Friday, 24 September 2010

The Crisis of Masculinity - 2010

"Women really have become the dominant gender," says Garcia, "what concerns me is that guys are rapidly falling behind. Women are becoming better educated than men, earning more than men, and, generally speaking, not needing men at all. Meanwhile, as a group, men are losing their way." (Guy Garcia, author of "The Decline of Men: How American Male is Tuning Out, Giving Up and Flipping Off his Future")

"Independent, adventurous, competitive and ambitious, such words were often used to describe men, but today they are commonly used on post-1980s college girls.
According to a research conducted by East China Normal University, nearly one third of college girls show a mixed personality with strong masculinity and femininity, and the proportion among the post1970s college girls is only 14 percent" (China Daily, 12/07/2007).

"The book (Saving Boys) theorizes that with exam results and physical, and mental health down among males, China is entering a possible masculinity crisis. Meanwhile, the sharp increase in obesity, Internet addiction and psychological disorders such as hyperactivity and autism, as well as rising crime levels, all point towards an upcoming flashpoint". (Global Times, 30/04/2010).

"Now, the whole issue of men - the point of them, their purpose, their value, their justification - is a matter for public debate. Serious commentators declare that men are redundant, that women do not need them and children would be better off without them. At the beginning of the twenty-first century it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that men are in serious trouble." (Anthony Clare, author of "On Men: Masculinity in Crisis", 2000).

These are some quotes from articles that I saw whilst surfing the net. As you can see, they all speak not only of the crisis facing masculinity but of the masculinisation of females, and especially of girls.

The quotes also range in date from the turn of the current century right up to, well, pretty much now, really. There are many, many posts on the same themes to be found if you have the time and the inclination to search for them.

The quote by Guy Garcia, which leads this post, covers succintly what is happening to the male in the 21st Century. The decline of the male from the dominant position he held only a few decades ago is startling:

Boys are trailing behind girls at every level if the education system, not only in the western world, but in Japan and Asia. The majority of graduates are now young women. These young women are set to secure professional, highly paid, careers and it is likely that they will out-earn their male partner.

It is even being suggested that boys are at least two years behind girls in verbal, reading and writing abilities and should therefore start school two years later. Seven year old boys will have to be in the same class as five year old girls to stand any chance of equalling them academically.

Male graduates are not only fewer in numbers, but, it has been reported, find it far more difficult to find a graduate level job than female graduates. It is theorised that female graduates are, in general, more focused, better organised and more proactive job hunters than their male counterparts.

Women are entering the workforce in increasing numbers and are rapidly moving up the career ladder. Conversely, men are being made redundant or laid off in increasing numbers, due to the structural changes taking place in the economy. Most of the victims are older men aged 40 plus, who find it far more difficult to get back into work than a woman would.

The whole basis of male authority within the family depends upon his earning power. Once he loses his income, or his wife becomes the main breadwinner, that authority is gone and it is the woman who becomes the de facto head of the household. The lower earning, or unemployed or househusband male is relegated to the more junior role in the relationship.

Many more men then before are becoming househusbands to their more successful female partners (Up tenfold in the UK between 2000 - 2010 - BBC News). From what articles I have seen on this, many men actually cope quite well with the housework, child rearing etc, but complain that their female partners treat them just like a submissive victorian housewife, either taking them for granted or criticising their work and trying to supervise them. Strangely, it seems that the role reversal is often more difficult for the woman to come to terms with than the man.

I have read an article where the husband and wife switched traditional roles and he became a happy househusband, but his wife gradually lost respect for him and divorced him, taking the children with her. Losing the children was the hardest part for the divorced ex-househusband.
One of the comments following the article I saw was along the lines of "now men are getting the complete experience of being a wife!".

It has been observed that it is far easier for a female to engage in masculine careers and activities than it is for a male to try to engage in feminine careers and activities. Women, it seems, have the choice of being both breadwinner and homemaker, whilst men are still labelled as breadwinners (even if they can't be any more) and when they try to become homemakers or a traditionally feminine occupation, such as secretary, the response from society is generally negative.

Yet, based on the trends, it is increasingly looking like that the only place left for man to be of value to his family and to society as a whole will be in the home. Males are losing out educationally and professionally to females. Females are abandoning the home and most are determined not to be homemakers (unless they wish to of course). An article I saw by BBC News at the beginning of this year asked women whose partners had become househusbands if they wanted to swap places with him. Only 11% of those women canvassed said yes.

Men, once the undisputed master within his own home, is having to earn his right to remain a part of it, whether it is as a househusband or as the lower earning spouse.

Menial jobs and househusbandry will be the only jobs left that men will be qualified to do at the rate women are advancing across the workforce. Female empowerment and success is an unstoppable force, blowing apart the myth of male superiority, and pushing men aside.

The switch of traditional gender roles is, frankly, inevitable, given woman's continuing advancement and the shocking speed of male decline. By the end of this century, it will be more usual for the family to depend on a woman's income and for the children to be brought up by their father.

But, not only are the traditional gender roles being switched, but so too are the attitudes and behaviours of the genders.

In Japan, there is talk of a masculinity crisis, as boys and young men have become more obsessed by their appearance, clothes and weight, whilst their female counterparts are firmly focused on their education and careers. The girls are the go-getters, whilst the boys are passive and, well, feminine, by comparison.

Looks like Japan will be a nation of determined career women and pretty househusbands within a short span.

Even in China, where a son is still more highly valued than a daughter, especially in a culture where couples are only allowed one child, boys are being sent to a boot camp in order for them to "Man Up". Their parents were concerned that they were becoming more passive and lazy and feminine when compared to girls, who are doing much better than boys in the education system and who are also more active, independent, resourceful and assertive.

In the western world, girls are being encouraged to take on the world, to be adventurous, assertive and to take on leadership roles. Boys are being mollycoddled, wrapped up in cotton wool and discouraged from remotely dangerous activities. The traditional upbringing of the sexes is in full reverse!

More girls are taking up sports and more boys are deserting the sportsfield for their games consoles. Eventually girls will be fitter, more inclined to be competitive and to take risks (key masculine qualities) and will even be physically stronger than boys.

At the early years of the 21st century, the upbringing of boys and girls, as compared to a century earlier, has been almost been completely reversed. Boys are the new girls, and girls are the new boys.

In short, whilst the current generation of women will cling on to aspects of their femininity, their daughters and granddaughters are becoming more masculine, whilst their sons and grandsons are becoming more feminine. As Garcia says in his book, men are becoming the new women.

I predict that Career Women, Househusbands, Masculine Girls and Feminine Boys will be the norm by the end of this century, turning the traditional rosy picture of the idealised family on its head.

As masculine woman becomes dominant, it will only be a matter of time before she demands a trade with her male, but more feminine, partner - his trousers, shirt, underwear and shoes in exchange for her blouse, skirt, lingerie and high heels.

6 comments:

  1. I agree with you that by the end of 21 century masculine women in trousers and feminine males in skirts would be the norm.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's already happening to me. Due to the current recession and my unemployment, I've become a househusband. I take care of household chores, projects, cooking, etc.; traditional female roles of the past. As my wife is now the breadwinner, I'm reduced to follow her orders and supervised lists of jobs to do. Recently a very masculine and physically fit man, I now feel more feminized. I find myself thinking like a female, and even dress in pantyhose and high heels at times. The mind is a powerful influence and adapts to role reversal. As traditional roles are reversed, and the birth of masculine women becomes reality, women may rule the world. Women may reach the average male height around 5'10" while the feminine man is reduced to the average female height of 5'4." Women will then become the larger and more physically powerful gender. So fellow men, start wearing your significant others clothes and heels. This is the future for mankind to come.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Paul - I like your post. I sympathise with your situation - it's a tragedy when anyone - male or female - loses their job. But I totally agree with you when you say that tall and strong masculine women and short and puny feminised men, now wearing the clothes, frilly underwear, heels and cosmetics formerly worn by the now dominant sex is the future of mankind.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is not a crisis. This is just the way things are, where the restrictive male gender roles and coercive limitation on how they can express themselves and behave are being demolished.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is utter bullshit! First of all, guys or boys, whoever you want to call them, are becoming "feminised" because they want to treat girls with respect the "feminine" way and it now appears to me that this kind consideration is increasingly taken for granted. Secondly, there is an impossible position for guys when there is a conflict between a guy and a girl; when a guy feels genuinely offended when a girl really treats him with contempt and retaliates by slapping her, its labelled as "ungentlemanly"; when a girl bullys a guy and the guy doesnt fight back out of "feminine" respect for her, he's being labelled a "wissy". And when a girl maligns a guy of molest, the girl gets the priviledged benefit of doubt unlike a guy who claims he has been bullied by girls.And in my country where we got this concept called conscript army,we not only experience a harsher life of being a soldier for 2 years (when the girls are outside busy dating the "perfect" one), but also am 2 years behind girls in our college education thanks to serving our country...if girls are really "mansculine" as you claim, then serve the army as guys too! Dont expect guys to grant you favours or give in to you just cuz you are the "priviledged" sex. And if you are "man" enough, be man enough to take a hit or two without calling your boyfriend or police. You have been playing on a unlevel playing field. Its time to play fair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. totally agree just cause men are in touch with their feminine side and care about their appearances doesn't make them un-manly men have cared about their appearances since the dawn of humankind for insatnce the whole leather jacket trend the media just doesn't publicise it as much also boys aren't defined by caring about their careers their defined by being slackers and being too cool for school also most teenage girls I know stiil concern their image and social life over their school career and although traditional roles won't change clothes won't change with them skirts and bras are designed for less hairy legged people with breasts A.K.A women and the opposite for men. they're not designed for breadwinners and househusbands/wives

      Delete