Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Manning Up: How the Rise of Women is Turning Men into Boys

see http://www.realclearbooks.com/articles/2011/12/11/women_on_top_men_at_the_bottom_5.html

More on the theme that we've spent so much time worrying about how to get women ahead of men, we've stopped worrying about making sure we're raising are men to do what men have always done instead of turning them into what women want to be.

the second trend is women's participation and flourishing in the new economy.  In her previous book, Marriage and Caste in America (2006), Hymowitz, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, argued that the erosion of their "life script" -- school, career, marriage and family -- accounted for the floundering lives of young men in their twenties. Young men sank into joblessness and poverty, crime and addiction when marriage and fatherhood broke down or were not contemplated. "There is no way to attack these worrisome economic trends without tackling culture," Hymowitz wrote. What results is a "destructive pattern ....
as a changing economy becomes more friendly to the educated, it also becomes "very, very female friendly," offering women more career choices. Last year, women became a majority of the workforce: "At the heart of preadulthood is women's determination to achieve financial independence before marriage."

... of a tendency for men to stumble through life rather than try to tame it."

the "second sex" so dominates higher education from attendance data to graduation statistics that the College of William and Mary has a compensatory male-friendly admissions policy. As one administrator explained to writer Andrew Ferguson, "We are the College of William and Mary, not Mary and Mary." After graduation, young single women out-earn men in nearly every U.S. city, and they are more than twice as likely to own real estate. More education typically means delaying marriage. The average college-educated woman now waits until she is 28 to tie the knot. And what goes for the goose goes for the gander. Forty years ago, 80 percent of men aged 25-29 were married. Today it's 40 percent.

what if the conventional wisdom is wrong? Peter Theil, the billionaire founder of PayPal, is skeptical about the benefits of college: "Parents see kids moving back home after college and they're thinking, 'Something is not working. This was not part of the deal.'"
What's happening is that two constraints are weakening the conventional wisdom.
One reason why the "knowledge economy" is misfiring is that many jobs in the modern economy require no advanced training. Writer Matthew Crawford contends that a modern economy is cognitively stratified. Truly intellectual and creative tasks fall to a shrinking pool of elites, who codify their work into efficient and uniform systems of rules and processes that govern what most other people do for a living. In the introduction to his recent translation of Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, Professor Mansfield underscores what that French visitor noted more than a century and a half ago:
The most efficient production of consumer goods requires both concentration of capital -- large corporations -- and specialization of labor -- small, repetitive tasks. This kind of production gives rise to inequalities not just in the incomes but eventually in the very abilities of workers and managers.

December 11, 2011

Women on Top, Men at the Bottom

By Philip Brand
Sit on a bench on the Thompson Hall lawn -- the "green" at the University of New Hampshire -- and watch the students walk past. Scattered among legions of women you may sight the occasional male. Observe his attire, and you will likely see a discordant trifecta: Timberland work boots, sweatpants and a backpack. Is he headed to the field and manual labor, to his dorm room for a Donkey Kong marathon, or is he shooting towards a professional career? We're told to dress for the job we want. If their dress is any indication, these young men reply firmly, "I don't know."
It's not this way just in college. When male students graduate -- if they do -- uncertainty is often what they tenaciously hold to. Glancing off jobs and relationships, they remain undecided about what to do and whom to love for the better part of a decade. This is the thesis Kay Hymowitz explores in her new book, Manning Up: How the Rise of Women is Turning Men into Boys. Well, not boys exactly, but rather "preadults," a term Hymowitz coins and uses frequently. Either way, the implication is an unflattering metamorphosis.

Preadulthood -- most common among men in their twenties, though it can easily extend to one's thirties and beyond ..... Hymowitz rejects the popular idea that preadulthood is a limbo state, an extended frat party for dudes unwilling to grow up. Preadult males may play video games (the average gamer is 35) and "ride their bikes in traffic," but preadulthood is "not even remotely a college after-party." ...

rest of it here: http://www.realclearbooks.com/articles/2011/12/11/women_on_top_men_at_the_bottom_5.html

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