Judith was an overachiever with a problem. A college freshman, she loved psychology but was determined to get straight A's. When she got only B's, she was despondent -- and left the field entirely.Of course, this also explains why women so often try to turn everything into grade-school, complete with an all-controlling authority figure; it's the one environment in which they feel reasonably confident of succeeding by means of blind obedience and effort.
As we wrestle with the question of how women achieve success, we've spilled more ink on whether women believe in themselves and not enough on what happens when women fail.
Success is not just about taking a seat at the proverbial table. It requires adopting the belief that if you say the wrong thing, or do poorly initially, you will bounce back and try again. Confidence is impossible when you interpret failure as a pronouncement about your own potential.
To hear the headlines tell it, girls are the undisputed leaders in American classrooms. They have higher GPAs than boys and attend colleges and graduate schools in greater numbers. In part, this is because girls excel at the self-discipline required of students. Indeed, if life were one long grade-school, girls would rule the world.
But what seems to serve girls so well in the routinized world of school undermines them as they enter the unpredictable and challenge-ridden world of young adulthood.
Earlier this year, Harvard University professor Claudia Goldin found that women were dropping out of undergraduate economics courses when they failed to score As. The are missing out on a highly rewarding profession. Meanwhile, their male counterparts stuck with the major, apparently weathering lackluster GPAs for an anticipated payoff down the road.
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Girls are psychologically soft
And it's really not their fault. It's the fault of those who have overpraised them since they were in kindergarten: