Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How Convenient

Recent narratives purport that being good at school is now a girl thing, because schools these days are purportedly feminized, biased to reward girls, and hostile toward boys and "innate boy behavior."  So claims psychiatrist Ned Hallowell, quoted in a recent Boy Crisis article:
"God bless the women's movement—we needed it—but what's happened is, particularly in schools where most of the teachers are women, there's been a general girlification of elementary school, where any kind of disruptive behavior is sinful.... 
Most boys are naturally more restless than most girls, and I would say that's good. But schools want these little goody-goodies who sit still and do what they're told—these robots—and that's just not who boys are."
How lucky then, for boys and men, that New York Times columnist David Brooks is now telling the nation that boring goody-goody good-grade-getters ought not to be hired!  He purports (via Shakesville):
"'Bias hiring decisions against perfectionists. If you work in a white-collar sector that attracts highly educated job applicants, you've probably been flooded with résumés from people who are not so much human beings as perfect avatars of success. They got 3.8 grade-point averages in high school and college. They served in the cliché leadership positions on campus. They got all the perfect consultant/investment bank internships. During off-hours they distributed bed nets in Zambia and dug wells in Peru. 
When you read these résumés, you have two thoughts. First, this applicant is awesome. Second, there's something completely flavorless here. This person has followed the cookie-cutter formula for what it means to be successful and you actually have no clue what the person is really like except for a high talent for social conformity. Either they have no desire to chart out an original life course or lack the courage to do so. Shy away from such people.'"
Getting good grades, being well behaved, and taking on leadership and volunteer positions are, today, largely coded as girl/feminine things.  So of course it's no surprise that these traits are now being dismissed, denigrated, and devalued in one of the nation's most important newspapers.

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