Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The End of Men

When I first read the article, and read the name of the presentation, I expected Mr. Ogden’s presentation to be about belittling the need for feminism. I anticipated him saying that we had reached equality and that we had accomplished what we needed to. I also thought that when reading the article the author had a negative tone towards, “The End of Men,” at least from what I had gathered from the title. During the presentation, however, I quickly realized that this was not the case at all. Both Mr. Ogden and Hanna Rosin were simply stating what is rather than their opinion of what is. 
I think that the author of the article has an interesting point about the rise of women and how we are beginning to surpass men. I think that the point about young boys struggling in school with lower abilities to focus or achieve is something that is talked about a lot today. I know that in my own family this is definitely the case. Both of my brothers take medicine for ADHD and struggled to focus or complete homework. I’m not sure, however, if their struggling in school more than my sister or I did or their failure to complete assignments on time was truly a testament to uncontrollable symptoms of ADHD or just them being lazy. It seemed like in the article and the Ted talk Hannah Rosin was justifying the decrease in male graduates or decrease in male’s academic success by saying that boy’s can’t control it or that it’s not their fault. She talks about how men choose not to go back to school or take classes at a community college because they feel uncomfortable learning or being academically, “weak,” in front of the girls. I feel like this is yet another way of giving males an out in saying that it’s not their fault. When the roles were reversed and women were the undereducated ones who had to catch up to the males women weren’t given excuses. They were expected to find their own way to achieve. The only “special treatment” that they were given was the chance at equal opportunity, and I believe that when that opportunity was presented women took it and showed their true potential and began to surpass men.
In my own family I have always been surrounded by strong female role models. After my Great-Grandfather passed away my Great-Grandmother got on a train with her four kids, two dogs, and a bird, and went all the way to Wyoming. She showed up in a town she had never heard of and became one of five single women to start an entire town in a secluded valley. The five women built ranches, a schoolhouse, a church, and a gathering room and ever since then my family, along with many others, has been going to that same valley every year. My Grandmother was also a very strong woman, and a role model for me. She was slightly crazy and seemed to always find herself in precarious situations, but she was by far the most independent woman I have ever met. I remember one day when I was younger my dad got a call from a friend saying that they had seen an ambulance pulling out of my grandmother’s driveway. We later found out that she had fallen out of her horse carriage, while she was racing through the woods, at the age of 80+ years old, and had broken three ribs and sustained a minor concussion. We went to the hospital the following day to check on her and found that she had checked herself out that morning against her doctor’s advice. This story isn’t immediately relevant to the idea of women surpassing men, but I think that it speaks to my point that things are changing and we do have strong women that surround us and the numbers are increasing.
I think that Hannah Rosin’s points are true, mostly because they were based on unarguable statistics, but I don’t think her interpretation of those statistics matched my point of view. I still am not really sure what her point was exactly, but I don’t think we are anywhere near, “the end of men,” or of women completely surpassing men. The point that women led the number of jobs in the fastest rising industries is true, but those industries aren’t exactly the money making glamorous jobs that men still hold the majority in. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the only occupations in which women’s salaries are equal to or surpass those of men in the same occupation are: “Sewing machine operators, combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food, teacher assistants, counselors, and transportation, storage, and distribution manages”.  I wouldn’t label a single one of these jobs as highly sought after or as money making professions.
So we have made progress, and women are surpassing men academically, and women are entering the workforce in much larger numbers than ever before, and hopefully with this growing generation of highly educated and motivated women we will see a change in the more elite and coveted occupations. I think that there is hope and I think that we are making progress, but I also don’t see a drastic change occurring, or “the end of men,” in the near future.


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