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Women hold keys to America’s future

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At every government level, from school boards to the halls of Congress, problems and issues require thoughtful, intelligent solutions.

The Senate hearings on Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination notwithstanding, the future of this nation is in the hands of American women. Because, as President Donald Trump perhaps cheekily stated in his Sept. 26 news conference, “Women are smarter than men.” Quantifiable data over the last 30 to 40 years appear to prove it.

Michael Fedo

Michael Fedo

While men used to attend college in significantly greater numbers than women — 58 percent to 42 percent into the 1970s — that ratio has reversed, with women making up nearly 57 percent of current college enrollees, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Last year there were 2 million more women than men attending U.S. colleges and universities. Currently women receive the majority of college degrees in this country, from associate (two-year programs), to bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D.s. Women also outnumber men in postdoctoral studies. And the trend predicts continued growth in women’s postsecondary enrollment, with simultaneous declines among men.

While women today earn about 60 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, they also make up nearly half of the students in the key areas of law, medicine and business. This correlates to their recent ascendance to upper levels of management and administration in these professions.

Meanwhile, boys are abandoning the quest for higher education, and there’s a concomitant corollary: They don’t read. For a variety of reasons — falling behind girls in reading in elementary school, greater incidences of schoolroom misbehavior, early peer pressure to not be classroom smart as these boys may be labeled “sissies,” or “gay” — males have chosen to become post-literate. Certainly, they don’t read books.

A bookstore manager once told me that women purchased 70 percent of the books he sold, including 90 percent of all fiction. He thought the figures would be similar in other stores, both independent and chains. A nonreading populace is not only less curious, and less knowledgeable, they are less able to reason and make intelligent decisions. Male CEOs and board chairs face a dinosaur future; their heretofore majority presence will be assumed by educated, bright women.

Several years ago, I watched singer/songwriter Jim Post perform his one-man show, “Mark Twain and the Laughing River,” in Galena, Illinois. During the show, Post, quoting Twain, occasionally broke in with the observation, “Boys are idiots.” By the third or fourth time he uttered the phrase, the audience was chorusing it with him. This sarcastic pronouncement in Twain’s era now seems prescient.

Which brings us to November’s elections. We all want our elected leaders to be smarter than we are. At every government level, from school boards to the halls of Congress, problems and issues require thoughtful, intelligent solutions. Education and reading-eschewing males are becoming less capable than women in dealing with contemporary concerns.

The solution seems abundantly clear: Mark your ballot with a woman’s name wherever possible.

Michael Fedo of Coon Rapids has published 10 books, most recently, “Don’t Quit Your Day Job: The Adventures of a Midlist Author.”

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by David Moseman on 10/25/2018 - 11:16 am.

    Yes, and this is leading to a crisis of identity for boys and men. Male Power and Privilege were rewards for behaving well. No longer is masculinity valued in our society. Thus, boys act out and refuse to go along with the school agenda. What is in it for them?

  2. Submitted by Lory Fedo on 10/25/2018 - 12:24 pm.

    And more and more young women are going into STEM careers as well…because they have been encouraged rather than discouraged and they are being hired. I don’t know if women are smarter than men or not– but women certainly know the value of working hard for something, even if the odds are against them.

  3. Submitted by Barbara Boldenow on 10/25/2018 - 12:33 pm.

    While I agree in general, I know so many wonderful, smart, kind men. The way our country is situated now, I do concur that we vote for a woman when the opportunity presents (Except for Susan Collins)

  4. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/26/2018 - 09:52 am.

    Sexism doesn’t really work no matter what direction it’s aimed, but there are certainly cultural gender assumptions. The very first comment here actually betrays the old male sexist myth that when men worked hard they were rewarded with power and status… no… the problem is men were rewarded with power and status no matter how hard they worked or didn’t work… Trump is a perfect of that.

    It’s the expectation that a man (specially a white man) might actually have to earn power and status that’s causing all of the anxiety. Sure, it was a lot more comfortable to just assume it would fall into your lap (whether it did or not has always been another story) and THAT comfort zone is dissembling.

    This pseudo feminist counter narrative that assumes women are our cultural saviors in many ways just draws it’s assumptions from traditional sexist assumptions about matriarchy… which can be viewed as recycled patriarchal assumptions. Isn’t it just another of calling for mommy? I think the recent behavior of white women in particular calls this whole narrative into question. Feminists ended up making equality their primary objective for a reason. They recognized the fact that matriarchy can be just as bad a patriarchy, so replacing one with the other isn’t a viable objective. I don’t know what Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin could possibly “save” us from?

    It’s good thing for women to gain more power and influence, but that in and of itself won’t “save” us. If men don’t step up and stop being buffoons nothing can save us. In the end while gender equality is a necessary social and political project, it’s going to be the over-all capacity for compassionate, intelligent, and rational problem solving that will save us. If you’re a man and now you’re assuming you can just go golfing or watch the game on TV because the women will come to the rescue… you’re still being an idiot. The whole point is that we’re in this together and we have work together.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 10/26/2018 - 12:29 pm.

      Long ago I realized not to count on a knight in shining armor to save us, even if that knight were to be a woman.

      After the Anita Hill – Clarence Thomas fiasco, 6 women were elected to the Senate in what I think was the first Year of the Woman. Liberals told me these women would really change the debate. Then, five of them voted for Clinton’s welfare de-form, showing me they no special insight into what was best for low income moms.

      I have no doubt that women can be terrible leaders, just as terrible as men. I’ve seen it myself.

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