A Society of Bees

“This is an era where female performers dominate music as never before,” says the BBC.  “I give you Beyoncé, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga – not to mention poor, sad Britney and the never-ending saga that is Madonna.”  They also mention the recent American Idol competition where the finalists were all women.

There has been a trend in recent years more relentless than global warming.  Our society is becoming like the bees where the women are the workers and achievers while men are the drones who lie around, get waited on, occasionally provide sex, and die young, lying on their backs, waving their little feet weakly in the air as they get swept out of the hive.  You don’t hear much about this because it has slowly become the norm, but those of our generation remember when society was very different.

I first noticed the change years ago on the campus of the University of Penn.  Where I once saw Jewish boys with yamakas and tzitzits, now I saw hordes of intense Asian girls in flip-flops and bouncing ponytails hurrying between classes.  Can this really be Penn?  In my days at Penn State, boys outnumbered girls about 5 to 1, and chemistry majors, about 10 to 1.  The only Asians at all were a few men graduate students in science and engineering.

At the University of Penn, more women than men have earned Bachelor’s degrees ever since 1982, although the class of 2016 is almost dead even.  Despite my observation, the male/female ratio at Penn is more even than at most colleges and universities.  As one Penn professor explained it, “If you are desperate for students, you take who you can get.  The Ivy Leagues get a ridiculous number of applicants, and, I can assure you, the women in that pool are stronger.”  In other words, Penn attracts a surplus of top-notch, qualified students.  They can pick the ratio they want.

Another professor said, “If they took students purely based on merit in every field, you would have campuses that look very much more female.  My hypothesis is that if the ratio were very skewed, they would have a hard time attracting students.” (The Daily Pennsylvanian)

Women began to outnumber men at universities everywhere (except in Utah) in the 1970s and the ratio grew ever since, approaching 3 women for every 2 men today. Women as the main breadwinners of the family have been similarly growing.  They are still in the minority, about 40%, but the trend is clear.

CarboniteThe future is illustrated in a TV commercial for an online computer backup service.  As the dressed-up wife is leaving for work, she asks her grubby, unshaven husband what he will be doing during the day.  Backing up the computer, he tells her.  She gives him (him!) a sigh of sympathy as she heads out the door.  Presumably waiting until she is out of sight, he begins a day of varied and expensive entertainment paid by her salary.  When she gets home, he is back sitting at their computer telling her he got it all backed up.  She is impressed, thinking he had worked on it all day.  The message is that the backup service is so easy you do not even need to be home.

The secondary message is that modern husbands are parasitic, duplicitous sneaks.  Or maybe that is the main message.

RWalck@Verizon.net

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About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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