For three hundred and fifty years, men outnumbered women on our nation’s campuses. Twenty-five years ago, women began passing men in not only college enrollment, but the degrees women have earned have surpassed men as well. Today, women receive almost 60% percent of all bachelor’s and master’s degrees. If you look at the current statistics, boys don’t have a snowballs’ chance. Is there no special attention paid to their educational needs? No Boy Project? Has one group gone beyond equal to become superior?This would be one example of ineffective feminism, when equality is the goal but not the outcome. Yes the walls have been torn down, and I for one, am thankful for the opportunities set before me. The last fifty years have paved the way for all women. Our chance for equality is now in our own hands. Famously, women’s and civil rights activist Sojourner Truth once claimed “her cup wouldn’t hold but a pint.” Of course she meant that she had never been given a cup that held a quart. Today we are all given the bigger or equal cup. Therefore, I have never felt the need to picket, march or protest for my rights. Recognizing that I have because of women like Ms. Truth, I have the ability to earn those rights like everybody else.
As a young girl, I remember sitting in my classroom on the first day of school. Dressed in my newest and finest, I can clearly remember the new books being passed out, so excited to have that new book in front of me. Feeling it in my hands, and smelling its new book smell, I felt like the world was my oyster. Had I looked around the room at the other children, regardless of sex or race, I would have seen that we all received the same book. There sitting on my desk was my future and the same opportunity to learn the same material as everyone else. I am positive the boys didn’t receive some special guide on “How to Rule the World!”There are of course unforeseen disadvantages that little girls (and boys) are born into. Some don’t have the memory of that first day of school. They were unable to attend. All too often their parents chose a path less noble. There was no concern for their education. Yet there is story after story of children from the lowest of lives, picking themselves up and taking what is rightfully theirs. We hear of countless stories of physically challenged individuals, succeeding far beyond perfectly healthy people.
So yes, my teeny, tiny, little violin is playing for those feminists who think that for whatever reason the world owes them a favor solely for the reason that they are female. Keep in mind that amazingly enough one of the world’s richest people is a woman. She did not inherit her fortune or her fame. She earned it! Beating all odds, she came from dysfunction and poverty; she’s single, overweight and African American. Talk about a challenge! Of course I’m referring to Oprah Winfrey. Who to me is a perfect example of taking what rightfully belongs to you. She is a true feminist who understands the social, political, and economic equality of both men and women.
An advocate for women and an equal to men, this would be the balance worth searching for, where equality is the goal. Men were once considered (by them of course,) better with far more rights than women. That’s what women have been struggling to destroy. Segregation and superiority in any form defeats the purpose. Why would we put ourselves in the same situation we’ve begrudged so long, by trying to make ourselves superior to men?
Ladies, let us not forget, if men are from Mars, then we are, in fact, from Venus. There is a mother ship waiting for us as well. So with that, we must be very cautious of what we wish for. True, over the past fifty years a new world has opened up for women and the possibilities seem endless. But, unless a symmetrical effort is made to be equal to men, Venus may turn out to be a lonely place to be.