For the record----I AM SICK OF THIS CAMPAIGN!!!! As you may know, I live in one of the essential swing states, and I have had it up to here with the following:
1) campaign ads that have been blanketing our airwaves non stop since late spring
2) robo calls
3) presidential trips to my city that tie up air and street traffic for hours
4) yard signs (and those are just getting started)
I don't know why these campaigns think that if they just assault us with more ads that question our intelligence with each passing minute that they will change our vote. In fact, all they are doing is making many of us TURN OFF and tune out. I hope I never see another ad, and I hope that I never see another president, VP, or candidates for the same walking around my town. GO AWAY!!!!
Sorry, I just needed to vent, but Nov. 6 just can't come too soon for me. I am suffering from a case of post traumatic stress disorder, truth be told. As a member of the 4 million strong Hillary Clinton cohort that left the Democratic Party in 2008, I am watching a rerun of tactics from the Obama campaign and compliant media that were used to marginalize Hillary, and I'm having ugly memories. These tactics are now being used on Romney. You know----the "you can't win" and "the numbers are against you" and "it is all over" blah blah blah. These tactics make the bile just rise within me seeing it all again. It is triggering awful memories and emotions I want to forget. The only thing is that there isn't any sexism thrown into the mix, but that is little comfort.
So I thought I would focus my attention elsewhere, and I downloaded Hanna Rosin's latest book "The End of Men" onto my kindle and started reading. I've actually been wanting to write about this book long before I finished reading it, but I steeled myself to get to the end of it before I cut loose.
Let me say that I just HATE the title. I'm the mother of two grown sons and have had the same wonderful husband for 40 years, and although I complain mightily about women's status, I am also not interested in playing into the feminist stereotype that men are bad. The title I suppose is sensational to sell books or to create conversation and controversy, but to me there is no reason to kick people's guards up when it comes to women getting ahead.
Having said that, I am really glad that Rosin wrote this book. I just turned 60 two days ago (it's only a number, it's only a number, it's only a number....), and I am aware that my frame of reference is a tad dated. This book brought me a little bit more up to speed with the changing roles women and men are playing in today's U.S. Rosin's contention is that women are so speeding ahead in certain age groups and in certain economic groups, that they are outpacing the males who are having trouble adapting to that new reality. One of our readers continually brings that fact to my attention, and I am always giving him a hard time about it. And I still will. But there is no denying that gender roles have changed since I was in my 20's and 30's.
Rosin points out that because of the changing nature of our economy, the roles of strong guys and passive girls is a model that no longer serves. Today's jobs require people with terrific and nurturing people skills, skills that whether by nature or nurture, women have more of than men. Couple that with the fact that more women are making much better money and as such don't need a man to support them (or their children), well, the world has changed. I suggest you read the book if you want to go into the weeds more on that subject. Rosin has put together what I believe to be a convincing argument that these changes have become ubiquitous.
She also takes on the notion about why, if women are doing so well, that women aren't really running things, quoting some of my favorite statistics. On this point, while she lays out the argument well, she glosses over the remedy falling back on old arguments used 40 years ago that have proven to be useless, lazy, pie in the sky, and ultimately false. I am constantly amazed at why people think that women running virtually nothing in this country isn't of grave importance. Why, Rosin's book itself makes the ultimate case for why women SHOULD be running more. But she takes a Pollyanna turn by saying that women will get there----it's inevitable!!! Why would we expect 4,000 years of patriarchy to be undone in such a short period of time? It's just gonna happen on its own.
We have seen no evidence of those statements being true. If feminism is triumphant, why have we never had a female president or vice president? Why does the U.S. rank #80 in the world in female representation in government? Why do women still only make 77 cents on the man's dollar? Why are only 2.8% of Fortune 1000 companies headed by a woman CEO? Etc............and so on. We thought 40 years ago that it was only a matter of time that women would take their rightful place. Well, that didn't happen, that's for sure, and this book makes that same fatal mistake in assuming that in 2012, women will just evolve to the top. I don't think so.....
I will give Rosin credit, however for a couple of things. First of all, she identifies the tech companies of Silicon Valley as having taken significant strides in removing roadblocks that prevent women from rising to the top, and as a result, while tech companies are still overwhelmingly male, women are finding their way to the top there. And the solutions have proven to be not too difficult and obvious, and the companies have made these accomodations to today's realities, for the betterment of all.
Secondly, and more important imho, she points a finger right back at us females for being our own worst enemy. She pinpoints areas where we are still so conflicted ourselves about being outstanding that we sabotage our own efforts and those of the women around us. She wrote about this problem in a way I've never seen discussed before, and it has given me alot of food for thought. When we feminists in 2012 get to the point of having the "you are your own worst enemy" conversation, we tend to shut down because we have a hard time figuring this one out. Rosin has shed some important light on the subject. Sometimes, the men get this one so much better than we do. I can't tell you how many times men write to me and ask me why women can't get their act together. Good question!!!! But I guess like everything else, we are too close to the situation to see it clearly. Rosin has taken the pulse of this problem and shed some needed light on it. And I had to laugh at the New York Times Book Review of this book which was the perfect example of how we women are our own worst enemies!! My friend N, and I have to agree with her, said that it was one of most negative reviews she ever read!!
So consider me updated!!! Major changes are roiling the fabric of our society as far as gender roles are concerned. I see it now. I just don't see that it guarantees that women will find their way to the top. And make no mistake, women MUST find their way to the top for the sake of all of us. I still believe that women will have to wrest that power away-----it will not be given up without a fight. Hopefully the women coming up who are getting ahead will have that fight in them.
At least this was a great read and got me thinking about other things besides THIS STUPID ELECTION we find ourselves embroiled in. Did I tell you that I am SICK TO DEATH OF IT ALL??????? Blech........