By Bunmi Sofola
Most men most have noticed, but they’re on the way out,” observed Benny, a highly successful engineer and a single mother of three. “Hopeless cases they are, heading for the exit. Redundant.
Finito! Soon they’ll be flattened by a horde of stampeding women, brandishing top-notch qualifications and fat salary cheques, shouting triumphantly that they don’t need men any more. Not for ANY purpose!”
What sparked Benny’s opinion is a controversial book by journalist Kama Rossin called the End of Men and subtitled And The Rise Of Women.
The author’s statistics, interviews and anecdotes imply we don’t need a wind vane to know which way the wind blows. She believes the gales of rapid social changes have blown men out into the cold.
From the sexually voracious college girls who embrace ‘hook-up culture’ (one-night stands with no strings) to women who prefer single motherhood than ambitious high fliers who are family breadwinners.
The author describes a brave new world where Alpha woman rule. “The age of testosterone is over,” she tells us.
Her arguments may hold true in certain liberal, metropolitan enclaves, but try telling all these starry-eyed women planning big society weddings and dreaming of babies here at home that they don’t need men and they’ll probably think you’d gone bonkers so would the average macho young men who hang out clubbing and watching porn if they were told of a ‘new world order.’
There is no doubt that women still experience sexism, more in some professions than others. But it’s equally alarming that there are girls who think their babies don’t need fathers and by older women who revel in men being pushed to the margins— as if in vengeance for past inequality.
Bisoye, works in communications and has two children. She ended her marriage five years ago because of the widening gulf between her and her husband in terms of education and success. “By the time my marriage ended, I was earning lots more than my husband,” she explained.
“I began to resent the fact that he spent all his money and some of mine with abandon. He was frivolous with money and liked to splash out and buy designer clothes and expensive shoes.
“It was a relief to see the back of him. As things stand now, I have no need for a new life partner, but I’d want a man who shared my aspirations to climb the career ladder and be confident and supportive.
In the meantime, I’m quite happy to bring up my children alone with their dad still involved. I see my children’s future as mirroring my own and want to ensure they have a good education that will open doors to good careers so they can be independent and won’t need to rely too heavily on their partners financially.”
Rosin, who is happily married to a high-achieving man with whom she has three children has come up with catchy titles for the qualities she believes defines each gender —’Plastic Woman’ and ‘Cardboard Man’. Plastic is bendable and infinitely useful, while cardboard is stiff and unyielding and disintegrates under too much strain.
In the end, Rosin’s ideal for marriage is most women’s too: “A woman slowly and slyly teaching her husband to notice when she needs help, and a husband pliant and loving enough to start noticing.
We’ve been debating gender differences and rights since the 18th century — and each generation needs to give these issues a fresh look. One thing is certain —there can be neither personal happiness nor social stability unless men and women allow each other to rise.
I sincerely hope that the supposed ‘end’ for men is just one stop on the journey that leads them back towards women, to raise children in equality, together. Not an end, but a thoughtful flexible, new beginning.l?
The end of men? God forbid. Because that would mean the end of women too. For no society can go forward unless the sexes live and work in harmony together…