How do I know men are finished? I’ll read you a quote that says it all: “Yes. There have been times when I’ve been in a drunken stupor.” Toronto’s mayor, a shining example of modern manhood is what I would call the canary in the coal mine, only he’s not quite as delicate as the canary. Because, you know, He’s got “more than enough to eat at home.”
Are men literally obsolete? Of course not, and if we had to prove that we could never win. For one thing, we haven’t figured out a way to harvest sperm without them being, you know, alive. But in order to win this debate we have to prove that men, quote unquote, as we’ve historically come to define them — entitled to power, destined for leadership, arrogant, confused by anything that isn’t them. As in: “I don’t understand. Is it a guy dressed up like a girl? Or a girl dressed up like a guy?” They are obsolete.
Once upon a time, the men ventured out to hunt bison while the women stayed behind to dust the cave, gather berries and raise the very hairy children. This is the story we have told ourselves for tens of thousands of years to explain why men rule the world while women are relegated to being the second sex, (“physiologically unsuited for leadership” is how the current Australian prime minister put it). Now after more than a century of global economic revolutions and a few decades of recession it’s become obvious that this story is no longer true, if it ever was. Here are the reasons:
ONE: It’s the end of men because men are failing in the workplace.
Over the last few decades men’s incomes have been slowly declining and women’s have been rising. Last year one in five men were not working, something economists call the biggest social crisis we will face. Party this is because the economy is changing quickly, but men aren’t. As the manufacturing economy gets replaced by a service and information economy, men are failing to adjust or get the skill they need to succeed.
Meanwhile, women are moving in the opposite direction: In 2009 they became the majority of the American workforce for the first time ever. Now in every part of America young single women under 30 have a higher median income than young men, which is really important because that’s the phase of life when people imagine what their future will look like. As one sorority girl put it to me — remember, I said sorority, not someone from the women’s study center — “Men are the new ball and chain.”
It’s the end of men because men are failing in schools and women are succeeding. In nearly every country, on all but one continent, women are getting 60 percent of college degrees, which is what you need to succeed these days. Many boys start falling behind as early as first grade, and they fail to catch up. Many men, meanwhile, still see school as a waste of time, a girl thing.
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