and not respecting them.
If you felt that someone in your class was being favored for reasons that had no special relationship to merit you would not like the person. And you would not respect her.
If she walked up to you outside of the classroom and wanted to develop a relationship with you, you might just take the opportunity to settle a score.
It’s not a pretty picture, but it is what feminism, with its ideological zeal and its mindless pursuit of unreal goals, has wrought.