Whenever I announce a nighttime sporting event, I begin with these words: “Good Evening, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.” It’s a tribute to Sherm Feller, who was Fenway Park’s public address announcer from 1967 to 1993. He started Red Sox night games the same way, every single time.
Now, when it comes to college, just how are the “ladies and gentlemen” and “boys and girls” faring? At most universities, 60-65 percent of college freshmen are women. Women now earn the majority of bachelors, masters’, doctoral, legal, and medical degrees. At a recent high school assembly, I noticed that women represented 3/4 of the students whose GPAs were 3.5 or higher.
Why is this so? The answer is twofold: First, women have made tremendous gains in most career fields over the last 50 years and our country is much better off because of that progress. (Remember the iconic picture of Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes swearing in Lyndon Johnson as the 36th President of the United States aboard Air Force One on November 22, 1963? I suspect that Judge Hughes had few women in her law school graduating class). Today, because of their superior verbal and analytical skills, women are starting to dominate the legal profession.
Second, young men lack strong male role models. I was very fortunate. My father Nick is the best role model a young man could ever have. He has practiced law for more than 50 years. Today, too many fathers neglect their children. For many young men, academic achievement is no longer considered “cool.” A young man need not attend college to be considered “successful.” However, today too many young men are content to squander their talents, or accept mediocrity.