I just finished a really interesting book by Hanna Rosin called “The End of Men and the Rise of Women”. I know, I know, but it’s not what it sounds like. I’m not a feminazi and it’s not a feminazi book. Trust me, I did my best to hide the cover while I was on the train lest others judge me.
Rather than a feminist manifesto, Ms. Rosin makes a pretty convincing case in the book that men are falling behind women in terms of economic progress because of their failure to adapt. In other words, when women flooded the workplace decades ago, they adapted themselves to perform in new arenas and in new roles, both at home and in the workplace. Conversely, men failed to retool themselves to fit into this new space. The majority of men couldn’t cope with the feminization of the workplace and instead of fitting themselves into it, they stuck to the old way of doing things. Thus, they’ve been left behind.
Employers now look for what are called “soft skills” such as interpersonal relations and teamwork, skills which are intrinsically female. Ms. Rosin argues that men have the capacity to embrace these skills as well, but they are resistant to do so. Again, they get left behind.
I’m definitely oversimplifying the arguments but this is the gist of them. The book is a fascinating sociological study over time of how we’ve gotten to this moment, both in domesticity and in the workplace.
I saw Ms. Rosin on Bill Maher’s show, which peaked my interest in her book. Interestingly, the book was written in 2012 so it’s already a few years old, but still so many of her ideas are playing out today. There’s no better evidence of her theory than the rise of Trump and his supporters.