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Tue Oct 2, 2012, 11:20 AM

The Myth of Male Decline

A great article in the NYtimes arguing that men are not indeed becoming the new oppressed gender.

SCROLL through the titles and subtitles of recent books, and you will read that women have become “The Richer Sex,” that “The Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys,” and that we may even be seeing “The End of Men.” Several of the authors of these books posit that we are on the verge of a “new majority of female breadwinners,” where middle-class wives lord over their husbands while demoralized single men take refuge in perpetual adolescence.....

The 1970s and 1980s brought an impressive reduction in job segregation by gender, especially in middle-class occupations. But the sociologists David Cotter, Joan Hermsen and Reeve Vanneman report that progress slowed in the 1990s and has all but stopped since 2000. For example, the percentage of female electrical engineers doubled in each decade in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. But in the two decades since 1990 it has increased by only a single percentage point, leaving women at just 10 percent of the total......


Just as the feminine mystique discouraged women in the 1950s and 1960s from improving their education or job prospects, on the assumption that a man would always provide for them, the masculine mystique encourages men to neglect their own self-improvement on the assumption that sooner or later their “manliness” will be rewarded...

According to a 2011 poll by the Pew Research Center, 77 percent of Americans now believe that a college education is necessary for a woman to get ahead in life today, but only 68 percent think that is true for men."


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/opinion/sunday/the-myth-of-male-decline.html?pagewanted=1

Really interesting read and somewhat a balanced view in which the author does not ignore the progress that women have made

10 replies, 2160 views

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 11:26 AM

1. Agree! What is happening really will result in freeing men too & that's a good thing. nt

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 11:27 AM

2. Eh, self delete

The article was about more then what is listed.

Interesting read.

Though I would say, that in some areas, like computer science, we geeks WOULD like to see more women, they just don't show up.

Maybe it's just interests, or biological differences, or something else.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 11:56 AM

3. It's mostly something else.

Several somethings, really.

First and foremost are gender roles: Women supposedly aren't into nerdy stuff. Any that show interest in it catch hell for stepping outside of preconceived notions of gender as only kids can dish it out.

The ones that get past that and decide to go into a techy field anyway rapidly discover that CS and IT fields are usually a hostile environment for women.

If they're conventionally attractive they're pestered incessantly by "Nice Guys", if they're not conventionally attractive they're utterly ignored. It doesn't most people long to bail on a situation like that.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 12:23 PM

4. Video games have been around for 40 years

I'm still surprised when a women says she likes video games.

after 40 years of change, you gotta think it's something more then gender roles.

There's something else going on.

Which, to be clear, relates back to women doing geek things.

The ones that get past that and decide to go into a techy field anyway rapidly discover that CS and IT fields are usually a hostile environment for women.


I've met a few women who did CS and tech stuff, and they held onto their jobs for quite a few years, so I don't think it's as wide spread as you point out.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 12:45 PM

6. If it isn't hostility to women, it could be devaluation of certain cognitive styles, e.g.

the sorts of cognitive styles that produce comprehensive & coherent documentation that describes and tells the story of systems, due partly to budgetary pressures + partly also to proprietary claims, or the cognitive styles that articulates the specific system characteristics to the specific qualities, cognitive and otherwise, of trainees.

I am not a sexist, but these are things that, on an average, women have a tendency to value higher and business machines DO NOT, so the machines/spreadsheets just keep sucking people in, chewing them up, spitting them out, and enslaving/imprisoning the ones it does retain until they burn out. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Because to authentically empower first level "techies" horizontally would be a threat to power structures and they might ask for more money.

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Response to patrice (Reply #6)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 12:58 PM

7. P.S. That is, they might ask for more money, when they'd REALLY settle for more REAL VALUE, like . .

Health Care, authentic training opportunities, and certain kinds of REAL VALUE investments attached to GOVERNMENT managed and PROTECTED Social Security.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 12:37 PM

5. Suicide rate in my county is up, particularly among middle-aged Caucasian males...

...due to "gender mystique"

From the OP's article--

"ONE thing standing in the way of further progress for many men is the same obstacle that held women back for so long: overinvestment in their gender identity instead of their individual personhood. Men are now experiencing a set of limits — externally enforced as well as self-imposed — strikingly similar to the ones Betty Friedan set out to combat in 1963, when she identified a “feminine mystique” that constrained women’s self-image and options.

Although men don’t face the same discriminatory laws as women did 50 years ago, they do face an equally restrictive gender mystique.


Rising tide of suicides needs education and action

The sheriff, who has seen a large increase in the number of threatened and attempted suicide calls, refuses to speculate. Because suicide is not a crime, he does not keep track of motives.

But one who follows this closely and would speculate is Rennie Shuler-McKinney, director of clinical services, behavioral health, at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. She has been a therapist dealing with suicidal clients for 25 years.

Shuler-McKinney thinks it is the poor economy that is leading to more suicides in Johnson County, particularly among middle-aged Caucasian males.

That mirrors a national suicide epidemic where there currently are 12 suicides per 100,000 persons. By that measure, Johnson County should be experiencing approximately 66 suicides.
We are this year, but last year was way above the national average.

“A few years ago, these men lost their jobs,” she said. “The impact was not immediate. But after they don’t find a job, their home goes into foreclosure, they say, ‘I can’t do this any longer.’

“These men feel like they have let down their families,” she said. “They have been the providers, and now they feel like they are a burden.”

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 01:04 PM

8. The last few years have traces of the post WW2 "get back in the kitchen"

movement that happened to discourage women out of the workforce and make way for men returning.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #8)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 02:13 PM

9. yeah in the guise of 'post-feminism'

and how those bad feminists made women have to believe they can juggle work and home.

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Response to La Lioness Priyanka (Reply #9)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 06:05 PM

10. This exactly

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