What does it mean to be a man in today’s world? Beyond the physical definition (which is increasingly up for debate), how does a man comport himself? How does he see himself in relation to the rest of the world? As a new generation endeavors to find its manhood, author and Time contributor Hanna Rosin has made a dramatic assertion: it’s already too late. Men are obsolete.
The author raised the subject in an article for Time on Thursday, but has been discussing the idea for years.
“How do I know men are finished?” Rosin wrote. “I’ll read you a quote that says it all: ‘Yes. There have been times when I’ve been in a drunken stupor.’ Toronto’s mayor, a shining example of modern manhood is what I would call the canary in the coal mine, only he’s not quite as delicate as the canary. Because, you know, He’s [sic] got ‘more than enough to eat at home.’”
Rosin went on to say that men are not “literally” obsolete, but said it’s the end of men “as we’ve historically come to define them — entitled to power, destined for leadership, arrogant, confused by anything that isn’t them.”
She went on to present “five reasons we are definitely witnessing the end of men,” each with a brief description. The reasons are:
ONE: It’s the end of men because men are failing in the workplace.
TWO: It’s the end of men because the traditional household, propped up by the male breadwinner, is vanishing.
THREE: It’s the end of men because we can see it in the working and middle class.
FOUR: It’s the end of men because men have lost their monopoly on violence and aggression.
FIVE: It’s the end of men because men, too, are now obsessed with their body hair.
“We don’t have to turn men into eunuchs,” she added. “We can keep whatever we like about manhood but adjust the parts of the definition that are keeping men back.”
“When I think of the world after the end of men, I think of the world my son will inherit, where, if he chooses to take his kids to a playground at 3 in the afternoon on a Tuesday, no one will look at him funny…” she concluded. “They will just walk on by and not think anything of it at all. He can be his own lovely obnoxious self and also be at home in a new world.”
“When an educated culture routinely denigrates masculinity and manhood, then women will be perpetually stuck with boys, who have no incentive to mature or to honor their commitments,” Paglia wrote. “And without strong men as models to either embrace or (for dissident lesbians) to resist, women will never attain a centered and profound sense of themselves as women.”
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