The End of Men?

A report by Hanna Rosin in The Atlantic‘s July/August cover article, “The End of Men,” subtitled “How Women Are Taking Control — Of Everything” is so good.

The previous month’s cover story, “Fat Nation” with an obese Statue of Liberty on the cover was also really provocative. The magazine is just so good at noting and analyzing trends in the nation. I love following trends. And this one’s pretty interesting.

One trend noted — and I so hope this is true — is that companies are looking towards an effective and new kind of leader, a transformational one.

My one worry about women taking over is that I like partnership. It’s cliche but it’s true. “Don’t walk ahead of me, I may not want to follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not want to lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” I thought that equality — not superiority — was what the women’s movement was all about. That, and equal pay.

I still think that’s what it’s about. Because while I am excited that women are taking over, I know that women are not being paid fairly for their new leadership and on-going labor. Women are still paid about 80 cents to every dollar that a man earns. Until there is no wage gap, men are probably not too worried that their end is near. Although, perhaps, it is.

2 thoughts on “The End of Men?

  1. “Violence is as American as apple pie” Eldridge Cleaver

    The Long Goodbye of the American Male

    Please allow me a quick story.

    In late spring, I had lunch with the owner of a boutique search firm in Manhattan. Learning that her company is comprised of only women, I asked if she would ever hire a man. She leaned forward, looked me in the eye, got very quiet, and told me that she would sooner die. I laughed until I realized I was the only one laughing. The candor of her response came as no surprise to me because I see what is coming and wonder if others see it as well.

    The next wave of discrimination is approaching and it is about to change everything. Our social fabric, the political arena, the financial world and the roles and relationships we have come to know. It’s arrival will be painfully slow; almost imperceptible, but will soon develop into a groundswell that will strike at the very heart of America’s power elite. The discrimination of which I speak will be against men. Not old men, not bald men, not fat men; all men.

    A truly equal opportunity discriminator, it will decimate the male gender because any real purpose they once served; any real merit they once added seems to be eroding as the cost of their contribution seems to far outweigh its value. Honestly, what can a man do that a woman can’t? Brain surgery; electrical engineering or repairing farm equipment? I believe they can perform those functions very well. Frankly speaking, I believe they can perform all types of work quite successfully.

    I do understand that some readers might be miffed as to my comments. As such, I write this with all of the sensitivity and compassion I can muster. As an aside, please note that as a member of the male species I am quite aghast at my own prediction. On the other hand, I have always found the male of the species to be rather disappointing; grudgingly benevolent on a good day, Neanderthal and warlike on a bad one. The bottom line is sad and it is simple. Men have had their opportunity to reign supreme for endless years. Clearly it is time for a change; a dramatic change.

    I know what you are thinking; you’re a nice guy. Perhaps you only cheated on your spouse once but that was long ago. You try hard not to drink that much but life has its pressures. Of course you look at women younger than your daughter but hey, you are married, not dead, right? Honestly, you really are trying but behaving well is so very difficult. That is all so nice to hear but there is no need to personalize my message. I am a nice guy as well but putting aside the docile good guy persona, let’s do a deeper dive and look at the male species in a more comprehensive way.

    As a gender men seem to be violent and aggressive to a fault. (That is in peacetime of course. We will not even discuss the wartime.) If you follow news events of the day, men also seem to be more criminal as well. Lets just scratch the surface and consider a few easy examples of men in America:

    • Almost weekly, a man will get a gun, kill his family and then kill himself. Odds of a woman doing this? Minimal. (After slaughtering the innocents, some men will fail in their attempt to kill themselves. I wonder why.)

    • Teen boys will bring automatic weapons to their school, kill as many as possible and then kill themselves. Teen women will not. (Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are have evolved into cult heroes for many; symbols of mindless rage and male angst)

    • Sexual predators will commit unspeakable crimes against women and children. The overwhelming majority of these predators will of course be men.

    • The villains of this economic meltdown, from the disease that is Madoff to those on Wall Street to the rest of the criminals are almost exclusively men. (Psychopathic men of course but men just the same.)

    • Care to go international? Oppression of women by violent angry men is rampant from one end of the globe to the other.

    I can go on but there is no need. Speaking frankly, the reason that the world teeters on the brink of annihilation on a semi-regular basis is due to the combined and cumulative forces of male leadership. Male insecurity, male ego, seething male rage. From the disturbingly paranoid Richard Nixon to the fanatical leaders of North Korea and Iran to the childhood bullies who torment the quiet easy kids to the coast-to-coast jails that are bursting at the seams. It is all men. (When Eldridge Clever said, “violence is as American as apple pie, he was not talking about women.)

    Fortunately, women, seem to be taking matters into their own hands. A recent study has shown that women are starting businesses at a rate of almost 1.6 times more often then men. Furthermore, according to Silverstein and Sayre, authors of the book Women Want More, women “now control 12 trillion of the overall 18.4 trillion in global consumer spending.” They are forming networking groups that exclude men. (Where they were once not allowed, they now control the door and as such, control the associated information, contacts and communication.)

    Women are quietly building and doing and making things happen. Even more importantly, they are doing it with little of the male oriented drunken celebrations, blatant abuse of power and sexual harassment that goes on within corporate America every single day. The bottom line is that women are quietly gaining power. Just as Asian cars crept in silently and one day, crushed our carmakers, smart and committed women will slowly move to dominate and control commerce as the good old boy network collapses under its own bloat.

    Please be advised that I am not a cultural biologist nor am I behaviorist or a specialist in brain chemistry. Aside from a might makes right type of Machiavellian thinking, I do not understand why men as a species have behaved in this manner. Furthermore, for either better or worse, I do not care. Some might blame testosterone and evolutionary factors. Others will blame society and culture while still others will blame Darwinism or professional sports and poverty. (Mix and match if you like) The specific answer matters little to me. I am, among other things, a writer. It is my job to chronicle what I see. It is not my job to explain, justify or create solutions that might serve to rectify as I do not possess that level of expertise.

    The question here is simple; what exactly will be missing from our vaulted male dominated society if I am correct in my thesis? I am not sure. Perhaps all that will be missing will be male perspective, male opinion and the ability to wage war. I can’t speak for you but personally; I can live with that loss quite easily.

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