Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The End of Men

I thought Mr. Ogden's presentation on "The End of Men" was very interesting, but I'm not sure how I feel about the article itself. Hanna Rosin talks about how for every two men who get college degrees, three women will do the same, women have more management positions than men, and that women today are more focused on doing everything (in terms of having a job, taking care of children, and other household and professional job), rather than settling down, getting married, and sharing the responsibilities with a spouse. Rosin also talks about how the changing economy is harder on men than women because the economy today requires more skills like social intelligence and group work, which tend to be more in women's skill sets, rather than physical force and strength, which tend to be more in men's skill sets. Rosin says that since there is more demand for women's skills than men's, men are being pushed out of the work force and recessions are now harder on men than on women.

Rosin says that women are, in general, surpassing men in terms of success in the workforce. But to me, the article seems to be saying that because women are finding success, men are falling behind. I don't understand why it matters that women are pulling ahead. Why does it matter than women are taking advantage or the skills they have and using them to pull ahead in the professional world? Isn't that what men have been doing forever? My point is that we're only noticing it because it's not what we're used to. Before the feminist movement, there were way more men in the workforce, in much higher positions of authority, than women, but that was considered "normal" and people didn't mind it, so why is it different now that women are pulling ahead? There was a time when it was normal for there to be more men in more important positions than women, so why does it matter that now is the time when there are more women in more important positions than men? 

In the discussion we had with Mr. Ogden, we talked about how, in his life, he has a 50-50 partnership with Mrs. Ogden and that they both work, and both do stuff around the house, and neither one is considered the "head of the house", which is very different than his father's experience. At home, my dad is the one who works and my mom stays at home and does the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other household work, although my dad does help out when he's not working or on a business trip. My mom worked up until she had my younger sister, then, at that point, my dad was making more money, so it made sense to them for my mom to stay home and my dad to work. However, in addition  to each of my parents filling the traditional gender roles around the house, my mom takes care of the bills and was almost entirely in charge of the designing and building of our new house, and my dad takes my younger sister to lacrosse games on the weekend, used to take Gabby and I to dance competitions on Sundays, and does do the dishes whenever he can (because he really can't cook to save his life). So, even though my parents do fit into more "traditional" gender roles in my house, they do try to split home and work activities pretty evenly. So, my family doesn't really fit into Hanna Rosin's "end of men" theory, but, as in Mr. Ogden's case, I can see how some families do.

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