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Spiegel's interview on: "The End of Working Class Men in America!"

by Democrats Ramshield Wed Jan 9th, 2013 at 12:29:24 PM EST

(This review is written by a male Business Librarian, who holds MBA, MLS degrees, the diary is written from the perspective of an American Expat living in Germany!)


The German mainstream magazine Der Spiegel, which may be thought of as the German speaking world's equivalent of Time Magazine, published an important article translated into its English language edition of an interview given by the controversial author Hanna Rosin, critically acclaimed book "The End of Men." This in the world of business and economics sets out in broad strokes the case for the end of the blue collar working class American male.

Spiegel quote:Former city of industry Detroit: "Factories close and the men don't have jobs anymore."

In a SPIEGEL interview, Israeli-American author Hanna Rosin, 42, whose book "The End of Men" is to be published in Germany this month, discusses the identity crisis being experienced by the male sex in America. Men, she argues, are the losers in the economic downturn because they are too rigid and inflexible.

SPIEGEL: Ms. Rosin, the title of your book sounds like a declaration of war: "The End of Men." What are you trying to say with that title?

Rosin........It's as if I planted a stop sign in the ground and now the whole world is debating over it.

Certainly this is a global topic, but it should be said that given the weak American social safety net, it is clearly more of a topic in America than it is in virtually any other major industrialized nation in the world, where a stronger social safety net is present to catch people when they fall!

SPIEGEL: Listening to you speak, it would be easy to get the impression that you consider men obsolete.

Rosin: In certain parts of American society, they truly are, but I think it's awful. Among the working class, more than half of children of mothers under 30 are now born to unmarried women. ....... Men aren't able to find jobs anymore, and they're withdrawing from society, essentially creating a matriarchy.For the upper social classes, marriage is still a successful model, but for poorer people it's not.

Let me say if I may please, that this is the essence that is the very definition of class warfare on the American working class, which seeks to invalidate the institution of marriage as a viable institution, whose benefits and protections are extended to working class persons. This is made possible in America only through the lowest rate of unionization of a number of other major industrialized countries. In Germany where the rate of unionization is substantially higher, we don't see the same type of dynamic at play.


SPIEGEL: You've certainly succeeded in being provocative -- your thesis has ignited a heated debate in the United States. Yet men dominate politics and finance, they head at least 95 percent of the world's wealthiest corporations, hold 82 percent of the seats in the US Congress..... Isn't it a bit premature to declare their end?

Rosin: Yes, of course. But what I've found is that there is an enormous shift taking place in our society. Suddenly there are all these young women who are better educated and earning more money than men their age..........

At this point please let's not allow ourselves to be confused. In orchestrating these events, the 1% wasn't trying to raise the status of women in American culture, but rather their intent was to degrade the status of the working class male and their families by the wholesale de-industrialization of America's high wage unionized manufacturing workforce, comprised historically in America primarily of working class men since the inception of industrialization.  
What about the patriarchal system in places like the Bible belt or even many metro areas in Blue States? How does Rosin feel about that?


Rosin: "Yes, the changes are dramatic, especially because the patriarchal system is still very pronounced in these places. The boss of a big factory is at the very top of the hierarchy, followed by his managers, and then women are all the way at the bottom. No one questions this arrangement, because it's justified by the Bible: The man is the head of the family, meant to lead and to preach. Then suddenly, economic realities change. Factories close and the men don't have jobs anymore. Their work defined their masculinity, and from one moment to the next it all falls apart. The men seem paralyzed."

I would hasten to add that it's not just the men who are paralyzed, but entire working class American communities have been gripped by paralysis. There are no lawful nationwide mass demonstrations against what is happening to the American working class families. Certainly paralysis is an apt description of what is happening in working class America today.

SPIEGEL: What changes does that bring about?

Rosin:  Even if in many cases it's the woman providing for the family, for example working as a nurse, the unemployed man remains the head of the family. She earns the money, but he makes the decisions, with his authority now entirely founded on spirituality.


Clearly we don't want to demean anyone's spiritual view of their world, because that is the basic tenet of intellectual freedom that we Americans hold dear. Concurrently spirituality cannot change in itself, the economic reality faced by American working class families which is that the policies of the 1% are bent on their destruction. But it doesn't have to be that way, because working Americans deserve better than that. They deserve the same kind of social safety net enjoyed by their European counterparts, as well as others in major industrialized countries the world over. The simple fact is that working class American families just aren't being allowed to participate fully in the wealth they have created by their own hard work. Its blue collar men today, but who will it be tomorrow that suffers. Or do we honestly believe that any of us will be allowed to escape the unbridled avarice and robber baron antics of the 1%.  

SPIEGEL: What does that mean exactly?

Rosin:  ........This is why marriages are failing, and mothers are raising their children alone. Many women would rather remain alone than marry a man who can't contribute anything to the family's income.


SPIEGEL: You write that recent developments in the American economy have hit men harder than women, because women have reacted more flexibly to the changed demands of the job market. Can you back up that theory?

Rosin: It's a fact that within the space of a few decades, women have achieved a massive shift in the role they play..........In comparison, little has changed about the way men act. The financial crisis has caused the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs in the US -- yet men aren't moving into traditionally female growth sectors such as healthcare or education, even when those are the only jobs still available. That brings about the societal tensions I've just described: men who are the head of the family, but unemployed, and women who are the family breadwinner, but not by choice.

Rosin:How about female dominated professions like teaching!
Rosin quote: ........Public sector jobs are cyclical. Teachers get fired when money is tight, then rehired when things get better. Manufacturing jobs, on the other hand, aren't coming back. They're relics of a past age.

Americans have been lied to by the Business establishment!
Where I live in Germany manufacturing jobs on the other hand never left, as such they are relics of the present which have made Germany the 2nd largest export nation in the world and the richest nation in the European Union!!


SPIEGEL: So marriage is indeed the "private playground of those already blessed with abundance," as sociologist Brad Wilcox puts it?

Rosin: It is, and the statistics prove it. People with a college education are now less likely to divorce than they were a few decades ago, and they're more likely to describe their marriages as happy. That finding really surprised me. It appears that those with a higher education have been more able to dismantle strict traditional roles and, in doing so, gain more freedom. I call it a seesaw marriage, one in which both the man and the woman take turns being the breadwinner, making it possible for each of them to experience career advancements or breaks at different times.

Let me leave you with a final quote form the interview.
"Rosin: An increasing number of men are failing during their education, losing their jobs and then not managing to get back on their feet, so women have had to step in. The driving force here isn't feminist conviction, it's economic necessity."

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Here is the link to the full Spiegel diary! http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/spiegel-interview-with-hanna-rosin-on-the-new-gender-crisi s-a-875639.html


New York Times.  
Published: September 13, 2012

 "The End of Men"? This is not a title; it is a sound bite. But Hanna Rosin means it. The revolution feminists have been waiting for, she says, is happening now, before our very eyes. Men are losing their grip, patriarchy is crumbling and we are reaching "the end of 200,000 years of human history and the beginning of a new era" in which women -- and womanly skills and traits -- are on the rise."

"As Rosin herself shows, men at "the top" of society are not "ending." It is all happening to the lower and middle classes, because "the end of men" is the end of a manufacturing-based economy and the men who worked there, many of whom are now unemployed, depressed, increasingly dependent on the state and women to support them."
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/books/review/the-end-of-men-by-hanna-rosin.html?pagewanted=all& ;_r=0

Clearly this diary has been a BOOK discussion of the far reaching deleterious effects on working class American males throughout the manufacturing industry, in an America that is being rapidly de-industrialized. But please let's not forget the plight of working class American women, both in the job force and at home, many of whom are single head of households, whose lives are likewise being devastated by the policies of the 1%.  To win in America all we have to do is to care about each other and stick together!If we are looking for change we must look to the Occupy movement to provide that peaceful nonviolent approach to change in helping to elect better
progressive politicians to public office. The Occupy movement and the
American unions are the last great hope of the American working class dream!!

Thanks for taking the time to read my diary! Please post below!

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Thanks for your diary. I wonder how many men will enter the traditional "female" fields of teaching, nursing, childcare, etc., in order to have any job at all. I wonder how many will bone up on their child-rearing, house-keeping, home-maintaining skills in order to be of use to a woman who is the primary bread-winner?

The house-husband role is still reacted to with a touch of scorn, pity or humor when encountered by many, though it seems to me to be a valid and necessary and honorable endeavor.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sat Jan 12th, 2013 at 10:40:04 AM EST
Most women aren't interested in this kind of man. They'd rather be single.

The working class male will become a permanent underclass. It will be a gradually diminishing class, since they will commit suicide at a large rate. Unless wars can be invented to keep them busy.

When robots start taking over more or most of the simple jobs, that's the future for the working class women as well. And the middle class.

sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 05:32:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A few years ago I did a lazy quote diary of Galbraith's the new industrial state:
In recent times education has become the difference that divides. All who have educational advantage, as with the moneyed of an earlier day, are reminded of their noblesse oblige and also of the advantages of reticence. They should help those who are less fortunate; they must avoid reflectig aloud on their advantage in knowledge. But this doesn't serve to paper over the conflict. It is visible in almost any community.

Thus a part of the country with a high rate of accommodation to the requirements of the planning system, i.e., a good educational system and a well-qualified working force, will attract industry and have a strong aspect of well-being. It will be the natural Canaan of the more energetic among those who were brn in less favoured communities. This for long explained the migration from the South, Southwest and border states to California, the upper Middle  West and the eastern seaboard. Many of these migrants were unqualified for employment in the planning system. They thus contributed heavily to welfare and unemployment rolls in the communities to which they moved. The nature of the opprobium to which they were subject is indicated by the appellations that sometimes still are applied to them--hillbillies, Okies, junglebunnies. It is not that they were and are poorer but that they were and are culturally deprived. It is such groups, not the working proletariat, that now react in resentment and violence to their subordination.

Politics also reflects the new division. In the United States suspicion or resentment is no longer directed at the capitalists or the merely rich. It is the intellectuals--the effete snobs--who are eyed with misgiving and alarm. This should surprise no one. Nor should it be a matter of surprise when semiliterate millionnaires turn up leading or financing the ignorant in struggle against the intellectually privileged and content. This further reflects the relevant class distinction in our time.

Are things so different 50 years later? Galbraith was talking about unqualified workers becoming a permanent underclass. Now it is the manufacturing workers, qualified or not. But the cultural divide and the role of education are as important now as then.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 05:55:42 AM EST
I'll have to check my Mikes books again, he had a great line about the (British) right and left being equally selfish and tribal, but the right being cleverer.

If you have private education that costs a lot of money, class is permanent. Not because your mind is improved more that in "inferior" education, but because that's where the upper class meet.
(Of course this is bound to happen anyway: they can use débutante balls or Whites only primaries instead. But universal education can make things a bit more equal/level.)

Speaking of "semiliterate millionnaires," some Samurai were famously proud not to know arithmetic.

(PS. Many thanks for referring to the prize as the "Swedish Bank Prize". Not a real Nobel, people. Of course the comedy "Peace Prize" is a real one, so YMMV.)

sapere aude

by Number 6 on Mon Jan 14th, 2013 at 06:17:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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