Carol Platt Liebau: This Is News?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

This Is News?

Today, The New York Times breathlessly reports that high school senior girls are under a lot of pressure -- to be smart, to be athletic, and to get into good colleges (a task that some of them worry may be more difficult given that now they, rather than males, constitute the majority of college applicants).

Why anyone thinks this is new is beyond me. What's more, to the extent that it's new among girls, what exactly does the NYT think boys have been grappling with for years on end? That's right -- the pressure to be smart, to be athletic, and to get into good colleges.

This should properly be seen as a triumph for feminism: Women now have all the same worries that men used to have. Instead, the article takes a concerned, "Oh dear!" attitude about these young women -- and have nary a thought for the young men who have now become the minority of college applicants.

What's more, if the Times were really worried about the biggest problem, and the most potentially destructive force facing girls, the article would have given more than passing reference to the truly pernicious pressure to be "hot."


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