Why do men drop out of college more than women?

According to a recent study in Gender and Society (as reported in the Girl w/ Pen blog), men are less likely to tolerate high college loan debt and hence are more prone to dropping out of college than women are.  Men college drop-outs can earn a lot more money than women drop-outs, so men’s behavior makes good short term economic sense (although by midlife men college grads earn $20,000 more per year than drop-outs).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent data on median weekly earning for full-time workers 25 or older, women college drop-outs earn 25% less than their male counterparts.  In fact, women need a Bachelor’s degree in order to earn as much as men college drop-outs (to be precise, women with a Bachelor’s degree earn 11% more than men college drop outs).

 Median Weekly Earnings: First Quarter 2013 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Full time workers 25 years and older



Women’s Wages as

Per cent of Men’s Wages

HS grad, no college

$   732



Some college or

associate degree

$   866



Bachelor’s degree only






Today is International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day, a holiday celebrated world wide, honors working women and women’s struggle everywhere – even recognized by Google with a special doodle/logo for its search page.


Origins: “On March 8, 1857, garment workers in New York City marched and picketed, demanding improved working conditions, a ten hour day, and equal rights for women. Their ranks were broken up by the police. Fifty-one years later, March 8, 1908, their sisters in the needle trades in New York marched again, honoring the 1857 march, demanding the vote, and an end to sweatshops and child labor. . . In 1910 at the Second International, a world wide socialist party congress, German socialist Clara Zetkin proposed that March 8th be proclaimed International Women’s Day.” (CWLU Archive)

The following year, International Women’s Day “was marked for the first time, by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire alone, there were 300 demonstrations. In Vienna, women paraded on the Ringstrasse and carried banners honouring the martyrs of the Paris Commune. Women demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination.” (Wikipedia)  “However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events.” (International Women’s Day.com)


Kia Supports Women’s History Month

I was pleased to receive the following email from my local Kia dealer:

“March is Women’s History Month and Kia of St Cloud wants to honor the women past and present that made strides in automotive industry!

Did you know!

  • The first windshield wiper was invented by Mary Anderson in 1902. Initially a rubber blade operated by a lever inside the vehicle, this concept became standard on all vehicles in 1916.
  • In 1909, Alice Huyler Ramsey was the first woman to drive cross country, making the 3800 mile journey from New York to San Francisco in only 59 days – a record for the time.
  • Actress Florence Lawrence invented the first turn signal and brake light concepts around 1913. These original versions were modified through the years but by the 1940’s Flo’s features were customary on most vehicles.”

Makes me proud to be a Kia Sedona owner.

A Feminist MOOC/DOCC

An unusual MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) exploring feminism and technology is being organized for the 2013 fall semester.  Unlike typical MOOCs, this one is being organized by a large collective of feminist scholars and will be offered as a credit course at 15 or more universities worldwide.  Hence, it is being denominated as a MOOC/DOCC (Distributed Online Collaborative Course). A large series of Boundary Objects that Learn (BOTL) are being developed by members of the collective, and each Professor at the participating universities will choose which BOTLs to assign her students.

The “Feminist Dialogues on Technology”  MOOC/DOCC will be a 10 week course, each week centered on a video discussion by ‘experts’ on the following topics: Archive, Body, Ethics, Difference, Discipline, Labor, Place, Race, Sexualities, Transformation.  One can enroll as a student at one of specific university sites, enroll for independent study (get your own professor to provide credit at your home university), or just be a self-directed / drop-in learner without course credit.  Info from FAQ for FemTechNet.

The collaborative, collective development of the course is being organized by FemTechNet – “a network of international scholars and artists activated by Alexandra Juhasz and Anne Balsamo to design, implement, and teach the first DOCC (Distributed Online Collaborative Course), a feminist rethinking of the MOOC. . . This project uses technology to enable interdisciplinary and international conversation while privileging situated diversity and networked agency. Building the course on a shared set of recorded dialogues with the world’s preeminent thinkers and artists who consider technology through a feminist lens, the rest of the course will be built, and customized for the network’s local classrooms and communities, by network members who submit and evaluate Boundary Objects that Learn—the course’s basic pedagogic instruments. FemTechNet invites interested scholars and artists to join this project and help build this course. “ Source: NITLE.

Related Sources

To learn More about this Feminist MOOC

Analyzing Infographics: Simple Technique for Online Video Lesson

Just discovered “Picturing Information” a 4 minute video which analyzes an Infographic depicting per cent of mothers of 4-year-olds who work outside the home. After pausing to give viewers time to study the infographic and make their own analysis, author analyzes the infographic: Why does child have sad face? Why is mother pictured as a professional (vs blue collar job)?

The video is a good example of how to analyze infographics (or other graphics) for hidden messages.  Furthermore, it employs a very simple technique for creating a video to serve as an online lesson.  In many discussions of the ‘flipped classroom’ (where instructor records and posts a lecture for students to study before class so that classroom time can be used for actual discussion or hands-on activities), the tools involved are quite sophisticated and/or expensive.  But the technique here is easily available to anyone sitting at their home computer who has a smart phone or digital camera that records video.

One can easily adapt the technique of this video to use with widely available PowerPoint.  Just insert the infographic (or poem or short text) in a slide, record your narration, then convert to video (this function included in MS Office 2010 and later).

“Night of Terror” – 1915 Suffragettes Beaten

I just learned that 33 women imprisoned for demonstrating in front of the White House for the right to vote (1917) were brutally beaten by prison guards in what became known as the “Night of Terror”? Why aren’t we taught our history?

“Under orders from W. H. Whittaker, superintendent of the Occoquan Workhouse, as many as forty guards with clubs went on a rampage, brutalizing thirty-three jailed suffragists. They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head, and left her there for the night. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed, and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate Alice Cosu, who believed Mrs. Lewis to be dead, suffered a heart attack. According to affidavits, other women were grabbed, dragged, beaten, choked, slammed, pinched, twisted, and kicked. (source: Barbara Leaming, Katherine Hepburn (New York: Crown Publishers, 1995), 182.) “

Source: Quote above found on web at moondance.org/ 1998 /winter98 /nonfiction /alice.html (web site reported infected by Google as of March 2013)

Reusable Core Concepts Modules for WS

The article “Digital Technology for Feminist Pedagogy“**  describes how Women’s Studies professors developed digital modules for several core concepts in Women’s Studies classes, e.g., intersectionality, whiteness.  Since students in many WS classes come from a wide variety of backgrounds, with varying knowledge of WS concepts, having modules they can study at their leisure should be very useful.  Besides text, each module may contain videos, other multimedia, links to other resources, etc.  Each module also includes a machine gradable quiz at the end.

  • Some instructors assign all modules at beginning of course, some assign separately at point where relevant.  Some students use, even in advanced courses, when writing papers.
  • Authors discuss possible limitations since some instructors might prefer a different perspective or more historical approach to a concept. Particularly with the module on whiteness, several alternative modules, written from different perspectives, might be useful.
  • Modules were developed using (expensive) Soft Chalk software and stored in the university’s LMS so they are not accessible to public or to students at other universities.

**This article is one chapter in the free e-book Cultivating Change in the Academy (from the University of Minnesota).  The complete book can be downloaded as a PDF – which provides better quality screenshots, but the links provided to other web sources are not clickable.