COMMENTARY | Women Are Smarter: Study is the title TIME is using to lure readers. As of 5:10 PM on February 13 this inflammatory and misleading title is featured under the homepage “Don’t Miss” section, enticing curious and/or angry netizens. Based on this title you would assume that a new study has revealed that women have higher IQs than men. Click on the article, however, and you find that the Pew Research Center has simply determined that, among married couples, wives are now more likely to be the more formally educated of the pair. Author Belinda Luscombe snarks in her subtitle that women are “marrying down” when it comes to academics.
Really, TIME? I thought you were better than this.
This inflammatory headline, which is especially crass given how boys study in school, does no gender any favors. It hurts women by causing a backlash against feminism and hurts men by putting them down and mocking them. It reinforces the stereotype that formal education is the domain of girls and women and that men shouldn’t feel the need to compete in the classroom. “After all, women are smarter,” is the cruel response.
Would TIME dare publish a title like Men Work Harder or Men Outperform Women because, statistically speaking, men make more money and hold more leadership positions? Of course not. They would not dare publish a Boys Are Smarter: Study or Men Are Smarter: Study title because boys and men outscore women on standardized math and science tests. Instead, TIME would opine vigorously about how any such title is horribly sexist, inaccurate, and demeaning to girls and women.
Why, when boys struggle in school and men struggle to adapt to new gender roles in our post-industrial society, does the liberal media feel it is acceptable to mock men?
As a father I do not want my son to grow up in a world where men and boys are casually denigrated. A world where boys’ problems and struggles are ignored and only girls’ problems are deemed worthy of passionate, snark-less analysis. My son should not have to grow up having scores and achievements treated as a gendered zero-sum game, especially when it is only politically correct for girls to win. The message to boys is that they can never win.
“If boys are good at something it’s only because girls are discriminated against. If girls are good at something it’s because boys are not as smart.”
Is this a healthy message for our sons? Is this supposed to make them embrace gender equality or feel guarded and distrustful? Just as parents would rightfully be enraged to see article titles insinuating that their daughters were inferior to the male peers, parents of boys should be similarly displeased. Shame on you, TIME.