这是我的朋友Only“英语论说文写作”的课程作业。Only表示，虽然她怀疑quota对于促进教育领域性别平等的效用（quota在她文中体现为，大学理工科应采取“录取女生人数至少占总人数30%”的政策），但由于作业要求提出“significant, original, debatable, attractive”的观点，她就凑合着用了这个quota暴论。而她之所以能想到这个暴论，也是因为她中学阶段就处于男女比例悬殊的理科竞赛班，感受过老师随口泼的“女生数学思维就是会差一点”，也感受过boys’ club的窒息氛围（她随时能听到班里男生的黄笑话和女性鉴赏）。
The "Feminization" of Colleges is Far From Enough
"Our colleges have become girls'!" A candidate of the National People's Congress posted on Weibo. Indeed, China's female undergraduates have outnumbered the male since 2009. However, girls make up less than 22% of students in Science and Engineering majors -- the "feminization" of colleges is far from enough. In my opinion, Colleges should adopt a quota system that reserves 30% seats for women in Science and Engineering majors.
The quota system will break up the boys' club and encourage girls in Science and Engineering. In Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley, Emily Chang defined "Brotopia" and "boy's club" as the place where men hold all the cards and make all the rules. The same things happen in colleges. According to 2020 research published in The Physics Teacher, the current Physics learning environment suffocates girls by isolation, gendered microaggressions, and the ubiquity of stereotypes. The quota system becomes a must, as female peers can serve to provide reassurance, unite to criticize microaggressions and break up stereotypes. Then why 30%? A 2008 research in Organizational Dynamics suggests that 30% represents a critical mass from which point minority groups can impact boardroom dynamics. Thus, in the classroom, at least 30% of girls are needed to challenge the male-dominant atmosphere.
Meanwhile, gender quotas ensure the equality of outcome. As Simone de Beauvoir wrote in The Second Sex, "One is not born, but rather become, a woman." A baby grows up into a woman after hearing "Girls are poor at Science and Engineering" thousands of times. These are barriers preventing girls from favoring Science and Engineering. And if barriers exist, compensatory measures like quotas must be introduced as a means to reach equality of outcome. Besides, as Catherine Mayer (Co-Founder of the Women's Equality Party) put it, "Quotas are about ripping open the doors and letting people in. If warm words and targets without teeth were enough, we'd be a hell of a lot closer to parity." Quotas are a great way to create institutional changes, and may be the only way if we want to see equality (of outcome) in our lifetime.
Some may argue that quotas harm girls, as girls do not want themselves to "be in the position only because they are girls." However, gender quotas cannot force girls to choose Science and Engineering. Instead, they convey the message "girls can do it", and support girls who feel frustrated every time they hear "Girls are not fit for Science and Engineering". Girls are here not only because they are girls, but also because they are brilliant and for centuries there has been an unwritten quota for men.
In conclusion, colleges should adopt the 30% quota to encourage girls and reach equality of outcome. Also, keep in mind that quotas are just a necessary solution rather than a radical solution. They compensate for underlying barriers that prevent girls from choosing Science and Engineering majors, rather than eradicate the toxic patriarchy. I am looking forward to the day when we abolish patriarchy and gender quotas become useless.
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