International education consultant Alan Olsen said about 603,000 domestic female students had obtained higher education qualifications between 2000 and 2009, almost 50 per cent more than the 404,000 completions by their male counterparts.
50% higher! How did it get to this? One reason is that government policy back in the 1990s continued to list women as a disadvantaged group in higher education, even though women were already a majority of enrolments. One researcher, Ian Dobson, noted that in 1995 a government equity paper decided to keep listing women as a disadvantaged group, despite higher female enrolments, because men were still the majority in engineering. Dobson was sceptical that women could be thought of as being victims of gender privilege when they were numerically superior on campus. But proponents of the idea of continuing female disadvantage won the day:
Proponents of this view react adversely to the use of analytical material which demonstrates female numerical superiority in higher education. Tanya Castleman, for instance insists that the complex and entrenched dynamics of gender and culture privilege' are working against women in their participation in higher education. Such advocates fail to explain how women could have advanced so rapidly to overtake male student numbers in total at a time of great competition for university places.
Tanya Castleman was so "oppressed" by the "complex and entrenched dynamics of gender privilege" that she is now Head of the Deakin Graduate School of Business.
Let's be clear: at a time when women were poised to slaughter men in the field of higher education, feminists like Tanya Castleman were continuing to insist that it was men who were privileged. And it was her view which the liberal state chose to follow.