The argument of the American Association of University Women in “Why A Report On Girls?” (AAUW 1995) is that girls quietly suffer in the education system. The problem is rooted in a chasm called “gender bias” (AAUW 1995 p.1) where girl’s are susceptive to not reaching capabilities because teachers cast them into docile, uncomfortable creatures male classmates taunt them between sessions of being while over-praised.
The theory of how girls are shortchanged is an inherent cycle: a girl fails her education because her education is failing her. Because a girl-child’s mentality, intelligence, and physicality are challenged with little exception, she flounders. Her opinion is starved of validation; her achievements are select but belittled; her body is considered property within and around the classroom. As a population, “girls do not emerge from our schools with the same confidence and esteem as boys” (AAUW p. 2), and enter life with the potent messages they’ve been repeatedly reminded. To fix this are a number of deservedly striking decisions that must happen for girls to excel appropriately. Reconditioning their interest in the math and sciences is a suggestion, and a boy being better mannered is another (AAUW p. 4-5). The only way for this to truly happen is to genuinely pay attention and engage girls in both their strengths and weakness with patronizing.
The education of female-bodied students will always be relevant because “women and children are the most impoverished members of our society” (AAUW p. 5). In a world where girls are often the main, and expected, caregiver in a family, it would be best that an overdue partiality allow her to at least have the opportunity to obtain the best education possible. A stronger education encourages an improved mind, a mind that will also help craft and develop the heart of children who will not only be the future but an embellishment of what was both fragile and sturdy in the previous generation. Now that we’ve acknowledged the cycle, it can be stopped. Girl’s losing voice and dropping out of school cheats more than one person (AAUW p. 5).
During a college open house, I mistakenly joined a group of teenage mothers who gathered to evaluate the in-house daycare program. I didn’t realise I was in the wrong place until being asked how I felt about continuing my education and having my children only an elevator ride away. At the time, I was astonished what I had stumbled into. Presently, with AUWW’s article in mind, I will have to consider that possibility extremely fortunate for the women around me who were very active in the group dialogue. The University Women’s last words are “child care for the children of teen mothers must be an integral part of all programs” (AAUW p.5) is the most demanding sentence this article could provide. It’s not pretentious but the ringing echo, the definite statement: Respect Women. It’s AAUW’s mantra and the key element to a truly profitable future where equality is the reward worth sharing. Often, the instance of premature motherhood is considered an accident of women alone, but with the avid indifference toward a girl’s mind, body, and future, there is a lot more blame being unsaid.
AAUW. (1995, March). Why Report on Girls. How Schools Shortchange Girls (1-8). Washington DC: Marlowe & Company 1995