Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Failing of "Male Market Share."

Lionel Tiger, professor emeritus of anthropology at Rutgers, has a particularly bad article at Minding the Campus titled "Male Market Share and the Failure of Women's Studies."

Rarely have I ever read an essay quite so stupid as Prof. Tiger's embarrassing attack on women and their corrupting influence on academia. Let's begin with the first claim that “female interests have dominated administration policy, including who gets accepted to college and who graduates.” Huh? Anybody with a brain understands by now that colleges give preferential admissions to men, not women, in a misguided attempt to maintain gender parity. Beyond the disturbing sexism involved in anyone worrying about “female interests” dominating administration policy, what has this got to do with graduation rates?

Prof. Tiger's theory that men don't graduate from college because their vulnerable feelings are hurt by the presence of a small number of women's studies classes is positively crazy. And he offers some oddball chest-thumping vision of “male studies” as if this will somehow cause men to graduate from college.

Tiger's essay is full of incoherent and frankly bizarre transitions. In one paragraph, he complains that anthropologists might not call themselves scientists, and then in that same paragraph denounces seminars about rape for demeaning men. I'm sorry to have to inform Prof. Tiger that the people who commit rape are disproportionately male, but he seems to want facts to be denied if it might harm the feelings of men.

Finally, he concludes this mess of an essay by declaring that colleges need to be more like General Motors and bow to the demands of men to appease the gods of “male market share.” If we were to ask, “what do men want?”, it's probably not more classes about men's “eventful reproductive strategies.” Instead, men and women want and need the same thing from college: high-quality education that challenges their ideas instead of trying to coddle them like children.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow--that article is pretty embarrassing, even by conservative standards.