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Subject:Abortion in South Dakota
Time:10:42 am
Has anyone been following what's happening in South Dakota?

MOTHERFUCKER. There, now I feel better.

It's now illegal to get an abortion unless the pregnant woman's life is in danger. No exceptions made for rape or incest.

Oh, unless you count Bill Napoli's example:

"A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped,
savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on
saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and
raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is
impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and
psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her
life."

What does the man think about in his free time? I find it scary he came up with ALL OF THAT.

And 'brutally raped'? What other sort of rape is there?

Planned Parenthood is planning to challenge the decision. So is the fantastic Cecilia Fire Thunder:

"The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge
Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and
healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly
of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.

"To me, it is now a question of sovereignty," she said to me last
week. "I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my
own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation
where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.""

Apparently South Dakota has no say to what's done on the Pine Ridge area. Good.

Seriously, women HAVE to keep fighting - esp in places where men aren't brought up to respect the right of a woman to make decisions about their bodies.

Reminds me of the guy I dated who said that it's healthier for the mother and baby to go without drugs during childbirth. Helps the bonding. (What? 9 months and few hours of labour and rest of my life?) This coming from the guy who swears by ibuprofen to kill pain. Oh, he's studying medicine.

I was watching Grey's Anatomy on Monday - which I love - where a character wants to get rid of her ovaries, uterus, and breasts because there's an 85% chance she'll contract cancer. Her husband was all pissed that she 'betrayed' their plans to have kids, that she'll lose her sex drive.. WHAT? I think 85% is pretty close to being a death sentence, and all you can whine about is how she betrayed you and her sex drive? What do you want, a babymaker and a whore?

The show had the character insist that she wants to have a shot of growing old with the man she loves, but I don't think the dilemna was being pushed through strongly enough. I honestly wish that someone punched the guy for being a selfish prick.

I'm not saying that the issue of whether the foetus is a life isn't important. But this is your body. Women are more prone to osteoporosis after pregnancy. A lot of women suffer post-natal depression, but can't really talk about it because they're expected by society to come with fully-equipped with maternal instincts. (hence the justification for why women should stay at home) Well - they don't. They get terrified from the burden, and the stress, and have to to learn to cope anyway.

Don't get me started on what I think Bill Napoli deserves.
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Subject:Advertising Assholes
Time:05:29 pm
I've not seen the Dove ad, as I don't have earphones at school. Here it is: http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com/commercial.asp

And here are the assholes who commented on the ad: http://ad-rag.com/122029.php
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Subject:God Doesn't Take Sides
Time:05:00 pm
http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2005/04/27/gods_warning_signs/index.html?sid=1336807

God doesn't take sides
How do I reconcile my faith with that of the spiritual hysterics in the White House? Easy. I don't even try.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Anne Lamott

printe-mail

April 27, 2005 | I have been on a book tour for a month, and as God is my witness, at every single reading I gave, someone asked how I can "reconcile my Christian faith with that of the radical right." I never quite answered this to my own satisfaction, but would like to try to do so now. And the answer is, "I don't. Why would you even bother?"

The truth is that many of us left-wing Christians with fragile nerves and bad attitudes are becoming ever so slightly tense about the distinct possibility that this country we love is becoming, under the Bush administration, a theocracy. Those of us with public lives are constantly asked, "Don't you think the radical right has appropriated God, and if so, what is your response to that?"

My answer to the first question is no. No one can appropriate God, goodness, the Bible or Jesus. It just seems that way. The people currently in charge of this country have so spiritualized their hysteria that their antics make for much better news coverage than the rest of us. Terri Schiavo ("Has America begun murdering its handicapped?" they thunder, and we say meekly, "Well, um, no"). "Lord of the Flies" rallies against gay marriage. Pro-life violence. And -- my personal favorite -- the frenzied opposition to stem cell research, based on the right's conviction that it is an atrocity to save actual human lives by creating new stem cell lines using frozen embryos slated to be thrown out after couples undergoing IVF conceive or give up.

What the right has "appropriated" has nothing to do with God as most of us believers experience God. Their pronouncements about God are based on the great palace lie that this is a Christian country, that they were chosen by God to be his ethical consultants, and that therefore they alone know God's will for us. The opposite of faith is not doubt: It is certainty. It is madness. You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do. The first holy truth in God 101 is that men and women of true faith have always had to accept the mystery of God's identity and love and ways. I hate that, but it's the truth.

I just think Bush and his people have gotten it so wrong.

My response to the second question is that we who believe that a benevolent intelligence animates our lives need to live by Jesus' command: to try to stop killing other human beings, just for today, and to act upon a total commitment to the poor, to the old and to the Earth. Watch, God said, and I don't think he meant cable news. I could be wrong. But what I think he meant was, "Watch for the warning signs of God's presence so you can remember what he said to do -- bring food to those who hunger, bring water to those who thirst, and help through love and showing up to turn despair into hope, swords into plowshares."

Following are five warning signs, symptomatic feelings that indicate that God is present in our hearts (and our national priorities).

1) A passionate belief in freedom and equality, in God's inclusive love for all his or her children. Jesus does not say, "I lay down my life for my sheep." He says, "I lay down my life for the sheep," all the people who are feeling alone, frightened, lost and hopeless.

2) A belief in the importance of separation of church and state. Right there in the First Testament's greatest hits is his admonition that we render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and render unto God what is God's. (And speaking of the New Testament, I read it daily, and just cannot find the part where Jesus says that everyone should get out their guns, the part where he says that arming the angriest racists among us is an excellent idea, or the part where he discusses tax cuts.)

3) A core belief that all people are good, and precious to God, and that everyone deserves to be cared for. A majority of moderate American believers are doing the work that Jesus insisted we do -- the Jesus of, say, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. instead of the Jesus of -- I'm not going to name names -- those committed to helping "the deserving poor," as long as the poor agree to take their Bible classes. When my son was in second grade, he wrote, "Dr. King said all people count the same, and all people deserve good." Seven years old, and he got it.

4) The desire to sacrifice. My pastor Veronica threw up her hands the other day at the pulpit, and asked, What would happen if the very rich sacrificed a very little -- which is all it would take -- to bail out Social Security for the rest of this great nation? And I wonder, along those same lines, what would happen if those who believe that God made us stewards of this beautiful, fragile, exquisite Earth became people of sacrifice who gave up huge SUVs and trucks and bought much, much smaller SUVs and trucks? What if liberals became people of sacrifice?

5) Deep feelings of generosity. When we're dealing with the people in our family -- no matter how annoying or gross they may be, no matter how self-inflicted their suffering may appear, no matter how afflicted they are with ignorance, prejudice or nose hairs -- we give from the deepest parts of ourselves. We make sure, at the very least, that they are housed, clothed, fed and invited to the dinner table. You can tell you are following Jesus, instead of following people who are following Jesus, when you truly get -- or grok, as the late, great Robert Heinlein put it -- that we are one family, brothers and sisters. We stand up for the very least in our family: the Republican uncle with his shotgun, the grandparent with Alzheimer's, the stoner cousin, the aunt with no savings. Do we stand up for the stock and bond traders? Of course we do, but not by handing Wall Street the rest of the family's Social Security money.

There's an old joke about a man who is being shown around heaven for the first time, by St. Peter, who walks around pointing out the various glories where people of all colors and ethnic persuasions live -- grassy hills, green meadows, still waters, symphony halls, silent spaces, steep hillsides for people who want to hike to the mountaintops or the ponds, and so on. Then they come upon a great walled fortress.

"What on earth is that?" asks the man. "Oh," says St. Peter. "That's where the fundamentalists live. It's not heaven for them if they think anyone else got in."

I say, let them have it. We've got people to feed, people who have run out of hope, and we have the Earth to save and a future to plant for our children. We are like the people in Jeremiah, in the First Testament, "people standing in the rubble of a once great community." A whole lot of us believers, of all different religions, are ready to turn back the tide of madness by walking together, in both the dark and the light -- in other words, through life -- registering voters as we go, and keeping the faith.
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Subject:from alexthegirl.com
Time:12:01 pm
I'm one who listens very closely to people's words and often find that what people say is not often what they do; a lot of people's beliefs do not match their actions.

The language that so many use as of late has become really bothersome; people using the word "you" instead of "I" - removing themselves from themselves. Speaking in general tones as though everyone does it, wants to do it or even understands. Very few people that I've listened to, actually say "I did this." It's always "When you do this." It's this little difference that I think, makes all the difference - it takes away personal responsibility.

I hear people saying how crime is rising and how they wish America was a safe place and why can't things go back to being charming - I hear this especially from people in the mid-west. Yet the number one show in the US and especially in the mid-west is CSI Miami - one of the most violent shows on television. If these people hold the belief that life is too violent, why do they watch it for entertainment and encourage networks to make more shows of the same?

I hear people say how healthcare is terrible in the US (and it is) and how hard it is to stay healthy yet these same people are most likely to be overweight, eat poor foods made up of trans fats, chemicals and other junk and abuse their bodies with diet, alcohol, stress, and general abuse. If they don't like how they get fixed, why don't they try to prevent getting problems? It doesn't match.

I hear people say how they hate how Walmarts are taking over and smaller businesses are going away. I hear this from writers and artists especially who complain about their beloved bookstore closing - yet for the past two years these same people did nothing but shop on Amazon. They want the quaint store but don't support it. Their money isn't where their mouth is.

I hear people complain about corporations, especially Starbucks, and how evil they are. I have a friend who is so anti-Starbucks because of what he thinks they do so he buys his coffee from little stands. Most of these stands under pay their employees, do not give benefits to them either and buy their coffee from places that are destroying the rain forrest. Starbucks, at least, pays their employees well with great benefits, and has many programs in place to keep the rainforrest going and help the people in which their coffee is bought.

I hear people who say they worry about the environment yet drive SUV's, run water like mad, have 17 lights going in their house, shop at Safeway instead of Whole Foods which buys from local farmers, gives back to the community, has so many programs in place for the environment and uses environmentally friendly things in the store (so although some things are more - your money actually goes somewhere and it's one of the top 100 places to work for. Safeway workers strike annually). People who complain about the environment also tend to use bleach, harsh chemicals in the home and make fun of people who actually live pretty clean. Their beliefs don't match their actions at all.

I hear people say what they're going to do, how they're going to do it, and how all their epiphanies will finally become something real. Yet all they do is talk, talk,talk. After reading countless blogs and self-help books they know the lingo and know what to do, it's just the doing that becomes the problem and their problems remain the same.

When I listen closely to what people say and match it against what they do, I often come up disappointed and trusting people less. It doesn't seem to matter anymore if people mean what they say or keep their words or act on what they believe - everyone's just become so used to throwing words around and it's seems to be enough for so many. Too many, I think.

I often find people who speak a foreign language to be more truthful as they haven't learned to lie yet. They speak plainly, truthfully. It seems the more words a person learns, the further from their truth they seem to go - especially if their truth seems inconvenient.

It's not that hard to really put your money where your mouth is. All it takes is being conscious about it. Living life as you mean it. Speaking life as you mean it. Doing life as you mean it.

What a thought.
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Subject:Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Time:07:43 am
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

from http://fogcity.blogs.com/jen/

About a year ago, Talk of the Nation had a show about a new decision by Target Stores: to disallow Salvation Army bellringers from the entrance of their stores. During the course of the show, a caller phoned in to disagree with Target about this decision. Neil Conan, the host, asked her if her upset with the decision was going to cause a change in her spending habits:

Neil Conan:
Would you, after hearing this, that some places are excluding those bell ringers, would you exclude [Target Stores] from your shopping list?

Caller:
Um (laughs) ... I don't know ... I don't know.

Neil Conan:
Possibly not, in other words.

Caller:
Possibly not. Because Target has such a wide variety of things and ... I don't know.

The reason that this conversation sticks out in my mind has nothing to do with the bellringer controversy and everything to do with this caller's response. To me, it was the epitomy of a person having zero connection between her wallet and the companies where she chooses to spend her money. She was upset, and called a national show to talk about Target making a bad decision. But to stop shopping there? That would be much too much of a hardship -- of course she was not going to stop shopping there.

I was reminded of this call yesterday when I went to see Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price. The movie is a muckraking type movie, and is extremely slanted against Walmart. It has stirred up quite a controversy -- but in general if you are the type to read a blog like mine you probably know most of the information that is in this movie.

As I watched the movie, I kept coming back to the fact that consumers who dislike Walmart need to be taking much more of a personal stand against the store. At one point in the movie, a man whose small-town business was allegedly a casualty of Walmart's coming to town was talking about how profits changed once the Walmart opened. He said something to the effect of "once it came to town, it caused profits in our town to drop 50%". What he really should be saying is "Walmart came to town and my neighbors decided to spend their money at Walmart instead of frequenting the small local businesses." When it comes down to it, Walmart can come to town but if no one decides to shop there, then no businesses would close.

I get frustrated with what I call the "zombie effect" with some people when it comes to a place like Walmart. Many times you will hear this type of effect when people are fighting a Walmart coming into their town. They make it sound as if it's inevitable that stores will close down, and that everyone will be shopping at Walmart. But the thing is, we all have a choice. No one is going to hold us down and force us to give our money over to Walmart. We choose to spend our money there (or at Starbucks, or Target, or Home Depot or any other store that is controversial).

Of course there are more facets to the Walmart issue, but the bottom line is this: The only thing that Walmart will respond to is a change in their profits or a change in their stock price. Period.

So, this holiday season, ask yourself if you are spending any money at Walmart. Or if any mutual fund you own has Walmart stock. Or if you are spending money at any other store you disagree with. Because every day, with every dollar we spend, we are voting with our dollars -- in a language that those corporations understand. And the only way that we can vote against any corporation is to withold those dollars and choose to spend them somewhere else.
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Subject:from ms. magazine
Time:02:35 pm
Too Many Women in College?
Suddenly, the media—and Laura Bush—are concerned about an education gender gap. Funny, no one was scared when men were on top.

by Phyllis Rosser

Although American women still struggle for parity in many arenas, we have outpaced men in at least one: undergraduate college education. Currently, 57.4 percent of bachelor’s degrees in the United States are earned by women, 42.6 percent by men. This is an almost exact reversal from 1970, when 56.9 percent of college graduates were males and 43.1 percent females.

We should be celebrated for this landmark achievement, but instead it has engendered fear. Read the headlines: “Falling Male College Matriculation an Alarming Trend,” or “Admissions Officers Weigh a Heretical Idea: Affirmative Action for Men.” Notice, too, that a major focus of first lady Laura Bush’s new anti-gang task force is education for boys. As she’s been quoted, “The statistics are pretty alarming. Girls are going to college much more than boys.”

Few worried when college students were two-thirds men. But as early as February 1999, U.S. News & World Report predicted that the rising tide of women college grads could close the salary gap and move women into positions of power as heads of corporations, presidents of universities and political leaders. At the other extreme, the article suggested, college education might become devalued—considered “a foolhardy economic decision”— as has happened in other fields after women begin to predominate.

Still rare at the top
What U.S. News failed to mention was that women are still a rare presence at the top ranks of the corporate and professional world despite earning more college degrees than men for 23 years. Women undertake stronger academic programs than men in high school, and receive higher average grades than men in both high school and college, but haven’t been able to translate that success into equitable money and power. Consider these disparities as well:
• Women currently earn nearly 59 percent of master’s degrees, but men outstrip women in advanced degrees for business, engineering and computer-science degrees— fields which lead to much higher-paying jobs than education, health and psychology, the areas where women predominate.
• Despite women’s larger numbers as undergrads and in master’s programs, men outnumber women in earning doctorates (54 percent) and professional degrees (53 percent).
• This year, the number of women applying to medical school outpaced men for the second time, but they are only predicted to be 33 percent of doctors by 2010.
• Women comprise nearly half of the students entering law schools, but they’re miles from parity as law partners, professors and judges.

Tests don’t tell the whole tale
Women may lose a step on the career ladder even before they enter college. That’s because, despite their greater number of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, women remain at a disadvantage in college admissions testing - which affects their acceptance at elite schools. The main purpose of the SAT - on which women averaged 44 points lower than men last year - is to predict first-year grades. However, it consistently underpredicts the college performance of women, who earn higher college grades than men.

Women’s lower scores on the SAT have been shown to arise from several factors biased toward male performance, including the fact that it’s a timed test and rewards guessing—and men tend to be more confident and risk-taking than women in such test situations. Also, the SAT puts many of the questions in a male context (such as sports), which can further lower female confidence about knowing the material.

In an attempt to even the gender playing field, a writing section that includes language questions and an essay was added to the SAT this year, after the University of California insisted that the test be more attuned to the skills necessary for college success. This may raise women’s SAT scores somewhat, since writing tests are an area in which they have traditionally outperformed males.

Lower SAT scores keep qualified women from both attending the most competitive schools and from receiving National Merit Scholarships and other awards based on PSAT and SAT scores. The test biases against women then continue in graduate education, with such instruments as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).

Thus, women have yet to predominate at the most prestigious colleges and universities, where graduates are tracked toward top leadership positions in society. With enormous numbers of both sexes applying to these schools, the admissions offices can choose their gender ratio. In 2005, men outnumbered women at all the Ivy League schools except Brown and Columbia. Women are also significantly outnumbered at universities specializing in engineering and physical science, such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Affirmative action—for men?
The greater percentage of women earning bachelor’s degrees has given rise to some reactionary theories explaining why. Conservative analyst Christina Hoff Sommers insists the gap takes root in the more “girl-friendly” elementary school environment where boys are turned off to learning.

In The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men (Simon & Schuster, 2000), Hoff Sommers claims that schoolboys are “routinely regarded as protosexists, potential harassers and perpetuators of gender inequity” who “live under a cloud of censure.”

Even higher-education policy analyst Tom Mortensen, who has a special concern with underrepresented populations in higher education, also sees the college gender gap as part of a larger societal problem for men and boys. Mortensen says K-12 teachers, 75 percent of whom are women, are not providing the role models and learning styles boys need. Of course, this was never an issue during the decades when college graduates were mainly men, and hasn’t drawn much notice since the end of the Civil War—the time when women began their continuing predominance as elementary school teachers.

If these theories seem to spring from a blame-the-women viewpoint, there is a legitimate concern about the decline in male graduates at private colleges, where the gap has been greatest (although public universities have also been affected). Admissions officers worry that their colleges’ value will be lowered by an imbalance of female students: The larger the female majority, some say, the less likely either males or females will want to apply.

Will Shrinking Federal Aid Affect the Gender Gap?

Women may outnumber men on college campuses, but they also need more financial help to get there—and for this upcoming school year, that aid might be in jeopardy. That’s because the Department of Education (DOE) is using new data to help calculate the “expected family contribution”—the amount of money a family could be reasonably expected to afford for college tuition. This helps determine how much federal grant or loan money a student can qualify for.

The DOE has used 1988 state tax information in their formula for 16 years, since the IRS hadn’t released newer data. But when 2001 figures became available—showing that taxes had decreased over the 12-year span—it looked on paper as if families could afford to spend more on college.

However, congressional Democrats and other education advocates argued that lumping together years of gradual tax declines would give an unfair illusion that families suddenly had extra money in the bank. The use of the new data was blocked for a time, but last year Congress went ahead with the legally mandated formula update, prompted by concerns about the growing cost of Pell grants, the largest federal student grant program. The New York Times has estimated that, on average, families with the same income and assets as they had in 2000 will now have to pay an extra $1,749 for higher education this year.

Women, unfortunately, will likely bear the brunt of the cut in aid. Overall, half of women in college receive federal aid, compared to 42 percent of men. According to Melanie Corrigan, assistant director of the Center for Policy Analysis at the
American Council on Education, women are more often eligible for aid because they are more likely to return to school as a single parent and because, in general, they earn less than men. Additionally, more women apply for financial aid.

While everyone receiving financial aid from programs determined by the DOE formula—Pell grants, subsidized loans and some state or institutional assistance—could feel the pinch, the change might do the most damage to those families earning $35,000 to $55,000 per year. They are often on the cusp of being eligible for Pell grants and other aid for lower-income students.

Experts in the field do not predict sweeping dropouts or a widening of the college gender gap due to the new calculation, and they point out that other economic factors should rebalance the formula in the future. But for now, financially struggling women—and men—will have to work even harder to stay in school. —Kathleen Bishop

Speaking at a College Board conference several years ago, admissions officers agreed that a 60-40 female-to-male gender ratio was their upper limit. After that, said former Macalester College president Michael McPherson, “students will take notice.” Small private colleges are now using what can only be called “male affirmative action” to increase male enrollment: actively recruiting men by emphasizing their science, math and engineering courses, adding sports programs (in violation of Title IX), sending extra mailings designed to attract men and even calling men to remind them of the admissions deadline.

“Probably no one will admit it, but I know lots of places try to get some gender balance by having easier admissions standards for boys than for girls,” said Columbia University Teachers College president Arthur Levine to The New York Times national correspondent Tamar Lewin. Robert Massa, vice president of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Penn., has said that the school now evaluates prospective male students less on grades and more on measures where they typically do better, such as SAT scores. Adds Goucher College admissions vice president Barbara Fritze, “Men are being admitted to schools they never got into before, and offered financial aid they hadn’t gotten before.”

Massa reported that the number of first-year males at Dickinson rose from 36 percent to 43 percent in 2001 after they took affirmative action toward men, who were admitted with lower grades but comparable SAT scores. Women, meanwhile, had to be much better than men to make the cut: Nearly 62 percent of the women accepted to the school ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class, compared to 42 percent of the men.

This new form of affirmative action, even if begun with all good intentions, could lead to bad college-admissions policy. What if a university decides it doesn’t just want more men in attendance, but more white men? The whole notion of affirmative action as a way to help disadvantaged populations succeed could be turned on its head.

The income gap
The real reason behind the undergrad gender gap may have much less to do with one’s sex and more to do with income, race and class.

Jacqueline King, director of the Center for Policy Analysis at the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C., decided that media stories about the decline of white male enrollment didn’t intuitively jibe with what she saw happening, so she took a closer look at college student data, analyzing it by sex, age, race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status. She found the gender gap in college enrollment for students 18 to 24 years of age in 1995-96 occurred among low-income students of all racial/ethnic groups except Asian Americans.

In fact, since 1995, many more women than men from households making less than $30,000 attend college. The latest available data, from 2003-04, shows there is an even smaller percentage of low-income males attending college than there were in 1995, and they are from every racial/ethnic group. African American and Native American students have the largest gender gaps—males comprise just 37 percent of all low-income African American students and 36 percent of low-income Native Americans. Low-income Hispanic men reach a slightly higher 39 percent, and low-income white males 41 percent (a drop from 46 percent in 1995). Asian Americans have the smallest gender gap, with 47 percent of that group’s low-income college students being male.

Middle-income ($30,000-$70,000) male students maintained gender parity with females 10 years ago, but since then the numbers have dropped somewhat. This may mean that fewer men from the lower end of this income bracket are attending college, says Eugene Anderson, senior research associate at the American Council on Education.

At the highest income level ($70,000 or more), though, men and women in all ethnic groups attend college in nearly equal numbers.

No studies have been done to determine why more low-income women than men attend college, but there are theories. Economist Lester Thurow suggests that low-income men have been lured to the comfortable salaries of mechanical maintenance jobs. Low-income women, on the other hand, don’t have such opportunities, and without a college degree, see themselves getting trapped in low-pay sales or service jobs, says King. Also, more men than women work in computer support or high-tech factories— jobs that don’t require bachelor’s degrees.

Overall, an increasing number of poor and working-class people are dropping out of college because of such reasons as escalating tuition and the attraction of high-paying factory work, according to a May piece in The New York Times (“The College Dropout Boom: Diploma’s Absence Strands Many in the Working Class”). Harvard president Lawrence H. Summers goes so far as to call this widening of the education gap between rich and poor our “most serious domestic problem”—and recent changes in federal grant formulas may exacerbate it even further (see sidebar above).

Uprising: minorities and older women
On the bright side, ethnic minorities have made impressive gains as college students since 1976, increasing their percentage in the total student body from 10 percent to 23 percent. Minority men’s share of all bachelor’s degrees has gone from 5 percent to 9 percent. But, again, minority women have outstripped them, more than doubling their share of bachelor’s degrees, from 5 percent to 14 percent of the total degrees awarded.

Not only is that statistic a contributing factor to the overall gender gap, but another contributing factor is that women are the majority of older (25+) students—and that demographic has been returning to college in record numbers. The “oldsters” now make up 27 percent of the undergraduate student body, and 61 percent of older students are women. King found that many of these students were African American or Latina, attending community colleges to improve future earnings in health-related fields.

“This story is not one of male failure, or even lack of opportunity,” says King, “but rather one of increased academic opportunity and success among females and minorities.” Indeed, there has been no decline in bachelor’s degrees awarded to men; the numbers awarded to women have simply increased.

Feminists should continue to be concerned about encouraging low-income and minority students to attend college, using the current momentum to give these problems the attention they deserve. But in the meantime, we must remain vigilant about attempts to roll back our educational gains. The fact is, we’re a long way from threatening corporate America, so don’t put the onus on women. Maybe it’s just time to let men try to catch up to us, for a change.
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