Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The End of Men

To say that we are coming to an age where this is “The End of Men” is to be dismissive of the fact that despite what any members may say our society continues to be extremely patriarchal.  

While it is true that traditional gender roles are changing, this doesn’t erase the fact that women are still largely seen within a box of set characteristics.  Women in leadership roles are described as “bossy” and “frigid” while men in leadership roles are described as “charismatic” and “strong willed”.  Despite women now being a “majority of the work force for the first time in U.S. history”, as Rosin cites, it doesn’t erase the fact that society still hasn't come to grips with this or fully accepts it.  So when Rosin points out the positive praise for women or how women are of the utmost demand because without them there is a “brain drain”, I don’t truly buy it.   

Though much of Rosin’s argument is rooted in statistics, I got a sense that most of it is more anecdotal than not.  I can see how Ogden’s own family reinforces this change but I have not seen this change in my own family regardless of any generation (except maybe for myself).  I think it’s disingenuous to describe this change as broad sweeping and affecting everyone and everything.  

Rosin’s title “The End of Men” doesn’t seem to help matters either.  No wants a matriarchy to replace a patriarchy or misandry to replace misogyny.  The goal is equality.  

I also felt that in deriving her thesis, Rosin depended on stereotypes to prove her point even though she chastised other researchers for doing the same.  Even her comment in her Ted Talk, “men are the new ball and chain”, is problematic as well.  Continuing to make people fit into a dichotomy of isn’t productive for a new equitable landscape.

I don’t buy Rosin’s argument as completely neutral and based purely on empirical data.  I think she sees this turning tide as positive.  And while yes it is exciting to see a landscape where women may not always have to be the ones on the bottom, the goal isn’t for it to be at the expense of men.        

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