I find it disturbing that so many women think that:
- if visible, well positioned women succeed, all women benefit or are proved superior (the Girls Team wins!)
- if men fail, women succeed
Is it a boon to women to comprise 60% of college students if getting a college education is impossible without falling into debt slavery?
By focusing on number counting and measuring success in terms of gender parity, we focus on only part of the story - what the scoreboard says in the great Girls vs. Boys Tournament. We do not ask ourselves if, despite all these touted successes, women are happier (or even happy) now. Because by many counts we are not actually happier than our grandmothers and great-grandmothers were. If you win the game, but you spilled all your blood on the court and all but your two top players ended up in the ER, that's not a very satisfying victory. And if your opponent now hates you and never wants to play with you again - I think we can agree that game was not well played.
We should not want our men to fail. We should not feel satisfied when they - any of them - are humiliated or fall behind. They are not our enemies or our opponents, they are our husbands, our fathers, our brothers, our sons, our friends, our coworkers. Gender schadenfreude is an ugly thing and says something about the women who think that way. It says they can't hope to compete or keep up so they have to get their satisfaction in watching others fail. We should be thinking that this is one team composed of men and women and the only way it can succeed is to strengthen and develop each member's talents (each member's true talent, that is; we should not be trying to force everyone to try and be a quarterback or starter or pickyoursportsmetaphor if that is not where her gifts lie).
Finally, let's remember that power is not the same as achievement or progress or betterment. If Hillary Clinton ever reaches her goal of being a woman President, it will only mean that a women was capable of being as two-faced and calculating, as ruthless and sly as the male politicians who proceeded her to that office, in all probability doubly so. And if she ever gets there, it will not mean that any woman has been proven to be "better" at anything unless her name is Hillary Clinton. Yes, power is what makes the world go round, but it is not what makes the world a better or happier place. That happens at the local level, most conspicuously at the family level - the level women have always had plenty of access to.
By thinking only in terms of Girls vs. Boys we focus on bean counting and the success of a few female outliers and miss the important larger picture. We need to stop doing that.