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

The End of Men and the Rise of Women book by Hanna Rosin
3 Shares

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.

Join our conversation (188 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 121
    Ruby

    Second to last line should read, “I was responding to your belief that the fact that men you’ve dumped continue to reach out to you makes you somehow exceptional”.

  2. 122
    Tom10

    Julia
    “I still don’t understand how this has negatively impacted women…when people consent to having sex with one another, they both understand what sex is.”
      
    But you, Helen, Karmic Equation and Ruby are all confident and secure women speaking from a place where you have the emotional capacity to deal the consequences of the choices you make. You have all gained from feminism. But for every one of you there is another emotionally vulnerable woman out there who hasn’t been able to attain this level of understanding. I’ve met these women in person and read their comments on this blog. I don’t want to name names but we all know who I’m talking about. You understand what sex is about but for some women sex is more than just sex. Sex is a big deal and when they run into men like me for whom sex is just sex these women seem to suffer emotionally.
      
    I know that you will argue that these women have always existed but I believe in previous generations social stigma afforded these women a certain level of protection from men for whom sex is just sex. Those men have gained the ability to have sex with these women with impunity and without judgement whereas those women have lost out because they are in a more vulnerable position now.
      
    “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”
      
    This maybe true but I have met many women who believe that because a guy is having sex with her he must really like her, when in reality he might be totally indifferent and it was just sex.
      
    “I don’t see young women viewing sex very different than young men”
      
    I agree to a certain extent, however, I believe that after a certain age — say mid to late twenties — the penny begins to drop with women that sex for men and women is different.  
      
    Helen
    “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 judgement against such women?”
      
    Well I certainly don’t judge women for having sex with whoever they want. My comment to Julia above explains it — perhaps I should have said negatively impacted ‘some’ (emotionally vulnerable) women and benefited ‘some’ men.  
      
    “It’s like in other posts, when you’ve responded to my points about asking men out. 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”
      
    Well ‘cheapened’ and ‘desperate’ are the wrong terms. I don’t thing there’s anything fundamentally wrong with asking a man out and I don’t think women who do so are cheapening themselves or are desperate. I think asking your husband out in a romantic context is different from the initial stages of dating (say the first three months). For me dating is a game like poker and each party needs to play their hand as well as they can. Each party needs to feel like they’ve got a great deal or else they’ll always yearn for better. I know whenever I’ve met fantastic women who intimidate me I’ve turned into a simpering lapdog and turned them off. I played my cards badly. Now when I meet these women I force myself to treat them as if they were just ordinary women. The same goes for women — they need to play their cards correctly in order to gauge a man’s interest and inspire him to see what a catch she is. I think Karmic Equation has this ‘girl game’ at a high level.
      
    I normally agree with most of your points as well, and I don’t actively disagree with anything Ruby or Julia has said on this thread. I agree that times are changing are I wholeheartedly support all the changes.

  3. 123
    Selena

    Julia: “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. “
      
    Thanks for the smile this morning. 🙂
      
    Perhaps it was generational at one time. Not in mine and I’m 20 years older than you. I think even my mother who has been married since 1960 might describe such a strategy as being quaint.
      
    Yes Tom, I’ve no doubt there are some women who do associate sex with getting a husband, but in 2013 US culture I believe they are a minority.   Possibly they need to be educated that men do not necessarily see sex the same way, and that’s what EMK tries to do here- as well as some of the commenters.
      
    But just because such women exist, does not mean the sexual revolution had an unforeseen negative impact on  women which has been a repeated assertion on this thread.

  4. 124
    Frimmel

    Tom10 in #126– “I think Karmic Equation has this ‘girl game’ at a high level.”
      
    Couldn’t agree more on that one Tom10 especially as outlined in #98– ” 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’m looking for a girlfriend but I’m not adverse to a hook-up. It is in both of our best interests to figure out what we’re having early on.
      
    I’d suggest women keep that in mind along with everything in the “Men look for sex and find love” article. Us non-alphas aren’t shagging everything that strikes our fancy but it isn’t that hard to find a willing woman. You need to give us a reason other than sex to want to be with you — see the article on the woman still peeved about the strippers for ways NOT to do it.
      
      

  5. 125
    Karmic Equation

    @Tom 10

    Thanks for the support 🙂

    “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.”

    I never thought of it that way, but I agree…and if you stretch it a tad, men benefited yet again from the models’ and porn stars’ choices. More eye candy and more porn movies. Whicn leads me to question, and I wonder if there is info on this…I wonder at the “status/value” of the men who considered themselves feminists. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a correlation between the high-status/high-value men being supporters of feminism and men not meeting that criteria who wouldn’t support feminism. High-value/high-status men benefitted the most from having sexually liberated women out in the world.

    “On the flip-side I know so many men the same age having the time of their lives looking for the ‘perfect woman’.”

    Exactly what I was driving at.

    Helen 118 & Julia 111

    I don’t know where you gals get that “it seems like you think men might find you more attractive if you aren’t feminist.”

    In NONE of my posts have I ever put the words feminism or attractiveness together. Don’t project please. If YOU think feminism makes you less attractive don’t spin it that because I don’t believe in feminism that I believe I’m more attractive.

    Feminism has nothing to do with my attractiveness or yours.

    “You don’t have to try so hard.”

    This is at least the second time you’ve accused me of this. You don’t seem to get that I’m not “trying” at all. Which probably means you see being “feminine” as work. I’m feminine without trying. Sorry to burst your bubble. I’m also masculine without trying. What I avoid doing (I do have to be mindful of this, although it’s not hard to do) is being “masculine” with a man I find attractive at the early stages of dating. He sees my feminine side until he’s my bf. Once he’s my bf, I gradually let out my “alpha-ness” bit by bit. At that point what could have been construed as “bitchiness” at the onset of dating, is accepted, and even appreciated as part of my “fire” once we’ve become a couple.

    “You have only one chance to make a first impression.” — I just make sure that feminine image of me is his first impression of me. That goes a long way to his simply rolling his eyes at me with loving exasperation (instead of perceiving me as a bitch) when I get a little bossy now and then once we’ve become a couple.

    marymary 117

    Yes. That is it. Those women need to pick differently, but they don’t want to. They haven’t adapted or don’t want to adapt.

    My last three relationships were alpha (husband); beta (6yr ltr); and alpha (7-months LTR; but if you include when “relations” started, it would be a year). The happiest relationship I’ve ever had was with the beta man. He wasn’t ambitious, but was employed. He did things around the house that I hated doing (like emptying the dishwasher and putting away left overs). He packed more clothes on vacations that I did. Owned more sneakers than I did shoes. He taught me that you can’t wear this color blue jeans with that color shirt because blue jeans with a “green” tinge can’t be worn with blue shirts (news to me since I thought blue jeans were considered “neutral” colored). LOL. He wasn’t gay, I assure you. All man in the BR. I loved him totally.

    Selena 116

    Please don’t put words in my mouth. I never said I was “impressed”. Those articles were to show you that gatekeeping wasn’t a term I invented.

    This article was the basis on which the two posts I linked to were based: http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2013/01/01/relationshipstrategies/7-reasons-women-reject-eager-men/

    Again, “impressed” is not why I’m listing the post. Just documenting where the terms come from and different perspectives.

  6. 126
    Julia

    @Karmic quite the opposite, in the area and kind of men I date feminism is most definitely an attractive quality. I’m not looking for partners at an evangelical church singles night. I am also not the one who has written volumes justifying herself and her beliefs. Almost every post seems to devolve into you justifying your existence and I’m not sure why you feel the need to.
      
    Can we agree that some women, not most women have suffered because of different attitudes towards sex and sexuality thanks to feminism where as most men and women, including those who do need lead traditional heteronormative monogamous lives, have gained from it? In more ways than just having sex?

  7. 127
    Selena

    Karmic, I never did think you made up the phrase: “Women are the gatekeepers to sex. Men are the gatekeepers to commitment.”
      
    I’ve read it before on forums – always coming from male commenters. I knew they got it from some  writing floating about in  manosphere.   And I always thought it was a silly thing to say. That is: they are the ‘gatekeepers’ until the woman they want to commit to tells them she doesn’t want to be exclusive. Or his girlfriend. Or move in with him. Or be his wife. It’s easy to imagine yourself a gatekeeper until you find someone who doesn’t want to go through your gate. Then what?
      
    You are the first woman I’ve seen use this phrase which is why I  felt you were more impressed by these type of ideas than I.
      
    What I have seen over and over and over is at whatever level of commitment- we choose each other.

  8. 128
    Karmic Equation

    @Julia

    You’re right it’s impossible to espouse a non-mainstream idea to sheeple. So I shall stop after this final post because bashing my head against a brick wall doesn’t do me any good. If y’all want to be sheeple and think as society (which is run by men, btw) tells you to think, who am I to stop you?

    No I do NOT agree with you, because you and all the women who have been debating with me have defended feminism by justifying the sexual revolution benefits with benefits of the equal rights movement (i.e., equal pay for equal work — which btw still has NOT come to pass — but we’ll let that go). The sexual revolution and the equal rights movement are NOT the same.

    None of you have debated the sexual revolution on it’s own merits. Because you can’t. You CANNOT defend against the premise that men benefitted MORE from the sexual revolution than women because it’s the truth.

    (A) Women are freed to have sex like men, yet most women can’t or won’t do that.

    (B) Women are freed from having unwanted children with birth control. That was done pre-sexual revolution via abstinence. That can still be done via abstinence. We didn’t need BC to avoid unwanted children.

    (C) So, the real benefit of birth control was to allow women to have sex with impugnity (no children, hence no stigma). So with whom are they having sex with impugnity? Other women? No, other men. So you don’t think MEN benefited from this impugnity? Men benefited from unwanted children with abstinence, right? Abstinence is free, too. So why don’t feminists preach abstinence? That actually WOULD help all women, even me. My toy would be happier, but probably not my men.

    So the sexual revolution isn’t helping women when it comes to sex, it’s helping men. Unintentionally. It’s the truth even if you don’t want to admit it.

  9. 129
    Teresa

    Karmic
    I am sure you think what you believe is the truth but in reality it’s just your opinion.   As all who post here are doing they are expressing their opinion
      
    Volumes have been written about the sexual revolution -feminist movement etc. among the experts there is no agreement about these issues and yet you have it all figured out?   LOL

      

    1. 129.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Y’all can beat up on Karmic but, from a man’s perspective, she GETS it, and is likely an incredible girlfriend because she doesn’t try to change men based on her insecurities.

      Everything else – about the meaning of feminism and the sexual revolution – is just noise.

      The point of this blog is to teach women to accept good men (despite their flaws) and to get rid of men who exhibit unacceptable behavior.

      As stated ad nauseum, going to a bachelor party should be considered acceptable, presuming this isn’t weekly behavior. On the other hand, you can find a man who never so much as THINKS of another woman, never flirts, doesn’t have a past, etc, but it doesn’t really matter if he isn’t attracted to you, doesn’t call you, doesn’t communicate well, and doesn’t want to commit.

      You can hold out for the men who never flirt, never talk to ex’s, never do “guy things” with their friends, and generally act perfect (which is to say “the manner in which YOU want him to act), but in my experience, there are a miniscule number of men who do EXACTLY what you want them to do. So your better bet is to be accepting of the kind, generous, loyal ones (like me), as opposed to telling men like me that we’re bad, wrong, or need to stop “hurting” you simply because we don’t ONLY have eyes for you. As long as we don’t ACT on those desires, you’re safe.

      And the more you act jealous, judgmental, fearful and controlling by telling him what he’s ALLOWED to do, the fewer men will want to commit to that regimen for life.

      It’s straightforward advice. It’s consistent. I don’t know of a single guy who wants a woman to police his thoughts, his past, his phone or his Facebook page. And the more you protest, the more you make the division between you and Karmic all the more apparent.

      You’re not “wrong” for feeling what you’re feeling. I will simply point out that, objectively, Karmic is going to be FAR more effective in understanding and connecting with men. Do with that what you will.

  10. 130
    Selena

    I think most of us get Karmic’s ideas about being a great girlfriend. And agree with them. It’s some of her other ideas that have been challenged on this particular thread. Just this sheeple’s opinion.

  11. 131
    Karmic Equation

    Thanks, Evan.
      
    @Selena 119
      
    I agree with you Selena. There are princes out there.

  12. 132
    Ruby

    EMK #134
      
    “Everything else — about the meaning of feminism and the sexual revolution — is just noise.’
      
    This particular blog post was about the book titled,”The End of Men and The Rise of Women”, which discusses the gains made by women, and men’s response to that, not men going to bachelor parties, talking to exes, guys who don’t call you back, or someone else’s theories (besides yours) on being a good girlfriend. There are plenty of other blog posts here devoted to those topics.
      
    Selena #135
      
    “It’s some of her other ideas that have been challenged on this particular thread. Just this sheeple’s opinion.”
      
    Yep, thanks.

  13. 133
    Selena

    No Ruby, thank you. I thought I was the only one who noticed that this was the book review thread, (discuss the theories presented)-  not the stripper thread or one of the many how-to-be-a good-girlfriend threads.

  14. 134
    Helen

    Ruby and Selena: agreed. Evan 134, love you, love your blog, but in this particular case, I felt that you were going off on an unfair rant against the women who were posting specifically to this thread.   We said nothing against bachelor parties, flirting, or anything else.   In all honesty, I find such concerns to be frivolous and petty as well.  
      
    What was more at stake in these conversations was the benefit that the feminist movement provided. This, I believe, goes much deeper than some of the other discussions carried on in other threads.   In particular, I’d like to acknowledge Ruby for her contributions on that: her comments, because they aren’t dramatic, tend to get less notice; but they’re scholarly and well thought-out.   Her understanding of the feminist movement is much broader, and deeper,  than some of the others whose views you supported.   There is no one definition of feminism, and a lot of extreme viewpoints were taken that don’t really do this movement credit.  
      
    If you are fundamentally in opposition to some of the points about feminism described here, then we will just have to agree to disagree.   Otherwise, we really weren’t talking about bachelor parties, jealousy, flirting, or anything like that, so it’s apples vs. oranges.

  15. 135
    Anita

    [email protected]: Um, because it’s wrong to oppress other people so that you can get more stuff?

  16. 136
    Frimmel

    Oppressed? I’ll assume you mean ‘women’ are oppressed. So Anita (or anyone really) explain to me the government enforced OBLIGATIONS that ONLY women have.
      
    Alternately, explain to me the government enforced RIGHTS that ONLY men have.
      
    Keep in mind that the army is opening up combat roles to women but women don’t have to register with selective service in case of a draft.
      
    Women are not obligated to get pregnant and abortion while perhaps not as accessible and unrestricted as some would like is legal.
      
    So, leaving those well worn paths aside please help me to understand the oppressions faced by the strong, smart, successful, women in the United States. Explain how an oppressed woman with no voice in society can get a book published about the end of men. Help Steve and I understand how women are not in fact oppressing men so that women might have more stuff.

  17. 137
    Kathleen

    Frimmel 141
    arguing with you I expect would be tiresome  
    Oppressions against women are sometimes covert. I went to a company meeting last week and there was an   obvious absence of women management at the exec level .A high level female at Facebook talked about this still   persisting throughout American Corporations   (on 60 mins maybe a week ago).
    Women still earn less for the same jobs  
      
    Then theres is obvious bias like after the Stub rape trial. CNN presents how the boys who raped will have their lives ruined by the justice system ( The victim wasn’t mentioned)
    If you think because women are moving into a place of more equality, we are therefore oppressing men, you have a scarcity mentality. No amount of logic could change that type of thinking.  
    Ruby I enjoy your posts
      
      

  18. 138
    Michelle

    I’m a woman working in a professional capacity.   Most women make decisions that are focused on their family, which may hold them back from climbing the ladder.   Not all women OR all men are able to climb the corporate ladder due to skill  & intelligence, even if they wanted to.   There are reasons there aren’t more women in these roles other than ‘the man’ is keeping them down.   I would even go as far to say that there are specific  efforts in   many large companies to hire COMPETENT women in prominant and visible positions.    

    Women have never  had more opportunity in the U.S. than today.   Go live in  some Islamic country and let us know how much freedom  and opportunity  women   have there.   Heck, go to Japan and look through the want ads and see how they advertise for positions.    

    Some people just like to continuously play the victim.   Often, it’s a business for them.

  19. 139
    Ruby

    Kathleen & Helen
      
    Thank you! I enjoy your posts as well.

  20. 140
    Kathleen

    Michelle #143
    Are you calling me a victim?  
    Just because women don’t get stoned   to death in this country doesn’t mean there is complete equality in the US for women .  
    Ive been a successful woman in my career, but have not had children as is the case with other friends of mine, including lawyers . I have left companies who did not promote women within their ranks, and when I left those companies I took my customers with me to the next company. I have won settlements against a company with covert discrimination and I helped other women in that organization to win settlements  
    Some people just like to close their eyes and dwell in status quo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *