Much has been made of the extent to which new technologies will transform the workplace and the new skills that will be required. Adaptation has become a much used word that cannot be contested. But what hasn’t been raised as a major topic is the impact that the nature of the new work arrangements will have on the relationship between the sexes.
It was the industrial revolution that contributed to the role of the male as the breadwinner – and confined women to the home behind the picket fence. But the new technological revolution is already undermining that role, without addressing the transformation of the relationship between the sexes. 
Recent studies indicate that women now are more likely to be educated than men and that 40% women in the United States earn more than their husbands. This has little to do with an attempt to close the gender pay gap; it has to do with employment. Now that brute force is no longer a required skill, it’s the educated women getting the jobs, and having to help their husbands fill in the computerised forms for benefits.
More women are going to university and graduating. Some major universities in the United States have introduced affirmative action policies to attract more males, as they sense they are in danger of becoming ‘feminised’.
And the old barrier of ‘no sex before marriage’ has long since disappeared as the prevailing custom:
Women traded sex for security, money, maybe even social and political influence. Because they had no other easy access to these things, it was imperative that they keep the price of sex high so they had something to bargain with.
Now women no longer need men for financial security and social influence. They can achieve these things by themselves so they no longer have to keep the price of sex high. The result is that sex, by the terms of sexual economics is cheap, bargain basement cheap, and a lot more people can have it …and men do because they can! One woman college student said ‘I felt like I was dating his dick’(p39).
‘These days’, comments Hanna Rosin, ‘the scene has changed; it’s not will she get her man, but will her man stop her getting the good job?’ (p40)
Even when women are the breadwinner-wife, not one of those interviewed had been able to hand over the domestic sphere to the stay at home husband. Quote of the week was ‘don’t marry a man when it’s just another mouth to feed!’ Along with the mental task of warding off the blows to his ego and the danger of depression.
In the south of the United States – ‘The wives are making more money than the men and paying the bills, but the Southern man has to pretend that he’s the one holding it all together. P82
AND IT’S NOT GOING TO SUDDENLY GET ANY BETTER.
According to Rosin, the focus on lack of wages for men is the single most destructive force of our era; in 1950 1 in 20 men of prime working age were not working.; the ratio now is about 1 in 5 – the highest ever recorded. (p85)
It used to be women who suffered financial loss in a divorce; these days it is more likely to be a male.
ON THE OTHER HAND THE NUMBER OF DIVORCED WOMEN WHO HAVE SEEN THEIR INCOME RISE SUBSTANTIALLY HAS NEARLY DOUBLED. A new perspective on who actually constitutes the ball and chain! (p92)
There should be a warning to young women who want to get married; don’t even look at a guy who is still living with his mother who does his washing. Some of the most common advice handed to wives who feel they are doing more than their fair share of the workload is that even if they take the kids they will still halve their workload.
Women these days are far more empowered than their mothers were; they gave access to many more choices.
The unmarried mother who used to be the object of shame is now the new normal. More than half the births these days are to women under 30 outside marriage.
A man is no longer a financial plan. Marriage is disappearing as the main justification for women’s financial dependence. Is this the greatest feminist achievement, Rosin asks? Women who are no longer financially dependent are much more likely to set the terms of the marriage than their mothers were.
The Middle class still aspires to a happy soul-mate marriage, but increasingly their life experiences are not matching up to the old expectations.
‘Marriage is in danger of becoming a luxury good attainable only to those with the material and cultural means to grab hold of it … Stable marriage has become a class privilege in America like good schools and access to health care and healthy foods. (p95)
In Australia men’s incomes are trending down:
University graduates earn much less than their predecessors used to ($1023 a week, down from $1468) and they are much less likely to be in full-time jobs four years later (73 per cent, down from 91 per cent).
Australians with only a high school qualification are even worse off. When the survey started, 81 per cent of them were employed full-time within four years. Now it’s 62 per cent.
One noticeable change is in the Southern Sunday School where the teachers of the girls: know it’s very foolish to go on teaching man is the head of the house, when it is the mother paying all the bills, and the father is out fishing with friends!
It’s also working class girls who are going to Community College (VET) – and they are the majority in pharmacy and nursing. 62% of women students outgrow the men they married who haven’t got jobs:
2011 women held 51.4% of managerial and professional jobs – up from 26% in 1980 – 61.3% of accountants, half of all banking and insurance jobs; about one third of Americans physicians now women (More than half GPs in UK by 2017) 45% of associated in law firms – both figures rising fast as women dominate faculties of law and medicine. ‘IN France women make up 58% of doctors under 35 and in Spain – 64%.
At some stage shift from brawn to brain from strength to service – men missed it (p117).
Is this a permanent shift?
Professions where women dominate – accounting, financial management, optometry, dermatology, medical genetics, forensic pathology, law, vet practice among hundreds of others – pharmacy stands out 8% in 1960 – 60% today. (Accountancy is one of the easiest to be transformed by the new technologies. p118)
Many of the new jobs for working class women are replacing what all women once did for free – this is a huge shift – also outside the house – men have trouble adapting – women have been encouraged for at least a century to break out of the stereotype – and have developed a history of adaptation – men have no experience of this –they don’t know there might be other options they may find interesting (124)
The huge increase in the number of women entering further education is one of the most profound changes of the 20th century and it is taking place on a global scale. (149) It’s a long way from the old proverb that education was wasted on a girl as she would only get married!
This is not the case any more: so many women are postponing or choosing not to marry that it is becoming increasingly difficult.
Women who self promote are seen to lack social skills –men aren’t expected to have them – ditto for outbursts – ‘In one scenario some colleagues were about to go to an office party – one guy had a rush job and needed to staple 500 sets of pages – the women who didn’t stay and went off to party were docked mercilessly and – men who went – not judged at all – FOR MEN BEHAVING IN A FRIENDLY NICE COMMUNAL WAY IS OPTIONAL FOR WOMEN IT IS MANDATORY!
ROSIN also states women are taking a different attitude towards sexism; they are more sure of themselves ; they can ignore it, They do so more from a position of power – it is men who are the dinosaurs.
Hanna Rosin isn’t alone with this portrayal of the present and the future for the sexes; Liza Mundy has written THE RICHER SEX; how the new majority of female breadwinners is transforming our culture.
She too notes the increasing number of educated women; they aren’t putting their husbands through university anymore– they are doing it for themselves.
WOMEN ARE THE BETTER EDUCATED SEX
- Majority of associate degrees
- Majority of bachelors degrees
- Majority of doctorates
- (In Australia – the majority of academic prizes)
- 76% of women from working class families said parents encouraged them to go to college. This compared to only 40% of the boys with 18% of them actually discouraged by their families from going to college based on the idea that an office job/ and white collar made males a wuss (P47)
- By 2019 women are projected to comprise 60% US college and university students and 61% post baccalaureate enrolments
Globally young women entering the job market better educated than young men, and poised to become the most financially powerful generation of women in history (Mundy p6)
In most American cities single childless women between 22 -30 make more in terms of median income than their male peers, a direct result of the fact that women are better educated than men (Mundy p7)
Economic downturn has hit men harder than women (Lp14)
While ever women have relied on men for money– financial dependence – certain forms of learned behavior were absolutely essential (Lp20)
Money became the mark of masculine achievement (Mundy p27) A man who couldn’t support his wife… felt humiliated!
Women are now more likely in many areas, to have more status and more secure jobs than the men – This is readily demonstrated in the downturn– even in the US (Mundy 52) Women have improved their credentials at the precise time the economy craves their skills and schooling (Mundy p53)
US Bureau stats – 64% women back at work within a year of first birth up from 17% 1965 – commitment or exploitation? (p58)
Almost 40% of US working wives now out-earn their husbands – (Mundy-p6)
Measures in place that made sure that women who did work were paid less than men for the same work and corralled into areas of female employment specifically low paid….. pin money etc (Lp26)
- Earning power of wives in comparison to husbands is steadily increasing
- Wives are breadwinners or co-earners in two thirds of US marriages
- Families with working wives – percentage of wives who out-earn husbands has gone up from 23.7% in 1987 to 37.7% in 2009
- Particularly rapid rise in first decade 21st century
WITHIN A GENERATION IT IS LIKELY THAT MORE WOMEN – THA MEN, MARRIED AND SINGLE – WILL BE SUPPORTING HOUSEHOLDS – PARTICULARLY THOSE WITH CHILDREN – THAN MEN (MundyP40)
In 2009 the number of married women who were the sole supporter of families rose to an all time high: almost 7% of wives – which is nearly 4 million women – was up from 1.7% in 1964 were sole breadwinners. In contrast the share of husbands who were sole breadwinners declined from 35% in 1967 to 18% in 2009.
Nearly 25% of children under the age of 18 live with their mothers and not their fathers.
The THREAT to men
Male control not limited to financial – Comments about appearance – putting weight – not sexually attractive – undermine confidence and sense of self – common experience of so many women (Mundy p85)
A common sentiment among men
I’d rob a bank before I’d let my wife earn more than I do (p89) Some women willingly disempower themselves by handing over the finances to the male.
Handing over the money (Mundyp87)
Men can become clingy – and women can ask -why do I have to be the guy? (Mundyp89)
Factors that make women’s earnings feel threatening to men
- when they work in the same field
- both very competitive
- man is insecure
- lacks outside interests and achievements
- when relationship formed before woman’s career took off
- – or before his began to fall off
- when both come from a traditional culture’
Unfortunately many women try to manage men who are threatened by their success.
Many women overcompensate for new status and power – and spend enormous energy placating, deferring, hiding achievement in the attempt to visibly transfer power back to their husbands – gaining income can actually contribute to women losing power of own volition (Mundyp92)
They are not just postponing they are also even rejecting marriage.
New studies suggest men may be seeking family life to greater degree than women (Mundy p17).More men will marry up, and if women want to marry, they will more likely than not, have to marry down (MundyP16)
So what’s the point?
Men beginning to recognize they are better off married –
These days women are much less likely to view single life as a failed one – It’s the end of spinsterhood (Mundy p18)
Four out of 10 babies in US now born to unmarried mothers – single mothers also have very high labour force participation (Lp61) (IT’S 6 IN OTHER SOURCES)
According to the Pew Research Center, husbands are likely to be the chief economic beneficiaries of marriage, thanks to the earnings women bring with them.
This is an unprecedented development and it bears stopping, for a moment, and getting your head around. Let’s review this fact again. Husbands are increasingly likely to be the chief economic beneficiaries of marriage. Not just because they can have free housecleaning and cooking.
The Cinderella story has been rewritten. The old order has been overthrown. Men are becoming the dependent sex. Keep in mind: men have always benefitted more from marriage than women in terms of health and psychological well being, which may be one reason wives are more likely to seek divorce. Now men benefit more economically. So who has the greater incentive now to get married? Men or women? (Lp66-7) – Pew Research Center: ‘Women, men and the new economics of marriage’
In some circumstances women who are better educated are becoming more valued as wives. (Mundy p72)
Not enough to marry up – not enough educated high powered men to go around (Lp74)
Tradies – COURER MAIL
Gays and Lesbians free of such stereotypes but can recreate them.
In 1960 72% of adult Americans were married – today just over half – and trending down –women partnering with men who have less education – sometimes lower earnings
Best when each has own territory (Mundy p97)
The New non-marriage choices
Bureaus of population, Health Stats, Family and Marriage – how to describe the new social relationships (Lp190) – What are the new living arrangements and how can governments characterize them?
….a striking decline in marriage rates – just over half of American adults are married. Births to single mothers have risen from 5% in 1960 to 41% in 2008. Cohabitation rates have doubled since 1990 Straight and gay are forming relationships but not legally committing to them (Church losing control over this!)
Europe seen growing moving LAT – living apart together – people consider themselves partners without living in same house or even nearby –
Such a tricky area for census questions – If people are living in the same home but not having sex – are they partnered? What about married people who are not having sex? What does partnered mean any more? (Mundyp191)
Women’s increasing resources behind this fracturing of living arrangements – for the first time in history – marriage is a choice and not women’s assigned career. If women have to choose between being single or being in a bad marriage – women will almost always choose being single when they are financially independent (Mundyp191)
‘so much easier to dump him/ walk away when you don’t depend on men financially’ – confirms what the 19th century lawmakers always believed! (Mundyp191)
Men are now the ones who have more to lose from marital dissolution (Mundyp189)
How do women deal with marrying a weak provider asks Mundy? (Mundyp193)
Lower middle class Americans much more susceptible – tend to believe you shouldn’t get married until you can support a household – when men can’t contribute women wont marry them. End of story (Mundyp194) (Hannah Rosin says women stated ‘An unemployed man is just one more mouth to feed’
Women forever lamenting that there aren’t enough men available
Women seeking the company of other women – so there is a significant increase in girls’ night out – holidays – in each others homes – valuing women in a way that wasn’t possible a few generations ago – no time, space – and still ‘loyalty’ to men.
So more discussion of relationships needed along with the old skills of writing and reading if we are to manage the technology revolution.
Many may still carry around the stereotype of getting a man and marriage in their heads, but live entirely different lives
In the not too distant future women will have evenings with friends and then return to the houses they own- whether or not waiting for relationships – they will buy properties – they will commit to mortgages, invest in their future, easily qualify for bank loans when they have good incomes and no dependents – they will be excellent credit risks (Mundy196)
Gay men have set the pattern partnering with someone outside their comfort zone –women are now doing that as well (Mundy p200)
Marrying down already is more common than marrying up!
- US, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Israel. Jordan, Mongolia, Brazil. Columbia, Cuba, Panama and Puerto Rico
- Sweden more than half births to single women
- 66% in Iceland
The patterns are different in Asia where the culture places more emphasis on women being dependent upon men and where unmarried mothers are taboo!.
- nearly one third of Japanese women in their thirties are not married – and this is more likely to be seen as failure – they seek upper males they can admire (Lp210)
- Single women under 30 in Japan now make more than their male age peers
- Japan – women experience HUGE increase in workload if they marry as it is additional to the paid job – and understandably are reluctant to take it on!
In South Korea women’s employment has overtaken that of men (p213). It is also the case that men don’t want to marry women who earn more! Women’s higher earnings do not make them desirable partners – more of a threat!
- Because women wont marry down – in South Korea – young men lament that women are on a ‘marriage strike’ (The Economist Mundy: p211)
East Asia – two thirds of women have jobs – and in South Korea women’s employment in their twenties has overtaken that of men.
 Hanna Rosin, 2012, THE END OF MEN AND THE RISE OF WOMEN, Riverhead Books New York, p81
 THE RICHER SEX, LIZA MUNDY (2012)
 http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2010/01/19/women-men-and-the-new-economics-of-marriage/ January 10 2010 Richard Fry and D’Ver Cohn