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No more 'big men on campus'?

If you're a guy choosing a college this fall, beware.

That's the message from Men's Health magazine, which just jumped into the current sturm und drang about how schools treat young men with its ranking of the Top 10 colleges most friendly to men. The decidedly glossy monthly said that particular selection wasn't too hard. The tougher challenge was limiting its list of male-bashing institutions.

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Based on polling readers and two organizations of college consultants, Men's Health sang the praises of Princeton University ("said to be the only Ivy to offer more economics classes than women's studies courses") and Washington and Lee ("Greek heaven on Earth"). Smiling coeds drove home the point. In the doghouse were Brown University ("smothered in half-baked feminism") and the University of Michigan ("includes an aggressive cadre of feminist activists").

It's tempting to think from this that "friendly" is simply code for frats and football. But there's no question: A backlash is afoot over the perceived loading of opportunities in women's favor and a demonization of men. More women than men do earn four-year degrees. But those polled didn't complain about being outnumbered - they just preferred it on campuses where the women smile and say "howdy" (Texas A&M).

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society