The End of Men? Not Again!

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188 Responses

  1. Glyph says:

    I prefer to leave these sorts of predictions to those with a proven record in forecasting.Report

  2. North says:

    I have little to disagree with here except one minor quibble: the causes of the 1945-1975 economic phase can be summed up rather succinctly: The rest of the world was either bombed out rubble, locked into command economies operating under an incorrect economic theory or both. So barring the rise of a new popular economic (but incorrect) theory or another world war (unlikely in the nuclear age to say the least) we cannot expect that economic environment to come again (nor would we wish for it to).Report

    • NewDealer in reply to North says:

      I think plenty of people would wish for it but they are not thinking about what caused it in the first place.

      Then again, I am not a complete neo-liberal.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to North says:

      This. Liberals and the left like to argue that the mass post-war prosperity was because of the welfare state and government regulation. Conservatives and the right likes to argue that its because of capitalism and free markets. Neither side is really correct. The reason why the post-war period was great economically for most people living in the developed world, but especially the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand was that the other developed countries were recovering from being smashed and because Communism and the some what to very anti-capitalist economies of the new countries created after WWII really limtied the labor supply and the market.

      Both sides are kind of right. A developed world under a command economy would be less prosperous but without the welfare state, the wealth would be also less evenly distributed. However, the developed world needed large swathes of the globe being unaccessible as a source of labor and markets for the prosperity to be possible.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:

        “…was that the other developed countries were recovering from being smashed…”

        Well, you know what that means…Report

      • Kim in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Resource War?
        AGW induced Resource War?

        … spoiler alert!!

        we’re already planning for it.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Well, I was trying to find the Simpson’s clip where Itchy and Scratchy Land goes to hell and Bart needlessly breaks some windows while uttering, “Smashy, smashy!” Because, clearly, more smashing is in order.Report

      • Jesse Ewiak in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Eh, the “reason why the post-war era was great because Europe was rubble” is slightly overstated. Basically, the first couple years, sure, but by the mid to late 50’s, most of Western Europe was back to pre-War GDP. Plus, we didn’t even trade that much with other countries through the 60’s, so that also doesn’t fully explain it.

      • @jesse-ewiak

        They may have been at prewar GDP, but they weren’t necessarily at the GDP they would have been at had there been no war.

        I admit, however, that I’m no economist, and “may have been” and “n’t necessarily” are probably doing a lot of heavy lifting in my comment here.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to LeeEsq says:

        I admit, however, that I’m no economist, and “may have been” and “n’t necessarily” are probably doing a lot of heavy lifting in my comment here.

        Actually, I think that proves you are an economist.Report

      • North in reply to LeeEsq says:

        We’re not just talking about Europe being rubble, Jesse, we’re talking global conditions. If you were a filthy capitalist pigdog looking to set up a productive factory paying the local wages the options were distinctly limited in that period. The Far East was smoking rubble or writhing in the grip of governments that’d happily seize your factory and send you out to the farm to grow rice to death for your troubles. Europe was flattened and struggling under the threat of similar regimes or in the shadow of the biggest nationalizer of all. Africa and the Middle East were, well, much like they are now. There just weren’t that many places for your average nakedly self-interested pigdog to set up shop. Note, for instance, how Japan took off once they got finished clearing the rubble of the World War away; until the rest of the world put itself back together and sobered up it was the developed west or nowhere for your average pigdog manufacturer of stuffs.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Even countries that were strictly or at least technically on our side in the Cold War had high tariffs in order to stimulate domestic injury. For decades after WWII, the only source for both labor and markets was limited to the US, Western Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and a handful of other countries.Report

      • Rod in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Even countries that were strictly or at least technically on our side in the Cold War had high tariffs in order to stimulate domestic injury.

        I’m surprised one of our neo-liberal or libertarian friends hasn’t jumped on this auto-correction.Report

      • Murali in reply to LeeEsq says:


        The jokes and Freudian slips write themselves.Report

  3. Michelle says:

    Rosin’s work might be better titled as ” the end of working-class men.” You’re right that she’s talking about a particular type of man who’s been pushed from the job market as factory jobs were shipped overseas, unions fell by the wayside, and prosperity passed them by.

    We do need to talk about the policy implications of this shift. It feeds into growing income inequality and other social changes, such the growing number of out-of-wedlock births among working class women.

    For the record, Camille Pagila was and still is a one-note hack when it comes to gender issues.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Michelle says:

      Your last sentence has six superfluous words at the end.Report

    • NewDealer in reply to Michelle says:

      No disagreement from me on Camille Pagila, I merely included her because the two week time lapse and same publication made it look like Rosin’s piece was in response to Pagila.Report

      • North in reply to NewDealer says:

        Certainly her other piece was (and said it was) a direct response. I have to admit the comments were hair rising.

        That said a certain subset of vocal commenters are highly prevalent in comment threads, one has to remind one of that fact lest one starts praying for thermonuclear termination of the species.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Michelle says:

      Didn’t she end up, kinda, winning?

      I mean, the casual feminism found in casual culture has a lot more in common with Paglia’s than with, say, the version put forward by MacKinnon or Dworkin.Report

      • Michelle in reply to Jaybird says:

        I’m not sure what you mean by that. MacKinnon and Dworkin were at the extreme end of feminism, as opposed to the more liberal, equal rights version favored by organizations like NOW. Pagila’s whole spiel generally boils down to men = creators while women = nurturers! with an added dollop of “there’d be no civilization if it weren’t for men.” She strikes me as a biological determinist for the most part.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

        MacKinnon and Dworkin could be extreme because both were academics and did not have to worry about practical implementation of their ideas. Paglia is a hack becasue its possible to make a lot of money in journalism by being a hack once you reach a certain level. Paglia has reached that level.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        What I mean is: is there a feminist whose ideas are more commonly encountered in the wild, whose memes are more deeply ingrained, and who has changed the debate more from that era?

        When I was in women’s studies class in the glorious period between Anita and Paula, we read Gilligan, Dworkin, MacKinnon, argued about Karen Finley and talked about how Paglia wasn’t even a feminist.

        Dworking and MacKinnon have been relegated to the “extreme” corner, I guess (I’m pretty sure they were mainstream in 1993), and both Finley and Gilligan seem to have fallen off the map (though, I suppose, Gilligan’s theories might be able to claim to have been absorbed as much as Paglia’s…)

        But Paglia is part of the language of society now in ways that you have to go back to Steinem to find an equal, no?Report

      • North in reply to Jaybird says:

        Doesn’t it help that Paglia is parked in the media braying her message over and over like some kind of demented parrot?Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

        …braying her message over and over like some kind of demented parrot?

        Boom! @north , you have just contributed to this lawyer’s bank of catchphrases. Thank you. I’ll let you know after the first time I successfully use this phrase to describe a litigant’s behavior in court. I predict that day will be… tomorrow.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        That’s a chicken/egg problem. Is she parked in the media because of the dominance of her memes or is the dominance of her memes responsible for her being parked there?

        I’d run with the latter but I would.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

        Fortuitously, Burt’s case tomorrow involves a Norwegian Blue of indeterminate vitality.Report

      • North in reply to Jaybird says:

        @Burt Gosh, thank you sir; I’m honored!

        Jaybird- I suppose the latter interpretation is possible. I must admit that I am insufficiently versed in feminist history to render an opinion directly so I suggest we fall back on our own experiences. I do not find that society around me consists of virtuous producer-men who labor endlessly under the yoke of scheming taker-women who benefit from the men’s hard work and genius while using their own inferior feminine mental faculties to come up with new ways of oppressing denigrating and bedeviling the virtuous producer-men they depend on for existence. Do you?*

        *Best choose your answer carefully, we both know Maribou reads there threads occasionally.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        I suppose I couldn’t ask you to see it as more of a struggle between the Apollonian and Dionysian?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        But, in any case, I’m not saying “Paglia is correct”. I’m saying “Paglia’s theories have become part of the culture (perhaps even specifically pop culture) to a degree that the theories of her contemporaries (with the possible exception of Gilligan) have not and you’d have to go all the way back to Steinem to find a feminist with similar impact on society.”Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        To answer your question: I do not find that society around me consists of virtuous producer-men who labor endlessly under the yoke of scheming taker-women who benefit from the men’s hard work and genius while using their own inferior feminine mental faculties to come up with new ways of oppressing denigrating and bedeviling the virtuous producer-men they depend on for existence. Do you?*

        If we define “society” as “society as it exists in pop culture, movies, television, songs”, then I’d say that there’s quite a bit of, well, I’d phrase her theory a bit more charitably, but there’s a lot of Paglianism going on.

        What do we got? Well, for movies, there’s Silence of the Lambs, Pulp Fiction, Fight Club (!!!), The Matrix, Forrest Gump, Titanic, and American Beauty. That’s just the 90’s but it provides a fairly diverse cross-section.

        Television gives us 90210 at the beginning and Dawson’s Creek at the end with Party of Five in the middle. We had Lois and Clark in there giving us this version of comic book relationships and the X-Files on the other side giving the other take. When it comes to sitcoms, we had Will and Grace, Dharma and Greg, and to top off the Sundae: Friends.

        When it comes to music, we’ve got… well, Nirvana. Can I stop there?

        All that to say, there’s a lot of Paglia in pop culture. Her memes were the ones that got absorbed.

        She won.Report

        • Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

          @jaybird, I really don’t see this.

          Silence of the Lambs was a movie about a virtuous male who produces and contributes, and a selfish woman who schemes to steal from him? No way — Clarice Starling is surrounded by men who want to take things from her — her boss wants her sexual virtue, Lechter wants her soul, and Buffalo Bill wants her skin. None of them create anything; the only one who produces anything is Buffalo Bill and what he produces is his attempt to transform himself into a woman.

          I can see such a characterization of Mia in Pulp Fiction, but she is as much an object of forbidden desire for Vincent as she is someone who saps something of value from him, and there were no other female characters of significance (Honey Bunny is an equal partner with Pumpkin in the robberies, and Fabienne’s putting Butch in harm’s way to retrieve her watch is a transparently thin plot device).

          I guess I can kind of see it for Marla in Fight Club as she uses Tyler Durden to score drugs, but she becomes like Mia an object of desire for the narrator as he awakens to the movie’s dark realization.

          It’s certainly not the motif for Trinity in The Matrix, since she enables and empowers Neo rather than imposing a vulnerability upon him.

          I’d agree that there is passivity in Forrest Gump‘s Jenny and there is a scene of sexual scheming with Forrest’s mother, but passivity isn’t want this motif is about — it’s about men making things and women taking them from the men. If Jenny took anything from Forrest, it was something he freely gave for love, and she did not scheme or plot to induce him to give it.

          And by now I see so little Paglia in any of these movies that I’m not interested in taking the rest of them apart or proceeding to the TV shows. Nirvana’s lyrics… well, okay. While I could see that Kurt and Courtney loved each other in sort of an overt re-creation of Sid & Nancy way, it never seemed like they liked each other. Still, Courtney Love as an inspiration for an object of romantic desire is not exactly a common characterization of pop culture’s depiction of sexual politics.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

        Jaybird, given the question you were answering I think that may be the most confused, ambiguous, vague, fuzzy, bedeviling, question-begging, thing you’ve *ever* written. At least, by pop culture standards.

        What Burt said.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        Unless you’re claiming that Paglia invented the idea of woman as vampire/succubus and imposed it on an unwilling culture, I have no idea what the fish you’re trying to say.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        Well, first off, I’d like to think that we all recognize that “virtuous producer-men who labor endlessly under the yoke of scheming taker-women who benefit from the men’s hard work and genius while using their own inferior feminine mental faculties to come up with new ways of oppressing denigrating and bedeviling the virtuous producer-men they depend on for existence” is not an accurate representation of Paglia’s theory of feminism. Or, at least, it’s over there at that end of the spectrum of accurate representations of it.

        I think it’s just as fair to say that Paglia’s theory would have men living in a tension between fear of women and desire to please them and the pathologies of men coming from the pendulum swinging too far this way or that way while women are the terrifying, powerful other that, in best cases, direct men to creation and, in the worst, to destruction. They are the mothers that men never leave the shadow of, the Helens they go to war for, and the goddesses that they sacrifice their own selves for.

        I’d like to think that that interpretation of Paglia has at least as much footing as North’s.

        And in that, I’d like to say that Silence of the Lambs has Clarice “taming” Hannibal Lecter to have him provide the help without which she would not have saved Catherine Martin from Buffalo Bill, Pulp Fiction has Travolta’s relationship with Mia (and, to a lesser extent, Quentin Tarrantino’s with his wife) as driving the bookended plot elements (and the robbery giving a echo). Fight Club had Jack downright admit that Marla was his power animal and the movie ends with them taking each other’s hands while they watch the world fall down after he chooses life with her over life with/as Tyler. When it comes to the Matrix, the movie begins with Trinity telling Neo what to do and at the end of the movie, it was Trinity’s kiss that brought Neo back to life at the end of the movie and, presumably, had something to do with the fact that when he came back, he came back as The One. Forrest Gump pretty much did everything he did by stumbling forward by instinct but the stuff that he did that involved setting his jaw and making a decision involved Jenny. The Titanic had Rose be something that pretty much everybody needed… from her mother to her fiance to Jack. It was when Rose grabbed a hold of her own destiny/sexuality that she broke away. Who was the most powerful person in that movie? It wasn’t Billy Zane. It certainly wasn’t Jack. It was Rose. As for American Beauty, that was the quintessential “masculinity in crisis” movie where Kevin Spacey tries to deal with the fact that he disappoints his wife so very much. He even ends up dead because of it. Oh, and the other women in the film also demonstrate that they wield a hell of a lot of power over the men too.

        Deep breath. You want me to get into the television shows?Report

        • Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

          Still not seeing it. If your characterization of Paglia is right (although I think there’s a lot to the succubus model) then it’s still the case that women aren’t sources of power for men, but rather the primal motive for male activity is fear of either a woman venting her wrath upon the man (for he cannot fight back) or of her withholding her love (usually expressed in the form of sex). And I’ve no sense at all that Paglia acknowledges any sort of reciprocal fear-desire that women feel towards men: for Paglia, women fear men because men are physically powerful and agents of violence, but obtaining a man’s erotic favor is a trivially easy task.

          Clarice’s objective in Silence of the Lambs is not to tame Lechter, but to learn from him. His objective is to poison and seduce her, to make her like himself in spirit and (if possible) deed. We feel her fear of him as a force of evil, juxtaposed on her desire to please him by demonstrating intellectual power. Neither Lechter nor Crawford initiate action in Silence of the Lambs; rather they react to Clarice’s resistance of their advances. But the movie is about Clarice empowering herself admist the tension of three male antagonists. (And if Clarice’s objective is to “tame” Lechter, she fails miserably: Lechter rejects her offer of relaxed confinement and instead seduces a more pliable woman with more to offer in the form of the Senator, and uses the fruits of that seduction to free himself and gain the power to then menace Clarice, a power he withholds from exercising because he preferred to exercise that power against another man.)

          The motive force for male action in Pulp Fiction is again not fear of women, either of their anger or of their withholding of love. The hurried cleanup in the final major narrative segment is motivated by fear of detection. The men did something that they have to hide, not from women but from society as a whole. Maybe it’s an analogy for homosexual sex, but it’s not fear of women, at least not women in particular. The romantic tension between Vincent and Mia in the first major narrative segment is propelled by the fact that these two are forbidden to one another; there’s some room for the desire-of-women model here, but we learn, especially towards the end of that story, that both the desire and the taboo are reciprocal. Again, I don’t get the sense that Paglia describes women being motivated by simultaneous fear of and desire for men, at least not in anything even resembling the way that men fear and desire women to her.

          Neither the Fight Club narrator (I didn’t remember that he had the name “Jack,”) nor Tyler Druden is motivated by fear of Marla. Debatably, the narrator seeks to please her to gain her sexual favor, but he is propelled through the narrative by his relationship with Durden and his search for his own masculinity, not with the woman. Durden, to the extent he is a separate character, uses Marla for his sexual pleasure: to him, she is a way he can vent his urges which he grows less and less interested in as his urges move him away from sex and towards greater and greater acts of violence.

          The Matrix seems to me to be the least fear-of-females themed movie on the list. Trinity and the Oracle are the only female figures in the whole movie. Trinity’s life-restoring kiss was only the most overt example of Trinity empowering Neo. Women don’t empower, to Paglia; they terrify. Trinity evokes wonder in Neo, then she inspires him, then she teaches him, she gives him life and power.

          Forrest Gump‘s dumb luck has very little feminine influence. At least, it doesn’t after his mom gets him enrolled in school (I did concede that this fits in to the “succubus” narrative) and not again until he comes home from Vietnam. He longs for Jenny while in Vietnam but knows full well that she is giving her favor to other men (lots of other men, as it turns out) and the important thing about Forrest’s love for Jenny is that he does not care that she has many lovers or even that she does not (seem to) love him. He simply wants her to be happy. He wants nothing in return from her, although she eventually does reciprocate his love, giving him both her sexual favor, and subsequently, a son.

          I agree that Rose was the most powerful character in Titanic. Just like Silence of the Lambs‘ female protagonist, and as the apex of a love triangle, she must be powerful or she would be destroyed. The movie turns on a single choice: comfortable structure (Cal) or dangerous freedom (Jack). When she makes that choice, all hell breaks loose: by selecting liberty instead of order, passion instead of predictability, and love over social expectations is mirrored in the world’s response to her choice: not only is she rejected by her peers but nature itself punishes her by driving the iceberg into the ship: freedom also brings chaos, and it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it. (The thousands of people who died because of Rose’s choice are, of course, symbols of that lost order and structure.) Very simple narrative, and more to the point, a narrative that isn’t a Paglian drive motivated by male fear of women; reverse the sexes of the three characters and the same thing happens with that narrative structure. Once choice is made, it’s made by a woman, and it’s made for a reason other than fear.

          Kevin Spacey’s character does not die because he disappoints his wife in American Beauty. She doesn’t kill him, and neither does her lover. Overtly, Spacey dies because he rejects Scott Glenn’s advance after Glenn sees a truth that both men are actually secretly homosexual. But more deeply, Spacey doesn’t really die: he apotheosizes. He has achieved complete mastery over his life: he no longer needs his wife to survive nor does he need to despise her to preserve his ego, he no longer desires the inappropriately young girl but chooses to let her keep her innocence, he lets go of his daughter so that she can pursue her own happiness with her new boyfriend, he no longer needs a job or money for either survival or happiness: he is finally truly free and autonomous. Letting go was painful, but the resulting liberty brings both bliss and power. So of course this cannot be tolerated; the material world (personified by a deranged Scott Glenn needing to expiate his own humiliation of his own submerged homosexuality) destroys this new god rather than permit others to see and understand his example. And the movie ends on a very hopeful note of Wes Bentley staring sideways at Kevin Spacey’s corpse, processing at once the momentousness of death and glimpsing the freedom, happiness, and power — perhaps to find a path to it for himself later. The apotheosis is proven by the fact that Spacey is narrating to us after he has been shot. This isn’t a story of a man driven by fear of a woman’s wrath or fear of her withholding her favor. It’s a story of a man finding power within himself.

          I notice that Scott Glenn is a sub rosa antagonist in two of these movies. And Billy Zane kind of looks like Scott Glenn when he was younger. Interesting.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        Well, I’m going to cite every movie TV show, or book in which a white man interacts with a more primal, streetwise black man as deriving from Norman Podhoretz’s My Negro Problem-And Ours, which demonstrates that he was the most influential American who ever wrote about race.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        I’d like to think it’d be possible to see Gloria Steinem’s fingerprints on pop culture in the 1970’s and point out how many things changed after the introduction of Ms.

        In that same vein, I think it’s more than possible to look at how Sexual Personae changed things.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

        I’d like to think that we all recognize that…

        I’d like to think that that interpretation…

        I’d like to think it’d be possible to see…

        That’s a lot of wanting and hoping Jaybird. If wishes were horses…

        I’d just go right back to pop culture at this point: no soup for you!Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        Burt, it’s not just woman as “rather the primal motive for male activity is fear of either a woman venting her wrath upon the man (for he cannot fight back) or of her withholding her love (usually expressed in the form of sex)” but also the positive motivation of same. Acting out of fear is the one swing of the pendulum, true, but that’s the stick end of the swing that says “if I fail to do this, I’ll be punished”. There’s also the other end of the pendulum that has the carrot of “if I succeed at this, I’ll be rewarded!”

        Hannibal wants a lot of stuff from Clarice, it’s true… but that desire translates into him actually helping her. The one electric moment where he rubs his index finger against hers? That’s a very Paglian moment. He’s got a lot of stuff going on there. It’s not all soul eating.

        (I assume the sequel doesn’t exist.)

        I don’t get the sense that Paglia describes women being motivated by simultaneous fear of and desire for men, at least not in anything even resembling the way that men fear and desire women to her.

        How about with the very important male/female interaction between Butch and Fabienne. It’s the one where Butch is in a rage and then sees Fabienne’s face and he immediately pulls back into himself and gives a very gentle-voiced speech explaining why he was mad. The entire conversation he had with her was teetering between name-calling and unironic affection. Additionally, the day after the fight? That speech was something else. (The love scene also had some interesting dynamics that included him giving pleasure to her first because her pleasure was a primary motivator.) There was a lot of him pushing out and then pulling back when he realized he went too far with her.

        If you’re a stickler about the whole timeline thing, they’re also the ones who close out the movie.

        motivated by fear of Marla

        Oh, true. At the beginning, it was downright anger and resentment! But there are a lot of ways that fear of failure can manifest. But he still made her his power animal.


        There are two sides to the pendulum. You put it better than I could here: “Trinity evokes wonder in Neo, then she inspires him, then she teaches him, she gives him life and power. ”

        That’s the other side of the pendulum from fear.

        If Jenny took anything from Forrest, it was something he freely gave for love, and she did not scheme or plot to induce him to give it.

        Again, whenever we see Forrest set his jaw and do something (rather than stumble through something), it’s because of Jenny. When he does things (rather than react to things) in that movie, she’s the reason.

        Very simple narrative, and more to the point, a narrative that isn’t a Paglian drive motivated by male fear of women; reverse the sexes of the three characters and the same thing happens with that narrative structure. Once choice is made, it’s made by a woman, and it’s made for a reason other than fear.

        I’ve also heard that Titanic is the perfect love story. Boy meets girl. They have great sex. He dies. (Hey, that was the plot of the Desire story in Endless Nights!) You can have romantic feelings about that for decades.

        In any case, I think that Rose grabbing her own sexual self and then choosing to run with that makes her a Paglia heroine in her own right.

        As for American Beauty, I remember more than once his reaching out to his wife and she snubs him and he reacts… well… inappropriately. The conversation at dinner about his losing his job and his frustration at that (and the “HOP ON!” scene). I get the feeling that if they had a real conversation, a *LOT* of stuff could have been hammered out.

        (I’d note that Thora Birch had a lot of power over Joaquin as well.)

        Now there was the sitcomy misunderstanding that was the direct reason that Kevin Spacey got shot… but that situation rose out of how he he didn’t know what to do with his masculinity in the wake of his being rejected by his wife… who, might I add, should have done a much better job of dealing with him than she did. (I’m sure that Paglia would have cackled at the whole “I am not a victim” mantra she was giving at the end there.)

        There’s more than one arc to the pendulum swing. It’s not just the stick of fear as motivator. There’s the carrot arc too.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

        So what you’re saying, @jaybird , is that Paglia’s theory is that men act as they do because (in part) they hope their actions will make women love them.

        I agree with that, but that’s not a particularly original-to-Paglia’s concept. We can go back to … Mesopotamia, Egypt. Probably before that, too — just no writing to record those stories.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        Indeed, it’s not. You can see Nietzsche, for example, all over her theories (with smatterings of Freud as well).

        But, also, you can see how Sexual Personae (and its bastards) infused the 90s (and aughts) the way that Steinem (and her bastards) infused the 70’s and 80’s.Report

      • North in reply to Jaybird says:

        Jay I would like to reiterate again that I’m not conversant enough in Paglia’s theories (versus the theories of her rival theorists) to be very nuanced about them. I may be uncharitable in my interpretation (most likely am) but I do feel like your interpretation is so broad as to no longer be anything that Paglia can realistically claim ownership of.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        Well, without getting into how Gloria Steinem’s fingerprints were all over the 70’s and 80’s (Annie Hall! 9 to 5!), I’m stuck talking about when the culture changed (there was a major shift within the culture and within feminism itself that happened in the early 90’s… the change of emphasis from the 2nd to the 3rd wave) and, in the same way that you can see the narrative of men and women’s power relationships evolve through the 70’s, you can see the evolution that takes place in the 90’s and the lynchpin event isn’t stuff like Rebecca Walker’s essays (as good as they were) but Sexual Personae.

        She was a lightning bolt. In the same way that we read Aristotle’s rules for a good tragedy and see that, well, stuff that existed contemporary to him weren’t that good at following the rules… but, man, the stuff that came after sure did!, we see Paglia’s ideas of pop culture infuse pretty much everything. That was the book that even if you didn’t read it, your editor did… in the same way that you had to touch base with Ms. in the 70’s and early 80’s.Report

      • Michelle in reply to Jaybird says:


        This discussion morphed since yesterday (big surprise). I guess I don’t see Pagila’s views as winning, so much as restating the same gender difference, biology is destiny viewpoint that’s standard right wing fare. Dreher was applauding her most recent piece recently, as a lot of her view of gender relations seems to confirm to his own.

        I don’t consider Pagila to be a feminist at all. She’s much more of a feminist brasher. And rabid self-promoter. She bores me.

        As for Dworkin and MacKinnon, their views might be considered more mainstream within academia, but outside the ivy walls, they’ve generally been considered extreme. Wasn’t Dworkin the one who described all male-female sex as essentially rape? And MacKinnon gotten severely beaten down on First Amendment grounds for her proposals to regulate pornography.

        I do think Gilligan’s work has been more roundly accepted but, then again, I don’t recall it being all that controversial to begin with.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

        The discussion may have morphed, @michelle , but damn do I enjoy deconstructing movies!Report

    • j r in reply to Michelle says:

      I find it odd that Rosin has built this whole iteration of her career on the “end of men” idea and yet you call Paglia a “one-note hack. It is especially since what Paglia is saying, that we are not, in fact, experiencing the end of men and that men do, in fact, continue to have value is much more in tune with what the average person feels than Rosin’s nonsense. After all, the majority of women that I know still feel that the men in their lives (their fathers, brothers, husbands, boyfriends, friends, colleagues, etc.) have value and will continue to have value.Report

      • Michelle in reply to j r says:

        I don’t think Rosen is saying, despite her title, that we’re experiencing the end of men, but of a particular kind of working-class masculinity. Her title is misleading, as Tod Kelly explains elsewhere on this thread.

        I haven’t read enough of Rosin’s work to know whether she’s a one-note hack or not. But I have read a fair amount of Pagila including most of Sexual Personae and her columns when she used to write regularly for I stopped when I realized that I knew what she was going to say before I read it, so why bother with the headaches induced by her writing style, which seems to consist of short, declarative sentences interspersed with a few more short declarative sentences.Report

  4. J@m3z Aitch says:

    The End of Men is a perfect example of clickbait

    It was a very well written essay, but I think the quote above would have been sufficient. 😉Report

  5. NewDealer says:

    That being said here is how we can prove whether it is really the End of Men or just the end of Working Class Men.

    1. What are employment rates like for the 40 percent of men getting college and advanced degrees as opposed to women with college and advanced degrees?

    2. Did college educated men suffer more, less, or equally, as college-educated women during the 2008 recession/fiscal crisis?

    3. In the law school school crisis, are men and women suffering equally or not? Are women more likely to get associate positions than men? I’ve been pretty lucky with well-paid perma temping work so far but that could end (and I am very scared that it will end.) I know people who failed the bar once or twice before passing who have found full time associate level employment, these are both men and women. There is a lot of random luck in getting a job that people don’t want to admit to.Report

  6. Mike Dwyer says:


    I really liked this post and found myself nodding in agreement with pretty much all of it. I thought the last part about physical products of our jobs was very interesting and the connection to artisinal products was sort of a ‘why didn’t I think of that’ moment for me. Great work.Report

  7. j r says:

    Why we don’t frame the end of men in terms of socio-economics is probably partially because Americans find talking about socio-economics to be taboo and partially because it does not sell well at Ted Talks or the Aspen Ideas Festival which tend to be for upper-class Technorati.

    You’re ultimately correct in this thought, but I don’t think that Americans, writ large, have a problem talking about soico-economics. It’s just an issue that each particular segment of American society has a certain code for how to talk about these things.

    The SWPL crowd that Rosin makes her money talking to is perfectly fine beating the triumphant feminist “end of men” drum, but, as you point out, won’t connect the dots and talk about the deeper story: the hollowing out of the semi-educated, semi-skilled working class as people are either filtered up into the ranks of the college-educated knowledge worker or down into the marginally-employed underclass.

    The latter is the much more interesting story, but the gender wars are what move clicks these days.Report

    • NewDealer in reply to j r says:

      Even though all my tastes are very SWPL, I agree that dots are not being connected but I’m also further to the left and not a TED talk neo-liberal kind of guy. There are plenty of people who talk about the hallowing out. Methland is a good example talking about how the semi-educated and semi-skilled working class were filtered down to the marginally-employed and much lower paid underclass.

      I generally think that you are right about simple narratives being what move clicks with either I agree or really disagree. That being said a lot of the comments left for Rosin were atrocious and horrible and indefensible.Report

      • j r in reply to NewDealer says:

        I can’t say that I have much sympathy for Rosin. She has purposefully made this her shtick and has parlayed it into a nice little career arc. Imagine if we found a way to nurture fetuses in artificial wombs and some man started going around preaching the end of the usefulness of women.

        The funny thing about Rosin’s argument is that she presents it as the very progressive take on gender and society, but it actually represents a move backwards. This is ostensibly about freeing women from the tyranny of having to rely on men, but it’s really just about the shift from reliance on individual men within a family unit to the reliance on the central authority of the tribe (aka the government or corporation or whatever the relevant administrative unit is). Dollars to donuts men will continue to dominate positions of central authority.

        In reality, this isn’t about the end of masculinity. Rather, it’s about the monopolization of masculinity by a few top alpha males and the relegation of most other men to the sidelines.Report

  8. KatherineMW says:

    “The End of the Blue-Collar Manufacturing Economy” would be more accurate.Report

    • NewDealer in reply to KatherineMW says:

      That also works.Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to KatherineMW says:

      @katherinemw @newdealer: ““The End of the Blue-Collar Manufacturing Economy” would be more accurate.” … “That also works.”

      I think it’s more than this, though. One of Rosin’s key points (and one that I agree with) is that as the nature of our economy has been changing, one gender, for whatever reason, has been able to adapt far more readily than the other.

      I personally suspect that the reason for this has to do with the ironic strength of historically being seen as less important:

      The reaction to women’s jobs changing over the past few generations has been to tell women they need to “man up” and adapt, be it through trying to break into a male dominated field, continuing education, being willing to start in entry level jobs in new industries, etc. When a set of men’s jobs is threatened, on the other hand, the reaction is usually to try and game the system to artificially lengthen those jobs’ life cycle. Think: tariffs, government subsidies, tax breaks for companies who employ men at a higher rate than the global economy dictates, etc.

      We’re now getting to a point where those strategies are failing under their own weight, and as they do we’re seeing that Rosin is correct: women today are better equipped to adapt to a rapidly changing economy because we have forced them to be so; men are less adaptable because we’ve largely protected them from having to learn the skills necessary for adaptation.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I think its a bit different Tod. The new employment available for the working and lower middle class is either a continuation of traditional working and lower middle class jobs for women, nursing, teaching and the like or what looks like a natural evolution from work that was traditionally coded female like secretarial work, etc.

        Most of the blue-collar work that was coded masculine like factory work or most work involving physical labor hasn’t been replaced by work that could be coded masculine. There is a closer relationship between nurse and yoga instructor than factory worker and yoga instructor. Working and lower middle class men are doing poorly in the new economy because most of the available jobs at their socio-economic level come across as being somewhat to very feminine to them.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I disagree.

        We have reached a point where women (for quite some time) have been told by society that they can work in whatever field, and that includes factory work. (Or combat soldier, politician, sales rep, movie director, athlete, etc.) This isn’t to say that there isn’t continued resistance within a lot of male dominated fields, or that glass ceilings don’t exist – there is and they do. But for the most part, women are no longer stigmatized for trying their hand an a so-called “masculine” field.

        I think it’s different with men.

        You mentioned nursing, which is an industry that is begging for warm bodies throughout the country. Despite this — and despite the economy in a lot of places where that need is greatest — it’s still considered somewhat taboo for a man to become a nurse, even to feed his family. And I suspect that a lot of this is self-inflicted by men themselves. They can’t pay the mortgage, they con’t find work, they hear that hospitals are willing to train entry level nurses, and they just can’t make that connection in their own heads. It’s what Rosin is talking about, I think, when she discusses the adaptability difference between the sexes today.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I agree with Lee. This raises interesting questions about what it means to be masculine or not.

        When I was growing up, cars were largely mechanical things. Now they are largely computerized and I think every car I’ve had (all two of them) have been more computerized then not. I can probably change the oil, antifreeze, tires, and put chains on the tires of my car. Anything else would likely void the warranty.

        Yet there are still a lot of men that insist it is an important and manly skill to be able to do things like change the belt in the motor. Do car motors even have belts anymore?

        I grew up in suburban New York, a half hour outside of NYC. You would have to travel a long distance before finding anything that could be remotely described as country. Yet I notice that a lot of “manly” skills are pre-industrial, industrial, or post-apocalyptic, or at least more geared for rural life. This is odd to me.Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I don’t think you can really talk about this topic without also addressing how primary schools are failing boys.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I think in a way you’re both arguing Rosin’s point for her.

        I would argue that jobs themselves aren’t inherently feminine or masculine. Rather, we decide in advance what we think embodies masculinity and femininity and then place the appropriate label with each career. As a result, these labels change though time and differ between societies. Writing, for example, is now seen as more of a feminine career; for the longest time, however, it was considered so incredibly masculine a career that it was a scandal to even think of a woman doing it. The same goes with teaching, or acting, or singing.

        The adaptive edge that women have over men today is that more an more, they don’t look at careers through a lens of masculine/feminine. (And those women who still do are largely being left behind as well.) I know a hell of a lot of female corporate sales reps and division heads, and I can tell you not one of them ever sits up in bed late at night worrying that they’re in too “masculine” a field.

        That you and LeeEsq are focusing so much on what careers are masculine enough for a man to have is still the auto-default in our society when it comes to men in the economy, and a great example why men are struggling more with adaptability than women.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Do car motors even have belts anymore?

        Mine just lets its pants go all saggy, like those rap guys.

        (More seriously, yes, many modern cars still have belts. But I don’t know how amenable they are to amateur replacement).Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Tod Kelly says:


        Here I agree with you but it would be interesting to see the self-infliction of the pain as across socio-economic levels. When I tried to be a theatre director, I am sure my parents worried about my socio-economics because being an artist is very very hard. However, they did not say it was a feminine choice or a gay choice and they did encourage me and support my attempt.

        But I grew up among upper-middle class liberals who believed in education. It could have been very different under other circumstances.

        It also seems largely more acceptable for a woman to be “one of the guys.” In fact they often seem to get bonus points for it. The woman who likes Mixed-Martial Arts/Sports, Blow Em Up Action movies, Curses like a sailor, dresses in a sports jersey and jeans is cool and not prissy. A guy who would rather see a Turner exhibit than a sporting game is going to be viewed as suspect except in very large cities and among the SWPL set perhaps.

        You are right that men largely do this to themselves. Though I suspect women also play apart in this. When I was in the early days of long-distance e-mail courting with my girlfriend she decided to send me some songs from musicals. As much as I love theatre, I don’t know much about musicals and really do think all modern musicals sound alike. So I sent her You Better You Bet by the Who and Come Dancing by the Kinks among others. She told me later that she would be “worried” if I knew all about musicals and does seem sincerely relieved that I think all musicals sound alike.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Tod, a lot of that its because nobody thought it was necessary to tell boys that they could do whatever they want for a variety of reasons. During the early days of feminism, the movement obviously wanted to keep the focus on girls and woman. That entailed more empowering “girl power” rhetoric. Even a slight focus on boys would be seen as a distraction. The goal was to advance women’s rights and not necesarily help boys and men adjust or change what it means to be a man.

        I also don’t think that anybody envisioned that the blue-collar manufacturing economy would collapse or that men from working class and lower middle class backgrounds would have such trouble adjusting to the new economy.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        And nowadays a lot fewer people drive after a few belts.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Lee – I agree with this, and it was what I was trying to say in the comment above that started this sub-thread: that the lack of historical need for men to adapt is now putting them in a position where they are falling behind.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        You think Man of La Mancha sounds like Fiddler on the Roof?Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Tod Kelly says:


        It is more modern musicals. They all sound like Top 40 pop music.

        All modern musicals sound like this to me.

        Sondheim is different but Sondheim sounds like Sondheim.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I’m not really sure if there was no historical need for men to adopt, especially if your a working class man. During the early days of industrializaiton, the weavers that were being displaced by power looms were told to adapt. The same goes for other artisans. The young men that had to move from the country to the city or to an immigrant country were told to adapt. The only difference between than and now was the lack of feminism but adaptation has long been part of working and lower middle class life.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Tod Kelly says:


        OK, I see your point.Report

      • aaron david in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Every car that I can think of has a serpentine belt, and they are very easy to change.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Aaron, have you heard of the Mighty Engine?Report

      • KatherineMW in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        New Dealer: Les Misérables doesn’t sound like that at all.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        I bet if you arranged “I Dreamed A Dream” with only a piano for accompaniment, it would sound a bit like that. And Audra McDonald would make a lovely Fantine, although she might have a bit more fun as Mme. Thénardier even if the role challenged her less.Report

      • KatherineMW in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Okay, but that’s one song. Much of Les Mis (At The End of the Day, Do You Hear the People Sing, One Day More) does not sound like that at all.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Tod Kelly says:


        Les Mis is also around 33 years old (original Paris production). I wouldn’t call that new. The trend of Stars and the Moon sounding musicals has been going on for quite a while though. Since the late 1990s or early aughts.Report

      • aaron david in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        @stillwater That Mighty Engine is pretty cool, being a combination of Wankel and reciprocating engines. Still though, to run AC or an alternator (gotta have electricity) you still need a belt.Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        Not so, just mount all your accessories directly with PTO shafts, no belts needed (it’s how its done with gas turbines).Report

  9. Tod Kelly says:

    As I said to ND earlier, I believe Rosin is a writer who crafts provocative and inflammatory titles to attach to not-so-provocative-and-inflamatory arguments. Rosin’s chosen titles are purposefully outrageous, but the works she hangs these titles on never really are.

    I see very little to argue with in the Time article; I in fact see little that is even controversial. I even agree with her point about women having the same so-called “negative traits” as men do being important, because historically their fictional lack of these traits has used as an excuse for why they would be poor leaders. (Women don’t understand deviousness as part of negotiating, so if Geraldine Ferraro were to be put in a room to negotiate with the Soviets she would have no idea they might be lying to her!) If she weren’t so gifted a self-promoter with her titles, I think the haters would instead criticize her for being bland and uncontroversial.

    I always find it ironic that she is so universally despised by men’s rights folk. They seem to collectively have memorized her titles without any of them ever having read her. In terms of the actual meat of her arguments, she’s arguably the strongest and most visible ally they have in the mainstream. I would be curious to go into the parallel universe where her books were written by Heath Rosin to see if the reaction amongst the MRM was the same.Report

    • NewDealer in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      I don’t despise Hanna Rossin and I generally think she is a good journalist. I hope this does not come across as a defense of MRM/MRA people. I especially enjoyed her article on the serial killers that used Craig’s List to hunt down desperate and lonely blue-collar men as victims and the her previous investigative work at Patrick Henry College (A Christian Fundie school that was important during the Bush II years but seems to be less powerful with a Democratic admin for obvious reasons.)

      This is just an argument that needs more addressing on socio-economics but that is the globalization skeptic and socialist sympathizer in me. Also it inadvertently does seem to knock men who are decent to good at navigating the real economy for being less than manly.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to NewDealer says:

        “I don’t despise Hanna Rossin and I generally think she is a good journalist. I hope this does not come across as a defense of MRM/MRA people.”

        It did not. I was just free-stream thinking there.Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Has she ever succinctly explained what the phrase The End of Men is supposed to mean without going into large chunks of her long-form or at least semi-long form arguments to explain her overall meaning in the work, thus eliding the discussion of what she’s saying in her title in particular or how it relates to her actual arguments? I have no problem with provocative titles for the sake of provocative titles, but you have to be willing to explain what you mean by it if isn’t a pretty straightforward statement of the argument in the book – without just summarizing the book. I haven’t read the book, but I listen to her podcast, and I don’t recall ever hearing that explanation.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Michael Drew says:

        I heard her explain it on a BBC interview I did while researching my MRM piece. When she says the End of Men, what she means is the end of men being the dominant and controlling gender in our economy — that type of a society where women are finically dependent upon the achievements of men in order to either make ends meet or even achieve a highly comfortable lifestyle.

        Not a particularly controversial point of view, even amongst feminists.Report

      • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

        This from the article, as stupid as it is, is I guess a very fair version of the explanation I’m looking for:

        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.

        Why stupid? How long ago did that idea of men stop being what we thought of men as being? I’m going to say at least as long ago as when Hanna Rosin graduated high school, if not longer. And obsolescence isn’t extinction. And men aren’t this “Men” of hers; they weren’t even when that idea dominated other minds a much as it dominates hers. But at least she explained the title.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Michael Drew says:

        If you read any of her articles, it is pretty much about the what we have said here. Well-paid manufacturing jobs have gone the way of the dodo. The men who were expected and/or trained to take these jobs have largely not successfully transitioned to the new economy and getting a university degree like women from blue collar and working class families have transitioned to the new economy.

        There is no mention about why a boy from Scarsdale whose mom is a lawyer and whose dad is a consultant is also going to be a victim of the end of men. There is some anecdotal evidence of women with college and professional degrees marrying down. Usually there are cultural issues involved that no one wants to talk about. If you are the first person in your family to have a white-collar job and advanced degree, you might still have a lot more in common with your blue-collar family than you do with the nice boy with the office down the hall because he grew up in a white collar family in Mill Valley with different cultural habits. There is research showing how it is very hard for people to adjust to the cultural expectations of new socio-economic levels than it is to the actual economic circumstance. Kazzy has presented versions of this with his interactions with parents at his school.

        Also on another anecdotal level, I seem to know more women who think it is “snobby” to exclude dates because of educational criteria than I know men who think it is snobby to exclude dates because it is a mismatch.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Michael Drew says:

        ND, I heard the opposite. Will once posted something in Linky Friday tha suggested that women are more likely to decide not to debate a guy when if he went to the wrong school than men are.Report

      • Yeesh with the quote tag. Finally.

        Anyway. I really like her work generally, and the insights in the book that I’ve heard her talk about are spot-on and well-observed. I just have an issue with the title, though, as I say, I get it as a provocation. I just think it makes her sound dumb and stuck in the past, even though her observations are so current. I just think men and women have been adjusting personally to these changes steadily for years and years, and all of a sudden she’s trying to resurrect this now-shibbolithic idea about a “Men” that people really aren’t working with anymore. It’s just this big hang-up of hers that this idea is dying off, when everyone else has been moved on from it for decades and are smoothly adjusting to new ideas (though not as smoothly to the actual material challenges themselves that in part drove its departure).Report

  10. Libertarian Advocate says:

    Hanna who????Report

    • NewDealer in reply to Libertarian Advocate says:

      I get the point of these kinds of comments but they are not cute.Report

    • NewDealer in reply to Libertarian Advocate says:

      Nor are they very effective. It just makes the people who say them come across like they don’t pay attention to what is happening in the world. She has written for Time, The New Republic, the Washington Post, and Slate. These are fairly to very prestigious publications.

      People don’t need to like or agree with everything out there but they should at least be aware of it. I don’t watch Reality TV but it does show a certain level of awareness to know it exists, what the major shows are, etc. Real Housewives??? just sounds like being a purposeful snob.Report

  11. Mo says:

    Is the male focus on grooming a new thing? If anything, modern urban men have nothing like powdered wigs of back in the day.Report

    • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Mo says:

      Hell, all men have a focus on grooming. Some men WANT to look like tit’s been years since they’ve seen the wet end of a shower or the sharp end of a razor. They work very hard to get that look just right.Report

    • Shazbot11 in reply to Mo says:

      I think she means the obsessive and often pernicious focus on grooming and body as a source of self-worth and power to attract a mate has spread to men, because men can’t just expect a mate simply because they can provide for her materially.

      Something like that. You are right that men have always had codes of dress, some of them very time-consuming and fussy. But now they need to dress a certain way as a form of competition to gain a mate. That might be a new thing for men, unless you go way back in to prehistory to when man first walked the earth with dinosaurs 5500 years ago.Report

      • Mo in reply to Shazbot11 says:

        But even those old codes helped you get a mate. The difference of back then and now is that you would presumably have to impress the bride’s family. But you still have to impress someone to show that you are worthy.

        Dress is a way of signaling to both genders about your awesomeness, or lack thereof, and why they should follow you into battle or mate with you and that’s as old as when man first threw on a pelt.Report

  12. Shazbot11 says:

    “The historical oddity period was the mythic age of roughly 1945-1975 when it was possible to have a good middle class life doing manual and largely unskilled labor.”

    It is true that this short period is ending.

    But i think Rosin is right that a much longer period (a gazillion years, if I know my history) of women depending on men for material support is (at least in some ways) ending too.


    ” men are failing in schools, they have not adapted to the post-Manufacturing economy, women are marrying down”

    All women marry down. Unless they are lesbians and live where gay marriage is legal.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Shazbot11 says:

      I strongly suspect that it’s still possible to have a good middle-class lifestyle by 1945-75 standards on a manual worker’s income. “Good middle-class lifestyle” has been defined upwards due to technological improvements and to the increasing numbers of college-educated workers and two-income households.Report

      • North in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Depends on the category. In terms of food, durable goods and consumer goods consumers could spend a fraction of what they did in 1945-75 and they’d be golden. Housing, Euducation and Medicine would be another story.Report

      • KatherineMW in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Housing prices have skyrocketed since the 1940s-70s (well, they may have come down in the US after the crash; they haven’t done so here in Canada) to the point where they’ll take up a third of your income if you’re lucky and half or more of it otherwise. That more than outweighs any decreases in the cost of food and similar goods. And the ability to afford a place to live is far more important for quality of life than what technological gadgets you have.

        There’s more two-income houses partly because people’s economic situation has declined (women’s lib is the other major reason) – you can’t live a middle-class life on one salary any more unless the spouse who’s working has a significantly better-than-average job. And not being able to afford having one spouse stay home with the kids even if that’s something they wish to do means that costs increase further because you need to pay for a day care.

        But if you’ve got statistics comparing the median income, house size, expenditures on housing, expenditures on food, etc. between now and the 1950s-70s, I’d be fascinated to take a look at them.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        @katherinemw, the issue is why people’s salaries have declined though. The decrease it salaries coincides more than a little with the opening up of previously closed economies, noticeably China’s economy. Like North and I pointed out above, the broad prosperity enjoyed it what we can call the developed world; Western Europe, America and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and Japan had just as much to do with difficult to replicate historical conditions than it did with the welfare state or capitalism. The more labor and markets that are open, the harder its going to be earn a decent living in the developed world.

        Feminism itself contributed to the decrease in male salaries by increasing the pool of available labor. The more labor on hand for a particular task, the lower the salary. It doesn’t matter whether or not this labor is male or female, white or of color, or where the labor lives. Post-War prosperity is basically a result of a global labor shortage caused by various factors from women in the developed world being house wives to really dumb but popular economic ideas elsewhere.Report

  13. NewDealer says:


    Is Pajamaboygate a good example of the damage you think men do to themselves?Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to NewDealer says:


      I must confess, though, I think of Pajamaboygate as something that occurred because the Obama Administration did something with a guy in pajamas. They could have used anything in those ads (which I was not a fan of, actually), and the result would have been the same. If they’d had a beer-bellied trucker guy, the exact same people would have found a way to create Beerbelliedtruckerguygate. It’s just what they do.Report

  14. NewDealer says:

    @tod-kelly and for others:

    As I have pointed out before I went to law school at exactly the wrong time to go to law school because of a perfect storm of the fiscal crisis, the great recession, and what Paul Campos called The Law School Scam. I’ve been doing very well all things considered but it is still freelance gig to freelance gig and this is vexing because I went to law school because I was tired of the freelancer’s life.

    Others are in my boat or doing much, much worse. A lot of private bar associations are worried because it means a declining dues paying base. One local Bar Group has a program for under or unemployed lawyers called Mind the Gap. Occasionally the admins send out a job posting. Sometimes these job postings are for associate positions. Most of the time they are for admin assistant positions or legal secretary positions at law firms. There is a lot of anger and pushback about postings for non-legal positions from men and women.

    Are the new lawyers who got caught in this mess failing to adapt to the new economy/realty? Or do they have a right to be angry because of failed promises, misrepresentations, and a broken social contract? This might be unanswerable questions.

    A lot of people have made lots of solutions about the law school crisis: Move to X, Hang Up Your Own Shingle, without fully thinking why these are fully realizable or plausible solutions and make the law school grads out be whiny complainers.

    Do you think the situation is comparable to the End of Men? Is there no social contract and is everything a naked bet? Do we want to live in that kind of society?Report

    • j r in reply to NewDealer says:

      Rather than asking if there is or is not a social contract, maybe it’s better to ask what exactly a social contract is. After all, can you really enter into a meaningful contract with an abstraction? I find it odd when people talk about being promised things by society. I honestly can’t fathom what that means. And maybe that’s why I’m roughly speaking a libertarian and think that by the time I retire social security payments will be good for beer money.

      It’s that same level of abstraction and lack of precision that’s the problem with Rosin’s work. What she’s doing is basically yuppie feminist cheerleading. When you dig into the details of what’s happening in our education system and with our economy, the end of men story becomes decidedly less fuzzy and less feminist.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to j r says:

        I think the issue goes beyond the government making messages about how if you work hard in college or grad school, it is a ticket to a middle class or upper-middle class life.

        There are also private actions and perverse incentives to blame like the cooking of statistics to gain higher rankings in US News and World Report. I think the whole US News and World Report guide is one of the worst things to happen to education and creates all sorts of preserve incentives. It is also 100 percent constitutionally protected free speech.

        Right now I think the American public is caught between damned if you don’t get a college degree or higher and possibly damned if you do. People with zero or some college education tend to suffer much higher unemployment rates and much lower wages. However, we have reached a point where getting a college degree could possibly lead to underemployment and not necessarily a middle class life.

        This entire system seems untenable but no one knows how to fix it or reform it.
        Something is going to change and that change is going to hurt a lot of people.

        I am not sure I am okay with this or with a system that is 100 percent caveat emptor. It is very easy to ask people to take risks when you don’t have to. You is a generalized you, not specifically you.Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to j r says:

        I have to agree with you regarding USNWR rankings, they are horrible. When I worked for the business school, the administration was obsessed with those stupid things. It made my job very difficult because they wanted to make the students happy, instead of managing computer labs that actually, you know, worked.

        However, since we all have a choice in the education we pursue, there is little in the way of any social contract regarding school & career, etc. I do think there is a contract between a college & a student regarding career prospects, and the education industry has a great deal to answer for in that regard, but not society as a whole.

        Although maybe I should be complaining that the false crisis (promoted by the government) in STEM is busy depressing my wages & demand society fix it so my wages start going up again.Report

      • j r in reply to j r says:


        I’m looking at this less of an issue of what is right and what is wrong; rather, I’m just trying to come to terms with the world as it is. I would love to live in a world in which we had the power to enforce a social contract that guarantees everyone a certain level of material prosperity and mental well-being. However, I know that we don’t live in that world; therefore, I am skeptical when politicians make promises that imply we do.

        One of the things that tends to separate libertarians from conservatives is that often conservatives seem to relish bad things happening to people, because it enforces some sense of a priori moral order to the universe. I don’t celebrate people with advanced degrees and mountains of debt having a hard time remaining gainfully employed, but I do think that unreflectively accepting vague promises from the ether (or from US News and World Report, or some new segment about well-paid associates, or even your parents and teachers) is unwise.

        More importantly, the failure of this system is baked into the cake in much the same way that the housing crash was an inevitable feature of the whole housing bubble/financial ponzi scheme. And here is why this is all related to Rosin. Part of the reason that women are making gains is because we’ve lifted a whole set of explicit and implicit restrictions on women, so naturally women are going to start catching up. However, there’s another side to this story that is about credentialism and increasing regulation and overall rigidity at the bottom of the labor market.

        For instance, part of the reason that women are doing better in school is because we’ve turned school into a contest to see who can sit still the longest, fit in the best, and reflect back all those qualities that we think students ought to have in the first place. This is where Paglia’s comments are relevant.

        This country is increasingly turning itself into a sort of padded obstacle course for highlighting the bogus achievement of yuppie children. Those who play the game and come out on top are well-rewarded, but those who don’t quite make it end up with a whole lot of debt and frustration and increasingly fewer options.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to j r says:


        My law school was founded in 1913 and is attached to a local Jesuit university that was founded in the 1850s. For much of their history, I think both were content to offer decent university and legal educations to locals. Usually first-generation college students. However, the rankings and globalization play hand in hand and destroy any incentive to being a well-respected regional educator except maybe moral points. For most of their history, my law school supplied most small to medium sized firms and the government with their lawyers in Northern California. There does not seem to be value or a potential to do this anymore, and I don’t think the schools are exactly to blame. The entire thing is a wicked problem.


        If it wasn’t a college education, it would be something else. I agree with you that a lot of employers want college-educated employees for positions that don’t require them but this is not because of government policy. Employers are doing this themselves. There was a dog-walking service that advertised that all of their dog-walkers were college educated. I thought this was insane but my dog-owning friends (though they call themselves dog parents) liked the idea because they felt such walkers would be more compassionate, more understanding, less tempermental, better trained, etc. This would seem to be a market demand. Do those dog walkers make enough money to justify their student loans? I highly doubt it but it seems to be what a dog proportion of the market wants.

        And I am not sure that getting rid of government backed loans is going to change this. I think one of the things that new hipster services do is allow people to segregate more. I’ve known people who liked lyft and sidecar because they find it easier and more pleasant to deal with a hipster grad student driving a car for extra cash over an immigrant cab driver or old Vietnam Vet. When I was young, I was used to front desk staff at medical offices and the lab techs being professions for working class women. When I went for a physical at One Medical, the front desk staff were young hipsters. A man and a woman, both probably college graduates. They were nice and pleasant but I can’t help but think that One Medical is purposefully hiring people more like their patients to make things easier. You don’t have to deal with class issues and cultural clashes.Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to j r says:

        Agreed, it is a wicked problem, I just can’t accept it as a social contract issue.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to j r says:

        MRS, what type of problem is it than?Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to j r says:


        Not sure, economic? Too much labor supply, not enough demand. There is also the problem of too much access to easy money for school. Law school is expensive. That alone should limit the number of graduates.

        If there is any social aspect, it’s that federal student aid is given too freely to any old school (which is a whole other kettle of fish) &/or there is no reliable metric for school quality.Report

    • KatherineMW in reply to NewDealer says:

      I think law students have the right to be angry in being sold a false bill of goods for being sent messages that law school was the ticket to wealth.

      I also think a society that had a somewhat lower proportion of lawyers, and somewhat less influence from lawyers, would be a good thing.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to KatherineMW says:

        A lower number of lawyers does not necessarily equal a lower need for lawyers.

        Then again, I think lawyer jokes are easy and likely to be made until people need a lawyer. I am not saying that you will or hope that you do need a lawyer. But the idea of lawyer-free universe is dealing with a utopia that never existed and never will exist.

        The people hurt most by a law crunch are not going to be large corporations but the middle class who make too much to be given legal aid or pro bono lawyers and too little to afford the rates that solo practioners and small law firms need to charge. The only hope in this case is if the lawyer sees the benefits of a contingency agreement which are not allowed in all cases or matters.Report

    • scott the mediocre in reply to NewDealer says:

      I’ve not come across the term “naked bet” used that way before – I assume it’s an extension from “naked short”? I will never get back the time I spent Googling with exclude filters to try to get “naked bet” at the head of the search to return anything other than the sort of thing one would expect plain “naked bet” to return.Report

  15. veronica dire says:

    To my view, you shouldn’t really discuss something like this without talking about lensing, which is this: we come into these problems with a lens through which we view them, and these lenses themselves are subject to critique.

    For instance, it does not surprise me that a woman sees this issue in terms of the gender dynamic. But then, neither does it surprise me that a man is steps in and says, “Nope! It’s class!”

    I mean, obviously it is both, but which to foreground depends on the speaker’s agenda. And that agenda usually reveals that person’s interests.

    There is a long history on the left of activist men downplaying gender (or race or whatever) and stepping up saying, “Nope! It’s class!” And of course they do; the current gender(/race/whatever) system is just fine with them (even if they know to pay some kind of lip service to feminism). But the same goes for feminists, where white, cis, middle-class women have a long history of sidelining queer women and women of color (see “womanism”).

    These things become very predictable.

    Myself, I prefer to go in with the understanding that I, as a middle-class white trans women, will see gender in the foreground. How could I not? I breathe those waters. But that is just my view. Other views exist. I expect working-class people will have a different perspective, and black people another, and a queer black working-class women even something else.

    (on down to the individual, but there are patterns worth noticing.)Report

    • NewDealer in reply to veronica dire says:

      Good points. I am not from the working class and I do concede some points to Rosin on gender above but I think part of her framing issue inadvertently perpetuates very traditionalist ideas of gender roles or at least what is masculine or not masculine. There are still a lot of men who manage to get through higher education and succeed with varying degrees in a white-collar workforce or transitioning economy. Most of the male readers here fit this category.

      By simply calling her argument the End of Men and ending focusing on blue-collar labor and how these guys don’t consider education worthwhile, I think she inadvertently continues the stereotype the schooling/education is feminine and not masculine. Also it sort of says that guys who succeed in white-collar work might not be “real men”.Report

    • KatherineMW in reply to veronica dire says:

      I’m a middle class woman, and tend to see inequalities as class issues first and foremost. But I think it’s true that there are multiple dynamics going on here, and the reduction of men’s economic dominance is an important trend to note.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to veronica dire says:

      These things become very predictable.

      Well they do. In general, I suppose. Or at least as a general critique of how people – especially vocal people – talk about this stuff.

      I’m a little uncertain, tho, that the thing that’s predictable is based exclusively (or even generally) on an interpretation which “depends on the speaker’s agenda”. That attributes to everyone with a view of these types of things with an psychological motivation which can be interpreted or dismissed – depending- rather than merely calling balls and strikes like they see ’em. And granted, sometimes the claim to calling balls and strikes is just a cover for an agenda. But the residue of this type of analysis strikes as eliminating the possibility that judgments can be made from something other than an agenda. For example, an evaluation of the evidence. Or the soundness of arguments given evidence. Those types of things.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

        Another way to say it is that the reason you think this stuff is very predictable is because you’re viewing it thru a lens. Not that you didn’t admit that right up front.

        My claim is that there is a view of these things which isn’t a “view thru a lens” or there would never be any agreement about anything, all the way down.


      • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

        Even another way to say it: the claim that everyone views things thru a lens cannot be a conclusion following from the premise that everyone views things thru a lens.Report

      • veronica dire in reply to Stillwater says:

        Well, logic games bore me, unless they are stated in terms of type theory and lambda calculus. But whatever.

        The thing is, I’ve run into waaaaay too many people who cloak themselves in a mantle of objectivity, and who then go on to pontificate about stuff I know, but they do not. It gets repetitive.

        How’s this: the very idea that “logic” is the correct way to approach these conversations is itself a lens. (As if there is universal agreement of what logic even is. For instance, I prefer constructive logics, not so much on philosophical grounds, but more for their computation properties.)

        How about another: the very idea that there should be one truth with regard to social issues is again a lens. While I believe there is an objective reality, in this case the material world, I think that human culture supervenes on it at such a higher level, and that human construal is flexible and adapts according to need, based on experience, so that no person has the iconic-singular-essential-ur experience that gives them the one-correct-view.

        Of course, there is no shortage of people who claim to have the one-correct-view. Oddly, they do not all agree with each other.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Stillwater says:

        How post-modern, Veronica. I agree with you that people interpret the world through their own minds. Thats why I think the entire idea of lenses is somewhat unimportant. What ultimately matters is that is there a problem and what if anything should be done about it. Obviously, the lens you use determines your answer to these questions but the material facts should determine most of it.Report

  16. Mike Dwyer says:

    From Tod upstream:

    “The adaptive edge that women have over men today is that more an more, they don’t look at careers through a lens of masculine/feminine.”

    I may have told this story before so my apologies if this is a repeat. Early in my courtship with my wife I made the mistake of telling my father-in-law-to-be that my ‘official’ title at work was Senior Administrative Assistant. What I didn’t say to preface my remark was that in my company this is a very generic title under which a wide variety of work is done. We get unofficial titles depending on the work we do and at various times I have been a procurement coordinator, a program analyst, a financial analyst and currently I am an operations analyst. His reply has stuck with me for 10 years, “When I was working we all had secretaries and then one day we came in and they were all ‘Administrative Assistants’. He even did air quotes as he said it. So basically at the time I married his well-educated daughter he thought I was a secretary. I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt my ego.

    My roundabout point is that women DO have the luxury of ignoring that kind of stuff. And while I seriously doubt either of my daughters will consider careers in plumbing or carpentry I also know that if they did people would think it was more of a novelty than some gender-busting statement about the modern world. A straight man becoming a nurse or an interior designer would raise far more eyebrows and admittedly I am still a bit intrigued by my wife’s heterosexual hairdresser. Call me hopeflessly old-fashioned I guess…Report

    • Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      FWIW I have been lectured about what appropriate careers for a woman are or aren’t. More than once.

      And if you *really* wanted to see a woman get told to her face that she was in the wrong job, just follow a (female) scientist or IT person around for a few months. Or maybe a military recruit, although that’s not nearly as violent an experience as it used to be. Anecdotes of hazing of female park rangers, traildogs, construction workers, etc. abound.

      It’s not all that easy to ignore unequal pay raises and unequal opportunities for promotion even in woman-dominated professions either – for eg as a library employee, I am much less likely to get teased for my gender (female-ish) than my male coworkers, but they are *much* more likely to get promoted to jobs where they stop getting teased (ie library *director*, *dean* of whatever) and to get paid more along the way.Report

      • Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Maribou says:

        Well, prior to Dewey & his idea that women would be cheap labor for libraries, Librarians were all men.Report

      • Maribou in reply to Maribou says:

        For a decently long time after that too (library clerk != librarian, that insistent division goes back a long time, so it was made very clear by various parties that post-Dewey female library workers were Not Librarians, for a while). It kind of astounds me that so many white female Professional Librarians are so deaf to the racist/classist resonances that abound in the deprofessionalization conversations I’ve seen (on more than one side of the argument), considering that they were having the same issues with sexist resonances a century ago (and, arguably, considering the promotion gap, still are).

        That’s the thing that *really* bothers me about librarianship, actually, far more than my petty carping in Russell’s thread, and much more broadly than the sexism I point out above: it sorely lacks diversity (at least in the US)*. All the structural assumptions are annoying when they involve phrasing on listservs, but infuriating when I watch them playing out to make it so much easier to become a librarian for people who fit the (white, straight, gender-conforming – but ESPECIALLY white) mold. Makes me especially uncomfortable when I can see myself benefiting from it, or when people say “but WE don’t have a problem! I mean, most librarians are women!!!”

        *cf – membership in ALA is of course not contiguous with “is a librarian” but those numbers match my considerable experience of libraries pretty well.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      “I’m not going to have my daughter marrying a secretary.”

      “Well, it is ‘of Defense'”.Report

  17. NewDealer says:

    I have another question for the gang.

    Do you think business or career failure hurts men or women differently?

    Think of stuff like the law school crisis (sorry for the constant use as an example but it is what I know.) Lots of newly minted JDs who are in various stages of being perma-temps and under employed. I know people of both genders who are working in admin capacities (probably jobs a college grad can do), or are starting their own firms while also having to work retail/bartending/or something else to have a steady stream of income?

    Is there any research that shows how underemployment (especially among the educated?) hinders romantic prospects? Does bankruptcy make men or women equally undesirable or does it hurt one gender more than the other?

    Maybe I should have been a sociologist or psychologist. Probably would not have passed statistics though.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to NewDealer says:

      The good news is now that you’re in law practice, you get to do both sociology and psychology. So it’s like three professions in one!

      The bad news is, your first year earnings follow you around for ten years. On average.

      The good news is, if you have at least some disposable income, you can still get dates because it turns out the pool of people from whom you are likely to attract romantic partners are also likely to be in your age and educational brackets, and therefore as ass-out from gainful employment as you.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko says:

        As for you personally, @newdealer , I thought you’d found yourself a special someone. So at least for a while this shouldn’t be a top concern for you, no?Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Burt Likko says:


        I did find my special someone but this comes with its own stresses of what if I become unemployed again. My first year earnings were pretty good, so if this is true for me I am okay with that. If I get a job with health insurance, they will go up!

        Here is why I ask and again my evidence is completely anecdotal.

        When I was in graduate school for theatre, I over heard a woman a year below me talk about her husband singing in some kind of performance. I asked if her husband was also an artist. She said:

        “No. He’s a neurosurgeon. I’m a smartie.”

        Would you ever expect to hear a guy say that about his spouse?

        More anecdotally. A good number of the women in my art grad school had boyfriends or husbands that were business people or other professionals. Some had academic/educator husbands. If the men had girlfriends or wives, their girlfriends or wives also tended to be artists. There are four married couples that formed in grad school.

        So it seems to me that a woman can be a striving artist but not have it adversely effect her marriage prospects. Guys might even like the idea of dating an actress, musician, painter, etc. However, it does seem to have an effect on a guy’s romantic prospects unless he is a successful artist. Hmm..maybe Lee was right above when talking about marriage and dating outside of socio-economics.

        I do know a guy who is married and just passed the bar and doing the whole hustle for work thing. So it is possible for a guy to get through the law school crisis with the help of a spouse or partner but it still seems that guys need to be somewhat to very financially viable to be considered romantic partners. There has to be at least some kind of educational nexus usually. So you can have a writer or academic guy married to a woman who is a professional lawyer or a doctor.

        Notice that Hanna Rosin said that the women in her audience of commuters at public universities see guys as “just another mouth to feed.”Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Was “ass-out” an intentional phrasing or just a typo/Freudian slip?Report

      • J@m3z Aitch in reply to Burt Likko says:

        “No. He’s a neurosurgeon. I’m a smartie.”

        Would you ever expect to hear a guy say that about his spouse?

        The former VP of my college was a jock, a guy who’d worked his way up from baseball coach to AD to VP. He knew his intellectual limits, and was very open about the fact that his wife was much smarter than he was (I’ve never met her, but from the details I’ve heard, it’s surely true), and he said something similar. It didn’t have the financial overtones, I guess, but he did say something like “I was only smart enough to marry someone smarter than me.” Does that count?Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @jm3z-aitch, not really because its self-deprecating as opposed to ND’s quote which deprecates the husband but not the wife-speaker.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to Burt Likko says:


        What Lee said. I thought she was complimenting herself on marrying someone with a very lucrative career as opposed to another impractical artist. I’ve heard women say they have gotten this as romantic advice “It is just as easy to love a rich man, as a poor man.”

        So one factor contributing to the End of Men is that despite women gaining in the workplace and economy and reaching positions of power, men are still judged as romantic candidate in varying degrees by their ability to be breadwinners or at least financial equals. Maybe not on a case by case basis but by society at large.

        Even the rise of house husbands gives otherwise progressive/liberal people pause as a bad idea:

      • LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Overcoming thousands of years of human culture is hard. We made remarkable progress in the space of decades but we have a bit further to go.Report

      • j r in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Even the rise of house husbands gives otherwise progressive/liberal people pause as a bad idea:

        That article is a little bit hilarious. And it fits my “yuppies are to blame for everything” thesis.

        What this woman is lamenting is that families were one person focuses mostly on work and the other person focuses mostly on homemaking have certain advantages to families where both people focus mostly on career. That’s the way specialization works.

        Basically, she is saying that the world should be re-oriented to accommodate her yuppie striver fantasy of having a high-powered/high-status career, a spouse with an equally high-status career, and enough leftover time and resources to raise designer children.Report

  18. NewDealer says:

    @jm3z-aitch and everyone else:

    On the other hand, women do need to put up with a lot of idiots.

    Friends have also mentioned about the idiotic and obscene messages they get on OKCupid and a number of women thanked me from my on-line dating days from “Writing in full sentences and paragraphs.”

    So yeah, a lot of guys seem like absolutely proud and vulgar idiots and I don’t know why.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to NewDealer says:

      1. They thing that being polished and intelligent is kind of “gay” or at best “nerdy” and that real manly men have to be vulgar.

      2. They don’t think they much of chance anyway so they are deliberately being as provocative as possible.

      3. They are engaging in a rare and obscure courtship ritual that nobody knows about.

      4. This is more about boasting to fellow men that its about attracting women like cat-calling only worse.Report

      • veronica dire in reply to LeeEsq says:

        5. These men actively hate women and degrade them as an expression of disgust, hostility, and power.Report

      • LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        That was the implication of point 2 and 4. The mind really boggles on why so many men engage in these sort of behavior. Without even gettign into the issues relating to sexism, I can’t figure out why anybody who isn’t completely stupid would think that these sort of courtship techniques would work. Too many people use the Internet to engage in their worst behavior and thoughts. I’m a bit guilty of this myself at times but not to this extent.Report

    • veronica dire in reply to NewDealer says:

      I will say this: OkCupid’s little “I don’t want to be contacted by straight people” button is a most wonderful thing.

      (I’ve been known to express a wish I could have that button in real life. When I say that, I’m only half un-serious.)

      On the other hand, it is a shame. I turned it on to avoid the crap described in that article. But I am bisexual, and I would happily date a lovely, cool, interesting man. Just, the deeply horrible douches one must wade through to find such men is not worth it.

      So file me under “kinda effectively a lesbian because so many creeps.”Report

    • j r in reply to NewDealer says:

      So yeah, a lot of guys seem like absolutely proud and vulgar idiots and I don’t know why.

      You are operating from the wrong set of premises. Calling that the worst online dating profile ever fails to recognize the number of absolutely terrible legitimate online dating profiles. Spend some time online and you’ll find lots of women’s dating profiles that sound something like this:

      “I’m snarky, sass, and wonderful. And if you can’t handle all this woman, then you’re probably just some douchebro who should take his Miller Lite and go date rape someone else. I really just have this profile up so I can amuse myself with your pathetic attempts to woo me, so message me if you dare. I’ll probably ignore you and laugh about you with my friends.”

      or this:

      “I’m a single mother of two trying to finish my Associate’s degree. Even though I’m marginally employed, I have a taste for the finer things. If you want to talk to me, you need to take me someplace nice, like Applebee’s or The Macaroni House. And don’t expect to get anywhere on the first date. I used to be a real party girl, but those days are behind me, so don’t expect to even try and kiss me until you’ve taken me to dinner at least three times. I’m just old-fashion like that.”

      If you are a single man looking to meet women online, you quickly become numb to this sort of thing. In response, you adopt some minimum standard of physical attraction and personality and cast a really wide net. Once you get responses, that’s when you start applying the filter as to who is worth pursuing. So, that fact that this terrible profile got a lot of responses is nothing shocking at all.

      As for the terrible responses, there are lots of thirsty men out there who really don’t understand how attraction works. That’s just the nature of the sexual marketplace. At the end of the day, most of what happens online is about looks. We just write lots of words to try and pretend we’re not as shallow as we really are.Report

  19. NewDealer says:


    I have to agree that the purpose of the ad was mainly to troll conservatives and not getting people to sign up for Obamacare. And it succeeded very well in trolling conservatives and looking like an “Oberlin grad” probably helped a lot. It seemed to assault every not-quite evolved thought pattern on what conservatives think men should look like.

    FWIW his name is Ethan Krupp and he went to the UW-Madison

    • dhex in reply to NewDealer says:

      i dunno about the trolling bit. it seems counterproductive; perhaps this does appeal to the librul yunguns as he’s goofy and non-threatening.

      i find it a bit hard to believe that “getting the word out about one of the most well publicized government acts in the last ten years via a rabid response from the opposition” was the true end goal of these ads. most of the nonprof obamacare ads have been similarly uh amateurish/charmingly unpolished.

      the response was totes insane though. he’s a player in the game, but a mere peon. tracking down his house and that nonsense was total mania for reasons i can’t fully suss out.

      objectively speaking, however, the picture is still hilarious.Report

  20. tom says:

    End of men? Not by a long shot. The end of women is more likely.

    College education today is useless — the core curriculum is gone. The degrees are worthless. So the percentage of women and men on most campuses is of no consequence.

    Turn to Georgia Tech, Cal Tech and MIT: men dominate. And they dominate because math was developed as a language by men. And the highly abstract nature of MATH matters. Girls excel in ARITHEMETIC, but the boys continue to dominate math, 30 years after interventions. Yes, women will excel in the top 10 percent, but the top one will always be dominated by men. They created the langauge leveraging the subtle distinctions between male and female brains: (male brains are optimized for intra-hemispheric communication and female brains for inter-hemispheric communication: men focus with single-tasking and women with multi-tasking: abstract math requiers the former).

    Now at the other end, most of the labor is done by men: sanitation, construction, logging, oil rigs, and so on.

    Now where are the women? They are leaning in, selling their souls to corporate life just like men did 30 years ago. Companies now realize they can sucker women into selling their souls to the company. But in time, the publishing industry will fade, law schools are failing, real estate sales will fade and nurses will replace MD’s once they are allowed to prescribe medicine).

    But men continue to dominate surgery, engineering, math, construction, logging, sanitation, construction.

    Men at the top. Men at the bottom. Women leaning in to sell their souls to Sheryl Sandberg, and getting ulcers and becoming alcoholics.

    On campuses? Discounting gays and lesbians: there are now two women for every one man. Men will figure it out, lean back and demand they THEY get taken on dates. Then, 20 years after countless sexual encounters, they will marry and have kids (for despite feminist hyperbole, sperm does not age: it only produces birth defects when it fertilizes older eggs).

    End of men?
    No… the enslavement of women to corporate America.Report

    • NewDealer in reply to tom says:

      And I brought out the MRA guys. Lovely……Report

      • tom in reply to NewDealer says:

        Are you that blind? I am not MRA. I am trying to get people to see how the system is deluding women.

        Women were SOOOO close to the one thing that would have made the diffference: extended paid maternity leave. And you dropped the ball, and followed the campus gender politicians off the cliff, vilifying men.

        I do NOT like what I see comnig. I have a daughter and she will head into this new world. It is still possible to fix it for women. But I fear it will not be good for women.

        So get a clue and reread what I wrote. It is not MRA inspired. It reality. Dash some cold water on your face, set aside your anger AND LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING and try, with men, to find a way to fix it before women start dying of ulcers.Report

      • tom in reply to NewDealer says:

        And it astonishes me that you cast an aphorism without responding to the points.
        I assume youi know it to be true.

        In time, all the clerical jobs women are doing are going to be replaced with computers. But not the construction jobs just yet. Yes, robots will eventually do that, but that is about 50 yeasr away.

        Are you that deluded taht you see yourself as a CEO? You are likely a paper pusher. But men will do the work at the very top and very bottom.Report

    • veronica dire in reply to tom says:


  21. tom says:

    And I’d be happy to explain one possible way to fix it, but you’d have to set down your sword and shield first.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to tom says:

      Fix what, exactly. I’m pretty sure I don’t understand your argument here. Is it that since, in the foreseeable future, the only jobs available will be for a select few men (brainiacs, CEOs, strongbacks) women won’t be able to find any paying work or career paths?

      What’s the evidence for this?

      Also, if that’s the case, then isn’t that eventuality pretty devastating for men as well since most men aren’t MIT Profs, CEOs or loggers?Report

      • tom in reply to Stillwater says:

        We are not out of the economic crisis. Many more jobs will go.

        I do think women will make better CEO’s. But how many of those jobs will there be? Very few.

        In a naive attempt to eradicate a 30 point score difference in math (that derives from the top one percent alone), we are bastardizing math and physics education for everyone. It our zeal to get women into the top one percent (and as much as no one wants to hear, the top one will always be male dominated — and I can provide data if you wish… or one can just read all the excuses of why this gap persists after 30 years) in our zeal to get women into the top one, we are forgetting that it is the top 10 that drives society. And as a result, women are no longer even making it into the top 10. Look at the data.

        Engineering has two aspects design and analysis. Women will excell in design. But the analyis continues to be male dominated. So yes, those top jobs continue to be male dominated.

        Surgery.. very few women. You blame sexism, I don’t, but the facts remain.

        The future jobs? dock workers, constructions workers, santiation… they will get the salary and pensions and the secured jobs.

        Can you really not see this coming?

        Women are not leaning in. They are leaning over getting ulcers.

        But no matter…

        There are ways to fix math education for girls. But I think I will give up and go away now since no one really wants to hear the truth.

        All the best and good luckReport

      • veronica dire in reply to Stillwater says:

        Well, we can always return to the typing pool, since our widdle brains can’t handle that math stuff. Evidently.Report

  22. tom says:

    Real quick: as to your last comment about most men not being in those categorie?

    They are dropping out and taking up trades… joining the military… getting pensions.

    While women are doing the 9 to 5 in ways that made men commit suicide 40 years ago.

    If you like it… it’s yours. It’s not mine.

    All the bestReport

  23. michael savell says:

    I believe that Hanna Rosin means literally what she wrote.A peruser of Radfem websites
    would confirm that the big question is now eugenics and what the ratio of men to women should be and that figure,assessed by academia is between 10-20% which could become almost nil
    dependent on the progress of science after that goal has been reached.
    Simply, women do not need man as much as man needs woman.Man was once needed
    to protect and finance women and it is thought that neither will be necessary once the first goal has been achieved .Once this generation of alpha males die out women will assume their roles
    and,since no wars are envisaged,protection will not be necessary either.
    Marriage will slowly die from now on as male education and earning power die and a lot of men
    are now going their own way because they realise that the odds are too stacked against them
    due to alpha males who are virtually handing over the reins in every field to women and giving them massive advantages in every area that counts.
    It will take more than a few years but I am sure you will see some of the results within 20 years.Report

  24. veronica dire says:


    So who wants to bet this thread got linked to on 4chan or Reddit or something — cause there seems to be an influx of ranty-mc-rantypants.Report

  25. Pyre says:

    Y’know, you could pretty much merge these two articles together and say

    “Here is what Hanna Rosin/Amy Chua have to say about the inferiority of [X] and the superiority of [Y]. Let us all pinch the bridge of our noses together and wonder why we, as a culture, continue to give them any more notice than the average message board troll.”Report

  26. I will immediately clutch your rss as I can’t in finding your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please permit me realize so that I may subscribe. Thanks.Report