Men are on notice.
In journalist Hanna Rosin’s new book, “The End of Men: And the Rise of Women,” she crisply details how recent gender dynamics in the United States have almost been switched — most likely unwittingly. The book was built on new, frightening economic statistics as well as Rosen’s interviews, from college students intent on only “hooking up” to spouses boasting decades of marriage, and details how male-female chemistry has changed irrevocably since the recession.
“I was surprised at how radically marriage patterns had changed and how clearly they changed,” Rosin said. “I didn’t quite realize that the rise of women had so totally seeped into our domestic relations so quickly.”
“The End of Men” shows how the economic vitality of a certain segment of the male population will never be able to recover. Even as the economy appears to be crawling back, the jobs that these men lost are not on the rebound – because many are in shuttered factories, leaving men with decades of obsolete experience unable to provide for their families or get new positions without new training or advanced degrees.
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Meanwhile, as Rosin shows in striking profiles throughout the book, women have inched up the ladder, fighting for careers and promotions, and many are emerging as the often unintended heads of their households.
The reach of this new spousal structure — seesaw marriages, as she calls them, for the give-and-take of years of interchanging jobs — is not limited to married life. Even at college campuses, women are adamant they will not settle, either for a man that does not have the credentials they want or a partner at the wrong time. Getting into a serious relationship is the new accidental pregnancy.
Rosin realized this after talking to college girls comfortable with guys staying over — but not sticking around. It also came to mind when her daughter was reading “Pride and Prejudice.” “I was thinking, if Lizzy Bennet were alive today, what would be the real threat to her would be a very serious suitor who would derail her from writing. That’s a dangerous thing the way getting pregnant used to be.”