Harvard MBA men are brash, bold, confident, assertive and mad skilled at math. The only way women can compete with them is to squash all those qualities. Oh, okay. That seems both smart and fair.

10 Sep

All right everybody!  Stop thinking about Syria and gas attacks and Iowa issuing gun permits to the blind. WTF, Iowa?!?!?.  Hey, what can possibly go wrong?

blind

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20130908/NEWS/309080061/?odyssey=nav%7Chead&nclick_check=1

We have a real problem to tackle today.

Harvard MBA ladies suck at competing with Harvard men.

race

The country’s premier business training ground was trying to solve a seemingly intractable problem. Year after year, women who had arrived with the same test scores and grades as men fell behind.

Oh dear.  Well, that’s not very good, is it?  What to do, what to do…

[The Harvard MBA class of 2013] have been unwitting guinea pigs in what would have once sounded like a far-fetched feminist fantasy: What if Harvard Business School gave itself a gender makeover, changing its curriculum, rules and social rituals to foster female success?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/08/education/harvard-case-study-gender-equity.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Look at that statement carefully.  You’ll note that Harvard isn’t interested in fostering the success of ALL their students.  Nope. They’re doing a gender makeover than only involves one gender.  Success is strictly on the basis of Lawful Possession of Labia. Feminist fantasy indeed.

I suppose Harvard might want to consider changing their motto from Veritas to Vaginatas?  Maybe add some teeth to the crest or something? Just a thought.

veritas

After reading the Times article, it looks to me like the program to engineer the girl’s success entails the following:

Teach women how to raise their hands.

 

hands

 

Ha!  You probably think I’m kidding, right?  Nope.  Not kidding. Some of the most accomplished, educated, ambitious business students in the country had to pay $100 000 to sit in a class and learn how to raise their hands, because the ladies quavered when confronted with hard thinky stuff like math and that’s not fair!

boo hoo

Nearly two years earlier, in the fall of 2011, Neda Navab sat in a class participation workshop, incredulous. The daughter of Iranian immigrants, Ms. Navab had been the president of her class at Columbia, advised chief executives as a McKinsey & Company consultant and trained women as entrepreneurs in Rwanda. Yet now that she had arrived at the business school at age 25, she was being taught how to raise her hand.

Every year the same hierarchy emerged early on: investment bank and hedge fund veterans, often men, sliced through equations while others — including many women — sat frozen or spoke tentatively.

Since 50% of the marks in courses come from class participation, stenographers were placed in each classroom so that women weren’t accidentally discounted in marks.

 

Okay, no real problem with this, but when you couple it with this, a problem suddenly appears.

New grading software tools let professors instantly check their calling and marking patterns by gender.

Hmmm.

So if professor’s call patterns are now being tracked on the basis of gender, who wants to bet that professors overlook male students whom they KNOW can contribute better, more nuanced and meaningful comments in favor of women who have less to offer, in order to make certain patterns fall into ideological lockstep? The Dean wants equality over quality, so screw both the male students and the whole class?

There’s some genius pedagogy right there.  Let’s gather all the best business minds in the country and then make sure half of them don’t get to speak because penis?  Very clever.

Had the professors rid themselves of unconscious biases? Were the women performing better because of the improved environment? Or was the faculty easing up in grading women because they knew the desired outcome?

 

Gee, I wonder.  What, exactly, is the value of a grade you only received because the true competitors are being crippled before the starting gun fires?  It’s like popping open the champagne to celebrate your gold medal in the 100 yard sprint, and neglecting to mention that you were racing 5 year olds on crutches.

crutches

Yeah, big accomplishment.

The case study method, which relied on cold-calling students about a firm’s predicament, was “rounded out” with a collaborative, time-consuming, cover your ass and spread the blame technique called “Field”.

Obviously, “Field” allows women to access all their male classmate’s strengths and then claim partial credit for them.  The “team” worked together to figure the case out.  Bullshit, the team did.  One guy took a leadership role and everyone else rode his coattails.

Been there.  Done that.

astronomer

True story: In my MBA, I was in a group with a man who had a PhD in Astronomy and another man who was a mechanical engineer.  They used to argue about what kind of mathematics to use to solve tricky problems in financial analysis.  “Trigonometry is for children”, huffed StarDoctor.  He worked at an observatory in South Africa that had amazing facilities but paid him shit money, so he used to run guns for the local guerillas on the side.   A very interesting guy. 

guns

The other member of my team was a Chinese woman with an undergrad degree in mathematics who barely spoke English, so she basically coasted and got the same marks as the rest of us while doing what amounted to jack shit.  I, of course, wrote up all our findings and was the keynote presenter for almost everything.

We played to our strengths.  Our team agreed from the get-go that “equality” was fucking dumb.  We were supposed to take turns doing analysis, writing, presenting, etc., so we would be well-rounded, but we decided fuck that nonsense.

We played to our strengths.

144 students. Six major case competitions.  We won five.  Actually, bullshit.  We won all six, but the awards committee couldn’t bear that one team would sweep the medals.  It was unprecedented.

And StarDoctor was unequivocally our leader.  Me and the engineer kept him on his toes, to be certain.  I once disagreed with StarDoctor so vehemently he stormed out of a meeting and got in his car and started driving away and I jumped on the hood of his moving car.  He got out of the car, physically removed me from the hood, threw me in the grass and drove away, and refused to make the changes I wanted.

Mr. JB took StarDoctor out for a drink and a chat after that episode.

Turns out StarDoctor’s conclusion was right, and we were offered positions at the organization we were analyzing.  StarDoctor was unwilling to bow to me to keep the peace and none of us were the slightest bit interested in towing some ideological line about fairness or equality.

We were in it to win.

That’s what kills me about initiatives like Harvard’s that are trying to alter the landscape so that women can succeed.  In order to alter the landscape, you are destroying what makes the MEN such formidable competitors. Now, I’m not stupid.  I realize that the men who are in the Harvard MBA program are rich, connected and come into the program with advantages most of us can only dream of, but they cannot parlay those advantages into real world rewards without combining them with boldness, confidence, assertiveness and a total unwillingness to kowtow to political correctness.

What are we achieving when we take our best and brightest men and force them to squelch the attributes that ultimately benefit us all so that women can feel like they won the race? What exactly are the women going to do with their glorious credentials?

Ms. Upton decided to take a far lower-risk job managing a wealthy family’s investments in Pittsburgh, where her fiancé lived. “You can either be a frontier charger or have an easier, happier life,” she said.

The reality is that most of the women graduating from the Harvard Business School with MBAs will end up housewives, taking care of children in a luxurious lifestyle funded by the men they secured as a result of their fancy degrees.

newborn phootgrapher New York mother and child

A surprising number of highly educated MBAs are dropping out of the labor force. Associate Professor Catherine Wolfram, a member of the Haas Economic Analysis and Policy Group, studied surveys taken by nearly 1,000 Harvard undergraduate alumni and found, 15 years after graduation, business school graduates are more likely than doctors and lawyers to leave the workforce. The common factors: being married, being female, becoming a mother.

http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/news/faculty/Wolfram2.html

And you know what?  Yay!  Good for them!  I think those are some damn smart ladies.  The women in the 2013 class of Harvard MBAs don’t seem to be the slightest bit different.  The Dean cancelled the traditional Halloween costumes-in-class extravaganza to prevent the sexy ladies from taking a prime opportunity to market themselves as potential child bearers.

pirate

As Halloween approached, some students planned to wear costumes to class, but at the last minute Ms. Frei, who wanted to set a serious tone and head off the potential for sexy pirate costumes, sent a note out prohibiting it, provoking more eye rolls.

No matter.  The ladies still found time to deck themselves out in Playboy Bunny costumes, seeing no conflict with the institutional gender transformation designed to give them the leg up over their male classmates and their unapologetic pursuit of sexual market value.  The administration might think that’s a problem, but the women sure as hell didn’t.

Students were demanding more women on the faculty, a request the deans were struggling to fulfill. And they did not know what to do about developments like female students dressing as Playboy bunnies for parties and taking up the same sexual rating games as men.

Here’s the part that really, really made me giggle. One woman in particular was intimidated at the sexually charged climate that governed social interactions at Harvard.

“Someone made the decision for me that I’m not pretty or wealthy enough to be in Section X,” [Brooke Boyarsky} told her classmates, her voice breaking.

Actually, Brooke, you made that choice yourself when you decided “morbidly obese” was  good look for you.

I entered H.B.S. as a truly ‘untraditional applicant’: morbidly obese.

Owing to the new gender environment that promotes the interests of women over men, Brooke managed to graduate in the top of her class, earning a Bakers Scholar award.  But what was she really excited about?  What made her really happy?

She lost 100 lbs and she is dating now!

“I am super excited to go to my 30th reunion,”

So Harvard is basically Weight Watchers for the upwardly mobile?

Fantastic.  What a great way to mobilize our intelligentsia.  Men:  shut up.  Women:  lose weight and lock down that man.

It truly baffles me that THE single most prestigious university in the world can fall for this.

And it worries me.

When feminists have infiltrated the very best institutions of learning to the point that those institutions are willing to silence their male students so women can feel “good enough”, all the while ignoring the fact that most of the women are there on elaborate missions to nail down their own personal Mr. Darcy, the time for action has come.

I’m all for gender equality in higher education.  Any man, or any woman, should be able to pursue their interests and ambitions and passions without facing down socially constructed barriers based on antiquated ideas about how men and women “are”.

bloomberg

But it should also face reality.  Our antiquated ideas are based on centuries of lived experience.  Most women love babies, family and men far more than they will ever love a Bloomberg Terminal.  And most men love their families and babies and women so much they will spend hours chained to a Bloomberg Terminal to provide for them.

Telling men to sit down and shut up and teaching women how to raise their hands destroys the ability of both men and women to achieve their dreams.

And really, isn’t that the ultimate goal? We want all humans to be able to achieve their dreams.  Most people have dreams that are very simple.  Family, home, food, warm water for a bath at the end of the day.  Not that difficult.

family

The interesting thing about prioritizing the “feminist fantasy” of the world is just how little that fantasy represents the reality of what most people want.

The sadness of the women’s movement is that they don’t allow the necessity of love. See, I don’t personally trust any revolution where love is not allowed.

Maya Angelou

Me neither, Maya.

Why do women go to Harvard in the first place?

To find a husband.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Jane Austen

Where to find a single man in possession of a good fortune?

Here’s a good place to start:

hbs

Raise your hand when you see one you like!

Lots of love,

JB

19 Responses to “Harvard MBA men are brash, bold, confident, assertive and mad skilled at math. The only way women can compete with them is to squash all those qualities. Oh, okay. That seems both smart and fair.”

  1. Marlo Rocci September 10, 2013 at 12:16 #

    The problem for these women is that these male MBA’s can calculate the actual cost of divorce. And after having to shut up in class and defer to women at the threat of being expelled for sexism, these men aren’t going to be too happy with the women they are going to class with. And people question the popularity of mail order brides.

    Like

  2. Interested September 10, 2013 at 13:43 #

    I attended a top tier executive MBA program in the 90’s and we also had groups for case studies. I like to think of myself as pretty sharp but two of the guys in my group were just plain astounding in math and analysis. But the two ladies in my group? One was sharp with excellent writing skills, but terrible at math. The second was truly a moron. She had been promoted relentlessly at her company and could not calculate the most basic math or write any coherent thoughts on paper. We took turns writing first drafts of our papers and when she showed up with one page of “thoughts” as her first draft of a 10 page paper we never let her do it again. Her excuse? “I’m more of a strategy person” She was quickly shoved aside and ignored by our group for the rest of the program.

    Again, this was in one of the top three Executive MBA programs in the country. It was my first real taste of how quotas work, even in a place where merit was supposed to rule the day.

    Like

  3. Eric September 10, 2013 at 14:05 #

    What happens if we change our rules of competition but the rest of the world keeps playing by the traditional rules?

    Like

  4. judgybitch September 10, 2013 at 14:10 #

    If we change the rules to something better, we win.

    If we change the rules to something worse, we lose.

    Setting up our educational systems to give woman the advantage, when those women will likely never take on the high risk jobs, or any jobs at all, doesn’t strike me as better.

    Like

  5. Brian September 10, 2013 at 15:11 #

    It’s “toe the line”, not “tow the line”. Think of soldiers all obediently standing in a row with their toes on the same line.

    Like

  6. judgybitch September 10, 2013 at 15:18 #

    Right you are!

    Got that one wrong before too.

    Must be my Achilles heal?

    *I did that on porpoise

    Like

  7. freetofish September 10, 2013 at 15:25 #

    I found this part quite interesting:

    “At the end of every semester, students gave professors teaching scores from a low of 1 to a high of 7, and some of the female junior faculty scores looked beyond redemption. More of the male professors arrived at Harvard after long careers, regaling students with real-life experiences. Because the pool of businesswomen was smaller, female professors were more likely to be academics, and students saw female stars as exceptions.”

    The lesbian administrator Ms.Frei decides that the most exclusive MBA program in the country needs more female tenured profs. Who cares if they have zero real world experience in business. They aren’t looking for the best candidates, just the ones with the right genitals.

    Like

  8. Vlad September 10, 2013 at 15:32 #

    As one of the hated male PhD students in a STEM field, I find this very interesting. Part of my duties most semesters is to teach the so-called “business calculus course”. At my school there has been a move to use the SCALE-UP teaching system, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCALE-UP which is basically group work every day, and I have seen similar tendencies.
    When grouped together with a man the women’s answers are almost always carbon copies of his. When grouped together without a man they tend to go with a more committee style of answers. The groups that have at least one man in them do tend to do better (lead, follow, or get out of the damn way?).
    Given that the groups are often assigned to them by a third party (my boss, a woman for the record) would this be seen as a similar system? To increase the grades of the women without forcing them to work as hard as the men? The groups tend to be, at least to my mind, artificially mixed by gender rather than what I would consider a more natural method, by grade average.

    Like

  9. Wilson September 10, 2013 at 15:52 #

    Obviously we’ve reached the point were MBA schools have “jumped the shark”. Same thing happened to liberal arts colleges, which actually used to be fairly hardcore back in the day, before they were addled by “diversity”

    Like

  10. Dude Where's My Freedom? September 10, 2013 at 16:31 #

    “Year after year, women who had arrived with the same test scores and grades as men fell behind.”

    I’d like to start by disputing this right away. Harvard has its pick of top scorers on the GMAT, and undergrad GPA is so dependent on the rigor of the school/program you went to as to be almost meaningless.

    Everyone knows that being a woman is a HUGE advantage in MBA admissions, in the name of “diversity.” It’s harder to be a stand-out candidate if you’re a man, because men are more interested in MBA programs than women are, generally, and apply in much greater numbers. Ultimately, admission to prestigious programs like Harvard depends on less measurable and objective, but still very real, predictors of success.

    In short, sheer volume suggests that the male candidates at business schools will just plain be better than the female ones. Smarter, more ambitious, more competitive. Because they have to be to get to Harvard.

    “Affirmative action doesn’t work, film at 11”

    Like

  11. Flaming Man of Iron September 10, 2013 at 17:03 #

    There were some interesting comments from the students as well:

    “Rebecca G San Francisco Harvard Business School

    As a member of the HBS class of 2013, I found this article’s point of view overwhelmingly negative, and not at all representative of my experience. I never felt like I was at a disadvantage as a woman, nor that I was a guinea pig in a negative sense of the word. And the fact that the administration succeeded in closing the gender grade gap is presented almost as an afterthought, with the author instead preferring to pile on every possible complaint about HBS: class, gender, drinking, you name it. PS. show me another place that brings together 1800 ambitious young people (avg. age 26) that doesn’t have issues with gender, class and drinking.”

    Another person wrote:

    “As an HBS Class of 2013, I have to admit that this article puts a magnifying glass on the gender issue. Yes, class discrimination was a pervasive problem (this can be attributed to what was a small group of privileged kids and their minions) but gender was nowhere as much of an issue in day to day interactions or in class as this article makes it out to be. So, why has women’s performance trailed men’s in the past? Well, HBS has this grading system in which 50% of your grade is determined by your class participation. The teachers (who are mostly male) get to decide who speaks when (and for how long) in class and also determine the student’s grade. This system of grading is highly subjective and it is not farfetched to think that the hidden biases of the professors can determine how they distribute grades. “

    Like

  12. Jeremy September 10, 2013 at 20:44 #

    If you haven’t seen the movie Limitless, I recommend it.
    Anyway, to hit the movie reference first w.r.t. the blind and shooting…

    Along this line. I was re-reading my comment here on JB from last week. I’ve sort of come to the conclusion that the push to force women into the work force in all aspects is a direct cause of our economic downfall.

    By making every concession for women and holding back me from being competitive in the worlds of business, technology, etc… we have created a generation of women with degrees they do not wish to compete with, and a generation of men trained to be passive and non-competitive.

    Like

  13. Jeremy September 10, 2013 at 20:45 #

    oops, me = men. I didn’t mean to personify all men with myself.

    Like

  14. Zach September 10, 2013 at 22:58 #

    “Ms. Navab had been the president of her class at Columbia, advised chief executives as a McKinsey & Company consultant and trained women as entrepreneurs in Rwanda. Yet now that she had arrived at the business school at age 25, she was being taught how to raise her hand.”

    Um, she “advised” CEO’s? Yeah, a lot of CEO’s are being “advised” by 24 y/o’s armed with powerpoint. And then what? She struggles to compete in school. Hmm. MBA’s are a joke. Top to bottom. The fact that the “top” is getting some attention because the girls are getting outplayed shouldn’t be a surprise at all. Look at where these kids go to work post-MBA. Dudes competing like mad, crushing each other to become the next guy in the fuck-you collar printing money. Math may be hard, but life is harder. And the majority of finance/consulting and the rest of the high-end BS is not about the math, it is about sales, being aggressive, thinking on your feet, and shoveling shit.

    Better yet: getting other people to shovel your shit. You can pay a team of engineer quant jocks in India pennies on the dollar to mash numbers. If it was about math, wall street would be a buzz of Mandarin and Hindi. It is about being a prick and being able to back it up; it is about Game. So yeah, it is no wonder women fall behind in school and then quietly downsize that Harvard MBA into some PT non-profit or “consulting” from home gig; a STAHM with nanny to raise er watch the kids during conference calls and downward dogs.

    Sounds like those ladies just need to “Lean In”.

    On the other hand, a place where women aren’t being assertive enough or speaking up, voicing their opinions, kind of sounds like a nice little oasis these days. Rare.

    Like

  15. Unix-Jedi September 11, 2013 at 03:13 #

    We reached that point 20 years ago.

    In the interim I’ve met 2 MBAs who didn’t live up to the spitting mage we workers ridicule of MBAs. So, 2 out of.. 40+?

    (Best MBA I’ve yet met was female, actually, out of Texas, IIRC, MBA program.)

    Like

  16. Uncalledfor September 11, 2013 at 05:34 #

    It’s hard to sample everything in a feast, JB; but I’m surprised you didn’t call out this part: apparently affirmative action (generally speaking) is not just for students but for faculty as well.

    “Female teachers, especially untenured ones, had faced various troubles over the years: uncertainty over maternity leave, a lack of opportunities to write papers with senior professors, and students who destroyed their confidence by pelting them with math questions they could not answer on the spot or commenting on what they wore.”

    No faculty member I ever met, all the way down to community college, could have their confidence shaken by student questions, whether they knew the answers or not. But this was the real kicker:

    “Now Ms. Frei, the guardian of the female junior faculty, was watching virtually every minute of every class some of them taught, delivering tips on how to do better in the next class. She barred other professors from giving them advice, lest they get confused.”

    You’ve got to love that “confused”. Priceless, really.

    Like

  17. James Williams September 11, 2013 at 12:03 #

    There is no room for love in any Marxist movement – feminist or otherwise. Love to them is a social construct and a mechanism of patriarchy which allows men to control women. Feminism is a cold and barren cause that opposes humanity.

    Like

  18. The Deuce September 12, 2013 at 21:19 #

    I, for one, am all for Harvard destroying itself, its poisonous influence on the country, and its increasingly unmerited prestige, however it goes about it.

    Like

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