Perhaps because I’ve only taught a few college classes (so a small sample size), but it’s really remarkable the contrast between male and female undergrads at elite schools these days. The female students are loud, forceful, sometimes obnoxious and sometimes charming, but always engaged. The male students- whether they’re chill fratty jocks or quiet nerds- all fade into the woodwork. The female students have clearly gotten the memo that their personal success is the most important thing in the world right now, and they all come to office hours and review sessions, email constantly with questions, and want you to know what political campaigns they are managing and what big important jobs they get when they graduate. The male students just don’t care- or have very strong social incentives to appear not to care.
My theory for this phenomenon is that some time in late 2008, the League of Superevil Supervillains got together in an anonymous office park somewhere in Nebraska.
“Okay, everybody,” Lex Luthor said loudly, once everyone was done grabbing coffee and donuts and slapping each other on the back. “Say goodbye to the old strategy,” and, holding a blue Magic Marker, he crossed out the words *Debt Financed Single Family Housing* that were written on flip-chart paper at the front of the room.
“Say hello to the new strategy,” and on the next line of the paper, he wrote, ‘You Go Girl!’