The Myth of Male Decline
Really good op ed in The New York Times by Stephanie Coontz on gender equality and how we’re not there yet:
Scroll through the titles and subtitles of recent books, and you will read that women have become “The Richer Sex,” that “The Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys,” and that we may even be seeing “The End of Men.” Several of the authors of these books posit that we are on the verge of a “new majority of female breadwinners,” where middle-class wives lord over their husbands while demoralized single men take refuge in perpetual adolescence.
How is it, then, that men still control the most important industries, especially technology, occupy most of the positions on the lists of the richest Americans, and continue to make more money than women who have similar skills and education? And why do women make up only 17 percent of Congress?
This reactive response to progressing gender equality in this country as having exalted women over men is pretty much hogwash, and Coontz has loads of numbers to back that up:
… the median wages of female managers are just 73 percent of what male managers earn.
… the percentage of female electrical engineers doubled in each decade in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. But in the two decades since 1990 it has increased by only a single percentage point, leaving women at just 10 percent of the total.
… a 2010 Catalyst survey found that female M.B.A.’s were paid an average of $4,600 less than men in starting salaries and continue to be outpaced by men in rank and salary growth throughout their careers, even if they remain childless.
And there’s a lot more, including a bit on the “masculine mystique” and how gender expectations harm men as well as women. Feminism is for everyone.