News junkies and fans of Hanna Rosin will surely remember “The End of Men,” her 2010 Atlantic article about female success and how it relates to the simultaneous plummeting of male accomplishment. Her engrossing new book retains that provocative title and expounds on the facts she uncovered in her first go-round. Rosin focuses mostly on the shifting of familial responsibilities and career achievements between men and women by examining statistics and conducting interviews. She visits with several families (all of whom are primarily supported by the wives’ salaries), discusses dating with young female MBAs, and travels to Korea only to discover that women ask themselves in every language that buzzword-y and particularly feminine question: How can I have it all?
Rosin’s writing is straightforward and she provides a number of fascinating statistics and personal anecdotes, but her intentions remain vague since she draws very few conclusions. She makes it clear that we still have a lot of work to do to achieve gender parity (being a stay-at-home dad is still considered emasculating, for example), but there’s little discussion of how we can retool the system. Readers will also be left wondering whom this book is for, as its threatening title is unlikely to attract audiences that don’t already identify as feminists. The End of Men is invigorating while largely preaching to the choir. But, hey—sometimes the choir needs a song.
The End of Men: And the Rise of Women, $17.46, amazon.com
By Molly Labell
This review appears in the Oct/Nov 2012 issue of BUST Magazine with cover girl Aubrey Plaza. Subscribe now.
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.