Journalist Hanna Rosin brought male backup to her appearance on TODAY to discuss her controversial new book “The End of Men.”
The book argues that traditional gender roles are outmoded and that families are relying on working women more than ever. But are men really becoming obsolete? Savannah Guthrie asked Rosin.
“Here’s my husband, he’s not obsolete, and I have two sons, so I hope they’re not going to be obsolete either,” answered Rosin, seated beside her husband, fellow journalist David Plotz.
But, she said, women are having an easier time adapting to the changes in the economy than men.
“Men are frankly having a harder time these days,” Rosin said. “What the book does is explain these changes and how they affect marriages, work, sex, the way we raise our children and how to navigate this new world.”
The book describes the situation as a time of the “plastic woman” and “cardboard man.”
“If you look over the century, women have just adapted to new ways being in the public sphere,” Rosin said. “They take over jobs that used to be exclusively male jobs while men don’t do the opposite. They have a harder time doing things that we may think of as feminine. Once women enter a job, men tend to flee the job, whereas women just seem to be more flexible.”
The conventional wisdom has always been this: Given a choice, couples would prefer sons. That has certainly been the case in places like China and India, where couples have used pregnancy screening to abort female fetuses. But in the United States, a different kind of sex selection is taking place: Mothers like Simpson are using expensive reproductive procedures so they can select girls.
I understand that this is uncomfortable terrain for traditional feminists. Recognizing the leg up that women are beginning to have in today's economy—even if you stipulate over and over again that the advantage isn't innate—means giving up the familiar underdog mantle. If we let go of that, then we risk also losing the laws and policies that protect us from discrimination, I suppose the thinking goes. You can feel that fear in Homans' frustration with Hanna for being apolitical. But that can't be right. We can argue over the timing and the dimension of the rise of women. Yes, it matters a lot that men still run most countries, most Fortune 500 companies, most universities, most everything. Literally speaking, the title "The End of Men" jumps the gun. But that doesn't mean we should hide, ostrich-like, from the changes that favor women as they unfold before us. In fact, we can't afford to. That's the strength of Hanna's book: She's forcing us to address our own blind spots. However uncomfortable, it's utterly necessary.
Kids bring joy but an enormous To Do list. Ours arrived with a ceaseless tsunami of jobs. Suddenly life was an infinite treadmill of administering fluids and disposing of poo. When added to the normal list of jobs that come hand-in-hand with the daily survival of two grown adults and a house, the result was bedlam. It wasn't that my husband wouldn't do the chores; it was just that doing them didn't occur to him. Being a knuckle-down kind-of-girl, I didn't want to nag. Besides, wasn't it obvious that I was drowning in a sea of never-ending tasks, struggling to function on just a few hours' sleep? Didn't he get that I was working 20 hour days, hadn't read a book in ages and never had time for a bath? It was as if he couldn't actually see me scooping up lego and sponging Ribena from the carpet at 10.30pm as he channel-flicked over to Newsnight. But I, on the other hand, paused from my sponging, looked up at my husband and thought, eh?
And I wasn't alone. I know loads of women who were utterly miserable in the first few years of parenthood. Nobody admitted it at first; having a family's supposed to be fab - husbands adoring and supportive. But the truth is, having children is a slog. And at the end of the day, when the kids are in bed and we are cursing into a large glass of alcoholic sedation as we graceless bang pans and make dinner, it's not the little herberts who piss us off most... it's the big herbert sat watching TV. OK, so deep down, we knew the lions' share of the parenting would probably fall to us, but we never expected to change ALL the nappies, do ALL the night feeds, as well as all the cooking, cleaning, ironing, gardening, plug-changing, fan belt-fixing and u-bend-unblocking. Wasn't Germaine Greer supposed to have sorted all that?
The beleaguered restaurant industry can claim at least a few bright spots: Namely, eateries sporting handles like Twin Peaks, Tilted Kilt, and Mugs N Jugs. The top three "breastaurants" after Hooters — the 1980s pioneer of scantily clad waitressing that now struggles along with other middlebrow chains — each grew at least 30 percent last year, according to industry tracking firm Technomic. The proprietors of these restaurants, which serve up both pub fare and cleavage, say that lust alone doesn't explain their gravity-defying balance sheets. So what does account for the recent boom in breastaurants? Here, four theories:
1. First-rate service is the key
In a tough economy, the newer breastaurants say they're winning customers with a focus on service. Tilted Kilt CEO Ron Lynch says his waitresses go out of their way to make diners feel at home, employing a tactic dubbed "touchology," or touching the table to make diners feel welcome. Twin Peaks waitress Nicole Bass agrees: "The boobs do come into part of it, but a lot of it has to do with the girls and their attitude," she tells Esquire. "We just sit there, and talk to all of our tables, and make sure they're all having a good time."
2. The food is surprisingly good
Unlike Hooters, the new crop of breastaurants serve more than just wings and burgers. Tilted Kilt's "signature dish, Irish Nachos" — nachos with potato chips instead of tortilla chips — "actually sounds pretty good," says Doug Barry at Jezebel. In any case, something has to explain why the clientele isn't just "strange men who take a table in the corner" and leer. Mugs N Jugs, for example, says about 40 percent of its customers are families.
3. Diners like entertainment with their food
"Why bother dining out if you're not going to have a unique experience?" says Maressa Brown at The Stir. Most restaurants have some sort of "schtick to get people in the door," and for breastaurants, "waitresses showing a little skin and serving regular ol' pub food in a fun, kitschy way just happens to be theirs." That's why, as "a longtime self-described feminist," I'm all for these "almost unavoidable, non-threatening" signs of the time.
4. Come on — it's the breasts
Lots of restaurants have schticks, but places like Twin Peaks, Tilted Kilt, and Mugs N Jugs have two big things that set them apart, says MSN Now: Breasts and profits. That explains why "non-sexualized eateries" like Applebee's struggle while these upstart breastaurants are "swelling at a hormonally imbalanced rate." As Twin Peaks owner Randy DeWitt says: "We hire only spectacular talent. They have to fit into that costume.
There is nothing to hide,” Chief Marketing Officer Dave Henninger said. “For those folks who are convinced there’s something to hide inside a Hooters, this new design should disabuse them of that notion.”
New flatscreen TVs have replaced old box televisions and Marks sprung for costly sports programming packages for professional football, baseball and other leagues so they could make a nationwide promise to show every game. National Football League games and Ultimate Fighting Championship mixed martial arts bouts are huge draws for couples, Henninger said. New TV ads feature former NFL Super Bowl coach Jon Gruden, once a Hooters cook, pitching the chain as the place to watch football.
Bars often located at the back of Hooters facing the kitchen will be moved into the middle of the restaurant and circled with seating for late-night socializing. And Hooters is expanding beyond beer with new cocktails and more wines as some locations are now open until 2 a.m.
“They haven’t really changed the aesthetic of the restaurant” since its founding, said Nima Samadi, senior analyst at Santa Monica, California-based researcher IBISWorld Inc. Giving the stores a more modern look may “help them transition from the Boomers to Generation X.”
While the uniforms will stay skimpy, more contemporary fits and fabric may be in the works, said CMO Henninger, who predicts any changes will spark a “world debate.”
Here's what they're adding to attract the ladies:
More Lettuce: The old menu "drew yawns" from women. Now Hooters will have six salads instead of three, and mixed greens and spinach will replace boring old iceberg. Right now, the salads look pretty meat and cheese heavy.
Fresher Meat: No, not younger waitresses. It means wings and hamburger patties will be fresh instead of frozen.
Sophisticated Furniture: The "beach shack vibe" of restaurants will "evolve" into a more late-night friendly scene for 70 percent of U.S. locations, complete with street-level patio seating.
Fancier Drinks: The move toward late-night also includes an expanded menu with cocktails and wine.
Bigger Windows: “For those folks who are convinced there’s something to hide inside a Hooters, this new design should disabuse them of that notion," chief marketing officer Dave Henninger said.
That said, the boobs are here to stay.
My argument that men should be saved is that, despite certain imperfections, men are fundamentally good and are sort of pleasant to have around. Most women still like to fall in love with them; all children want a father no matter how often we try to persuade ourselves otherwise. If we continue to impose low expectations and negative messaging on men and boys, future women won’t have much to choose from.
We are nearly there.
As for why he lied, consider that there's a notion that men are pigs- simply for being men. Men evolved to be highly visual and variety driven in their sexual desire, while women evolved to be more emotional and commitment driven. Male sexuality isn't wrong; it's just different. But men are so used to being under attack for what turns them on so many default to denying it. They keep mum to avoid conflict in their relationships, in part because they think they could never explain male desire in a way that wouldn't make a woman's head fly off and chase them around a room
Do young men and women feel equal? Not really. Pew found that 51 percent of female millennials (and 55 percent of female boomers) believe that society favors men over women. And both millennial women (75 percent) and millennial guys (57 percent) are convinced that workplace equity is far from acheived. Despite that large vote of no confidence, though, only 15 percent of young women say they’ve personally experienced gender discrimination at work.
Why do the feelings of inequality persist? One might assume that these young, survey-taking women are just slow to awaken to their brand new day, clinging instead to their mothers’ disappointments. But Pew wisely points out that female millennials may be projecting into the future: “There is no guarantee that today’s young women will sustain their near parity with men in earnings in the years to come,” they write.
But Pew wisely points out that female millennials may be projecting into the future: “There is no guarantee that today’s young women will sustain their near parity with men in earnings in the years to come,” they write.
women of great potential are more likely to have to choose between motherhood and a paid career.
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Ms. Paglia argues that the softening of modern American society begins as early as kindergarten. "Primary-school education is a crock, basically. It's oppressive to anyone with physical energy, especially guys," she says, pointing to the most obvious example: the way many schools have cut recess. "They're making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters."
She is not the first to make this argument, as Ms. Paglia readily notes. Fellow feminist Christina Hoff Sommers has written about the "war against boys" for more than a decade. The notion was once met with derision, but now data back it up: Almost one in five high-school-age boys has been diagnosed with ADHD, boys get worse grades than girls and are less likely to go to college.
Ms. Paglia observes this phenomenon up close with her 11-year-old son, Lucien, whom she is raising with her ex-partner, Alison Maddex, an artist and public-school teacher who lives 2 miles away. She sees the tacit elevation of "female values"—such as sensitivity, socialization and cooperation—as the main aim of teachers, rather than fostering creative energy and teaching hard geographical and historical facts.
By her lights, things only get worse in higher education. "This PC gender politics thing—the way gender is being taught in the universities—in a very anti-male way, it's all about neutralization of maleness." The result: Upper-middle-class men who are "intimidated" and "can't say anything. . . . They understand the agenda." In other words: They avoid goring certain sacred cows by "never telling the truth to women" about sex, and by keeping "raunchy" thoughts and sexual fantasies to themselves and their laptops.
Politically correct, inadequate education, along with the decline of America's brawny industrial base, leaves many men with "no models of manhood," she says. "Masculinity is just becoming something that is imitated from the movies. There's nothing left. There's no room for anything manly right now." The only place you can hear what men really feel these days, she claims, is on sports radio. No surprise, she is an avid listener. The energy and enthusiasm "inspires me as a writer," she says, adding: "If we had to go to war," the callers "are the men that would save the nation."
And men aren't the only ones suffering from the decline of men. Women, particularly elite upper-middle-class women, have become "clones" condemned to "Pilates for the next 30 years," Ms. Paglia says. "Our culture doesn't allow women to know how to be womanly," adding that online pornography is increasingly the only place where men and women in our sexless culture tap into "primal energy" in a way they can't in real life.
Why men must be held to more accountability
BY ANNA CAMPBELL
SheltonJune 6, 2014
As a man, Leonard Pitts was aware of his wariness in “calling out doubles standards of the sexes” as he wrote in “When women attack men — a double standard.” But was he aware of the systematic oppression he was supporting? As Pitts points out, self-defense is rarely utilized when a man is attacked by a women. Women do not experience the privilege of resorting to self-defense under such specialized assault, as the average male is able to overpower the average female in any circumstance.
Men do not experience fear for their lives when they are assaulted by women. The double standard that holds men to a higher accountability for violence against women is one of the only things that women have protecting them from brutality.
As a male, Pitts experiences the many privileges the dominant gender affords him. Higher wages, access to employment, political voice and personal safety to name a few as well as being free from accusations about his mental and emotional state. These are privileges men must give up if they wish women to be held to the same accountability for violence as men. This is equality.
Rather than questioning the double standard of the sexes, perhaps Pitts should have focused on the divide in wealth in this country and the socially and legally pardoned behavior of the financially privileged versus the average citizen. As for the lenient attitude towards female acts of aggression, I hope it remains until women are afforded the same freedoms, rights and privileges as men
Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2014/06/06/3168168/why-men-must-be-held-to-more-accountability.html?sp=/99/109/#storylink=cpy