Feminists rarely give birth to new ideas, but one is budding in their wombs in a way that cries out for abortion.
Should men in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) be encouraging their women peers with vacuous praise? An emerging feminist trope is attempting to goad men into giving college women science students unexpected and possibly unwanted “attaboy” (attagirl?) acknowledgements in order, it is supposed, to stem the flow of women out of STEM classes. This nascent effort is laden with traps designed by feminists specifically to destroy men’s lives with false accusations of creating hostile environments for women.
College men need to hold their tongues and ignore this damseling dudgeon.
The new trope, which doesn’t even have a name yet, comes from a study by Dan Grunspan at the University of Washington about the gendered differences between how male and female students estimate each other’s competence and achievements. The results of this study were recounted in a badly written blog post in the WaPo by a man-hater named Danielle Paquette.
I’m going to dub the new problem “mangrading” and the proposed solution “vagboosting.” But first, some background on the purported problem.
In the study, women predicted within a tight margin the grades of other students, while men tended to estimate the grades of their male peers as being higher than the actual grades. One might term this as either overestimation or under-grading, depending on the source of the differential, but Paquette describes this situation as variously sexist:
- Male students assumed their male classmates knew more about course material than female students — even if the young women earned better grades. Of course, Paquette is lying by implication – there is no sign that the men knew anything about the grades of their female cohort, who tended to be silent and passive in class as if completely overwhelmed by the material being studied. Through the lens of her man-hate, Paquette is accusing men of not being able to read the women’s minds to assess their competence, or perhaps, not being able to realize that their sexist professor was boosting coeds’ grades, or maybe depressing mens’, as a sort of diversity chick bonus.
- So, Grunspan and his colleagues at the University of Washington and elsewhere decided to quantify the degree of this gender bias in the classroom. Paquette begs the question – assuming gender bias as the conclusion and not proving the men held such attitudes. A professor artificially tinkering with the grades of students is a more parsimonious explanation of the results than a gender-wide conspiracy theory like patriarchal down-thinking about women classmates.
- Men over-ranked their [male] peers by three-quarters of a GPA point, according to the study, published this month in the journal PLOS ONE. In other words, if Johnny and Susie both had A’s, they’d receive equal applause from female students — but Susie would register as a B student in the eyes of her male peers, and Johnny would look like a rock star. Note the wild misstatement here – even if we accept that men over-ranked men, this doesn’t mean that they down-ranked women in an absolute sense, yet this is exactly what man-hater Paquette wants us to believe. Again, the effect noted in the study could easily be due to the professor depressing men’s grades or boosting women’s in collusion with, or coercion from, feminists pushing diversity goals like “more vagina in STEM.”
The blaming and shaming language goes on but eventually gives way to the proposed solution: the attagirl catcall:
College women in STEM programs ditch their majors earlier and more often than male students. That’s one reason STEM fields remain male-dominated.
Grunspan said reinforcement from faculty members and peers is enormously important to a young person’s education and career development. A simple “You can do this,” for both men and women, could mean the difference between pushing through adversity or giving up.
If a female student’s talent is ignored or unnoticed in other classes, “it adds up,” Grunspan said. “What does that mean for the entire collegiate experience for women in STEM?”
Feminists created this chilly environment all the way back in the first feminist conference in 1848 Seneca Falls when men were told to sit in the back and shut up – at least in the presence of women. Feminists STILL freak out when men greet them on the street, finding any sort of interaction with men misogynistic. A YouTube video about this has over 42 million views.
And yet, the proposed solution to this non-existent problem is for men students to catcall women students about their grades?
Hey baby, love that new GPA on you! Wanna join my study group?
Of course, the hollow praise could be stated neutrally and still set off feminist alarm bells. We know how women react to naïve “nice guys” giving them unsolicited compliments – unless the guy is as rich as Christian “50 Shades of” Grey – they react with both annoyance and suspicions of ulterior motives. Repeated “encouragement” like this will inevitably lead to sexual harassment and hostile environment charges being filed against both hapless men and universities workers who were doing nothing more than making good-natured efforts to follow a new set of feminist demands that run afoul of the existing set of feminist demands.
This flim-flam reminds me of other progressive-regressive traps:
- Do you avoid ethnic food? Then, you are racist! / Do you eat ethnic food? Then, you are appropriating their culture for your own benefit!
- Do you hate sluts? That’s slut-shaming! Do you like sluts? You’re objectifying them!
- Do you put women last in a speaking queue? You’re de-prioritizing their voices! Do you put women first in a speaking queue? You’re reserving the prime spots for men once the crowd is warmed up!
In addition to the obvious sexual harassment / hostile environment issues, the new vagboosting has its own flim-flam: if you fail to vagboost, you are making it harder for women in STEM, but if you do vagboost, you are saying to women that they are too weak emotionally to succeed in STEM without a man’s blessing and generous help.
Neither mangrading nor vagboosting may be on the way to the feminist big time like manspreading or sexist air conditioning, but I find it an illustrative case study of the mechanics of how feminists are ever exploring ways to expand their brutal treatment of men.
Men are becoming wise to this as the slow and grinding process of destroying gynocentric philosophies proceeds. The chill deep in the bones of feminists feels like a brisk Spring morning to me.