Streams

Debating the End of Men

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Editor of Slate’s women’s blog, DoubleX, and contributing editor at The AtlanticHanna Rosin talks about the continuing debate over her 2010 Atlantic article "The End of Men," plus whether the new TV season proves her point.

EVENT: Hanna will be participating at the Intelligence Squared debate "Men Are Finished" tonight at 6:45.

Guests:

Hanna Rosin
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [51]

Jim


Ah, yes. A feminist doing a victory dance over the grave of male power. Ms Rosin's hatred of men (including her own son apparently) has blinded her to the danger of alienating half the world's population from her cause.

Her feminist hubris is so great that she has started to believe her own propoganda: Ms. Rosin honestly seems to believe women no longer need men to continue their advancement to what she hopes is domination over men.

After decades of whining about equality, women like Rosin assume it is their own superiority that is now getting them ahead, instead of a tilted playing field created by their feminist sisters over the past 50 years.

It is time men stopped accepting this blatant sexism, particularly when directed against vulnerable children, like Ms. Rosin's own son. This nonsense would never be accepted by women if the roles were reversed.

Men need to stop measuring themselves by whether they receive the approval of haters like Rosin. We need to carve our own destiny, preferably away from females who seek to drag us down and who would dance on our graves before we are even dead.

Nov. 07 2011 04:01 PM
Erik from Las Vegas, NV

I work in the public sector in the IT department of the local County level government here in Southern Nevada. I am a man, 28 years of age and very happy to report that all but one of my superiors are women. They really bring a great force of open mindedness and a sense of community that I feel many of my past male superiors have lacked. Women in management-level positions just seem to be better at it. They are mostly calmer, slower to act irrationally and faster to appologize when they wrong a colleague. Stature and dominance are replaced by mutual respect and a willingness to listen. I wouldn't have it any other way. If men want to continue even existing in the capicity they do in the current work force, they had better start taking note as to why the women in higher positions than themselves are doing so well. I say it's due to the "macho" attitude being almost nonexistent in women.

Sep. 20 2011 06:35 PM
uscdadnyc from nyc

Female Conventional Wisdom Has it: When a Male in a M/F relationship earns Money, it is characterized as "OUR" Money. When a Female in a M/F relationship earns Money, it is characterized as "Her" Money. When these gender roles are Reversed then it is truly "(the) End of Men".

Sep. 20 2011 03:26 PM
Wayne Johnson Ph.D. from Brooklyn

Why wasn't another representative from this debate invited on? Where was Christina Summer Hoff? Think about it, you gave the men are finished position the full time and men matter, nothing. In the future how about trying to make up for this outrage. I taught the first Men's Liberation course in America-Temple University 1974, I would be happy to rebut Ms. Rosin's nonsense.

Sep. 20 2011 01:27 PM
Brock from Midtown

Men, get out if you can. Get that government issued little blue book
.

Sep. 20 2011 01:06 PM
Charles from NNJ

I think this is the product of empowering women to the detriment of men which is what the media has been doing for 30 years. This latest mancession is hitting at the perfect time. Men are not finished, in my experience these powerful rich women still are women. They come back to us for the emotional stability their high powered jobs rob them of. Besides you ever work for a woman, hormonally infused emotional BS rollercoaster. They don't inspire organizational stability, ask anyone who has ever worked in Clinical Research and Nursing, like me.

Sep. 20 2011 12:25 PM
Carlos Padilla from down and out, bronx NY

The end of the dialogue "Debating the End of Men" was very misleading. The discussion ended discussing whether we can get men to partake more in the child rearing, among other things. I really take issue with this. I challenge anyone to go up to any divorced man that tried to take custody of his child, and ask them about the reaction of the mother when this "sharing" of the child duties was requested.
Women, have been able to influence society to get what they want in this sphere of life. And society has responded by institutionalizing prejudice against men, as can be seen in family court on a daily basis. Women, and feminism, are are hostile to the idea of being the primary caretakers. This phenomena being responsible for any loss in wage earning capacity falls squarely on the lap of women, and female dominance in this sphere of society.

Sep. 20 2011 12:13 PM
Arthur from Astoria, NY

This argument is problematic.

#1: The unspoken assumption is that there was some Platonic "man" and "woman" type to begin with. The truth is that gender roles have always been fluid and changing. We are simply seeing another twist in a long and tangled story.

#2: Go to most places in the world (including in the U.S.), and you'll see that men still own most of the property and occupy most positions of power. The struggle for equality is not over by any stretch. It's irresponsible to cast it as such.

#3: Physical jobs that have traditionally employed more men have fled in every recession and depression. The dynamics of job creation and destruction are very complex. The real issue is the deunionization of many industries, the transitioning of work to machines and "operators" to run them (what some have called "the feminization of work"), and the outsourcing of labor to developing countries.

#4: Women occupying more positions in the job marketplace doesn't mean that women are enjoying the same level of benefits, compensation or even social status that men have.

#5: The current batch of TV shows are moving backward in a big way in terms of gender relations.

I'm not saying that women aren't making huge gains - they are - OR that this isn't a valid discussion to be having - it is, but this is an oversimplification of the issue. Perhaps just avoiding the attention-grabbing headline "the end of men" would be a good idea.

I'm a guy, by the way, raised by an awesome single mom, who's worked for - and employed - people of all genders, colors, creeds, etc.

Sep. 20 2011 12:05 PM
MP from Brooklyn

To jgarbuz from Queens - I am at a loss to understand why you have not yet banned from posting your decidedly uncivil comments.

Sep. 20 2011 12:02 PM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

@ Em

I agree, except for Mad Men. Mad Men on one level romanticizes that era on the surface but when you watch the show there is quite a lot there about the social ills that were wrong, especially in regards to the treatment and limited options of women. It appears to me that Pan Am and Playboy Club are trying to bank off the nostalgia of Mad Men without getting the depth and social commentary, IMHO.

Sep. 20 2011 12:01 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

TO MP

Hey, now that your husband did a great job raising your kid, now can kick him out and take in another guy to raise your son from here on in.

Sep. 20 2011 12:01 PM
Mike from Tribeca

Here's hoping real wages dropping lower and lower for American workers over the past 40 years will be part of the debate.

Sep. 20 2011 12:00 PM
John A.

Hey its just the television season (as Brian is casting it, Not the Atlantic article BTW), so, this could all be over in cancellations in 5 weeks.
- - -
I have to say I enjoy hearing Hanna reel backwards now on the air after reading that rather biased article.

Sep. 20 2011 11:59 AM
MP from Brooklyn

Aaron from the Heights has summed it up very well. Men are not "finished," but their role is definitely changing. My husband was a stay-at-home dad for the majority of the time until my son was eight years old. And he was NOT an anomaly. Due to shift work, freelancing, unemployment, and various other reasons, my son's school is full of dads at drop-off and pick-up time. My husband is one of the greatest dads I have ever known, and I am grateful that my son had the opportunity to spend so much time with him when he was young.

Sep. 20 2011 11:59 AM

We may be seeing more women on tv but chances are we will never see a real character driven female like Tennyson on the British Crime show Prime Suspect. Tennyson is often very un-sexy and tough and conflicted, etc.
In the USA the female leads are always beautiful, sexy, etc.
In the popular shows like Law & Order in the later years the female lawyers and detectives are more heavily made-up (as in cosmetics) and more sexualized as to render them less of a threat to men.

Sep. 20 2011 11:59 AM

I must applaud "Inquisigal's" comments. And I am a man who has always supported equal rights for all. Ms. Rosin is indeed obnoxiously chauvinistic in her views.

Sep. 20 2011 11:59 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Feminism will ultimately reach equality the way Communism did in the Soviet Union :)

Sep. 20 2011 11:59 AM
Betty from Brooklyn

You might want to check out this article about the Emmy's.

http://feministing.com/2011/09/19/white-men-win-big-at-the-emmys/

Sep. 20 2011 11:59 AM
Carol

This entire segment is ridiculous. We need both women AND men to be respected and felt they are needed and valued in society.

I wouldn't use anything in the media (tv, movies, books) as a indicator for anything. It's all about ratings.

Sep. 20 2011 11:58 AM
The Mayoress from NYC

Look at the image for the "Men Are Finished" event.
http://intelligencesquaredus.org/index.php/debates/men-are-finished/

Horrible choice.

Men won't be finished until the towering woman doesn't have to wear high heels and a skintight skirt, and the man is wearing something sexy to attract HER.

Sep. 20 2011 11:57 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

The shows are what they are because it's HOLLYWOOD!! And they will exploit any trend they find or try to start a new, provocative trend (and pass them off as a fait accompli) that they think will... make them money!

All while lecturing us on morality -- meaning telling us what we should think and what our attitudes should be

This is decades old at this point.

Duh!

Sep. 20 2011 11:57 AM
Denise from Vancouver, BC

Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock, starring Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, but the majority of the supporting casts are male, you very rarely see a show in which the supporting cast is mostly female. Also, I would say 90% of shows are written by men.

Sep. 20 2011 11:55 AM
Burtnor from Manhattan

I completely agree with Inquisigal above. The minute women are a bit more visible or move a tiny bit closer to that distant goal of full equality, everyone becomes threatened that men are somehow becoming extinct.

Meanwhile, women still earn 60-75% of what men earn for the same jobs, do 80% of housework and childcare, and are very thinly represented in upper management ranks. A new World Bank report finds that, although women are more than half the work force, they control 1% (ONE percent!) of the world's wealth.

This is not the end of men. Perhaps their egos just a little re-adjustment.

Sep. 20 2011 11:55 AM
elaine from li

Charlie's Angels, Pan Am, The Playboy Club?????

Sep. 20 2011 11:55 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Elizabeth,

You've got a smart kid there! I like his style! Kids know the score! Why bust his butt for nothing, when he can enjoy Gears of War or Call of Duty and blow things up? Bust his butt for WHOM? I already like your kid :)

Sep. 20 2011 11:55 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Also..."The END of Men"...are we all about to be rounded up and slaughtered? Are we going extinct? Is this perhaps overstated just a tad bit?

I do think there is a social shift worth exploring here, most definitely...but this blogger seems to be a bit too extremist in her statements to be taken seriously, sorry.

Sep. 20 2011 11:54 AM
Max from NJ Suburbs

This is not news.

Media have found increased sales in the portrayal of men as clueless dolts for a couple of decades. Government and society have increased support for women at the expense of men for as long (e.g. deaths from breast cancer and deaths from prostate cancer are close to equal).

Your argument serves only to devalue both genders and the media you promote.

Sep. 20 2011 11:54 AM
ellen in Manhattn from Manhattan

How does your guest explain that when I turn on HBO, at almost any time of night or day I'm switching from channel to channel in search of something that isn't about gus and violence? 1 out of perhaps every 6 or 7 is immediately a program like that.

Sep. 20 2011 11:54 AM
Em

Oh please. Give me a break. If you judge society by our tv shows, you're in deep deep trouble. Think of these kind of observations and apply them to race on tv and you'll see how ridiculous this whole debate is. Superficial nonsense. TV shows like Mad Men, Pan Am and the Playboy show are about what men yearn for, the other shows are just about men venting. But it's all about the men and they're all made by men.

Sep. 20 2011 11:54 AM
Maria from Brooklyn

Also... I find TV programming a sad barometer for judging cultural shifts... Aren't these programs more about the networks doing their research on viewer demographics than anything else? Perhaps these shows are only catering to women because more women are watching TV, and men are rather playing video games or engaging in Internet or other non-TV activities.

Sep. 20 2011 11:54 AM
Adam from Chicago

What does Ms. Rosin have to say about scientific fields? I work in physics, where there remains a huge gender disparity with little sign of female dominance on the horizon.

Sep. 20 2011 11:53 AM
Elizabeth from Brooklyn

My 8-year-old son seems to understand this trend implicitly. He recently announced to the family that when he's grown up he's going to play video games all day. We asked how he would get money to live: "My wife will go to work."

Sep. 20 2011 11:53 AM
Brock from Midtown

In the era of globalization, is it advisable for men to expatriate to other nations and avoid all this strife? The US after represents only 6% of global population.

Sep. 20 2011 11:53 AM

I really wish that you could pick another speaker. Hannah Rosin really tried to exacerbate the mommy wars with extremely flawed analysis of infant feeding. She distorted the issues by leaving out huge chunks of evidence and cherry picking a few studies that enabled her to stir things up. She polarizing infant feeding as two choices, when in reality there are many ways in which infants can feed their babies. She missed the opportunity to write something useful about how the evidence could be used to help women with pragmatic strategies. Here she is with another issue stirring things up with a partial analysis looking only at one single component of a complex issue. Please, please I would love to have speakers that think about these issues in much more depth than, in this case, flippant discussion of TV shows.

Sep. 20 2011 11:53 AM
Mike D. from NYC

Two and a Half Men is one of the most stupid, misogynist, not funny shows ever made.

Sep. 20 2011 11:52 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Over the past ten years or so, It's become next to impossible for a man to get a secretarial position in NYC. Some of us guys don't want to work on the managerial and supervisory levels. Just an observation.

Sep. 20 2011 11:51 AM
Aaron from the heights

Most of the guys i know make less than their ladies. they stay home and take care of kids- or work on their own projects, (music, movies, art) and they are NOT complaining.

Sep. 20 2011 11:51 AM
Jim from Somerville, NJ

If you're making such conclusions about network TV shows, you should look at the audience demographics for the networks. Men simply may be watching other shows (sports, History channel, etc.) or just not watching TV.

Sep. 20 2011 11:51 AM
JT from LI

The new TV season is all about money. Someone realized that women are earning more and they see a new market. No deeper meaning here.

Sep. 20 2011 11:50 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

I wouldn't by any stretch consider Pan-Am or especially the Playboy Club as shows that empower women...it's obvious that objectification is part of their focus

And shows like Whitney, based on the commercials at least, seems to traffic in cliche stupid gender stereotypes ....sooooo.....this signifies a rise in female empowerment, how?

Sep. 20 2011 11:50 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

"Marriage" was created by men so that they could be reasonably certain who their children actually belonged to. Patriarchy meant that men controlled the wealth, and so they controlled their heirs as well. Today men control absolutely nothing, including their biological children, so what does society expect would happen?

Women only needed "marriage" so that could be supported. Once the economy changed so that they could support themselves, men became only an option, not a requirement.

Sep. 20 2011 11:50 AM
matt

Men are not done. We're simply shaking off a relic of our social evolution and moving forward. Gender/sex inequality has always been taken for granted as practically inevitable. We're at the moment where we see this is wrong.

Sep. 20 2011 11:49 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

I think this kind of media discussion is incredibly harmful, and disrespectful, to both genders.

So what if women FINALLY star in or have become head writers on TV shows? I care as a feminist, and am happy that our perspective is finally getting funded by the entertainment industry.

But to equate that with "the end of men" is infuriating. The rise of a women's perspective, or of numbers in the workplace, is simply something to celebrate, period. To even glibly call it "the end of men" is both fanning the flames of gender relations, as well as somehow perpetuating the perspective that men SHOULD be top dog.

Ms. Rosin, please feel free to report positive facts, but stop pushing this agenda that men are getting permanently pushed aside.

Sep. 20 2011 11:49 AM
Robin from Queens

The trait is the multi-tasking brain.

Sep. 20 2011 11:49 AM
Nicole from Nyc/ NJ

My job involves regularly reviewing the highest level executives in corporate America (management and board members) and the vast majority are still white men. Maybe it will change for the next generation, but now the status quo seems to be prevailing.

Sep. 20 2011 11:49 AM
Larissa from New York

If it's the end of men then why aren't more women in the media as demonstrated by this art exhibit by Jennifer Dalton.

"An exhibit illustrates the lack of women on influential talk shows -- even on Rachel Maddow and Terry Gross"

http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/feature/2011/09/09/art_gallery_explains_daily_show_colbert_lack_of_women/

Sep. 20 2011 11:48 AM
Maria from Brooklyn

Interesting, but is this about women becoming empowered, or men slipping in ambition and responsibility?

Sep. 20 2011 11:47 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Well, the fact that her "partner" is a man, but not her husband says it all.

Sep. 20 2011 11:46 AM
pete from uws

there are a lot of new shows starring women, but they all, at least on the surface, seem to objectify women: waitresses (2 broke girls), pan am (waitresses in the sky w. tight clothes), and the playboy club??

Sep. 20 2011 11:45 AM
John A.

Gosh, when one group calls for the end of the other, Israelis/Palestinians, North/South, Muslim/Infidels, Women/Men when is that Ever not blatant hate speech?

Sep. 20 2011 11:43 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Well, the end of patriarchal marriage meant the end of men, so to speak, and if society is not to end, some way of having and raising children in adequate numbers other than marriage will have to be found. Marriage is a dead end for the majority of men today. Fathers have no rights and the traditional family is mostly a relic of the past. And young men in particular can't fail to notice.

Sep. 20 2011 11:40 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.