My article on The Whine Club is here. It was first published on A Voice for Men – AVfM – an American website. AVfM is the most popular and most influential men’s human rights advocacy website in the world, with good reason. The site has published over 60 of my articles over the past three years – here.
Our thanks to Martin for this. The start of the article:
Putting girls and boys in a mixed classroom can cause clever girls to “clam up”, a leading independent school head teacher has said. Vivienne Durham, head at the all-girls Francis Holland School, has argued that teenage girls are held back in coeducational schools, particularly during the most formative teenage years.
She said that the risk of failure meant many girls felt “self-conscious” and unable to answer questions and simply “clammed-up” in a mixed sex environment. Speaking at the Tatler Schools Live! conference in London, Ms Durham said girls must be taught to “enjoy mistakes” and that girls schools provide an environment where pupils could be “confident”.
Let me get this straight. We know from an article by William Collins, that the education gender gap first appeared in the 1987/88 academic year, when the replacement of O Levels by GCSEs allowed teachers’ pro-female bias to manifest itself for the first time in the awarding of higher marks to girls than boys, for the same standard of work. That gender gap has been with us ever since – 28 years so far, and counting.
84% of girls are educated in co-educational schools. Ms Durham is advocating for more girls to attend single-sex schools, which would surely result in the education gender gap increasing. Yes, that makes complete sense. And when the girls emerge from their single-sex schools with armfuls of qualifications, will they go on to single-sex universities, and work in single-sex workplaces, lest they ever feel self-conscious? Can there ever be enough gender apartheid for these delicate flowers?
There would appear to be two obvious solutions to the ‘problem’ of female self-consciousness and anxiety:
1. Females can seek to become healthy functioning adults by meeting challenges, thereby building their competence, confidence, and resilience, so they can better deal with the problems the world throws at them – as males have always had to do; or
2. The world can be changed. Females can become ever more privileged and protected from reality, and males yet more disadvantaged, to maintain the illusion that women’s preferred outcomes (e.g. more female MPs, judges, board directors, NOT more female prisoners, refuse collectors, bomb disposal experts, long-distance lorry drivers…) reflect merit – effort, experience, expertise etc.
Clearly the second solution is the one we must continue with, decade after decade. After all, telling females they might meet challenges and become more competent and therefore confident could make them feel anxious and self-conscious, and we mustn’t do that. That would be misogyny, I imagine.
Margaret Thatcher’s first term as prime minister started in 1979 – 36 years ago. If she were alive today, she would surely be appalled at how pathetic many women and girls have become in recent years – ever more whiny, self-obsessed, and dysfunctional. She used the term ‘Moaning Minnies’ to describe such people. How better to describe women such as Special Snowflake (Laura Bates BEM), Caroline Criado-Perez OBE, Charlotte Proudman QC…? All of them – and many more women besides – are members of The Whine Club.