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June 14, 2010

Quote of the Day

What we have here are members of two very different self-selected tribes, which we might call (a)the tribe of the challengers, as its members believe that people grow by facing difficult situations–including situations in which success is not guaranteed, and (b)the tribe of the brittle, as members of this tribe tend to implicitly or explicitly believe that people are so fragile that they must be protected from setbacks that might threaten their self-esteem. And, thinking about this story, it struck me that membership in these tribes very much cuts across the usual demographic categories of race, ethnicity, income, and sex. (Although the writer says “the two teams fell out along socioeconomic lines,” I think the dominant factor here is occupation rather than income. And although he refers to “an effort to feminize young boys,” there are plenty of women whose membership is in the tribe of the challenger.)

What seems clear to me is that in any form of competition between societies–economic, military, even artistic–a society in which the tribe of the brittle plays a leading role will always lose out, in the end, to a society in which the tribe of the challengers drives the overall spirit of the society.

In his post, David has neatly summarized my concerns with the current "males are helpless victims" meme so popular on conservative sites these days.

Are there laws and aspects of American life that are unfair to boys and men? Certainly there are. I've never sought to deny this (and in fact I've highlighted several instances where I do think the status quo ought to be changed). Lots of things are unfair to girls/women too. For instance, women can't serve in the combat arms (though these days we're reliably informed that military service is a civil right). Once we accept this the operative question becomes, "So what do we do about it?"

Do we want a mandated government solution? To create a new protected class? Do we want to perpetuate the culture of victimization, which assigns moral brownie points not on the merits of a dispute, but to whomever is perceived to have the least power/wealth/social status (i.e., the underdog)? Isn't that exactly the "logic" that has been used successfully against boys and men?

What's the best way to help someone in an unfair situation? With gobs of sympathy or by urging him to fight back/try harder? A lot of sites seem to be urging men to give up, take their balls and go home, withdraw.

And I think that's the wrong answer.

Posted by Cassandra at June 14, 2010 08:49 AM

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Comments

Well, anyone who's arguing for a protected status for men or boys is an idiot. Rather than hand out victim cards to everyone, how about we fix it by taking AWAY everyone's victimization? Stop all forms of quotas, favored class status, business preferences, gender/race based scholorships, and just let it be a meritocracy.

The current argument that boys are oppressed because they get the message that girls are more important in school (if it exists) is a direct result of the pendulum swing that occured in the 70's and 80's to improve the educational opportunities for girls. It is a fact that you yourself demonstrated with the graph of gender and higher education through the course of time. I'm not saying it's a vast conspiracy, I'm simply saying it's the logical outcome of trying to encourage girls in school.

And as charts like that go, it IS a zero sum game. If more girls go on to higher education, then their percentage will increase at the expense of the percentage of boys. In raw numbers, if both are going up, there's no problem in my opinion. I don't have any facts that tell me boys seeking higher education is declining or increasing. I have no data either way.

But regardless, if there IS a problem, the correct fix is NOT some stupid "self-esteem" building for boys, but to quit treating the children as different at all. Which is terribly counter-intuitive to me, as I do believe that there are fundamental differences between boys and girls. But our schools should be focused on the goal of providing the same education to children regardless of gender. If girls are truly less inclined towards the math and sciences, and boys are less inclined towards the language arts, that's fine. Don't treat one as more important than the other. Don't dumb down the material for either gender. Present the material as it is, try to help as many children grasp it as possible, and accept that some children WILL fail to fully grasp the material. Failure is a part of life, and it's important to teach children that they can fail and recover from it. Otherwise we're raising generations of kids with false impressions of what life truly is, and those kids will collapse when faced with failure in their lives.

Posted by: MikeD at June 14, 2010 09:46 AM

"If girls are truly less inclined towards the math and sciences, and boys are less inclined towards the language arts, that's fine. Don't treat one as more important than the other. Don't dumb down the material for either gender. Present the material as it is. . . ."

Exactly.

Posted by: Texan99 at June 14, 2010 09:59 AM

Otherwise we're raising generations of kids with false impressions of what life truly is, and those kids will collapse when faced with failure in their lives.

And mask the collapse by reverting to an activity in which they're relatively effective, such as playing golf, flying the spouse somewhere for an exotic date, or campaigning for incumbents in a primar

Waitaminnit. Deeds, Corzine, Coakley, The Spectre -- ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Okay, scratch "campaigning for incumbents" from the "effective" list and substitute "throwing parties that other people pay for"...

Posted by: BillT at June 14, 2010 10:09 AM

Bill, you're such a buzzkill. Can't a man finish his waffle?

Posted by: Texan99 at June 14, 2010 11:14 AM

*snort*

Posted by: Cassandra at June 14, 2010 11:19 AM

All that high-falutin' talk from the victim du jour groups still raise their skirts while jumping on a stool screaming "EEEEEKKK" at the sight of a mouse, spider, plugged toilet, etc.

Who do they call? You guessed it, the nearest "knuckle-dragging, hairy neanderthal" to do the deed. I recently stopped on the freeway on the way to Palm Springs on a hot desert night to assist a BMW with a flat tire. I told the young lady with $100 nails, and as fine an outfit as Rodeo Drive could provide (OMG, to die for) to stand on the side of the road out of traffic. 45 minutes later, dripping with sweat and greasy hands I bid her farewell, safe trip and replace the tire at first opportunity. She insisted I take a $20 bill for my effort. I refused, she insisted, I refused, she insisted, I relented. She roared off and I gave the twenty to my wife when I arrived home.

I felt so cheap, so used and abused but richer for the experience. Virtue is it's own reward. I wonder if they teach that in social studies these days? By the way, it is difficult to clean brake dust and road grease off your finger nails with a handi-wipe.

Posted by: vet66 at June 14, 2010 12:55 PM

"the current "males are helpless victims" meme so popular on conservative sites these days"

I, too, wonder why conservative men and their mommies complain so much about being victimized by the victims.

Posted by: Craig at June 14, 2010 01:14 PM

The Roland Toy article that David Foster posted about is prime example of conservative fiction.

Daddy was lib professor/WWII vet with "oversized posters of Leon Trotsky and Ho Chi Minh" hanging on his walls. Classic.

Posted by: Craig at June 14, 2010 01:17 PM

I, too, wonder why conservative men and their mommies complain so much about being victimized by the victims.

Craig:

"Conservative men", in general, are doing no such thing.

I have some SOME conservative bloggers (both male and female) making such arguments but you're painting with an awfully big brush there. Not to mention being needlessly insulting.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 14, 2010 01:19 PM

Cassandra,

It is a popular trend on conservative sites. You said so yourself.

Posted by: Craig at June 14, 2010 01:26 PM

But I did not say that "conservative men" hold that view.

There are an awful lot of conservative sites, just as there are an awful lot of liberal sites. Neither one is monolithic.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 14, 2010 01:31 PM

I want to know which parts are "fiction". That he had a daddy, that his daddy was a WWII Vet, that his daddy was a liberal professor, that they had posters of Trotsky & Ho Chi Minh on the wall, or that Mr. Toy was himself a liberal.

Which part of that was he lying about, and exactly what evidence is there to support the accusation.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 14, 2010 01:35 PM

Personally, I loved the way Mr. Toy solved the problem: They showed up. The only person that can keep you from competing is you.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 14, 2010 01:37 PM

Yu-Ain,

Toy most likely did have a father. The rest, I believe, is up for debate.

Posted by: Craig at June 14, 2010 01:41 PM

And your evidence that he's lying?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 14, 2010 01:42 PM

Who needs proof when you can just throw out unsupported accusations?

*sigh*

Posted by: Cassandra at June 14, 2010 01:43 PM

He doesn't need "evidence", Yu-Ain. Nor do the actual facts of the story matter.

When opinion is just as valid as fact, the accused is always guilty until proven innocent. This is known as "progress".

Posted by: Cassandra at June 14, 2010 01:45 PM

You are correct.

I can offer no proof that Mr. Toy is outright lying. If I discover some, though, I will not hesitate to share it with you.

In my opinion, though, his story does require a big stretch of the imagination to be believed.

Posted by: Craig at June 14, 2010 01:52 PM

Well, your opinion, clearly labeled, is quite a different matter.

Why do you think we should presume he is lying?

Posted by: Cassandra at June 14, 2010 01:54 PM

Because the mind of a liberal is set in stone, unmovable, and not open to new ideas?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 14, 2010 02:43 PM

I liked the comment over at David Foster's site who mused about whether the challengers/brittle dichotomy was similar to the gray/pink or sheepdog/sheep dichotomy. Since Grim has been kind enough to experiment with letting me post on his site, I'm about to add some thoughts over there about how those categories relate to the "Prisoner's Dilemma" conflict game.

Posted by: Texan99 at June 14, 2010 02:51 PM

"Well, anyone who's arguing for a protected status for men or boys is an idiot. Rather than hand out victim cards to everyone, how about we fix it by taking AWAY everyone's victimization?"

MikeD, you get no argument from me. I'm now thoroughly convinced that affirmative action, in the form of quotas and/or lowered standards for certain groups, is *always* the wrong answer. It ghettoizes the privileged groups while breeding resentment among the non-privileged groups. Case in point is the very example from MikeD's post. Yes, women are becoming the dominant group on campus. But a lot of them are getting railroaded into utterly worthless (or even worse) degree programs. I really do emphasize with the women who are roped into taking out six-figure, non-bankruptcy-discharagable student loans in order to obtain a degree in "XYZ Studies".

"What's the best way to help someone in an unfair situation?" Well, the first thing to do is not pretend to be helping while actually opposing (and Cass, I am *not* *not* *not* saying you do that). There's a huge difference between "You need to try harder, but when you get frustrated, you can bend my ear" and "You need to try harder, but it's your problem, not mine". The latter is insincere at best and shaming language at worst.

Going back to the higher education thing, the first thing to realize is that when the primary schools screw up, there's nothing the universities can do to fix it. They can't take confused, directionless, undisciplined, morals-free teenagers and make them into good college students with a couple of remedial classes. AA for male students will not accomplish what some people want it to accomplish. Forget that idea. But let me give you an example of the sort of thing that happens and is about to happen again: It's been noted that, in all of the world of higher education, there is one area where men still dominate: the so-called STEM classes -- physical sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. There are a lot of people who are concerned about the fact that there still aren't that many women signing up for these degrees. (And in fact, from my own observations, the number actually seems to have gone down some since the early 1980s.)

Well, okay. Perhaps we still do have a problem there. But if so, do you want to know what the problem probably is? It's that the primary schools still aren't doing a good enough job of educating in these areas. Girls who placed highly in their high school math classes and on the SAT math portion get into engineering school, and they hit the wall because they suddenly realize that their prior classes didn't teach them a lot of the stuff they need to know. Now, this probably happens to boys too, but I would argue that boys are both more likely, and get somewhat more social encouragement, to go learn the material on their own, so the college courses don't come as quite as much of a shock.

So how to fix this? The right answer is to fix the primary schools. Take the B.S. out of math education; get rid of the "2+2=5 if you feel like it does", get rid of the esoterica that nobody in the real world cares about, and focus on the core subjects. To my mind, there is no reason in the world why any college student, in any course of study, should not have gotten at least through Algebra II in high school. But I will guarantee you this: that is not how Washington and the educational establishment will approach the problem. Instead, they will do what they always do: quotas and relaxed admissions standards for preferred groups. And, they will construct it as a zero-sum game; with the budget for STEM decreasing at most schools, if demand increases as the result of new incentives targeting female students, they won't open up more seats. Instead, they will find a way to kick boys out so more girls can get in, a la Title IX. And one of the few places in the academy where boys still feel welcome will start to be closed off to them.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at June 14, 2010 02:53 PM

I don't know about the rest of the men here, but I think I'm going to hold out for some sympathy and a back rub.

Posted by: spd rdr at June 14, 2010 03:38 PM

and a cold beer.

Posted by: Allen at June 14, 2010 03:43 PM

Sorry for the delay,

1993, the year the last Reagan Democrat became a weenie Clintonite.

Two 4th grade basketball teams whose players attend the SAME elementary school and yet have have diametrically opposed parentage. Professors/doctors vs. real estate/insurance brokers. Amazing coincidence.

All 16 lib parents of a basketball team that wins every game except one suddenly gets unanimously verklempt about self-esteem. However did the libs make it through the regular season without being crushed by the weight of their librul guilt?

Also, everybody knows libs can't unanimously agree on anything and they don't have the backbone to stand up for themselves.

Plus, lib parents don't believe in the sanctity of marriage, so 8 players would NEVER equal 16 parents at a meeting.

And, finally, the "oversized posters of Leon Trotsky and Ho Chi Minh". C'mon! That imagery is just ridiculous on its face.

Posted by: Craig at June 14, 2010 03:50 PM

In my high school, those of us (male and female) who expected to apply to tough schools routinely took three semesters of calculus and three semesters of physics after we'd finished algebra and analytical geometry. I found it prepared me well for first-year university course in general math and physics, but the first civil engineering course I stumbled into kicked my butt like our President wading through an evil multinational corporate enemy of the people. I hate to think what it would have been like if I'd tried to drift in with high school Algebra II under my belt. Engineering school ain't no joke even for bright people from excellent high schools. You'd better want it a lot more than I did (no bachelors of science for this kid! I got a namby-pamby degree).

However, the one defense I can't use is that I hadn't been taught as well as a boy would have been taught that I should stick it out at all costs. I just didn't have the drive, and there were too many other interesting things to study that came easier to me.

Posted by: Texan99 at June 14, 2010 04:02 PM

MikeD, I think you nailed it.

It all comes from this idea that we're all supposed to be equal: equal in interests, drive, goals, skills, etc.

It's absurd, of course. We are who we are, and it's the differences (both within and between sexes) that make the world go round. :P

As a sheepdog once said to me back when I was a music teac, if we were all warriors, who would teach the next generation to make the music? Same idea if we were all engineers...

Posted by: FbL at June 14, 2010 04:40 PM

One more thing...

Just because my non-engineer and non-scientific brain has never been able to grasp the concept of Angle of Attack no manner how many times my aviator friends try to explain it to me, doesn't mean I'm stupid or deprived. My interests and skills lie elsewhere and my self-esteem doesn't suffer from it. As if THEY could sit down at a pipe organ and put feet and hands to dancing together in a Bach Fugue! :P

Hmm... wonder why THEY don't suffer from self-esteem issues... ;)

It's all ridiculous.

Posted by: FbL at June 14, 2010 04:45 PM

1993, the year the last Reagan Democrat became a weenie Clintonite.

Not quite sure why this is relevent.

Two 4th grade basketball teams whose players attend the SAME elementary school and yet have have diametrically opposed parentage.

Not at all uncommon that kids from different socioeconomic groups would end up in different classes. Ability grouping (which does correlate to socioeconomic status) starts early. Mr. Toy also never said that the teams parentage was monolithic.

All 16 lib parents of a basketball team that wins every game except one suddenly gets unanimously verklempt about self-esteem. However did the libs make it through the regular season without being crushed by the weight of their librul guilt?

It wasn't an issue until the players knew each other. Remember the impedous wasn't winning/losing. It was the playground trashtalking. Something that wasn't an issue when playing other schools.

Also, everybody knows libs can't unanimously agree on anything and they don't have the backbone to stand up for themselves.

1) Mr. Toy never said opinions were unanimous. Amd 2) Since when? If you mean groups of hundreds of people, well that's true for every group, not just libruls. 8 sets of parents, not so much. Often times one or two parents drive the issues and the others simply follow along with the "leader" parents. Mostly likely the other parents didn't much care either way and this was really just a proxy fight between Mr. Toy and "Jay's" father.

Plus, lib parents don't believe in the sanctity of marriage, so 8 players would NEVER equal 16 parents at a meeting.

Again, Since when? Last time I checked libs got married and stayed married all the time. I see nothing of any widespread desire to destroy marriage among Dems. I've seen a lot of dems support policies I believe would have a negative effect, but very little to say that that is the intent.

And, finally, the "oversized posters of Leon Trotsky and Ho Chi Minh". C'mon! That imagery is just ridiculous on its face.

You mean like the way no liberals would wear T-Shirts with Che Guavara's face on them? Yeah, completely ridiculous!

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 14, 2010 04:51 PM

What's the best way to help someone in an unfair situation?

Normally, I give them a knife. After that, it's up to them.

Posted by: Grim at June 14, 2010 05:50 PM

I don't know about the rest of the men here, but I think I'm going to hold out for some sympathy and a back rub.

Posted by: spd rdr at June 14, 2010 03:38 PM

and a cold beer
Posted by: Allen at June 14, 2010 03:43 PM

But mostly a cold beer. :)
********************

Look, I don't know how political viewpoint correlates to anything in particular. I think Texan99 nailed it pretty well, in that despite ability, aptitude and all sorts of preparation, to achieve anything you've got to WANT it more.

Just showing up somedays is half the battle. Showing up and willing to grind it out makes a big difference.

Sure, a fat slow kid isn't going to be as competitive in running high school cross-country as the taller, slim kid, but all things being equal (which they frankly never are), 99% perspiration counts for a lot more than the 1% inspiration. Men, women, Asian, Anglo, African, it just doesn't always wash out that way.

Which is why I'll hold out for the cold beer.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at June 14, 2010 06:42 PM

Yu-Ain,

I was asked to give my opinion on why I thought this story was bogus.

I cited the reasons above.

Posted by: Craig at June 14, 2010 06:45 PM

Yes. And I'm giving my opinion why I think those reasons are incorrect.

Last I heard that is called a discussion. My bad.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 14, 2010 07:38 PM

"A lot of sites seem to be urging men to give up, take their balls and go home, withdraw.
And I think that's the wrong answer."

Of course it's the wrong answer.

Actually, if they had any balls, it wouldn't even be an option...

Posted by: camojack at June 15, 2010 01:25 AM

Yu-Ain,

I apologize for my response to your rebuttals. You are correct. This is a forum for discussion. The bad is all mine.

My belief is that this "Toy story" was written by a conservative whose idea of what he wishes libruls were like came from what he learned from watching too much Fox.

Wouldn't the socialist school administration side with the doctor/professor parents of the lib b-ball team and cancel the game?

Wouldn't the lib parents push for EVERY kid to get a trophy regardless of the outcome instead of nobody getting a trophy?

Wouldn't the playground trash-talking have been worse if the game had not been played? I think I would rather hear chants of "We're Number 1!" instead of "My dad says your dad's a sissy because he's afraid of losin'."

I'm just not buyin' what he's sellin' and I'm afraid I won't believe his version of the story until I see the birth certificates.

Posted by: Craig at June 15, 2010 06:10 AM

While I'm in an apologetic mood this morning. I'll also take this opportunity to apologize to The Blog Princess for the "and their mommies" remark.

It wasn't a reference to you, in particular, but it strikes me as a little unusual in regards to how many women complain about this "issue".

I just don't see how letting girls and women have the opportunity to play sports, go to college, join the military, etc. is some kind of threat to the opportunities boys/men have in this country.

Posted by: Craig at June 15, 2010 07:30 AM

Wouldn't the socialist school administration side with the doctor/professor parents of the lib b-ball team and cancel the game?

Why chance a lawsuit you haven't initiated?

Wouldn't the lib parents push for EVERY kid to get a trophy regardless of the outcome instead of nobody getting a trophy?

Nope. The Progressive dictum is less "If one person gets one, then every person should get one" and more "If we can't have it, you can't have it, either" mentality.

Wouldn't the playground trash-talking have been worse if the game had not been played? I think I would rather hear chants of "We're Number 1!" instead of "My dad says your dad's a sissy because he's afraid of losin'."

Who said it had to have limits, regardless of the situation, or even make sense? That's why it's called "talking trash" in the first place, and anyone with an ounce of sense will ignore it, and those lacking that ounce will use it as a handy excuse to pummel the trash-talker.

Posted by: BillT at June 15, 2010 07:57 AM

Just because my non-engineer and non-scientific brain has never been able to grasp the concept of Angle of Attack no manner how many times my aviator friends try to explain it to me, doesn't mean I'm stupid or deprived.

The only deprivation you've suffered is that you've been hanging with the Starched-Wing Community, and therefore you haven't been given the full explanation of the constancy of the Angle of Attack vs. the variability of the Angle of Incidence, which is a function of Induced Flow, both in Direction and Velocity, and only tangentially involved with the scalar

Whut?

Posted by: BillT at June 15, 2010 08:07 AM

Since you mention it, the "and their mommies" remark was the point at which I concluded there was an intent to offend.

Our hostess would be an unlikely target of suspicion that she objects to giving women the opportunity to "opportunity to play sports, go to college, join the military, etc.," or even that she sees that opportunity as a threat to the opportunities of men. I understood her to object to a strong social trend over the last few decades to demonize male characteristics. It seems like a pendulum swing from an earlier trend to trivialize female characteristics. That's why I liked MikeD's comment so much:

"If girls are truly less inclined towards the math and sciences, and boys are less inclined towards the language arts, that's fine. Don't treat one as more important than the other. Don't dumb down the material for either gender."

So many problems arise out of assuming that we can identify broadly applicable and nearly immutable differences between groups (gender, race, etc.) that we sometimes leap to the conclusion that the solution is to quit acknowledging any differences. What I'd rather see is attention to the real problem, which I think is a trend to canonize one set of attributes and demonize the other.

I suspect that the innate intellectual differences between men and women may be exaggerated, but what's more important to me is learning not to discount women's tendencies, whatever they may be, simply because they belong to women. It follows that I don't believe we improve matters by discounting men's tendencies, whatever they are.

Maybe women are particularly good at some things. Great. Let them be. Ditto for men. And if they are good at "each other's things," let them be that, too. Honestly, sometimes it sounds as though we all had to go through life believing that the other gender had cooties that might rub off if we intruded in each other's presumed spheres of competence.

The fashion lately has moved in a silly direction of a wild flight from aggression and competition. No doubt aggression and competition sometimes get out of hand and have caused problems. So have passivity and leveling tendencies, and when the latter reach absurd heights in a telling anecdote, we use it to illustrate our point.

Posted by: Texan99 at June 15, 2010 08:30 AM

BillT,

I should think the libs would be more likely to sue to stop the game than vice-versa. Besides, don't activist judges side with libs more often?

Also, I'm afraid my copy of the Progressive dictum doesn't contain a reference to the "If we can't have it, you can't have it, either" mentality. There must be new edition out.

And my point about trash-talking was that it would occur regardless of whether or not the game was played. Indeed, trash-talking would have been going on the entire season with two teams right across the hall from each other. To say that lib parents would be somehow terrified at the prospect of trash-talking is just another absurdity of this Toy story.

Posted by: Craig at June 15, 2010 09:23 AM

Craig, thanks for the apology.

As for the topic, I don't really know what to say anymore. I've been writing about relations between men and women for a long time because I think both halves of the human race have a lot to offer. I think men and women were made to complement each other and I don't think women are inferior to men - just different from them.

Sadly, the major portion of what I read every day has led me to believe that an awful lot of men neither like nor respect women.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 15, 2010 09:36 AM

Re: ridiculous decorations

Everybody in the anthro department at my state university was insane in some way, or at least very quirky, and this extended to their office decor. (They had a very small building all to themselves, and it was very old, so they did whatever they wanted.)

One tenured guy had literally coated every surface of his office walls and ceiling with IRA pictures, posters, news articles, and so forth, including big bloody ones. (That was one of his academic study topics, studying IRA society, though of course the real story was his IRA sympathies. He claimed to have been banned from UK television for this reason.) He wasn't a vet of any war, though.

Posted by: Maureen at June 15, 2010 09:54 AM

"Sadly, the major portion of what I read every day has led me to believe that an awful lot of men neither like nor respect women."

I guess that's why I am puzzled by any form of worry over the supposed "feminization" of men. The way I see it, the advancement of women on any front does not imperil the fate of manhood. We will survive.

Posted by: Craig at June 15, 2010 10:16 AM

Craig: "I just don't see how letting girls and women have the opportunity to play sports, go to college, join the military, etc. is some kind of threat to the opportunities boys/men have in this country."

In regard at least to playing sports at the collegiate level, providing opportunities to women does in fact involve taking opportunities away from men. Why? Because Title IX's quota system specifically constructs it as a zero-sum game. It puts a hard cap on the number of men allowed to participate according to the total percentage of men in the student body. The result is that a lot of colleges are handing out athletic scholarships to random women in the street because they have slots they must fill to meet their Title IX quota, while at the same time they are forced to shut down in-demand men's programs. They can't even allow men's club teams to practice using campus facilities because it counts against their Title IX quota. It's putting male attendance at some colleges in a downward spiral: As the percentage of men on campus decreases, they have to cut men's athletic programs. That makes the school less attractive to men, and the percentage of men on campus decreases further. They have to cut men's athletic programs, etc.

And this is the sort of thing that plays out wherever quotas are used, especially when the quota system divides people into desirable and undesirable groups. No school ever got sued by the Education Department because its liberal arts programs didn't have enough men. No company ever got sued by the EEOC because it had too many women on staff.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at June 15, 2010 10:37 AM

Sadly, the major portion of what I read every day has led me to believe that an awful lot of men neither like nor respect women.

I'd say that's true in reverse, as well. The real divide may be between men and women who like and respect the opposite sex, and those who do not.

For example:

"So while little girls may still dream of Prince Charming, they’ll be more likely to keep him if they don’t expect too much. Research shows that the more education and financial independence a woman has—in other words, the more success she has outside the home—the more likely she is to stay married."

That's exactly backwards in terms of causality. The more likely she is to stay married, the more success she's likely to enjoy outside of the home. The more she can afford to pursue education (having a partner to keep things together while she does so); the more she is likely to accumulate wealth (having two incomes but only one household expenditure).

Why get it backwards? Because the writer wants a story about how women don't need men; if they happen to want a man, that's fine, but they should put their independence first.

The truth is that the courage to be less independent -- to enter into an alliance of mutual service -- is what gives them the foundation that lets them reach for the heights. To see that, though, you have to see the lesser-earning partner -- male or female -- as a partner, not a weight.

Posted by: Grim at June 15, 2010 10:42 AM

"The real divide may be between men and women who like and respect the opposite sex, and those who do not."

Grim, I believe you're on to something there. I observe today that a lot of people today think of the opposite sex not just as another gender, but as an entirely different species, incomprehensible and inscrutable. I think it's an inevitable outcome of politics that try to divide people into identity groups.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at June 15, 2010 10:53 AM

"Research shows that the more education and financial independence a woman has—in other words, the more success she has outside the home—the more likely she is to stay married"....correlation is not causation. Maybe there are factors that drive *both* education/financial independence on the one hand, and marital success on the other...say, IQ and EQ. (EQ=emotional intelligence) The correlation cannot be taken as causation *unless* a serious attempt is made to control for other variable. This point seems to be way above the understanding level of the typical journalist.

Posted by: david foster at June 15, 2010 11:18 AM

Cousin Dave..."I observe today that a lot of people today think of the opposite sex not just as another gender, but as an entirely different species"..as I said in comments to this post:

"There’s also a lot of objectification of the opposite sex. I’ve seen blog comments by guys expressing *surprise* that girls can actually get their hearts broken (remarks like “I thought this was only something that happened to guys!”) and others denying that such a thing is even possible. This is wartime-level dehumanization of the "other."

There seem to be a lot of people who have been hurt badly and are so wrapped up in their own hurt that they either don’t believe they can hurt others (of the opposite sex) or have moved all the way into sadism and actually *want* to inflict emotional pain.

Emotionally speaking, we are eggshells armed with hammers."

Posted by: david foster at June 15, 2010 11:26 AM

Grim,

The article you cite talks about women not needing to be married, not that women don't need men. The next sentence after yours is:

"But when these egalitarian, independent couples decide not to marry at all, they lose none of that stability."

Posted by: Craig at June 15, 2010 11:31 AM

Cousin Dave,

Male enrollment in colleges has increased 18% from 4.4% of the male population in 1970 to 5.2% of the male population in 2007.

The fact that some colleges have had to cut their men's rowing, swimming and cross country programs to remain in compliance for federal funding hasn't affected the major (read revenue-generating) sports programs at all.

If the college didn't get federal funding, would those programs have existed in the first place?

Posted by: Craig at June 15, 2010 11:40 AM

Maureen,

I have a hard time believing that a WWII vet would decorate his walls with posters of Marx, etc.

Since Toy said his dad was a liberal prof, why didn't he just say he had bookshelves lined with socialist philosophers? That would have been slightly more believable.

Posted by: Craig at June 15, 2010 11:50 AM

Indeed that is the next line, Craig. And what is the evidence for that proposition? "Look at couples in Europe... [whose] divorce rate is a fraction of our own."

So, in other words, the evidence that we don't need marriage is a place where marriage is successful. Married couples are wealthier and more successful, in Europe as everywhere else. This is trotted out as evidence that marriage is a dispensable institution; but everywhere we see it dispensed with, suddenly we find that all that wealth and success tends to go away.

Posted by: Grim at June 15, 2010 11:55 AM

If the college didn't get federal funding, would those programs have existed in the first place?

Probably not. But then it's a good bet that *none* of the women's sports would exist either.

Male enrollment in colleges has increased 18% from 4.4% of the male population in 1970 to 5.2% of the male population in 2007.

And that's good. And female enrollment has probably gone up even more. And that's good, too. Because enrollment is not a zero sum game. If there are more people seeking college educations than schools to provide slots then new colleges are opened up to fill the demand. This is the way it should be.

The problem is that while enrollemnt is not a zero sum game, Title IX is. You've now taken two groups that could be working together and forced them to work against each other. You've gone from win-win to win-lose.

My belief is that this "Toy story"...

I see what you did there. :-)

...was written by a conservative whose idea of what he wishes libruls were like came from what he learned from watching too much Fox.

And then you go on to describe all the ways his story *doesn't* comport with that 'librul' characature. So which is it, is he using the 'librul' characature or not?

It's precisely that it *doesn't* hold to the librul characature (Married Libruls? Never!) that it sounds believable. The "librul" hates marriage. The Liberal, however, actually has a lower divorce rate than Conservatives. So given the assumed* marital statuses it seems more likely to be descriptive of liberals than libruls.

*I say assumed because there's no reason to believe that some of the attending parents couldn't have been step-parents or that some of the parents were divorced but both showed up anyway.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 15, 2010 12:30 PM

I have a hard time believing that a WWII vet would decorate his walls with posters of Marx, etc.

I don't. WWII vets may very well have been draftees and thus their personal philosophies would not be correlated to their vet status like in today's military. Besides, Stalin was an *ally* at the time.

Secondly, like I said earlier, I don't understand why posters of Trotsky then would be any more ridiculous than T-Shirts of Che are today.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 15, 2010 12:41 PM

Craig:

1)You say: "Two 4th grade basketball teams whose players attend the SAME elementary school and yet have have diametrically opposed parentage. Professors/doctors vs. real estate/insurance brokers. Amazing coincidence." What is so strange about this? A reasonably successful RE or insurance broker can easily be in the same income category as a tenured professor or a physician (except for certain specialists)...plus, there are lots of places in the U.S. where schools aren't neatly stratified by income level.

2)The story aside, there are plenty of other sources available regarding this sort of brittle behavior, and many of us have observed forms of it personally. (One of my nephews, when he was about 8, was treated to a movie at public school on the general them "you are wonderful." He asked my sister "Mom, how do they know I'm so wonderful? The people who made the movie don't even know me!)

Posted by: david foster at June 15, 2010 12:44 PM

I have a hard time believing that a WWII vet would decorate his walls with posters of Marx, etc.

Why? The Soviet Union was an Allied Power in WWII, and plenty of Communists in the United States were eager for the US to enter the war on the Allied side after Hitler broke the Nazi-Soviet Pact and initiated Operation Barbarosa. So why would it be unbelievable that this Toy person's father was one of those?

What seems less plausible, but is true is that the founder of the American Nazi Party was a WWII vet. Now, if that doesn't seem likely, it is no less true. So rejecting the story as implausible when a greater implausibility is in fact historical fact seems a bit foolish, no?

Posted by: MikeD at June 15, 2010 12:59 PM

Yu-Ain,

Women's enrollment in colleges has soared 125% over the same time period (from 1970-2007). Total enrollment in college has increased from 7.4 million in 1970 to almost 18 million in 2007.

Re: Title IX, the NCAA has decided not to find a different methodology to meet the gubmint's compliance requirements, despite urging from many different sources. Until the NCAA sees it as a real problem, nothing will get resolved on that front.

Re: "Toy story":

Agreed, he is using librul caricature poorly. I tried to correct some of them in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way. (Libruls don't believe in the sanctity of marriage, have no backbone, etc., etc.)

Posted by: Craig at June 15, 2010 01:17 PM

Yu-Ain,

Each reason I cite can be debated as to their possibility individually, but taken together as a whole, it seems very unlikely that his supposed conversion to conservatism, if there ever was one, unfolded as he portrays it.

I suspect he is using this story to establish his conservative cred for the AT crowd.

Posted by: Craig at June 15, 2010 01:30 PM

david foster,

"A reasonably successful RE or insurance broker can easily be in the same income category as a tenured professor or a physician (except for certain specialists)...plus, there are lots of places in the U.S. where schools aren't neatly stratified by income level."

I absolutely believe both of your points. What are the odds, though, that two classes of the same grade in the same school were divided so perfectly? Wouldn't each classroom have a good mix of both if either or both of your points were true?

Also, I don't deny that schools attempt to build self-esteem, I just don't see how not playing a b-ball game was supposed to accomplish that.

Posted by: Craig at June 15, 2010 01:47 PM

MikeD,

The WWII vet you cite established the ANP to combat communism (Ho Chi Min, Trotsky) and advance his racist agenda.

I don't think he would've liked Toy's dad very much.

Posted by: Craig at June 15, 2010 01:56 PM

Not necessarily.

My school certainly wasn't. Ability tracking (for right or wrong) starts early and academic achievement does fall along socioecomic lines. So the idea that children from white collar families would tend to be in the "advanced" class while the children from blue collar families would tend to be in the "general" class isn't far-fetched at all.

In fact, in an ability tracked school system, I'd be surprised if that *didn't* happen. Even in a non-ability tracked school it could still happen depending on the political (and I don't mean R/D here) atmosphere.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 15, 2010 02:19 PM

The WWII vet you cite established the ANP to combat communism (Ho Chi Min, Trotsky) and advance his racist agenda.

I don't think he would've liked Toy's dad very much.

No debate there. It doesn't change the fact that a pro-Nazi WWII vet makes less sense than a pro-Communist one. And yet the pro-Nazi one is a demonstrable historic fact. So why so hard to believe in a pro-Communist one?

Posted by: MikeD at June 15, 2010 02:20 PM

I don't think he would've liked Toy's dad very much.

Probably not. But it does serve as an anecdote that WWII vets could have wildly different politics.

A great many of them were drafted and being a Communist or a Capitalist didn't change your chances in the draft one bit.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 15, 2010 02:23 PM

Craig: "The fact that some colleges have had to cut their men's rowing, swimming and cross country programs to remain in compliance for federal funding hasn't affected the major (read revenue-generating) sports programs at all." Forgive me for saying so, but that's kind of a duh -- they're revenue-producing sports for the school, so they're going to be protected no matter what. But that actually makes the Title IX picture worse, because the necessity of keeping those sports for revenue purposes tends to squeeze all other men's sports out. And the average Joe College Student doesn't have a prayer of making the football team. On the other hand, he might have a shot at the tennis team, or the skeet shooting team, or the dance crew. But those are the sports where the men's teams are getting cut.


Posted by: Cousin Dave at June 15, 2010 02:37 PM

FbL - I hear your Fugue and raise you the Rheinberger Trios. I had to stop and say "this is my right hand and it play this, this is my left hand, these are my feet" I got so confused on Rheinberger 10.

I guess I'd fall into the challenged camp. Tell me I can't do something and I want to know why. If its due to genetics, OK, I'll accept that (gender-limited upper body strength, short stature, prone to bleeding, et al). If I lack the necessary training or education, then I'll make up for it if I have the desire to do so. Otherwise get out of my way, buster!

But that's how I was brought up, as well as my innate personality. My brother is similar, and he tends to be center-right in his philosophy and politics. Ditto his wife. Their pets, on the other hand, seem to be authoritarian if not communistic. ("We own the house. Why? Because we are the cats. Now move.")

Posted by: LittleRed1 at June 15, 2010 02:47 PM

Cats are not communistic as you have no share of ownership in anything. They merely tolerate your use of their stuff so long as it amuses them.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 15, 2010 03:25 PM

"Cats are not communistic as you have no share of ownership in anything. They merely tolerate your use of their stuff so long as it amuses them."

I am sitting on their sofa right now! :-)

Posted by: Craig at June 15, 2010 04:20 PM

"Cats are not communistic as you have no share of ownership in anything"...cats believe in practical rather than theoretical Communism. They play the role of the commissars.

Posted by: david foster at June 15, 2010 05:12 PM

Was it here the other day that someone said dogs have masters, but cats have staff?

Posted by: Texan99 at June 15, 2010 06:01 PM

How 'bout that Canadian youth soccer league, and its rule that any team that gets more than five goals ahead forfeits the game? Way to show everyone that they can be equal losers.

Posted by: Texan99 at June 15, 2010 07:44 PM

Fortunately, there are still kids who have taken the lessons of winning and losing and *owned* them, making for better players and better kids.

Posted by: DL Sly at June 15, 2010 08:12 PM

What a fine story, DL Sly!

Posted by: Texan99 at June 15, 2010 08:40 PM

I think I saw this on a sports highlight reel this spring DL. It cheered my inner curmudgeon then, and now. Thank you.

To good sports!

Posted by: bthun at June 15, 2010 11:17 PM

Why Title IX rocks!

Posted by: Craig at June 16, 2010 06:59 AM

Rather, why the *intent* of Title IX rocks. The implementation still lacks much to be desired.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 16, 2010 01:30 PM

Yu, I'm cynical, but I think that what's happening was precisely the intent.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at June 16, 2010 02:13 PM

Title IX rocks because of the story about the little-league players who helped an injured player from the other team? What's the connection?

Posted by: Texan99 at June 16, 2010 04:21 PM

Tex, the story was about a college team. However, my point was regarding sportsmanship and lessons learned because of having to deal not only with losing, but winning as well. Not Title IX.
Don't feed the troll.

Posted by: DL Sly at June 16, 2010 04:42 PM

The story was about a woman's college softball team that didn't exist prior to Title IX (their softball program began in 1993) and would not have existed without it.

No Title IX => no softball program => no fantastic story about how:

"It kept everything in perspective and the fact that we're never bigger than the game," Knox said of the experience. "It was such a lesson that we learned -- that it's not all about winning."

Posted by: Craig at June 16, 2010 05:24 PM

Yu, I'm cynical, but I think that what's happening was precisely the intent.

Well, whether Title IX intends to increase female sports at the expense of male sports it still intends to increase female sports.

It just does so in the wrong way.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 16, 2010 05:42 PM

Thank heavens for gravity, without which baseball could not be played, and which is equally relevant to some players exhibiting great hearts.

Posted by: Texan99 at June 16, 2010 05:59 PM

Yu, I acknowledge that Title IX did some positive things. But for every positive thing, it also did a negative thing, because that's the way it is constructed. I no longer accept good intentions as a justification for bad results.

The college sports picture did not have to be constructed as a zero-sum game. But using Title IX as their skirt to hide behind, the courts and the Education Department have methodically shot down all attempts to take a reasonable approach to the problem. The DoEd has been very, very clear that Title IX is a quota system, and that enforcing the ideology takes precedence over the results. Prediction: of the female sports that didn't already have a mass audience before Title IX (figure skating, gymnastics, etc.), none will succeed in finding a mass audience until Title IX is repealed.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at June 16, 2010 07:45 PM

Cousin Dave,

"Data collected by the NCAA shows the number of female athletes at member institutions rose from 157,740 in 2000-2001 to 182,503 in 2008-2009. The number of male athletes rose from 217,114 to 244,267 — a slightly larger increase than that seen among women athletes."

link:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/2010-04-20-title-ix-policy-repealed_N.htm?csp=obinsite

Posted by: Craig at June 17, 2010 07:20 AM

Dave,
I no longer accept good intentions as a justification for bad results.

Neither do I. But I don't accept that bad results require bad intentions either.

Craig,
...a slightly larger increase than that seen among women athletes.

In raw numbers, yes. But proportionally no. Female athletes rose by 15.7% while Male Athletes rose by just 12.5% over that period. So the female athlete population grew 25% faster than the guys.

The problem is that both statistics (Raw numbers and percentages) are by themselves meaningless. They have no context.

We need to know how the general student body demographics changed. Is the greater female athlete growth attributable to simple a greater increase in the growth of the general female population? Or is it that a greater proportion of the female student body participate in college sports.

If the female student body also grew by 15.7% while the male student body grew at 12.5% then wonderful. If the female student body grew by 50% while the male student body shrank, not so great for the women. If the female student body shrank while the male student body doubled, not so great for the men. Of course, assuming that the proportion of each wanting to play college sports remained constant (which isn't anything close to being a given).

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 17, 2010 11:06 AM

Yu-Ain,

Proportionally, the women have a lot of catching up to do if college athletics expenditures are supposed to be based on student body proportions.

As cited above, the number of female college athletes was 34% (or 61,764) lower then the number of male college athletes in 2008, despite the fact there are 29% (or 2.3 million) more women enrolled in college than men.

Posted by: Craig at June 17, 2010 01:37 PM

But what about the proportion of the female student body that *wants* to play college sports?

I've played a lot of amature adult softball. And while the men's teams satisfy the competitive monster, I find the co-ed teams are by far more fun. There's only one problem. Finding women who want to play. You post a notice that you are trying to put together a co-ed team you'll get 10-15 guys asking about playing and you'll get 2 girls, 3 if you are lucky.

So, again, a disparity, in and of itself, doesn't mean much without the necessary context.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 17, 2010 02:17 PM

"There seem to be a lot of people who have been hurt badly and are so wrapped up in their own hurt that they either don’t believe they can hurt others (of the opposite sex) or have moved all the way into sadism and actually *want* to inflict emotional pain."

The Left would be powerless without victims. Besides, there are some serendipitous results, such as Special Interests for men lobbying for the return of Elian Gonzalez to his father in Cuba.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at June 17, 2010 02:51 PM

Daddy was lib professor/WWII vet with "oversized posters of Leon Trotsky and Ho Chi Minh" hanging on his walls. Classic.

That's why Leftist leaders are dangerous and delusional at the same time. Their judgments aren't any better than that.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at June 17, 2010 03:03 PM

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