Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Men and Women

The Return of Nature?

Progress in the United Kingdom?

During a chat with a group of 17-year-old girls recently, our ­conversation turned to their dreams for the future. One girl, Patty, wants to be a lawyer. Another, Justine, has her heart set on becoming a doctor.

But it seems there's one aspiration that's proving surprisingly popular -- and it doesn't involve years of ­dedicated study, either.

Yes -- feminists look away now -- most of the girls I talked to are intent on marrying a rich man. . .

As a teacher, perhaps I should have argued with these teenagers and told them their happiness depended on financial independence and high-­flying careers. A few years ago I would have done, but not any more.

So what's changed? Well, four years ago my daughter Nancy was born and I became a harassed working mother. It was my implacable belief that a career was the path to female ­fulfilment that kept me working after her birth.

Back then, I honestly believed that women who didn't work were boring ­little drones who had given up all vestige of personality.

How wrong I was! 

Exit question: if, as a rule, men and women want different things out of life, and if one of the the central questions of liberal eduction is how to live, how should we address the differences between men and women in our schools?  A start would be recognizing at least the possibility that the reason why just about every society in history has had gender roles is because men and women like to differentiate themselves from each other. 

Has the idea of the equality of men and women been rendered secure enough in modern America to allow us to discuss the both the ways in which men and women are equal and the ways in which men and women are not the same, and don't want to be the same?

Categories > Men and Women

Discussions - 8 Comments

The woman should do the cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, vacuuming, dusting, organizing, child-rearing and nearly everything else around the home.

The man should rake it in at work (as most jobs do these days!) and be in charge of changing lightbulbs and other household tasks requiring height or not otherwise suitable for a woman in heels. He is also in charge of bloviating on blogs.

Sounds reasonable!!

Mr. Adams:

Your post obviously went over someone's head. I won't name names though...

Cowgirl.

"how should we address the differences between men and women in our schools?"

This can't happen on most campuses. Instead, the effort to make women more like men continues, for example, in federal grants trying to get the 'right' number of women into the sciences. Meanwhile, nobody talks about the 60/40 ratio of women to men in college. Walking past conference rooms at the community college where I work, I often see rooms full of administrators with not one male present. It is a great shame that the type of liberal educaton referenced does not often occur in academia anymore. Ashbrook is one of the exceptions. Mr. Schramm was ahead of me in grad school at Claremont--yeah, we were fortunate beyond measure, and we know it.

U.C. Davis School Veterinary Medicine is 85% women. Most of the Vet Schools in the United States are at this level. My Large Animal Vet recently told me that one of the Vets Schools in the United States - I believe the University of Missouri/Minnesota - not sure - just graduated the first all-women class of vets. The United States has a huge gap of large animal vets. The average age of Large Animal Vets in the United States is 56 years old. In little less than 10 years, there were be at least a 40% deficit of large animal vets in the United States - Huge, Huge problem. But what the heck as long as all those women "Feel Good" about themselves, who cares....

Gee, my dream has always been to marry a rich man; but the radical religious right won't let me. what about my dreams?

I am not sure why Richard Adams finds this story affecting or a point of departure for discussion (and, apparently, a salutary development of some sort). Most people, male and female, do not have careers. Some have trades, but a plurality just have jobs. An aspiration to a professional-managerial position will remain just an aspiration for 85% of the youth of the nation. By the same token, perhaps 4% of the men in the United States (at any one time) might qualify as wealthy even in a low grade sort of way; as often as not they were not wealthy at the age of 26; and inhereted wealth brings many pitfalls. (All that aside from the fact that the mercenary aspect of these women's desires is offensive).

All of this just seems nearly irrelevant to the problems men and women now face in building durable and fruitful bonds.

Priceless comment, Craig! Elton's pretty funny also.

Have you heard of Massachusetts?

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