This week’s Spectator cover features a piece by Liza Mundy, whose 2011 book The Richer Sex made the case that women in America are quickly becoming the higher income earners, poised to become the family breadwinners within a generation. Mundy’s book posits this as a good thing, claiming that the economic liberation of women can only lead to the liberation of men as well, and the betterment of society as a whole.
Mundy now turns her eye to the UK where, she claims, that the same phenomenon is occurring.
“Assuming present trends continue, by the next generation, more families will be supported by women than by men,” Mundy wrote in a similar article for TIME in March.
But is it really? And how should we feel about it?
Fraser Nelson says men need to lose their ‘hang-ups’
Nelson declared the article the “most startling” the magazine has run, noting that “Brits tend to joke about this, and talk about being ‘pursewhipped,’ the Americans are taking it seriously and understanding how it is changing society forever.” He continued, “This means that my two sons can expect to grow up in a Britain very unlike the one I grew up in. They will see a country where the majority of doctors are women, where being female means you will do better at school and are more likely to go to university…. This is the natural and inevitable consequence of the era where they are better-educated. This is not just economic.” Mundy’s findings and the phenomenon of female breadwinners will even affect our sex lives, he said, noting that “studies showing that men out-earned by their wives are more likely to take medicine for erectile dysfunction.” All this “needless unhappiness”, he concluded, means that women need to stop worrying about “marrying down” and men need to lose their hang-ups about women earning more.
Spectator readers are scared
One commenter on Nelson’s blog post was clearly terrified at the prospect, writing, “[P]repare for a higher male suicide rate, economic malaise and more social breakdown. Until the power of the Metropolitan elites and their feminised culture is broken, the future could be bleak for men.” Another agreed, “The feminisation of our society has been absolutely disastrous and is probably one of the reasons that government has a tendency to treat the adult population like a kindergarten class.” And still another added, “A world ruled directly by women would be hell: bitchy, nasty, devious – just like how schoolgirls bully others. The stupidness of our celebrity society is largely due to female influence: TV is female-led and female-aimed.”
Nope, there’s still a wage gap – it’s just transformed into a baby pay gap
Women are closing the pay gap, but their median wage remains about 11 percent below their male counterparts, pointed out Alex Hern at the New Statesman. But that doesn’t mean that this trend will continue, making women the “richer sex” – especially since, as he noted, the gender pay gap has really just become the baby pay gap. The pay gap between single men and women is -1.1 percent, but for between men and women who are married, living together or in a civil partnership is 14.5 percent. Said Hern, “The problem is that we have a legal system which emphatically reinforces the idea of women as carers and from that, we get the society we deserve. With the discrepancy between paternity and maternity leave, it’s made unfairly difficult for a family to fight traditional gender roles.”
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