Guilt Trip: Why Rising Female Employment Makes Men Feel Sad

A recent edition of “Talk of the Nation” on  NPR had me fuming! The host, Neal Conan, was interviewing Hanna Rosin a regular contributor to the Atlantic and a co-founder of Double X, Slate’s all-female run magazine  about her July article in the Atlantic titled, “The End of Men“. Also a guest was Guy Garcia, CEO of the marketing research firm Mentametrix and author of The Decline of Men (2008). Their discussion focused on the implications of the fact that, since the beginning of the recession female employment has risen along with male unemployment. First, this is not a shocking or new phenomenon but rather a result of gender-based wage inequities that “pay-off” during economic downturns. Second, the language both Rosin and Garcia used assumed certain “facts” about men and women that, I would argue are more socio-cultural constructs than biological imperatives.

Garcia:”…guys are still expected in some way to be the patriarch. They still feel bad if they can’t support a family. And this is a huge change. And I don’t think society has even come close to saying, well, gee, if women are going to take over the roles that men used to have, now guys are free to be flight attendants and nurses and housewives – isn’t that great, guys? Well, you know, most nine out of 10 guys are not so thrilled about that.”

Read the full article here.

– Thea Michailides

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