My Daughter-In-Law, The Doctor

The other day the BBC told us that the great majority of medical students in Pakistan are female. Lest anyone think that this represents a victory of the newer strains of feminism that desire not “equality” but dominance over the inferior Other, there are not many actual female doctors in Pakistan. The women get better degrees, they said, partly because they are permitted no social lives to compete with rote-learning, while the boys are hanging with their pals and falling behind. But most of these women graduates never practice medicine. According to the BBC, they qualified because a medical degree makes a woman a very hot ticket on the marriage market, thus giving the mothers enormous prestige.

Well and good, but I am not sure I buy the implication that the mothers are the sole drivers. Do not the girls themselves want that prestige? Are they not angling to marry a male doctor, like the rest of the human race, and knowing that the best way to meet the handsome physician is to be one yourself? I yield to none in my detestation of the whole Parental Status Technology phenomenon, but the report’s denial of agency to the medical students themselves seems questionable. But all too typical of our times, in which all females are mere corks bobbing in waves made by others, the poor little victims!

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