In what possible worlds is this true?

Surely not the actual world, or at least not the philosophical part of it!

Earlier this year, the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology published a report on the effects of news about women’s progress to equality; I cannot get electronic access to it, but the Daily Beast offered the following comments last March:

[A] new report suggests that men might be less likely to hire women, mentor them, or value them as colleagues.

Male anxiety may explain the new conventional wisdom embraced by the media that women are taking over the world and headed for the best jobs, while men are flailing. After all, research tells us that men control opinion journalism; only 10 to 15 percent of talking heads on opinion news shows are female and between 80 and 90 percent of a newspaper’s opinion essays are written by men, according to the Stanford Op Ed Project. This narrative, however, is seriously flawed.

Look closely at data about women’s progress, and you’ll see a troubling fact: in many arenas, women’s gains have stalled and are in grave danger of being rolled back. Yes, more women than ever before attend college and professional schools in medicine, law, and business—but there’s a real question as to whether they’ll ever attain leadership positions in the areas for which they’ve been trained. The women’s advocacy group Catalyst reports that women’s representation in senior leadership positions is stagnating. In computer science and engineering, earlier gains appear to have stalled or even shifted into reverse.

For Salon’s take on the legend of the persecuted white guy, see Jender’s piece here.

2 thoughts on “In what possible worlds is this true?

  1. I read the Hymowitz article with interest, but I fail to see the need to construct all these grandiose explanations, when there’s a simpler one lying around for consideration: These articles rely very heavily on the data point that women are earning the overwhelming majority of college degrees. But why posit an “existential crisis” (Hymowitz’s term)? Isn’t the simpler idea that it happens because women need, on average, more credentials than men to earn the same class/social-status? If that changed due to the Great Recession, then it will probably take some time for the college degree numbers to change.

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