Very interesting article Sr se7ven. Totally enjoyed reading it.
I feel almost hunted right now... as an endangered, dying species, at the wrong end of the statistical success pool! Men of the world unite, you have nothing to lose except your chains..... guys, anyone there??? oh well...
Speaking for some men, we actually like to be very irrational, enjoy work in declining/endangered industries, or those that will mostly likely kill us (totally reveling in the stereotype right about now!) :-)
I completely relate to the sole guy in the story who could not make it through the nursing school because he was the only male there. I once tried to learn a foreign language in a class full of women (I was the only guy), and could not take it beyond the third class when the examples started revolving around the words for sheer black stockings, and different forms of teas, makeup and dresses. Blech. Sorry, I may like black stocking on my women, but I really don't want to spend too much time thinking about them.
It's the same reason why so many women find it difficult to adjust into some engineering fields where the rooms are filled with geeky stuff like computer games, science fiction memorabilia and junk food, etc. It's all about the environment, and the symbols and perceptions associated with the profession/course/calling.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34437233/ns/technology_and_science-science/
Lovely article by Phil (from MIT) explaining why more men than women choose engineering research at:http://philip.greenspun.com/careers/women-in-science
Y'see women are smart, they take the path that will most likely lead to long-term success, even if it guarantees (almost certainly) that they will not be at the top of the totem pole. Me and other crazy men follow Niel Young's motto of 'It is better to burn out than fade away' (beating my chest right about now). Risk does not turn us away, instead, it almost makes it impossible to say no.http://www.amazon.com/Women-Dangerous-Things-George-Lakoff/dp/0226468046
However, for every few hundred people who don't make it, you have the guy who launched the multi-billion dollar startup, brought an international criminal mafia under his control, started a revolution that changed the destiny of his nation or did the impossible and found the cure for cancer. Why settle for a paycheck, and the picket fence when you can conquer the world.. or at least die trying :-)
OK, I've lived out the stereotype long enough... back to normal now. Hey, that was fun!
Seriously, there are many examples in Islamic history of women having achieved remarkable successes that are only now being experienced by women in the West. I've heard a lot of good reviews of the CD set 'Women in Islam' http://www.islamicbookstore.com/a4408.html
As a closet feminist, I'm putting this high on my 'to listen' list after reading this article.
The lesson for men is to persevere, trust in Allah and hope that he gets you through (when faced with difficult challenges), take counsel (mashwara) which always tends to temper the more irrational/risky options and be flexible, and realize that stereotypes are just veils (and thereby restrictions) that you place on yourself.
Women are doing quite well, so no lessons for them (I guess!). They can feel good though !