"The Future of Masculinity in the 21st Century" by Jasmine Tomlinson
"The stunning rise and success of women and girls over the last sixty or so years has been witnessed and has taken up endless articles in newspapers all over the world for many years now. At last count, in the western world, girls achieved 95% of all top grades at school and college level, 87% of Bachelors degrees, 97% of Masters and Phd's and 91% of MBA's. Success in the academic sphere has also been gradually translated into the professional sphere. Female Doctors outnumber male ones by seven to one and the gender breakdown in other areas such as the law, middle and junior management, accountantcy and business executive positions report the much greater representation of females over males. In nine out of every 10 households, the female partner is the main or sole breadwinner. Women form 90% of all new businesses and typically those businesses are handed on to their daughters rather than their sons.
But what about the male of the species? Less than a century ago, men were unquestionably the dominant sex and a man speaking in the last half of the last century would have said that woman's place was "in the home". But, in the wake of equal rights for women, economic recessions, the stunning rise of females and the proportional decline of males academically and professionally, they have been proven to be the weaker sex. Fewer than 10% of boys go on to higher education, few businesses are owned by men and of those that are, they are mostly small-scale operations, male unemployment and economic inactivity are at record levels. For those men who do work, it is often in the lower grades as compared to women. Most men do not work at all. Many are the chief homemakers and child raisers to success career women. Women are now openly saying "a man's place is in the home". The positions and status of women and men have been almost completely reversed in the last hundred years.
Curiously, there has been a modest upsurge in the number of new businesses started by men, the highest recorded for many a year but these are invariably hairdressing salons, beauty parlours and cleaning and domestic services. One noteable success has been the "Mister Maid" company, founded by former executive, Carl Leonard, which provides a male maid, appropriately attired, for hire to anyone requiring maid services.
I went along to Leonard's office and met the man himself, attired in traditional male costume, and buoyed up with confidence over the success of his enterprise. He showed me one of his top employees, Alan. From the back, Alan looked exactly like a sterotypical female maid. Black high heels, shapely long legs encased in black nylon stockings, a short black maid's dress, dripping with lace, long stlyed hair and a frilly maid's cap. The illusion was lost when he turned around to reveal muscular arms, a flat chest and male features that even the liberal application of cosmetics could not fully disguise. Alan smiled sweetly and spoke in a girlish whisper but he was clearly a male.
Leonard saw my slight discomfort "Women love maids like Alan" he said "They just love seeing men dressed up as maids and running around at their command. A male maid is becoming the new status symbol for the successful woman. Seriously, demand is in danger of exceeding supply!"
And "Mister Maid" is the most successful male maid company, but not the only one. Statistics show that one the fastest growing sectors is domestic services with males as the service providers and females as the consumers. With the woman as head of her household and the male as her domestic servant, the role reversal of the sexes that has been going on for decades is complete.
The declining status of males is of grave concern to a hotch potch of masculinist groups that have mushroomed over the last decade or so. They range from moderate groups wanting equal rights in marriage, access to their children and halting the sexual objectification of males that has increased as women have become more powerful to more hard-line factions wanting male only schools and colleges, a quota system to ensure males get more jobs and political power to the lunatic fringe who advocate that men rise up and take back the jobs that women have stolen from them and to put woman back in her "natural role" as nurturer and carer.
I spoke to Nathan Greene. Greene is a rarity of the modern age. One of a handful of males that attend university, greatly outnumbered by a sea of young women. When Greene is not studying Politics and History, he is President of the Tomorrow Men movement, one of the more moderate groups looking for small concessions from the female elite.
"We want more equality in marriage" Greene explains "Presently, a male is expected to take his wife's name and to promise in the marriage ceremony to "obey" her! We feel that this is demeaning to our maleness". Then his tone is coloured by bitterness "Once, men used to be the heads of their families, now they come a poor third after their wife and then their children! There must be more equality".
Like feminists in the last century, the masculinists are divided amongst themselves and Tomorrow Men is considered to be betraying the cause by the more radical factions. They are hopelessly divided and indulge in political infighting amongst themselves.
But, judging from the literature coming out of organisations like Tomorrow Men, equality in marriage is only one of many bones of contention that men like Greene have with women. The literature, a lot of it bordering on hysteria, proclaims that not only have men been made obsolete and have been heavily demoted by women, but that the very nature of masculinity itself is under attack by women determined to feminise their menfolk.
Evidence for this can be found in the homes of the upper and middle class families where, invariably, the woman is the chief wage earner. Girls are being pushed to be successful at school and on the sports field and to be as successful as their mothers. The boys, though, are on a completely different trajectory to their sisters.
To the horror of the masculinist movements, a new phenomenon known as the "Princess Complex" has swept across the country. Now that girls are the new heir apparent and are spared the girlhood they would have had to endure a few decades ago, mothers are feminising their sons. Many boys, as soon as they are born, are put into pretty dresses and underwear and have ringlets and hair ribbons. They are mollycoddled and indulged and encouraged to be pretty and pleasing and discouraged from any traditionally masculine tendencies.
Will, a pretty six year old boy, is the son of a successful stockbroker mother who earns a seven figure salary. He is dressed in a pink frock, silken petticoats, lacy anklets and pink high heels. He has blonde ringlets and has pink bows tied in his hair. He is wearing lip gloss and is presently playing with a doll. He even pouts when he is displeased. He is undistinguishable from the stereotypical little girl that is endlessly illustrated in literature.
His mother, one of the most aggressive and ruthless brokers in history, coos and fusses over him as if he was more valuable than the millions she makes each year. Will, she says, is her little princess boy. He spends most of his time in salons or doing ballet. Her proudest moment, she says, was when her son won Master Europe last year, defeating hundreds of other pretty boys.
She shows me a picture of Will crowned as the winner of Master Europe. He is wearing a pink swimsuit and matching high heels and is wearing a tiara and sash and his shiny lips have formed into a wide smile.
Will, and every boy like him, are the future of masculinity.