Discrimination, Diminishing Quality

Gender bias on campus and the diminishing quality of news magazines were the topics that captured readers' interest this week.

Wendy McElroy's column on a state-funded women's only science program at the University of Maryland, and Eric Burns lament about the lack of real news in Newsweek, generated a flood of positive responses.

Here’s a sample of what readers had to say:

Suzanne Martin wrote:

RISE is a national program at many large colleges and universities, including Arizona State University. As far as I know, the policy is the same nationwide — making the discrimination against men and boys a much larger issue than what's going on in Maryland.

Timothy Sloane wrote:

I agree with everything in your story and I find it highly disturbing. I graduated a month ago from the University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering with a degree in electrical engineering. I was considering going back for my master’s in engineering, however now I am reconsidering.

Jason Manro wrote:

I really enjoy your articles on the Foxnews.com. It is so refreshing to hear the other side of issues, especially with respect to gender issues. It is unfortunate that the main stream media often chooses not to report countering viewpoints. They really do a disservice to us all. Keep up the good work. I look forward to your future articles.

Bob Brown wrote:

My company hosts ‘new hire’ orientations for and by women to ‘help them make their way in the business consulting world.’ While that is great, what about all the young men joining the company? Shouldn't we have a luncheon/orientation for ALL new employees? Even business is going out of its way to be PC and not ruffle organized feminist feathers.

My questions to you, Ms. McElroy, are: "What can I do to halt this inequitable use of tax money?" and "What can I or any other 'average citizen' do to halt these sorts of programs?"

Thanks for your interesting and insightful columns.

David Abbott from Neptune Beach, Fla., wrote:

I appreciate your efforts to expose issues such as these. As long as these continue, we will never see parity between the genders. Discrimination against men will not bring about equality for women, but it sure will get a lot of tax dollars spent in an effort to "level the playing field."

Profiting from discrimination has become very lucrative.

Kenneth Westhues from Waterloo, Ontario, wrote:

I'm not enamoured with programs that discriminate in favor of women in fields like engineering and math, where women are a small minority, but I find such programs more defensible than similar ones in the humanities and social sciences, where women are in the majority. Here at the University of Waterloo, 55 percent of doctoral students in Applied Health Sciences are women, 60 percent of doctoral students in the Faculty of Arts are women, and 53 percent in the Faculty of Environmental Studies are female as well. Even so, the university makes a large number of fellowships in these fields available only to women.

Juan F. Trevino wrote:

Thank you so much for your article on the weekly newsmagazines. I cancelled my subscriptions to both Time and Newsweek years ago for the same reasons you elaborated. It seems that pop culture is the real news these days and people aren't interested in getting detailed news analysis about current events or historical events for that matter.

Television seems to also be headed in the same direction as the weekly publications. If the segment "Jay Walking" from Jay Leno's Tonight Show is any indication of where our country is headed, God help us.

Martin Black wrote:

You did a great job exposing these fluff magazines for what they are. Even Rolling Stone is going to be cutting down the length of their in-depth news articles because the attention span of the general public has declined. With articles about unhappy celebrities and psychic pets being spoon-fed, who can blame us?

Bob Briggs from Atlanta, Ga., wrote:

Never before has another human being so absolutely expressed my own point of view. My wife and I have been writing to Time telling them that if we wanted to read People, we would have subscribed to People. The editors of Time have never responded to us, but we feel better for speaking out and canceling just the same. Any suggestions on what we could read each week to find real news?

J.L. Schallert from Cambridge, Wis., wrote:

I haven't gotten Newsweek for years, but when I saw the July 22 issue at the dentist's office, I almost wished I still had a subscription so that I could cancel it. Not only was there a dearth of any news, but the main story was old news — the Bush-Harken story. Even the photo with it was old (how boyish Mr. Bush looked back then!). And then came the final pages of the magazine with the interview with the pet psychic. I hear that in the late 1800's there was a British veterinarian by the name of Doolittle who made similar claims; I expect to see him on the next cover, but only if I have another appointment at the dentist.

Thanks for another good commentary on another one of the news industries' sacred cows going dry.

David Townsend from Atlanta, Ga., wrote:

Why are you surprised that Newsweek is turning into another People magazine or running fluff pieces? Commercial viability, polls and ratings drive the content of our shows and magazines and if a magazine does not have at least some gossip from the stars, half-nude women and articles written at a fourth or fifth grade level then it will not sell. It is only reversible if we take back our education system and teach, cajole and criticize. You hit a raw nerve of mine.