IWF for State-Subsidized Male Fantasyland

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Writing over at National Review, Carrie Lukas hypes public education:

Some states and localities are allowing public-school systems to offer single-sex options. Increasingly, policymakers and the public believe that all parents deserve to have more control and options for where their children are taught.

Michigan recently moved in the direction of allowing single-sex education. In late June, the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate passed bills that would permit single-sex programs in public schools. No child would be required to attend a single-sex classroom, but Michigan parents may have new options to consider.

One might assume that women's organizations, like the National Organization for Women (NOW), would cheer for the mothers in Michigan who stand to gain more control over their children's education.

I'm not sure what readership Lukas is addressing here; you'd have to be pretty out of touch to assume that NOW would be in favor of this. But the setup here is equally ridiculous: Do you support options for parents? Yes? Then you must want the state to cordon off nine-year-old girls!

I had a fine time at an all-girls Catholic high school run by middle-aged lesbians, so I'd be open to the argument that single-sex schools produce better results. Turns out, they probably don't. More to the point, the rhetoric of choice, which Lukas employs promiscuously here, doesn't fly when someone else has to pay for your choices. Lukas could have used the same logic to justify anything a state-funded school decides to waste money on: You don't support taxpayer-funded abstinence classes? Traditional Sex-ed? Creationism classes? Condoms for all? Free ponies? Why do you hate choice?

Here's my favorite bit:

NOW's reaction to Michigan's legislation reveals the absurd lengths to which the feminist gender warriors will go to paint women as victims and preemptively cry discrimination. NOW president Kim Gandy warned of the dire consequences of allowing single-sex options to exist… Can Gandy seriously believe that Michigan public-school systems are going to develop male-only advanced math and science courses while shuffling girls into woman-only home-ec classes?

Can Gandy seriously believe that public school administrators—government employees—won't be scrupulously fair, impartial, and competent? Weird.

Question: Do people still take home-ec classes? Even when I was in high school, I thought that only happened on Saved By the Bell.

NEXT: Will the Reed Break?

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  1. I had a fine time at an all-girls Catholic high school

    I can’t help but feel that I would have too, given half a chance.

  2. They still had home ec when I went through middle school in the mid-80s. Okay, that’s 20 years ago, but the Saved by the Bell kids were only a few years younger than me.

  3. Dammit, Josh! You beat ole Horn Dog to the punch.

  4. In 1977 I was in the 7th grade. It was the last year that it would be a Jr. High (the following year it became a Middle School). We all took Home-Ec (cooking) for half the year. The other half the girls took sewing and the boys took shop. There was a policy that a boy and girl could trade if they wanted. And while half a dozen of the girls in my class wanted to take shop, not one boy would trade with them. Looking back, I think that even if there was a boy that wanted to sew, making the trade could have been life threatening.

  5. High School in the early 90’s, yup Home Ec. Well, we called it “Life Skills” but its the same damn shit. Learn to balance a chequebook, give CPR, learn how to cook with a microwave. You know, a good use for tax money.

  6. You don’t support…condoms for all?

    Actually, I do support condoms for all. If more people used them, I might not have to pay so much for these half-baked schemes by public educators. Condoms all around. Take three; they’re small.

    We did have Home Ec in high school. They called it something different, though, like Domestic Arts or Independent Living Skills. I forget.

  7. …or state subsidized abortion? I too, hate choice.

  8. Let’s see if I’ve got this straight- “No Girls Allowed” is tantamount to a hate crime; “Girls Only” is empowerment.

  9. I had to take home ec and sewing in 8th grade (1989) in my suburban public Jr High school. There was no “shop” option is Jr High. Shop was only available once I got to HS.

    But home ec and sewing were mandatory. But it wasn’t a full semester….it was split into 3 sections under a “life skills” heading or sometihng….basically it split the semester into three and we had 1/3 home ec, one third sewing (I still have the lopsided football throw pillow I made in 8th grade) and 1/3 something else…can’t remember what that last one was….all in different class rooms with differnt teachers.

    And nutrition (4 basic food groups) was also taught in the home ec class that taught me how to make an omellete — Fun Times

  10. In South Park, Colorado, they teach girls in home ec that the proper number of credit cards for a man to have is two, because more or less and he’s a loser. I saw it on TV!!

    the rhetoric of choice, which Lukas employs promiscuously here, doesn’t fly when someone else has to pay for your choices

    True enough, and Ms. Howley does a good job of explaining why. But if the option of eliminating taxpayer supported education is not available for whatever political reasons, is there anything inherently more odious to giving parents several choices that may be objectionable to others not forced to take any of the particular choices than having one and only one option available to all, an option which may be equally objectionable to some smaller or larger portion of either the general populace and/or parents with school-age children? I would say not necessarily, but I don’t know if there’s any way to ever determine which way better serves the cause of freedom.

  11. I graduated high school in 2000, we had home ec.

  12. “I think that even if there was a boy that wanted to sew, making the trade could have been life threatening.”

    When I was going to a midwestern high school, home economics was offered to male students. There was a waiting list to get in. This was back in the’60s proving once again — despite what the media tell you, there is no place more progressive in America than the heartland.

  13. there is no place more progressive in America than the heartland.

    Oslo, that’s a fact. No California boy would have been caught dead in a Home Ec class in the 1960’s. None. Count ’em. Cuz back then, men were men and the girls all wore mini-skirts.

    We hated soccer, too.

  14. As a stoner senior in 1981, I loved home ec. Any class that had no books, free food and far more girls than guys worked for me.

  15. We had mandatory home-ec and woodshop in middle school in the early 90’s… of course this was a mostly British-style private school… in Sri Lanka… so we’re not exactly talking Omaha here.

  16. I graduated in 2001. We had a class (for both guys and girls) that had half a year of Home Economics (sewing and cooking) and half a year of Technology (drafting, metalworking, electronics).

  17. when my mom was in school in 1940s England, they called it “housewifery.”

  18. Yale is so much better since they stopped men from taking science. Now, what should I major in: Femistry or Galgebra?

  19. Some Chinese dickwad keeps spamming us.

  20. “The rhetoric of choice” has become deeply twisted. Choosing to segregate our schools harms American women. And as The Onion points out, choosing to be a docile consumer whore doesn’t help feminism any either.

    The Onion: Women Now Empowered By Everything A Woman Does

  21. Condoms all around. Take three; they’re small.

    I got a really nasty image of somebody’s grandmother trying to hand out condoms when you said that. I threw up a little in my mouth. Bravo.

  22. Can Gandy seriously believe that Michigan public-school systems are going to develop male-only advanced math and science courses while shuffling girls into woman-only home-ec classes?

    Why not? The Michigan state university system does it, only it calls the latter “Women’s Studies”

  23. Having daughters who have attended all girls and mixed high schools I can tell you that the issue is pretty simple: distraction.

    The boys spend too much effort constantly trying to impress girls. Many girls spend a lot of time trying to impress boys. I’d say this is natural.

    However, the outcome is a constant stream of distraction from the purpose of the school. I’m sure some parents feel that their child will do better in a coed enviroment. That’s fine with me. But my daughters found it counterproductive much like I did, way back in the 70s (mini skirts were the bane of my educational performance).

    Again, I see nothing wrong with coed schools. But had I a son, I’d never send him to a coed high school if he had an iota of academic ability. My parents didn’t have a choice, fortunately (for my kids) we had the resources and they have performed better and are happier because of it. Probably the one group that could most benefit from single sex schools are the poor. Funny how “compassionate” people, people who live for abortion choice, can’t fathom giving educational choice a chance for kids who are in failing schools.

  24. I am with Jag.

    It is distraction pure and simple. For the girls and for the boys.

    Just because you have same sex classes in no way implies that the they are taught differant subjects or that there is “inequality”.

  25. We had mandatory home-ec and woodshop in middle school in the early 90’s…

    Me too. Except it was the early 80s and in upstate New York.

    I am with Jag. It is distraction pure and simple. For the girls and for the boys.

    This makes sense to me. On the other hand, some of us would have been even more distracted in a single-sex school… But I’m all for school districts offering it.

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