Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The End of Men

Hannah Rosin’s argument is not about feminism; the title of her article is “The End of Men” and in my opinion, much of the research she’s done only sympathizes with the male perspective. To consider that school values such as “self-control, focus, and verbal aptitude…seem to come more easily to young girls” is incredulous! Instead of making excuses, shouldn’t boys be expected to work hard in order to succeed academically? Throughout history women have contorted themselves to fit within the man’s world in order to thrive socially, politically, and economically, but in the one instance that men are faced with a disadvantage, society suggests that they should “take more time on tests, or have tests and books that cater to their interests.” She proposes that the rising matriarchy is as a group of heartless women who aren’t getting married because they’re “unable to find men with a similar income and education,” that we are “setting [marriage terms] too high for the men” and should continue to prioritize them instead of ourselves. She quotes a another source which states that “‘it’s not clear [recent family changes] are bad for women,’” while in the previous paragraph it’s described how “mothers are struggling financially; the most successful are working and going to school and hustling to feed the children, and then falling asleep in the elevator of the community college.” It was frustrating to read about the fathers who failed to pay their child support because they were portrayed as the victims. We’re never even told why they have such estranged relationships with their children and their children’s mothers; they aren’t “the authority” anymore, and they shouldn’t be pitied because of it. 

As an economist, Rosin explains that these men who are applying for food stamps are the sad result of “The Great ‘He-cession.’” I’m still at a loss, however, at how this turn of the economy translates to equal rights for women. We hold more than fifty percent of managerial positions, we’re getting college degrees faster, and yet there is still a significant wage gap. The current working class job market is for child care, elder care, and food preparation, so it’s no wonder that females are holding higher ranked positions than men; these chores have been relegated to women for centuries. Male dominated studies such as engineering and computer science are still just that: male dominated. At the very beginning of Rosin’s TED Talk, she remarks that the women are making strides “where it counts.” The observations Mr. Ogden shared about gender roles in his life supports her thesis: equal parenting duties and female superiors. Yet Mr. Ogden works as an educator, a type of employment that was primarily filled by women decades ago, and even more importantly, he works as an English teacher. The head of the English Department is Mrs. Gold, the head of the History Department is Ms. O’Connell, but the head of the Science Department? Mr. Metz. And the head of the Math Department? Mr. King. Most of the dorms have women heads as well, but isn’t that to be expected too? A dorm is another type of home, and women are normally the ones in charge of such domestic affairs. Any position of power given to a women shouldn’t be taken for granted, but I don’t think we can make the argument about equality until we see women in careers historically filled by men. Perhaps Rosin wasn’t trying to be a feminist with her research, but I still think her article and TED Talk were too dramatic in depicting the challenges men are just beginning to face.

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