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NCFM Mr. Manners, Roommates and Feminist Indifference Toward Women

May 24, 2024


My preconception when I first started studying gender issues was that feminism was about fairness for women.  While there were feminists with that orientation, they had influence only for a brief time.  Another erroneous contention I held, was that the media’s goal was to tell the truth regarding male, female issues. Also, incorrect.

For example, if you listened to feminist’s and the mainstream media, you would believe that women’s primary problem in the workforce is men. Females are being inundated with men as sexual harassers, and discriminators against women regarding employment. Add to that, overall women value friendships with other women more than men do with other men. Despite all this, women who have a preference which sex to work with favor collaborating with men 18% to 5% (Who men and women prefer as their co-workers, Pew Research).

With the powerful feminist influence on college campuses, unsurprisingly the women as victim of men paradigm is even stronger than that of the mainstream press. Thus one dark aspect of heterosexual relationships, violence between couples, receives a disproportion amount of discussion. Consistently with a strong feminist slant. So, for instance, despite the facts that studies consistently show women to be as frequent or greater perpetrators of domestic in these couples, the focus is on female victims. Nor are we informed that studies  show lesbian relationships to have more such violence than heterosexual couples (Is violence more common in same-sex relationships? – BBC News Washington).  Obviously, lesbian couples’ violence should be of greater to activist concerned about women, since in these cases a woman is always the victim.

Mr. Manners

Mr. Manners

Of course, for several college students the data is not applicable. Some students are not dating anyone. Some are married. Some are involved with people not in college, or at other colleges. If a college student is in a romantic relationship with someone at a different college, the two are likely to spend less time together. In addition, colleges are most concerned about what is happening at their school. Since these are things that college employees have more authority over and in addition are liable for.

Compare that with the research on colleges roommates. The rooms are domiciles, so violence in these places constitute domestic violence. Furthermore, all these relations are between people living at the school, often with the colleges selecting who is living with whom, giving the school greater responsibility. This also means, unlike romantic relationships, students often have no choice on who the end up living with. Such arrangements are very likely to involve more contact than dating situations. They also are harder to get out of.  Roommate issues concern students, parents, and administrators, yet unlike the numerous studies about domestic partners in romantic relationships, I cannot recollect hearing about any such studies cited by the media prior to me deciding to write this article.

There is a clear and obvious reason topics such as roommate issues do not get the attention as that of heterosexual couples. That being that historically in college, female have lived with females and males have lived with males. Thus, it does not fit in with what faculty and the media are interested in, females being victims of males. In addition, the data does not comply with the female superiority portrayal that attracts the press.

Of course, articles on such a relevant topic are infrequent. However, there does strongly appear to be a major paucity of research in many areas of the subject. For instance, an article from July 2022, How to Handle 9 Typical Roommate Problems” by Steve Brown: “Please note that we are presenting a wide range of research in this post, and some of it dates back to 2004. We still believe the findings are relevant.” Some of the data in the article was from a study from 1983.

The article cited a study “conducted in the fall of 2008 by Boise State, which found that around 25 percent of students reported roommate issues in the preceding month, with females more likely to report experiencing a problem than males. In addition, they found: “that poor relationships with roommates are responsible for dissatisfaction with school and lower GPA. (Ibid How to Handle).” Data that portrays women in a worse vane than men is likely to get less publicity. This is ironic, because women having more issues means the data is more useful overall for females than males.

The plus side of such information not being used by advocates is that it makes the information less likely to be distorted by politics. Predictably, such data also entails a wider lens, discussing both positive and negative aspects of roommates. In addition, studies have useful data which can be applied in the future. For example, one study measured how roommates and dorm-mates impact each others grades, drinking behavior, career choice and beliefs, often in a positive way (How students can benefit from randomly assigned college roommates).

The Steve Brown article did not mention violence between partners.  It mentioned nine issues that being: “loud (partying), not cleaning, different sleep schedules, stealing/borrowing, not getting along, issues with guests, disagreement over bills, lack of respect and privacy.  As far as dating and co-habituating couples are concerned, discussing similar issues rather than many that focus merely on domestic violence would be useful.

If feminists and the media in general are truly concerned about females, there should be more research on not just the problems but the benefits of college heterosexual couples (Yes, they should be equally concerned about males, but that is another issue). Research reveals that the happiest people are happily married couples. Another topic that is under-reported. A number of these marriages are from couples who dated in college. More attention to which college relationships are likely to result in happy marriages would be quite valuable to people.

Of course, a major hidden issue of poorly designed and slanted media coverage is opportunity costs. That is, slanted studies often take the resources that could be used for useful research. Add to that, frequently valuable information does not fit the politically correct paradigm and thus is unreported or not reported at all. What is the cost? In exact terms, incalculable.

Mr. Manners

NCFM Mr. Manners, Roommates and Feminist Indifference Toward Women


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