The numbers don’t lie. Across the board, humanities majors at American universities are dying. At Stanford, a mere 15% of the undergraduate body devotes their time to studying the humanities, while the size of the English department at the University of Maryland has shrunk by 40% in a matter of three years.
While many critics argue that this shift erodes the integrity and depth of higher education, what does it mean for the working world? The answer may surprise you, then frighten you, and then surprise you again.
With the decline of the humanities, the United States is seeing a drastic shortage of sexy librarians.
These days, the sad truth is that few students have the skill set to find beauty in Wuthering Heights, let alone to clumsily drop it and bend over to pick it up in a scandalously tight miniskirt. Go ahead and visit your local library or Barnes & Noble. You’ll find no scholarly sexpots there, just middle-aged crones with a thing for Nora Roberts and pastel sweatpants.
How will our next generation ever discover a love of reading without the guidance of a straight-laced young woman whose knowledge of literature is exceeded only by the size of her cleavage? I fear that many young people coming out of the current system lack the capacity for critical thought, nuanced communication, and chewing on the tips of their reading glasses. Today’s financial and consulting industries are all about mindless profit maximization, with no place for tight
hair buns or furtive leers through a well-stocked bookshelf.
So the next time someone in your reading room tells you that English, History, and Philosophy majors are all useless, go ahead and shush them. A college education isn’t just about finding a job; it’s about grappling with what it means to be human, sort of like a really erotic mud-wrestling match. Maybe the STEM fields are in their heyday, but without respect for the liberal arts, life gets a lot less sexy.