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home : commentary : commentary May 24, 2016

The female factor
Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson
Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson
"I began to understand that something seismic had shifted the economy and the culture, not only for men but for women, and that both sexes were going to have to adjust to an entirely new way of working and living and even falling in love." -Hanna Rosin, "The End of Men"

by Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson

What is it? Many sources have cited women as a critical factor in this fall's election. We've heard about the "War on Women" and now in Hanna Rosin's book we're hearing about "The End of Men."
Rosin's premise is that in a changing economic landscape women are more nimble at adjusting to new social and economic realities than men. She suggests that men are stuck in their ways and looking for the same old manufacturing jobs that are not coming back. She calls them "Cardboard Men"-who are rigid; compared to "Plastic Women"-who are flexible and adaptable.
She goes on to tout that not only do women go with the flow in their personal realities, but women are also changing the workplace to be more women and family friendly.
But, really? Don't women still experience a 23 percent wage gap when doing the same jobs as men? Aren't women still only 3 percent of the leaders of Fortune 500 companies? Women are 32 percent of the Minnesota Legislature. What about the attacks on women's reproductive freedom, not only the possibility of making our own choices about abortion, but access to birth control in the first place. And, the Voter ID amendments that are being pushed in Minnesota and other states? They disproportionately and negatively affect women.
We don't think the "End of Men" is anywhere near. Nor do want it to be. We don't believe that men need to lose in order for women to win.
Rather than the "End of Men," perhaps we are seeing the beginning of the "End of Patriarchy"-the end of a worldview and set of values that puts both men and women in boxes with unrealistic and rigid expectations. That's a brave and bold thought we can rally around.

College of St. Scholastica InStory Banner 5-13

As you read this "Brave and Bold"-themed issue of the Women's Press celebrate with us the bold women who bare their mastectomy scars for the photographer as a work of art; the brave women who became moms to cross-racial children while living in a fishbowl setting; the brave woman who returned to the site of her sexual assault 40 years later; the bold woman who lives with stage IV breast cancer and teaches us how to communicate, and many more stories of strong and courageous women.

Coming up:
November's theme is "a woman's survival kit." Tell us a story about a woman who survived. She may be your sister, your friend, the woman next door. She may be . . . you.

Send a paragraph or two to editor@womenspress.com.

Deadline: October 10, 2012
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• Holiday Guide
• GoSeeDo Guide
Deadline: October 10, 2012

December is our annual Changemakers issue. What would you like to see changed for women or girls? Tell us about it.
Send a paragraph or two to editor@womenspress.com
Deadline: November 10, 2012

December Advertising Sections:
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• Spirituality Guide
• GoSeeDo Guide

Deadline: November 10, 2012

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