Image: body-languages

Officials are actively recruiting male teachers and as local media reported the dire need to “salvage masculinity in schools.”

  08 February 2016 15:30 - Women just can’t seem to win in any career path. Even the ones traditionally prescribed to the fairer of the two genders, such as teaching, has seen an strange turn of events in China, where there has been a call for more male teachers, as strong male role models make boys to real men.

That’s why Lin Wei, 27, begins his history class with tales of manliness entwined in stories about warlords who threw witches into rivers and outsmarted Japanese enemies. “Men have special duties,” he told the students. “They have to be brave, protect women, and take responsibility for wrongdoing.”

Image:Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty

Government officials across China believe that it is the fault of the female dominated education system that has led so many young boys to become effeminate, timid and self-centred. Women, according to a 2012 study conducted in Beijing, hold four in five of the teaching jobs in China, which is a staggeringly high number for gender imbalance in the teaching environment, even for a typically female dominated field.

The fact that most of these children are only children to due stringent policies of the communist era is most likely lost upon said government officials. Or the fact that the children are being raised in a saturated technological era that has no doubt alerted social interaction is also implausible.

Officials are actively recruiting male teachers and as local media reported the dire need to “salvage masculinity in schools.” Clearly the definition of masculinity hasn’t been modified since the medieval era, as physical strength and traditional values are seen as masculine. A quick glance at the recently implemented programs, such as boys only martial arts classes in Shanghai and “West Point Boys” camp in Hangzhou, where the motto is “we bring out the men in boy” only proves the point. Not only are officials claiming that the boys are at risk of losing their masculinity but they are also statistically performing worse academically than their female counterparts. There is evidence that boys are trailing behind girls in standardized academic testing as early as the third grade, according to research conducted by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences in 2012.

Whether or not male teachers influence masculinity is debateable, for who is to say that women can’t teach masculinity? The problem is the outdate ideals that the government is trying to instil while promoting absolute gender discrimination with regards to hiring teachers and professors. Universities are giving perk to male teachers, including higher salaries and offering full time teaching scholarships and jobs to young men. Women are not receiving the same benefit for the same work simply based on their gender.

The cake topper on yet another gender disparity? According to a 2008 study in Great Britain found no tie between male teachers and higher academic performance in 11-year old boys.

(Reported by Ivana Lucic)


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