Wednesday, September 29, 2010

On increase ...

Some food for thought at this back-to-school-time:

In the past 25 years, minimum wage increased 216 percent.

Tuition increased 400 percent.

Twenty-five years ago, more men graduated from college than women.

Today, more women graduate than men.

Just over twenty-five years ago, I did not exist.

Today, I do.

If I applied the logic some of my classmates try to use in class, it would mean that I am reasponsible for the increase in tuition, minimum wage, and the number of women earning college degrees.

You're welcome.

*I realize it's tangential to the point of this post, but I'd also love discussion on the tuition/wage increase issue as well as this article about how efforts to boost the status of women have worked (yay for lots of college degrees),but now maybe men need the boost back .... Link courtesy former professor at Thoughts???


gurrbonzo said...

I'm so glad you were born and increased tuition and minimum wage! Thanks, Brooke!

Annnd, that article is a good one, but I've gotta chime in. The inequality women face isn't usually on the FRONT end of the pipeline, e.g., getting into college or getting into law school or getting their first job. It's in the subsequent decades: being promoted, returning to the workforce if they leave, being able to have a rewarding career AND a decent family life, becoming the real, powerful decision makers, etc. (Did you notice in Hanna Rosin's article, she mentions that 45 percent of associates are women? ASSOCIATES, sure. Partners, no. Not even close. In many fields, women GET hired but don't do the hiring.)

Annnnnd starting to have equal opportunities doesn't mean equality has arrived. I'm not advocating this (of course), but if you really wanted to even things out, women would need to have a couple of thousand years of being in charge to the detriment of men, establishing female-centric laws, customs, and infrastructures.

"Just sayin'."

Brooke said...

@Gurrbonzo -- Good points. I definitely don't advocate that option either. =) Female dominance sounds just as miserable as male dominance, doesn't it? Too bad our world hasn't figured out how to do real equality. More women partners AND more men going to, and especially finishing, college.

I still worry about the boys, though ... I saw it every day in the inner city/highly minority schools I reported on. They're failing. And they have a hard time finding a place for their skill sets. They've mostly been raised by single mothers which are largely female-dominant relationships and don't know how to grow up and be a man in their own way because the only role models they have are those on television -- uneducated, bumbling losers or successful lawyers and doctors from a completely different socio-economic class. They give up before they start when placed against female counterparts. Maybe things aren't as dire for men in middle and upper class groups. I certainly don't feel that the boys I grew up with and who are now men were or are at any kind of disadvantage compared to their female counterparts. But in the lower classes, it's scary and I think just as dangerous to society as when women have no power or voice. My take on this is that these statistics and attitudes are evidence of a problem that's as much of a class struggle as a gender struggle. And I'm all for doing whatever it takes to eliminate class disparity (within reason and a democratic government, of course) including getting creative with admission and recruiting techniques to make sure that more, many more, low-income and minority men are included in the equation. I have more thoughts on this (this is something I had on the brain long before this article, and I don't agree with everything this article says but I like some of the issues it raises) but I don't want to scare others away from putting in their two cents.

More thoughts on this gentle readers? Any thoughts on the tuition trend as well? Do the two have anything to do with each other? Could we simply be outpricing the majority of the population from a college education?

jdust said...

Oh, Brooke. You crack me up.