It’s the end of Rosin’s writing about men we hope

Back in 2012 Hanna Rosin wrote:

The world today brings news that Jan Berenstain, co-author with her husband Stan of the 45 years and running Berenstain Bears series for children, has passed on to a better world. As any right-thinking mother will agree, good riddance.

As Slate-style introductions go it was pretty typical. Their writers rarely miss an opportunity to appear gimlet-eyed and flip. As if anything like academic whimsy were a product of thoughts more than self-obsessions. For some, though, it’s a potent mix that can’t always be resisted. Time magazine today featured Rosin with a new essay.

Men Are Obsolete
Five reasons we are definitely witnessing the end of men
By Hanna Rosin | Jan. 02, 2014 | 447 Comments

We’re less witnessing the death of men than the birth of Time’s own Slate-pitch. As in ‘It’s The End of Men?’ That the originalists are roundly mocked for such 25-Watt contrarianism is nothing for Time to worry about because traffic is traffic, hooray. The first clue to that comes as the editors have slotted the piece for ‘Feminism,’ as opposed to ‘Hootbait,’ or ‘Drollery.’

The second clue would be Rosin’s fingertip grasp of men.

How do I know men are finished? I’ll read you a quote that says it all: “Yes. There have been times when I’ve been in a drunken stupor.”

Is this God perhaps admitting what went wrong on the Sixth Day? That would at least provide some evidence for why we males are all coming to an end. If not Him, who?

Toronto’s mayor, a shining example of modern manhood is what I would call the canary in the coal mine, only he’s not quite as delicate as the canary.

It’s the boozy crack-fueled heart attack of Toronto. Whatever he just babbled, that “says it all.” And the sentiment says it about all men: We are nearing the end. We’ll all soon be abandoned by society, and our loved ones, lying motionless and unconscious in a prison cell. Is it the ‘we all smoke cocaine’ or the ‘we’re all dangerously psychotic’ bit that’s your best evidence for fate? It couldn’t possibly be ‘we are obnoxious and full of ourselves’ as that’s been our habit forever, and how very boring. But, listen:

Are men literally obsolete? Of course not, and if we had to prove that we could never win. For one thing, we haven’t figured out a way to harvest sperm without them being, you know, alive.

Now Rosin’s argument…begins? On the opposite side of Rosin’s previous argument? Tough place to start. She doesn’t mean ‘The End’ of men because that would be literal – was that what you were thinking? Was it the part below the title – ‘Five reasons we are definitely witnessing the end of men‘ – that duped you? Don’t be stupid, women need healthy sperm and scientists haven’t figured out how to extract that from our dead bodies. So we should be kept alive for the future production of useless males. At least, until the relevant science improves. Oh I agree.

But in order to win this debate we have to prove that men, quote unquote, as we’ve historically come to define them — entitled to power, destined for leadership, arrogant, confused by anything that isn’t them.

Hanna finally has a point, sort of. She has to prove that men – entitled, arrogant, confused by anything that isn’t them. That’s right it’s her burden to demonstrate, as we’ve come to define them, The End. Is a sentence too much to ask for? It would keep me from getting even more confused. Unless perhaps Rosin is making a broader point about male impotence by getting to the point so very quickly. Are you one-upping or only mocking us, hmm?

…that isn’t them. As in: “I don’t understand. Is it a guy dressed up like a girl? Or a girl dressed up like a guy?” They are obsolete.

Well there it all is, finally. Hanna’s point could not be made any clearer. A male is no longer something he once was. He was useful once, now he’s clearly not. You take a look at someone like Boy George, and it really hits you: Men are obsolete. Fling yourselves, gender dodos, off whatever transvestite you find handy.

If a writer wants to be conceited and glib, she’d better be smarter than some outré point to be made. That’s not Hanna Rosin. And having seen the sorry total of her essay, I ought probably to stop here. But then you should see some of how she plays the rest out. Just in case I’m wrong, and we’re really done for:

ONE: It’s the end of men because men are failing in the workplace.

Over the last few decades men’s incomes have been slowly declining and women’s have been rising. Last year one in five men were not working, something economists call the biggest social crisis we will face . . In 2009 they [women] became the majority of the American workforce for the first time ever. Now in every part of America young single women under 30 have a higher median income than young men, which is really important because that’s the phase of life when people imagine what their future will look like. As one sorority girl put it to me — remember, I said sorority, not someone from the women’s study center — “Men are the new ball and chain.”

This might be a more devastating observation if women hadn’t been shut out of the workplace for so long. There are yet plenty of gains to be made on their behalf, so whatever balance is still to be had can hardly be considered tragic. Throw in a recession economy that thrives on drudgery and I’m not at all convinced that men, for whatever reasons, can no longer compete.

TWO: It’s the end of men because the traditional household, propped up by the male breadwinner, is vanishing.

For the first time in history women all over the world are marrying down, meaning marrying men with worse prospects than they have. We have a new global type, for example, called the alpha wife, a woman who makes more money than her husband or boyfriend. Not that long ago she was exceedingly rare. Now she’s part of about 40 percent of couples in the US. And that does not count the growing number of single moms who head their own families.

Hanna gives her self away. If a woman makes more than her male partner does she’s ‘marrying down.’ Men have been marrying down for centuries but you don’t see us complaining. She mistakes positive developments across society for male impotence, soon to become fated-death itself.

She’s what you might call old-fashioned. A fuddy-duddy. Being startled by the way women are now getting educations and careers and everything, Hanna’s just given up trying to figure this ole’ world out. Maybe she’s angry with men because we haven’t yet cleared up her confusion. Maybe it’s in the spirit of retaliation that she claims we’re worth little more to society than dribbles of ejaculate. How very petty. Read her embarrassment here.


6 thoughts It’s the end of Rosin’s writing about men we hope

  1. avatar Rev. Howard Furst says:

    I am happily reminded of the Harlan Ellison story “A Boy and his Dog”, the protagonist nicely portrayed by a young Don Johnson in a fine film version released in 1975. In a postapocalyptic world, the Boy is taken underground to a re-creation of small-town Midwest America, where he is pleased to find out that he will be used for stud service for nubile gingham-clad ladies in the flower of their young womanhood, as the males down there are all sterile. He is then dismayed to discover that, rather than playing the two-backed beast, as they say, he is restrained and hooked up to a milking machine for extraction of his precious seed. There is no particular point to this beyond the pleasant memory of Schadenfreude, except that I hope Hanna Rosin finds this when she inevitably googles herself and starts ardently promoting the idea as a Final Solution for minimizing male participation in modern civilization.

    Effervescently yours,
    Rev. Howard Furst

  2. avatar toma says:

    The lack of self-awareness or perhaps a tongue in cheek seems to favor your take on Rosin’s quirky personality. Newt Gingrich and Chuck Krauthammer have both foreseen the End Of All Liberalism in the past and I’ve never understood how anyone could be that dumb. Even for conservatives, it’s dumb. Do they not know we make up around 40% of the country? I am currently less convinced that even more of America’s citizens will evaporate any time soon. As for the claim of Don Johnson being in a good film: again, I’ll believe when I see it.

  3. avatar Rev. Howard Furst says:

    In the words of Galileo, “Eppur si muove”. I stand by my subjective stance and fragmented memories acquired at the cinema as a young student on weekend hallucinogens in the company of like-minded collegiate ladies and gentlemen.

    Inconsequentially yours,
    Rev. Howard Furst

  4. avatar toma says:

    And in this film, the Midwestern ladies looked like this?

    That’s no Lutheran housefrau. I suspect the ‘shrooms.

  5. avatar Rev. Howard Furst says:

    The ripe young ladies of New Topeka look like this; allowances must be made for a lack of sunlight in their underground habitat, where they survived the nuclear Apocalypse. Also, they are sticklers for conformity and for living in what they imagined was the wholesome lifestyle of their above-ground ancestors.

    Or in case the html gods don’t like me:

  6. avatar toma says:

    Oh my.

    That is . . something.

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