Equity & Diversity Opinion

Leonard Sax, Girl Whisperer (Or: Why This Blog is Both Pink & Smart)

By Eduwonkette — August 18, 2008 1 min read
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I’m beginning to think that Leonard Sax was one of those boys I lapped on the track in junior high who never got over it.

Sax’s most recent whinefest (HT: Peg Tyre at Why Boys Fail) accuses the feminist movement of ignoring gender differences and ultimately contributing to a “growing gender divide.” His evidence? A popular teen novel that features a love triangle involving Bella, “a pretty teenage girl, the gentlemanly young vampire who adores her and the lanky werewolf who is her best friend.” That the female protagonist is often saved by boys, and that teenage girls like the books, is evidence that “children may know human nature better than grown-ups do.” And the kicker: did you know that feminism is the reason why young men look at porn?:

For more than three decades, political correctness has required that educators and parents pretend that gender doesn't really matter. The results of that policy are upon us: a growing cohort of young men who spend many hours each week playing video games and looking at pornography online, while their sisters and friends dream of gentle werewolves who are content to cuddle with them and dazzling vampires who will protect them from danger. In other words, ignoring gender differences is contributing to a growing gender divide.

Dr. Sax, here’s the 411 on a generation of girls and young women - the daughters of women who forged the feminist movement - you obviously don’t understand: we can wear pink, be hot, make our suitors swoon, and still come out on top in the classroom and the athletic field. The women I went to high school, college, and graduate school with pull together strands from old and new school feminisms, negotiate gender roles in their relationships in varied ways, and even *enjoy* having the occasional vampire rescue them because we’ve got everything else on lock.

And if the exceptional increases in educational attainment for women over the last 40 years are any indication, this has worked out pretty well for girls like Bella (and women like me). So if girls want to cuddle with male werewolves, or watch Grey’s Anatomy’s Meredith act like a straight fool changing her mind about McDreamy for the umpteenth time - I’m all for it. They have enough other places to look now to know that women can be college presidents, scientists, and CEOs, and still score a little vampire love at the same time.

PS - Must be a full moon this week. Can someone please tell the inconsolable Lord Voldemort, aka Roy Den Hollander, about Adult FriendFinder? He has now filed what he calls “the trilogy of antifeminist lawsuits” - against Ladies Night, the Violence Against Women Act, and now the Columbia’s Women’s Studies program. According to his webpage, “Now is the time for all good men to fight for their rights before they have no rights left.”

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