Saturday, April 15, 2017

Petition to Reduce Female Tuition?

By Professor Doom

     Every few years, some prankster passes around a petition and tries to get fools to sign it. My favorite is when there’s a petition to remove “dihydrogen monoxide” from our lakes and rivers, as “these sources are just full of this chemical, which can kill you if you inhale enough of it.”  There’s even a whole website devoted to discussing the dangers of this chemical. Even the semi-competent (at best) chemistry professor at a fake school I taught at signed it (unwittingly?). Way too many people fall for this kind of stunt…but not everyone knows the chemical name for water, after all.

      On a college campus, however, people should be a tad more educated, a little less willing to put their signature on a petition they don’t fully understand. I’m not even sure the following is a joke, but it should be:

     This is just so…ignorant. Already our institutions of higher education do a great deal to attract female students; my own discipline in particular has endless programs to attract female math majors.

     Complementing all the female favoritism is a distinct anti-male bias on campus, again with whole classes where a male would feel distinctly uncomfortable.

      The end result of this is males, of the two “common” genders, are the minority gender on campus by far. There are nearly 3 females for every 2 males. While such a ratio would be pretty good for a retirement home (where the somewhat shorter lifespan of a human male becomes readily visible), it’s pretty atrocious for the college age set (where the shorter lifespan of males is not nearly so much of a concern).

     Government always does things backwards. When the public transit systems aren’t making enough money…they raise prices. When commercial transit systems don’t make money, they lower fares—that’s how a real business gets more sales, you see, although government does the opposite, causing even less people to use the transit system. 

     Perhaps another example will emphasize how devastatingly backward government planning is.

     The reason elephants are going extinct is because their ivory is very valuable—poachers are willing to risk their lives against armed gamekeepers to kill the beasts and get that precious ivory. The government seizes all the ivory it can, taking it off the market—driving the price still higher! When government has confiscated enough, the government burns the ivory! It’s insane, because if they just dumped a colossal amount of ivory onto the market, the price would fall…and nobody would be willing to risk death for a tiny sum of money.

      And so I present as evidence that there’s too much government in our higher education system: in the face of an obvious disparity in the sex of students, we keep slapping down more programs to make the problem worse.

     Now, I don’t expect students to know about this disparity, but surely most faculty know…how did they end up signing this petition? In the culture of fear that defines academic life, faculty should be reluctant to identify themselves for anything. Even in the case of “virtue signaling” like this, it must have been tough to find and trick faculty into signing such a hoax petition, right?

The petition garnered 40 signatures in just over an hour, including those of several faculty members, and just two students declined to sign.

     That’s not exactly a flood of signatures, and I totally respect that a student will sign any petition that in any way has a slight chance of reducing tuition. The hoax was performed to mock the Women’s Day stuff that was going on:

To find out how far college students are willing to go for gender equity,…

     It is funny how lost we are now, that “equity” can actually mean the same thing as “one gender should pay 77% for the same thing another gender pays.” Part of the pitch was the ol’ “women are paid less than men” canard, even though this has been heavily debunked, and is quite obviously rubbish (as the linked video points out, if this were really the case, we’d see most businesses hiring only women, because it would give a huge increase to profits, something every business wants).

      It’s rather like that “97% of climate scientists agree” rubbish—again, heavily debunked, and still repeated over and over again. Admittedly, it’s less obviously a lie than the gender wage gap…unless you’re an actual scientist and know that real scientists are deeply reluctant to swear an unproven conjecture is absolutely true.

     Anyway, clearly students and some faculty still fall for that gap myth, and still think we can solve a possible problem by actively trying to make it worse. 

      While “give females a tuition discount” sounds good, we really need to think things through here. What do you do about the males who identify as female? I suspect their numbers would jump quite a bit, eh? I know I’ve considered it myself, as I’m up against the glass ceiling in higher ed.

      What about the females who identify as male? They’d probably get special dispensation to classify as both genders, just so they can win both ways…but if you do that, then you now open the door for the males identifying as females to get the same double-dip treatment.

      Or, we could, you know, actually think about petitions before we sign them. Just sayin’.


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