Editor’s Note: We are catching up on our narratives after a long absence. Over the next few weeks we will have updates from our past Luncheon Society gatherings.
Since the dawn of time, it seemed that women always found themselves several paces behind men. Part of it was societal, most was legislative, but writer Hanna Rosin makes the case that in this Post-Industrial Information Age, women have the intuitive tools, the skills, and the drive to pull ahead.
Only a generation ago, women found it hard to get their own credit cards or to purchase a home, without the signature of a husband or the explicit consent of her father. However, as Hanna writes, something earth-changing took place in 2010 which was essentially ignored in the mainstream media. This was first year that women surpassed men in the workplace. More tellingly, the trendlines suggest that this is not some fluke. When it comes to earning undergraduate degrees, three of the five diplomas issued go to female graduates. In her book “The End of Men,” Hanna Rosin makes the chase that we are living in the eye of one of the most transformative gender shifts since man emerged from the caves built the modern world; women are poised to take over.
So what does this mean? In Rosin’s book, she makes the case that women have latched on to the opportunities unavailable to their mothers and grandmothers generations earlier. Her book began as a 10,000 word thought piece in The Atlantic in the summer of 2010 and based on the chatter that developed, she was encouraged to expand it into a full length book. Rosin is no stranger to the revolutionary idea and as the co-founder of Double X Blog for Slate Magazine, she has explored gender issues for more than a decade. While she may paint with a broad brush at times, she elevates a discussion both men and women alike should read. She even brings the gender conversation into clearer focus by including her husband and son.
We have lived in a world where there has been an appreciation for things male. Who can forget the opening scene of The Godfather, when Luco Brazi—who served as The Don’s brutal muscle—practiced his lines, hoping that Connie’s first child be a masculine son. We see it in the crowned heads of Europe who proffered the rights of succession to a male child, even if there were several older (and able) princesses in the wings. Had George VI and Queen Elizabeth produced a male child—even years after the birth of Princess Margaret—he and not the then-Princess Elizabeth would have succeeded her father. This week in The Netherlands, Queen Beatrix abdicated in favor of her son Willem-Alexander. After serving 33 years after her mother in 1980, the rights of succession of the Dutch Royal family are now gender neutral. Princess Catharina-Amalia will someday succeed her father, regardless of gender and any other children which may emerge. Change even comes to institutions that have been frozen by centuries of tradition. Continue reading