Essential reading for our times, as women are pulling together to demand their rights— A landmark portrait of women, men, and power in a transformed world.
“Anchored by data and aromatized by anecdotes, [Rosin] concludes that women are gaining the upper hand." –The Washington Post
Men have been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind. But Hanna Rosin was the first to notice that this long-held truth is, astonishingly, no longer true. Today, by almost every measure, women are no longer gaining on men: They have pulled decisively ahead. And “the end of men”—the title of Rosin’s Atlantic cover story on the subject—has entered the lexicon as dramatically as Betty Friedan’s “feminine mystique,” Simone de Beauvoir’s “second sex,” Susan Faludi’s “backlash,” and Naomi Wolf’s “beauty myth” once did.
In this landmark book, Rosin reveals how our current state of affairs is radically shifting the power dynamics between men and women at every level of society, with profound implications for marriage, sex, children, work, and more. With wide-ranging curiosity and insight unhampered by assumptions or ideology, Rosin shows how the radically different ways men and women today earn, learn, spend, couple up—even kill—has turned the big picture upside down. And in The End of Men she helps us see how, regardless of gender, we can adapt to the new reality and channel it for a better future.
This debut by Atlantic magazine senior editor Rosin bears witness to a paradigm shift currently turning the gender norms of American society upside down. "Plastic women," adaptable in a changing economy and culture, dominate institutions of higher education and steadily infiltrate the cubicles and boardrooms of a corporate America, and no longer need men to be the breadwinners. "Cardboard men," especially working-class and unskilled men, forced out of their factory jobs by the growing industrial flight, struggle to find purpose and employment in an evolving economy that values brains over brawn and the ability to build teams over handiness with a hammer. Rosin explores these changing gender norms across several settings, from the bedroom to the jail cell (more women are being arrested for violent crime than in the past), and teases out the highs and lows experienced by women attempting to shoulder the breadwinner and housekeeper roles simultaneously. Rosin's passion for the subject is married with the depth of understanding gained from years of reporting to produce confident prose and thorough citation. She deftly balances academic research with relatable anecdotes, from sorority sisters to single mothers. Rosin ends with a vision of both genders putting aside outdated traditions and finding a new normal built on the strength of human connection.
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From the men about to be extinct.
Even though I did not agree with the book what so ever. I couldn't put it down, I don't know if it was the frustration or the topic that wouldn't let me stop. However as a man, I rather be informed and know what the future hold so I can be ready for it. With that said, in no means do I except this future hands down. I rather work myself to the bones then be a say at home husband. Therefore, I thank you Hanna Rosin for writing this book, it gave me a lot to think about my future and the way I intend to change it. For some men like me, I rather choose death then not be able to provide for my family the rest of my life.
I had high hopes for this book having read a positive review in a national newspaper but was deeply disappointed. In the first chapter dealing with women's sexual liberation, Rosin's word choice is shockingly foul. Maybe she felt the need to establish "street creds" but it was gratuitous. From there she compares men and women primarily through anecdotes. Though she does refer to some statistics to buttress her case, she relies far too heavily on personal stories.
The book reads as if Rosin started her project with the hypothesis that men are incapable of adapting and then cherry picked interviews and publications to make her point. She complains that men are failing and gives many examples gained by interviewing men, women and couples. She describes men as lazy, uneducated and uninspired. She uses the stories and cites various advertisements to and about men. She asserts that men generally don't have the social skills that women have but does not convincingly explain why.
She is correct that the breadth and extent of the success of women was unexpected and that men have reacted sub-optimally. What she misses is that boys now, like girls in the 1960's, are responding to pervasive socializing messages from their teachers, their parents, their peers and the media. Boys are being socialized to expect to be failures. Rosin, though, seems clueless.
Rosin uses examples of boys adapting to expectations of them as proof that they cannot adapt. She's apparently never heard of the Pygmalion effect and may be too young to remember girls being trapped by their own socialization in the 1960's. Her hypothesis, the title, seems more to be a goal rather than a tested notion.
Debunked long ago
Rossin's article the book is based on has been debuked numerous times both by articles directly addressing it as well as new reports that confirm women's ridiculously severe disadvantage to men. For instance, it's common knowledge that her point that this economy has been harmful to men is a long-debunked myth and the new consensus is the reverse. Also, Superfreakonomics points out that women's advantage in education has actually been a failure to them in life, and most importantly perhaps, men make more money than women in every single demographic except for "young, single people in big cities." So congratulations to women on that.