Monday, 3 January 2011

The End of Men?

Last year, Hanna Rosin of the Atlantic ran an article entitled "The End of Men: How women are taking control of everything" and rattled off a ream of statistics to illustrate that, slowly but surely, the balance of political and economic power has shifted decisively in favour of women and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

I won't regurgitate the reams of statistics and fascinating ancedotes contained within the article. If you google "The End of Men", you should find the article very easily and can read it for yourself. It is a good read, but paints a very bleak and scary present and future if you are male.

Is it really though, the End of Men?

If you speak to a woman about males being in crisis or the end of male dominance, she will (rightfully) probably mention the following facts:

1. Men still, on average, still earn more than a woman doing the same job as him. The gender pay gap is narrowing very slowly. In recent newspaper articles it was predicted that at the current rate of playing catch up, it would be another 57 years until parity was achieved.

2. Maybe males don't earn as many degrees as females any more, but they still dominate fields such as mathematics, engineering, the hard sciences and computer technology, and graduates in these subjects are highly sought after and well paid by employers.

3. The vast majority of company directors are still male. In spite of massive advances elsewhere in the workplace by women, female representation at board level has barely increased. The "glass ceiling" is still very much in place for a woman who aspires to be in the boardroom.

4. The majority of politicians, the people whose decisions affect everybody, are still male. Female representation is increasing, but slowly.

5. In the home, it is the woman who still does most of the housework and childcare, even if she works and even if she is the primary or sole wage earner. As Cordelia Fine in her recent book "Delusions of Gender" said "There will never be equality in the workplace until there is equality in the home".

6. Males still dominate the world of sports and athletics. There are many fine female athletes, footballers, yachtswomen and sports stars, but they are still living in the shadow of men, no matter how many gold medals they win.

7. Men are still the overwhelming majority in the military, the police and the secret services, who reinforce the authority of the state.

8. Women are still exploited by men as sex workers. The vast majority of sex workers are still female.

9. Women still suffer sexual harrassment in the workplace, far more often than men.

10. The central characters in books and films are still mainly boys or men (although this IS one place where things are changing rapidly!).

11. Many jobs, such as plumbers, electricians, mechanics and other skilled tradesmen, who do not need academic qualifications to learn their trade, are still predominantly male.

"Crisis?" she will say "What crisis? Men still have more power and earn more than us!"

Thankfully, that is rapidly changing, and the world will be a better place for both women AND men when it truly is the end of male dominance (which is what Rosin meant, rather than all us now redundant males suddenly disappearing in a puff of smoke) and a new enlightened era where women are dominant, begins in earnest.


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