The End Of Men: And The Rise Of Women
- Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date:
- 11 October 2012
- Social Issues & Processes
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[The End of Men and the Rise of Women] by [[Hanna Rosin]]We've all watched employment/unemployment trends and the effect of the end of the Industrial Age with interest and, some, with fear. Rosin focuses on the idea that strength and brawn are no longer necessary in the new technological age, and that people skills are more valuable. That means specifically, that with service and information being the current commodity, social intelligence, open communication and an ability to sit still and focus have increased in importance as employment and valuable work skills. These are all areas in which women equal and often excel over men in skill.While reading the first part of the book, I felt sad, as the mother of a man, the wife of a man, and the daughter of a man. It was rather depressing seeing the statistics about men no longer getting as much formal education as women. The unemployment during this vast social shift may have hit men the hardest as far as self image goes. Because our gender split society has valued men as money makers and women as bodies, (sometimes symbolized by a dollar sign and a Barbie doll), when they lose this money making function, they may and indeed have been, cast aside in some cases. If they aren't bringing home an income, what is their purpose? Many haven't yet become skilled in the functions of homemaking or child raising, which are needed by their families as their wives become the major breadwinners.However, don't become discouraged - keep reading! There is a happy ending for most. Just as many women have struggled to learn how better to be competitive and function at higher levels as executives, as well as letting go of some of their possessiveness as mothers and letting dads move in more, men have also risen to their challenges. They are learning that letting go of some of the more negative aspects of the macho culture can pay off in deeply emotionally fulfilling roles as fathers and nurturers, as well as partners in marriages. Both men and women are becoming more fulfilled, better adjusted, and less stressed people.Rosin traces this pattern by examining current day marriages, the struggles of making adjustments, and the rewards of this newer model. She explores how these changes are taking place worldwide by closely examining this phenomenon in Korea and other countries. This new and deeper sharing of both the instrumental as well as expressive functions of working and parenting is paying off financially both for individual couples AND whole countries. Companies taking advantage of more women in their higher ranks are finding themselves prospering as they become more creative and innovative.When I was teaching gender identity development, I emphasized how sexism hurts men, because there has been much written already about how it hurts women. Most people can easily answer the question of how sexism hurts women. This is a great book that shows not only how sexism has hurt women, but how devastating it has also been for men, and how we are all benefitting from our new movement toward equality.Although this book covers some complicated research and complicated issues, it is very readable - a great read in fact. It is full of personal stories that illustrate the research presented. I highly recommend it.
I won this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.This is a most thought-provoking book, one that's meant to be read and widely discussed - it is a serious research-based effort that evaluates how our society has changed in a remarkably small amount of time, not a man-bashing diatribe. In some quarters this book is being unfairly panned and it appears those critics did not even crack open the book before deciding it lacks merit.The End of Men starts with an economic argument: that women are better at adapting in this economy and thus reaping the rewards while men lag behind. Based on the statistics Rosin cites, women comprise well more than half of the workforce, and these days women are outpacing men in just about every aspect of our society - in the United States and in many other parts of the world.For instance, women are also performing better in school while male college enrollment and matriculation continue to decline. These factors, in turn, have a profound effect on marriage, the workplace, family life, etc. More and more women are marrying later or opting out of marriage altogether (although they do choose to have children), particularly among the working class.Meanwhile, we've had recessions, the housing crisis, and a steady loss of manufacturing and other blue-collar jobs that typically employed men. The classic work we associate with men such as construction and factory work have dried up.Is this why we have the angry white male we hear about in the media? It seems that these issues would definitely be a factor as men see their jobs/livelihoods fade away. Rosin also notes that the demands of the new economy - which rewards social intelligence and the ability to sit still and listen - favor women over men.But the book is not all hopeless - while Rosin cannot fully explain why women have forged ahead so strongly she does cite examples of men who have changed with the times. For example, men whose wives outearn them and who are adapting to this new world - while they admit it's not always easy, these men are leading a real change in the family dynamic.As we move forward, will more men gravitate to traditionally female jobs? Men seem to be reluctant to take jobs traditionally associated with women. But women are part of the problem because many of them still look askance at men in "untraditional" roles. Rosin does not try to offer any pat answers, and if anything, this book could be a great springboard to discuss some of these issues: why do gender roles still seem so ingrained in our society? Are our schools not serving men, and if not, what should we do? Highly recommended reading.
I think that previous reviewers are faulting Ms. Rosin for things that she is not attempting to accomplish. The basic theme of the book is that women are becoming more aggressive and are taking advantage of opportunities presented to them (Mostly good but sometimes bad - crime) She also speaks rightly about how women are many times eager to get into jobs that had been traditionally dominated by men - but men refuse for the most part to enter fields like nursing, education etc. (growth areas of employment) while they wait and hope their old factory jobs come back. I think the book was a nice mix of statistics and personal anecdotes that make it very readable. Not to sure about the need for the chapter on South Korean women but otherwise the book thought provoking in many areas (Affirmative action for men at private colleges today to try to get close to gender balance and women postponing marriage because the men they meet would just be another mouth to feed) Granted, she does make some wide reaching assertions some of which are with limited data. But the overall thrust of her thesis I see every day as a (male) college teacher. In general, the women are better prepared, more motivated and have much greater focus on their goals than the men. So I think this is a valuable book and should be read as it talks about a major upheaval in gender relationships.
I enjoyed reading "The End of Men". I thought it was well-written and served as the thought-provoker I think Rosin intended. I'm not completely convinced that women have made it as far as she reports but I do see examples of the phenomena she covers in my sector of the world. I would recommend this book to others.
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