It pains me to say that I honestly don’t know the answer to today’s question. Until last week, I might have confidently responded, “No” and laughed at the ridiculousness of the question. Then this happened: I was on Twitter and after observing a conversation about intelligence versus college degrees – please keep in mind that I’m the guy who wrote College Is Pointless – I made the mistake of jokingly posting the following Tweet.
Aside from the profanity laced rage that subsequently entered my mentions, there were a few ironic observations: 1) Most of the anger came from people who admitted to not having a college degree or from people with several degrees (which they were all too eager to tout). This is despite the fact that education is not limited or measured, in my opinion, by college degrees. 2) The statement itself was a remix of a Drake lyric, “People with no money act like money isn’t everything,” which people with degrees and without degrees and with money and without money love to quote. 3) People failed to realize that their misplaced rage – considering the statement in itself was a joke – only highlighted their own insecurities on the subject of education or their perceived lack thereof.
While I agree with these people that college is not the end, I do believe it is the most proven reliable means to an end, especially when you consider that TIME reported that the unemployment rate for college graduates was 6.8% compared to 24% for High School graduates in August. Also, there was that story on the million dollar difference your college degree can make over the course of your career. I’m sure you e-ballers think of that as pocket change, but WisdomIsMisery could use an extra million dollars in his lifetime. Then later still, as if by divine intervention, someone shared a story from the New York Times on the Marriage Rates of Educated Women – and that catches up to present day.
Women: New Rules, Old Logic
For the most part, I agreed with the article. However, one particular section caught my eye, because it honestly rubbed me the wrong way.
As Kate Bolick wrote in a much-discussed article in The Atlantic last fall, American women face “a radically shrinking pool of what are traditionally considered to be ‘marriageable’ men — those who are better educated and earn more than they do.” – Source: New York Times
The article defines marriageable men as those who are “better educated and earn more.” This seems counterintuitive to the progress modern women claim they want to make. Perhaps I misunderstand the goals of the modern woman, so let me explain my viewpoint. It is my understanding most women want to be equals, at minimum, in the sense that they obtain equal pay for equal work. While the gap has closed in recent years, it has not reached equilibrium. However, if and when it does, then how can a man who works the same job for the same pay not be considered a ‘marriageable man’ because he no longer “earns more,” when this is the very reality women sought to create.
Fact: women now earn degrees at a higher pace than men do, across all races. This rate is almost two to one for black women versus black men. Fact that isn’t discussed as much: due to a myriad of factors – as noted above, most attribute it to gender bias and unequal pay – men still make more money than women. An article on About.com refuting four common myths on black marriage explains:
Black men are more likely than black women to bring home at least $75,000 annually. Plus, double the number of black men than women make at least $250,000 annually. Because of pervasive gender gaps in income, black men remain the breadwinners in the African-American community. – Source: Four Myths About Black Marriage.
Women have redefined themselves, but they have failed to redefine their expectations of what makes a man a man, especially a marriageable man. While women have improved their standing in life, some of these same women now perceive themselves to be above all men who are not equal to, and as the story explains, above them in education and income. An unintended consequence of more educated, higher paid women is that men haven’t changed much in response. It seems that women are working to level the playing field and then complaining because the playing field is too level.
For example, I was speaking with a woman-friend about this topic recently. Specifically, she wondered why I would ever consider dating a woman who didn’t have, at minimum, a college education, when she could not see herself seriously entertaining the same in a man.
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