Saturday, October 27, 2012

More Gender Musings

After posting Of Men and Women last week, believe it or not, AC has yet more grist for the mill, or more fuel for the fire, or, perhaps more aptly, more nuts for the overflowing dish. To wit: women are rapidly gaining the upper hand. Perhaps, Frank Herbert's vision as depicted in the Dune series with the Bene Gesserit etc is coming true.

Let me begin with a personal observation. When I take JJ to storytime at the library I can't help but notice that the tendency is for the boys to be much more easily distracted and sidelined than the girls. They are prone to roam and jostle while the girls are likely to sit primly and properly and pay undivided attention. Thankfully, JJ is one of the more attentive boys, perhaps the most attentive; hopefully, this bodes well for him in school and beyond.

Hanna Rosin has noticed something similar but far more extensively in her book The End of Men: And the Rise of Women. I do have a nerve referencing the book because I haven't read it, but I have read an article in the National Post about the book and have also read her article The End of Men, published in Atlantic Monthly two year sago. Finally, I have watched  and am linking to her TED Talk, New Data on the Rise of Women, as well as embedding it below for both your convenience and viewing pleasure.

With all of those references for dear reader to follow if interested, I here list some key points to ponder, most of which are direct quotes from her Atlantic Monthly article. There's much more information in both the article and the video (linked here but also embedded below)if this topic interests you as much as it interests me. (Emphasis below, where used, is mine.)

  • ... in the wreckage of the Great Recession, in which three-quarters of the 8 million jobs lost were lost by men. The worst-hit industries were overwhelmingly male and deeply identified with macho: construction, manufacturing, high finance. Some of these jobs will come back, but the overall pattern of dislocation is neither temporary nor random. The recession merely revealed—and accelerated—a profound economic shift that has been going on for at least 30 years, and in some respects even longer.
  • for every two men who will receive a B.A. this year, three women will do the same. Of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most in the next decade in the U.S., all but two are occupied primarily by women.
  • Women now earn 60 percent of master’s degrees, about half of all law and medical degrees, and 42 percent of all M.B.A.s. Most important, women earn almost 60 percent of all bachelor’s degrees—the minimum requirement, in most cases, for an affluent life … “One would think that if men were acting in a rational way, they would be getting the education they need to get along out there,” says Tom Mortenson, a senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. “But they are just failing to adapt.”
  • Men dominate just two of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most over the next decade: janitor and computer engineer. Women have everything else—nursing, home health assistance, child care, food preparation.
  •  … According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now hold 51.4 percent of managerial and professional jobs—up from 26.1 percent in 1980. They make up 54 percent of all accountants and hold about half of all banking and insurance jobs. About a third of America’s physicians are now women, as are 45 percent of associates in law firms—and both those percentages are rising fast. A white-collar economy values raw intellectual horsepower, which men and women have in equal amounts. It also requires communication skills and social intelligence, areas in which women, according to many studies, have a slight edge.
  •  … In 1970, women contributed 2 to 6 percent of the family income. Now the typical working wife brings home 42.2 percent, and four in 10 mothers—many of them single mothers—are the primary breadwinners in their families.
  • (speaking of traditional patriarchal societies such as South Korea or India) … Now the centuries-old preference for sons is eroding—or even reversing. “Women of our generation want daughters precisely because we like who we are,” breezes one woman in Cookie magazine. Even Ericsson, the stubborn old goat, can sigh and mark the passing of an era. “Did male dominance exist? Of course it existed. But it seems to be gone now. And the era of the firstborn son is totally gone.”

I appreciate such info from Hanna Rosin and think this is an important issue for our sociologists to study and of which our parents should be aware.


Lorna said...

I like who we are. I also like you(se) are. A conundrum?

Diana said...

Yes it can take quite some time to achieve complete world domination.
Love Di ♥

Hilary said...

I'm trying to catch up on your posts.. and have pretty much. I'm amused because just this morning (prompted by a gathering of friends, last night), I was thinking about how women do the huggie thing with everyone and men will only hug women.. as mused about in your former article.

I'm enjoying all of your kidlet posts and actually clicked on the Goldilocks one from Google Reader but alas, it was gone. That child has so much vivacious energy that the blog post vamoosed in her draft. Enjoyed it though. ;)

Donna said...

...women have Already taken over the South...! I can juggle many jobs...cook, clean and bring home the bacon...(when there's not a shortage going on)... ;o)

Pearl said...

interesting. wonder what will happen next.