A STEM professor at the University of Akron in Ohio was trying to boost his female students’ grades — just because those students are women.
On Monday, the professor, Liping Liu, sent an email to students letting them know that three groups of students may see their grades raised a “level or two,” according to a screenshot of the email that was posted on Reddit.
The screenshot has since been removed because it contained recipients’ email addresses, however, a redacted copy of it was provided by a student to Campus Reform. It stated:
The following categories of students may see their grades raised one level or two:
1) Female students (it is a national movement to encourage female students to go to information sciences)
2) Students who had earned scores in exams (especially final exams) demonstrating a higher performance than their calculated ones
3) Students who attended class but missed reporting attendance (as long as I can tell)
Liu told The College Fix that he was well aware that his attempt to raise women’s grades could be “questionable,” but that he decided he wanted to “test the water” anyway and see if the grade raises might “attract female students into future classes.”
In a win for sanity, however, the plan didn’t work. The Fix reports that an administrator contacted the publication to say that Liu’s idea was “unacceptable,” and that no one’s grades would be raised.
This was obviously the right choice. Although Liu told The Fix that the “one or two female students” in his class are “not doing well” — and that they would likely need to “repeat the courses or leave the program” without the extra grade help — it’s still an overall good thing for women that Liu won’t be able to enact this plan.
The goal of feminism, after all, is for women and men to be treated equally — and this policy works in the opposite direction. It spreads the message that women are not as capable as men, that they need extra help to be able to do the same things that men can do. It doesn’t make women look stronger, it makes them look weaker. If I were one of these students, I would actually be offended at this kind of patronizing plan. I understand that it must be difficult to fail a class, but I would absolutely never feel right about passing a class solely because of my gender. I’d rather work twice as hard the second time around and pass on merit alone — just like everyone else had to do.
What’s more, if Liu’s idea became a popular trend, it could make it even harder for women to actually get hired for STEM jobs. Think about it: If employers knew that women routinely got higher grades just because they were women, they might start to assume that any woman with a STEM degree may not have actually deserved that degree. Passing a class is great, but the entire purpose of school is to prepare you for the workforce — and Liu’s idea could make it even tougher for women to make that ultimate goal a reality.