Hanna Rosin noticed something curious on a recent family trip to Virginia: In the town square, amid shops and grocery stores, men had seemingly vanished. A run-in with a young mother in the grocery aisle provided some clues. Bethenny, 29, was earning her nursing degree while simultaneously running a daycare from home. When Rosin, senior editor at The Atlantic, asked Bethenny about her hopes for marriage, she rolled her eyes, saying that "there was always Calvin," the father of her daughter. Calvin, meanwhile, was struggling to find work that would cover the groceries and bills. He certainly had no plans to reenter Bethenny's life as the rightful breadwinner. Bethenny wanted to remain "queen of her castle," says Rosin, "with one less mouth to feed." And she was pretty happy about it.
Bethenny and Calvin's story, and their respective financial and romantic trajectories, is no random blip on the line of history, argues Rosin, but the result of seismic shifts in economy and ideology, representing nothing less than "the end of two hundred thousand years of human history and the beginning of a new era." In other words, it's the end of men, and the rise of women, the name of Rosin's provocative new book (Riverhead, 2012).
The book's title is of course hyperbolic. Rosin, also the founder of Slate's DoubleX website (think a secular-left Her.meneutics), is too seasoned a journalist to suggest that all men everywhere are failing in school and eating Doritos on the couch, while all women everywhere are exceedingly bright, unflaggingly driven, and want only to reach the corner office. The traditional work-home setup between husbands and wives—a setup that some ...1