Nicholas Kristof is normally my man but I’m not a huge fan of his latest column “The Boys Have Fallen Behind.” In it he’s talking about how boys are falling behind girls in public school and colleges are having to do affirmative action for boys to keep gender ratios from getting too skewed.
Boys are acting out, boys can’t read, boys are bored, there’s too much girl power, boys aren’t going to college, OMGZ THE GIRLS ARE TAKING OVER!
While there’s no denying that Kristof is a definitely woman friendly, this “boy education crisis” is getting to be a really tired argument that keeps resurfacing to as a backlash to the feminist movement.
Honestly, white suburban boys are fine (and their parents are the ones throwing a conniption fit.) Among white students in college the average is 51% girls to 49% boys, and in Ivy League classrooms, men still outnumber women. This discrepancy in statistics is coming from boys in inner city and rural communities. And when you break it down by socioeconomic class and race the statistics are crazy depressing. Gender plays a role in these types of situations, but race and socioeconomic class plays a much bigger one.
So stop blaming women, stop shaming the feminist movement, stop trying to blame girls for holding boys back when they clearly aren’t. There are some real problems with the education system that are contributing to the failure of both genders from low-income communities but girls aren’t one of those problems.
Info from NYT and Washington Post, Picture from David and Goliath