Welcome to the year 2020, when women now comprise the majority of the workforce. It only took 50 years. “The [jobs] report strongly suggests that the labor market dynamics are tilting in the direction of women,” said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM US. “We often look for tangible evidence of change. It is now here in the data.”
Well, yes they do compose most of the workforce. Why might this be? There are lots of reasons, but one of them is that they have what one might suggest are artificial advantages over men, be it affirmative action, being slotted for cushy office jobs, etc.
Some will cheer this phenomenon as a boon for women and for society, but it is anything but. When men dominate the workforce, there’s no negative effect on marriage and family formation. But unemployed and underemployed men have 0% chance of finding a wife.
Apparently nobody ever thought about that. Perhaps it is not important to a society.
Actually, even gainfully employed men have trouble finding a wife, at least one can be happy (that is for another post).
We envision ourselves progressive when it comes to women and work, but women are still (and always will be) the sex that gets pregnant. As such, they know that if they want to have children, and if they want the option of taking care of those children, if only for a few years, they need a competent working husband on whom they can rely. Women also aren’t attracted to men who lack ambition or drive. A man doesn’t need to be rich, but he needs to know where he’s going and how he’s going to get there.
Well, yes, envisioning yourself as being progressive is a thing, though it is a thing that doesn’t necessarily make sense (but it can make one feel good).
Actually ambition and drive are often not enough. Women only want the best. Will the understanding of this concept ever become mainstream? Probably not.
We cannot reverse the sexes in this scenario and end up with the same result. A woman’s employment status determines zero of her physical attractiveness. The average man isn’t looking for a woman who can support him (nor is his desire for her related to her level of ambition), so his attachment to work is very different from a woman’s. Work is a man’s identity, his means of being useful.
Ok then, old time people understood this. Now we have de-motivated men. Whose fault is that?
To be clear, this is not an argument against women being in the workforce at all.
Let’s face it. It kind of is.
“Gen X here, and I can say that I have worked my entire adult life, full-time and through college, supported my unemployed husband when he was out of work and currently earn more than he does. AND I HATE IT. Bitter is not a strong enough word for how I feel,” writes Karen
So she is bitter, really bitter. Is her situation terrible? Probably not. She undoubtedly has lots of material things and you-go-girl accolades. Why should she be bitter?
Men can burn out too, of course, but they don’t typically fantasize about dropping out of the workforce or being unemployed.
Actually many do fantasize, and some actually live their fantasy. These days, it is a rather large number. Short answer — the incentives are kind of gone.
At the end of the day, nothing good will come from men being displaced by women in the workforce. This phenomenon has, and will continue to, create a sharp decline in marriage and family formation and will increase the likelihood of divorce and even death.
That’s not progress. That’s regress.
Yes it is. Or no it isn’t. Depends on your point of view. If you are a white man, the correct types do want regress.
Exit question — What is the future of work for men?