Move over, lazy menfolk who no longer have jobs

rosie riveter

How hot do our biceps look right now?

The always fab and women’s-rights-loving Nicholas Kristof points out in his NYT column today that “in this decade, for the first time in American history, men no longer inevitably dominate the labor force. Women were actually the majority of payroll employees for the five months that ended in March, according to one measure from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s mostly because about three-quarters of Americans who lost their jobs in the Great Recession were men.”

That’s right: suck it, XY-chromosomed losers.

Now, this whole lipstick-dominated workplace phenomenon isn’t new.

And it’s not so simple. Women only prevail in the winters, when men-fueled industries like construction don’t have as many jobs available, and men reign in the summers for the same reason.

Hannah Rosin covered this new female upswing in the workforce for the Atlantic with her lovingly-titled cover piece, The End of Men. But Kristoff argues that really women are just catching up — and not taking over in some sort of stilettoed march to upper management.

In fact, the women currently holding down the mortgage payments never really benefit, because any “equal” pay they bring home is used to support their no-goodnik jobless husbands.

The truth is that we men have typically benefited as women have gained greater equality. Those men who have lost their jobs in the recession are now more likely to have a wife who still has a job and can keep up the mortgage payments. And women have been particularly prominent in the social sector, devising new programs for the mostly male ranks of the jobless or homeless.

So forget about gender war and zero-sum games. Odds are that we men will find a way to hold our own, with the help of women. And we’ll benefit as smart and talented women belatedly have the opportunity to deploy their skills on behalf of all of humanity — including those of us with Y chromosomes.

So in sum: men, don’t worry about your wives making more money than you because they’re the ones paying for the house while you send resumes play with your new Wii and try to stay out of jail. Isn’t equality of the sexes a beautiful thing?

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5 thoughts on “Move over, lazy menfolk who no longer have jobs

  1. And rightly so, after all it has been us blokes that have dragged the human race forward for tens of thousands of years, ever since we took the first steps out of the jungle onto the African plains. We deserve a rest, to sit down on the lounge and play with our playstation’s all day.

    But seriously, It is going to be very difficult future for many women, as they struggle reconciling their dreams of that of a teenager, while at the same time shouldering many of the traditional male responsibilities, in addition to their student loans.

  2. My wife and I were just talking about this. Her and her four close girlfriends were discussing how they loved grad school and enjoy their jobs, but if given the choice now that we’re entering our 30’s and have kids, all of them would trade in their $80,000 in student loan debt and stresses of working to stay home and enjoy their hobbies, have time to themselves and pick-up the kids at school on time rather than them having to be taken to daycare until 7 at night when we can pick them up after a long day in the office, etc.

    Particularly with the lower standard of living due to debt, inflation and falling wages, I think most in Gen Y are finding that the workforce and careerism is not all it was cracked up to be.

  3. Pingback: Unemployed men are one apron string away from becoming real housewives « Ivy Leagued and Unemployed

  4. Pingback: Yup, science confirms women with jobs are allergic to marriage « Ivy Leagued and Unemployed

  5. Pingback: Men, gird your loins: there is a “mancession” coming for you « Ivy Leagued and Unemployed

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