Men Down, Women Up?


The media loves to make pronouncements from time to time. It’s such a black and white institution, and one that loves–thrives on– controversy. In 2010,  the Atlantic magazine published an article by Hana Rosin called, “The End of Men.”  I met Hana last December, and after talking to her for a while,  discovered that she is more of a statistical cultural observer; in other words,  her article was not opinion.  And, she told me she did not title her article. Her stats told her that women are doing better in many fields (I won’t quote her stats here, this is just a simple blog), that there is a trend of sorts to show that the balance is shifting in many areas. Yet, the Atlantic gave it the title, and the exaggerated version of what Hana found seems to have caught on. Even television is getting into the act: there are a number of new shows about men who feel lost, belittled, lesser.

But many women are not doing better, and hence my cartoon above. This is not even getting into talking about women in some third world countries, where the conditions for women are horrendous. The media grabs hold of something, promotes it because it is sensational, then we all believe it. It’s a vicious cycle.

But it is also good cartoon material.

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About Liza Donnelly

Cartoonist and writer and live drawer for The New Yorker, CBS News. Speaker for TED and others. Books: Women On Men, http://www.narrativemagazine.com/store/book/women-men
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2 Responses to Men Down, Women Up?

  1. Rob Husberg says:

    Spot-on regarding the media.
    Personally, I must admit to adhering to a perhaps naive romantic vision:
    that women & men are equally important, and that we’re all in this together:
    If one is up, that’s good for all; if down, sad for all. (However, the apparent
    dumbing-“down” of my own gender over the past couple decades, has me
    quite alarmed.) It’s too bad there’s always the contest as to who’s doing worse —
    but that’s a time-honored human foible.
    Thank goodness for humor to help put things in perspective! (This is why you
    can never retire, Liza…we need you.)
    Am looking-forward to hearing of your French adventures!

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