Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Is This The End Of Men?

You cannot open a newspaper this week without reading about Hanna Rosin's new book, The End of Men: And the Rise of Women. Before we go any further, here's a money saving tip: whenever you hear of a new academic thesis being touted in hardback, always look for the original journal article that started it all off. That way you save a shitload of brass and get the full thesis delivered up in its purest form, without all the padding that gets added to fill a book. Who in their right minds ever invested in Francis Fukuyama's The End of History when The End of History? - note the question mark - is available all over the web? 

The Rosin Thesis has it that the economy has changed fundamentally and that women are better adapted to those changes. Thus they are taking over in the workplace and leaving men with their dicks in their hands, unable to cope. It is a lovely, all-encompassing idea, which shares one thing in common with that of Fukuyama at the end of the Cold war: it is total, complete and utter bollocks.

Fukuyama had it that history as a process leading towards something in the Hegelian sense was ending with the triumph of liberal, global capitalism. He argued that no competing world system would emerge, an idea which the rise of political Islam makes untenable. Fukuyama thought that he was putting forward a pan-cultural idea, but in reality it turned out to be a thesis that was only valid in the West, and perhaps only for a limited period as Western influence declines in the South of our planet.

Hanna Rosin has the same problem. She thinks that because the western economy  now has more use for compliant women instead of argumentative men that this makes for sea change in the way that the rest of the world will behave. That they will suddenly become just like us in other words, which is the trap that Fukuyama fell into.

The rest of the world will continue to treat us as effete losers, to be ignored as western military power declines with our economies. In Russia when a chap wants a secretary he might decide to invite applicants to flash their tits for the camera, with the girl who has the nicest pair getting the job. Eastern Europe believes firmly in the old notion that promotion comes via nepotism, cronyism and corruption, with the devil take anyone who is fool enough to be honest. Women will quite cheerfully take the horizontal road to success, as they do in Latin-America, a region that has a lot in common with Eastern Europe in terms of its social mores.

The military and economic declines of the west go hand in hand, and as first Greece and now Spain fall into an economic abyss, the notion that the western way offers anything useful to the lusty barbarians who live just over the borders must seem foolish to them. Given that they breed and the western middle class does not, the notion that tomorrow will belong to today's girls strikes me as risible. As risible as the notion that the working class men who are now dismissed as Chavs will lift a finger to help, come to think about it.

Tomorrow will not be like today, but it will be uncommonly like yesterday. Now then, let me look for a new secretary...

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