Men Can Be Disposable, But Are They Ending?

January 29th, 2013 by Pelle Billing

The Good Men Project Magazine is currently running a series on male disposability, where I have contributed an article:

During the past few years a number of voices have questioned whether maleness has any intrinsic value. The basic line of reasoning seems to be that post-industrial society is better suited to women, and that men no longer have any unique contributions to make. The most famous spokesperson for these ideas is perhaps Hanna Rosin, who wrote the article and subsequent book The End of Men.

Rosin posits that women are better suited to our current economy, since they excel at social intelligence, open communication and the ability to sit still and focus. Men, on the other hand, are only better at being big and strong. Women have the traits needed today, men have the traits needed yesterday.

Ultimately, the question asked is the same as the title of Maureen Dowd’s book: Are Men Necessary? Considering how well women are doing in our current economy, this question would seem to be both timely and pertinent. Perhaps maleness is out of fashion—no longer adding any real value—and the best we can do is resocialize men into women, if that is even possible.

Read all…

I may well write more articles for them, so stayed tuned for further updates.

2 Responses to “Men Can Be Disposable, But Are They Ending?”

  1. Chris Marshall Says:

    Pelle:

    Loved the article. The line that struck me was this: However, for every man who stops building something in the physical world, there is a man who starts building something in the more abstract world.

    To read Hanna’s book, you would think that women’s greater emotional intelligence, and ability to focus, would give them an edge in abstract system building, but it hasn’t. Why is that?

    I suspect risk-taking is the key, both in the physical world, and in abstract worlds. Consider one of the fundamental pieces of the internet: TCP/IP. What was required to “build” that? A life long fascination with tinkering with computers and communication theory.

    Where does the risk come in?

    For every technologist that successfully launches a project like the fomulation of TCP/IP, there are thousands whose projects took second or third behind the winner, if they got noticed at all. And those men who devoted their lives to tinkering were not only never rewarded for their work, they did it instead of building stable, well paying careers.

    The risk in deep tinkering is that no one pays you up-front to do it. They only pay you once your project hits a home run.

    That’s why men dominate fields that require deep tinkering on your own time and dime. On average, the hardly pay anything.

  2. Pelle Billing Says:

    Very good points, Chris. Risk taking, and the simple love of tinkering.

    Another example is open source software. Men spend hours adding code to these open code bases, without getting paid. Simply because they love building it and they love exploring and understanding the system.

    Google couldn’t have launched without open source software. It’s breathtaking, really, when you think about it.

    Another example is the countless startups in Silicon Valley and around the world. Men spend years working around the clock, knowing that most startups fail.


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