The End of Men? Not so much.

16 Jun

I watched an episode of Colbert this morning and the topic was a recent article printed in the Atlantic Daily, an article entitled, “The End of Men.” Naturally, a headline like that is going to peek interest so I instantly googled the hell out of “The End of Men.”

My Google search produced a very long, yet well-researched article and social commentary written by Hanna Rosin on how women are essentially taking over the world by becoming better educated, more financially independent and less male dependent. She quotes some of my favorite feminist philosophers like Simone de Beuvoir, although, and I might be wrong, some of Rosin’s quotes are taken out of context. She talks about the growing movement from a preference for sons towards a preference for daughters because women, having entered the work force en mass during the 1960s and 70s, are quickly surpassing men and are, by Rosin’s analysis, better equipped to handle today’s economy and culture.

I agree with most of what the article has to say, but as the mother of sons whom I love beyond description, it’s a tough pill to swallow, this idea that my sons will really have no place in society as adults, it seems a bit extreme. She explains, quite accurately I might add, that boys typically mature later in life and have tradionally relied on muscle power, not brain power, to earn their place in the world. She points out that in the Great Recession, 3 out of 4 of the jobs lost were jobs held by men. The number of women professionals is growing, and women are becoming more likely than men to graduate from college with a degree. Women’s progress is hard to ignore.

But by Rosin’s analysis, I should be the perfect example of these new “Alpha Females” taking over. I mean, I’m a college-educated professional woman, I raise my children without a breadwinner, in fact, I raise them with no man at all. I enjoy financial independence, a graduate degree, career advancements, and the occasional international vacation. I should feel equal to my male counterparts, should I not? I don’t feel equal actually. It’s difficult for me to empathize or understand this so-called “war on men” when, as a woman, I am still not adequately represented by my government. Only 16% of American lawmakers are women and everyone is aware of the fact no woman has been elected president. Look at the abysmal statistics regarding female CEOs and Fortune 500 female professionals. This is not even to mention the sexual harassment, objectification, rape, pregnancy discrimination and other plights women face.

I struggle with this idea that one sex has to be better or that if statistics lean in favor of women, that automatically means men are being trampled upon. I don’t deny biological differences but at the same time, I don’t agree with using them in order to force an idea that has no grounding. Statistics do not prove social trends, they might be indicative but they are not proof. The title of “The End of Men” might be believable if it were Hillary Clinton as Commander-in-Chief and Wall Street was dominated by the ladies. But it’s not. Women are still homemakers (whether by choice or not), still teachers and nurses and care-givers. And men are politicians, doctors, engineers and other “breadwinning” high-paying professions.

Simply put, I think the idea of “the end of men” is a gross exaggeration. Just as women are much more than the babies they birth and the sexual arousal they elicit, men by the same token, are more than just sperm and a paycheck. People are valuable because of what they do and how they live, not what they earn or what role the fill in society, and certainly not what gender or sex they are born.

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