There are downsides to pitting the sexes in a constant, one-up, one-down battle for supremacy
It’s a story as old as Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, the trope of a gender reversal that puts “women on top,” but in a new book that’s getting lots of attention, a journalist is trying to prove that this fiction has become a reality. In The End of Men: And the Rise of Women, Hanna Rosin argues that changes in the world economy have dramatically shifted gender roles. Women have adapted more skillfully to the new socioeconomic landscape by doggedly pursuing self-improvement opportunities, rebranding as the economy requires it, and above all possessing the kind of 21st century work attributes — such as strong communication skills, collaborative leadership and flexibility — that are nudging out the brawny, stuck-in-amber guys. Rock steadiness, long a cherished masculine trait, is about as useful in our fleet-footed economy as a flint arrowhead. Life favors the adapters, and it turns out they’re more likely to be women.