The Economist proclaims that men are “The Weaker Sex”

Summary: A trend goes mainstream when it appears on the cover of the major weekly news magazines. So it is with the end of men. It’s a trend long in the making, now visible to all who care to see. But seeing the past tells us little about the future. What’s the effect of this trend on society? How will men respond to this new challenge?  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

The Economist cover, 30 May 2015

They talk about ‘a woman’s sphere’
As though it has a limit;
There’s not a spot on sea or shore,
In sanctum, office, shop or store,
Without a woman in it.
— Anonymous, from Jennie Day Haines’ Sovereign Woman Versus Mere Man (1905).

The weaker sex
The Economist, 30 May 2015.

AT FIRST glance the patriarchy appears to be thriving. More than 90% of presidents and prime ministers are male, as are nearly all big corporate bosses. Men dominate finance, technology, films, sports, music and even stand-up comedy. In much of the world they still enjoy social and legal privileges simply because they have a Y chromosome.

Yet there is plenty of cause for concern. Men cluster at the bottom as well as the top. They are far more likely than women to be jailed, estranged from their children, or to kill themselves. They earn fewer university degrees than women. Boys in the developed world are 50% more likely to flunk basic maths, reading and science entirely.

One group in particular is suffering (see article). Poorly educated men in rich countries have had difficulty coping with the enormous changes in the labour market and the home over the past half-century. As technology and trade have devalued brawn, less-educated men have struggled to find a role in the workplace.

Women, on the other hand, are surging into expanding sectors such as health care and education, helped by their superior skills. As education has become more important, boys have also fallen behind girls in school (except at the very top). Men who lose jobs in manufacturing often never work again. And men without work find it hard to attract a permanent mate. The result, for low-skilled men, is a poisonous combination of no job, no family and no prospects. …

This leader and the article tell the simple truth.

End of Men - cover
Available at Amazon.

From my April post

Women have won the gender revolution.

In 2009 I wrote a series about the coming gender role reversal — women on top of men (links below). There were also others seeing this coming. This insight went mainstream with “The End of Men” by Hanna Rosin in The Atlantic of 8 June 2010:

Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way — and its vast cultural consequences.

The more interesting fact is that this was seen first on the street — the wisdom of crowds at work (emphasis added):

… In the ’90s, when {biologist Ronald Ericsson} looked into the numbers for the two dozen or so clinics that use his process {sex selection}, he discovered, to his surprise, that couples were requesting more girls than boys, a gap that has persisted …  In some clinics the ratio is now as high as 2 to 1. … A newer method for sperm selection, called MicroSort, {has} girl requests … at about 75%.

… “It’s the women who are driving all the decisions,” he says — a change the MicroSort spokespeople I met with also mentioned. At first, Ericsson says, women who called his clinics would apologize and shyly explain that they already had two boys. “Now they just call and [say] outright, ‘I want a girl.’ These mothers look at their lives and think their daughters will have a bright future their mother and grandmother didn’t have, brighter than their sons, even, so why wouldn’t you choose a girl?”

Her article is well-stocked with data and logic, which I will not repeat here. Read it. Better yet read her book The End of Men: And the Rise of Women. It’s not just that women are doing better (that’s a good thing), but that the absolute condition of men is deteriorating.

4 March 1999: The Economist predicts $5 oil!
4 March 1999: The Economist predicts $5 oil!

The silver lining

“Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.”
— Attributed to General George Patton.

The Economist has a history of boldly extrapolating trends at the moment they change. As with their famous 4 March 1999 cover story announcing that oil — then $10/barrel — was going to $5. That prediction marked the the absolute low for oil prices.

Perhaps men will rise to the new challenge offered by women.

For More Information

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about women and gender issues, especially these about the coming reversal of roles:

  1. Women dominating the ranks of college graduates – What’s the effect on America?
  2. A better answer to “why women outperform men in college?”
  3. The feminist revolutionaries have won. Insurgents have arisen to challenge the new order. As always, they’re outlaws.
  4. The revolution in gender roles reshapes society in ways too disturbing to see.
  5. A look ahead at the New America, after the gender wars.
  6. Books to help us see the strange new world following the revolution in gender roles.
  7. Women have won the gender revolution.



37 thoughts on “The Economist proclaims that men are “The Weaker Sex””

  1. Number one, the strength of women is based on being week.

    Number 2, Women are like Nuclear War (See WarGames)

    Number 3, Its going mainstream in 2015 as you anticipated

  2. Editor,

    1) There is no need to marry or have children when all men actually want is sex. Vasagel, a non hormonal tech is coming in 2017, even more, dont be surprised if men fund this crowdfunding style to happen, videogames/movies got million of dollars , I can see vasagel being funded globally with 15-100 million dollars.

    2)remember virtual realistic porn is coming, men dont really like women for their personality in 99% of the cases, realistic porn VR and sexdolls-bots hybrids will solve that eventually

    3)I read all of the posts

    1. Weakersex,

      (1) Men still get married despite easy access to sex since the “revolution” in the 1960s gave easy access to sex. I believe that the rate of marriage will decrease, especially in the lower classes — but due to rising inequality washing away the economic foundations of the nuclear family.

      (2) Increased access to more realistic porn has been a trend for many generations. Perhaps a tipping point will be reached after which it will substantially decrease marriage rates; but that’s wild guessing at this point.

      (3) If you believe women are doing well because they’re weak, you have learned nothing from the facts I’ve cited about women’s increasing education advantage over men — and perhaps their superior ability to advance in bureaucracies once the drag of sexism is lifed.

    2. 1) 70% of men aged 20-34 unmarried:

      ”(3) If you believe women are doing well because they’re weak, you have learned nothing from the facts I’ve cited about women’s increasing education advantage over men — and perhaps their superior ability to advance in bureaucracies once the drag of sexism is lifted”

      Women can leverage the fact that they are victims to their advantage more so than men. And 2ndly women’s increasing education advantage does not indicate that the degrees that they have gotten is not a waste of money like gender studies or women’s studies.

      1. infowarrior,

        “70% of men aged 20-34 unmarried”

        Marriage in the late 20’s was common in history as a means of lowering the Total Fertility Rate. We’re back there again for different but still economic reasons, but it’s nothing new. It hardly shows that marriage is going out of fashion.

  3. Relative weakness drives many innovation in asymmetrical techniques,
    Is the soft water softer than the rock?
    it depends on the time frame.

  4. Sexbots will change everything.
    Biologists can currently print out human skin on demand (the technology of injet bubble printers turns out to adapt easily to printing out stem cells instead of ink droplets). Once a carbon-fiber robot chassis with rudimentary programming gets covered with warm human skin, it’s safe to say that many of these issues will become much more…interesting.

    1. Thomas,

      That’s a great point. At some point synthetic women will pass through the “uncanny valley” in appearance. By that time their operating system might be close to AI-levels. That will mark a milestone, perhaps a singularity, in human history. It’s difficult to imagine what lies beyond.

  5. Ester Villabal

    I think what San Martin said about women being strong based on being weak, means that society gives it easier to us because we are weaker, but gives it easier to us in excessive proportion. That is where his point aims, I think.

    It’s like golf handicap, but given in excess,a little bit in excess

  6. The women’s movement is about (1) destroying the patriarchy – which means using misandric laws to force the redistribution/theft of wealth and power from men to women, (2) liberating women sexually – which means making it acceptable for women to cuckold their husbands/boyfriends and (3) freeing women from the slavery of marriage – which means making the state the father so that women can sleep with whom they choose while still transferring men’s wealth to themselves via taxes, child support, free childcare, paid maternity leave, WIC, SNAP, etc, etc, etc.

    Women are only doing well because they have the VAWA, Yes Means Yes, Title IX, no-fault divorce, alimony, child support (alimony light), false rape, false DV, false harassment, false sexual assault, exemption from selective service, Affirmative Action, SNAP, WIC, women-only scholarships, lighter/no punishment for equal crimes, use of state and federal funds for majority/female only funding and soon paid maternity leave and free child care for single mothers are all designed to force the redistribution/theft of wealth and power from men to women. Who enacted/will enact these laws? The white knights of the patriarchy – at the behest of the pathologically narcissistic, entitled gynocracy. Why? To get elected/re-elected – the majority of men have been tossed mercilessly under the bus – by other men – for decades. If you ever wondered why women weren’t allowed to vote in the past – this is the reason. They’ll vote for socialism/Marxism (state enforced redistribution/theft of wealth) every time.

    Women are doing well thanks to the forced/redistributed wealth and power from men to women. In Sweden, under threat of fines or dissolution, the feminist government is demanding at least a 40% representation by women on all corporate boards.

    You guys get all this, right? The patriarchy is purposefully destroying lower class men in favor of women. Women aren’t beating men. Men are being purposefully destroyed through force of misandric law.

    1. You hit the nail right on the head, feminist groups and males who support them, want women to eventually have absolute power over all men indefinitely. Feminist are building a society where males will be in a slave class, the least educated, the least employed, little or no social, political or economic power.

      In countries like Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, U.K. males are deemed “non essential for parenting” and as women become even more empowered in society, feminist will see that males are “non essential” for voting, higher education, holding public office, property ownership and whatever they (women) deem as non-essential for males in their society. Feminist already have a solution to the problem of “males not marrying” as they see women becoming so powerful in the not to distant future. The matriarchs like mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, will decide how single and divorced males will be paired off to women for women by law. This is slowly be introduced into society as the number of “househusbands” increases exponentially every year. Indeed feminist want all males barefoot and in the kitchen, and they will not yield until their goal is achieved !

  7. Sex-bots… great… I suppose they’ll be popular in the future.

    Also FYI, there’s more to growing artificial skin, and artificial human tissue in general, than just laying down a layer of skin cells in the right shape — unless you’re just interested in growing a tumor. You’ll need to form and/or grow blood vessels and deliver blood just to get those to grow right. And if you wanted your product to survive for any amount of time, you’d want an immune system, a lymphatic system, and provide all kinds of regulatory physical and chemical functions that our endocrine system and nervous system does for us. If you’re planning to have sex with the frankenstein you made (ugh), you’d want it to do all the subtle things we do when we get excited / aroused etc. Don’t hold your breath. Assembling pieces of living organisms is a technology that’s just starting out — long, long way to go.

    Instead, here’s my 2 cents for an affordable, more or less existing technology that’ll change male-female relations — the ability to choose the gender of your child.

    1. Peteybee,

      (1) Sex selection (as described in this post) is already re-shaping societies — in Asia. I don’t know what the effect will be on other nations. So far it seems to have had little effect in Europe, USA, and Japan.

      (2) I agree that fully alive skin on robots is far off. But good-enough “skin” is probably much closer.

      I believe this should be seen as an evolution towards substitutes for females. I suspect (annec-data) that porn and games have already reached a critical level of intensity where they are partial substitutes — and both continue to evolve rapidly. And that’s just the start. The next stage is sex dolls becoming sex bots; we can only guess at its effect.

    2. Actually, it could be argued that the technology with which parents can select the gender of their child is already available and being used in several countries — particularly those countries such as China and India in which male children have traditionally been regarded as more valuable than female children because they continued the family line and retained the family assets when their parents died. (In these countries, a woman traditionally became part of her husband’s family when she married, and all her assets and achievements transferred to her new family…with the result that daughters were regarded as being less of an asset than sons.)

      The “technology” to which I refer, of course, is the use of infanticide — and anyone who’s aware of the practice is also aware that female children are aborted or killed more often than male children. Brutal, yes — but there’s no disputing the fact that it happens, and there’s really no way to deny that this is a remarkably effective (although extraordinarily ruthless and draconian) method of gender selection.

    3. @bluestocking-

      You’re completely right. I think couples who go for modern day fertility treatments can do it too, without having to kill any babies, but that’s still somewhat fancy. I was imagining the technology reduced to an at-home kit, that a pharmacy might have for like $20 . . . . use the blue applicator / implant-device / pill to make a male child, or the pink one to make a female child.

    4. While there’s no question that the method you’ve imagined is infinitely more humane than infanticide, it actually increases the risk of the kind of situation which China is facing now as a result of the “one-child policy” over the past thirty-plus years combined with the traditional preference for male children. China is finding that there aren’t enough women to go around, with the result being a situation similar to that described in the article in which a significant number of men are unable to find partners — and if you think that’s difficult here, imagine how difficult that is in a culture which values the family as much as the Chinese do, and not just in terms of surviving family. Communism was only established in China within living memory (which is not even a blip in the scope of human history) and it’s hard to swallow the idea that Communism completely wiped out thousands of years of Chinese tradition. Unfortunately, the gender imbalance in China has reportedly contributed to a rise in kidnappings and sex trafficking — and there is historical data from China as well as other cultures which suggests that an excess of men also leads to increases in violence and crime.

      I think it’s worth pointing out here that in most species on this planet, it’s almost always the female and not the male which ultimately makes the decision regarding whether or not a male will be permitted to mate and pass his genes onto the next generation! To the best of my knowledge, Homo sapiens is one of the few species on this planet in which males have significant input in the mating decision — and it’s just about the only species in which a male can force himself sexually on a female and make her become pregnant completely against her wishes. In most species, males fight or sing or dance in order to demonstrate their worth to the females…but this still doesn’t change the fact that in the overwhelming majority of species, the male doesn’t get to mate unless the female agrees to it. No matter how much effort a male might put into proving himself to a female, this is still no guarantee that he’ll be chosen…and since the the majority of species are polygynous in which females only choose to mate with the strongest and/or dominant male(s), that means that the majority of males don’t get to mate AT ALL. EVER.

      The difficulty with gender imbalance (as we’re already seeing in China) is the fact that it raises the risk of one gender tyrannizing the other…but not necessarily the one which is in the majority! The laws of supply and demand state that when a commodity considered highly desirable is in short supply, demand increases and prices rise simply because people are willing to pay more to have access to it. In China, some men are evidently willing to take desperate measures in order to have access to women — they’re willing to commit actions which are widely regarded around the world as not merely unethical but violent and criminal. It’s possible that this could also be, and probably is, also being expressed in a slightly more benign but still oppressive way — it seems reasonable that a shortage of women might facilitate an unhealthy degree of possessiveness in men, quite possibly leading to a rise in domestic violence (since abusers tend to be controlling, insecure, and jealous). However, it’s also possible that the women in such a situation could turn the tables and use such a situation to their advantage even though they are in the minority.

  8. One of the readings one can make of this state of affairs regarding gender roles, the traditional family and child rising is that it represents a going back to a previous fork in the road, the fork where we started what we call civilization, around 6000 years ago. Instead of a “Back to the Future” its a “Forward to the Past” kind of phenomenon. As Daniel Amneus illustrates in his Book Garbage Generation.

    Pre-Civilization cultures were non-patriarcal/matrilineal/matriarchies it is precisely the system we know as patriarchy which gave birth to civilization itself, until then humans were for tens of thousands of years and mammals for 65 million years matriarchies, as the term mammal suggest. To make the concept clear and concise, women did almost everything and run the community, nest, tribe, clan village, group of animals, males were transient and females reproduced with a series of males, mammals and humans had no “father” in the no-biological sense of the word, the were no fathers, there were only males.

    Paradoxically, it is said and believed that not supporting feminism is retrograde, something from the past, that patriarchy is cave-man like, brutish and uncivilized, when in fact the opposite is correct, patriarchy got all of us (including women) out of the caves and into civilization.

    We need to understand that this is not a mere issue of womens sexuality, liberation, its is not an issue of what is “right” or “wrong” transitioning out of patriarchy into “equality” is messing with the key mechanism or system that enabled civilization. Its not like computers and planes and technology, roads, etc. are going to espontaneously combust when we phase out of the patriarcal system, no, our very intelligent plan is something like this: “the social system that enabled civilization is not cool anymore, lets go back to the system we had in the stone age, its wise and ancient and it worked for 99% of our time as humans”

    So that you paint in your head a clear picture of what a modern culture society that is non-patriarcal looks like, some of the few examples are the afroamerican ghetto, the northamerican indians reservations and the slums of Brazil and Jamaica.

    When women go back to behaving like in the stone age, guess what men are going to do? Yes, behave like they did in the stone age, only that adapted to the times.

    1. Eject,

      Daniel Amenuus (Prof English, Cal State – LA) says “Pre-Civilization cultures were …”

      Color me skeptical. Without time travel, how can we know? Cave paintings are the only evidence we have about human gender relations before the invention of writing, and I doubt much can be inferred from them. I am especially skeptical of people speculating with such certainty.

  9. From the Patriarchy wiki:
    “Anthropological evidence suggests that most prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies were relatively egalitarian, and that patriarchal social structures did not develop until many years after the end of the Pleistocene era, following social and technological innovations such as agriculture and domestication.[12][13][14] According to Robert M. Strozier, historical research has not yet found a specific “initiating event”.[15] Some scholars point to about six thousand years ago (4000 BCE), when the concept of fatherhood took root, as the beginning of the spread of patriarchy.[16][17]

    However James DeMeo argues that a specific initiating event does exist: the geographical record shows that climate change around 4000 BCE led to famines in the Sahara, Arabian peninsula and what are now the Central Asian deserts which then resulted in the adoption of warlike, patriarchal structures in order to secure food sources:

    Famine, starvation and mass-migrations related to land-abandonment severely traumatised the originally peaceful and sex-positive inhabitants of those lands, inducing a distinct turning away from original matrism towards patristic forms of behaviour.[18]”

  10. There are other ways of knowing societal structures besides written history as you know, for example, via DNA analysis it is known that 40% of all men that existed and 80% of women that existed have descendents that are alive today.

    In matriarchies, more women get to reproduce than men, because they ride an alpha cock carrousel, namely, they all fuck the top 20-40%. resulting in poligyny,
    but not that of a patriarcal harem, but that of the male stud.

    In patriarchies, most men and women get to reproduce.

    1. Mar,

      Re: determining social structure from DNA

      It is not my field, but that sounds to me like one of Kipling’s “Just so stories” (how the elephant got his trunk), the sort of fun guessing which overflows from the Internet.

      Can you cite some research on that? For example, on the DNA results from patriarchies vs matriarchies — esp in pastoral or hunter-gatherer societies (i.e., dynamics in agricultural or urban societies might differ greatly from patriarchal or matriarchal societies in earlier forms).

    1. Mar,

      I do not even see any references here to patriarchal or matriarchal societies, let alone to reproductive success rates of men vs women varying by the type of society.

      Please don’t just mine Google for a phrase. Explain how the study you cite supports your point, or give a relevant quote.

      Not saying this is true of you, but my experience of people posting just URLs is that they tend to not support his assertion — sometimes contradicting it.

    1. >This looks quite irrelevant to anything you said.

      They mention polygyny in the conclusion section.

      “The practice of polygyny, in both the traditional sense and via ‘‘effective
      polygyny’’ (whereby males tend to father children with
      more females than females do with males—a common
      practice in many contemporary western cultures [Low
      2000]), would tend to increase the variance in reproductive
      success among males, thereby lowering their Ne relative to

  11. In Argentina, the Peronist/K males we have a saying, “if we get organized, we all get laid” thats what patriarchy is basically all about.

  12. ““Genetic Evidence for Unequal Effective Population Sizes of Human Females and Males”

    This looks quite irrelevant to anything you said.”

    You just dont have any idea of how euphemistic scientists can be.

  13. “that says you’re right”

    Right about what? You’re the one making all the assertions.”

    Negative assertions are assertions too

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