Diversity, Education, Feminism

I’m a Male Teacher Surrounded by Women. But Please Don’t Call Me a Victim of Sexism

The conversation surrounding gender discrepancies in workplaces and universities often focuses on STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — because these are high-paying fields in which women typically lag men in both representation and advancement. There is far less attention paid to similar or greater disparities in other disciplines. Rarely, for instance, does one hear much complaint about lower-status professions such as construction, logging or roofing, all fields where, in the United States, men make up over 96% of workers. The pattern is similar in my own country, Canada, and in the wider Western world more generally. In regard to skilled occupations that women dominate — such as accounting, nutrition, pharmacy, physical therapy, psychology, veterinary medicine, social work and nursing — advocacy groups fighting for equal representation tend to fall mute.

My own field, education, also features a striking gender imbalance. As a man with hopes of becoming a teacher, I am embarking on a career that is overwhelmingly dominated by women. According to Statistics Canada, women make up roughly 60 percent of high school teachers, 84 percent of elementary school teachers, and 97 percent of early childhood educators. A similar trend plays out in all OECD countries. If across-the-board gender parity were the priority of those who fight for equal representation in STEM, surly those same voices would also be militating on behalf of men in education. But this isn’t happening.

The Canadian Teachers Federation, a national trade group that represents teachers, holds an annual Women’s Symposium that “aims to gather women teacher leaders from across the country to study a particular theme or issue which will strengthen the status of women and improve the situation for women within the teaching profession.” Such an event would make sense in a field such as physics or manufacturing, where there really is a relative dearth of women. But in the teaching field, an event like this makes as much sense as a “Men’s Symposium” conducted by air force pilots.

Studies that have been conducted on the lack of female representation in STEM typically concern themselves with male prejudice as both indicator and cause of sexist bias. The demographics of enrollment at universities, participation rates in the workforce, and the selection of award recipients in a given field also are held up as proof of a wider climate of discrimination. A whole typology has emerged to categorize this evidence, a process that has made terms such as unconscious bias, stereotype threat and microaggressions common currency in media and academic discussions of the issue, even though such concepts rest on shaky scientific footings. In STEM, this body of evidence would serve to include anything from a “stereotypical ‘geeky’” work environment to a workplace with “an emphasis on logical thinking.”

My own experience has led me to question such arguments. That’s because all of these exact same indicators could be applied, in precisely the same manner, to make the case that men are the subject of systematic discrimination in the field of education. Yet I see no first-hand evidence of such discrimination. In fact, I see the opposite. My experience shows that sometimes gender discrepancies develop within a professional field for reasons that have little to do with discrimination, and everything to do with personal choice.

Because I am not inclined to think of myself as a victim — and have not been encouraged to do so by my educators—I do not systematically catalog instances in which I perceive myself to be discriminated against or subject to artificial barriers. While I am still completing my degree at a Canadian university, I already have served as an unqualified emergency supply teacher at the elementary level. During this time, a number of my experiences could certainly be taken as evidence of discrimination if I were eager to interpret the actions of those around me in the most negative possible manner. In one case, it was assumed that I was the parent of a young child, and not the teacher. On other occasions, it was presumed that I would prefer to teach older children, since that would follow the usual pattern among male teachers. In another instance, I sat around a table in the staff room as the lone male, and listened as female teachers discussed their experience at a male strip show in Las Vegas. Surely this could be categorized, by some, as a toxic and alienating work environment. I also was once warned by a fellow teacher that I should keep my distance from female students because one never knows when, and from whom, accusations may arise. If I were looking to cast myself as a victim, I would go to my bosses — or even the media — and claim discrimination, torquing these stories in such a way as to suggest that I had endured real emotional harm; that the field of education is truly hostile and exclusionary towards men. I would also name names and shame their alleged misandry.

But I don’t have a victim mentality, so I would never do such a thing. Moreover, I know that, even to such negligible extent that my experiences could be construed as expressions of sexist bias, they are orders of magnitude less significant than the very real (and often vicious) discrimination that generations of women faced when they began courageously taking their place in the workforce in the latter half of the twentieth century.

My parents were both teachers. Unlike my father and I, some men no doubt have abandoned thoughts of becoming a teacher because of the anticipated discrimination they might face, or because they felt the urge to pursue a more stereotypically male profession. But that’s their choice. And I won’t patronize them by calling them victims. Moreover, many of these men probably made the right choice, because, by my observation, there is something about teaching that really does appeal more to women than to men.

I have taught everything from kindergarten to grade eight, and am comfortable with students of all ages. Despite my lack of experience, I believe I am an effective teacher who creates a climate of comfort and safety for my students. But as a general rule, the younger the children, the less interest I have in teaching them. Not because my confidence has been sapped by prejudicial, misandrous colleagues scrutinizing my every move, but simply because, I, as an autonomous individual man, prefer teaching older children, full stop.

As noted above, my preference fits in with a commonly observed pattern. As pupils rise in age, so too do the number of men inclined to instruct them. This gender-based difference in professional focus should not surprise anyone, since men and women have different kinds of brains. On average, men are more interested in things and less interested in people. They underperform in verbal fluency compared to women; and score lower on the Big Five personality trait of agreeableness, and the Gregarious aspect of extraversion.

When teaching very young children how to read and write, teachers must rely on oral communication to maintain an enthusiastic, cooperative and amicable learning environment. Men, more than women, might balk at this kind of work. Also worth noting is the male tendency to score higher in the assertiveness aspect of extraversion, which might help explain a disproportionately high preference for instructing children who respond to sterner forms of direction without tears.

To say that women score higher than men in an area such as verbal fluency does not mean all women score higher in verbal fluency than all men. What this means is that within a large population sample, more women will tend to score higher on verbal fluency than men. Put another way: To the extent that measures of such traits may be represented by a normal distribution curve, the average (corresponding to the peak of the curve) will be shifted to the right for women vis-à-vis men.

Note also that most women and most men are not teachers; but those who become teachers tend to be those who score especially high on verbal fluency — a fact that exacerbates the female “advantage” (if one may use that term) thanks to the mechanics of Gaussian probabilistic distribution. Although you cannot determine on an individual level who would score better on a certain ability simply by looking at someone’s sex, you can, on a population level, determine what sex will be overrepresented in careers that tend to attract people with that ability. And despite what James Damore’s bosses at Google would have you believe, describing human abilities in this way isn’t tantamount to discrimination, because it isn’t inconsistent with the need to view people as individuals with unique talents and desires.

One strategy I take in my own professional life is to emphasize the positive. The majority of women I encounter in the hallways and classrooms of schools either go out of their way to encourage me to continue my career as an educator despite prevailing stereotypes, or are entirely indifferent to my gender and simply treat me in the normal respectful manner one expects from a colleague. Their stories about Las Vegas don’t affect me. Like everyone else, I could find evidence of bias and toxicity if I endlessly scrutinized their words and facial expressions. But I don’t.

I once had a college professor who spoke to our philosophy class for 20 minutes about how unwelcoming STEM disciplines are for women. (Don’t ask me how this monologue found its way into an introductory philosophy class, but it did.) When the class ended, I provided the professor with a recent study — from the same source as an older study he’d referenced in our class — that suggested prospects for women in STEM were much less gloomy than he’d indicated. As the semester went on, it bothered me that he never mentioned this new information to the class. Maybe he just forgot about our discussion. But I worried that female students in the class would imagine that they were destined to be victimized by sexists if they chose to enter technical fields. Had that same professor offered a similar soliloquy about education — or had I been continually reminded by the media about how education is a supposedly toxic environment for men, I might have become an accountant.

If the advocates who claim socialization is the root cause of gender underrepresentation in professional fields truly believe their own claims, it’s worth asking why they spend so much time trying to convince students that defying stereotypes will lead them into dens of bias and toxicity. Where true discrimination exists, we should fight it. But I have never heard of a travel web site that shows potential customers video footage of plane crashes.

If I were taking my cues from the activists who fight hardest for female inclusion in STEM, I might advocate for male quotas in education. But such a strategy would not only be insulting to men like myself, who feel they need no such leg up; but also discriminatory to the qualified women who would be passed over by such a system. Getting a job in this way would leave me mortified — and would naturally induce my colleagues to wonder, not without reason, whether I was truly qualified. Most importantly of all, it would mean that many children wouldn’t be getting the best available teacher. Instead, they’d be getting the best available male teacher.

Of course, there are those who might argue that quotas would actually improve education by supplying children with a more diverse pool of teachers. But that argument is problematic: If people with certain personality traits are, by nature, attracted to particular professions, what amount of intellectual diversity can be expected on the basis of gender? A man who is drawn to teaching may have just as much in common (or more) with a woman drawn to teaching than he has in common with male non-teachers.

That said, I can understand how gender diversity could have some benefits. For instance, perhaps having more men in education will result in more latitude when it comes to rough-and-tumble play, a crucial element in a child’s development. Instead of being suspended for throwing snowballs — even against the wall—students may not only be permitted, but encouraged, to engage in vigorous and spontaneous forms of physical behavior. But, as this very example may itself suggest, I suspect that the men who would bring the most viewpoint diversity to education would have the most trouble adhering to the increasingly regulated (some might say feminized) behavioral regimes prescribed by modern educators. The sort of men who now work in, say, the trucking industry, certainly are unlikely to find themselves well represented in early childhood education.

I have worked blue-collar jobs in factories, courier networks and construction sites. The men I’ve met in these industries, by-and-large, exhibit little resemblance in personality to those I have met in teaching. Much like myself, the male educators I have met, especially at the elementary level, are, as one might say, well in-touch with their softer side. That is not to say that we are weak, just that the skill set and personality characteristics required to instruct 12-year-olds on proper sentence structure in an air-conditioned building aren’t those needed to operate a masonry saw in blazing heat or bitter cold. If our goal is to get more men into teaching, we have to concede that we’re going to be getting only a narrow chunk of the male personality spectrum. So a quota on gender won’t provide as much viewpoint diversity as some might hope.

Moreover, such quotas would do nothing to fix the larger problem in education, which (as in many other industries) is an overarching antipathy to new, unorthodox theories and techniques. Like everyone else, we need to fight the tendency to self-organize into echo chambers and positive feedback loops that insulate faddish ideas from criticism (one of those faddish ideas being the current fixation on gender diversity for its own sake).

This essay is primarily about men in the field of education. But I hope that even a casual reader will note that every argument I have made could be flipped on its head, with genders reversed, and applied with equal force to STEM. At the end of the day, women and men are different, and they will make different choices in deciding what to do with their lives. Indeed, longitudinal studies from Europe indicate that the more gender equity that exists in a society, the more men and women tend to embrace certain stereotypical career tracks.

To the extent that men and women can provide divergent yet complementary perspectives, it is beneficial that we have at least some gender diversity in all fields. We are long past the age when we would tolerate an all-male supreme court, for instance, or an all-male university faculty. But personal choice always must be paramount. This isn’t just an abstract statement of my moral belief. It is a conclusion rooted in my empirical experience in a female-dominated field.

From a young age, boys and girls need to be encouraged to follow their passions. If a boy is attracted to teaching, he should be encouraged to pursue this career. But if later, that same boy decides he would rather work in construction, we need not second-guess him by insisting that his viewpoint is socially constructed or the product of discrimination. A world in which more men operate cranes and more women teach children does not present a problem. The real problem is the ideology that demands we treat it as a problem.

 

N.P. Ingram is a Canadian student and part-time elementary school teacher.

 

76 Comments

  1. Michael says

    It’s funny that because the author is a man he doesn’t have this kneejerk reaction to see the circumstances he deals with or the adversity he faces as sexism – even though he arguably has good reason to since the majority sex in his field organises exclusionary pow-wows on the basis of gender.

    Whereas women are constantly taught that any challenges they face in their daily life are some gender-based conspiracy, and that they deserve a pat on the back just for being a woman. This ideology can really breed some horribly entitled, immature, resentful people.

    • I feel like you took the sentiment the author took great care to push gently and make palatable, and just repeated it in a far more aggressive tone.

      I don’t feel good calling you out, but c’mon dude- does your comment really add anything constructive?

      • Michael says

        Seeing as it’s true, yes I do feel it is by definition constructive. Also don’t think it was particularly aggressive. Blunt perhaps, but it’s high time we get real about confronting this nonsense.

    • V 2.0 says

      ‘Whereas women are constantly taught that any challenges they face in their daily life are some gender-based conspiracy’

      Not all of us. Some of us are pretty embarrassed about the whole thing and hope all this metoo and toxic masculinity bs goes away soon before it completely damages our credibility beyond repair.

      • Michael says

        It should never damage the credibility of all women. That would be engaging in precisely the kind of collectivist, identity politics nonsense that’s the problem here. I know there are many who don’t buy into it.

      • John M says

        Fortunately, this is unlikely since men and women are highly unlikely to segregate themselves from each other the way people do along racial lines, which would otherwise lead to this kind of loss of trust. In my case, I talk to my wife daily, so I get regular empirical reinforcement for #NotAllWomen.

      • Nesdon Booth says

        V 2.0, I was also a male teacher, a rare one who was happiest with the youngest students. While I consider myself a ‘proud pussy’ and am a staunch feminist, I too am very troubled by some aspects of the current wave of feminism, such as “accusers must be believed.” But we do have a very real problem with our dominant masculine subculture, which is indeed pretty toxic, not only for the sexually aggressive belt notching, but in the cruelty and violence men are expected to engage in against other men. Close to 80% of murder victims in the US are men, “boys will be boys” is most often used to dismiss male on male violence, as masculine ideals generally include a prohibition against violence toward women, and a requirement for violence against other men in defense of women. Toxic masculinity is not BS.

        • Nobody dismisses serious male on male violence. Even in early childhood, the kind of rough-and-tumble play kids naturally engage in has been severely repressed – a teacher or parent today sent in a time machine to a playground in 1976 would be horrified at the rough play.

          We live in the least violent society the world has ever seen. Serious violent crime is confined mostly to a small subset of young men with low IQ and self-regulation, many of whom don’t have a father in their life. If we’re looking for ways to reduce violence further, the obvious place to aim our efforts is the collapse of marriage and enduring two-parent families among the poor and working class.

          And if we violence by 90 per cent, the gender ratios would remain the same, because the differences are innate.

  2. W2class says

    Last year, the idea briefly gained traction that male recruitment to the armed forces here in australia should be restricted until gender parity was achieved. At the time i pointed out the logical extension to that, was restricting female recruitment to nursing or teaching. Any such quota system generally results in skills shortages and/or mediocrity.

  3. Great article and very true. I recently read a paper written by Iranians about male nurses. They report exactly the same problems as women in engineering – lack of male teachers, lack of male role models, not being taken seriously and so on. I looked at US Labor data. Off the 334 occupational segments for which they give a male/female breakdown – only 20% have gender parity (defined as 40-60% female). Gender parity is actually the exception in the workplace not the rule.

    It is madness to suppose that the world will be made better by dumping a million male monotasking introverts out of software and conversely dumping a million female multitasking extroverts out of nursing or primary school education and into software to attain gender parity in tech (and primary school ed or nursing).

    Gender parity is a false goddess…

    People do what they want to do. No one is stopping females going into engineering. It is just that hardly any want to. No one is stopped males going into psychology. It is just that hardly any want to.

    • John Craigton says

      In certain occupations gender parity can satisfy customer demand. For example, if someone wants to see a male clinical psychologist, which seems a reasonable request under circumstances, it will be difficult. Equally, women may want female gynaecologist for good reasons.

    • dirk says

      But is that not exactly what Jordan P. explained to, who was she again? In that famous interview? She was speachless, that’s what I remember! And I wonder what my mother (now dead) would have said about all this. She would have smiled, probably!

      • Cody says

        This Jordan Peterson guy is so bland, mediocre and cringeworthy, every time he is randomly mentioned in a comment, I wonder if there is an “army” getting paid to throw his name around to increase his brand awareness.

        • Steve says

          “This Jordan Peterson guy is so bland, mediocre and cringeworthy”

          He may be “cringeworthy” to you, but given your obvious total lack of judgement in calling him bland and mediocre, who cares? Virtually nobody who has the slightest familiarity with Peterson — left-wing or right-wing — would refer to him in those terms because they are wildly inaccurate. Lot’s of people disagree with him vehemently — none of them would call him bland or mediocre.

          • @ Steve

            Bland – no. He is not bland. He can speak. And speak well. And is often quite witty and surprisingly quick minded and measured.

            Mediocre? That is more difficult to answer. He is not a brilliant new original radical thinker by any stretch of the imagination. What exactly in terms of being an academic has he added? But then perhaps comparing him to the very best is unfair. At the sort of level he is or operates at – he is certainly not mediocre. But coming from the YouTube world, the bar is pretty low. But as an actual academic, he isn’t anything special.

            And I think that is a fair assessment of the man.

          • Peter from Oz says

            @ Reading Nomad
            ” He is not a brilliant new original radical thinker by any stretch of the imagination.”
            Very few people are new, original and radical thinkers. But that doesn’t mean that those who aren’t cannot or shouldn not be influential.
            When I read your statement I thought of JS Bach, one of the greatest composers that ever lived. The fact is however, that he was not radical or original. He couldn’t afford to be with the constant demand for new material that was imposed upon him by his position as a church music composer. Yet his music is sublime.
            Jordan Peterson is very good at articulating ideas for the general public. WHat’s more the ideas he presents are the old fashioned ones that so many ”radical and original thinkers” have tried over the last century to deny.
            Guess what you can be original and radical and completely wrong.

          • Reading Nomad you are sadly misinformed about Jordan Peterson. He has the ability to read the great works of literature and not only distill them for the masses or discuss them with any level of academic, but also interpret them with fresh helpful perspectives. He also is completely armed with scientific knowledge of the human body as a biological entity and myriad cultural knowledge throughout history which is why he is hard to out argue if you don’t have your facts straight.

        • Damian O'Connor says

          Actually, I sat through the whole of his lectures – hour upon hour – and I can honestly say that I have been a long-time sceptic of psychology. He convinced me that there was wisdom in what he was saying.

    • Trollificus says

      I saw a wonderful cartoon exemplifying this. First panel shows recruitment booths for STEM and Gender Studies, being approached by 3 young women. They stop at the STEM booth, manned (I suppose) by a guy, then by the Gender Studies booth, manned by a female. The fourth panel shows the same 3 young women (different haircuts) picketing the STEM booth with signs demanding “MORE WOMEN IN STEM”.

      Thought that was about perfect.

  4. E. Olson says

    What feminists are most unhappy about is that markets tend to value the career preferences of women less than the career preferences of men, which is why male dominated fields tend to be higher paid than female dominated. Of course the higher status and pay of male dominated professions tends to be based on long (family unfriendly) work hours, dangerous uncomfortable work conditions, and/or the need for extreme skill, strength, or intelligence that women tend to avoid by choice or just don’t have in equal proportion to men. Thus feminists only care about lack of female representation among STEM fields, venture capitalists, elite combat troops, etc. because they are jealous about the status, promotion potential, and/or high pay those fields provide men. If Silicon Valley billionaires were unheard of, and Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, or Mark Zuckerberg were instead unknown coders working outdoors in frigid conditions for $50,000 per year, feminists wouldn’t care about women in STEM anymore than they care about women in garbage collection.

    Female dominance in K-12 education has been present since the days of one-room school houses, but the difference is that today the curriculum focuses on beating down patriarchy rather than teaching English, math, science, history/social studies, etc. Thus boys must withstand lectures about how men (especially white men) are the sources of all societal problems, suffer poorer grades because they get graded more toughly than girls, and generally get scolded for being boys. Under such conditions, it should not be too surprising that teaching has not become a more attractive profession for males despite historically high levels of salaries and benefits, or that education departments at universities are also bastions of feminism turning out scores of newly minted “social justice oriented” teachers with poor knowledge about their supposed teaching specializations.

  5. Cerastes says

    What surprises me is that nobodyseems to realize that you can’t have woman-dominated fields without having male-dominated fields. There’s a roughly 50/50 split in the population, and we’re close to parity in labor force participation, so if one field is woman-dominated, those “surplus men” will find jobs elsewhere and skew those fields male. If every field with 50% women, the only possible solution would be rising male unemployment or shuffling men to the lower-status, lower-pay blue-collar jobs and unskilled labor we don’t care enough about to include in the drive for equality of outcome.

    • Shwaniqua says

      Cerastes is a great example of a privileged white cis male using “logic” and “basic math” as weapons to defend white patriarchy. He’s using words to try and manipulate us into thinking with our brains when we all know the truth in our hearts. Stay strong, sisters!

    • TarsTarkas says

      The only male-dominated field feminists really are in favor of is the unemployment line. They are pro-abortion because child-rearing is so sexist, they are against housewives because they rear children that are preventing those women from working, etc. etc. They essentially want to completely reverse traditional male/female roles, make the male the homebody while the woman becomes the provider. Only problem with that is that last time I checked only biological women can bear babies. I can see a future push for ‘artificial wombs’ where the only contribution males would provide with sperm. Or skip that stage and go straight to clones, obviating the need for those toxic male genes.

      • @ TarsTarkas

        If you went around making a lot of OTT comments then the effect will soon wear off.

        “I can see a future push for ‘artificial wombs’ where the only contribution males would provide with sperm.”

        I think it is already possible to create embryos without egg or sperm.

  6. Nice article, but I’ve got to pick you up on the line about women “taking their place in the workforce in the latter half of the twentieth century”. Women have always worked, and have always done paid work since such a thing existed. The only difference in the last 50 years is very specifically that upper/middle class women have started to do paid work in far greater numbers than before.

    • Ikonoklaster says

      I’d like to second your point about women always having been in the workforce.

      This idea that women were excluded from the workforce before some undetermined date in the 20th century is always trotted as a a self-evident truth.

      Well it’s not true.

      Women have always worked. My grandmothers worked and their mothers worked too. Only those women rich enough not to have to work didn’t work.

      The thing that changed that whereas it was once desirable for a women not to work if she was able, upper class women quite rightly realised that they were missing out on some of life’s meaningful experiences by not working.

      Naturally they looked across their high status husbands and wanted to do what they were doing.
      What they didn’t do was look over at lower status women and want to do the sort of work, such a cleaning toilets for example, that you only do out of necessity.

    • Emmanuel says

      You are perfectly right when you say that women taking their place in the workforce is not a new phenomenon at all. Does anybody believe that until the second half of last century women were idle when they were not taking care of children ?
      A farmer (by far the most common occupation of the last few milleniums) ‘ wife worked hard on the farm. After the industrial revolution, working class women worked in the factory. Idle housewives were always the exception, not the norm.

      • @ Emmanuel

        “Idle housewives were always the exception, not the norm.”

        And not only that, it was a social stigma to be poor housewife and among all classes. One might have been poor, but it was a thing of pride that one’s family and house were well turned out.

      • dirk says

        Time and site dependent Emmanuel, in my youth, working class girls worked as maid or in a factory uptil they married, then stopped and got something like 4 to 10 children, the men worked and handed all his money (in an envelope) over to his wife, who distributed it over the different items, among which a small allowance for her husband to have a beer, pigeon feed or to play billard somewhere. Girls of good education (a girls school, where nothing practical was taught, only conversation , art and literature) never worked, not young, neither older. Middle class girls (school teacher, secretary) were fired as soon as married. I wonder how it is in the Islam world, with all those dressed up women, also not very practical, sometimes not allowed to drive a car, mostly busy in the kitchen and the living room.
        Feminists now change even the roles of women in the stone age, yes, they accompanied also the men at hunting animals, and were not only busy with children, cooking and collecting bromberries, mushrooms and herbs in nearby fields.

        • dirk says

          (This envelope was called: wage bag, so, different from the salary that middle and higher class people earned). Was this so all over Europe and US, or only in the NLs?

  7. John Craigton says

    Great article, enjoyed reading this perspective.

  8. “I, as an autonomous individual…” The fact that this most basic fact needs to even be explicitly stated, rather than implicitly acknowledged, is so utterly depressing.

  9. Good on you for writing this. I hope you used a pseudonym as it may be cause for blacklisting for the rest of your career. Pseudonym or not, I applaud your bravery.

  10. My own experience has led me to question such arguments. That’s because all of these exact same indicators could be applied, in precisely the same manner, to make the case that men are the subject of systematic discrimination in the field of education.

    It’s not the discrimination against male teachers that is the problem. It really doesn’t matter to the ‘end product’ if male workers dominate STEM fields; it does if women dominate teaching because boys are falling behind at school.

    If most boys will never encounter a male teacher why would they see education as something which would benefit themselves?

  11. Coolius Caesar says

    Did the women make you write this article?

  12. listdervernunft says

    Equality of opportunity=all runners start the race at the same line at the same time. [Differential calculus?]
    Equality of outcome=all runners finish the race at the same line at the same time. [Integral calculus?]
    One presupposes identity and concludes with non-identity; the other presupposes non-identity and concludes with identity. *Insight: There is an identity of identity and non-identity; namely, since there is a mutual inversion of the immediate determinations on both sides, neither either gains or loses prominence, but each rather maintains itself in its opposite, which it itself is.

    • AgreeableContrarian says

      “There is an identity of identity and non-identity; namely, since there is a mutual inversion of the immediate determinations on both sides, neither either gains or loses prominence, but each rather maintains itself in its opposite, which it itself is.”

      Your point is well taken, and I’m sure you’ve said what is on everyone’s mind, albeit with much needed clarity in what can sometimes be a confusing discussion.

      The difficulty I have with identity, the versions of calculi, etc., comes from their pure abstraction, which doesn’t admit of good analogy to complex adaptive systems such as individual people and groups of people.

      To put it another way, the pure abstractions of identity and mathematics persist without time. If you remove time from humans, they … AREN’T, in any respect.

      Process seems to matter when it comes to human beings. Equality of outcomes that ignores process doesn’t seem to ever end up the same as equality of process that ignores outcomes.

      • Bernard Hill says

        @AgCo
        …an important insight generally I think AgCo. When abstractions, in the form of political or religious ideological templates are ever the playbook, human suffering is exacerbated.

    • Draven Torres, esq. says

      I wish you hadn’t dumbed your argument down this much, Mr. Nunft. This is not National Enquirer, you know.

  13. Fran says

    Yes a man can be a good primary school teacher, but don’t kid yourself about the problems you will face. The first time you puts his arm around a child out of control, you will be branded a sexual predator – seen it happen, Also, the atmosphere will change when you gets bored by endless lunch conversations about male strippers, personalities and make up, and you spend the time marking in the corner or reading a good book. And to top is off, if you take a couple of night and summer courses and get promoted to vice principal, you will be a male oppressor.

    All I’m saying is working in an all female environment is hard. I’m a woman from the neuroscience end of psychology, and I had to do it for a few years. A mix or even mostly men were much more inclusive and comfortable, and the lunch conversations were about current events and science.

  14. Excellent article. Many thanks for taking the trouble to mention these things explicitly; that quota nonsense is allowed to remain uncontradicted far too often.
    Regards,
    STEM female

  15. Conan the Agrarian says

    “I once had a college professor who spoke to our philosophy class for 20 minutes about how unwelcoming STEM disciplines are for women.”

    Right. Because a philosophy professor has so much experience observing STEM workplaces, and women in them…

    The logical conclusion that MUST follow from statements like these needs to be voiced, since it shows the pathological thinking at work:

    If women are truly excluded from STEM, rather than self-deselected, that must mean that engineers, chemists, mathematicians, and machine language programmers are unusually sexist, exclusionary people.

    Think about it: women have made huge strides toward parity in law, medicine, biology, and humanities in the last 5 decades. In many of these areas, they are either a majority or about to become one. Oddly, it’s just the most abstract and impersonal disciplines that haven’t seen similar balancing of the sexes.

    So are engineers, mathematicians, et al., just raging, exclusionary sexists? Studies say no, and my experience is the opposite. Most scientists are progressive, and most male scientists I know are bending over backwards and, frankly, making fools of themselves trying to find and encourage women and minorities to study in their direction. What they keep telling me is, “I can’t find much interest! There are a few, but not very many.” So then they go and write nasty letters to Old Navy for having blue NASA T-shirts but not pink NASA T-shirts. Because as every good scientist knows, T-shirt color is the crux of whether someone becomes a rocket engineer.

    I’ve about had it with the victimhood culture. It seems to be reaching the plausibility of “evil nasty unseen spirits of exclusionism” that nobody can see but are definitely there and exerting their pernicious influence.

  16. papayapulp says

    As a man in another female-dominated profession (translation), my experience is similar. And within this profession, specializatiions that require a large dose of domain-specific knowledge are also heavily gender-biased: In my corner of the market (my bread and butter is contracts and other legal work for engineering firms), most professionals are male. Literary translations are the opposite. Goes to show.

  17. Mike says

    As a 57 year old white male starting training towards becoming a Secondary School English teaher, I can only say “EEK!”

  18. c young says

    > these exact same indicators could be applied, in precisely the same manner, to make the case that men are the subject of systematic discrimination in the field of education

    Fine point.

    If all we need to prove discrimination in STEM is different outcomes by gender (as alleged), the gender discrepancy also proves there is discrimination against men across a wide range of industries.

    Of course, no left-identitarian would ever agree to this. So we are left with the proposition that men make authentic choices not to teach, but women are somehow forced out of tech, or brainwashed not to try – on the basis of exactly the same evidence – outcomes.

  19. david of Kirkland says

    Your take already shows a gender difference: you are a survivor, not a victim.

  20. As a mom of an elementary school aged boy and a middle school aged boy I believe there is a desperate need for more male teachers at this level. It seems that the almost complete monopoly that women have at the primary level plays into the pathologizing of boys that is going on in society right now. I am only one of many mothers of boys that is trying to resist the problematic labeling of our kids. Public elementary schools are seemingly designed around the feminine personality. Is it any wonder that girls do so much better in primary schools (and now college) than boys?

    • E. Olson says

      KDM – what your boys are experiences is what true social justice is all about. The patriarchy has advantaged men for thousands of years and thus it is only fair that boys of today be punished and “re-educated” as partial reparation for all the discrimination and pain that patriarchy has caused women. It is the same with black reparation for slavery – just because you didn’t own slaves, or just because your white great-great grandfather fought as a Yankee in the Civil War to free the slaves, doesn’t mean you don’t owe today’s black people (who never lived in slavery) “back pay” for all the damage your white privilege has done to blacks (and Hispanics for some reason). I’m sure if you explain how social justice works your boys they will understand and learn to get with the program.

    • ms100 says

      You need to homeschool your kids unless you can find a good private school. Unfortunately, many private schools are being infected with vile political correctness.

    • Mitch says

      Then I guess the answer lies in allowing boys to express their masculinity in healthy ways. Appreciate the differences rather than see them as reasons to discriminate.

  21. Lauren says

    I’m so glad that the author asked why we are more concerned about less women in STEM than less women in other predominately male industries such as construction. I often ask myself that and I’ve been trying to figure that out. I thought mainstream feminists want increased female representation in all male dominated industries.

    • ms100 says

      Because today’s feminists are entitled and lazy. They don’t want to be equal, they want men to be second class citizens. You see it also in the “Believe women” BS. Women “deserve” only good jobs, dirty jobs like garbage collectors or digging ditches are beneath them. California wants to force corporate boards to have 1 female member or more. There should be a law requiring all garbage collectors be 20% female.

  22. “The key to modern Western civilization is its openness to talent wherever found. The feminist demand for
    collective quotas has overturned this basic feature of our civilization. The crucial point is that the character of a civilization is revealed by its understanding of achievement. European civilization responded to achievement wherever it could be found. To replace achievement by quota entitlements is to destroy one civilization from within and to replace it with another. We are no longer what we were. The problem is to explain how the West collapsed.”

    Kennth Minogue
    “How Civilizations Fall”

    http://ontology.buffalo.edu/smith/courses01/rrtw/Minogue.htm

  23. Jezza says

    E Olson

    Hatred corrodes, even parroted hatred such as yours. You will never make the world a better place until you try loving people you see as your enemies. It’s not easy, but it can be done – and it’s mightily beneficial. Please, don’t let your hatred fester.

    • E. Olson says

      Jezza – thank you for your concern, but I have little hatred in my life and I work around lefties and even have a few in the family. The problem for the left is they don’t face reality since they would never consider reading any non-leftist sources and they don’t seek reality by debating the right because they know it would crush their world-view. I see my commenting as simply very small contribution to educating lefties that might by accident read my post, although I expect I am mostly preaching to the choir.

  24. Mitch says

    “Indeed, longitudinal studies from Europe indicate that the more gender equity that exists in a society, the more men and women tend to embrace certain stereotypical career tracks.”

    Well said. Let people pursue their careers, regardless of whether they are men or women. Rather than second guessing their intention it would be better for us to assume the best in people who make career choices.

  25. This article echoes my own experiences and attitude as a male in an elementary school.

  26. Dark Matter says

    I’m a male working in a different field largely dominated by women – licensing and retail. I’m immediately reminded of the annual Women in Licensing conference which many of the head honchos attend, and which apparently amounts to a bunch of masturbatory self-congratulation. The top licensing VP in my company, who does not echo the sentiments of female oppression in the workplace, always returns from this conference rolling her eyes. Yet she still goes every year and participates in the “brave women” show, because to not attend would be to go against the current. It’s just par for the course.

    I’m also reminded of my own experience being sexually harassed at my company by three different people (two women and one gay man), two of which were my managers. In all cases, the incidents were pretty minor (i.e. one manager used to slap me on the thigh as congratulations whenever I did a good job, another tried to kiss me on the lips at an after work function, etc.). In all cases these incidents fell into the category of sexual harassment, yet I never went forward to HR with them. It just didn’t bother me much. I didn’t feel like they were major issues. Meanwhile I’ve seen a few cases where women were harassed in similar minor fashion and they blew the incidents up to the very top of the company. I’m not necessarily saying they did that because they were women and I didn’t because I’m a man (though that may play some factor) – but I did often think that if I had a gargantuan social machine constantly telling me I was a victim of opposite sex oppression, then I too might have seen the incidents as far more inflated than they actually were.

  27. Jan de Jong says

    As a white(?) male you cannot be suspected of unearned success through preferential treatment. There ‘s that at least.

    • DiamondLil says

      Even that’s not really true. Ever heard of “old boy’s network” or legacy admissions? White males are accused of being favored over women and nonwhite males all the time.

      • Carl Craven says

        You think EVERY man is in an old boy’s network and that every white man is favoured over everyone else? I never recieved favours from anyone. Can you tell me where to sign up?

        –Even that’s not really true. Ever heard of “old boy’s network” or legacy admissions? White males are accused of being favored over women and nonwhite males all the time.–

  28. Carl Craven says

    Also a male teacher here. I can concur that in my opinion teaching is a vocation and I have a passion for it. I am an ‘average’ male, introspective though eloquent, shy though friendly especially amongst children and I prefer to work with 10 year old kids because they are at a good age, they change a lot during the year and I can engage with them well, but kids as young as 6 are a lot of fun if hard work and I also work with kids up to the age of 18. I have no problem fitting in anywhere.

    We are 2 male teachers in a team of about 20 or so. I answer to 2 female coordinators one for the English department and the director of primary. Both more than competent to be in those roles.

    I was discriminated against a couple of years ago when I ddn’t recieve an interview for a job that I should have been as I am a native english speaker working abroad. Based on that and my qualifications and experience I should have at least been interviewed and when I enquired I was told that I had been casually dismissed on the basis of my sex. When I expressed verbal interest I was offered an interview. I didn’t get the job.

    What frustrates me the most about the work is seeing the ideological falsities encroaching on the actual the teaching content. I was recently invited to a Media literacy to deal with gender bias in the classroom conference through a facebook group. It was obviously aimed at diminishing the value of boys and I pointed out the problems boys have to deal with in classrooms that already make life difficult for them and that I personally treated all my students as individuals responding to individual needs and felt that the classroom and the teacher were not tools for social engineering but supposedly for preparing each individual for the futures they will encounter based on their individual strengths. I see boys performing really poorly compared to girls because schools no longer cater for boys.

  29. Jane says

    Great article. Also illustrates why California should not have passed SB-826 which will now force all corporate boards to include at least one woman by the end of 2019. I really think not as many women are interested in being on boards. Also, as a woman if I wanted to be on a board I would not want to be there because the company was forced to have me there. Doesn’t sound like a pleasant, or productive, work environment.

  30. Great article, I’m also a teacher and identify with most of what you said. I’m also the union rep at my local school (R-12, somebody had to do it) and we are in the middle of the new enterprise bargaining negotiations. In South Australia, 86% of teachers are women yet two out of the seven areas of negotiation are focused on inequality and the wage gap. Our universities are offering girls only STEM workshops for high school students and regularly send us posters promoting careers for girls in STEM. I’m lucky, at my school there are five male staff among a total of twenty six and there is plenty of playful banter and camaraderie between all staff.
    We currently have a male R/1/2 contract teacher who is brilliant but my experience is that someone like him is rare. We are also lucky in a way as being an area school, some of our high school teachers need to also teach in the lower year levels. This exposes our younger students to more male influences than a normal primary school student would receive.
    I think that there is a gender critical mass for any occupation, below which the minority would probably feel somewhat isolated socially. I had a friend at uni who was one of only two girls in an engineering class of 400 and had an awkward time of it.

  31. Aaron Garrad says

    I feel sorry for the women who are manipulated by the feminist minority to move into these ‘male-dominated’ careers, and then find that despite all the study and hard work, they don’t enjoy the job at all. It’s quite the con-job.

  32. Librarian here. Mostly female job, but paranoia fearing patriarchy. No men promoted to top jobs, hate speech everywhere, etc.

  33. Emelio Lizardo says

    “Moreover, I know that, even to such negligible extent that my experiences could be construed as expressions of sexist bias, they are orders of magnitude less significant than the very real (and often vicious) discrimination that generations of women faced when they began courageously taking their place in the workforce in the latter half of the twentieth century.”

    If women were excluded it was because those positions were reserved for men to eligible for marriage and who could then take care of their families. That is, to benefit women by relegating males to work. Part of the reason women today can’t find eligible husbands is that they replaced them at work with women.

  34. Ray Andrews says

    No! A victim. A victim. A self-oppressing victim.

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