I have gender on my mind this week. No, not sex, but gender.
There’s my sense that the social networking site Facebook‘s a largely feminised world, though my window on this world (via PR students) has an in-built bias. But it’s not just PR: most university students are now female (the proportion’s 55:45 and growing) and on courses requiring the highest grades like medicine the gender imbalance is as pronounced as on PR courses.
There was George Monbiot’s provocative statement on BBC Radio’s Any Questions? that ‘the primary purpose of religion is to control women’. Love him or loathe him, you can see the point he’s making and it’s not easy to refute, though you can make a special plea for the role of women in Judaism and the proto-feminism of the seventeenth century Quakers. But this is a reminder of the historic importance of the war waged by feminism.
Has this war been won? Are we now in danger of stacking the cards against men? I sometimes feel that the way we assess students favours women so I’m pleased to record that some of our minority students have done exceptionally well in their finals. We’ll soon be in need of some positive male role models in public relations…