Tuesday 15 July 2008

What Do Men Do?

A friend tells me he went to his daughter's graduation ceremony the other day - she was picking up a degree in Eng Lit - and was astonished by the preponderance of female graduates in virtually every discipline, except Philosophy, which apparently remains a male redoubt.
It's very noticeable that medicine - especially at GP level - is turning into a female-dominated profession (in terms of numbers anyway), as is the dear old Church of England, despite the best efforts of certain traditionalists. Law is going the same way, I believe; schoolteaching, especially at primary level, is overwhelmingly ' women's work' now; and women are entering engineering and 'hard' science in ever growing numbers. Those dysfunctional men in unfortunate shirts who come and fix our computers for us might soon seem like brave survivors clinging to the shoreline as the tide of empowered, educated women surges ever onward. Or maybe they have the one job women don't want.
Nothing wrong with this state of affairs, of course (though more male presences in primary schools would surely be good, in role model terms) , but it begs the question - what are all the men doing? And the more worrying question - do we need them any more? Except of course as philosophers.


  1. What young men are doing here is failing out of high school, so it's not surprising you see more women in all the formerly male dominated professions.

    For years people worried girls were being oppressed in the classroom by boys, but it turns out the girls are shining, high achievers, and the boys are often just tuned out and then turned off.

  2. Haven't seen many of them on a Peterhead trawler, the blunt end of an infantry bayonet, nor in a football managers dug-out. Admittedly none of those are attractive options to me and, I've just realised, they are all heavily populated by Scots. Is this correlation or causation?

  3. Quitting school at 16, realising that a degree, PhD and a profession such as medicine or science is a mug's game. Then making their first million trading/selling/being internet entrepreneurs by the time they are 21. Then retiring to the Bahamas/Cayman Islands/Iceland.