This is all quite confusing, as I thought we no longer were supposed to identify differences between males and females since we are apparently all the same, but that's a discussion for another time.
Savonick provides the anecdote that she was in a class in which she was not given equal time to give a presentation. Class time ran out before the teacher got to her, so she felt slighted, and saw this as representative of a larger culture of ignoring females or giving them reduced roles in classrooms. There's nothing like offering a personal anecdote to make sweeping claims about 50% of a population.
She cites research that shows teachers call on boys more in class, teachers give boys more time to speak, and teachers ask boys more probing questions that require higher level thinking and engagement. Perhaps these findings are completely true--I have no reason to believe they aren't. But simply citing a fact is not necessarily evidence of a systemic pattern of discrimination.
Here are some other facts about gender and education. The results from the above studies hold true not only in male-led classes, but when women are the teachers as well. Are we claiming that females are sexist against themselves? We also have mountains of data showing that females are excelling past males in nearly every academic measurement--higher graduation rates, GPA, and advanced degrees, and lower dropout rates. Overall, males are facing catastrophic problems at all levels of education, from elementary through college. If girls tend to talk less in classes, it certainly doesn't seem to be hurting their ability to learn and succeed.
Rather than making the ridiculous assumption that all disparities are the result of discrimination, let's work through some likely explanations for why boys talk more and teachers call on them more. Anyone who has been in charge of a classroom for any length of time (15 years now for me) will tell you that teachers tend to call on any students that seem to be distracted or may be struggling. It's a way for the teacher to keep a class on task and to check in with those students who are at risk of falling further behind. Guess what? The students that tend to lose attention or fall behind are most often males. Therefore, of course they will get called on more often.
So why do they speak longer? Females tend to have better verbal skills (at all ages) than boys. Asking a girl a question is more likely to elicit a shorter, clearer, and often more accurate response. Again, girls tend to do better in class. It is quite common for a guy who is a D student to give a rambling, incoherent answer to a tough question. It is also quite common for the teacher, after said answer (depending on how rambling and incoherent), to ask a follow-up in order to steer the male student on the right track.
Males (at all ages) also tend to make more jokes, interrupt others, or create other verbal disruptions in order to show off (usually for girls) or to simply rebel against the confines of the classroom. Meanwhile, females tend to be much better listeners, as well as more demure and socially respectful in a classroom environment. I cannot remember, in all my years, a single instance of dismissing a female from class for being disruptive. I kick a guy out at least once per year. What Savonick sees as guys unfairly getting more talk time, I see as guys being much more willing to look like idiots and jerks in front of others, much to their own educational detriment.
Yes, teachers should be calling on girls just as much as boys. Yes, teachers should be calling on excellent students just as much as struggling ones. But when you are leading a class of 30 eleven-year-olds (as I used to) or a class of 30 college students (as I do now), your goal is to try to keep as many people engaged as possible and to get low-level students up to speed. Nothing kills a boy's attention more than hearing smart girls quickly and easily answer every question you ask. The fact that girls are getting less speaking time in class is actually, in a weird way, a tremendous compliment to how well they are doing. Teachers, honestly, don't have to worry about them as much because of their superior maturity levels and social skills. Once again, I'm not saying such disparity is optimal or purposeful. It's just the reality of what tends to happen.
So here's the takeaway: if you are in classes where teachers run out of time and don't get to hear from everyone, you are not in a class run by a sexist; you are in a class run by a moron. You have a teacher that cannot properly structure his/her class. This is not a sin of bigotry; it's a sin of incompetence. And that's just a great lesson for life, as well. When you encounter people in the world that are doing things you don't like, don't assume discrimination or some other ideological agenda; assume stupidity. There are infinitely more stupid people in the world than there are bigots.
And instead of resorting to blame and inane slogans, such as "time is a feminist issue," think through the situation a little more deeply. Learn more about the realities of what occurs in classrooms, and realize that most of us are simply trying to survive each day by helping students learn a little about a subject area and about life, while also trying not to get vilified for whatever cause small-minded people are taking up this particular week. The author of this article, Danica Savonick, seems quite concerned about salvaging time for others; unfortunately, her ideas here have wasted ours.