For the past two years, I have been unpacking the racist, classist, misogynist bullshit that is feminism, and exploring the ways that sexism harms men and boys – and always in the back of my mind is the whisper what do we do about this?
Watching President’s Obama’s SOTU address was an incredibly frustrating experience as he ignored all the key issues and proposed massive spending campaigns that effectively pour more fuel on the fire when we are trying to put the damn fire out! The one that struck me in particular was his suggestion that community college tuition be reduced to zero, and I was left shaking my head that the goddamn President of the most successful capitalist, free market economy in history does not appear to understand how markets function.
Here’s his idea: the markets have set community college tuition at $3800/yr. That is what students are able to pay. Go over that amount, and you eliminate most of your applicants. Some colleges can afford to do that, most cannot. They must price their product at the market rate. This is how markets work. President Obama wants to grant all qualified applicants $3800/yr, effectively reducing tuition to zero.
With all due respect, Mr. President, are you fucking retarded?
Students still have the $3800 they intended to spend on tuition. Do you seriously think colleges are just going to let that $3800 waltz into the nearest Apple Store? No, they are not. Colleges will respond rationally and double their tuition fees. Now they get $3800 from the students (who have already indicated via the market they are willing to pay that) and the $3800 from the government.
Brilliant use of money. Idiots.
All of this led to me to thinking that we already spend a shitload of money on education, but it’s the wrong education that prepares even those students who manage to drag their bored asses through it nothing of value they can trade in the free market. A high school diploma is about as useful as toilet paper, unless you use it to go on to higher education. But why is higher education even necessary? Instead of boring the fuck out of the majority of students for 4 years studying utterly useless crap like Urban Geography and Poetry and Sociology, why are we not offering emerging adults some real choices and real skills that will graduate them into paid employment?
Why do we not have trade schools beginning in Grade 10?
The US has a looming skilled trades shortage. Plenty of other countries around the world treat 15 year olds as emerging adults perfectly capable of making rational, practical decisions about their futures. We know beyond all shadow of a doubt that schools are designed to meet the needs of abstract, esoterically inclined “book-learners”, and do almost nothing to address the needs of restless, hands-on, objective, kinetic learners who want to do something and not sit on their asses discussing the theory behind the action.
Who are these students?
Predominantly young men.
And then it clicked. Quite some time ago, I read a book called Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists, which is essentially a bunch of whiny white women describing the moment they understood the power inherent in perpetual victimhood. Thinking through the issue of trade schools, I am kind of left in awe of how simple and how devastatingly effective the feminist program to destroy masculinity and manhood has been.
Destroy the trades.
The university bound, Ivy League men won’t be affected, but the vast majority of working class and lower income men will be reduced to social flotsam. Brilliant, except for that whole we need electricians and plumbers and surveyors problem but feminists are not really known for logic or consequences, are they?
Prior to 1984, it was possible for a student to graduate from high school fully prepared to enter into an apprentice trade, which meant graduating into paid employment. The Aviation Highschool in New York, for example, supplies 12% of the entire world’s aircraft workers! One high school! That high school is still up and running and educates over 2000 students per year, but if you are not in Queens, you are shit out of luck.
Enter the “social progressives” in the 1960’s, especially John Dewey, and the dismantling of an educational system that served primarily low income and working class men was underway, for their own good, dontcha know? Step by step, the progressives began taking apart the very mechanism that promoted a meritocratic, democratic and economically stable society. The feminists got wind of this and leapt on board with excitement and visions of female domination. If schools, especially high schools, could be transformed into institutions that benefited women primarily, women would take over the labor market and force the non-socially valuable (ie: not wealthy) men into a subservient role in society. If young men could be deprived of the means of matching their interests and talents to real skills, they would increasingly drop out, turn to underground economic activities to survive and be subsequently incarcerated en masse.
One group of men in particular.
The scary ones.
The black ones.
By destroying young men’s opportunity to join the legitimate labor market, feminists and social progressives simultaneously destroyed the nuclear family (the majority of men could no longer provide for their families), created the welfare state and gave themselves paper shuffling, bullshit jobs to administer the whole deal.
You have to admit, it was rather clever. Did feminists and social progressives fully realize the consequences of these actions? I’m guessing at the very highest levels of decision-making, you’re damn right they did. They pedalled this malevolence to the masses by framing it as “social justice” – It’s not fair that lower income men should graduate as electricians and plumbers while upper income men go on to be doctors and lawyers! Everyone can be a doctor or a lawyer! The less intellectually adept feminists and social justice warriors bought it hook line and sinker and the vocational educational system was pretty much destroyed by the end of the 1980s.
Mission accomplished. Guess what? All those low and working class young men didn’t put their nose to the arty-farty grindstone and become doctors and lawyers, except for the ones who would have done so anyways. They sat through a few years of “education” that made zero efforts to capture their talents, skills or interests and in fact blamed them for the failures of the system. Those brown and black lower income students in particular were characterized as unmotivated, dull, lazy, immature and possibly even inherently prone to violence and brute stupidity.
Vocational high schools are seeing a resurgence in some states that have cast off the bullshit “social justice” narrative. “In Massachusetts, in 2013, the graduation rate at regional vocational high schools was 95 percent. At traditional high schools, the graduation rate was 86 percent,” writes Emily Hanford of American Radio Works.
Imagine vocational high schools rolled out nationwide. Take all those community college courses Obama wants to make “free” and run them in high schools which are already free (in the sense that all taxpayers finance them, not individual consumers). The idea that emerging adults are too stupid to make rational life choices is garbage. The opposition to vocational high schools comes from feminists who decry the fact that mostly young men choose to take advantage of them.
No one and nothing is keeping young women out. They are simply not interested.
Who is going to teach these trades courses? Social progressives and feminists maneuvered the school system so that essentially only middle class (mostly women) could get teaching jobs. The requirements to be a teacher slowly advanced from a post high school training course to a 5 year university degree, which has the dual effect of making sure that low and working class students are never taught by someone who has lived their lives and shared their experiences, and created a sweet job with summers off (gotta bring in that wheat crop and harvest those potatoes, amirite?) for middle class men and women. 2% of teachers in America are black men.
Switch to vocational schools and suddenly most of those jobs will go to working class men with experience in their fields. Can women teach vocational school courses? Of course they can. Are you an HVAC? Great. You’re hired.
Imagine the impact of restoring skills-based learning in lower and working class communities, especially black communities. You’re 15 years old, high school is boring as shit, and even if you finish you’ll be lucky to work at McDonald’s with no hope of advancement. You can make $300/week spotting for drug gangs. Hobson’s Choice.
Bring in the vocational skills school. Now you’re 15 years old and you don’t sit in chair on your ass all day reading books. You are in a workshop, a welding lab, an air-conditioning unit and you are learning skills that will pay you an above average wage when you graduate. You will be able to support a family, should you choose to do so. You can take advanced training at any stage of your career and add corollary skills as you see fit. You get a well-paid summer job. You are working. Doing something meaningful. Your skills are highly sought after. You are admired, valued and companies will compete for your talents. What does that drug gang have to offer you? The complete destruction of all of that.
Nothing stops a bullet like a job, as the saying goes.
Obama almost has it almost right. Close but no cigar. A return to vocational high schools will be strongly, desperately resisted by feminists, mark my words. Because at the very heart of that restoration is a very simple idea: men have worth. Vocational high schools treat all men (and the few women who are interested) as intelligent, ambitious, talented, driven, capable and valuable human beings not to be squandered to mistaken ideas about social justice. This isn’t about economic worth. That is merely a side effect. It begins with the idea that men have worth as human beings. Instilling that sense of worth by providing men with a real opportunity to discover their own worth and translate that into economic market value as they see fit is the result of treating men, especially low income and working class men as inherently valuable human beings.
The reverberations in the black community will be profound indeed. Find me a progressive or a feminist who claims that low income black men are intelligent, ambitious, talented, driven, capable and valuable human beings.
Want to find out just how true that is?
Bring back vocational high schools.
Lots of love,