Education Opinion

‘Are Men Finished?’ Getcha’ Tickets Now!

By Richard Whitmire — September 10, 2011 1 min read
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At first I assumed Slate was running a spoof article but no, this is the real deal, a debate at NYU between some interesting parties, including Hanna Rosin, author of the Atlantic cover story ‘The End of Men’ and Christina Hoff Sommers, author of “The War Against Boys.

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From the Slate article:

The debate proposition is "men are finished." What does that actually mean? A modern, post-industrial economy that seems better suited to women than men has led many experts to wonder if men are being permanently left behind. Education and employment statistics point to a clear and growing dominance in women's status at home and in the workplace. Are men primed for a comeback, or have the old rules changed for good? Ladies, give yourself a night off from your second job as an astronaut or neurosurgeon. Men, take a break from your fantasy football league to see if you can save yourself. Join us at NYU's Skirball Center in New York City for an Oxford-style live debate. ABC News Legal Analyst Dan Abrams and Hanna Rosin, award-winning journalist for Slate and the Atlantic, will argue for the motion that "men are finished." Feminist scholar Christina Hoff Sommers and Men's Health magazine editor-in-chief David Zinczenko will argue against it.

Should be a lively event. But as a policy nerd I’ll have to confess I’d rather see a debater willing to argue that boys really aren’t in trouble (AAUW?) or someone who can lay out the exact facts on where boys stand in the education system (National Center for Education Statistics?). Better yet, someone from the White House or Education Department to explain why they see no need for school interventions to boost academic aspirations among males.

I’m a little puzzled by this lineup: Why are Rosin and Sommers on different sides? I’m sure they differ greatly on the issue of whether feminism is to blame, but I doubt they differ much on the general trend lines.

Oh, for anyone already inclined to believe that men are finished and being absorbed into a thoroughly feminized culture, this WSJ article about Mankinis, Murses and Mewelry will cement your thinking.

The opinions expressed in Why Boys Fail are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.