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MRAs: It’s unfair that more women than men go to college. Also MRAs: College is for suckers!

Also MRAs: The gender imbalance in college is MISANDRY

By David Futrelle

Found this meme on Twitter, posted by Lauren Southern, the horrendous alt-right islamophobe antifeminist who may not technically be an MRA (I don’t know if she’s ever called herself one) but is certainly MRA adjacent. I’ve seen numerous MRAs, including some who complain endlessly that there are more women than men in college, making essentially the same argument.

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Moggie
Moggie
4 years ago

MRAs: Women get crap jobs because they get non-STEM degrees!
Also MRAs: Women shouldn’t try to STEM, because their brains are wrong!

Lukas Xavier
Lukas Xavier
4 years ago

@Imaginary Petal
Absolutely. They’re pushing to turn the scholarship into a loan.

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
4 years ago

I studied physics at a technical university in Germany. I specialized in nuclear physics on the accelerator side.

Germany introduced fees very briefly, and I payed 500€ for my last term.

But as I finished during that term I got the full 500€ back.

Projected length of my course: 10 terms, finish with a diploma*.

I needed 9.5. Take that, STEM-lords!

And I never studied and finished with a pretty good grade.

Now I do radiation protection after a few years of thermal hydraulics.

If you want to learn a trade in Germany you get hired by a company for an apprenticeship. And you go to a trade school for general education. Depending on what you do this is done in blocks or part time stuff.

After three years you’re a journeyman if you pass all your tests.

And if you’re good and like what you do, you can go on and do a master in your trade.

Then there is the option of integrated university courses, where you work part time for a company in the field you’re studying and go to university part time.

So there is a niche for most people.

Basically, education in Germany is mostly free (you have to pay some kind of clerical fee when attending university) or you even get payed while getting an education, because you actually work.

I worked during the last few years of my university course as a student worker at the chair I graduated from, aside from my thesis year. Most people I went to university with worked part time in some form!

There’s not much use for unskilled labor, though.

*I was one of the last years that graduated in the old system before the switch to bachelor/master. You finished with a diploma after five years. Now they call that master. My actual title is Dipl. phys. (univ.).

Ellesar
Ellesar
4 years ago

I did a degree in a female dominated area (social work) – the few men were going to find it easier to get work, we were told. It was also apparent that men in social work, like in teaching, tend to disproportionately get the higher status jobs.

In male dominated jobs women are often told they cannot do the job. In female dominated jobs men are told they do the job better!

Angi
Angi
4 years ago

So when there went less women to college than men, it was because women are dumber and it was no wonder that women earned less than men, since not as many women had college degrees.

Now when more women go to college it’s still wrong and don’t these stupid women know that a college degree isn’t worth anything? It seems like it doesn’t matter what a woman choose to do it will always be seen as less than what a man does.

Bakunin
Bakunin
4 years ago

@Knitting Cat Lady

Hey, I do radiation protection too!

bluecat
bluecat
4 years ago

@ Alan, thanks for the link. I can’t wait to start knitting again once the summer stress is over.

I was inspired by the anti-Trump pussy marchers – or more accurately, by a reaction by someone on the right sounding off about how disgusting it was that women were “knitting replicas of their sexual organs”. (Which of course they weren’t, unless their sexual organs resembled bright pink woolly hats with cat ears). So… I’ve started knitting decorative vulva brooches and corsages (with handmade beads).

Giving rise to this conversation:

Me: I’ve just found a knitting pattern for vulvas.

Mr Bluecat: I used to have one of those.

Me: What?

Mr B: I used to drive a Volvo. A blue one.

Nina
Nina
4 years ago

I once read a study that women have to invest a lot more into education to get similar salary and job opportunities as men. In some fields the difference was 2-3 additional years of higher education. So whenever dudes complain that the system is stacked against them because more women go to college, I just role my eyes. Good job ignoring the big picture.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
4 years ago

Obviously Mark (or his stand-in) does give a shit, or he wouldn’t have spent time making a meme to “prove” that college degrees are worthless.

Maybe some diplomas from fly-by-night colleges aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on, but there are also a lot of scammy for-profit tech schools that sell fake degrees. For $1400, for example, you can purchase a phony M.D., hang out your shingle…and get the pants sued off you. Many of these places deliberately prey on kids who don’t have the resources or the aptitude to attend a 4 year college. MRAs would be much better off helpng each other spot, and avoid, those places rather than issuing sour-grapes condemnations of college degrees as worthless because LOL wimmen, amirite?

@IP

The core driving force of all conservative politics, not “how can we make things better” but “how can I make things worse for people who aren’t me, so that I can feel better about my own life”.

QFT. I’m so glad to see you posting again!

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

I was the only female student on a City and Guilds course in Electrcal Engineering back in the late nineties, as a school placement at college. I wanted to do it because my father has been in that industry. I did very well, and got a distinction in my exams, despite not being the best at maths I can do it when it’s related to something practical. However, I never practiced in this profession as I failed every job interview I went for and didn’t bother again. Had I more self confidence, I should have set up as a sole trader. I didn’t havevthat confidence tho because the far right fundie church I was involved with denounced my choice of profession as men’s work which would not prepare me for my role as a wife and mother. I eventually went back to college to do a foundation in film and media, before doing a degree in music, but this was after my father had died and the church had excommunicated me.

Music Tech is a male field and unfortunately women working in it get ripped to bits by their male peers. I saw a discussion on Facebook yesterday where guys were laying into Red Bull DJ of the year Black Madonna, saying she can’t mix. Well, obviously she can, but it’s her weight/hair/glasses which upset them the most. Bjork does her own programming, but constantly has to prove herself because her make collaborators always get the credit. I even posted a comment on Real World’s facebook, they take two interns every year, I don’t think any have ever been female. Delia Darbyshire died in anonymity despite being the real brains behind the Doctor Who theme, and should have got a joint credit with Ron Grainer (who actually wanted her too)

It’s a constant struggle for women in music because the industry knows ‘best’ and constantly targets women with the Little Mix, PCD stuff, and men with Rock. It doesn’t really reflect the actual musical tastes of the public, but it’s business.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

@ellesar

There is a subversive element to this… The men in social work and childcare are more likely to get the pen pusher jobs than the practical, because subconsciously they are not viewed as nurturers, on the contrary, they are viewed as potential abusers. (Best stick him in the office, out of the way)

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

@Virgin Mary : in a related way, during my education (french college, who is 11-15 years), we were two in the class who were very good in math and science in general, me and an arab.

They advised me to go to pursue an engineering school, and my friend to take the french equivalent of a 1-year school. Because obviosuly, since he was an arab, he wasn’t fit for engineering. I suspect you have encountered a similar obstacle, but based on gender instead.

(for the familiar with the french system : bac S adviced for me, bac professionel électricité for my friend)

Jeyne Doe
Jeyne Doe
4 years ago

This reminds me of when Marco Rubio said that welders earn more than philosophy majors and was thoroughly debunked: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/nov/11/marco-rubio/marco-rubio-welders-more-money-philosophers/

I’m all for encouraging people to consider technical programs as one of their many options, but there seems to be a lot of dishonest rhetoric surrounding the issue.

Also, it would be easier to take this meme seriously if Megan and Mark looked a bit less like professional models.

Cycnic
Cycnic
4 years ago

Do these MRA fools understand how hard it is to get a job after tech school ?And what tech school was this guy going to were he paid it off in three years ?

Epilogue to the story

Unfortunately for mark his job got sent oversees . Just before another tech crash . Now he lives with mother and flips burgers for a living . And becomes a MRA fanatic .And becomes fat and bitter because he has been denied his entitlement .

For Megan however her degree becomes relevant because economies are not static . She works hard pays off her debt and now is living it up.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Yeah, I thoroughly believe that one should not have to have a college degree to make a decent living, but every stat I’ve ever seen shows that those with degrees outearn those without degrees by a significant margin. Between outsourcing, union busting, automation and congress’ consistent refusal to raise the minimum wage, it’s a whole lot harder to earn a good living with a blue collar job than it used to be. The fact that it’s also a whole lot harder to make a good white collar living even with a college degree doesn’t change that.

Conservatives love to blame people for their economic woes because they didn’t go to school, didn’t get the right degree, can’t or won’t move to a boom town, whatever. Anything to ignore that there is a systemic issue of income inequality that’s been caused by the economic policies that they push.

zesty
zesty
4 years ago

Whenever lots of women become interested in a field, its reputation goes down. It also happened with my field, biology. We were already over 60% women when I started studying back in 2002 and at least at my university, biology was considered “STEM light” for women because real STEM like physics and math is too tough for them.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
4 years ago

@WWTH

Agreed. I really dislike it when politicians handwave away stagnating jobs and income inequality in rural America with “we’ll just train them for Jobs Of The Future”. First of all, what jobs? Automation will, or has already replaced, a lot of manufacturing, retail, and tech jobs. Secondly, not everyone has the temperament to sit behind a desk pushing paper and numbers. A lot of people, especially in rural areas, prefer to work with their hands for a living. Blue collar jobs often have a very strong family tradition attached to them: dad and granddad and great-granddad did X, going back many generations, so the sons also want to do X.

Also, training for Jobs Of The Future (and the jobs themselves) usually means relocation. The jobs aren’t going to come to them. Pulling up stakes and moving to an urban area (full of scary godless heathens, as right-wing talk radio “informs” them) isn’t an easy option for people who don’t have the means and have a strong attachment to the land where their families have been for generations.

@Jeyne Doe

Also, it would be easier to take this meme seriously if Megan and Mark looked a bit less like professional models.

Presumably Mark’s a plumber (he’s Doing Things With Copper Pipes) but he’s all gelled up and looks like he just stepped out of a J. Crew catalog. And why is he smirking? Shouldn’t he be focusing on the task at hand instead of privately gloating over his income?

Not that it’s implausible for plumbers to own nice clothes, it’s just they probably don’t wear their Sunday best while snaking toilets and repairing pipes. It’s messy work involving cobwebby basements, unspeakable sludge, solder, and leaky drains. Mark is suspiciously spotless.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Plus, if the government wants people to relocate to get these Jobs of the Future, they’re going to need to put into a place a program to assist people who want to do this. Moving to a new city is expensive and difficult. Many renters require proof of income before they’ll rent to you. If you don’t have a place to stay with friends or family until you find employment or a job waiting for you, when you get to town you might not have a home to move into and it’s next to impossible to find a job when you’re homeless. Without a big labor shortage, companies aren’t going to pay to relocate out of town applicants for low level jobs.

Steven Dutch
Steven Dutch
4 years ago

In my 36 years as a professor, women consistently outnumbered men 60-40. (Not quite the surfer ideal of ‘two girls for every boy,’ but 1-1/2.) I wondered where the men were going. Some, no doubt, went into the military or trade school. My region has a pretty strong work ethic, so I don’t think too many are gamer bros in their parents’ basement. But reading about all the man-children out there, I suspect a lot of men have gone that way.

Why is there a fancy SLR with a cable release behind Mark? Not your typical pipefitting tool. They don’t even drive nails very well.

Lea
Lea
4 years ago

The careers women go into that pay the best for the shortest time in school tend to be jobs men won’t take because they see them as feminine, like nursing.

Health related fields have rigorous programs and tend to lead to tough jobs that are always in demand that pay well and more and more men are going into health related fields, but the stigma still keeps many of them away.

I know one nurse who left nursing to be a carpenter in her late 30’s. She puts up with alot of misogyny, but she likes the physicality of her job, being outside, not being expected to look conservative or smile while taking shit and working her ass off constantly and the $ is good. She says she can’t can’t keep up with some of the work the young guys can do (she’s about 5’2″ and 100lbs), but they can’t keep up with her when she’s climbing scaffolding all day. The guys call her the spider-monkey. She says she will never go back to nursing.

More women could do what she does, but the harassment and that they’ve been taught they can’t do it prevents them from going into that work.

In both cases of men and women turning away from good jobs the root problem is misogyny. Men don’t want to do “women’s work” and they don’t want women doing “men’s work”.

Women are associated with jobs like librarian, secretary and teacher that were once considered men’s jobs because women could be paid less to do the same job. So, that’s who was sought out and hired. Now, those are considered feminine jobs.

Women dominated computer programming and technology until men realised how well it paid and began seeking out those jobs. Now those jobs are considered masculine jobs.

It’s all arbitrary. Gender does not have anything to do with vocation.

Lea
Lea
4 years ago

Also, many jobs that didn’t used to require formal education, like medical techs and paralegals now do. You can’t just learn on the job anymore. You have to get an education to get certification. Fewer and fewer vocations are open to people who can’t afford higher education. That does not mean those people make more money than their predecessors.

My dad was a union electrician. It was hard manual labor and it required education. The pay was good only so long as you could travel to where the jobs were. Most construction based work is like that. It’s seasonal. You work in harsh climates. If you aren’t in great physical shape or your a single parent with kids at home, you can’t do the job.
My dad stayed in some rough places. Sometimes he stayed in rented housing with strangers. Sometimes he stayed in cheap motels where the staff would steal luggage left in the room. He always carried a handgun.

There are plenty of good reasons why women would see those risks to benefits as not worth it. My carpenter acquaintance has baracaded herself in her room to keep the men she shares housing with out while she sleeps. She is also always armed with a loaded gun.

Gussie Jives
Gussie Jives
4 years ago

Just to share a personal anecdote that challenges the assumption that “STEM degree == guaranteed job” these numbskulls like to toss about, I had the unfortunate privilege of graduating from Materials Engineering with specialization in metallurgy in 2007… the year before the biggest economic contraction in history hit the mining sector particularly hard. Turns out exploratory projects kinda get put on hold when the prices of ore fall precipitously, and folks on the bottom rung of the totem pole at the research lab, like the recent graduates, are the first to be laid off.

And guess whose policies caused that contraction? Oh yeah, the massive financial deregulation pushed by right-wing buttwhistlers like Lauren Southern! Stop sabotaging the economy, dipshits!

TheKND
TheKND
4 years ago

@Virgin Mary As a male nurse, I can really attest to that. The only places where we feel welcome is in surgery (because surgeons are meatheads), elderly care (because old ladies like son-surrogates) and leading roles (because patriarchy). I love my profession, but it can be so frustrating.

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
4 years ago

The attitude that university degrees should only ever lead to high-paying jobs isn’t just anti-“elite” and anti-education, it’s anti-knowledge. What kind of sucker goes through post-secondary school just to maintain and expand our knowledge of humanity and the universe? LOL! Get a real job!

Juniper
Juniper
4 years ago

This issue is near and dear to me because I’m a biology professor at a public community college. I teach biology for freshmen and sophomores who are going to transfer to a 4 year university to finish their bachelor’s degrees, but are taking their first two years here to save a ton of money.

In fact, this is the second week of the fall semester!

Last week we had our district meeting, and one of the things discussed was how 61% of our students are female and 49% are male. To help that “problem” they’re doing a special program to help male students, but the catch is it’s only “underrepresented minority” male students. That is, black, Hispanic, and Native American males. I guess they think white and Asian males are doing fine.

That actually made me think of this blog. My college is trading misandry for REVERSE RACISM, oh no!

Anyways, I think there are complex reasons why there are fewer men and especially minority men in college, or at least more complex than “women are dumb and get worthless degrees.” Our enrollments always go up when the economy is bad and a bunch of people get laid off, and down when the economy is good and people can get jobs without degrees. Men are also more likely to go into blue-collar fields that don’t require degrees, because they are considered “manly” jobs. For example, we “lose” a lot of male students when oil prices are up and they all go off to work in the fracking fields. Then when oil prices crash and they get laid off, they come back.

Also, on average, college degrees are financially worth it. People with degrees, on average, earn more than people without. If you actually finish your degree and get a job that required your degree, you can probably pay your loan back. The people who are the worst off are the dropouts who don’t have degrees but still have thousands of dollars of debt, or the ones who went to a worthless private degree mill.

So if you got a good paying job without a college degree, you were lucky and should count your blessings and not act like people who went to college are idiots. Most people aren’t that lucky and do better with a degree.

(I also personally think college should be free, or at least your first 2 or 4 years. I’m disappointed that Obama’s free community college idea didn’t happen.)

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