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Sudsy Wants You to Join the Oregon Commentator

They send you off to college to get a little knowledge, but . . .

This is interesting news:

Last year for the first time, women earned more than half the degrees granted statewide in every category, be it associate, bachelor, master, doctoral or professional.

57% of Minnesota college students are women, to be exact. (Of which 12% are wymyn.) (Sorry.)

My only concern, if this reflects a national trend, is that I’m afraid it means that more men will decide to go to college not for the sake of learning or careers, but because there are lots of chicks. That’s how we think.

  1. Timothy says:

    Ahh, yes, I ran into that “teaching myself multi-variate calc on the fly” thing when I took Econ 423 and a couple of math stats courses. Diff-EQ, from what I’ve heard, is annoying, but reasonably similar to Linear Algebra (which was hard, and annoying, and I did badly at).

    Been a long time since I did any chem, should’ve, but rediscovered my interest much too far into college to do it. Read: two terms before graduation. The only thing that gave me fits in high school were the damn gas laws…screw you PV=nRT!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Timothy: It was very interesting but balancing redox reactions is not my kind of fun. You had better taken chemistry just before this class and remember everything. BUT no organic in sight. Oh, and a firm grasp of Calc with multi-variables and maybe a little dify Q. (not official pre-reqs, hence my ass in hand).

  3. Timothy says:

    Olly: Very small rocks float, like witches, churches, and ducks.

    Gabrielle: Aqueous Geochemistry actually sounds pretty interesting, what are the pre-reqs? If they involve “O” and “Chem” anywhere near one another, count me out.

  4. Let’s get back to talking about Pies with Emily.

    Emily…if I was a nice sailor, and you were willing to bake a pie for me, what type would you be willing to make?

  5. Olly says:

    (Not to be confused with the 100-level Aqueous Geophysics class, which considers the question of whether or not rocks sink.)


  6. Gabrielle says:

    Olly: Precisely the point I was trying to make about the status quo taking time to change.

    Dan: Thanks for making the point that geology is a damn hard field. If we want to talk about getting our asses handed to us, try taking Aqueous Geochemistry (400 level geology).

  7. Olly says:

    Andy: on the whole, I agree with you. The trouble is, you haven’t demonstrated that universities are extending preferential treatment towards women. What you’re doing is asserting perceived discrimination, which is a tricky thing, and in the long run leads you to the same place as a lot of the identity-politics crowd.

    And there are other nuances besides: gender norms in professional life have a way of becoming self-perpetuating. For instance, I’m a pure mathematician, which is a highly male profession, and one (not implausible) reason given for statistical underrepresentation of women is a relative lack of high-profile female role models. In my opinion, this is not the kind of thing that can be legislated away – but people within the field have rationally self-interested motives to welcome talented mathematicians of any shape, size, colour, or gender, so I’m cautiously optimistic that the status quo is going to change over time regardless.

  8. Danimal says:

    Didn’t used to be, Tim, but yeah. It’s a sham. Also, of course, [Anything] Studies.

  9. Timothy says:

    Dan: Or that, yeah. Can we at least agree that sociology is for losers?

    Andy: Are you high?

    Olly: Exactly.

  10. Andy D says:

    Well there was discrimination laten in society in the past the prevented women from going to college. But that doens’t mean the government should be discriminatory towards another group to “balence the pain.”

  11. Olly says:

    Andy saidI’d have to disagree with you that they aren’t getting preferential treatment. In the USA today article it said the male/female ratio was 43/57, which is a huge swing considering what the ratio was in the past. The question is, what is facilitated that change?This is the same argument that says if there are more men than women in college, it’s necessarily the result of gender discrimination against women. It’s not enough to quote the results and say that they must be due to such-and-such a thing without actual, non-anecdotal evidence. All you can do is try as hard as possible to set up a meritocratic selection procedure, and let the chips fall where they may. I also don’t think that annoying shouty people on campus can skew the playing field in the way that you’re suggesting.

    Also (he said, through clenched teeth) there are other ways of measuring the difficulty – or net satisfaction accrued by the worker – of a job than its salary. I offer myself as a case in point.

  12. Andy D says:

    I’m not theorizing that women aren’t as smart, or intelligent, and actually to the contrary because of the rise of women in college. Basically, a woman who thinks they can’t get a degree in a high difficulty, high payoff major, says i’ll go for a lower difficulty lower payoff one, as OPPOSED to guys in the same situation who drop out and try to find high school edu. jobs.

    I do think that women are just as smart as guys, but this swing in minn. of 43 guys for 57 girls, can be explained to market perversion rather than level playing field.

    Tim, that’s a good observation about secondary teachers too. Why do more females become teachers than guys? Read my first paragraph.

    Emily, if the government provided more opportunity to women to gain degrees, how much subsidy should it provide? I think you’re completly right that the government’s hand is in this. But that negates the argument that “it’s natural for this is happen.”

    Dan, There are many branches of geology, but I believe that government employ most of the geologists that come out of the UofO. I tend to think that most of them won’t be working in oil exploration. There is math in geology but I would still have to ask, why are there more women in geology than men? Do girls have a particular preference than guys? Or is something else going on. The government still employs most geologists i believe.

  13. Danimal says:

    Right, or the big difference between “I’m Ailee Slater” and “I just wrote the authoritative history of medieval folk festivals.”

  14. Timothy says:

    Dan: Perhaps my exposure to Geology has been limited, then.

    I do have a buddy who’s a mining engineer, which I imagine involves a lot of both geology and math, and who I know is much smarter than I am, so it’s entirely possible that I’m missing something.

    Then again, there’s probably a big difference between “I take core samples to examine strata”, “I use a Mass Spec to examine soil conditions from those strata” and, “I use geophysics to model earth quakes.” If I use my brain for a minute, there’s likely a sliding scale of difficulty within geology (thusly making it sort of silly to generalize). Same way there’s a big difference between, “I’m an economic historian” and “My name is Milton Friedman”.

  15. Danimal says:

    “And I certainly don’t think any of this is a cause for government action.”


  16. Timothy says:

    Mmmm…pie. What sort?

    In all seriousness, though, I think a lot of this has to do with the debased value of College education than anything else.

    I don’t much care if there are more women than men in college, because I don’t think it matters much. I will say, however, that the disproportionate number of Female elementary and secondary teachers gives me pause. I’m not sure of the consequences, and I’m not sure it makes a hell of a lot of difference, but I am concerned that any male wanting to work with kids (that being anybody under 18) is looked at with suspicion.

    And I have some concerns about “maleness” perhaps being discouraged as a result, but that’s more of an intangible worry than anything else. And I certainly don’t think any of this is a cause for government action.

  17. Danimal says:


    Geology requires a lot of background in math and chemistry, and much of geology also involves pretty advanced physics. So, to correct you, “much in the way that econ is less hard than Physics or Chemistry (because there is less math) geology is” MORE “hard than econ.”

    Andy and Tim: I don’t see how looking at payoffs and subsidies does anything to determine which subjects are more difficult than others.

    Andy: Basically, your entire argument turns on the assumption that women as a whole are less intelligent and motivated than men as a whole. Until you prove that canard, all your economic pap about subsidies and socialism amounts to jacksquat in terms of why more women are earning degrees than men.

  18. emily says:

    (1) The government has taken steps to make education more accessible in general during the last 30 years, across the board.

    (2) Could it be that many women were not afforded the opprtunity due not just to social pressure for a long period of time but also because many colleges even 30 years ago where still hesitant to admit women? Historically mens’ and womens’ colleges were seperate with the vast majority of women’s colleges catering to vocational rather than academic or research endevours.

    This aside, any savy girl/woman who read the posts of those individuals’ names beginning with the letter “A” would be wary of any advances from either of you. I hope for both your sakes that you’re gay.

    I have the stangest compulsion all of the sudden to make a pie…perhaps to wash away the women’s studies rhetoric from me.

  19. Timothy says:

    Casey: At UO that course is Econ 101 and exists entirely because the J-school has an 8-hour econ requirement.

  20. Andy D says:

    Tim, economist PHD’s, but not holders of undergrad econ.
    The PHD prgrams are even more perverted becuase of the state subsidy of PHD’s. They devise policies that further the propaganda of government intervention, and of course as the intervention policies fail, the problem is that we didn’t have enough of it.

    Are you going to bite the hand that feeds?

  21. Casey says:

    Is there a “Economics for Jocks” course, a-la “Rocks for Jocks?” I got great grades in Geo, I got my ass handed to me in Econ.

  22. Timothy says:

    I can see the subsidy claim…almost, but The Fed is still the #1 employer of economists. So I’m not sure that the subsidy argument carries much water.

    I think the lower pay may be more indicative of over supply, which may or may not indicate that geology is less difficult than economics.

    I will say, though, that the only tough part of an econ education is the math, and geology often has less math. So, much in the way that econ is less hard than Physics or Chemistry (because there is less math) geology is less hard than econ.

  23. Andy D says:

    lower payoff combined with high government subsidy.

  24. Danimal says:


    And what basis do you have for claiming that geology is easier than economics?

  25. Andy D says:

    My point is that the playing field in high education is slanted toward women by the government because pressure groups for women are much louder than those of men. Some evidence of this:

    Employer Wage
    Federal Government $66,190

    Management, scientific, and technical consulting services 45,560

    Local government 45,270

    Architectural, engineering, and related services 44,590

    State government 44,580

    Economics-Actuary employment
    Median annual earnings of actuaries were $69,970 in 2002. The middle 50 percent earned between $50,510 and $99,820. The lowest 10 percent had earnings of less than $39,700, while the top 10 percent earned more than $137,650.

  26. Melissa says:

    Olly. You left no forwarding email.

  27. Andy D says:

    Individually, I don’t care, because I’ll make my own money in life regardless of what everyone else does. It would probably be awesome to go to a school where there were a lot more girls because the price of guys would rise and you could get a girl that you might not have otherwise.

  28. Andy D says:

    I’d have to disagree with you that they aren’t getting preferential treatment. In the USA today article it said the male/female ratio was 43/57, which is a huge swing considering what the ratio was in the past. The question is, what is facilitated that change?

    My case is that due to government education policies, more women are graduating with majors that are easier, with less payoff. The article also made an interesting observation, that guys are more likely to enter the workforce, maybe because they don’t think they can complete a high payoff degree, but think that a low payoff degree isn’t worth the opportunity cost of fast money swinging hammers.

    With the help of an institutional bias towards women, which isn’t as extreem as Anthony states, yet still exists, combined with the economic perversions the government has caused in state education has led to the increase of women degrees over men. Otherwise, women would be gaining the same amount of high payoff degrees as men.

  29. Olly says:

    I’m always intrigued by the reaction to stories like this. Why is it a big deal when one year (slightly) more women get degrees than men? If the gender polarity were reversed, well, it wouldn’t be a news story. But if it were, we’d presumably be the people arguing that having (slightly) more men get degrees isn’t necessarily the result of invidious prejudice, while sundry lunatics screamed “phallocracy” in the background. I think that position would be valid, and I think we should maintain it consistently.

    That means (for instance) not making blanket assertions about the ability of female college students, especially when – as Dan points out – they aren’t receiving preferential treatment in the admissions process. Jesus, Anthony, have you been deeply hurt in the past, or what?

  30. Anthony says:

    I think basically women are getting the benefit of the doubt on being admitted to college because they are women and if for any reason they dont get in, they scream discrimination, where if a guy doesnt get it, tough luck you are a white guy and well too bad so sad, that basically is it.

  31. Gabrielle says:

    Maybe you can not handle what Dan stated, “Provided solely with the opportunity, traditionally underrepresented groups will rise to the occasion on a level playing field”

    Are you somehow relating the offering of certain degrees to the rise in female graduates? You obviously haven’t looked at the average UO Geology student. Now I know that we aren’t Minnesota but almost all the graduate students in the geology department are women. Not by some contrived affirmative action standards but because that is simply who is applying.

    Over time, field by field, the percetage of women are increasing. It is a result of time passing since the first person stood up and said it is ok to work in this field as a women and I’m doing it.

    That is why the percentage of female graduates is reflecting the percentage of women in the U.S.

  32. Yes. Tights.

    Everyone sing!

  33. Andy D says:

    If you look at the majors in which degrees are being handed out and the cost of the degree, it’s apparent that the degree cost is much less than the payoff. If the cost of the degree was higher, you would see a strong movement into degrees that had a higher payoff.

    Affirmative action isn’t nessicary but this is an illustration of how affirmative action worked in a back hand way; by lowering the cost. More women obtained degrees, but because the cost was lower. If affirmative action didn’t work, women and men would get the same amount of degrees, regardless of cost, which is not the case.

  34. Andy D says:

    Dan, I probably didn’t qualify my position enough. It’s pretty radical, but the second sentence was meant to be satirical.

    From what I believe to be true in my economic studies of non-profit organizations like higher education, they are not constrained by the profit motive, and therefore are constrained by other forces, namely political.

    The university bases it’s existence on pressuring politicians in salem to give it more money, not necessary how wall it educates it students, say, like a private school operates. Due to the additional fact that this is a state school and tuition is heavily subsidized by the state, we still have quite a range before we (potentially) hit the free market value of a four year education. That means there is about a $10,000 buffer zone currently in which the school can cow-tow to solely political influences such as the LGBTQA.
    A degree from UofO is still substantially cheaper while providing a decent security of income to the majority of patrons, and therefore silly crap like this can be tolerated but only by the fact the state government allows it to by massive cash injection.

    This is part of a larger anarcho-capitalist theory on government action, but what I wrote briefly illistrates why I call the UofO a socialist institution. The illustration is stronger with the local LGBTQA minor issue, but you can extrapolate that to sociology, political science, etc… which are probably the focus of the majority of the degrees handed out by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to women.

  35. Danimal says:

    Anthony and Andy: Where the hell are you guys coming from? Nothing in the story indicates that the demographic change is a result of affirmative action or, er, socialism. Crazy thought, but maybe marginally more women than men are applying and qualifying for higher education.

    I posted this story as evidence that affirmative action isn’t necessary. It is remarkable for explaining how these numbers came about in the absence of any affirmative action on behalf of women. Provided solely with the opportunity, traditionally underrepresented groups will rise to the occasion on a level playing field — that’s what this story indicates.

    And here you guys come in playing the victim. Well, here’s the deal: this happened because guys haven’t tried as hard. And, as befits the victim’s role, it’s guys who have benefitted from affirmative action in this story:[C]onsider the perspective of Jim McCorkell, founder of Admission Possible, a St. Paul program to help low-income high school kids prepare for college. Last year, 30% of the students were boys. This fall, that has inched up to 34%, but only because “we actually did a little affirmative action,” McCorkell says. “If we had a tie (between a male and a female applicant), we gave it to a boy.”Fucking mascunazis!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Stream-of-consciousness: It’s a priviledge, not a right.

  37. Andy D says:

    This is a direct product of socialist policies. What’s next, a lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans-sexual, queer minor?

  38. Anthony says:

    Men are surely made tougher than what most assume, however discriminatory policies like affirmative action dont help any guy, that is for sure.

  39. Timothy says:

    Tights, you say?

  40. For some odd reason, I just want to start singing…”We’re Men! (MANLY MEN!) We’re Men in tights…”

  41. bryan says:

    Twice in a row, at that (that means take two drinks).

  42. Olly says:

    Lots of women (especially in Minnesta) are getting various kinds of college degrees, and this constitutes oppression of men? C’mon, Anthony. Surely we dudes are made of tougher stuff than that.

    Oh, and someone just said “feminazi” unironically! Everyone take a drink!

  43. Danimal says:

    It could be that, Anthony, or it could simply be that more women are getting the opportunity to go to college. You’re quite the feisty one, aren’t you?

  44. Anthony says:

    Once again I think stats like these show how the feminazi movement is succeeding its in ability to hold down men and oppress us because we are men, and nothing less of that. They have been shoving the term diversity down our throats for so long universities have obviously forgotten that men also an add diversity to a school and we arent just here to pay child support.

  45. Anthony says:

    Once again I think stats like these show how the feminazi movement is succeeding its in ability to hold down men and oppress us because we are men, and nothing less of that. They have been shoving the term diversity down our throats for so long universities have obviously forgotten that men also an add diversity to a school and we arent just here to pay child support.

  46. Danimal says:

    Maybe so, but if it becomes a sellers’ market for men, as it were, that might become less common.

  47. M says:

    Yes, but some women (not so much the wymyn) go to college to find husbands.

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