Over the years, many of us have embraced a certain theory to explain men’s economic decline. It is that the information-age economy rewards traits that, for neurological and cultural reasons, women are more likely to possess.He refers to a Hanna Rosin article:
To succeed today, you have to be able to sit still and focus attention in school at an early age. You have to be emotionally sensitive and aware of context. You have to communicate smoothly. For genetic and cultural reasons, many men stink at these tasks. ...
There’s even evidence that women are better able to adjust to divorce. Today, more women than men see their incomes rise by 25 percent after a marital breakup.
What if that era has now come to an end? More to the point, what if the economics of the new era are better suited to women?I commented on the article back in 2010, and you can also watch her TED talk on the subject. Her article has now been expanded to a book, and reviewed:
Once you open your eyes to this possibility, the evidence is all around you. It can be found, most immediately, in the wreckage of the Great Recession, in which three-quarters of the 8 million jobs lost were lost by men. ...
It may be happening slowly and unevenly, but it’s unmistakably happening: in the long view, the modern economy is becoming a place where women hold the cards.
But Rosin’s real focus is the United States, and here she delivers a blizzard of numbers, studies, statistics. Consider: By 2009 there were as many women as men in the work force, and today the average wife contributes some 42.2 percent of her family’s income — up sharply from the 2 percent to 6 percent that women contributed in 1970. The future, Rosin says, looks brighter for women still. For every two men who will get a bachelor’s degree this year, there will be three women graduates. And even if they remain underrepresented at the top of just about everything, they have “started to dominate” in lower-profile professions like accounting, financial management, optometry, dermatology, forensic pathology and veterinary practices, among “hundreds of others.” ...Someday girls will be asking why their feminist grandmothers destroyed marriage as it had been known for generations.
And so, a new matriarchy is emerging, run by young, ambitious, capable women who — faced with men who can’t or won’t be full partners — are taking matters into their own hands. For the poor, things are especially tough. One single mother Rosin interviewed fell asleep standing in the elevator of the community college where she was studying to get her degree — between caring for three children and working a night job. No wonder these women don’t want to get or stay married: unless a man can pull his weight, he is just another mouth to feed. But as Rosin herself points out, the new matriarchy is no feminist paradise. To the contrary: we have been here before with African-American women, and it is not a happy story.