The E-Mail Eunuch – How The Girls Are Beating The Boys At Their Own Game (But Only In The First Half)

Shock And Disapproval. The Natural Ground States Of The Daily Mail Reader.

Shock And Disapproval. The Natural Ground States Of The Daily Mail Reader.

 You see lots of conflicting stories in the newspapers. Global warming is real/Global warming is disproved. Coffee protects you against cancer/coffee is carcinogenic. Lazy immigrants are living the Life of Reilly on benefits/sneaky immigrants are stealing our jobs. Often these stories are in the same newspaper: The Daily Mail. That’s okay though. Daily mail readers are very good a cognitive dissonance.

I’m not a regular Daily Mail reader, so I was a bit confused by one headline I saw in the papers this week. According to UCAS – the Universities’ admissions service- young men are becoming a socially disadvantaged group. This is because, this coming year, 87,000 more young women will apply for University places than young men. There is talk of allowing boys into Uni with lower grades than girls to level the playing field.

Now, whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter, it was still very much a male dominated world out there the last time I looked. Not enough women in the boardroom, quotas needed etc, etc. So what the fuck are UCAS talking about?

However, upon reading the actual article, things became a bit clearer. Sensational headlines aside, the actual quote from the UCAS spokesperson was as follows : “Young men are becoming disadvantaged in terms of going to University and this underperformance needs urgent focus”.

This makes more sense. UCAS is the servant of the University system, and the University system is no longer a rarefied bubble of academia. It is an industrial money making machine, with gullible young people as grist to the mill. UCAS is not worried about how young men get on after they leave University. Our ever sexist world will ensure that they do just fine. UCAS are worried about the fact that not enough men are applying to go to University in the first place.

In other words, the Universities are terrified that too many potential suckers – sorry, students- aren’t getting the opportunity to pay £50,000 for an education they could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library (to paraphrase Good Will Hunting).

The fact is that the outside world has not changed all that much in the twenty years or so since the process of more and more women attending University began. Sexism is a two way street, though most of the traffic is admittedly still headed in one direction.

Men are still expected to be providers. If you want an educated population, as was Tony Blair’s plan, you have to accept the fact that some people with degrees are going to end up working in supermarkets or driving busses or serving Espressos. There just aren’t enough high profile jobs to go around if 50% of young people go to University. And there never will be unless the Government does something a bit naughty, like invading other countries and putting the young graduates in charge of them.

So, maybe our young men have just been a bit quicker to figure out that Britain has more than enough Media Studies graduates to last a generation and that there might be more money in working your way from shop floor to top floor. After all, you don’t need cognitive dissonance to hold the idea that you can get paid to advance your career and not accrue a mortgage sized tuition fees debt. Not even if you’re a Daily Mail reader.

© Copyright Michael Grimes 2014

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About thedailygrime

At that awkward age - too young to be a grumpy old man, but just acerbic and downtrodden enough to have an opinion. Read it here.

2 responses to “The E-Mail Eunuch – How The Girls Are Beating The Boys At Their Own Game (But Only In The First Half)”

  1. Ned's Blog says :

    Man, if I’d just waited another 20 years I probably could have gotten a full-ride scholarship…

    • thedailygrime says :

      British university students got it easy back in the late eighties and early nineties. Not only did you not have to pay tuition fees, you actually got a grant for living expenses too. It was only about eight hundred quid a term, but it was enough to rent a room in a communal house – well, slum – and to secure a big enough overdraft facility to pay for your beer. You could also claim unemployment benefit during the holidays and if you were studying away from home, you got your travel expenses home paid for you so you could go back and sponge off your parents. All you had to do is be clever enough to go to University in the first place. Those were the days…..

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