Girls dont need Obamas help with math. Kirsten Powers

When the White House announced a push to use Title IX— a law best known for increasing female participation in sports — to boost the number of women in the science, technology and math (STEM) fields, there wasnt much of a reaction. Thats because to most people, theres not much of a problem. Though the Obama administration claims that girls and women need government help because they are being discriminated against, that might be the opposite of whats happening.
Teacher Arlene Schlosser guides Katy Prendergast at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School in Chicago.
2000 photo by Charles Bennett, AP
Teacher Arlene Schlosser guides Katy Prendergast at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School in Chicago.
2000 photo by Charles Bennett, AP
Teacher Arlene Schlosser guides Katy Prendergast at Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School in Chicago.
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Women thrive in academia. Fifty-seven percent of college degrees and 60% of graduate degrees go to women. President Obama celebrated this fact on the 40th anniversary of Title IX last month, but ignored the new problem with no name: male underachievement. Instead of focusing on addressing this growing problem, the Obama administration is invoking the power of the U.S. government tackle a problem that doesnt exist. As a woman and an old-school feminist, I want to be the first to say: Thanks, but no thanks.
The End of Men
The liberal feminist groups that are pushing this agenda on the administration complain that women earn only 18% of the bachelors degrees in engineering and computer science. But in reality, that number is a very small part of the story of women in STEM fields. Turns out, women rule in biology with nearly 60% of all bachelors, masters and doctorates awarded to women. Notice that nobody is raging about that gender disparity despite the fact that Title IX protects the underrepresented sex, male or female. According to the Department of Education, no investigations into this or many other gender disparities in favor of girls and women in a variety of disciplines are pending.
Hanna Rosin, in her celebrated Atlantic article The End of Men, noted that women dominate todays colleges and professional schools — for every two men who will receive a B.A. this year, three women will do the same. Of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most in the next decade in the U.S., all but two are occupied primarily by women.
The End of Men sounds ominous. Naturally, the answer to this problem is to shove men out of their chosen fields to open spots for women who are likely already thriving in another discipline.
Auntie Sams agenda
We are asked to believe that an anti-female gender apartheid exists even though more than 40% of bachelors degrees awarded in the physical sciences and math go to women. . The National Womens Law Center complains that women need to be better represented in the STEM fields that are more lucrative. This condescendingly assumes that women dont already consider these things when choosing a career. They dont need Big Sister telling them whats best for them any more than a male student needs to be steered away from his English major toward something the government deems more economically suited to him.
Liberal feminism as applied to academia has become — to borrow H.L. Menckens phraseology — the haunting fear that somewhere, some woman is making a decision that doesnt align with the sisterhoods groupthink. If women dont want to be computer scientists, its not Uncle (or Auntie) Sams job to push them into it. The only legitimate role for White House officials is to enforce the law and ensure equal access in academia for all Americans, male or female. If they are truly concerned about gross gender inequities in academia, I point them to the psychology departments of America, where 72 % of degrees go to women.
Kirsten Powers is aDaily Beastcolumnist, Fox News political analyst and a member of the USA TODAY Board of Contributors.