“The End of Men” by Hanna Rosin – review by Evan Marc Katz

"The End of Men" by Hanna Rosin - review by Evan Marc Katz

I know, I’m a little late to the game in reviewing Hanna Rosin’s “The End of Men”, which came out on September 11, 2012. That’s what happens when your day job is coaching smart, strong, successful women and your night job is being a good husband and father. And so it goes.

As you may know, I’m a big reader, but tend to only read books for pleasure. If they feel too much like homework, I’m not going to bother. Which is generally why I have a lot of trouble reading most relationship books. Too close to home. But when it comes to accessible, scientifically researched, mainstream nonfiction, I’m a sucker. I’ve read most of the seminal books on behavioral economics like “Predictably Irrational”, “Nudge”, “How We Decide” and “Thinking, Fast and Slow”. And I really enjoy books that talk about larger societal issues revolving around gender and relationships: “Marry Him” by Lori Gottlieb, “Committed” by Elizabeth Gilbert, “Unhooked Generation” by Jillian Straus. Which brings me to “The End of Men”.

Women have become more traditionally masculine. Men haven’t become more traditionally feminine.

Rosin starts with some unassailable premises: women are gaining ground in education and the workplace, gender roles are fluid, and both genders are confused about what this means.

So is the author, I would suggest.

“Men could move more quickly into new roles now open to them – college graduate, nurse, teacher, full-time father – but for some reason, they hesitate…Men do a tiny bit more housework and child care than they did 40 years ago, while women do vastly more paid work. The working mother is now the norm. The stay at home father is still a front page anomaly”.

This is true. But Rosin’s built-in suggestion to men is a bit one-sided: the answer to these dilemmas is for men to change. Rosin points out that “women have become more masculine in their traits – assertive, independent, willing to take a stand. Men have not come towards the center, seeing themselves as tender or gentle.”

Yes, and that’s my point. Women have become more traditionally masculine. Men haven’t become more traditionally feminine. And so we find ourselves at an impasse – one that we’ve broached many times on this blog. Women’s answer to men: you need to change. Men’s reply to women: we like the way we are! Accept us.

Screaming back and forth at each other – as we often do – doesn’t serve a purpose. In a perfect world, we’ll try to meet in the middle. But Rosin spends a lot more time reflecting – on how men are falling behind than she does telling women how to adjust to the new world order. To be fair, this new world order, with women at the top, is the central premise of the book. And, to be fair, Rosin does a good job weaving a narrative based on anecdotes and statistics that support her case. Except they don’t entirely do so.

For example, “Among college graduates 25-39, women make up 45.9%.” Women earn 60% of masters, half of all law and medical degrees, and 44% of all business degrees.”

I find this information to be amazing. Inspiring. Heartwarming. Groundbreaking. Yet Rosin is arguing that these statistics represent not just the rise of women but the “end of men”.

Huh?

That’s not the end of men. It’s the BEGINNING of true equality! Now, for the first time, there will be just as many women who will be able to choose men because they are cute, kind, and loyal, not because simply because they’re educated and wealthy. Now, for the first time, a woman who makes $300K/year will have no trouble picking up the tab for a lavish European vacation with her boyfriend who makes $50K, just as men have been doing for their wives for a hundred years. This is good news, and it requires two shifts:

1) Men have to not feel emasculated when there are many women are smarter or wealthier.

2) Women have to not look down on men who are less educated or less successful. Just as men (like me) don’t look down on our stay-at-home mom wives; we cherish them for what they DO bring to the table – kindness, generosity, warmth, laughter, companionship, love, sex, and 100 other things that don’t involve money.

The author continues much of the book on this path, “The number of women with six figure incomes is rising at a faster pace than it is for men. 1 in 18 women working full time earn 100K or more in 2009, a jump of 14 percent over 2 years.”

The hard-driving businesswoman may mute her natural tenderness and vulnerability, two traits that men find both attractive and accessible.

Rosin calls this “the last gasp of a vanishing age” – when men had all the top jobs and wealth. But this is progress. This is as it should be. The number of women with six figure incomes SHOULD be rising at a faster rate because there’s a lot further for women to come to break thru the glass ceiling. Again, this doesn’t represent the end of men. It represents the closest we’ve come yet to a gender-blind work environment – and even that is far away.

Of course, I’m leading with my criticisms, not my praise, but Rosin does take an even hand – not just talking about the “end of men” but shining the light on the contradictions of the modern, smart, strong, successful woman – who makes $200K, but still wants a man to make more. Not only is this a challenging crossroads for women, but Rosin points out another dilemma that comes with equality: the hard-driving businesswoman persona may mute her natural tenderness and vulnerability, two traits that men find both attractive and accessible.

“With sex, as with most areas of life, women tend to preserve a core of their old selves – romantic, tender, vulnerable – even while taking on new sexual personas. The women at business school no longer needed a man to support them, but that didn’t mean they didn’t want one. And years of practice putting up their guard made it hard for them to know when to let it down. As Meghan Daum writes in My Misspent Youth, “the worst sin imaginable was not cruelty or bitchiness or even professional failure but vulnerability.”

Such shifts have only made the already murky dating world even murkier, as gender roles get blurry. And women who choose to put career first do quite well. Reports Rosin, “There is hardly any earning gap between women who don’t have children and men. Mostly, what happens is obvious: women with children start cutting back hours or seeking out situations that are more family friendly.”

So, if you’re a woman who chooses to go all-in on your career, no one’s judging you – certainly not on this blog. I would just hope that you follow the wisdom of the men who do the same; choose a partner who puts the relationship first. The high-power women interviewed in the book came to the same conclusion; a less ambitious husband enables a successful partnership. Writes Rosin, “The powerful women I spoke to all admitted being utterly dependent on their husbands. All described this as the first rule of success: “Choose your spouse carefully…”

Rosin and I both agree that the rise of women necessitates change. And while I disagree that this signals “The End of Men”, I do agree that men have to come to terms with a new world in which, potentially, 50% of the women they meet will make more money. But since this blog is for women, my directive isn’t to tell men how they need to change; it’s to remind you that you can only control your own actions and reactions. Thus, the onus is on you to adjust to the new world order that you’ve created.

Concludes Rosin, “If diversity is good in the workplace, then it’s also good at home. In a massive Dept of Education study, a child’s grades were more closely correlated to how many times the dad showed up at a school event than any other factor. Children with involved fathers measure as having higher IQs by age three, higher self esteem and in the case of daughters, grow up to be less promiscuous.”

And if you’re a woman working 60-hour weeks and pulling in a half million a year, you know what kind of Dad will be a perfect fit? Not the high-powered brain surgeon/marathon runner, but the high-school English teacher who makes $60K, gets home at 4:30, has summers off and pulls in a generous pension.

That’s the model for success. Which means no more clamoring for the male version of yourself.

Do what successful men have done for eons; marry “down” a little bit and find a happy marriage with complementary (not necessarily “equal”) roles.

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Comments:

  1. 91
    Karmic Equation

    @Ruby 94

    You’re missing the forest for the trees. In this blog, most women are looking to get married, and many want to be married because they want to have children.

    Wanting to be married and have children was a need pre-sexual revolution, too. And women were able to more readily achieve that objective because women THEN were gatekeepers of BOTH sex and commitment (i.e., “marriage”). The sexual revolution changed that dynamic such that women are now ONLY gatekeepers to sex, while men have become gatekeepers to commitment, because men no longer need to give commitment to get sex.

    That shift in power, which I consider to be detrimental to women, but of course, you can have a different opinion, goes unacknowledged by feminism and that lack of acknowledgment is what I have an issue with. Because lack of acknowledgment means that a fundamental need of WOMEN has been disregarded in favor of acquiring ever more “male privileges” instead of preserving “female privileges” that are necessary to women.

    So what’s the solution? My solution has been to reset the sex/relationship dynamic with men. I have sex with a man once I’ve determined he’s worthy to have sex with me. I have sex because I like him and think he’s a good person and find him attractive. He knows this because I’m having sex with him without asking him for anything in return other than his company.

    And when I’m in his company, he gets peace, emotional support, a happy, secure, relaxed person to spend time with. He gets a person who accepts his faults and admires his strengths. A person who makes him feel like he can go off and conquer the world.

    That feeling he can get only from me when in a relationship with me. So guess what? He’s more than happy to offer me a relationship in exchange for those feelings.

  2. 92
    Ruby

    Karmic #94
     
    Many younger people are delaying marriage, many choose to live together instead, rates of marriage among those who are educated have declined much less than among the less educated. People are waiting longer to get married, but those marriages tend to be longer lasting. Access to birth control has given women the opportunity to be more selective about who they marry. Some women realize that they’d prefer to stay single, even if they have a child. Fewer people may be marrying, but the divorce rate is lower today than it was in 1970. The recession may have had an impact, as well…We all have choices today regarding how we want to live our lives, and while choice may make things more complicated, we’d surely miss it if it were taken away.
     
    You say that men no longer need commitment to get sex, but aren’t you contradicting yourself when you say the solution is to give casual sex with no expectation of commitment? I don’t say this as any sort of judgement of you personally, just that it contradicts your criticism of the sexual revolution.

  3. 93
    Paula

    I just feel humans tend to unnecessarily complicate their lives. I of course want a strong man who is living a life he enjoys and is passionate. I am back at school and it would be foolish to think I wouldn’t want a man that was successful. I think we should just let people be free to explore their goals and dreams and pursue what happiness means to them. If it means having to go against typical gender stereotypes, who cares as long as you are happy. I am in comedy which typically is male dominated. I’m funny and enjoy it. Or men who like to cook. Who cares, just create a happy and fulfilling life. If you want a long term relationship you will have to learn how to be a team player and compromise but I don’t see that as a bad thing. We all have to be team players and be cooperative. It’s a good thing, not a bad thing

  4. 94
    Karmic Equation

    @Ruby 96

    “You say that men no longer need commitment to get sex, but aren’t you contradicting yourself when you say the solution is to give casual sex with no expectation of commitment?”

    It does sound that way, doesn’t it?

    I had to think about what I meant when you phrased it this way…LOL

    The fact that men no longer need commitment to get sex was not of my doing. That took a period of time for this shift in behavior to become entrenched. So I’m just stating a fact.

    So the question is what am I solving if I’m “giving” sex without commitment?

    Well, I think it’s kind of Freudian that you use the word “giving” sex. I usually use the word “having” sex. That difference in word choice tells a lot about your and my difference in mindsets regarding sex. “Giving” sex without commitment isn’t the same as “having” sex without commitment. One feels obligatory(? for lack of better word). The other hedonistic.

    So my solution is actually HAVING sex without commitment. But what am I solving <rhetorically to myself>?

    I guess I would define the problem as how to create a relationship with a man without making sex an issue.

    So my solution is to take sex of the table by HAVING it. In other words, by having sex, I make it a non-issue for the genesis of a relationship. By making sex a non-issue, the man and I can focus our energy on determining whether or not a relationship is worthwhile not whether or not sex is worthwhile.

    I believe that men are usually on their best/most-romantic behavior BEFORE “first time” sex and revert back to their “real” selves after the novelty sex with you has worn off. So the sooner I get to see who they “really” are, the sooner I can determine whether they really are worthy of having a relationship with.

    You would say, well, you couldn’t do that before sexual revolution. YOu’re right. Neither could YOU. And you STILL DON’T :) If the sexual revolution was to liberate women to be f*ck like men (pardon the crudeness), and women’s mindsets PREVENT them from f*cking like men (because we bond to men we f*ck), then the sexual revolution didn’t free MOST women…most women are like you not me, so the sexual revolution serving ME doesn’t matter to womenkind in general.

    However, if women can get themselves to separate sex from commitment, my solution works. The men I date aren’t earning “sex” from me, I’ve reset my bar so that men earn a “relationship” from me. They know they can get sex from other women, but they only get a relationship with me only with me. And a relationship with me is nothing like relationships they’ve had before me or after, it appears. As the men I’ve recently dumped (6yr guy and ex-player) continue to reach out to me.

    Lest we get confused again, having sex without commitment DOESN’T mean sleeping with a man the minute you meet him and find him attractive. I don’t sleep with a guy until I’ve “deemed him worthy” to have sex with me. That deeming takes time. But once I’ve deemed him worthy, then it doesn’t matter if he’s my bf or not.

  5. 95
    Ruby

    “The sexual revolution changed that dynamic such that women are now ONLY gatekeepers to sex, while men have become gatekeepers to commitment, because men no longer need to give commitment to get sex.”
     
    I simply picked up the word “give” from your statement here, which states that men don’t “give” commitment to get sex anymore. Following through with that semantic logic implies that women “give” sex to get commitment.
     
    I think you are viewing the sexual revolution a very narrow way. As I’ve already posted, it was about much more than freeing women to have sex “like men”, which, I agree, most women do not want to do. And frankly, I’ve met quite a few men who weren’t interested in non-committal sex either. Players tend to get a lot of attention on sites like this because they can be so insidious, but they are not the norm among men.

  6. 96
    marymary

    Ruby, 99
    True, they aren’t the norm. Since I cleaned up my roladex I don’t know a single one.  Yes, I know they don’t care and it’s just my experience, but if you don’t want that in your life, you don’t have to. Maybe I  should rather say they’re the norm for some people, but not for me.
    Many good men out there.  Of course, not many of us are commenting or blogging about them or writing books about them. They go under the radar in a “no news is good news” sort of way.

  7. 97
    Selena

    marymary#100
    “They go under the radar in a “no news is good news” sort of way.”
    LOL. Yes. I hear more about ‘players’ on blogs than I’ve ever heard anywhere “in real life”.

  8. 98
    Ruby

    Oops, my earlier message was referencing Karmic’s post #95, and her comment to me in #98, “Well, I think it’s kind of Freudian that you use the word “giving” sex. I usually use the word “having” sex.”

  9. 99
    Helen

    Applauding Ruby here.
     
    Every change brings both good and bad with it.  No one expects any social or political change to be 100% for the good.  To look at things in absolutes is naive – that it must be 100% good for it to be good at all.  Feminism, in either its first, second, or third waves (however we collectively define them), brought so much good to women in general that I am certainly happy it occurred, regardless of whatever changes in “gatekeeping” took place.

  10. 100
    Karmic Equation

    Every change brings both good and bad with it.

    That’s all I think feminism needs to do. Acknowledge the bad that went with it.

    If we are given the “freedom” to lick the backs of our own knees, but it’s not physically possible to do by anyone but a contortionist, how much does that freedom actually count? Is it even a freedom? If a freedom granted to me frees the other side as well, in a way that goes against my feminine need (a committed relationship), who really gained? Didn’t we just gain a supposed freedom and lose another we already had? Feminists can’t admit that they freed men in a way that was counter to the interests of most women. But perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised? It’s the nature of most women to be unable to admit fault. and feminists are female at heart.

  11. 101
    Ruby

    Karmic #140
     
    “It’s the nature of most women to be unable to admit fault. and feminists are female at heart.”
     
    Huh? Now you have completely lost me with this comment. There’s nothing gender-based about admission of fault. That’s simply your personal bias.
     
    “As the men I’ve recently dumped (6yr guy and ex-player) continue to reach out to me.”
     
    I don’t think it’s unusual that a man you’ve rejected is still into you. We’ve all experienced it. It’s the men who reject us that we tend to want back.
     
    Helen #103
     
    Thank you, I appreciate that.

  12. 102
    marymary

    Feminism has achieved a lot if it finally comes down to when or whether I choose to have sex with someone I like.  Women round the world where there are forced marriages, underage marriages, honour killings, no financial independence, no vote, no divorce option, no viable stay-single option, poor career choices and poor education would love to have that problem.
    Feminism hasn’t stopped anyone I know from getting married.  My whole family married in their twenties and thirties.  Most of my straight female friends have been married since their twenties. My gay female friends are as good as married. Even I got married but I do thank feminism that I was able to divorce quite painlessly and with no stigma attached. Though I wish I had been more feminist and not married him just because he asked me. My fault.  I admit that freely!

  13. 103
    Kathleen

    # 104
     “It’s the nature of most women to be unable to admit fault. and feminists are female at heart”…….    This comment is absurd. 
    Marymary  #106  
    Good post  Agreed !
     
     
     
     

  14. 104
    Selena

    Again with marymary. All the women I know who wanted to be married, either are, or have been.
     
    Karmic, I think because of this many of us just can’t relate to your assertions. Men don’t commit? They are the ‘gatekeepers’ to commitment? It just doesn’t hold up to what we have seen all around us since the sexual revolution started decades ago.

  15. 105
    Karmic Equation

    “Feminism has achieved a lot if it finally comes down to when or whether I choose to have sex with someone I like.”

    Women had sex pre-sexual revolution and pre-feminism. Having sex with someone you don’t like is either prostitution or rape. That pre-existed feminism, too. You would think feminism would try to eradicate prostitution and rape, as both those are against women’s interests. But it’s not feminists leading the charge in those areas.

    “Though I wish I had been more feminist and not married him just because he asked me.”

    That’s not lack of feminism at work but lack of judgment orlack of due-diligence or lack of self-worth.

    “My fault. I admit that freely!”

    You’ve been through therapy and therapy helps with admission of fault. Because admitting fault allows one to HEAL and to FIX the problem. No admission means no RESPONSIBILITY to fix.

    “There’s nothing gender-based about admission of fault. That’s simply your personal bias.”

    Really? Not if you read through this blog. It’s almost always the men’s fault or something the man should or should not have done to cause whatever he caused the woman to do or feel. The woman is rarely at fault. It’s not something she did until someone else (like Evan) points it out to her.

    “We’ve all experienced it. It’s the men who reject us that we tend to want back.”

    Wanting a man who’s shown he doesn’t want you? That shows lack of self-esteem or lack of options. Feminism can’t help with the former and the sexual revolution contributed to the latter.

    —–
    I’ve agreed many times over that the EQUAL RIGHTS movement of feminism was TERRIFIC for ALL WOMEN.

    However, the SEXUAL REVOLUTION part (e.g., advent of birth control and the liberation of women to be able to have sex like a man) — didn’t liberate women, particularly the MARJORITY of whom didn’t know how or didn’t want to have sex like a man. It liberated MEN from responsibility for children, from marriage, it liberated men to have sex with all those newly liberated women, who still wanted and thought that sex=relationship and who still treasured monogamy. And it put MORE responsibility on women…Who is usually responsible for birth control now? Who worries more about getting married? who worries about when to have sex?

    The sexual revolution “freedoms” did free a gender, but not the gender that it says it freed. And most people, especially women, don’t see this because they lump the sexual revolution in with the equal rights movement. Call it marketing or call it insidious social programming. But they’re different movements. One did help women. One SUPPOSEDLY helped women, but it didn’t. It helped MEN exponentially more than women. Feminsists won’t cop to that, as Frimmel eloquently says, because

    “As soon as a traditional male sex role is not a privilege (having to get married to get sex for instance) but an oppression then all of the foundation of Patriarchy theory starts crumbling.
     
    Any re-examination of what is expected of men that doesn’t support men’s traditional sex role as privilege is anathema.”

  16. 106
    marymary

    On reflection, I think there is a subset of men having a field day with numerous women. They don’t have to get married or commit even to next week to have sex.  It’s plausible that they are getting a benefit that feminists didn’t intend. 
    (They did exist in the old days though. They were called cads.)
    Even so, it’s probably better that these men are free to operate as they wish. I don’t  see how them being married helps anyone. They aren’t husband material.  Yes, some do settle down. When they are ready and make that decision. I don’t think they do so under any duress or because they meet the right woman.  They are ready, and then magically meet the right woman.  Some never are ready, they don’t want to be or can’t get there. I guess the question is whether we stick around to find out. Me, I know I’m not special enough to change a man or even bring out the best in one so I would not be engaging. 

  17. 107
    Julia

    Karmic, your view of feminism is deeply misinformed and it seems like you think men might find you more attractive if you aren’t feminist. None of what you wrote above has any accuracy and is not based on anything historically. Why don’t you just continue to write about the sanctimony of PUA culture.

  18. 108
    Karmic Equation

    @Julia 111
     
    You don’t get it. The “sancitimony of PUA culture” was the PRODUCT of the sexual revolution of which feminists are so proud. So I’ll let YOU espouse upon its benefits for women, as I’m so misinformed.
    ———-
    “On reflection, I think there is a subset of men having a field day with numerous women.”
    Almost all ALPHA men are in this subset.

    Almost all HIGH-VALUE men are in this subset.

    And almost all women want those men.

    And generally, most good-looking, employed men will enjoy “dating” more than one woman at a time.

    And basically, all men who can, will do so, which are probably the 5′s and overs, although the male 5′s are probably “dating” the 4′s and 3′s in this manner.

    All those online men, do you really think they’re ONLY dating you? Are YOU only dating only one of them? Sure, while YOU may remain chaste with him because of your principles and values, doesn’t mean he’s not dating other women without those same principles and values.

    And FEW of these men are cads. They’re just MEN. Taking advantage of the smorgasbord of women gifted to them by the sexual revolution.

  19. 109
    Julia

    Well Karmic, in my experience, I’ve been the one dating multiple men while the men I date openly tell me they aren’t dating anyone else. I also don’t seek out 9′s and 10′s because I can be very happy with a 6 or 7 (oh and I am not a 9 or 10 myself, also important to note.) I am not really offended by people sleeping with multiple partners either. I don’t feel like feminism has some how given me the raw end of the deal. For starters, I didn’t really care about finding a life partner while in my 20s because I wanted to concentrate on my career, something feminism has afforded me the opportunity to do. Now I am 31 and I have a boyfriend (who I am pretty damn sure is only sleeping with me) So I don’t feel like I’ve been wronged. Obviously you do, maybe you should work on that so you can be open to a relationship rather than trying to intellectualize why men have sex with multiple women. We can’t worry about someone past, only how they treat us while in a relationship.

  20. 110
    Karmic Equation

    @Julia
     
    You’ve only skimmed my posts or only looked at the last ones…But we’re not the folks that the sexual revolution wronged. We’re the ones it helped or we’re the ones that adapted to it. Whatever you want to call it.
     
    The women who
    1) ARE having trouble finding relationships;
    2) NOT dating more than one man at a time
    3) ARE looking for monogamous LTRs
    4) wanting to get married because their clocks are ticking loudly
     
    Those women are not served by the sexual revolution. And they don’t even see that.
     
    I can understand why YOU don’t see it; you benefited from it. As did I.

  21. 112
    Selena

    @Karmic 115
    Thanks for the links. The first I believe I may have already read. The second didn’t impress me as much as it apparently has you. My opinion hasn’t changed.

  22. 113
    marymary

    Karmic 114
    Ah, I get it. That brings us full circle to Evan’s conclusion:
    “Do what successful men have done for eons; marry “down” a little bit and find a happy marriage with complementary (not necessarily “equal”) roles.”
    The women in the scenario you mention need to pick differently, though I think many marriage minded women DID pick differently, they’re just not on relationship sites seeking advice.  Alphas are in short supply, and the more alpha we women become, the more scarce alpha males become, as I suppose it’s relative.  Even I earn more than the average man. Women could learn to handle an alpha man who likes multiple dating options but there still aren’t enough of them to go around.  And I do wonder if it’s worth it.

  23. 114
    Helen

    Karmic, at this point, I can’t help feeling as though you’re just arguing for the sake of arguing, without thinking about whether what you say is really true.
     
    Women certainly don’t have a monopoly on not being able to admit fault. If there’s anything I notice about American women, it’s that they tend to apologize too much. So many women are always starting every sentence with some sort of apology or putting themselves down.  Many men are just as incapable of admitting fault; it’s not a gender-specific issue.
     
    The sexual revolution never “stated” it was benefiting one gender, because a revolution doesn’t state things.  Hello.  One could argue that both genders benefited.  Men may have more sex before marriage now, but likewise, women can, and they aren’t stigmatized nearly as much for doing so.  Moreover, birth control takes away much of the concern of becoming pregnant from premarital sex.
     
    I must agree with Julia 111 when she wrote: “it seems like you think men might find you more attractive if you aren’t feminist.” Karmic, plenty of feminists – myself included – are loved by men because we are ourselves, happy with ourselves, and happy with them. We don’t see such a division. We’re not constantly trying to fight. We’re happy because we feel free to pursue our lives the way we want. You don’t have to try so hard.

  24. 115
    Selena

    re: 117
    Karmic insists most women want an “alpha male”; “a man of HIGH VALUE”. Substitute the word “prince” and it’s the same story that’s been around for hundreds of years. Hundreds of years before feminisim and the sexual revolution I might add.

  25. 116
    Tom10

    I’ll step in to support you KarmicasI don’t see why your posts are being considered controversial – you’re making sense to me. You’re just pointing out some of the unforeseen consequences of sexual equality which have negatively impacted women and benefited men.
     
    It’s not all roses for guys now either though – many of us spend our early years frustrated and celibate, and women expect much more from us than they did in the past. And for every guy out there shagging around there seems to be another three or four getting nothing. And even for those who are able to shag around it’s really hard work.
     
    On balance though I believe that feminism has been hugely beneficial to women, men and society, so much so that I consider myself an ardent feminist. The only problem I have with some feminists are those (like my sister) who believe that the only valid choice for a woman to make is to get a degree and become a doctor or lawyer or some other similar job. As in becoming a model or an adult actress is somehow letting the team down. This is another unforeseen consequence of the sexual revolution – the active participation of women in the sexualization of society. I.e. I don’t think feminists ever anticipated some women would actually choose to become nude models and porn stars of their own volition. In my opinion a woman’s choice to become a model is as equal to choose to become a doctor.
     
    Selena #108
    “All the women I know who wanted to be married, either are, or have been.”
     
    Without even thinking I could name about twenty women I know in their late 20’s and 30’s who aren’t married and just can’t get a satisfactory relationship even though they would really like one. Heck I could name almost twenty posters off this blog alone who are in this category – isn’t that why Evan has this blog? I know of several who have low self-esteem and high levels of anxiety about facing the possibility of having no children or a family. On the flip-side I know so many men the same age having the time of their lives looking for the ‘perfect woman’.  I believe this trend is more pronounced in the younger generations because of the education gap between men and women is greater at that age – and that this affect will become even more exacerbated in years to come as women become more and more educated. I.e. the pool of eligible (equally educated) men is shrinking year after year as women become better educated, thus leading to more single successful women. The men that do meet the standard will become even sluttier and picky I guess.

  26. 117
    Tom10

    *effect not affect – aargh!

  27. 118
    Julia

    @Tom10 
     
    “You’re just pointing out some of the unforeseen consequences of sexual equality which have negatively impacted women and benefited men.”
     
    I still don’t understand how this has negatively impacted women. Sex isn’t a game where a woman loses and a man wins, When people consent to having sex with one another, they both understand what sex is. I’ve had casual sex, more than several times and you know what? It felt like sex, it was physically pleasing, more often than not that was that and there was nothing to be lost. Now if you think sex=nabbing a husband, then I guess that’s a losing strategy but I’ve honestly never met a woman who believed that to be the case. Maybe this is a generational difference but I don’t see young women viewing sex very different than young men.

  28. 119
    Helen

    Tom10: You and I have usually agreed with each other in these comments, but this is the point you’ve brought up several times that I just can’t get on board with: “the unforeseen consequences of sexual equality which have negatively impacted women and benefited men.”
     
    So if you would please clarify: What exactly are the negative impacts to women? If it is just that men see them as cheapened if they have premarital sex, isn’t that your own judgment against such women, which really isn’t fair (hello double standard)? Then these women will simply go for the men who DON’T judge them that way, and there are plenty who don’t.
     
    It’s like in other posts, when you’ve responded to my points about asking men out (which I do in business contexts, and I ask my husband out in romantic contexts, as he does me).  What is so bad about that?  Your responses have always been along the lines of that a woman cheapens herself when she asks a guy out because she appears too desperate and gives too much.  That seems to show some misunderstanding of a woman’s viewpoint.  The times I ask men out, it’s because I want something from THEM: a collaboration, some knowledge, some information, connections, etc.  Men have never, to my knowledge, minded this, and I nearly always get what I want. If they avoid me afterwards because I asked them out, then to be honest, I wouldn’t mind. They have issues that no one has time to deal with in today’s world.
     
    Times are changing, Tom, and people follow your cues. If you’re comfortable with yourself and your actions, others are likely to be as well. This is true even if a woman asks a man out. Truthfully, all I’ve seen is that men go gaga over happy and confident women.

  29. 120
    Ruby

    Karmic #109
     
    “You would think feminism would try to eradicate prostitution and rape, as both those are against women’s interests. But it’s not feminists leading the charge in those areas.”
     
    You can’t be serious. When the Steubenville high school boys were  convicted and CNN gave the boys a sympathetic portrayal in their TV coverage, it’s been organizations like the Ms. Foundation for Women and feminist blogs like Feministe that have spoken up. That’s just one example that is top of mind because I’ve been reading about it just today, but there are many, many others. The fact that you could make that statement tells me how poorly informed you are. Have you actually read any feminist history or literature, or do you just read critiques of feminism?
     
    “Not if you read through this blog. It’s almost always the men’s fault or something the man should or should not have done to cause whatever he caused the woman to do or feel. The woman is rarely at fault. It’s not something she did until someone else (like Evan) points it out to her.”
     
    I’ve seen the same thing coming from men on blogs devoted to the manosphere. I even see it coming from many of the men who post on EMK’s blog. And these men are often very nasty in their beliefs about women, and in their blaming of them. Neither sex has a monopoly on fault-finding.
     
    “Wanting a man who’s shown he doesn’t want you? That shows lack of self-esteem or lack of options. Feminism can’t help with the former and the sexual revolution contributed to the latter.”
     
    You’re right, this has nothing to do with feminism or the sexual revolution, as these sorts of feelings have existed since the dawn of time. Even though it still hurts to be rejected, women (and men) today have many more options in terms of finding partners then they did in a time when you were limited to the men who lived in your immediate area, and of whom your family approved. That’s due in part to technology. I was responding to your belief that the fact that men you’ve dumped continue to reach you makes you somehow exceptional. I’m saying it doesn’t, and is a common occurrence.
     
     

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