I feel this exchange says everything about modern feminism.
What happens when a political movement becomes the very thing it fought against? When the movement is part of the establishment, then what?
MARTIN: Speaking of Simmons – and if you’re just joining us, I’m speaking with the president of Simmons College, Helen Drinan. They are kicking off their annual leadership conference today. It’s the 34th annual conference that’s been held at Simmons. Why do you think it is that there are, what, 45 women’s colleges remaining in the United States and only three for men? Why do you think that is?
DRINAN: Because men have as many opportunities as they want and women do not yet. A day may come when educating women for power and their own empowerment, in particular, as well as for leadership, is something that happens in coed environments. Today, that is a very, very big challenge for coed environments.
MARTIN: And yet, though, a lot of the data shows that women are attaining – what is it – for the first time, women have the majority or are getting the majority of advanced degrees and that…
DRINAN: Yes, they are.
MARTIN: …they are the majority of undergraduates, as well, aren’t they?
DRINAN: Yes, they are. Yes, they are.
MARTIN: So what do you think that says?
DRINAN: A lot of us as women have learned how to be extremely successful in school. We know how to do our assignments. We know how to participate in class. We know how to produce high caliber research. When you go into the workforce, that is necessary, but far from sufficient, and if you haven’t developed the leadership skills, the personal confidence, the networking capability and, frankly, the ability to work as a member of a team – all those things that men tend to learn as a byproduct of their simple growing up – women are at a significant advantage when you put them in the competitive environment of a workplace.