At the time I entered college, there were very few girls in my classes; boys dominated the enrollment by a vast majority. And when they graduated, they could count on getting a good job in just about any field. Girls, on the other hand, were greatly in the minority, and when they graduated, their options were marriage, teaching, or nursing.
Boys have always been encouraged to learn science, math, engineering, and technology, the fields that led to excellent job opportunities, whereas girls were encouraged to pursue the soft skills, e.g., art, literature, and music, the fields that paid very little and were dead end jobs.
In recent years, there have been complaints that girls are being favored and encouraged to go to college but boys are being shuffled to the back. At present, according to various statistics, girls are outpacing boys in college enrollment by 13% but does that really mean anything?
Since boys were being trained for the “manly” fields, e.g., doctors, lawyers, businessmen, politics, engineers, etc., and girls were being trained to become nurses, writers, editors, teachers, artists, and musicians, does it really matter if girls are excelling in their studies and leaving boys behind?
It may be that the reason girls do so well in school is because this is the only area that has never threatened a boy’s future livelihood. And now, after so many decades have passed where we have seen the employment landscape change, has anything really changed?
No matter how smart a girl is and how accomplished she is, the average woman earns only 77 cents to a man’s dollar. Even with The Paycheck Fairness Act that is supposed to guaranty equal pay for equal work, the U.S. Census Bureau tells us that the wage gap has not been closed because of limited enforcement tools and inadequate remedies.
So, does it really matter if women are smarter and better educated than men? As I said, no matter how smart and better educated she is, the average woman will still earn only 77 cents to a man’s dollar. And until that changes, the college classroom may be the only time in the average woman’s life that she can feel good about herself and can compete with men on a level playing field.