March 27, 2006

Ah, To Think That Allen Tate Taught There

By now, dear reader, a number of “webloggers” on Al Gore’s Internet have offered their opinions on the essay we discuss below. But, hey, we figured, why shouldn’t we have our say? So here is our official two cents.

It started off so promisingly. Titled “To All the Girls I’ve Rejected,” the piece in the March 23 number of The New York Times looked like a real winner. Naturally, we figured that the article was some sort of tell-all from a modern-day Don Juan. We eagerly scanned the first lines.

But then, of course, we were horridly disappointed. What were we thinking? This is the Gray Lady, for crying out loud: Why would it publish the thoughts of a contemporary Casanova? It didn’t add up.

So, instead of a bit of salacious gossip, Times readers were offered a piece of particularly pernicious pabulum penned by the improbably named Jennifer Delahunty Britz. The author is the dean of admissions at Kenyon College, the erstwhile home of the Southern Agrarians and still the fountain of the prestigious Kenyon Review.

Ms. Britz’s article is nothing more than the inept hand-wringing of a ninny. What else would you expect? After all, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have always considered college admissions officers slightly below crack whores and pirates on the official evil scale. These are the folks who have specially-coded folders for Latinos, blacks, whites, &c. How do these professional discriminators sleep at night?

In her piece, Ms. Britz laments that female applicants to universities greatly outnumber male applicants, and thus more females will be rejected. On its own, this is entirely uninteresting: Everyone who’s even remotely followed the literature on higher education would already know this.

What’s interesting—unintentionally, of course—is Ms. Britz’s misandrist attitude about the whole matter. For instance, she opines:

…I’m sending out waitlist and rejection letters for nearly 3,000 students. Unfortunately, a majority of them will be female, young women just like my daughter.

“Unfortunately” they will be heavily female? She’d be happier if they were male? For some reason, it never seems to occur to this dolt that women routinely outperforming men in nearly all levels of American education may speak to some societal problems. Surely when men outperformed women, our feminist pals harped and harpied on the sexism in education. Now women do better, and nobody cares?

If you thought that was obtuse, take in this passage:

What are the consequences of young men discovering that even if they do less, they have more options? And what messages are we sending young women that they must, nearly 25 years after the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment, be even more accomplished than men to gain admission to the nation’s top colleges?.

Uh, would someone please inform Ms. Blitz that her remarks largely pertain to affirmative action (a.k.a. preferential treatment)? Why doesn’t she take a step back and realize that she could just as easily write: “What are the consequences of young blacks discovering that even if they do less, they have more options?”

For some odd reason, we have the sneaking suspicion that Jennifer Delahunty Britz doesn’t much care. After all, she didn’t lament that it was “unfortunate” that the majority of those rejected from Kenyon College are white—even though officially declared “underrepresented minorities” can easily gain acceptances with inferior applications.

Perhaps Ms. Britz’s article just demonstrates something we’ve long known: Even those rejected from Kenyon College are smarter than its admissions officers.

Posted at March 27, 2006 01:01 AM | TrackBack