There’s a cover story in the July/August issue of the Atlantic Magazine with an omnious-sounding title for those of us who carry an Y-chromosome. Apparently our time of domination has come to an end, and indeed, men stand to get outcompeted, outclassed and ultimately become obsolete and useless (as they actually always have been, despite of them having successfully maintained the appearance to otherwise).
Not surprisingly, the article generated plenty of attention (in addition to the 900+ on-side comments on top of 15 THOUSAND Facebook recommendations), making headlines both in mainstream media as well as women’s pages. If the line taken by the latter generally appears to be gung-ho and salutary, then the reception among the feminist commentators looks rather icy.
And for a good reason. Hanna Rosin’s spirited vision of imminent matriarchy to befall on the unsuspecting heads of degenerate Western male population is not simply a case of cherry-picking evidence that suits one’s particular theory, it is an argument that is based on the same flawed premises that are the root cause of the problem she is so much concerned about — and namely that of the existence of essential and objective gender categories of man- and womanhood. And when there finally appear some encouraging signs of those gender stereotypes relenting, you will have someone to charge in with guns blazing and frame the whole thing anew as a “battle of sexes”, only this time apparently with women on top. Haven’t people read their Beauvoir, Irigaray and Butler? Can’t they conceive a world where jobs are not those for men and those for women, instead of celebrating that men are getting their sorry asses kicked in the job market that is in need of “womanly” qualities? Is it truly a good idea to think of gender equality in terms of women being free to have their own mindless consumerist estrogen-charged media indulgence such as “Sex and The City 2” to match a supposedly masculine James Bond series? Is this what makes women free and empowered?
I would very much hope that it is not. But what do I know, I am a man.