Applying the ‘Google Memo’ Logic to the Lack of Men in Education

As a lover of all things Google, I was both thrilled and inspired by the 10 page Google memo by visionary techy, James Damore, making the rounds last week, which uses psychological and evolutionary principles to explain the difficulties of hiring female engineers. In honor of his work, I decided to continue the conversation, shifting gears a bit to a topic that, as a former teacher, means a lot to me: Education’s Ideological Echo Chamber. The question I asked myself was this: How do we attract men into the education field despite their biological deficiencies?

Editorial Note: the following article is as legitimate as Damore’s views on gender.

 

Background

For years now, the field of education has fought against its nature as a historically low-paying, low-status, female-centered profession, attempting to lure men into its ranks with talk of “serving the greater good” and “educating the minds of tomorrow.” Personally, I think men have a great deal of value to add to society as a whole, but if I’m being honest—and honesty is always of the utmost import and is a virtue to value above all others—the teaching profession will need to drastically adjust its recruiting tactics and training tools if men are ever expected to lower themselves to the baseness of “teacher.” I hope that this memo will serve as a conversation piece on the topic, whereby I will lay out science and facts, and you will nod along—silently, of course—in docile agreement.

Shall we begin? Excellent.

Possible Causes of the Gender Gap

From an evolutionary psychology standpoint, men and women are different. Because of these differences, a man may either (a) not be equipped to handle certain demands of the teaching profession, or (b) simply lack the innate interest necessary for success. Some of these debilitating differences include the following:

Personality Differences

Men are not good with feelings. This includes: expressing their own, listening to others, empathizing, etc. Basically, it is a scientifically proven fact that, on average, men’s hearts are made of stone.

  • This explains why men prefer to work with numbers, whereas women prefer working with people. If men want to sit behind a computer all day, crunching their little algorithms and typing away, we shouldn’t discourage them. On the contrary, we should let them feel free to express their true selves, even if that truth has the personality of a cement block.
  • Men are not nurturing by nature.
    • What would a man do if a child stubbed his finger and started to cry in the middle of class? What if two middle school aged girls teamed up against a third, tormenting her until she locked herself in the girl’s bathroom and refused to come out? We can’t seriously expect a man to be able to handle these situations.  Science tells us that men, on average, simply do not have the necessary skills and instincts needed to calm the nerves and hearts of delicate children.
  • Women crack under pressure, whereas men thrive in stressful situations.
    • Teaching is an inherently stress-free profession. There is literally NOTHING to do. This is why there are so many women teachers. Men, on the other hand, need the adrenaline of a more demanding career. If men tried to be teachers, they would be incapacitated by boredom.  

Men’s higher drive for status

On average, men only care about one thing: status. They don’t care about silly ideological concepts such as making the world a better place; changing the lives of the most vulnerable members of our society; providing hope and inspiration to a child who is otherwise completely bereft of either; or sending future generations out onto their own as well-educated, confident, capable citizens of the world.  Men do not think of such things, and it is to our own detriment that we make them. Teaching is a low-status profession. As long as that is the case, men will run—not walk—away from our halls. It is science.

This innate drive for status can also morph into alpha dominance. A man cannot help but exert his higher status upon those around him, no matter the age. Male teachers have been known to force their students into submission. Imagine walking into a kindergarten classroom, a place that is supposed to embody warmth and acceptance, and instead you find every little boy staring at the floor, refusing to meet the alpha teacher’s gaze out of fear of being “put in his place.”  A man’s world is a dog eat dog world.  

Ways to Reduce the Gender Gap

Below, I will take some of the gender differences listed above and provide my own NON-DISCRIMINATORY suggestions for how we can change the education system to better attract male teachers.

  • Men are not good with feelings.
    • Make classrooms “Feelings-free zones.” If a child needs to express an emotion, he or she can do that within the privacy of his/her own home. Ain’t no need to bring that out in public.
  • Men are not nurturing by nature.
    • Students today need to learn how to make it in the real world, and the real world is tough. The end.
  • Women crack under pressure, whereas men thrive in stressful situations.
    • Make teaching more stressful. Instead of standardized tests, students must compete in a school-wide winner takes all tournament… to the death. A lottery system will randomly choose one student from each classroom as tribute. Hey, kids love the Hunger Games, right?  As “Sponsor,” the fate of the respective teacher is in the hands of his/her tribute. How exciting!?! Luckily, this also takes care of the next issue as well:
  • Men are more concerned with status.
    • With great competition comes great… greatness. Not only would a life or death competition increase the stress level of the profession, but it would also increase the status of the winning tribute (student) and his/her sponsor (teacher), and thus, of the professional as a whole. It’s a win/win/win, people.

Suggestions…?

I hope it’s clear that, ultimately, I have the best interests of everyone in mind. I also think it is important that we have conversations, such as this one—thank you for your participation—in order to make our systems more efficient and more inclusive. However, in order to succeed, it is imperative that we acknowledge the biological differences between the genders and work to create a more cohesive plan for male integration into the education profession moving forward.  Because science.

 

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Candace Bruchs

Candace Bruchs

As a native of North Carolina, Candace has a healthy obsession with pulled pork barbecue and is an ardent fan of bluegrass music--preferably live, under an open sky.After traveling from coast to coast-- quite literally-- and bouncing from one dramatically failed relationship to another, Candace found her guy and is still pinching herself.An English teacher by trade, she is a firm believer in the power of effective communication and adheres to a semi-Annual viewing schedule of The Lord of the Rings, extended edition (of course).When not reading/watching fantasy epics, Candace loves to be outdoors, play with her maladjusted dog, and explore life with her catch of a husband.
Candace Bruchs
  • Madison Levine

    Well written! Point proven!

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