In response to “The End of Men”

Zev wrote a response to the article The End of Men. I’ve actually read the thing now, and though I agree wholeheartedly with its point, that the phenomenon of men being left behind isn’t good for society, I think the article has regions of seriously poor argument.

These criticisms/comments are kind of disorganized, but I’ll state a criticism/comment, include the part of the article I’m referring to, and give my response.

A really good point:

But the college has seen more than one male applicant “sit back on the couch, sometimes with their eyes closed, while their mom tells them where to go and what to do. Sometimes we say, ‘What a nice essay his mom wrote,’” she said, in that funny-but-not vein.

Maybe mothers are being too overbearing on their sons, and fathers aren’t being as good examples of ‘getting things done, well” as they could be.

Anecdotal evidence:

“It’s the women who are driving all the decisions,” he says—a change the MicroSort spokespeople I met with also mentioned.

How do you know this? Did you actually go to couples and ask? Or could it just be that the MicroSort spokespeople have confirmation bias, or perhaps, that it is taboo in our society for a father to want a daughter, resulting in the mother making the declaration at the clinic?

Dozens of college women I interviewed for this story assumed that they very well might be the ones working while their husbands stayed at home, either looking for work or minding the children.

Excuse me, did you SRS the campus or something? Or did you just go around asking, “Who wants to tell me about their concept of their future career?”

Questionable statements:

Man has been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind.

Physiologically, I agree. But socially? No, actually, there were matriarchies.

Bad argument:

American parents are beginning to choose to have girls over boys. As they imagine the pride of watching a child grow and develop and succeed as an adult, it is more often a girl that they see in their mind’s eye.

This is among parents who choose to go to a clinic. Parents not as obsessive or wealthy make up the majority of the population and might just as well prefer to have a boy.

And while female CEOs may be rare in America’s largest companies, they are highly prized: last year, they outearned their male counterparts by 43 percent, on average, and received bigger raises.

This is precisely because there are very few women, and, because it is harder to break through the partriarchy, these women tend to be exceptional and end up at top-earning companies. In theis sentence, the writer is attempting to say that among similar companies, women are compensated better than men. It might be that they add more value and are paid for it–but is a stretch to say that companies value them more.

Huh? (It’s really not news, is it?)

What if the modern, postindustrial economy is simply more congenial to women than to men? For a long time, evolutionary psychologists have claimed that we are all imprinted with adaptive imperatives from a distant past: men are faster and stronger and hardwired to fight for scarce resources, and that shows up now as a drive to win on Wall Street; women are programmed to find good providers and to care for their offspring, and that is manifested in more- nurturing and more-flexible behavior, ordaining them to domesticity. This kind of thinking frames our sense of the natural order. But what if men and women were fulfilling not biological imperatives but social roles, based on what was more efficient throughout a long era of human history? What if that era has now come to an end? More to the point, what if the economics of the new era are better suited to women?

This isn’t really news. Or at least I didn’t think it was..? I thought it was an accepted viewpoint, that “adaptive imperatives” were more or less for societal convenience. I think Rosin is belittling her reader a little bit.