Dr. Helen has this piece.
I think the greatest, most astonishing fact that I am aware of in social science right now is that women have been able to hear the labor market screaming out ‘You need more education’ and have been able to respond to that, and men have not,” said Michael Greenstone, an M.I.T. economics professor who was not involved in Professor Autor’s work. “And it’s very, very scary for economists because people should be responding to price signals. And men are not. It’s a fact in need of an explanation.” …
Perhaps the men HAVE, Dr. Greenstone. The women are heading to college in droves. In and of itself, that would be no big deal, but here’s the problem: THEY ARE GRADUATING COLLEGE WITH HIGH LEVELS OF STUDENT LOAN DEBT. In doing this, they are damaging their marriageability.
The men aren’t heading to college at the same rates, and that is not a bad thing. If the men seek to learn trades at tech schools and 2-year institutions–taking on little or no debt–they are going to be better-prepared for the volatile economy that is going to shed the fluffy corporate jobs when the money runs out.
Instead of making marriage more attractive, he said, it might be better for society to help make men more attractive.
If women are piling on the student loan debt, then they are damaging their attractiveness. What we need is a larger discussion about what attracts the sexes. The women are being sold a certain bill of goods, and so are the men. And both sexes are getting screwed.
One of the woman commenters of the NY Times article had this to say:
As the mother of a teenaged girl and a teenaged boy I see the differences between the two of them and between their friends. The modern world and the modern economy agrees with the girls: they see that the glass ceiling is diminishing, they see that their attention to detail and adaptability are valued, they see the world as open before them. The boys? A little less so — generally they are less mature as they leave HS, they sense that the 20th century order, which gave them an instant leg-up, is vanishing.
All the encouragement the baby boom heaped on their daughters is paying off. But we didn’t mean for it to come off the backs of our sons. I think the shift in the economy is reinforcing/ exaggerating the result. It’s in popular culture everywhere, the new woman so strong and smart, the new man so backward and foolish.
Sadly, she is correct. Encouraging women was not the problem; doing this while attacking masculinity was the problem. We have sowed, and we are reaping.
Another observer noticed:
Males are now being given a “boot on the neck” and so this has nothing to do with any sort of level playing field. Males are expected to build, repair, transport, and defend everything…while women are free from any such expectations.
This is an economic reality that Badger or Dalrock or Keoni Galt–not sure which one–alluded to last week: the difference between men and women in the economy is that, whereas a woman is not expected to produce more than she consumes, the same is not true of the man. Economically, the men are expected to produce more.
So denigrating the men–and re-engineering the economy in a way that rewards services rather than production–is disastrous to men on a grand scale. And when that service-oriented economy eventually tanks, the misery is going to be across the board.
Dr. Helen nails it:
Boys and men right now are off to a bad start from day one and those who don’t go along with the female -privileged society are stuck on the sidelines. A boy’s typical day might be one with a single mom, mostly female teachers who rarely give him a break, a culture that tells him he is a pervert, TV shows, bulletin boards and news shows portraying him as a rapist and domestic violence abuser and all around bad guy. It’s no wonder men have opted out of an economy and culture that values them so little.
We’re due for the mother of all re-adjustments.