Banning women from college degrees is an achy breaky big mistakey

random thursday crazy kittteh meme

I try to stay away from politics on this silly blog. HOWEVER: government peoples in Iran just banned women from 77 different college degrees.

I am not making that up. Read the story here: Anger as Iran bans women from universities

Women are about 65 percent of college students now and the men who decided this new policy wanted to drop women below 50 percent. How? By making those degrees — including dangerous stuff like English literature — “single gender.”

Here are three reasons why that’s not wicked smart.

3) You need MORE smart women with degrees, not less

The days where a nation could shut its borders and do whatever is over.

Way back when, women in America couldn’t vote,  get the same education as men or enter the same professions. We figured out those were all mistakes.

This is a global marketplace, and if you want to compete for the best jobs, you need all the brainpower you can get. All of it.

Telling women — half your population — they’re second-class and can’t get the same education as men, well, that sorta kinda guarantees that your national economy is going to stink like ten pounds of trout left out in the Texas sun for six days.

2) “The consent of the governed” actually means something

Even if you’re not a democracy, you can’t run a place for long without the consent of the governed.

Any 18-year-old college kid can tell you this after 30 minutes of rigorously paying attention to his first Poli Sci 101 lecture while furiously texting on his iPhone about the possibility of a kegger on Friday.

When you start oppressing half your population — whether it’s based on gender, race or class — you’re soliciting all kinds of trouble. Dictatorship or democracy, it won’t last. Two more words to look up before doing this sort of stinker: “Arab Spring.”

1) 3,000 angry Iranian women who happen to be deadly ninjas

Actually, that isn’t a joke.

I wrote about this in a post a long time ago on a blog post far, far away: there are a bazillion Iranian women who make Chuck Norris look like a nancypants.

This is ironic because it happens when the government said women in Iran aren’t allowed to do most sports — you can’t run marathons, because you’d have to wear SHORTS and such. So the women channeled a lot of their athletic talent and energy into learning to be ninjas. I kid you not.

Check out the video:

“See? We’re fully covered up. Also, we’re training hard to learn 173 ways to kill a man in less than two seconds.”

What are the chances some of these women wanted to major in English lit (or one of the other 76 degrees) and no longer can pursue that dream? Hmm.

ALSO: Hillary Clinton. I would not mess with her right now. She’s kinda good at this “fly around the world and dismantle oppression” thing.

ALSO-ALSO: We men need a different word for “men who aren’t idiots and think women should have equal rights.” Except in indie romantic comedies and UC-Berkeley seminars, men don’t say, “I’m a feminist.” Let’s get a new thing, something like, “Men who think women are wicked smart, and should run things as a benevolent dictatorship as long as they promise that Sarah Jessica Parker won’t make another movie ever again, so help us God.”


This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.
Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Wrote a thriller that won some award (PNWA 2013). Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

17 thoughts on “Banning women from college degrees is an achy breaky big mistakey

  1. Does it have to be a word? Because I often use this label to describe a man attuned to women’s issues: “Not an a-hole.” Anyone’s welcome to it.


  2. The funny you do so well doesn’t take away from the impact of what is, really, a gross obstruction of these women’s personal rights. Great article, and worth sharing all over the place. I’ve already sent it along to my friends in higher ed.


  3. Men running scared of intelligent women. No wait, real men want an intelligent woman to stand beside them not behind. Real men aren’t emasculated because women are educated and smart- they thrive on it. Female ninjas, I like that!


  4. Personally I think we should orchestrate a clandestine operation and send over a tag-team of both Hillary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice to have a secret summit with the female ninja. The dictatorship will fall the next day.

    Echoing the others, this was one of your best, Guy. And thankfully, I am married to a man who is very much like the man you described. Thankfully there seems to be two men out there like that. (You being the other), but I suspect there are MORE.


  5. Love this post. My husband was fond of telling everyone, many years before we started trying for a child, that someday our daughter would invent the faster-than-light drive. So when we were in the room having the ultrasound where the boy/girl determination was made and we found out would have a daughter, he stood up and said, “YES!”

    The ultrasound technician was stunned and then [she] told him how much that meant to her; apparently that isn’t the default male reaction. A lot of men cry because they’re having girls, which is, if nothing else, ironically heartbreaking. Anyway. You’re right. We need a word. Surely the Germans can make one up for us.


  6. I’m so blown away by the idiocy I can’t come up with an intelligent comment. Let’s hope the Iranian women will. Despite the oppression they deal with on a daily basis, they have cherished their right to a university education. Oooh, I am so furious.
    Speaking of Berkeley, where are the feminists supporting their sisters in Iran? Oh yeah, I forgot, they’re busy supporting their oppressed Palestinians brethren, never considering what actually happens to women who live under the thumb of men. Pakistan anyone? Oh, perhaps Saudi Arabia? Written permission required to leave the house without the supervision of a man.


  7. Their decision is beyond stupid. I could go on for hours about how ridiculous it is to suppress half of your population. I feel bad for the women of Iraq that want to make something of themselves – and especially for the ones that are brainwashed enough to think that they are second class. Perhaps the former could move to North America.

    I hope some of those women ninjas take action. Or, maybe Iran can simply wise up and grasp the neccessity of gender equality, among other things.

    I get so fired up about this stuff!

    Thanks for posting this. This whole ninja thing is genius!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.