10/09/2015 Jonathan Taylor

Michelle Obama: stop selling out our boys

We hear from feminists that government by men invariably results in a government run for the benefit of men as a group. It’s some kind of absolute law of their universe, as absolute as the laws of gravity. Women, by contrast, don’t do this kind of thing. Or even if they would, they can’t because we live in a patriarchal society.

Let’s see how that pans out in reality. Michelle Obama has a bright idea. It involves increasing public access to education. And who could be against that?

One catch:

It’s not really the U.S. public’s access to education that she wants to help. It’s other countries’ educational access. One might wonder why, considering that U.S. education ranks 14th among developed countries – below Russia, China, and South Korea. See here, courtesy of Pearson Education:

US education rankings worldwide - 2014

Are we going to have a competitive education system, or an education system that sells out its own students to foreign countries?

One more teensy-weensy little catch: it’s not really about helping poverty-stricken lower-class citizens access education . No – in a theme that has become all to common among the Obama administration, it is all about those born with a vagina.

In the news:

First Lady Michelle Obama introduced a new campaign focusing on education for girls around the world at the Global Citizen Festival in New York City. Obama appeared in a video Saturday at the event starring Beyonce, Hugh Jackman and others. Obama spoke about the 62 Million Girls campaign in front of a feverish audience in Central Park.

She said she’s traveled the world and met with young women who have not had a chance to receive an education. She said ‘I see myself in these girls. I see my daughters in these girls…for me this is truly a moral issue.’

Yes, it’s all part of her Let Girls Learn campaign, which will likely  – based on all the things they are wanting to do – cost tens of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

How excellent that she has traveled the world. Curious question: has she traveled to the Middle-East, where women now outnumber men in two thirds of universities? Here’s a set of charts, as I love presenting data visually:

Graphs - Women and Men in Middle Eastern Universities

If she indeed has gone to the Middle-East, it was with blinders on. Here in the United States, we “enlightened folk” are still deluged with stories of the woeful persecution of Middle-Eastern women who are ubiquitously denied education because they are all forced to stay home, and – if they dare go outside – must dress like Darth Vader and not speak unless spoken to.

Why? Because every man in the Middle-East is an uncivilized, brutish monster who is weak-minded and terribly afraid of the power of women. What kind of women? Why, women like Michelle Obama, of course: a woman who ignores her own schoolhouse burning down so she can remodel her neighbors’.

As adults we don’t stop believing fairy tales that are caricatures of reality; we just trade one set for another. Even as we begin to learn that Santa Claus really is our parents, the big bad bogeyman transforms into every man in the world except the individual men we love, ourselves, or our sons. For foreign men the bogeyman factor increases exponentially – it’s so much easier to be prejudiced against those we can barely see.

Add on top of that a political movement called Feminism which, for the past forty years, has told us that men have nothing but too much, and deserve only to be taken down a peg, and it’s easy for a symbolic figurehead like Michelle Obama to surf the wave of indifference to male humanity by excluding boys and men from aid.

So how are boys and men shaping up in the U.S.? Let’s start with higher ed graduation rates:

Four Graduation Rates, Degrees, Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate, by Sex and Percentage, United States (new version)

Source: National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, Table 268.

Yikes, a nosedive with no end in sight that has occurred for no less than forty consecutive years. What about enrollment among post-secondary institutions in general?

Postsecondary Enrollments by Sex, 1970-2012 (by percentage and in thousands) - graphs

National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, Table 303.10.

You’d have to be wilfully blind to ignore that, but the “experts” that our taxes pay money to prop up do this every day. They also ignore the facts that in the U.S.:

The Obama administration has had seven years (and their ideological supporters in academia and various education agencies have had forty years) to give a pittance of recognition to any of these issues. Yet nary a peep regarding the educational inequities facing boys and men has been heard among those who veritably trip over themselves to proclaim fealty to “equal opportunity” and “gender equality.”

Do they even know what those words mean anymore?

It makes sense, then, for the Obama administration to start looking in their own backyard if they want to talk sincerely about educational equity.

Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” campaign is premised upon the huge number of women and girls who (unlike men and boys) are denied educational access in foreign countries (ignoring, again, the women that outnumber men in Middle-Eastern universities).

Michelle Obama says such a tally goes up to 62 million. Is that correct, and if so what are the numbers for boys? Here’s what UNESCO says:

As we can see, it is true that there are 62 (and really 63) million girls and women who are out of school worldwide, compared to 61 million boys and men. In other words, the disparity between males and females out of school across the entire world is equivalent to the total population of Houston, Texas.

And that is a reason to ignore the boys languishing at home to lavishly spend money our country doesn’t have on only one sex on the other side of the world. And due to how these programs usually work, it is probable that only 10% of whatever taxpayer money is used for this program will actually spent be on these girls at the end of the day.

The rest will be spent on Michelle Obama’s and her supporters’ flights around the world, the extra logistical costs of implementing an education campaign overseas rather than domestically, diplomatic costs that would not have been incurred on a domestic education campaign, and so forth.

From instituting ludicrous sexual assault policies that strip men of due process to blindly ignoring the longstanding educational issues boys and men face, it is beyond charitable to characterize the Obama administration’s track record on boys’ and men’s education as merely subpar. Borderline sociopathic seems more apt, as sociopaths are noted for their extreme indifference to the humanity of others – while still retaining their a charismatic face they put on before the public.

Yet such as they are, it is our culture’s tolerance for such a one-sided perspective on gender issues that has created, empowered, and enabled them. In that sense, the Obamas are the heads of the hydra; if you remove them, more heads spring up to take their place.

The solution is for us to stop tolerating the denial of boys’ and men’s experiences, and to advocate a perspective that is truly transformational: compassion for men and boys as a group. Spread that perspective to the general culture, enact it into policy, and the hydra will starve without the nourishment to sustain itself.



[1] Educational Testing Services (ETS) Gender Study, “Trends by Subject, Fourth through Twelfth Grades,” Figure 2-1. Cited in Misreading Masculinity by Thomas Newkirk, p. 35.

Jonathan Taylor
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Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.
Jonathan Taylor
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About the Author

Jonathan Taylor Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.

Comments (10)

  1. Thank you Jonathan, great job and lots of detailed information. Will definitely need to bookmark this one.

  2. Allan Kirk

    Outstanding contribution. This is what the discussion needs: facts, graphics and references.

  3. Allan Kirk

    Especially distressing (but not in the least surprising) are the revelations about support of foreign students; grads who will, of course, leave their native lands and move to the West. I believe the greatest single threat to civilization is the ‘me-ism Zeitgeist of our age because it leads to a complete inability to envision the future except insofar as it is fantasized as the utopian outcome of the propitiation of felt guilt. Indeed, the American Dream remains a Prime Mover. For those who have managed to make the Dream a reality, the contradictory reality of the majority who have not is a perpetual goad to intervene to ‘help’the Other. Alas, the result of their efforts is usually to make matters worse.

  4. Dan Slezak

    In Iran the gender difference is even greater than over here in the West. Women are way more than 49% of the college population. They are also the majority of engineering students. In the Middle East, women as a class have a set of privileges that would make a Western feminist drool. Im of the opinion that that’s why we don’t hear them talking too much about them. Theres some grumbling but not much.
    Anyway, Thank You TCM.


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