Sunday, July 4, 2010

Here come the girls...(not)

Please don't take this as a tirade against womankind.
I am seized by a sense of profound disappointment here.
In 1988 we changed from overtly boy-friendly O-Levels to equally overtly girl-friendly GCSEs. Out with terminal exams, in with coursework and modularity. As expected (oh come on!) girls have done really well in education since then and have outstripped boys on results day for many years now. The gap is ever-widening and will never close whilst the system is so repeatedly and unfairly skewed towards girls. I know, I know; boys had it their own way for ages. That's not my point.
Our universities are extraordinarily girl-heavy. Girl:Boy ratios of 60:40 or worse are quite common. I think there is something of an embargo on giving the true figures much air time. It would shock the Y-chromosome bearing part of the population, I'm sure.
So, since 1988, we've had a girl-friendly system and those 16 year-olds who took their GCSEs then are now 38. They got their degrees (the bulk of them) in 1993 and have been in employment since then. They should have made their mark by now. They haven't. What's happened? What have these girls* done with all this educational supremacy?
There are women now at every level of government, commerce, the professions, the law and industry; far more than there used to be, all riding the GCSE/GCE wave. What do we - society - see from this dramatic shift towards female-dominated intellectualism.
In my view, nothing.
Nothing is better. Government isn't better (there were plenty of female snouts in the trough labelled MP's Expenses. Hazel Blears for one.). It is almost certainly worse. Commerce isn't better (unless banks crashing and deep recessions count as "better"). Society is not a kinder, more considerate entity. Women as lawmakers have been a significant part of the Blair/Brown kakistocracy that gave use nearly 4000 new "offences" in ten years. Idiots!
After 22 years it seems a little facile to yet again bleat that it is "mens' fault". It can't be. There are more women with influence, education and an inside track on the infrastructures of power than ever before.
When is all this influence going to count?

* I use "girls" here with no offence whatsoever intended. It saves me writing "girls/women" each time. I don't like using "females"; I find that quite derogatory. If you are still offended, go read another blog.

No comments: