Over-Educated Girls

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  • #592909
    myfriend
    Member

    Many people have noticed that in the frum community “over-educated” girls — i.e. those in the law profession — tend to marry late and have few kids. Would anyone care to speculate on the sociological reasons this is the case?

    #712903
    myfriend
    Member

    And it isn’t limited to those in law. That was an example. And the issues they suffer isn’t limited to marrying late or never marrying. That too was an example.

    #712904
    ronrsr
    Member

    brace yourself!

    #712905
    rescue37
    Participant

    it’s simple, there are too many uneducated guys.

    #712906
    bpt
    Participant

    Overeducated girls are not a problem.

    Undereducated boys are the problem.

    #712907
    SRPsych
    Member

    Um… Maybe because it takes a very secure guy to agree to date a highly educated girl? And those are hard to come by?

    #712908
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Ummmm. Usually because the ones who want an advanced education associate themselves less with the yeshivish community. The less yeshivish people tend to get married late and have few kids. Also, getting married late contributes to having few kids.

    #712909
    bezalel
    Participant

    Over-educated? Did I mess the memo that stated there was a limit on education?

    Back to the origional question, how many teenage lawyers do you know?

    #712910
    aries2756
    Participant

    Maybe it is because men are afraid of smart women?

    #712911
    RSRH
    Member

    Good one!

    I dont think there is such a thing as anyone being over-educated. No one can have too much knowledge.

    As a law student, from seeing the frum women in my school, I can say very simply that there just is no time. No time for dating, no time for a wedding, sheva brachos, pregnancy, childbirth, ect. ect. ect.

    To be successful, many law students work 12-18 hours a day, get internships and jobs during vacation, and are just plain exhausted whenever they aren’t studying. Good starting associate jobs are hours heavy and require a lot of commitment. There is only so much any one person can do or worry about.

    #712912
    apushatayid
    Participant

    I see youv’e gone from “iv’e noticed to “many have noticed”. Who are those “many”? Are you speaking on their behalf?

    #712913
    cshapiro
    Member

    Guys are intimidated by sucessful girls….also sucessful girls usuaully want guys equally or more sucessful and thats few and far between..

    #712914
    so right
    Member

    It’s like a tall girl. Guys usually want their wife to be shorter — or at least not taller — than them. (And the wife similarly usually wants a taller husband.) It is a natural instinct.

    Same with knowledge. Guys naturally don’t want someone more knowledgeable. Usually that isn’t a problem finding.

    RSRH –

    That is indeed a major factor in the problem. With the girl being so busy in her academics, she has no time for real life — especially family.

    #712915
    squeak
    Participant

    The idea of frum guys and girls taking on academic pursuits sounds wonderful to me. However, I have yet to see it happen in significant numbers. What you are talking about here is specializing in a single field of knowledge. That’s hardly “over educated”. More like, they are only interested in learning what they need for their career, and therefore learn as much about it as they can.

    Doesn’t make for interesting conversation though, outside of shop-talk.

    #712916
    Josh31
    Participant

    You graduate from a good law school $120K in debt and if you are a good student you will be offered jobs that pay $40 per hour that they expect you to work. However, only jobs expecting either 1000 hours or 4000 hours of solid work per year will be offered.

    WELCOME TO THE SWEATSHOP

    #712917
    wanderingchana
    Participant

    Many years ago (pre-frum days), I knew a woman with a law degree and a daughter my child’s age who was bemoaning the fact that she had “over-achieved herself out of eligibility to be a stay-at-home mom”. I felt for her, esp. because I was in my 30s when my daughter was born, was absolutely thrilled about being a mom, and didn’t care about using my bachelor’s degree anymore.

    On the other hand, a woman with intellect and ability could become frustrated and feel like she’s stagnated if she isn’t able to use her faculties. If she and her husband have agreed that she will support them while he learns, kol hakavod. They have a much better chance of being able to support their children’s learning down the road than today’s yeshiva families.

    #712918
    apushatayid
    Participant

    “Overeducated” is a demographic used by pollsters. In the most recent election, the demographics called “undereducated” and “overeducated” were solidly democratic and those who fall into the category called plain old “educated” went republican. Women also went republican. According to the pollsters findings, most women wouldn’t be considered “over” educated, at least not by pollsters.

    #712919
    SJSinNYC
    Member

    IME, the more yeshivish girls who go on careers with longer schooling are doing so because they aren’t married. So they major in biology because in theory they might be a doctor. As they graduate and aren’t dating anyone, they figure they might pursue their dreams in the meantime.

    #712920
    TheChevra
    Member

    SJSinNYC- The yeshivish girls dream _is_ to get married and have children!

    #712921
    metrodriver
    Member

    Because it’s very hard (for the “over educated” girl) to talk down to the less-educated boy, and hear a response “Haw”? to every other sentence. Besides. It’s not taught at Harvard or Columbia how to make a tasty Potato Kugel.

    #712922

    I don’t think there is a PROBLEM there. YOU may look at it as if there is… but the OVEREDUCATED GIRL is excercising her g-d given right to choose to pursue a higher education… and doesn’t think she has a problem at all.

    Now, if this thread would’ve been started by that OVEREDUCATED WOMAN herself, we’d have a whole different discussion going on here. (Like, why are men so intimidated by my education and law degree, that I cannot find a date?)

    #712923
    Ender
    Participant

    RSRH- they can always go to night school. This way they can still go on with life even though they are getting a higher education. BTW where are you in school?

    #712924
    so right
    Member

    It must be conceded that girls going for advanced education do seem to have a more difficult time in shidduchim.

    Even girls in college often go to get their “MRS”.

    #712925
    so right
    Member

    (Like, why are men so intimidated by my education and law degree, that I cannot find a date?)

    Whatever the reason is indimidation, as you attributed it, or some other reason, you are correct the reality is she isn’t getting the dates. And that IS a PROBLEM.

    You can kvetch about how it isn’t fair, but that won’t change the facts on the ground.

    It’s not taught at Harvard or Columbia how to make a tasty Potato Kugel.

    It should be. That is far more important for her to know, than tort law is.

    #712927
    wanderingchana
    Participant

    Why should a “learning boy” be intimidated? Shouldn’t he be thrilled at the prospect of a wife who can support his family so they don’t have to live off of one or both sets of parents?

    #712928
    holy brother
    Participant

    overeducated girls: i find that even when the overeducated aspect is non proffesional related, like a girl thats very advanced in torah vehashkafah boys stay away, and the reason usually isnt intimidation its the role a girl is suposed to be, no ones looking for a rosh yeshivah or teacher, to be quite frank i have a sis in law like that, and the issue is quite obvs.

    #712929
    Moq
    Member

    I see this in the older chevra. I don’t think it has to do with intelligence; B”H we are blessed with Intelligent boys, too. But when they are younger , everyone is at the beginning of everything, and when two people are zoche to get married, their married life takes a piece of everything. If he’s going to be a high powered lawyer, she’s already pregnant and is thinking about the kids and wnats to stay home. If he’s in Kollel, her priority is top dollar now, with being able to balance time with the kids. Being a Doctor/Lawyer for a girl, usually won’t cut it.

    BUT if things take a while to develop – well, boys usually rot without wives, and girls thrive without husbands. So you the longer you get down the shidduch pole, usually, she’s beautiful, accomplished with a checkbook and a nuclear physicist – and he’s – be it working or learning, degree or not – still kind of wandering around, working in his uncle’s store/law firm. Usually, guys do not have the same degreee of success in their years. Girls have a blast. So the gap gets bigger and bigger, and how on earth is she suppose to look up to him? Obviously, this doesn’t apply to all guys, but I think it’s a pretty good rule of thumb.

    #712930
    SRPsych
    Member

    I think you’ve nailed it, Moq… but why? Why do girls get involved in pursuing degrees/careers while they wait for Mr. Right, while boys “rot” – as you say??

    Is it sociological? peer pressure? HS’s which emphasize different values (ie, grades (read: knowledge) as highest importance)? Maybe there are developmental differences at this age – boys are less motivated and responsible?

    #712931
    so right
    Member

    Whatever the sociological reasons, the highly educated girls often are older and unmarried — and miserable about it.

    #712932

    it’s a developmental thing.

    This is why I think it is important for girls to get married before grad school or med school.

    #712933
    Sacrilege
    Member

    I dont think its a problem of “over-education” so much as what field you are “over-educated” in.

    OT/PT for example. To become an OT/PT you need to go through the same 3 years of Graduate School that you need when pursuing a law degree (and in my opinion it is much tougher). There is a nice group of Frum girls in the Downstate and NYU OT/PT programs, those programs are no joke, they are extremely competitive.

    For some reason OT/PT/Speech Therapy has become acceptable fields for Frum girls to pursue. They are no less educated than a girl who graduates with a law degree, becomes a Dentist or an Eye Doctor, they just have different passions.

    #712934

    Most Jewish girls are smart BH.

    OT/PT and Speech are what most girls go into because, frankly, they do not demand a lot of creativity and intensity, they involve a lot of memorizing and patience. The actual job, once learned, does not change that much.

    Getting a doctorate, going into the sciences, or earning law degree is something only an exceptionally intelligent girl will attempt, someone who enjoys challenging mental work, and many such girls are also very frum and know halacha well. It’s easy to see how a 22 year old yeshiva boy with little education would be intimidated!

    Also, I think it’s good to have some weaknesses and be aware of them. I personally thank Hashem for my very minor weaknesses (auditory stuff, organization, finances) because it will make it very easy for me to look up to my husband!

    #712935
    Helpful
    Member

    Its true being too educated makes it hard for a girl to find a shidduch.

    #712936
    Sacrilege
    Member

    Pascha

    “OT/PT and Speech are what most girls go into because, frankly, they do not demand a lot of creativity and intensity”

    “The actual job, once learned, does not change that much.”

    I’m sorry, those are completely inaccurate statements.

    #712937
    asyyeger
    Participant

    I have been following CR threads that I find interesting for quite a while now, but this is the first time I am posting. As a frum, female lawyer, I feel uniquely qualified to speak on this issue.

    I agree with many of the reasons offered to explain why “overeducated” frum women marry later and have fewer children, and I think this applies particularly to female lawyers.

    1. It is generally true (although obviously not always) that frum female lawyers tend to come from more MO circles. I myself come from a totally NYC-style MO background, including coed schools and sleep-away camps. I went to a HS that stressed going to ivy league college and becoming a professional in some capacity. (Ironically, it was during law school that I began moving to the right and became simply “orthodox.”). We usually were not raised in families of more than 3-4 children, and thought more was excessive. Additionally, there was no pressure to start dating at 18-19 and get married by 21 at the latest. I know that I was completely not ready to get married at that age – I was still enjoying getting my 4-year college degree! I myself did not get married until I was 27, and I felt very little pressure the way girls today in the more yeshivish world do. In the MO world, there were plenty of singles and singles events. (I am absolutely not advocating that path, I am merely explaining why it wasn’t hard to be single even though by yeshivish standards I was an “old maid.”).

    2. I also agree that many guys do not want to seriously date and marry women who are smarter than they are. Personally, I had multiple issues. I was in an Ivy League law school, was 5’8″, and was very athletic and outgoing. I was a total hit at the singles’ weekends, but guys just were not happy when I beat them at pool on a date! (That’s what we often did on frum dates “back in the day”). It takes an extremely secure guy with very healthy self esteem to be able to handle that, and B’H I found one such man!

    3. I find the comment that women who go into OT/PT do not have the same shidduch troubles fascinating. I think that is probably true, although I’m not really sure why. I have several theories. One, as Sacrilege noted, PT/OT are accepted fields for frum women. I think that may be because women in those fields are more likely to work in the frum community and/or work with kids. They also are more likely to be able to set their own schedules, which makes them more family friendly. They are much less likely to be dealing with men on a regular basis, although of course many do to somoe extent. Lawyers, on the other hand, work very long hours (unless they are in the public sector as I am) and are constantly interacting with men. Two, I think a legal education differs from OT/PT/speech in one very important way. OT/PT/speech is a very specific type of education – you learn the science of a particular therapy and you apply it while working. Law school, on the other hand, provides a very different type of education. For the most part, you learn how to think, write, talk and argue like a lawyer. These attributes are not confined to your work life – they spill over into all aspects of your life and relationships. (You should hear me cross-examine my kids when something happens!). These attributes may not be particularly desirable to many men who are seeking a milder type of personality in their wives.

    3. As for the comment that women in law school simply do not have time in law school to date, or are too tired, I disagree. I found the time to do many other things while in law school. However, if you go to any grad school out of a major frum area, it does severely limit your dating opportunities.

    Thank you all for listening to my extended thoughts. I would be very interested to hear what you think.

    #712938
    Simcha 44
    Member

    In this day and age, especially with all the Touro programs and even online programs, it is inexcusable for a man or woman not to pursue a degree of some sort. Nobody’s asking you to spend 4 years in a coed dorm in order to receive an education. So I am therefore certainly an advocate for girls who are educated and who acknowledge an importance in being qualified at whatever their profession may be.

    However, perhaps a problem may lie in what these girls are looking for in a guy. I would venture to assume that quite often a wonderful, driven girl with dual masters degrees, etc. is looking for a “talmud chacham” or “huge masmid” (which is completely fine, of course, to want that in a husband, as long as you’re both legitimate and are realistically prepared for that lifestyle). But unfortunately, these girls quickly feel(shockingly)that they seem to be more advanced or perhaps at a different stage in life than these guys. Well, what do you expect? Most of the guys who fit this “mold” cannot pass a 5th grade spelling or grammar test, nor can they speak above a mumble or without forcefully inserting random Yiddish and Aramaic words out of context.

    I’m fairly certain that my ideas and opinions will never change the world, but… 1. Girls- perhaps it may help if girls are more cognizant of the type of guys they claim to be interested in and then learn to cope with the complete package. Meaning: that if an educated, well-rounded, worldly guy is important to you, then it may be time to pardon all those “inferior” boys who are not in brand name yeshivos and find yourself someone who fits you and your stage of life better. 2. Boys- You will not have a very fulfilling life if you were to marry an illiterate imbecile. So just be thankful that there are a plethora of hard-working, motivated, educated girls out there.

    #712939
    Sacrilege
    Member

    yeger

    Thanks for sharing your perspective.

    I think you are correct when you say that girls that go into the Therapies have an advantage because they can make their own hours. However, not all lawyers want to make partner in a top tier firm. I work in a small to mid-size firm and my main focus is Tax Certiorari, it is a rare occurrence when I get home after 7.

    I also find it interesting that your legal training has spilled over into your every day life. People are usually quite shocked when I tell that what I do, I guess it’s a personality difference.

    The point about not having time to date, is relative to each person. If something is important enough to you, you make time for it.

    #712940
    Mayan_Dvash
    Participant

    I’m just waiting for that one post that says “NO NO! it’s the age gap…..” reminiscent of another technical website I read/post. Whenever the issue even “smells like” a file error someone has to post “..well in embedded systems…” which do not make use of files.

    ;

    #712941
    yitayningwut
    Participant

    ??? ???? ??? ?’ ?????: ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??????, ???? ???? ?????

    ?? – ??????? ???? ?”? ??”?

    Apparently ‘over-education’ was considered a ????? back then.

    #712942
    Sacrilege
    Member

    Simcha

    You just summed up the “Shidduch Crisis”

    Many girls think that in order for them to marry a “good” guy he needs to be learning, whether they really want it or not.

    #712943
    squeak
    Participant

    Sac- I’m shocked. I could have used your services a while back, but I represented myself (it is said that I had a fool for a client, but I won).

    #712944
    apushatayid
    Participant

    “3. I find the comment that women who go into OT/PT do not have the same shidduch troubles fascinating.”

    I wonder if there are not many frum female lawyers because none of the frum degree factories have figured out a way to get you a law degree in 18 months, or less, 3 nights a week.

    #712945
    wanderingchana
    Participant

    Asyeger: “You should hear me cross-examine my kids when something happens!).” I love it!

    #712946
    asyyeger
    Participant

    Sacrilege:

    You are 100% correct that not every lawyer in a firm wants to make partner. Regardless, assuming that the lawyer’s spouse is also working a job that requires him to get home after 7, it is very difficult to run a family that way. It works while you are single or without kids, but not so well afterwards. I went part-time for several years so that I could be home when the kids got home from school. That’s easier to do in the public sector than in the private world. I am full-time now, but I work locally and get home by 4:30 to take the kids off the bus.

    And, based on your posts that I’ve ready in different threads, I’m not shocked that you’re a lawyer!

    #712947
    Sacrilege
    Member

    It’s always nice to win against the city. What kind of property was it?

    #712948
    kgh5771
    Participant

    The “problem” of over-education of girls starts in elementary schools. Have you ever seen the kids get off their respective school buses? The girls have bulging back packs, multiple looseleafs, and hours of homework. The boys, stroll off the buses with one or two worksheets, and have at most, a half hour worth of homework. The girls are taught to work harder at a much younger age. All of this is in order to pressure and prepare them to enter the workforce to support their Kollel husbands. So why shouldn’t they feel the need to be more accomplished? They have to be more accomplished!

    Everything is made harder for the girls. Did you ever look at the Seminary applications? They have strict deadlines, mission statements, etc. Guys? They shop around for a yeshiva, and then apply to the one or two that they want, AFTER they have already been accepted. How about once they get to Israel? Girls have tremendous amounts of works: prep, papers, tests, homework. What do the guys have to do? Sit in class. No homework. No real exams to see if they are really progressing. All the guys get an A on their transcript. Not so with the girls.

    Are the guys under pressure to finish their Bachelors by 20 and Masters by 21?

    And then the guys have the nerve to say they don’t want someone smarter than them? I don’t know if its due to stupidity or arrogance.

    #712949

    Pascha

    “OT/PT and Speech are what most girls go into because, frankly, they do not demand a lot of creativity and intensity”

    “The actual job, once learned, does not change that much.”


    I’m sorry, those are completely inaccurate statements.

    Sacrilege: Really? I know several people in these fields, and I see that there isn’t the potential there is in law or the other professions i mentioned- most who go into the therapies, are not about to start a clinic or do research in the field, for example. They just want to support a husband in kollel.

    (Obviously I am making a major generalization, but my observation does account for why people in the therapies don’t intimidate boys.)

    #712950
    asyyeger
    Participant

    Apashutayid:

    “I wonder if there are not many frum female lawyers because none of the frum degree factories have figured out a way to get you a law degree in 18 months, or less, 3 nights a week.”

    I don’t think that’s the main reason. I’m not sure (not my area), but I believe that girls who go into PT/OT/speech/PA, etc., still need to complete their Masters at a properly accredited institution. The same for lawyers. It’s just the BA that they can get quickly. I don’t believe the “frum factories” can get you a MA in one of the scientific fields, although I could be wrong.

    #712951
    apushatayid
    Participant

    “You should hear me cross-examine my kids when something happens!).” I love it!”

    According to my parenting class, its not good parenting to be be cross-examining your kids. I guess the guy who gives the class never went to law school and doesn’t know the thrill of a cross examination 🙂

    #712952
    Sacrilege
    Member

    pascha

    “most who go into the therapies, are not about to start a clinic or do research in the field”

    I didnt go into law to open up my own firm. Fine, I want to become a Judge… but thats just because I like the robe 😉

    In all seriousness, yes, gross generalization. The methods used by OT (especially) to get through to their patients takes tremendous amounts of creativity, persistence and caring. And as with any science there are always new breakthroughs and new discoveries so its an ongoing learning process.

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